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@turboxray

One more question if you don't mind.  I was reading up on the UperGrafx twitter feed and noted some comments indicating compatibility issues with larger SD cards.  Have you run into any issues?

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I picked up an UperGrafx version 02. I know the main selling point is digital video to HDMI, but I honestly bought it for the accurate CD emulation. The SSD3 or whatever is pretty trash when it comes to CD emulation accuracy. It's a little clunky to setup at first, but it's really that big of a deal once you learn your way around the software. I still have a Turbo EverDrive, so it doesn't really bother me that it can only emulate hucards cards up to 512k rom. It can emulate the System card 3.0 with the extra ram, which is nice if you plan to use the Arcade Card Duo with it. And I can still use the TeD with the hacked syscard 3.0 image that gives you 512k of ram (nice for translations, hacking, or just making new homebrew stuff). You CAN use it to rip your own hucards, which I think adds a personal touch to roms (i.e. coming from your collection). You have two banks of 'BRAM' you can select, or 'MMC' where it just writes to the card. Like with the connection to the PC to rip hucards, you can also transfer the BRAM bank data to your PC.

 

Welcome to the club!

 

Remember that Japanese guy arrested for hacking Super Famicom Mini for coworkers, friends, and family? Yeah, the Japanese creator of UGX doesn't want it to be seen as a piracy device so having the ability to rip your own HuCards is crucial. Strange that he even gave it the ability to rip Street Fighter II' Champion Edition considering that it is too large. ;) I mentioned this feature to Terra Onion on Neo Geo Forum and it didn't go well but they eventually added it anyway. I seriously thought they were going to ban me for even suggesting the idea!

 

It doesn't rip CDs though. He has a link to "CD manipulator", which is free, and is basically just Clone CD in disguise. The .CDM files are just CCD text files with just a slightly different string for the header. Apparently there wasn't enough room to add a FAT system reader, so instead you need to use his custom software to load the CD images onto the SD card (it stores them as hard offsets on the card, with a table to the offsets). A little annoying at first, but not deal after doing it a few times. Just a bit of warning; if you want to convert your existing rips, you can just mount them in a virtual driver and use CD manipulator to rip from that drive - but you'll need to have the more advance SCSI/IDE drivers for the virtual drive (they're free, and daemon tools has an option to install if you choose that setup.. but it does not automatically do this for you until you choose any option other than 'VT').

 

Yeah. I used Daemon-Tools myself for a lot of rips that I had to source from ReDump. For everything else I got a bunch of CloneCD rips and from a torrent with everything... literally way more than ReDump. Of course, I prioritized ReDump rips for anything that was in both sets and just mass-edited the CCD files into CDM with the adjusted header. I filled up my 320GB SanDisk card with the entire US set and everything even remotely interesting from the Japanese set (mostly excluding digital comics, karaoke titles, and similar stuff).

 

Also, I had a few titles thar did not rip correctly with CD-Manipulator so I used CloneCD since I still have a lifetime registered copy.

 

There's a fast mode that you can enable for CD reading, for games that are not sensitive to transfer rate. I saw a video with a patched 'fast read' for the sys card that you can also use in combination with this (it's really fast for Arcade Card games). There's a 3.5mm jack on the unit for analog sound. The CD sound levels seem pretty decent, with what appears to be CD audio being louder than chipsound compared to the real CD units. This is a plus for me, because a lot of CD games used really basic SFX for chipsound (unclear why when they had ALL six channels to make some nice sounds with), and lowering that chipsound volume is preferred.

 

That was my video. :)

 

The UperGrafx creator made the patch to remove some built-in limitations on the transfer speed that no longer apply when there isn't a physical disc involved. It isn't really that it loads Arcade CD-ROM² titles any faster than CD-ROM² and Super CD-ROM², it's just that those games have a lot more to load in order to fully utilize the extra RAM from the Arcade Card. That means extra-long load times for those titles and, thus, a more dramatic difference with the fast patch. Super CD-ROM² titles load so little that games like Dracula X almost seem like they run on a cartridge with no loading. The stage 6 boss rush really shows this: When you beat Frankenstein normal gameplay awkwardly freezes to load Shaft, but now it happens without a hitch!

