Introducing 351ELEC – a new firmware for the RG351P!

Last updated: 12JAN2021

I’m excited to show off a new fork of EmuELEC, called 351ELEC, which is designed specifically for the RG351P. This firmware incorporates the most recent release of EmuELEC and also has a FAT32 “Games” partition which allows you to drag and drop ROM files directly onto your SD card. Like with ArkOS, 351ELEC is a more feature-rich and user-friendly operating system than the stock firmware.

Installing this firmware couldn’t be easier. Visit this GitHub page and download the latest release (it will be in img.gz format). Be sure to unzip the file; you can technically flash it when zipped, but several people have run into issues that way. So just unzip/decompress it first.

  • For Win32 Disk Imager (PC), select the .img file by clicking the folder icon under “Image File”, and navigating to wherever your stored it during the previous section. Click the “Write” button, and wait for it to write the image to your new microSD card.
  • For ApplePi-Baker v2 (Mac), select your new microSD card in the “Select Disk(s)” window. Click the “Restore” button and navigate to your backup .img file. The file will then write to your new microSD card.

Once you have flashed the image to your SD card, plug it into your RG351P and turn the device on. The system will create and expand a new partition for you, then reboot. Once you’re in the operating system, you can power down the device and plug the SD card back into your PC or Mac. Now you’ll see a new partition, called “Games”, which will be full of folders named after all the systems that 351ELEC supports. Drag your ROM files into those respective folders.

One thing to note is that the “bios” folder is empty. You’ll need to add the appropriate bios files for the systems that need them (here is a comprehensive list that also includes the location and required name for each bios file. Alternatively, you could take the bios folder from your original SD card and add it to this new SD card (more info here).

Notes

  • The WiFi FTP login credentials are now:
    • username: root
    • password: 351elec

31 thoughts on “Introducing 351ELEC – a new firmware for the RG351P!

  1. This looks great, but based on your Note above, it looks like 351ELEC killed N64 support. Is there a way to get another N64 core working in RetroArch with RC2 or is that near the top of the todo list for RC3? I don’t currently have another 64GB microSD to test this, and I don’t want to delete/test/reinstall the one I perfected based on your guide.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, it looks like the developer has already found a solution for N64 so it’ll be in the next GitHub update. Apparently he was able to get the correct controller config from Batocera. So it should just be a matter of time 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Well that was quick! Looks like 351ELEC just left RC status, and v1.0 was released on GitHub today. With the full 1.5ghz and N64 analog fix, my curiosity about the performance won out over my fear of re-doing my setup work in case something breaks…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. First thanks for making good content here and on your YT channel
        I am testing the 351elec but I feel that now it is slow in psp (ridgeRacer the speed is like in slow motion compared to the previous version, now it looks like the slow speed of the RP2 emulator) is this normal?
        I am confused, the N64 emulator is now very slow too … should I wait for an update to the file? or should I better wait for a video of you to see the composures.

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      3. I came here to post similar to what tebin wrote (though it was still fun to play the first level of Goldeneye for the thousandth time, haha). PSP and N64 performance did not seem to improve at all, and actually in the case of N64, it might be a little worse. Take that for a grain of salt though since I couldn’t compare the two side-by-side and I only tested a handful of titles. Still though…having an active, dedicated firmware scene for the RG351p is awesome!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. How’s the DS emulation in 351Emuelec? Right now I’m running Drastic in the hacked 3.8 Emuelec release. There’s audio glitches and the game doesn’t run as smoothly as it should.

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    2. Hi, so the N64 controls are now working. You’ll have to go into the RetroArch settings to disable to digital to analog input, but after that it works fine. I’ve updated the guide above to reflect the new changes.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Friend, I am looking for the option for Playstation controls, they don’t work on 351elec. any suggestions? 😦
        On the other hand, I am looking for the option to control N64 but it only appears – Analog to digital type: “left analog or Right analog and None”.
        Your blog is vitally important, thanks for your posts!

