Jump to content
low_budget

"NES Super 8" project

Recommended Posts

I don't think there is any discernible difference in the two, but I used a RP in the 1.0, no problem.

There has been some chatter that the ??2c03'C' chip has less glitches, but even the glitches that the 'B's have is nothing to get too excited about, like in smb2 at game start falling down there is a little blue line on far right that jumps around. It's considered a glitch of the rgb chip, but really doesn't affect gameplay.

 

Thanks akaviolence, I know the color palates are slightly off with both of these chips, is there a preferred PPU that will get us closer to the proper color palate?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

low_budget I have tried using the GBS 8200 RGB to VGA converter and the OSD menu comes up just fine, but when I turn on the super 8 it literally powers the converter off. I have determined it has something to do with SYNC as when I remove SYNC it does not turn off the converter, but I also don't get any picture. I have made sure that the converter is in RGBS mode and I am powering it with a seperate power supply. If anyone has any ideas I would greatly appreciate it. The converter seems to be working properly as the on screen menus work just fine. Puzzled.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have tried the GBS 8200 VGA converter and it does work.

I am not a big fan of it because it upscales and does a poor job of it;

 

I had to turn the brightness all the way up and the sharpness down. I didn't have to do that with the component or s-video converters. The VGA converter also seemed to have lag at times with fast moving images.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the review low_budget. I must have a defective unit. Is there a personal favorite you can link to, as far as converters go?

I need VGA, but maybe a definitive list of exactly what you recommend would be very helpful. Thank you in advance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks low_budget for the help. I have another question. What's your source for the cart edge connector. I might pick up a couple

and rework a couple of NES's I have. That edge connector works great. Thank you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks low_budget for the help. I have another question. What's your source for the cart edge connector. I might pick up a couple

and rework a couple of NES's I have. That edge connector works great. Thank you.

 

I'd be curious about the edge connector as well. I'm converting a NES toaster into a top loader and am using a connector that I pulled from a dead clone system.

If this goes well I might want to do it with a couple more NES's I have on hand and would need a source. I haven't found anything other than the garbage ZIF connectors.

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The cartridge connector is from Digikey, part # A31721-ND .

 

About the NES Super 8 redesign,

Here's what I can say for sure the new PCB will have:

Controller input pins moved to the front right side.

The video and audio outputs have been moved to the back.

Data traces much shorter now.

Several fewer components with no loss of functionality.

On-board connectors: 2.5 x 5.5mm power, 8 pin DIN (for RGB), 5(total) RCA jacks that can be wired for different video outputs.

Size will be the same as the previous Super 8 versions, the back 1/2" can be cut off and removed if the ports aren't needed (say if building a portable.)

 

Since many things have been changed, the plan is to get 3 prototypes ordered and (if all works well) make a production version.

I usually wait to order boards until they just feel like the design is ready.

 

I still have a couple v1.1 RGB and composite NES Super 8 PCBs. The composite version is $79 and RGB is now $119.

I can sell bare v1.1 PCBs for $25 each as well.

Edited by low_budget

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone ever try one of these? It's an adapter to let you play NES games on the SNES. Since the SNES has a RGB output, I was wondering if it would put the NES games out to RGB too?

post-7077-0-31063000-1368247771_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No - you cannot play NES games without an RGB mod. Any NES/famicom to SNES adapters (or Famicom/NES clones) use NOAC (Nintendo on a Cip) which do not have RGB support.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmmm so if you tried any of the NES to SNES adapter and you only used RGB output, you'd always get blank screen?

 

Bummer. I just got around to fixing my mini SNES to have all working output. NTSC SNES Jr has the correct chip but they were never connected to the multi video port. A few capacitors, few resistors, and some very careful soldering on those fine pins connecting to the video port and it works like original SNES.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

New prototype PCBs will be here soon, v1.8.

 

Lots of changes. About 95% of traces redone.

 

About the new Super 8 PCB:

 

The main change is the cartridge slot moved forward 5/16" to make room for the rear PCB mount power / audio / video ports. v1.1 had A/V outputs at the front which wasn't really ideal.

The PCB size is identical, but the circuitry is much more space efficient.