 

There are two modes of HDMI output; 1080p and 720p. There's a scanline option for both, but 720p has a slightly more pronounced and even scanline look. It's not a very strong scanline gap effect, but it's a welcome option (I'm not a fan of straight solid pixels). Unfortunately, there is no option for any sort of screen/line filtering. And, unfortunately, you can only have one configuration on the device at a time; so you can't just choose between on the fly. For the aspect ratio, you definitely want 'adjusted' over 'fixed', I'm not sure what 'fixed' is supposed to be (evenly divisible?), but it's wider than the pixel aspect ratio of the system's video. 1080p doesn't appear to have noticeable horizontal shimmering regardless of game's resolution, but 'adjusted' aspect ratio has vertical shimmering in this mode. 720p is just the opposite. It's note really the fault of the device, because the only way to solve this is through a filtered stretch, or output something like 4k. Most PCE games run in 256px mode, so 720p was the best option for me. If you're actually planning on playing a session of a game for like 30mins to a couple of hours, just reconfigure the device for the mode that looks the best. There is a required calibration step when you first get the unit: you need to have the system warmed up for about 20mins, and then run the calibration option in the his software. This will help sync the encoder to your specific system. This eliminates frame rate conversion issues. The PCE has two frame rates of 60.4hz and 58.9hz (it's whatever the game sets the VCE to ). The upergrafx gives you three options to choose from (60hz, original, and 58hz). Choosing 'original' allows it to use whatever the game chooses (which the game can change on the fly). My HD set had no problem with 'original' setting, and I saw no dropped frames using 240p test suite, after calibration.

 

I definitely prefer the wider pixels to maintain an integer scale, much like the ideal 1080p/1200p settings for UltraHDMI, Hi-Def NES, Analogue Nt, Nt Mini, etc... especially when the alternative is scaled pixels that are square or too skinny. It's not nearly as bad as stretching to 16:9. What would be even better would be a mode where it multiplies the horizontal resolution by a high enough number to support the minimum bandwidth for 240p over HDMI which could then be converted back to 4:3 analog with an HDMI to VGA adapter. This way it wouldn't matter what resolution the particular game uses. Also, you could capture it and correct the aspect in post.

 

For scanlines to look right you also have to have an integer scale on your display, which is harder than it should be sometimes due to displays hiding the settings you might need to get 1:1 pixels with the nave resolution input signal.

 

 Apparently you can capture screen shots while in game. Not sure I really care about that, but it might be useful for debugging for development. Dunno.

 

It's useful for extracting art assets, especially since it can save different elements of the image to different files so you can even see what was obscured by other sprites, characters, etc. I assume you could already do this with an emulator though.

 

 Through his custom software, you can set a 'per game' settings that overrides most or all of the main profile settings (including which BRAM option to use). I used it with my SuperGrafx, so I'm glad that the device stand vertical. I don't want the SGX to be any longer than it already is. While the support for HDMI is nice, I still mainly use the composite output. I plan to build a 'real' s-video output with SamIam's design - not that crap out there that does s-video from RGB, or the ones that attempt to make s-video by doing a poor man's CVBS separation but leave Luma in the C signal (why???!!!!). The PCE/SGX/TG16 has a custom set of Y/U/V colors in a rom inside the VCE. It's a digital conversion with emphasis on skintones and certain other color ranges. I can't stand the RGB mods out there because it makes the colors look worse for some games. And there's no RGB mod that converts it using a table right now, so it's definitely not an option for me. S-video looks pretty damn sharp already, so I'm fine with that. Why am I mentioning all of this? Because the UperGrafx HDMI encoder can take YUV values, and since we've recently dumped the 512 YUV table from the VCE's rom, the author is in the process of making that palette as an option. That will make HDMI output a more attractive option.