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      2. Hi, I believe the PS1 controls will be found in the Controls > Port 1 Controls section of the Quick Menu. I would try the same for N64, and see if the adjustments you want to make can be found there. Thanks for stopping by!

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      3. That’s right, I do the correct route. But in the Ape Escape game, the controls are not responding. there is no way to configure them: (… (in the indicated path, there is no dualshock option)

        thanks for answering!! 🙂

        Like

  2. Hi All, wonder if any one can assist. I download the Github link and write it to the new SD card. But when I place it into the Rg351p it wont boot, just “system failure” I tried several versions of the 351ELEC but got the same result. Am I using a incorrect type SD card or? Samsung Evo 128GB (Sorry I’m new to the hand held ROM scene) Thanks in advance.

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  3. Hi there, using the other USB image tool worked! Many thanks for you time. These guides are very helpful for a newbie like my self. Thank again and stay safe!

    Like

  4. Hey! I follow your every single tutorial regarding RG351! Great job! Please consider making update to the tutorial on upgrading to 351elec 1.03+ and issues with it such as ssh logging to the console to install drastic – which is the most problematic part for me! Thanks a lot!

    Like

  5. Hey Russ! I’ve e-mailed you for help. Guessing your very busy right now. Tried asking this in various various Discord Groups to do with various Firmware’s and getting no answers fast. And nowhere seems to have such great help as you’ve done for others. So hopefully answering this will help others too.

    Does the 351p have the ability somehow to install separate emulators outside of Retro Arch? A reply you made on the bottom of your YouTube mentioned You’re still limited to Emulation-station as the front end (which has a lot of themes for tweaking), but standalone emulators (like PPSSPP) work just fine. ??? Stand-Alone Emulators???

    If this can run stand-alone emulators then nobody knows how to do this as I cannot find any information on this anywhere mind expanding on this? I know somehow it can install Drastic NDS and that’s outside of RetroArch.

    Next Question 🙂 Since nobody else has asked this. Does ARKOS come pre-out the box with Drastic NDS Emulator Installed and ready to go? In your videos show’s you using this emu but not how to install it since it’s outside of Retro Arch?

    Finally, this really needs explaining in a video, as once again no tutorial exists anywhere that I can see to show you how to do this.

    On the GitHub for 351elec it says the following. But doesn’t tell you how to do what it’s telling you

    Install Drastic

    The Drastic emulator must be installed separately. To do so, ssh into the handheld and run the command below. The emulator will need to be reinstalled when switching between 32bit and 64bit, but only once as it will set itself up for the architecture it’s being installed on.

    /usr/config/emulationstation/scripts/drastic/dldrastic.sh

    How do you SSH to the device and actually RUN that command? Any help would be much appreciated! I bet others are really stuck on this as well with no answer in sight.

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    1. Hi Stephen, so you are right, you *can* install standalone emulators and Linux apps on the device, provided they have the right drivers to run. A good example is how you can literally just drop the Raspberry Pi version of Pico-8 into the device, run an .sh command, and it boots right up. I’ve been pleading for the developers to install the Raspberry Pi version of Steam Link, but they haven’t gotten to it yet. Also, someone on FB told me they go ZDoom working, which is an app that can play recent DOOM mods like Brutal Doom. So it’s possible, but I don’t really know how to do it, and so until I crack the code on it I have been keeping a little mum. I’m definitely not a programmer, so I’m way out of my league here.

      ArkOS does come with NDS pre-installed, just like PPSSPP and some other standalone emulators (Mupen64, for example). I haven’t tried installing DraStic on 351ELEC so I’ll have to look into that. I’m not sure how to SSH into 351ELEC, just for ArkOS (https://github.com/christianhaitian/arkos/wiki/Frequently-Asked-Questions—RG351P#q-how-can-i-access-a-terminal-physically-on-ArkOS).

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  6. Thank you for your Reply. But your reply opens up more questions that in answers. You said you can install stand-alone emulators, but nobody, not you, or anyone in the discord/youtube community has shown anyone actually loading a 3rd party stand-alone emulator on this device lol but yet it “can” be done? Any chance you could make video’s on this since your the only person doing them it seems?

