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I got a used GameShark Pro (for Nintendo 64) but it did not have the manual, code book, or SharkLink serial cable. It currently says there is 15% free space on the cartridge, so I’d like to connect it to my computer and transfer some more codes to it. I’ve looked around and found a copy of the SharkLink software, but I need a cable to connect it to my PC. I have found two differing discussions about the cable.

In one, the SharkLink cable has a female 9-pin connector on one end to connect to the serial port of a PC, and a male 25-pin connector on the other end to connect to the port on the back of the GameShark. The problem is that this requires an adapter, but there is no one, standard way to adapt 9-to-25 (especially for proprietary systems). I searched for pinouts, but could not find any.

In the other discussion, it is indeed a 25-to-25 pin cable that connects to the parallel port.

Does anyone know which it is? Does anyone know what the pinout for the SharkLink cable is? Does anyone have one that they can check to find out? I doubt that it is printed in the manual, but it is simple to find out with a digital multimeter.

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3 Answers 3

You needed a 25 Pin Male to 25 Pin Female printer lead back in the day, but most PCs don't have that port anymore. Easiest way to go about it is dust off the old XP machine as the software won't run on the newer OS. Here's the Manual if anyone needs it, good luck finding the software if you don't already have it though

http://www.mindspring.com/~glaciuscool/gspro/doc/gspro.htm

http://web.archive.org/web/20110426190730/http://gscentral.org/tools.html

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Thanks for the links (the first one isn’t working), but like I said, the software isn’t the issue, it is whether the cable is parallel or serial (I have read people argue for both). –  Synetech Apr 22 '13 at 17:41

I found this site while trying to get an image of the connector. I'm not sure if you are going to find someone who knows the direct pin-outs but I also recall that this device used a standard parallel cable to connect to a PC. I bought one of these GameSharks when it fist came out and I seem to recall that my families printer cable worked just fine with the device.

I don't know how to create an adapter because the pin-outs would be specific to the softwares communications implementation. If you only have a serial port on your PC, then you will obviously need some form of converter. Being that this device seemed to be a bit "cheap", I would personally assume that a standard AT converter would work, which you can get for a really reasonable price. The converter may not work, but if I was in your position, I'd be confident enough that it might work that I'd spend the $4 or $5 to get one of these converters and hope for the best.

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Yes, I saw that page. It is one of the ones that indicate it connects to the parallel port, but there are others that say it is a serial connection (which is completely different). I’m wondering if maybe the ones that say it is serial are wrong since the one on the GoldeEyeForever site looks like it is actually work as opposed to just some text discussion… –  Synetech Mar 11 '12 at 17:40
    
After doing a bit of further research, it looks like parallel communication is easily converted to serial. My guess is that these connectors have an embedded chipset that converts the parallel communication to serial. This isn't that difficult either. If other sites are stating that the communication is serial communication they are probably stating that because they had to pick up a converter attachment and it "just worked". I highly doubt that they are only mapping certain pins on parallel to the serial. That wouldn't work. Post your references and I might be able to verify. –  RLH Mar 12 '12 at 13:20
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If other sites are stating that the communication is serial communication they are probably stating that because they had to pick up a converter attachment and it "just worked". I suppose they could be using a cable that has the converter built-in. –  Synetech Dec 27 '12 at 16:45
up vote 0 down vote accepted

I found (a scanned copy of) the original manual. On page 15, under Hacking Codes with your PC, it says:

If you are a real hard code gamer and have a desire to take Code Generation to more advanced levels, then GameShark Pro can be connected to a PC - simply by using a standard printer lead connected to the parallel port of any PC. The correct printer lead will have 25 Pin Male to 25 Pin Female Connectors and are available from wherever you buy your computer accessories.

Simply connect one end to the printer port of you [sic] PC and the other to the comms port of your GameShark Pro, then download the special SharkLink Software that you will find on our GameShark website:http://www.gameshark.com. You now have the power to generate codes using your PC.

This seems to indicate that the cable did not even come with the GameShark, and that a standard printer cable will suffice. Unfortunately there is no such thing as a “standard” printer cable because they can come in various configurations with different sets of wires connected or not. However, assuming that they did at least some testing with more than one cable, then even a basic cable with the minimum connections (e.g., 8 data-lines, ground, etc.) would work even if others (e.g., Paper-Out, Line-Feed, lines, etc.) are not.

Of course their site has changed and no longer (seems to) have the software—oddly enough, SharkLink can’t seem to be found even on archived copies of their site. Fortunately it is available elsewhere.

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Considering it could use also a 9-pin to 25-pin cable, it likely uses only the minimum common parallel printer cable pins, so the standard pinout is still useful. –  SevenSidedDie Apr 22 '13 at 19:20
    
Considering it could use also a 9-pin to 25-pin cable I don't see how. If it has a D-Sub 25 on the cartridge and has to connect to the PC’s parallel port, I really don’t understand why anybody is talking about 9-pin cables at all (unless they are talking about a 25-to-9 cable + a 9-to-25 adapter which seems pointless unless a 25-to-25 cable absolutely cannot be found or made). –  Synetech Apr 22 '13 at 20:21
    
Because the original question mentions that a 9-pin (serial port) to 25-pin cable can be used equally well. It's all just wires, and if 9 wires is enough, then likely only 9 (or fewer) wires are used from the parallel printer cable pinout. (They almost certainly weren't using the wires "right" according to the parallel or serial specs.) –  SevenSidedDie Apr 22 '13 at 20:25
    
Because the original question mentions that a 9-pin (serial port) to 25-pin cable can be used equally well. I never said a 9-pin connector works, I said I have seen people mention connecting it to the serial port (which of course is 9-pin). The question was whether it is parallel or serial, I asked about the pinout to clarify which conductors in the cable are used/required. –  Synetech Apr 23 '13 at 18:38
    
It's entirely possible that it's neither parallel nor serial. I don't know about this specific hardware, but I do know how the ports work and were commonly used when they were the only real outputs. Back then, it was common (and easy) to manipulate the wires' voltage levels directly and therefore code a custom "protocol" that didn't care whether it was supposed to be a parallel or serial cable. Either worked just fine as a bundle of wires connected to the (custom) hardware. –  SevenSidedDie Apr 23 '13 at 19:03

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