 

I asked David Shadoff about this weeks ago since he speaks Japanese and has worked with the creators. He agreed to contact them about this. Glad to see it's happening! When you think about it, UperGrafx is really an FPGA replica of the VCE but it was made without the composite YUV color table, since so few even knew color was different with composite. It's the ONLY video upgrade flexible enough to fix this! Maybe someone could make a Micomsoft Framemeister XRGB Mini or OSSC profile to approximate it, but I haven't seen one. Voultar did tease something with images of his oscilloscope connected to some PCE equipment. People asked if it was related to the composite vs. RGB colors thing and he replied with what seemed like a coy confirmation... "Maybe." with a wink emoticon, IIRC. Still, not sure how he'd pull that off with his typical bypass amps. Maybe he's actually working on something with video processing (not his usual RGB bypass amp).

 

 Overall, I bought it for the accuracy of CD emulation. Anything is just bonus. Sure, it's $420 after shipping, but a SuperCD addon, recapped, is going to run you pretty close to that (and doesn't have all these other features). The fact that I'm doing some dev work for the CD units as well, makes this attractive in that I don't have to burn CDRs and I don't have to worry about crap CD emulation (SSD3).

 

I just recapped my second Duo last night and I don't even want to think about doing a Super CD-ROM²!

 

...maybe if I get lucky and find a junk one for under $50 or something, since I preemptively bought a cap kit for it months ago. Can't let these things go to waste!

 

 There is one catch though if you have an SGX; apparently the dumbasses who design the SGX took the VDC 1 pixel bus pins to the expansion bus rather than taking them from the video priority controller. So without a mod, you can't see the 2nd VDC in HDMI output. Not the upergafx's fault, but I will be doing the 9 wire mod sometime soon on my SGX.

 

I saw where the UGX creator talked about the mod and it seems simple enough but I still haven't taken the plunge to do my SGX. I do plan to. If you do it first, please share the deets/results. :)

 

Yes the menu shows through composite, surprisingly. He doesn't route CDDA and ADPCM to the mono in-line on the back of the expansion port (like how the SuperCD addon does with coregrafx and supergrafx), but you wouldn't really want that anyway because it's mono. So there's a 3.5mm stereo audio jack on the device, and it has everything - chip sound, CDDA, ADPCM.

 

I use my SGX with the RAU-30 "ROM² Adapter" and it also feeds back mono. However, the adapter does NOT feed the IFU-30 Interface Unit video. It would probably look bad going through that huge cable anyway. Instead, the official RAU-30 instructions outright tell you to use your original AV multi-out DIN cable with the SGX but leave audio disconnected, then get audio straight from the IFU-30 Interface Unit instead. The UGX setup is exactly the same thing except for the TRS headphone jack. That means you get stereo the same way you would a Genesis 1.

 

Speaking of which, you can use a $3 Genesis 1 DIN5 AV cable instead of bothering to import a stereo AV cable for NEC consoles. The missing audio channel doesn't matter when we aren't even connecting audio from the DIN.

 

turboxray

One more question if you don't mind.  I was reading up on the UperGrafx twitter feed and noted some comments indicating compatibility issues with larger SD cards.  Have you run into any issues?

 

I've only used mine with a 128GB no-name card from Microcenter and a 320GB card from San Disk and both worked great. My advice is, if you buy a large card, make sure it's a good one. I just waited for a deal on one "sold by" and "ships from" Amazon so I knew it would not be a fake.

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Update on my new-to-me Duo that only cost me $95:

Cap kit arrived a couple days ago but I spent the entire night removing old caps, cleaning, checking traces, and clearing corrosion out of vias with a needle... which is all stuff I really should've done while the kit was en route. It's too much of a slog to do all that and install the new caps in one sitting. Easy to rush and make mistakes. I finished the cap job late last night and went to bed thinking it still wasn't working. Turns out I had just routed the wires in a way that was preventing the laser from homing.

