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Mash Mods SNES Retro Flash Programmer/Retro Flash Cart

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The Mash Mods SNES Retro Flash Cart and Programmer are a great set of tools to allow you to dump SNES games to your computer and play copied games on your SNES console

By: Evan G
Last updated: August 8, 2010

The Mash Mods Retro Flash Cart and Programmer was perhaps the first USB controlled copier for the SNES. Unlike old copiers from the 90s which were massive contraptions that fit into the SNES cart slot and required serial cables or floppy disks, this nice setup has a simple programmer that copies games onto a converted cart.

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The Mash Mods setup

Programmer

I got my Mash Mods programmer about a year ago, and I have used it extensively. I have dumped hundreds of SNES games with it. It cannot copy some games with special coprocessors, like the SA-1 chip (though it can do DSP-x and Super FX games fine). One issue I ran into is that it copies games into files that are an even binary multiples with their software, so games that are 12, 20, and 24 Mb in size have excess data. This problem can be remedied by trimming the ROM images with NSRT, or using a custom software by Overload (see this thread on No Intro - may require registration). I found that the Mash-Mods programmer is a more robust device at copying games than the Retrode, mainly because the software double checks to make sure that the file is copied properly. Probably the worst part of the programmer is that they just give you the bare board, meaning that it is susceptible to wear and tear, plus the pins of the 62 pin connector will stick into anything soft (make sure you put it on a solid piece of furniture).

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The board of the flash cart

Flash Cart

The Flash Cart is nice in that it is in a regular SNES cart shell. It also is pretty bare-bones in its presentation, and the makers did not even bother to take off the label of the donor cart. The cart has a 32 Mb capacity, meaning it can handle almost every SNES game that does not have a coprocessor. I tried it out with various ROM hacks and fan translationed games with great results. The software allows you copy the SRAM, which you can save on your hard drive and use with an emulator, and vice-versa.

Summary

The Mash Mods SNES Retro Flash Cart and Programmer works well as a substitute for old, bulky copiers made in the 90s. The software provided by Mash Mods only works on Windows (though Matthew Callis has made software that works on a Mac), which is a bit of a downside for a Linux user like myself. As a copier, I found that it is more forgiving than a Retrode. I would suggest cleaning the pins of all games before trying to dump, though. If you are only interested in SNES copying, it is also a fair bit cheaper than a Retrode at $45 USD (the Retrode is 60 Euros, which at this time of writing is about $80 USD). The combined flash cart and programmer works out to $95 USD, which I think is a great deal. When I got my set, it took two days to arrive after ordering (though at the time I lived in Sudbury, a mere five hour drive from Toronto, where Mash Mods is located). I highly recommend this for any SNES fan.

Go to the Mash Mods website


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