WonderGate: New WonderSwan Stuff!

Hi everyone,

I just  received a new toy for my WonderSwan, something, that I think is not really common, at least outside of Japan, even if the WonderSwan is not common outside of Japan.

I’m happy, because this new stuff will may allow us to extand the capability of the WonderSwan: connecting it to the marvelous word of Internet!

This accessory is the MobileWonderGate:

I was made to connect your WonderSwan to compatible mobile phone and then have access to Internet via your mobile phone. NTT DoCoMo was the sponsorship of this product at the time, and it surely only worked on this network.

But why this tool is interesting?

For a few reasons:

  • The first one is that there is absolutly NO hardware documentation on this nowhere on the internet. And since I want to make the WonderSwan the more documented possible, leaving an official accesory uncovered is unacceptable 😉
  • Second one, since this is an official product, some games was made to be compatible with it, not only the cardridge that was sold with the package.
  • Third one, it connect to the WonderSwan Serial Port, so the protocol, on the Swan side should not be too hard to understand, the adaptor should be a microcontoler with IP and PPP stacks to leave the minimum to the WonderSwan, (the MobileWonderGate cart included a web browser so the CPU useage should be light on the network part!)
  • The Mobile phone side should be too a serial connection (that’s how it works on most mobile phone back in time) so even here it should be easy to understand the protocol. I suspect it’s standard AT commands and PPP
  • So it should be easy to hack the adaptor on the swan side, or on the phone side to make it work with whatever we want. It could be even funny to make a compatible adaptor that integrate a Wifi module to connect to internet!
  • And finally since it’s an official module, for thoses who make homebrew on the WonderSwan that want to connect to internet, they should use do compatible with this adapter.
But for now, since I have a lot of work on the Bandai200x side, this will be a side project, sadly don’t expect result on this before a long time, I’d love to be faster, but the bandai part is not easy, and since this is not my primary work (yes, that’s sad, but I have to eat each day ;)) I won’t put full power on this until the bandai200x, and it’s subproject are finished.
I’ve already do some research on it, and the inside of the adaptor seems to agree with one of the point : there is flash and ram inside the module, so it’s looks like there is something like a microcontroler 🙂 But the chip I suspect to be a microcontroler is not referenced on google, so until I can do some hack I’m stuck on this. I will try to dump the Flash Chip, maybe I would be able to find if there is code stored right there and if yes, which type CPU there is inside the chip. Anyway, even if the chip won’t be deciphered, the serial protocol won’t be too hard to decrypt, since it seems that the phone connector is somewhat standardised in japan, and seem to be lightly documented.

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