 

Though it was totally unrelated I actually replaced the homing limit switch with a brand new one from Console5. I broke the original when I tried to unclip it and compare with the one they sell as a SEGA Saturn lid switch. Thankfully, they were identical and a replacement only cost me $0.67. atariage_icon_smile.gif It was fine before I messed with it so curiosity almost killed the cat!

 

The switch itself is held together with plastic clips so when I tried to unclip it from the mounting post, well, the wrong clips gave first. This sent the internal parts flying all over. I snapped it all back together but the plunger/actuator would no longer spring back out. I guess I was missing a spring or something. Even when you shake the plunger out the contacts were still closed inside even though it was supposed to be a NO (normal-open) momentary switch. When a laser homes the drive controller watches for it to hit that switch. It then stops the laser and reverses it just enough to break contact in the switch. Since mine was stuck closed the laser would keep reversing when trying to back off the limit switch, traveling all the way to the outer edge of the disc. That's kind of the opposite of "homing" since it is supposed to return to center!

 

Well, all good now. I let Luke (Console5) know that it works as a Duo limit switch so hopefully he will add an entry for it in the catalog. If not, well, I'll mention it everywhere I can in case anyone else breaks their limit switch. I never would have noticed if the Saturn switch weren't front-and-center on the Console5 page as a new item.

 

I also built an Adaptaplug-compatible power supply for it... out of an Adaptaplug. LOL! I know that sounds funny but it was $2 at Goodwill and someone had already chopped the end off... the end that makes a Radio Shack Adaptaplug an Adaptaplug! I already had a pre-tinned Adaptaplug-compatible pigtail lead from Console5 so I spliced it on and threw in a Type Q tip I've had for years (also from Console5). Works great!

 

I did prep the Duo for a possible RGB mod by installing a shielded DIN8 but I did not RGB mod it. I already did an RGB mod for someone else back in 2018 (Voultar's amp) and the only part the owner did himself was remove the DIN5. Guess it's kind of fitting that I stopped there too!

 

Good that it doesn't seem so bad! Every game system should have a headphone jack. Thankfully, basically all of my favourite consoles (Genesis/MD, Neo Geo AES, and DUO in the case of the PC Engine, although the GT does have one as well) have headphone jacks. If only the SuperGrafx had one...  

The last time I inspected a DUO, I noticed that its volume knob was completely missing, sadly. The original DUO is a very nice design aesthetically. It's a lot smaller than I thought it would be and overall a very pleasant design. Too bad they have terrible caps.

Good news: The volume dial from a Game Boy Color is reportedly compatible with a Duo. Fits perfectly even though the wheel is smaller and doesn't protrude as far. Next time you see one with a missing dial, grab it!

 

Console5 no longer has that part but it seems they used to since there is an "out-of-stock" product page. No matter. They are available elsewhere and there is no shortage of salvage parts thanks to all the Game Boy modders out there.

 

 

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@CZroe

Thanks for the SD card info (also all the additional info).  I saw your videos on YT and posts on shmups while I was looking into the current state of the UperGrafx, very useful!

 

I sent my order in just now to one of the Japanese resellers, should hear back tonight if it's actually in stock, etc.

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Wow yet more reasons why TerraOnion sucks balls.  I didn't know about the CD issue or those added threats/harrassment too.  If I were like so utterly in love with the PCE I could justify that $420~ price tag but it's just too high for my taste and typical budget, it's why I did jump on that modded Duo awhile back but it just sat.  I found still sadly running the few CDs I do like a lot far more fun through my computer than the original hardware so the CG2 is back in place and the Duo is boxed up.

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[mention=4949]CZroe[/mention] Thanks for the SD card info (also all the additional info).  I saw your videos on YT and posts on shmups while I was looking into the current state of the UperGrafx, very useful!

