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CZroe

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CZroe last won the day on October 3 2018

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About CZroe

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    Stargunner
  • Birthday 09/01/1980

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    Newnan, GA, USA
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    Nintendo, electronics, and PC hardware

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  1. ...unless you count the two USB ports. ...and, yeah, the built-in wireless receivers too. Weird that they don't support 5 players over Bluetooth. Too bad all the RetroBit wireless Genesis controllers are of the 6-button variety since those likely would have been a good fit for Forgotten Worlds and other Avenue Pad 3 games. Wonder how well it will work with the wired three-button pads from the Genesis mini. The UperGrafx didn't seem to affect Terra Onion much. I played through that game to 100% with Richter using nearly every type of PC Engine controller... even the Pachio-kun Pachinko controller and the Avenue Pad 3. Is the III button supposed to help with anything? I just use it for safer Item Crashes since I occasionally accidentally do the Run+Select soft reset without it. IIRC, the DAC was one of those "limited" items and yet it's available to order right now. Guess it doesn't always mean it will be impossible to get if you missed out early on. The real reason the Noir is a problem is because they committed to it being "One Final Run." The next logical step is Neo Geo or Analogue 8, since they won't require a more advanced and more expensive FPGA. They are both a reach. Both have limited appeal and the Mega CD/Sega CD would be even less likely since there are multiple alternatives compatible with the Mega Sg now (Mega Everdrive Pro, MegaSD, original hardware, etc). That doesn't make it easier or more appealing/marketable than a whole different platform like Neo Geo or a cheaper version of the Noir. Only way I see it happening is if one of the people working for Analogue is someone who already made Mega CD/Sega CD core (either Krikzz or the main MiSTer dev for that core). Yeah, but the MiSTer is much more powerful than anything they could affordably put inside a $200 FPGA console (remember: the DE10 Nano is subsidized). I don't think it's as simple as he was suggesting where we can expect it from Analogue when we see it from MiSTer. It was. They finally updated the page to fix it. All PC Engine consoles used 8-pin mini-DIN. TurboGrafx-16 used 270° DIN-8. TurboDuo used the Japanese-style 8-pin mini-DIN. The one in the diagram was definitely a Japanese and Duo-style 8-pin mini-DIN complete with an offset pin in the middle row (DIN-8 has symmetry when you bisect it vertically). To my knowledge, the only systems to use the DIN-8 controller port were the TurboGrafx-16 (North America), TurboGrafx (Europe), and the Vistar (Korea).
  2. Well, they didn't ask me to sign an NDA so I figure I might as well show pics of my early prototype: Yeah, uh, the HuCards go in the back.
  3. Looks like Analogue updated their info to correct the issues we identified in this thread: It now correctly describes the controller port as PC Engine-style and has updated dimensions (extra 99mm wider).
