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The "perfect" Lynx....


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#1 Level42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:27 PM

The recent developments in the Lynx field has restarted my interest for the platform.

Following this I was thinking what would be the " perfect" Lynx, even if only in theory.

To me, the I has been always the favorite system because:
- more comfortable to hold for an adult man
- better controls (d-pad and A and B buttons
- much better sound

So, now today, what would my perfect Lynx look like ?

-Lynx I (got it !)
-McWill LCD
-SainT SD card (got it !)
-improved sound (new speaker ordered)
-variable clock speed hack (http://www.circuitbe...LTC/LTCPCB.html) ( had the switchable 24 MHz hack before which worked fine, some games REALLY improved because of it, like Pinball Jam f.i.)
- different batteries, Lipo, Zn-Mn ???
- charging/power supply through Standard USB charger/connector

Some of these are more important then others....and it is just a "wish list" for me for now.....but somethings I already started on and I'll report back :)

#2 Sapicco OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:33 PM

That's cool. Yeah I wish I had an adapter so I could use my I phone lightning wire to play lynx

#3 7800fan OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 26, 2016 6:18 PM

Explain overclocking. May have to do them on mine!



#4 Atari_afternoon OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 26, 2016 7:24 PM

Stereo speakers would be good. Since handheld consoles like the bigger DSi I know that good stereo sound without extra headphones is possible. Would be lovely for games such as Checkered Flad or Xybots.



#5 Level42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 27, 2016 4:51 AM

Which brings me to my first question: how does McWill's LCD respond to over clocking (24Mhz hack) .

#6 Level42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 27, 2016 5:48 AM

Stereo speakers would be good. Since handheld consoles like the bigger DSi I know that good stereo sound without extra headphones is possible. Would be lovely for games such as Checkered Flad or Xybots.

 

Lynx I doesn't have Stereo hardware AFAIK. I'm just upgrading the speaker on the I.



#7 Level42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 27, 2016 6:10 AM

Explain overclocking. May have to do them on mine!

Well, many many many years ago already (must be like late 90's early 00's or so) I implemented a 24 Mhz crystal hack on my first Lynx I:

 

http://amigan.1emu.n.../24mhzhack.html

 

Its' very cheap and simple to do and it worked fine on my Lynx. Some games REALLY benefitted from the higher speed, like Pinball Jam became a fast and furious Pinball game which was a load of fun.

(I just tried Joust on the SD card for the first time in my life I play this on Lynx. It looks like a very good conversion but it seems to lag....this might be another good game for some extra speed).

However, the 24 Mhz crystal is just that speed. Factory is 16 Mhz do the gameplay speeds up a fixed 50%.

For some games that is too much...

 

So I thought it would be great to have a freely adjustable clock speed so that you can play the game exactly at the speed you like :)

 

So I did some googling and stumbled across that little project here:

http://www.circuitbe...LTC/LTCPCB.html

It seems aimed at keyboard and other musical instruments but I see no reason why it shouldn't work in a Lynx.

 

This little PCB replaces the crystal's function and is adjustable in it's frequency by turning a pot. It is also possible to set a fixed maximum frequency which is great to protect the Lynx from beving overclocked too much.

 

I would make it switchable between the fixed original 16 Mhz and the variable speed though, you will always need the option to run at standard speeds.

 

Since McWill's LCD mod requires you to remove the brightness pot, it might well be possible to use that pot (or at least the wheel and the location) as the speed adjustment pot (unless you want to put the VGA connector there. I'm not too sure I'd add the VGA connector. Although cool, I can hardly see me play the Lynx on a big screen. Of course the pot traces will have to be cut for this to work and the value of the pot might have to be different.

 

Now, I don't know how McWill's LCD screen, and in fact SainT's SD cartridge will respond to overclocking....it would be sad if either would have problems with it....anyone already tasted this ?


Edited by Level42, Wed Jul 27, 2016 6:14 AM.