 

I sent my order in just now to one of the Japanese resellers, should hear back tonight if it's actually in stock, etc.

 

No problem! I hope it's everything you're looking for. atariage_icon_smile.gif 

I don't think I ever shared this but here is a clip showing scanlines at 1080p (960p windowed) with a 4x integer scale:

 

Aspect is still a little too wide but it looks good. This is actually a 1200p monitor so I wish it supported a 5x integer scale (5x240p=1200p).

Wow yet more reasons why TerraOnion sucks balls.  I didn't know about the CD issue or those added threats/harrassment too.  If I were like so utterly in love with the PCE I could justify that $420~ price tag but it's just too high for my taste and typical budget, it's why I did jump on that modded Duo awhile back but it just sat.  I found still sadly running the few CDs I do like a lot far more fun through my computer than the original hardware so the CG2 is back in place and the Duo is boxed up.

As I recall, it was more the admin there (rot) than it was Terra Onion. He didn't explicitly threaten me, though it was definitely prompted by me pointing out that it was something they could add simply to close the feature gap a bit... if they wanted to. IIRC, he threatened to ban anyone else bugging them with BS feature requests and stuff. I was the only one who had recently asked anything like that. Since they ultimately added it without any prying on my part, I think they agreed with me and rot was just being a little over-zealous. No big deal now but at that moment they were VERY defensive of TO and were banning people left and right. 

 

 

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@CZroe

Thanks for posting that video, looks good!  I'd probably just stick with composite out upscaled through the RetroTINK, myself, but it's nice that there's a scanline option built into the UperGrafx also.

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All of this reminds me that I should probably try using the composite on my various PC Engines on my new Framemeister to see what it looks like. PC Engine composite is excellent (for composite) overall on a CRT, so I'm very curious to see how it looks on my PC monitor.

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It's worth checking out for sure, but it will take a lot of tweaking to get good results, as too sharp an image will make the dot crawl really noticeable, but too soft an image sort of defeats the purpose of using an upscaler in the first place haha.

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The retailer I contacted just emailed me to confirm he has the UberGrafx in stock, so I'll be heading over to the bank tomorrow to transfer funds.

I was ready to start working on a batch file or script or something to rename and edit all the .ccd files, but realized that I had ripped my discs as .bin .cue files.  I spent a good 30-45 minutes trying out different image mounting applications but had no luck with any of them... I finally resorted to Daemon Tools Lite, which is the only thing that seems to work.  Once the UberGrafx arrives I'll do a test of one game to confirm it gets converted right, and then start going through my library...

 

I read on Shmups form that even the UberGrafx has audio distortion.  Does anyone have any information on that?  It was just a throwaway line from someone, and I know there's a lot of misinformation out there about the device even now, so not sure how truthful it is.  It would be a bit disappointing if that were the case (one reason I want the UberGrafx is because my SSD3 is from the "middle" batch which had its most onerous issues corrected but still suffers from the audio issues that were corrected with the final batch), but the accurate CD speed emulation is the main reason for me wanting this.

Edited by newtmonkey

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The retailer I contacted just emailed me to confirm he has the UberGrafx in stock, so I'll be heading over to the bank tomorrow to transfer funds.

I was ready to start working on a batch file or script or something to rename and edit all the .ccd files, but realized that I had ripped my discs as .bin .cue files.  I spent a good 30-45 minutes trying out different image mounting applications but had no luck with any of them... I finally resorted to Daemon Tools Lite, which is the only thing that seems to work.  Once the UberGrafx arrives I'll do a test of one game to confirm it gets converted right, and then start going through my library...
 
