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"NES Super 8" project


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#51 low_budget OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:58 PM

I like the AG-85 case. It has a separate back panel and comes in 3 colors. It seemed like other project boxes were just, well rectangular boxes.
The case is still a mock up and I may make some changes. I would like to have front mounted controller ports, but the ports are 1" long and it would be a tight fit. At this point I'm not sure if it will work.

It would be easy to mount the PCB in a different case. The PCB measures 6-1/2" x 4-5/16" and has 8 mounting holes.
Does anyone have a case in mind they would prefer to use? (not being sarcastic)

I know there are a lot of things I could have done differently, like using mostly surface mount components to make a smaller PCB, but I like the vintage circuit look of DIP chips on a 2 layer board. DIP chips being much easier to solder is a bonus.

Edited by low_budget, Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:08 PM.


#52 Asbrandt OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:04 PM

Does anyone have a case in mind they would prefer to use? (not being sarcastic)


Apologies if I came across as being negative about the Polycase, I only meant to say its not to my personal taste.
I personally actually enjoy a simple box when its made from nice stained and sealed wood, and I can make one myself. =)

The Polycase is a good "standard" choice if people can accept the top-mounted controller ports, or if you do manage to move them.
Honestly having top-mounted ports has an almost far-retro switchboard kind of feel to it, which is interesting in of itself.

I fully agree regarding the use of full-size DIP parts, additionally the ease of work -is- important for the core components that the end-user needs to install.
It's a shame the SNES and MD use all SMDs, the MD could really use a similar board redesign project, even if it probably would not fit in the Polycase at all.

Sorry for mentioning other consoles, I only mean to give a temporary diversion while we all eagerly await your building and testing of the 1.1 board.

#53 Drakon OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:36 AM

Also dip parts are easier to hand solder for making changes to the circuits. Which is good since this's still a WIP

Edited by Drakon, Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:37 AM.


#54 Uzumaki OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 14, 2012 9:42 PM

Subscribed!

I would be interested in PCB + cart connector only board as I have a number of NES decks to cannibalize for chips,

PPU is an odd one. The NES and Famicom version can only output composite (plus RF via modulator) while the arcade version outputs RGB needed for sharp picture using RGB, Component, and S-Video. Arcade PPU is unfortunately rare and often costing $100+ on ebay. I just checked, there's a few VS motherboard being sold as-is and looking at the picture it seems most of the motherboard is missing the all-important RGB PPU. Just 2 of the vs board ($125 on eBay) that seems to have it but I'd check with the seller first. One PC10 board tested and working but it costs a lot more even if you parted out and sold the games.

#55 Asbrandt OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:17 AM

The only thing that concerns me at the moment is if Krikzz will use the same Pin for Expansion Audio that the PowerPak does.

#56 Uzumaki OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 15, 2012 2:36 AM

Those pins are present on 72 pins connector but simply not used on regular NES consoles. If there are circuit traces on this board that lets one add in support for extra audio from Krikzz' Everdrive for NES, it should be fine.

#57 Zapf OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:45 AM

I like the AG-85 case. It has a separate back panel and comes in 3 colors. It seemed like other project boxes were just, well rectangular boxes.
The case is still a mock up and I may make some changes. I would like to have front mounted controller ports, but the ports are 1" long and it would be a tight fit. At this point I'm not sure if it will work.


I've seen several superguns use that case, but some of the other examples on http://www.neotropolis.net/33701.html looked nice. The white second one is something I would prefer over the current option - I assume these are all from the same company.

#58 Asbrandt OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:12 AM

...The white second one is something I would prefer over the current option - I assume these are all from the same company.


They are indeed, it's the ZN-45 ( http://www.polycase.com/zn-45 ) and I do like it more than the AG-85, too.
It currently seems to only be available in black, but that's fine by me.

#59 low_budget OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:45 AM

I looked up the ZN-45 and it would be a good case if you wanted extra room to mount the controller ports and maybe a RGB video converter. It's about 2 inches longer and 1/2 inch taller than the AG-85.