I plan on mounting the Parallax NES controller ports to a separate PCB along with the power and reset buttons. This will make the Super 8 much easier to install in a case.

 

Well, pictures describe the changes better than words so I've included what the PCB looks like so far:

 

I plan to get some feedback and see if any changes are needed before making the production version 2.0.

 

Any converter that allows the Super Nintendo to play NES games is sort of pointless because it's just a clone NES on a chip using the SNES only for power, controllers, and pass through for audio and video.

post-31751-0-59107700-1368929924_thumb.jpg

post-31751-0-06335800-1368930246_thumb.jpg

Edited by low_budget

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

what are you using for your 72 pin connector? I have a NOAC mod in the works and was wondering

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

what are you using for your 72 pin connector? I have a NOAC mod in the works and was wondering

 

I asked the same thing in an earlier post. The cartridge connector is from Digikey, part # A31721-ND

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I made a video of the new NES Super 8 prototype test.

 

Going through the design file and working on finalizing the input wiring and A/V circuits. There are some traces I think I can optimize too, but it's working great and is in a much more convenient package than the earlier PCBs.

I sent out a couple units for testing so I can use the feedback to make the design even better.

I know it seems close to ready, but it will take some time still.

 

I suspect Nintendo may try to stop me from selling finished PCBs if the Super 8 becomes popular. I'll say it, their legal department is a bunch of assholes. But, I will sell the assembled PCB (which is my own design) that uses off the shelf parts and not include the CPU and PPU chips. This way I don't think they would have any legal copyright infringement case against me.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do have a v2.0 PCB design ready, but I may hold off production for now as I am debating possible changes to the video output circuitry.

The main changes with v2.0 (currently) are some optimized traces and different I/O wiring to support a Famicom 15p expansion port.

 

I don't think a RGB video converter will fit on board without making the PCB bigger so I am examining my options. I used v1.8 with an external converter that plugged into the on-board 8p DIN jack. I like this setup, but it requires a custom cable to be wired into the converter.

 

I haven't seen too much interest in the Super 8 system designed for the [cheaper] composite PPU chip, so I may eliminate this feature. Is anybody interested in a composite PPU version? The composite PPU is removed from a NES so it's much cheaper than the RGB PPU removed from arcade boards.

 

I have been selling v1.1 and v1.8 Super 8 systems on Tindie.com.

 

My eventual plan is to make a limited run of 10 Super 8 systems in a professional looking case with everything required minus CPU and PPU. The goal is to make the best and most versatile NES system available.

post-31751-0-90962000-1371316670_thumb.jpg

post-31751-0-92562600-1371316702_thumb.jpg

Edited by low_budget
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Haha 2 seconds of super C. You should get a device that's really sensitive, for example I'm using an easycap. My rgb twin famicom on my tv:

 

XYe3RzQ.jpg

 

RGB twin famicom on the easycap:

 

cPbuNhL.jpg

 

Jailbars definitely seem to be a pcb layout thing. I'm just curious how clean your signals are under a video signal microscope.

 

I've got a decent collection of rgb ppus which I all got going on home nes / famicoms. In my personal collection I have top gun rc2c05-04 ppus, a gumshoe ppu (second one on the way) which I believe is the rc2c05-03 (it's the one in my twin). From commissions I have sitting around playchoice rp2c03bs and I believe a rc2c03b as well. I've also got my super sensitive easycap for testing of jailbars over s-video. If I can help at all with testing out your hardware just let me know. Don't worry I don't work for nintendo. I've got pre-built cxa2075 circuits sitting around so I can wire up the rgb and quickly convert it into s-video to put it under the easycap microscope.

 

Or you being you can just get all this gear and do it yourself too which would probably be easier. I just want to put your work under a good jailbar microscope so you can get the best possible pcb layout, unless of course you've already done this.

 

Something else that really begs to happen is a famicom version. Having the audio wiring for carts with extra audio is a big plus.

Edited by Drakon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have a capture device, but I did make some videos to show the picture quality:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PARaqGuTWrM

 

NES top loader RF compared to Super 8 s-video:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbypO--5pGI

 

The picture quality may vary based on the RGB converter used. With this setup I get excellent video.