I read on Shmups form that even the UberGrafx has audio distortion.  Does anyone have any information on that?  It was just a throwaway line from someone, and I know there's a lot of misinformation out there about the device even now, so not sure how truthful it is.  It would be a bit disappointing if that were the case (one reason I want the UberGrafx is because my SSD3 is from the "middle" batch which had its most onerous issues corrected but still suffers from the audio issues that were corrected with the final batch), but the accurate CD speed emulation is the main reason for me wanting this.
It isn't trying to be super-accurate with audio levels MDFourier-style, hence the boosted CD audio, but he could be saying there is also be SD card access noise or something. I haven't used the analog audio output to notice. My guess is that any SD card access noise would affect console sounds more than CD audio, since the CD audio remains digital up to it's built-in DAC.

For CD games the analog audio from the console that is more subject to interference would be mostly just sound effects. That stuff goes through an ADC to combine with the never-analog CD audio when using DVI/HDMI. I haven't noticed it there but I've always been a little hard-of-hearing and the boosted digitally-perfect CD audio may drown it out in the titles I've played.

I do wonder if the DAC processes the combined digital audio or if it mixes analog from the console after the DAC. If the later, you can probably remove the EXT port connections for console audio and mix it with CD audio externally, which would also let you adjust the relative volume between console audio and CD audio. If there is interference from the UGX on analog audio it's still possible that it could feed back through a ground loop or something so I'm not saying this is a solution or anything... just a potential way to combine them how you like.
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21 hours ago, CZroe said:

As I recall, it was more the admin there (rot) than it was Terra Onion. He didn't explicitly threaten me, though it was definitely prompted by me pointing out that it was something they could add simply to close the feature gap a bit... if they wanted to. IIRC, he threatened to ban anyone else bugging them with BS feature requests and stuff. I was the only one who had recently asked anything like that. Since they ultimately added it without any prying on my part, I think they agreed with me and rot was just being a little over-zealous. No big deal now but at that moment they were VERY defensive of TO and were banning people left and right.

Oh I remember I was still there at the time.  The problem is they get equal blame as they were complicit in it, didn't attempt at all to stop the staff or members there from behaving that way, and freely used the place for a long stretch as their unofficial official business contact board since it started with the NeoSD kit.  Alex could have acted like a real man and either warned them to quit, or dumped the site and setup a board of their own far earlier, but instead allowed people like yourself who suggested and worse yet, those like voultar who made repairs for them to get destroyed verbally, harassed, removed, and even stalked off site like it was their job to be TO's pitbulls.  I'm not sure you watched all the stuff go down but it got overkill to the point TO finally did the right thing far too late and dumped them as their forum and did their own hosted site instead.  Yet even then, they still had enough of the abusers become members if not forum watchdogs on their own so it's at least to me fairly clear they liked having a shield of bullies between themselves and others.

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Oh I remember I was still there at the time.  The problem is they get equal blame as they were complicit in it, didn't attempt at all to stop the staff or members there from behaving that way, and freely used the place for a long stretch as their unofficial official business contact board since it started with the NeoSD kit.  Alex could have acted like a real man and either warned them to quit, or dumped the site and setup a board of their own far earlier, but instead allowed people like yourself who suggested and worse yet, those like voultar who made repairs for them to get destroyed verbally, harassed, removed, and even stalked off site like it was their job to be TO's pitbulls.  I'm not sure you watched all the stuff go down but it got overkill to the point TO finally did the right thing far too late and dumped them as their forum and did their own hosted site instead.  Yet even then, they still had enough of the abusers become members if not forum watchdogs on their own so it's at least to me fairly clear they liked having a shield of bullies between themselves and others.

They openly brag that they police other forums for Neo Geo Forum haters and will hold it against you. I don't want to say anything to raise their ire more than I already have since I do think it is a good resource and they have more than a few members who are upstanding folks. 

I also recall a similar negative community reaction that ultimately went my way thanks to Terra Onion. atariage_icon_smile.gif

 

I made a thread about a Neo Geo I fixed where I mentioned off-hand that I was waiting for the DarkSoft Multi. Someone asked why. I didn't know that was a challenge so I happily answered:

I felt that a modern flash cart should be RAM-based. Flash should be primarily for storage and firmware, not execution.