  4. That's great news! I would've assumed the same thing given the white screen. Such a relief, I'm sure.
  5. That's what I thought but I wonder what did change since there is a difference (brighter).
  6. PS1Digital is a real hairy install! Dan instructs people not to drag solder and, well, things were going so well I couldn't resist. Ended up with a bridge between two legs that I could not clear because one leg had moved/bent. Normally you can't just flow and move the pin back because the notches in the flex PCB or the pads themselves will snag and block it and delaminate from the board (seen this on failed UltraHDMI installs a lot). Thankfully, I used a razor blade while flowing the two pins that were bridged and the bent one somehow snapped right into place. That pretty much NEVER works for anything else and I doubt it would work if I had to try again so I will count my blessings and not tempt fate again! My 1.5 OSSC with DVI came with Borti's audio board pre-installed so I didn't get the experience of installing it but, yeah, you pretty much can't get solder to spread and bead up on pins unless you use flux. Without flux changing the surface viscosity it will just make huge bridges across multiple pins. I used a bulb desoldering iron on my first Hi-Def NES. Broke a pin but patched it and it worked! I then got a cheap desoldering station but it sucked so bad it ended up ruining pads and lifting traces on the next three of them I did. Luckily I was able to repair each. Now I know exactly what pins are connected to thick traces on both sides so I increase the temps and make absolutely sure those are flowing top and bottom when I hold the board upside-down and pull the trigger. That seems to be the key for my crappy desoldering station. I'm relatively sure your twinFAMIs can be repaired. I've had to patch up several Hi-Def NES installs and it should be relatively easy to figure out where each connection is supposed to go then restore the connections. So, yeah, it's not all flux and technique. If an iron doesn't have the ability to quickly read temp drops and recover when you touch it to a thermal mass then it will make a mess out of any delicate soldering like OSSC, UltraHDMI, DCDigital, etc... and it will have even more trouble with desolder braid. Adding a higher mass tip and increasing the temperature to compensate may help but it also may end up ruining things. My main iron is a Hakko clone that uses the old tips that fit over a heating element as opposed to the cartridge style tips that everyone is using today with the heating elements built in to every tip. I have another iron from the same manufacturer that fits a different station with a different connector but it is otherwise identical. I realized pretty soon after getting it that it simply wasn't capable of doing the same work as my other iron despite being identical and that was purely because of the electronics in the base station. Slow temperature response, slow thermal recovery, lower wattage, etc... even if I can pick the same temps and have it reach them. The KSGER iron that Voultar recommends seems like a great deal. Doesn't have any of these issues with thermal monitoring and recovery. I will get one myself when I can make room on my desk. Other affordable cartridge-type irons that enthusiasts love: the open-source TS80 and TS100. You can't go wrong with any of those three! If the damage on your SGX is to the VCE and none of the pads are lifted then your old SGX can almost certainly be revived with a transplant from a junk PC Engine. I may even have one but I have to make sure that isn't what is causing my issue with a particular TurboGrafx-16... that means transplanting more chips. If your guy has a hot air station there's a good chance he can do this. If the damage was to the muxing chip then the best bet is to remove the chip, straighten legs, and reinstall like I did with the SNES 1chip and N64 RCP repairs. Did you happen to take any pics before sending it off? With wires that are too thick and cause bridging you can usually just reflow to remove them then add flux and drag solder to get the excess to one side. You then clean your iron, reflow the bridge, clean, flow, clean flow, until you have removed most of the solder. The flux will usually have burned away or become inactive during all that so you would need to add more flux and flow again to get rid of the last bridges. You can go from an impossible-looking pool of solder between every leg that doesn't want to move to a perfectly soldered chip using this technique but it takes practice with the right tip/temperature. Good luck! I should probably wait to see how it goes for your guy but maybe I should go ahead and attempt it so that I can share my experience with him. I probably won't have the time soon anyway. I don't know how your post quote got left out of post 2508 but, yeah, that post was responding to you regarding SGX output over the EXT port. Figured I should quote you now I'm case you missed it. Sorry!
  7. The best use of Genesis Blast Processing was Jon Burton using it for streaming sample-based audio through the PCM channel on a platform that wasn't supposed to be able to do it. Just look at the reaction from this Genesis audio enthusiast before he knew the trick: (Last one) The trick explained: To answer your question, about sprites and 1941 Counter Attack: One disadvantage the PC Engine had versus SFC/SNES AND MD/Genesis was that it only has one layer of background scrolling. The second VDC of the SuperGrafx was meant to help by literally doubling the number of background layers. This also doubled the number of sprites the PC Engine could handle, so they took a particular strength of the PC Engine and made it even more disproportionately strong! The other improvement was even more video RAM, which was boosted even for a single VDC (both have their own RAM). Speaking of RAM, that's really all the Super System Card and Arcade Card add to the base hardware from a performance perspective. Since the only thing limiting RAM when the CD system first launched was cost, it was technically capable of Arcade Card-quality graphics and gameplay when it launched in 1987. Of course, no one was going to put all that RAM and ROM into a HuCard, so we just had to wait for economies of scale to bring prices down. So every time you see Sapphire on an Arcade Card, you really are seeing what the base hardware was capable of in 1987 if they were willing to throw that much RAM onto a HuCard just a bit sooner.