#8 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 27, 2016 6:33 AM

Well, many many many years ago already (must be like late 90's early 00's or so) I implemented a 24 Mhz crystal hack on my first Lynx I:

 

http://amigan.1emu.n.../24mhzhack.html

 

Its' very cheap and simple to do and it worked fine on my Lynx. Some games REALLY benefitted from the higher speed, like Pinball Jam became a fast and furious Pinball game which was a load of fun.

(I just tried Joust on the SD card for the first time in my life I play this on Lynx. It looks like a very good conversion but it seems to lag....this might be another good game for some extra speed).

However, the 24 Mhz crystal is just that speed. Factory is 16 Mhz do the gameplay speeds up a fixed 50%.

For some games that is too much...

 

So I thought it would be great to have a freely adjustable clock speed so that you can play the game exactly at the speed you like :)

 

So I did some googling and stumbled across that little project here:

http://www.circuitbe...LTC/LTCPCB.html

It seems aimed at keyboard and other musical instruments but I see no reason why it shouldn't work in a Lynx.

 

This little PCB replaces the crystal's function and is adjustable in it's frequency by turning a pot. It is also possible to set a fixed maximum frequency which is great to protect the Lynx from beving overclocked too much.

 

I would make it switchable between the fixed original 16 Mhz and the variable speed though, you will always need the option to run at standard speeds.

 

Since McWill's LCD mod requires you to remove the brightness pot, it might well be possible to use that pot (or at least the wheel and the location) as the speed adjustment pot (unless you want to put the VGA connector there. I'm not too sure I'd add the VGA connector. Although cool, I can hardly see me play the Lynx on a big screen. Of course the pot traces will have to be cut for this to work and the value of the pot might have to be different.

 

Now, I don't know how McWill's LCD screen, and in fact SainT's SD cartridge will respond to overclocking....it would be sad if either would have problems with it....anyone already tasted this ?

Sounds cool. Keep us posted. Being a handheld, are you speeding up the entire system? That could make some games janky fast running at say 90Hz instead of 60Hz. Console OC mods generally rely on the CPU getting an independent clock signal from the GPU. The amount and success of the overclock often varies from game to game. Some games require very precise timings while others allow a lot of slop. NES a small overclock can often greatly reduce slowdown, but raises the pitch. N64, some games improve frame rate without speedup, while others base their timing off the CPU and run faster. Golden Eye and Perfect Dark I think the speech desyncs in the cut scenes which play faster than the audio samples. Then there's Super FX hacks on the cartridge...



#9 Level42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 27, 2016 6:37 AM

The Lynx has only one crystal. So +everything+ speeds up, including the sounds. I don't mind that, it's acceptable. I'm not quite sure the Lynx uses frame rates like 60 or 90 Hz like you mention because of the system is inherently designed for LCD display and not f.i. CRT. 

 

But anyway, yes the entire system is sped up....or slowed down, which should also be possible with this mod, although I see no reason at all to do that ;)

 

I just noticed that the Lynx I VGA connector wouldn't go on one of the potmeter locations so that is great, but I also saw that switching between LCD and VGA is done through the old brightness pot. I assume this can still be "removed" and to use a real switch instead.


Edited by Level42, Wed Jul 27, 2016 6:40 AM.


#10 bdoi OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 27, 2016 8:06 AM

This modd looks very cool! But I don't think there is many people who have tested this modd. You will have to test alone and tell us the result ;) ;)



#11 Level42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 27, 2016 8:17 AM

This modd looks very cool! But I don't think there is many people who have tested this modd. You will have to test alone and tell us the result ;) ;)

 

Haha, this particular mod I don't think anyone tried :) 
However, there must be more people who have hacked their Lynx with the 24 Mhz crystal, that hack has been around for "ages" ..... so if anyone know if the McWill screen and/or the SD card has any problems with the 24Mhz hack, that would be great :) But else I will find out myself of course :)

 

 

The speaker was just delivered.....it sounds way "deeper" than the original, however, it is also physically deeper and the mounting "ears" will have to be cut off....It will require modding of the speaker supports on the back of the Lynx too because the speaker is so deep, but I will have to see first IF it will completely fit, else it is no use.


Edited by Level42, Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:13 AM.


#12 Level42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 28, 2016 7:05 AM

Here some pics of the Visaton speaker.