 

Yeah, uh, that didn't go over well... but, once again, it seems Terra Onion was listening. They made the NeoSD Pro which is the best of both worlds and then some: RAM and flash slots with NGCD support.

 

I'm sure they could tell I was being reasoned and rational in my preference but fans were really pushing a little too hard for NeoSD!

 

 

 

 

 

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10 hours ago, CZroe said:

It isn't trying to be super-accurate with audio levels MDFourier-style, hence the boosted CD audio, but he could be saying there is also be SD card access noise or something. I haven't used the analog audio output to notice. My guess is that any SD card access noise would affect console sounds more than CD audio, since the CD audio remains digital up to it's built-in DAC.

If it's just audio levels or SD access noise, that's fine with me!  Like I said, it was just a throwaway line without any detailed information, so it kind of threw me off.

The SSD3 sounds like garbage on quality speakers even with the latest firmware that allows you to adjust the CD audio volume; from what I understand, the audio circuit was completely redesigned for the final revision (if, unlike me, you were smart enough to wait) and corrects the overdriven CD audio, but still has issues if a game uses too multiple audio channels at once... there used to be a post from Chris Covell on the Terraonion forums discussing it but I can't find it anymore.

 

The lack of seek time emulation is the killer of course.  It's something that didn't bother me at first, and I was happy to just be able to play my CD games without worrying about a drive dying, etc., but the more games I played the more annoyed I got at cinema scenes going out of sync.  Terraonion seems to have no interest in resolving the issue as, in response to very helpful advice from dshadoff, they stated that seek time "doesn't need to be that accurate." Between the low quality audio and the cutscenes going out of sync, it really defeats the purpose of playing games on a system known for its awesome redbook audio soundtracks and voiced cinemas!

Edited by newtmonkey
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On 9/1/2020 at 10:05 PM, CZroe said:

They openly brag that they police other forums for Neo Geo Forum haters and will hold it against you. I don't want to say anything to raise their ire more than I already have since I do think it is a good resource and they have more than a few members who are upstanding folks. 

I also recall a similar negative community reaction that ultimately went my way thanks to Terra Onion. atariage_icon_smile.gif

 

I made a thread about a Neo Geo I fixed where I mentioned off-hand that I was waiting for the DarkSoft Multi. Someone asked why. I didn't know that was a challenge so I happily answered:

I felt that a modern flash cart should be RAM-based. Flash should be primarily for storage and firmware, not execution.

 

Yeah, uh, that didn't go over well... but, once again, it seems Terra Onion was listening. They made the NeoSD Pro which is the best of both worlds and then some: RAM and flash slots with NGCD support.

 

I'm sure they could tell I was being reasoned and rational in my preference but fans were really pushing a little too hard for NeoSD!

That they do.  I got troll followed for a time both here and the DP forums too as they never will let it go until their bullying gets more people from a forum pushing back and either silencing or banning them for it.  Never seen a more defensive group for their shitty behavior that they seek out other forum posts to try and shut down and deflect.  I don't blame you at all for walking the line, but aside from speaking to someone there, the useful information is easy to read banned or not if you're just not logged in and have no cookies saved.  Darksoft had the better kit all along, even if it had issues with early versions of the firmware, so TO played catchup trying to copy what they did kind of with their even more expensive Pro model which supposedly has problems too like their PCE non-solution mess.  As far as I can tell they're batting .500 for being screw ups.

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Well, I did find a problem with the Duo: Headphone jack volume is always stuck at maximum regardless of the dial position. Looks like I'll be trying out that Game Boy Color volume dial trick after all.

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That sucks, but after that GB find as I read about that too, it's a cheap easy fix at least.