  8. We're talking about the digital video on the back which UperGrafx taps into. The pinout was created for the original PC Engine which only had one VDC so the digital video from that one VDC is routed to the back... along with a million other things like data bus, analog audio, composite video, RGBS, etc. When they added a second VDC to the SGX they also added a chip to combine the digital output from both of them before sending that digital output to the VCE (color encoder + DAC). All analog video comes from the VCE. It would have made sense for them to route this combined digital video to the same pins on the EXT port that were once connected to the digital out of the only VDC. Instead, they left them connected to the digital video output of only the first of two VDCs. Presumably they had planned to make the second VDC a plug and play add-on that would interface with those digital pins and have its own chips for combining them and outputting analog. A plug and play upgrade to play SGX games wouldn't work now because of the way the SGX handles video RAM, which is likely why they never utilized digital video from the EXT connector. Since it's the same digital video that goes into the VCE (color encoder + DAC), the UperGrafx replicates all of the internal functions of the VCE except for the DAC part then puts the resulting digital video through a DVI/HDMI transmitter. Yeah. I'd say "PC-SG" is not the same format as SuperGrafx. The only benefit on an SGX is less flicker when you have too many sprites per line and, honestly, that's not really a problem the base PC Engine hardware has... hence the abundance of crazy shooters with stuff flying everywhere! Though it wasn't nearly as sprite-heavy as Neo Geo, the PC Engine was a sprite-monster for it's time. There was performance to spare as far as that was concerned. Getting Darius to flicker noticably required you to find a problematic spot near a giant boss or something and spam the most sprite-heavy load you could muster.
  9. I tried out the new UperGrafx update and spent some time with Startling Odyssey II to check out the difference. The difference is obvious on my TV which doesn't even support full range RGB but the resulting screengrabs over USB (UGX function) do not show nearly the same improvement when viewed on my PC. The before and after shots are clearly different but it just seems slightly brighter. I made sure to take some screengrabs of Startling Odyssey II before and after the update then line-tripled the output to 720p for these comparison shots: http://imgur.com/a/IKZPh8C When I open them on my computer in a way that lets me quickly switch between them it's pretty clear that the updated YUV image is brighter. Then again, I'm color-blind, so maybe I'm not the best person to be looking at this. Still, the difference in David Shadoff's pictures of this same scene were much more distinct... closer to the difference I see on my limited-range television. I see that the new UperGrafx Control Panel also added a way to update the color tables in the future without requiring a whole new firmware update. That was smart! Especially since some people will want RGB. Hopefully he'll find a way to have both with a toggle since some games could have been developed with RGB in mind. Took those shots from the translated version of the game I already had in my UGX but I went back to my original image in CCD format and loaded that to test out the new ability to load CCD files instead of CDM. It's about time he added this feature! Crazy that we only got it right after you made an application that helps with this. All he had to do was add *.ccd to the filetype filter in the dialog box and add the strings wherever he hard-coded them for the CDM files. When I asked more than a year ago he said it was difficult for some reason and I got the idea that it was some part of the code he didn't want to mess with. I still can't see how it would be difficult for the person who wrote it to begin with. Maybe he didn't? The update does say he switched to some open-source INI file loader so he must have been using one he couldn't easily change or configure before. I would translate "internal data" as "firmware" and "communication software" as "Transfer/Control Panel app." Did I see something earlier about your SGX getting damaged while attempting to modify it for digital output with SGX games? That sucks. I never even opened up my SGX to see if I need to solder directly to the chips or if there are alternate points nearby, like vias. I have done hundreds of UltraHDMI, DCHDMI/DCDigital, WiiDual, PS1Digital, etc installs so I'm pretty comfortable soldering directly to dense chip legs but those use precisely-cut flexPCBs to make it much easier. Though I've soldered wires directly to chips like that for RGB mods like Genesis Triple Bypass and Voultar's DUORGB, I haven't done anything with quite so many legs and I always had spares in case I messed it up. I don't have a spare SGX and I'm not likely to ever get one which is why I hesitated to attempt it. Were you soldering to the HuC6260 Video Color Encoder (VCE) AKA