I ordered a small lot of v1.1 Super 8 PCBs. With the v1.0 board I was sort of making a test board and didn't incorporate all the features I wanted. With v1.1 I had more time to make lots of changes and improvements. Almost every part of the circuit board was modified. I also discovered an error I made on v1.0. Some of the ground planes were not actually connected to ground between the PPU and the 74HC373, so I was probably getting some RF interference. I improved the grounding quite a bit on the new board.

I decided my clock circuit was fine, I just used a better layout of the components.

Some of the tap points I added for an expansion port are labeled, some are not. There is a tap point for nearly every NES expansion port pin. I will ohm out the connectors and make a pinout at some point.

The video circuit has its own ground plane, and it's connected to PPU pin 20. The video ground from the PPU goes directly to the video output, and can be linked to the video ground.

The top ground plane layer no longer has any component grounds connected to it.

#60 Drakon OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 24, 2012 7:04 AM

The only thing that concerns me at the moment is if Krikzz will use the same Pin for Expansion Audio that the PowerPak does.


The simple solution....buy a famicom and don't have to worry about it.

#61 RGB_Gamer OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 24, 2012 11:52 AM

The simple solution....buy a famicom and don't have to worry about it.


Not when you want RGB video output

#62 low_budget OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 29, 2012 5:18 PM

I have received my NES Super 8 v1.1 PCBs and have assembled a couple. Both the RGB version and the composite version have improved picture over 1.0. Having the 5v regulator and sync separator on board make the whole assembly much neater. I am happy with how the board turned out and it works great!

I'm not going to bother having pre-cut cases made. I'll just sell the circuit boards.

I will make another YouTube video soon, but I have been quite busy lately. I would like to do a video quality comparison eventually.

I will be assembling these as I get orders for them. I can do a custom build depending on preference.
A RGB NES Super 8 PCB with CPU and PPU is $419. (Yes, it is a lot, but the PPU costs $200+ alone.)
I test all functions of every system. I can't offer a warranty, I just know it works when I ship it out.

The assembled v1.1 PCB will be $150 for the composite version, and $180 for the RGB version. These do not include the CPU or PPU chips.

I also have a v1.0 Super 8 RGB system to sell without CPU/PPU for only $40. It doesn't have on-board regulator or sync separator.

The boards include controller ports, but require a power switch, reset button, power input jack, and A/V output jack to be wired. Headers and receptacles are included for controllers and A/V connection.

Sorry to sound like an advertisement, but I have so much money and time invested in this.

Attached Thumbnails

  • RGB NES Super 8 v1.1.JPG


#63 bombidragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 29, 2012 5:42 PM

How much unassembled with no ppu's? Will this work with a composite ppu?

Edited by bombidragon, Sat Dec 29, 2012 5:42 PM.


#64 low_budget OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 30, 2012 1:23 PM

How much unassembled with no ppu's? Will this work with a composite ppu?


I have one v1.1 kit made up I could sell for $120. I do not have assembly instructions, although it should be self-explanatory if you're familiar with circuit assembly. Includes all PCB components minus CPU and PPU.
It's time consuming to label all the components and bag them, so I will probably not sell any kits besides this one.

I should have the composite version assembled and tested in a week or so.
The Super 8 PCB is compatible with both PPUs.

I will begin listing Super 8 systems on ebay in a couple weeks.

#65 Zapf OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 30, 2012 1:52 PM

I have one v1.1 kit made up I could sell for $120. I do not have assembly instructions, although it should be self-explanatory if you're familiar with circuit assembly. Includes all PCB components minus CPU and PPU.
It's time consuming to label all the components and bag them, so I will probably not sell any kits besides this one.

I should have the composite version assembled and tested in a week or so.
The Super 8 PCB is compatible with both PPUs.

I will begin listing Super 8 systems on ebay in a couple weeks.


ebay only? Any chance we can buy direct? Im interested in an assembled rgb version. Are you planning on including an av jack for that (I recommend the din or mini din 8s that neo geos use - a lot of cabling is already available for that).

I can list previous sales if you need some sort of verification.