 

It is for sure not going to be a drop-in replacement, modification of both the Lynx case as well as the speaker itself are going to be necessary.

 

The Visaton is much deeper in size than the original. It is also much heavier, which is a good thing for the sound as it means it has a much bigger/heavier magnet. But if will add a bit of weight to the Lynx :)

 

Attached Thumbnails

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#13 Level42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 28, 2016 7:07 AM

But before I make any unreversible mods to the Lynx case......I wanted to be sure I was going to WANT this Visaton....so I did some testing (and recording) with both speakers OUTSIDE of the Lynx.

 

made a recording of both the original Lynx ! speaker and the new Visaton BG45-4 I just got in.

 

I recorded this with a GOOD quality microphone, a Behringer C1U which is a condensor mike designed for recording singing. It has a built in USB connector so the digitizing is done inside and thus the same for both recordings.

 

The mike was positioned about 5 cm. above the speaker. The speakers were OUT of the Lynx case and I hold them firm against the wooden table. This might enhance the bass somewhat, but that is true for both speakers. You may hear a little variation in the sound because I accidentally moved the speakers a bit during recording.

 

The only thing I changed about the audio file is that I normalized the volume. No other changes have been made.

 

However, I have the feeling the difference is pretty clear......

 

First you hear the original speaker, second is the Visaton.....

 

Attached Files



#14 GadgetUK OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 28, 2016 8:28 AM

I am not sure if McWills screen mod will run at 24Mhz.  Doesn't the screen have its own clock? 



#15 travistouchdown OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 28, 2016 11:20 AM

The perfect Lynx to me is:

 

-McWills LCD/VGA Mod

 

-SainT's SD Cart

 

-Smaller carrying case for gaming on the go

 

-Screen protector to protect screen from bumps and scratches

 

-A set of skull candy earbuds tucked into one of the little pockets

 

-A mini moleskin tucked in with the lynx for recording high scores.

 

-Duracell rechargeable AA's in the Lynx and six more fully charged tucked in mini-pocket II

 

If you want a big screen and booming sound use an LCD monitor and a Computer sound system via the 3.5mm headphone jack.

 

 

Cool project though, that speaker looks like it thumps!!


Edited by travistouchdown, Thu Jul 28, 2016 11:23 AM.


#16 Level42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 28, 2016 12:14 PM

It does, didn't you listen to the comparison I uploaded ? :D

 

And uhh, with the SD card this case is all you need and still as small as it can be (for the I ;) ).

 

ATARI_LYNX_POUCH.jpg?t=1421473233


Edited by Level42, Thu Jul 28, 2016 12:17 PM.


#17 Level42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 28, 2016 12:16 PM

I uploaded the speaker comparison to Soundcloud, maybe that's handier for some of you to listen to:

 

https://soundcloud.c...2/lynx-speakers

 

I think it's fair to call the difference.......SHOCKING ! :)

 

Now there is the challenge to fit is inside the Lynx and NOT have it resonate....


Edited by Level42, Thu Jul 28, 2016 12:20 PM.


#18 travistouchdown OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 28, 2016 1:00 PM

 

Now there is the challenge to fit is inside the Lynx and NOT have it resonate....

 

You'll have to put some Dynamat in there like you are putting twin 12 inch subs in the trunk of an 98' Honda.  :grin:

 

http://www.dynamat.com/brands/dynamat-xtreme/ 



#19 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 28, 2016 6:43 PM

But before I make any unreversible mods to the Lynx case......I wanted to be sure I was going to WANT this Visaton....so I did some testing (and recording) with both speakers OUTSIDE of the Lynx.

 

made a recording of both the original Lynx ! speaker and the new Visaton BG45-4 I just got in.

 

I recorded this with a GOOD quality microphone, a Behringer C1U which is a condensor mike designed for recording singing. It has a built in USB connector so the digitizing is done inside and thus the same for both recordings.

 

The mike was positioned about 5 cm. above the speaker. The speakers were OUT of the Lynx case and I hold them firm against the wooden table. This might enhance the bass somewhat, but that is true for both speakers. You may hear a little variation in the sound because I accidentally moved the speakers a bit during recording.