the Digital to Analog Converter (DAC) or were you soldering to the HuC6202 Video Priority Controller (VPC) AKA video muxing chip? If it was the 6260 VCE then it should be easy to get a spare. If it was the 6202 VPC then we'd have to salvage it somehow. I'm definitely willing to take a crack at it if you'd like. I have removed and successfully replaced/reinstalled chips like an SNES 1chip and an N64 Reality CoProcessor (RCP) GPU. http://imgur.com/a/TkcBIRn It's only one wire, but this N64 repair was me too: http://imgur.com/a/VXFbWsn (Mexican N64 with a bad connection between CPU and RCP) I recall you said it had a white screen, which reminded me of the PAL-modded CoreGrafx I looked at earlier this year: http://imgur.com/a/AjyI8RL It worked when I received it but after looking inside I could only get a white screen. It broke even though I didn't change anything! In a panic, I ripped the mod out while documenting the connections. I restored the missing composite video capacitor and replaced the two ceramics for the "jailbar fix." It fired right up and now works great! Though the game has the same "PC-SG" logo as Darius Plus, Darius Plus seems to be the only one with any actual SGX enhancements. If you want a complete set of SGX games, you can skip Darius Alpha. Earlier this year I tested it on a SuperGrafx with simultaneous digital output from the UperGrafx connected to only one VDC and the SuperGrafx's native analog output with the combined output of both VDCs: As you can see, Darius Alpha shows everything on both displays while Darius Plus is missing elements on the digital display. That's because those elements are generated by the second VDC and the EXT port on the back only taps into the first VDC. The SGX enhancements to the Darius Plus were really just putting some elements on one VDC and some on the other to reduce the number of sprites per line and limit the flickering that happens when there are too many. Since Darius Alpha does not use the second VDC for anything it does not appear to be SGX-enhanced.
  10. Yes, every system card has a BIOS ROM but not every system card has extra RAM... and then you've got your Arcade Card Duo which has no BIOS since it's just RAM but it isn't really a system card. The AC Duo works in-tandem with the Super System Card built-in to a Duo or Super CD-ROM² System and uses that BIOS. The slot has a presence detect pin that lets the inserted system card bypass/override the built-in ROM and the AC Duo simply neglects to use this, allowing the internal ROM to boot instead. The Turbo Everdrive is generally how I play SGX games since I only have Daimakaimura and Battle Ace. I don't expect any issues with it but I do recall the old GameTech.US videos where Kevtris and Jason were having trouble getting an older TED to work with his region mod. The Analogue Duo is a Kevtris product, after all. Not that I anticipate any problems (I don't). Also, my TED2.5 doesn't always work with my UGX (seems related to SD card speed). Even with the ability to play SGX on TED, I expect to see a rise in SGX game prices since many of Analogue's customers have deep pockets. Many will want a real game or two to try with the system. Since it really is more SGX hardware circulating with the same fixed quantity of already-expensive games, it could measurably stretch supply thinner. Congrats! Super jelly. Guess I shouldn't be surprised to hear that the game shops in Japan are already aware of the Analogue Duo and the potentially increased demand for SGX games... considering that's where the PC Engine enthusiast base has always been centered. This really is Analogue's opportunity to raise their profile in Japan for other products! I just wish I saw this coming soon enough to hunt for a deal on 1941 Counter Attack. Probably won't be any great deals coming now that everyone there knows the Analogue Duo is coming. I figure the price can only go up so there is little risk in buying it even if you weren't planning to. Change your mind and you can always get your money back, so you probably made the right call. Yeah, and that same $10 got spread across other expenses that the Super Nt and Mega Sg did not have... like built-in Bluetooth, ports for USB controllers, built-in 8BitDo receiver(s), etc in addition to the cost of the CD drive. They say it supports 4 wireless controllers with 2.4g or Bluetooth, no receiver required, so I wonder how much additional hardware/expense that entails. Obviously, Bluetooth can connect to multiple controllers with one BT transceiver but 8BitDo has only ever done 1 to 1, and since this also connects to 8BitDo's proprietary 2.4GHz controllers I would be surprised if they did it with only one receiver. If they had to include multiple receivers it might explain why they stopped at 4 controllers instead of the full 5 (4-port internal USB hub). BT supports up to 7 devices for a single transceiver so I wonder if that limit of four is just for the 8BitDo 2.4GHz pads. I also wonder if maybe the CD drive is a USB drive internally and, if so, can we connect an external USB drive. That would address preservation