I hope mine isn't wonky, never remembered to check it as I had no use for it and now the system is up for sale on VGS, Facebook, and ebay so I hope it's all good. :D

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In my case I was using a Dell PC monitor with a sound bar on the test bench. The sound bar's only useful input was a headphone jack, so a straight headphone-style cable was the easiest way to use/test the Duo... a good thing in my book. I already knew the DIN audio works since I tested that on my living room TV before I took it back down to the test bench (needed to route the wires differently).

 

It's an odd failure, since it means the potentiometer's wiper isn't varying the resistance and the connections must be shorting across another way... or maybe the wiper underneath the wheel just detached or something. It was plenty-loud and I still had volume control through the display device/sound bar. Obviously not a big deal to leave it that way, I just want to replace it for the heck of it. :) Maybe see what went wrong or find a way to non-destructively remove and transfer the larger thumb wheel (doubt it).

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Hah I'm familiar with using that combo, though it's a LCD not a monitor.  I had to pick one up for the modern cocktail I was given that came out of UofL here that runs the iCade 60in1 board.  It's a solid combo with solid video and audio quality on the cheap.  That very jack saved me a headache as the amp on the icade broke clear off the board, not that I care, it ran mono default. :D  Their LCD like their later monitors have the same input/output with and without the sound bar so it really is a solid test bench.  The way I have it mounted I still could use it as such too.

 

I know what you mean by the wiper on that wheel, the pair of tiny little bent blades that run across the metal contact to range the volume levels, and they are known to both get gunky/dirty and foul up volume in general or make it just not responsive, but cleaning is a pain as you're working with nearly no room to deal without unsoldering it from the board.  It's possible too as you said, it broke off, or partly so.  I'm suspecting as you said just because the phones jack (like my iCade) works excellent so you know the issue isn't the actual output, it's elsewhere.  The thing is, is it the wheel for sure?  If the volume is plenty loud off the phones, it could actually be a hosed up speaker.

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Hah I'm familiar with using that combo, though it's a LCD not a monitor.  I had to pick one up for the modern cocktail I was given that came out of UofL here that runs the iCade 60in1 board.  It's a solid combo with solid video and audio quality on the cheap.  That very jack saved me a headache as the amp on the icade broke clear off the board, not that I care, it ran mono default.   Their LCD like their later monitors have the same input/output with and without the sound bar so it really is a solid test bench.  The way I have it mounted I still could use it as such too.   I know what you mean by the wiper on that wheel, the pair of tiny little bent blades that run across the metal contact to range the volume levels, and they are known to both get gunky/dirty and foul up volume in general or make it just not responsive, but cleaning is a pain as you're working with nearly no room to deal without unsoldering it from the board.  It's possible too as you said, it broke off, or partly so.  I'm suspecting as you said just because the phones jack (like my iCade) works excellent so you know the issue isn't the actual output, it's elsewhere.  The thing is, is it the wheel for sure?  If the volume is plenty loud off the phones, it could actually be a hosed up speaker. 

 

 

The volume out of the headphone jack is plenty loud, I just can't turn it down with the console's volume dial. Seems to be max volume no matter the position of the wiper. I spent some time today to see how 5-pin pots work and it seems they have two wipers that move in tandem... 

https://components101.com/resistors/thumbwheel-potentiometer-5-terminal

 

I'm no engineer, but I always thought volume knobs were logarithmic instead of linear, since we do not perceive twice the real volume as twice as loud (it has to ramp faster). I was surprised to find all the ones being sold for GBC say they are linear. Strange.

 

 

Anyway, the potentiometer definitely suffered some corrosion and I don't think cleaning and reflowing helped. It's probably got a bad trace or two on the substrate. Chances are very good that it's just a bad pot.

 

 

 

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Maybe a trace, but if what you've seen points to some corrosion, from my experience with similar wheels on Game Gear and stuff, I'd go with a wheel detachment, alcohol cleaning of it and surface it hits, and try again, then go with a replacement one.  I think it's probably still as simple as that as it's stuck at its last location being UP and not moving elsewhere.  I think if no connection were made it would either do something that or just cut out entirely.

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