#66 low_budget OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:16 PM

I'm working on finishing a complete (enclosed) Super 8 RGB system. I'll be using that blue AG-85 case pictured in an earlier post I made.
I have a some DIN 8 connectors I was going to use for RGB out, with Genesis pinout. I'll have about 8 hours labor in this system, so I'm thinking about $530 for this system when it's complete.

I would rather sell direct because of ebay fees. PM me if you're interested.

I can build to order with some options, such as:
LED color
IC socket type (standard or precision for PPU)
Sound adjustment trimmers (screw adjust or knob)
On board PTH 08080 regulator or (cheaper) external regulator board

I have several RGB PPUs on hand I can include with these early systems. Once my stock of CPU / PPU chips runs out, I will only offer the boards without them.

#67 Game-Tech.US OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 2, 2013 10:31 PM

What CAD prog are you using and would you care to share the schematic and or board layout?

#68 low_budget OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 4, 2013 8:30 PM

I never made a schematic, I just used a list of the required connections I attached with my second post. I used a NES schematic by Electronix but had to fix some errors by checking a NES circuit board.

I used Pad2pad software and PCB manufacturing. The software is easy to use and free but you have to use Pad2pad to make the boards with this software.

More Youtube videos


Super 8 v1.1 in Polycase AG-85
Super 8 v1.1 PCB info:

Attached Thumbnails

  • IMG_0180.jpg

Edited by low_budget, Fri Jan 4, 2013 8:36 PM.


#69 Drakon OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 8, 2013 9:31 AM

This thing is awesome. I'd love to hear audio recordings directly from it using either stereo or mono. Also did you wire up something that lets you inject the audio from famicom carts with added audio chips / the powerpak? I'd like to hear how everything sounds. I'm also curious what audio circuit you used but if you don't want to post it that's totally cool.

#70 low_budget OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 12, 2013 5:34 PM

Just a quick update:

Last night I tried a 74LS373 and LS139 (like in original NES) in place of the 74HC373 and 74HC139, and the composite PPU video was much better. No more graphics glitches in Super C. The RGB version of the Super 8 will keep the HC chips for PowerPak compatibility.

Known bugs as of 1/12:
Punch Out and Mike Tyson's Punch Out have graphics glitches (with the enemy fighter.)
Super Mario 3 has occasional screen rolling (with composite PPU only)
Composite video is black and white on older CRT TVs (with composite PPU only.)

I tried eliminating the Q1 amplifier in the sync line of the RGB version, and picture was the same. So it doesn't seem necessary but it doesn't hurt either when using RGB.

That is all for now.

#71 jdubs OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 13, 2013 4:33 PM

This is the coolest project I've seen in a long time!! Really good stuff.

-Jim

#72 Uzumaki OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:38 AM

Using a regular NES game, composite PPU, and one NES controller, does this board draw less power than a stock NES? I would imagine signifiantly less as the whole thing is smaller with less trace, and a few parts left out. If the saving is great, there might be some interest in making a portable NES system.

#73 atarilovesyou OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:51 AM

I'm quite interested in this project, nice work!

#74 low_budget OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 1, 2013 2:51 PM

I ordered white and blue AG-85 cases and a ZN-45 as well to try out.
I've been working on getting some complete RGB NES Super 8 systems ready, as well as assembled PCBs. I also wrote up some install instructions for the assembled PCBs.

I attached some reference material I compiled before designing the PCB. I didn't use a schematic directly, I made a list of the required connections and worked off that. The schematics for the RGB amp, sync cleaner, and audio amp are based off their datasheets.

I haven't measured power draw, but I imagine it would be much less due to the modern logic and memory chips as well as the switching regulator.

I have some systems on eBay now or I can be contacted directly.

Attached Thumbnails

  • NES Super 8 v1.1 RGB fully assembled white.JPG
  • NES Clone IC pinouts 1alt.JPG
  • NES Clone memory pinouts 1alt.JPG

Attached Files



#75 5-11under OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 1, 2013 3:51 PM

Do you have a link for the eBay item(s)?




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