concerns without a CD jailbreak but I still expect the jailbreak to support CD images. Part of me wishes they made the CD portion modular and designed it to also fit the Mega Sg as a clone Sega CD. I knew that wasn't happening the minute Kevtris bought a MegaSD since that meant he had no intention of making an FPGA Sega CD. Kevin has made it clear that he avoids MiSTer specifically to develop his cores free and clear of accusations and the same would apply to MegaSD... unless he planned to license their core which he clearly doesn't. I still think it would have been cool to design an FPGA Sega CD that fits the Mega Sg and then design the Analogue Pocket dock to fit the same CD unit (perhaps with the Pocket laying flat) to play PC Engine stuff. They could use it again for Neo Geo CD when they get around to doing a Neo Geo console with the modules being AES or MVS cartridge adapters and controller ports. Obviously, none of that is happening, but let's consider the CD drive for a second: For once, the system has a game interface built-in that could interface with original games from multiple systems without needing a cartridge adapter or a jailbreak. They haven't announced support for anything else but it's entirely possible that they could surprise us with something like PC-88 or Amiga CD32. What additional systems do we think they might add with a jailbreak (if any)? Since a jailbreak is unofficial we could see Sega CD anyway, though I very much doubt that since it's literally more effort than reverse-engineering the Duo. I also doubt we will see a Neo Geo CD core since they will want to make their own Neo Geo clone console and CD should be the base (cheaper, more-available, doesn't lock users into MVS or AES which can be added with cartridge adapters, etc). Since they didn't need to go with a CD drive to clone NEC consoles (could've used original CD hardware just like Mega Sg) it almost seems like a trial run for the inevitable Neo Geo console with NGCD support. ...and it didn't even have a built-in battery compartment. I read somewhere that the entire reason they initially sold the CD-ROM² (CDR-30) separately from the CD-ROM² Interface Unit (IFU-30) was because of some Japanese Hi-Fi tax that would have applied to the whole thing if they didn't split up the cost. The Interface Unit really isn't much more than power and RAM with a supercapacitor so they added AV ports as well. My guess is that the tax applied to anything that could play audio CDs and because it was the first CD game platform they hadn't carved out an exception in their tax laws for stuff like that yet. It seems they eventually did which is why they were bundled in the revised CD-ROM² System (IFU-30A plus CDR-30-01). That probably explains why the price of the CD drive alone was so much back then. It was actually a standard SCSI drive, which was a PC/Mac interface for hard drives, CD-ROMs, scanners, etc, but it did not have a common Centronics SCSI port unless you docked it into the "Buffer Unit" from NEC (BFU-30) which was included with their PC drive variant (CDR-35D and CDR-35D-01). Without that, yeah: just a "portable" CD audio player that required external power. Since they had already made the drive modular NEC tried to further justify it by creating a model of PC-88 with a hidden dock in the top that fits a CDR-30. I'd love to get my hands on one of those! Indeed. I've looking inside every boom box and CD player at thrift stores for years now, trying to identify drives with a compatible laser assembly. One thing I've noticed is that every single one from the last decade has the exact same laser assembly. From Sony and Aiwa to Sanyo and GPX, name brand or not, they all have the same mechanism. Similarly, Techmoan is always pointing out on his YouTube channel that there is only one tape mech available for cassette decks these days and since none of the major electronics manufacturers make their own these days they all use the same one. No Dolby Noise Reduction or anything fancy... they are all the same. I still see a lot of variety in the laser assemblies of portable burners and DVD players and such but pretty much all the standard CD players have been identical for many years now. That means the price is significantly lower than anything used in PC drives or video players or else you'd see some of those getting used in CD players. That said, I almost expect this to be a PC or USB drive instead of a standard drive for audio CD players... maybe even with vestigial CD-R or DVD functionality. Obviously, those don't cost much more and would probably be easier to implement and interface with the FPGA. Definitely the black for me (gray/charcoal), since the rest of the styling is also made to look like the original Duo. You know: wavy edges, nearly flat frame around the curved top, sides that don't curve in toward the front, disc window, no rounding on the front or back, etc. Love the look of my Super Famicom-styled Super Nt and I had to go with standard Black for my Mega Sg too. Putting them right next to the console that inspired them probably amuses me more than it should.