 

The only thing I changed about the audio file is that I normalized the volume. No other changes have been made.

 

However, I have the feeling the difference is pretty clear......

 

First you hear the original speaker, second is the Visaton.....

 

Holy cow, the enhanced bass with this thing is amazing. I LOATHE tinny sounding speakers btw, including the vast majority of flat panel HDTVs. Make sure you play back the sound on something decent. I've got a set of Bose Companion hooked up to my PC. ;-)

 

Let me know if you get your mod to work and how much effort it is. I may consider doing this on my Lynx. Are you using a model 1 or 2? Tehre are also two distinct versions of the Model 1, with different Dpads. Not sure if this is affected or not.



#20 cowdog360 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 28, 2016 9:56 PM

Nice speaker man.  Now the next thing to do is unsolder the LM386 amp and put in a modern amp lol.



#21 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 29, 2016 12:14 AM

Nice speaker man.  Now the next thing to do is unsolder the LM386 amp and put in a modern amp lol.

Define modern. I don't imagine the amp chips have changed that much.



#22 Level42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 29, 2016 1:30 AM

I'm using a Lynx I because I prefer that one. To me, it's more comfortable to play, I prefer the d-pad, a and b buttons and ....already the sound is way better than on Lynx II. I know I could hook up a headphone but I don't like game sounds like that of the Lynx directly on my ears.
Besides that, it's a fun little hack to do.

I decided to make a connector between the speaker and the PCB because that will make it easier to remove in the future (for doing other mods f.i.) I may also have to hot-glue the speaker to the back of the case. I had to cut away parts of the original speaker supports to make enough room but that weakened the remaining parts of the supports so much they will break in no-time. Not sure yet. I'll make pics of how I'll install it.

I actually did have a look at the amp chip and for a moment considered finding an alternative but I think Kosmic Stardust is right, there hasn't been that much improvement on those. Sure it would be possible to design a "hi-if" amp circuit or maybe even buy one dedicated chip, but in the end the sound and music is mainly shaped by the Lynx chip-set. Also, hacking the PCB is what I want to keep to as minimum as possible since it's a lot SMD.
And also.....you can hear the speaker is the weakest link in the chain of sound-chip-amp-speaker :)

#23 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 29, 2016 2:03 AM

Regarding the amplifier design, back in the days of transistor radios, they used to use single transistor amplifiers that were fairly inefficent, with the transistor dumping varying levels of current into a shunt resistor, and the output goes into a capacitor (to eliminate DC bias) in series with the speaker. The size of the capacitor and the impedance of the speaker determined the hi pass frequency (bass cutoff) A volume pot adjusted the gain on the transistor but such primitive circuits pulled juice even when no sound was output. The response of such primitive amps were allso non-linear. Fairly sophisticated amplifiers were developed over time with detailed schematics involving many transistors, the push-pull amplifier using diodes to compensate the voltage bias of the transistor, but subject to thermal runaway. Now they have push-pull amps integrated into a single chip, ranging from large chips with heat sinks for power applications to small SMTs that power a tiny speaker. Either way, the Lynx had SMT components but I don't think you'd improve much on the sound design by messing with the electronics. Possible get more bass by increasing cap size, but you'd need a beefier speaker to reproduce those notes.

 

That looked like a sweet driver with a long throw cone in the picture. One thing to consider is the damping effect of the Lynx hardware has on the cone. Idealling a sealed or vented little box free of obstructions but obviously you get the interior of the Lynx with various crackes and crevases and resonances which will vent the rear-facing sound of the speaker in a non-ideal fashion. The speaker will sound very different sealed inside the Lynx as opposed to using the front lid as an open baffle as opposed to the speaker sitting in open air. From my personal experience, most drivers sound extremely tinny without an enclosure around them. Also harvesting a driver from one enclosure and dropping it in another will change the acoustics.

 

But I over analize stuff. The A/B comparison was night and day on my Bose PC speakers so I hope your mod was successful so I can attempt similar on my Lynx.