    I’ve been talking to the author behind 351elec (Should go read the chat logs on discord Russ) the nightly builds now incl “Setup” from the menu to install Drastic and others instead of this insane running SH files. He’s going to make this into the 1.0.4 stable build at some point. But the 1.03 nightly’s now have this feature.

    Now, a video how to install drastic & other stand-alone emulators on 351elec, or emulec stock firmware would be an awesome help to the community. Here, and YouTube for owners of this thing.

    Like

    1. Hi Steve, loading a third-party emulator is a complicated process and usually requires the developers to implement it in their code first. Like I mentioned above, I have asked the developers about third-party apps like Steam Link and they haven’t gotten to it yet — their focus is on quality of life features, bug fixes, and improving optimization for their current emulators. Some third party apps will just happen to work if you add the right executable .sh file, but like I mentioned in my comment above I don’t know how to do this on my own. As soon as I learn how this process works I will definitely consider making a video for it. I’m new to this scene myself, having just started this site in August, and I’m learning a lot as I go, and I promise I am not holding back information.

      I saw the discord chat about a menu solution for DraStic, which is great, but in general I try not to encourage people to use nightly builds because of the complications and questions that can come from using an unstable release. And honestly I cannot keep up with everything that’s going on between the three RG351P firmwares, let alone other devices. I think the most prudent solution would be to just wait a few days for the official release. If you have any formal requests for features, I would recommend adding a post to the developer’s issues pages on GitHub. This is what I do.

      https://github.com/fewtarius/351ELEC/issues
      https://github.com/christianhaitian/arkos/issues

      Like

  7. In the last update, now there are now two KERNEL: 64 BIT
    or 32 BIT. I’m confused. Which one should I install which is better?

    Can someone help me out of this doubt?
    If I just want to update it does not make it clear on Github how to do it, it also says that the NDS emulator must be installed separately. but it doesn’t say how either.

    Like

  8. So where do i put the ppspp save files and fonts on the 351elec? I could easily put the save files from the ppspp on my phone into the arkos, but can’t do it with the 351elec 😦

    Like

    1. Hi, you’re going to need to WiFi FTP into the device and add them there. Unfortunately the latest version of 351ELEC broke the internal WiFi chip on my device, so I cannot get in there to find it for you, but it should be somewhere like .config/ppsspp/PSP/ — there should be folders for save files, save states, and cheats. Fonts should be somwhere like ppsspp/assets/flash0/font/

      Like

  9. So, I’ve been updating 351ELEC to v1.0.5 recently. And there’s this one thing, that’s bugging me: the OS splash screens starting with “### WELCOME TO 351ELEC – VERSION 1.0.5 ###” everytime a game is loading. This hasn’t been on v1.0.4, or I believe I have been able to disable it somehow. Now I can’t find any option relating to this issue in the new version – is that right?

    I really liked the old “clean” way of loading games, when the screen just turned black for a few seconds, and that was about it 😦

    Like

    1. Okay, I’ve found it again: Start Button (Main Menu) > Games Settings > Enable Game Splash

      Now, that I am using v.1.0.6 I cannot check, if this has been a bug in v.1.0.5 or not, though…

      Like

  10. I can’t download any of the 351 Elec img. files on GitHub without them being in a snes9x ROM format. Any idea why this is happening to me on windows 10? I’m at a dead end.

    Like

  11. It seems the wikis are no longer on GitHub. Anybody happen to know another site or have pdfs of the documentation? I’m really just looking to find which sets work best with fbneo, mame and other information about sets/files for max, msx2, c64 and amiga

    Like

  12. Hello,
    First off, thank you for all the hours posting all this info. I’ve used Apple-Pi create and image of my stock sd, , but when i flash it to my 256g sd, it only shows one partition. Is there a setting I missed in ApplePi?
    You videos and tutorials convinced me to buy the RG351P, and it’s unreal how powerful it is. I’m blown away by it with the stock firmware and games. I can’t wait to get it optimized. Apologize it this is already answered somewhere else.
    Best,
    Edmund

    Like

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