 

I did notice faint Jailbars with certain games played using the Powerpak that weren't present on the original game cart. Mike Tyson's Punch Out had bad glitches when played on the Powerpak, but the original cart works fine. My previous test videos were using the Powerpak mostly.

 

I think the v1.8 PCB layout is quite good, but I may be biased because I designed it. It is a vast improvement over v1.0 and v1.1 (which were pretty similar) while v1.8 was totally redesigned. Most traces were shortened and many unnecessary components were removed. PPU pin 21 no longer crosses over data lines.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do have a v2.0 PCB design ready, but I may hold off production for now as I am debating possible changes to the video output circuitry.

The main changes with v2.0 (currently) are some optimized traces and different I/O wiring to support a Famicom 15p expansion port.

 

I don't think a RGB video converter will fit on board without making the PCB bigger so I am examining my options. I used v1.8 with an external converter that plugged into the on-board 8p DIN jack. I like this setup, but it requires a custom cable to be wired into the converter.

 

I haven't seen too much interest in the Super 8 system designed for the [cheaper] composite PPU chip, so I may eliminate this feature. Is anybody interested in a composite PPU version? The composite PPU is removed from a NES so it's much cheaper than the RGB PPU removed from arcade boards.

 

I have been selling v1.1 and v1.8 Super 8 systems on Tindie.com.

 

My eventual plan is to make a limited run of 10 Super 8 systems in a professional looking case with everything required minus CPU and PPU. The goal is to make the best and most versatile NES system available.

 

Is the plan for 2.0 to RGB to component converter on board?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Powerpak increases jailbars that's a fact. I'm fairly certain that pcb layout is a big contributor to jailbars.

 

I know not what jailbars are. I DO know Drakon overclocked Starfox using Borg technology.

 

He knows what he be do!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The difficulty with adding a RGB converter to the Super 8 on-board is room. The RGB amp and sync cleaner I am currently using only require a few support components, while the CXA 2075 needs about twice as much room as what's currently available in this area of the PCB.

The only ways I could think of to accomplish this are:

I could make the PCB bigger, but I currently have everything laid out in a nice compact rectangle and this would give the board design a tumor. It would no longer fit in the AG-85 case.

I could make a module that plugs into header pin sockets on the Super 8 PCB, but this would add cost.

I could use all surface mount resistors and caps, but that makes it hard to assemble or modify the system.

 

I do not think I can incorporate the CXA2075 or similar RGB converter into the main PCB for v2.0.

 

I often find that adding one feature leads to compromises somewhere else. I've had lots of good suggestions for extra features and whatnot, but it almost always involves a compromise elsewhere, usually increased PCB size and/or extra cost.

 

 

The v1.8 and later boards have:

The RGB amp's input about as close to the PPU output pins as possible.

The sync line is short, doesn't cross any data lines, and is filtered by the LM1881.

The ground plane covers a large area to shield key data and a/v signals. Lots of shielding under the CPU and PPU.

 

I wish I knew earlier that the powerpak will cause interference in a RGB NES, it would have saved me a lot of time. I thought I had video issues to troubleshoot, but the picture quality is excellent (as long as you play the original carts or the new Krizz flash cart.)

 

I was so dedicated to the RGB Super 8, I haven't been doing much testing with the composite PPU Super 8 PCB. I want to do more testing with 74LS 39 and 74LS373 instead of the 74HC139 and 74HC373 I was using in the RGB system. I was also going to make some grounding changes to this version. Including the CPU and PPU chips, this system is about half the cost of the RGB version, so there maybe could be some interest?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I actually prefer composite out. Nintendo developers knew all about color bleed and seemed to use other negative qualities to their advantage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

jailbars are usually present in the old systems, but they go though tons of EMC testing before even being presented, and are reduced to a minimum though emission qualifications

 

you would be surprised how much a single trace being routed a magical way can actually effect that, and it may only effect it in that situation on your bench, something new may pop up that you have never seen before.

 

Electronics are typically sent to a lab where they are subjected to a very wide range of RF in an isolated chamber. That's why your no budget projects usually have minor issues, and the real deal, even though 30 years behind the times in tech and design dont

Edited by Osgeld
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...