  11. That depends. If they use a drive capable of reading CD-R ATIP data/media codes then Analogue could absolutely identify a CD-R/W and choose to stop execution. There is almost zero chance that they will be blindly operating it like a 1x SCSI drive without some level of abstraction and that abstraction layer would make it possible. I admit that it's a stretch to imagine that they would try to detect and prevent CD-Rs but it isn't unprecedented. I recall Virtual Game Station or Bleem!/Bleemcast! did some minor bootleg checks back in the day to get Sony off their backs... which didn't work (Sony sued anyway). Also, would you call an SNS-101 or a 1chip SNES "hardware emulation?" Would you call a NOAC "hardware emulation?" I ask because we typically call those "hardware clones" and FPGA clones are every bit as much of a hardware clone as an ASIC chip like you would find inside a 1chip console, or some Game Gears, or so many other official and unofficial hardware clones. While they obviously fit the English definition of "Emulation" that predates it use in computer terminology, so does a hardware clone. I see no need to force the word on FPGA if we aren't forcing the word on other hardware clones.
  12. I think it's almost guaranteed, at least for HuCard/TurboChip titles. If they build in a CD-ROM² title then the jailbreak will be almost guaranteed for CD-ROM² titles too. Granted, it wouldn't be such a big deal if the system can play CD-R titles without a jailbreak. If they do something like recognize CD-Rs and refuse to run (doubt it) then I'm sure the jailbreak would at least disable that.
  13. I got mine nearly complete in box (missing the AV cable) less than a year ago for $250. Also paid $8.50 for a RAU-30 ROM² Adapter and got a second one in the box for $56. I paid another $30 for an IFU-30 Interface Adapter. Ended up using a CDR-35D instead of a CDR-30 CD-ROM² drive. Of course, all that was a crazy good deal. The Analogue Duo is still 20% cheaper than the SGX alone AND includes all the CD hardware, so it's definitely the better deal for someone who doesn't want to jump through all the hoops I did only to end up spending MORE. I really wish Konami and Capcom would authorize a licensed multi-card with their SGX games. As niche as we are, they would probably sell a bunch to Analogue Duo and existing SGX owners. It would probably drive prices down on the existing titles but even the collectors with those will want the multi-card.
  14. Any guess what game Analogue might bundle (assuming they do that again)? Maybe Motteke Tamago, since the creators were willing to license that out for a magazine to use as a cover disc back in the lat '90s. I believe it was originally meant to be released on HuCard. David Shadoff did translate the game unofficially. I dunno... Analogue's whole deal with these built-in games has been to give us something we couldn't get before and, well, that ain't it even if it never got an official release. I'm hoping for something SuperGrafx-related. What canceled games are there that we know about? ...other than the hoax titles from Chris Covell's legendary April Fools joke. http://www.chrismcovell.com/PowerConsole/ Edit: Wikipedia lists Galaxy Force II and Strider. I recall speculation that the SGX Strider became Arcade Card Strider in the end. If they could get a deal with Capcom then there's a lot more interesting stuff I'd rather see... like 1942 Counter Attack.
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