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fuzzy sprites on black background?


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#1 ubersaurus ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 8, 2017 6:59 PM

Hey, I noticed something weird, and it doesn't seem to happen on every 2600 console, but has anyone else noticed certain sprites being really fuzzy and indistinct on black backgrounds? Specifically I've noticed it with the base in Space Invaders and the blue ghost in Ms. Pac-Man during the title screen on a revision 14 and revision 17 4 switch. This doesn't happen on my 2600 Jr. or my 7800. 

 

I don't know if it's just the bright colors are too intense for my 2004 CRT tv, or what exactly, but I was curious if anyone else has seen this occur and if they were able to do anything to adjust it?

 

(I've noticed a similar phenomena on my Channel F console)


Edited by ubersaurus, Wed Feb 8, 2017 7:03 PM.


#2 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 9, 2017 3:45 AM

Maybe you have too much contrast or color in your TV's settings?

 

Pictures would help too.



#3 ubersaurus ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 9, 2017 8:04 AM

I can see about getting photos tonight. I took another look at it last night - it's like the images are "ghosted" for those specific sprites. it's really noticeable on the Space Invaders base. On the Channel F its more of a general ghosting/fuzziness regardless of background color.

 

It could be a tv issue, but it would be an odd one of it is - I don't remember ever seeing anything similar on the 5200, 7800, Intellivision, Colecovision, Odyssey2 or relatively newer consoles. It's pretty much just relegating to four-switchers and the Channel F. I also tried different RCA cables for the 2600, but it's still ghostly.



#4 maiki OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 9, 2017 8:23 AM

Generally, from what I have observed on my Jr., there are certain color combinations that do not display clean. Similar well known situation on C64C (even with composite connection). I think it is standard and normal and developers should be aware of this when selecting colors.



#5 ubersaurus ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 12, 2017 5:32 PM

It took a minute before I hooked it back up, but here's a few photos of what I'm talking about. Could it be an RF modulator issue?

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#6 ubersaurus ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:50 PM

Just an update. I figured out the incorrect color issue (extra unneeded resistor soldered to the underside of the rev 17 board). I also had some extensive maintenance done on the board too - new capacitors, new voltage regulator, replaced some janky switches, new power jack. The fuzzy display thing persists, though. Still pronounced on the blue ghost in Ms. Pac Man and on Pitfall. I've also ruled out the RF cable, as I tried a different one (and the current one displays nice and sharp with my 2600 Jr console).

 

Anyone have any other thoughts on what the problem could be? I'm pretty much out of ideas, and I can't honestly believe it's just an artifact of this board revision.



#7 splendidnut OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:08 PM

The blue line around the HMOVE area appears to be way too bright.  Just a shot in the dark, but maybe the RF modulator is going bad?



#8 ubersaurus ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:05 PM

I guess it's possible. I had a similar issue on a revision 12 board, but after I had some work done on it (replacing a filter cap, adding the resistor to the TIA and replacing an old RF modulator) it didn't seem to be happening anymore. I didn't think the RF modulator could have been the culprit, but between the two I suppose it's the only piece not accounted for.



#9 Obadiah64 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 2, 2018 7:52 AM

  Just wanted to check with you and see if you ever found a solution to this problem. I have a Vader w/Revision 17 board doing the same thing. I have replaced most of the capacitors and the voltage regulator. I have done an A/V mod. I have even replaced the TIA chip. Nothing has made a difference. Thought I would reach out to you to see if you made any progress or if you just gave up .  Also in doing the A/V mod, I completely removed the RF Modulator.


Edited by Obadiah64, Fri Mar 2, 2018 7:53 AM.


#10 Nathan Strum OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 2, 2018 4:27 PM

I'd suggest (as Thomas did) this is a TV problem. Adjusting brightness and contrast should help mitigate it. I have to use completely different settings for my 2600 than I do for any other TV inputs (cable, PS3, even my 7800). A video mod will clean up the picture, but unless specifically designed to also reduce brightness, it's still going to be pumping out effectively the same video signal as RF.

 

The problem is phosphor. When you hit a small area of phosphor with full brightness, it can bleed into adjacent dark phosphors, and if the image is moving, it will take awhile for those phosphors to go dark again. This results in the fuzziness. And it all varies depending on the TV, and what you've got hooked up to it.

 

To check if your 2600 is outputting otherwise clean video, try Pitfall. The above-ground objects are against backgrounds of similar brightness, so bleeding should be minimal. If the scorpions below ground are bleeding, then your TV is the problem. Some TVs age to the point where they can no longer be adjusted to compensate for it.



#11 Obadiah64 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 2, 2018 5:46 PM

As far as the TV being the problem I don't believe that's going to be it. I have several other 2600 some of them modded with AV output others still using the RF modulator. They work fine on this TV. This particular Vader has been AV modified with the RF modulator removed and it still has the problem. It appears to mainly be with the color blue the other color seem to be fine.

#12 ubersaurus ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 3, 2018 6:20 AM

Definitely not a tv issue, I've run mine on a couple sets and the issue remains. I think it's inherent to the board, especially when my other units don't have that problem.

#13 kennetzel OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 3, 2018 6:30 AM

I don't know if it's the same problem, but whenever I use my Darth Vader, I get an issue where some images look like they are doubled on top of one another, but one is ghosted. I notice it especially on blue sprites. But when I use my heavy sixer, it is as clear as day.



#14 Obadiah64 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 3, 2018 8:27 AM

Definitely seems to be a pattern with the blue Sprites. I think it has something to do with the 4 switch revision 17 boards.

#15 Obadiah64 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 4, 2018 8:29 AM

Well I just tried another 4 switch board, this one a revision 14, and I am getting the same problem. I just noticed ubersaurus that on your first post that you mentioned your problem was with a 14 and 17 revision 4 switch. I do not have any other revision than those to test. So I am not sure if it is a problem isolated to those revisions or if all 4 switch have this problem. I assume not or there would be more info on the forums about it. I first noticed the problem while playing Berzerk when I got to the blue robots, up till then all the colors looked good. Just seems to be a problem with the blue sprites.

 

 

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Edited by Obadiah64, Sun Mar 4, 2018 9:11 AM.


#16 kennetzel OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 4, 2018 10:05 AM

 I posted about this a while ago when I got my Darth Vader. Everything looks great except the blue ones. They have a fuzzy appearance like one is on top of another but offset. Weird how that happens on the 4's. Nice to know it's not just me or my machine.



#17 Obadiah64 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 4, 2018 10:26 AM

Sounds like a 4 switch issue then. I'll do a little more searching for a solution, but probably will just let it rest for right now since most of my 2600s are 6 switches with no issues. If I find out anything else I'll post it.


Edited by Obadiah64, Sun Mar 4, 2018 10:27 AM.


#18 Video OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 9, 2018 1:12 PM

I see this pretty common on 2600 games, especially with blue sprites on dark backgrounds. The blue icicle dudes on Mario Bros come to mind, both slightly fuzzy and ghost images of themselves. I think its just the super saturated video image and old CRT TV,s, but as far as I recall, they've always been there.




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