#24 Level42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 31, 2016 1:38 PM

Actually, I really liked your overanalyzing :)

 

I finished the mod and yes, it sounds differently now. I think the biggest issue with regard to the sound is the area of the top cover where the little holes for the speaker are made. This will only let out a fraction of the air moved by the speaker because the holes are really really tiny. Ideally, I would want to have absolutely nothing between the driver and my ears....In fact, that is how my speakers of my main audio system are in my home, no bezels. However, this would require making a hole in the case and leaving the driver fully open for touch and accidents. Of course the designers of the Lynx case had to think about that it has to be sturdy. Larger holes would mean a weaker spot. But....I am a careful user....I could enlarge the holes.....or.......how about a mesh wire grill over the bare cover....that would look pretty cool with the aluminium driver behind it   ;) ;) ;)

 

Anyway, some pix how I finished this:

 

First I thought I would get away with cutting away part of the original supports. (See pic 1). But once I dropped the speaker in there I realized it would sit too high for the cover to close.

 

So...I had to go one step further....I couldn't find my Dremel so I used some simple pliers instead so it doesn't look sexy but hey, this is just the inside ;)

I cut away the entire support area for the speaker on the "battery compartment tray"....Thankfully, there is still a support on the bottom part of the case ! 

(see pic 2)

 

OK next I had to cut away the "ears" of the speaker to make it fit. I had to be very careful to not cut into the support of the cone of course. Again, I should have used the Dremel but....I used the pliers again, luckily the plastic was not that hard.....

(see pic 3)

 

Now I had to replicate the "cushion" on the underside of the original speaker so it would not resonate but still support...I used a bit of 3M Multipurpose Sealing and Insulation tape...

(pics 4 and 5)

 

Then I simply dropped in the speaker (of course soldered the wires first ;)). It's not sitting there perfectly still, but with the cover on it sits fine. No resonation or anything even at max. volume.

(pic 6)

 

So...this was step 1 to the "perfect" Lynx.....next step is the variable clock frequency....I received the PCB (it is TINY) yesterday. I'll need to dig up a suitable (temporary) pot to set the frequency. I plan to use the brightness pot location once I will have added McWill's screen but that is still in the future. First let's see how the Lynx responds to this little PCB :)

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Edited by Level42, Sun Jul 31, 2016 1:41 PM.


#25 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 31, 2016 8:25 PM

Awesome! It should be possible to widen the holes a bit to improve sound transfer. A 1/16 or 3/32 bit should help. Drill slowly so you don't crack the plastic...

It seems these tiny drivers found in handheld video game systems tend to function as compression drivers as the holes increase the pressure wave between the cone and grill. This can actually improve the low end response slightly. Look at the Game Boy speakers. They have a plastic membrane very similar to many lofi headphones. But play a headphone in open air and it is incredibly tinny. The 3/4 inch seaker in the Game Boy has better bass response than an open air headphone (though still very weak by hifi standards) because the tiny holes create a pressure wave that amplifies the sound. Your ear canal creates an enclosed pressure chamber when using over the ear phones or earbuds, which is why such tiny drivers have no issue producing low-end bass notes when worn. Just be sure to listen at sane levels!

But you have an albeit tiny Hifi speaker with long throw cone design likely meant for a sealed rear enclosure and open air front, so widening the holes may help. Just know once you widen the holes, if you don't like the "improvements," the process cannot be reversed.

Another thing to consider is compression drivers can be enhanced immensely by a horn. You can make a ghetto horn out of a funnel. Drill a hole in a scrap of plywood, stick a laundry funnel in, and press it against some random speaker (or just press the funnel against a Game Boy). It will suddenly sound a lot louder but the frequency response will be compromised. A properly shaped horn or wave guide would correct this. I've got an old pair of Jensen JP500 speakers in my bedroom. They have horned tweeters and punchy bass, sounds much like small concert speakers in my bedroom when I crank them up.

EDIT: I noticed in your photo the foam protrudes beyond the speaker plate, common in front mounted speakers. If the foam is pressed against the Lynx case, this will severely impede movement of the cone muffling the sound.




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