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kevtris

FPGA Based Videogame System

Interest in an FPGA Videogame System  

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    • SD Card / USB Memory Sticks
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On 2/15/2020 at 7:50 AM, CZroe said:


 

 


Consider yourself lucky if this inexplicable delay prevented you from damaging your console. I hope yours is OK. Good luck!



Quoting you to make sure you are aware since there is a chance you will get this message in time and avoid damaging your console as a result. DON'T USE THE GAME GEAR ADAPTER! See Toth's post above.

Damnit! Glad I dodged that one. Czroe, if you figure out how to modify a v1.0 adapter to fix the short issue, let me know. I'd love to get one of these...

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30 minutes ago, Andromeda Stardust said:

Damnit! Glad I dodged that one. Czroe, if you figure out how to modify a v1.0 adapter to fix the short issue, let me know. I'd love to get one of these...

For grins, I examined the board of my v1.0 GG adapter that showed up today. I mostly gave up on disassembling it when I hit the tabs that hold it together. That with the black PCB meant it would take more time than I had to try to puzzle out the circuit.

It can be disassembled, but the tabs are awkwardly positioned to get at. With only 4 components on the board, I suspect the bodge to apply the v1.1 fix may require physically breaking a trace or two, unless it’s lucky enough to be related to one of the 3 resistors on the board.

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Analogue support have come back to me this morn and have reassured me that analogue will repair or replace my Mega SG if indeed it is damaged, but this will be determined when my replacement GG adaptor arrives.

 

My first reaction was to be a touch disappointed by this because I very much expect the replacement won’t work and it’ll mean even more waiting. But after thinking about it more I guess it’d unreasonable to expect analogue to replace any SG until it is proven to be faulty.

 

Maybe they’ll engineer the replacement adaptor to bypass the potentially damaged component entirely thus negating the need replace any SG’s? Of course I’m completely speculating here as I do not understand the issue or mode of failure in any way.

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I am sure Kevtris knows what is up.  I wonder if he is not allowed to talk about it?  Analogue clearly doesn't want people modding these adapters.

Edited by Toth

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43 minutes ago, Toth said:

I am sure Kevtris knows what is up.  I wonder if he is not allowed to talk about it?  Analogue clearly doesn't want people modding these adapters.


Would you if the risk of getting it wrong is causing component failure in a device that’s around 10x more expensive? Best case, a botched repair breaks the adapter completely. Worst case, it “works” until it damages the SG as if no repair was done.

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Also, I'm told there were no aftermarket Game Gear connectors available, hence they had one engineered and manufactured for them. I've already seen many people interested in purchasing the component itself for other projects so perhaps Analogue was counting on that as another market to fund development. Of course, there's also the Pocket that will use these so it's not a total loss. Engineering them with the Pocket in mind is probably why we had to wait this long.

 

If they do intend to sell connectors it's possible that they don't want salvaged connectors to dilute the market for the connector.

 

 

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13 hours ago, CZroe said:

Also, I'm told there were no aftermarket Game Gear connectors available, hence they had one engineered and manufactured for them. I've already seen many people interested in purchasing the component itself for other projects so perhaps Analogue was counting on that as another market to fund development. Of course, there's also the Pocket that will use these so it's not a total loss. Engineering them with the Pocket in mind is probably why we had to wait this long.

 

If they do intend to sell connectors it's possible that they don't want salvaged connectors to dilute the market for the connector.

 

 

Honestly at this point, I am more interested in the Analogue pocket. Hopefully we don't have to wait a year for the adapters... 🤦‍♀️

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So I've been waiting to hear more about the DAC since Analogue announced on Twitter that they gave prototype units to five or so people. Smokemonster talked about the DAC a little bit and made two (I think) videos, and MLiG showed it off on their live stream, but didn't really explore it too much. Why announce the prototype/early access if the people with early access just seem to sit on it? I didn't see @gamespite or @dark1x mention theirs at all.

 

I opened mine last week. I have the Monoprice composite/S-video adapter, which is fine for me right now because my CRTs only have composite or JP21 hookups. I have a Sony YR-421 that converts S-video to JP21, and I find this to work quite well. I could get slightly better quality with a custom VGA>JP21 cable, but no one seems to make this and it's too much of a hassle right now to make my own.

 

Over composite and S-video, the output from the Super Nt is generally clean, and I like it. I don't have much else to say about this, other than I noticed that on the on-screen DAC sub-menu, the text descriptions are offset from the actual item selected. This is a FW bug.

 

1359555539_DAC(1).thumb.jpg.fbda788d082dff36099c40458e83fadc.jpg

 

However, the output from the Mega Sg is more of a mixed bag.

 

Composite output from the Mega Sg is not pretty. I've heard other people talk about rainbow banding in Genesis video before, but never experienced this with my own console or, from what I remember, with friends' or neighbors' consoles. This artifacting also causes lines to be not as clean as with the Super Nt.

 

Just look at the menu to get an idea of how severe the banding is.

 

1235143778_DAC(4).thumb.jpg.91e217c30257fa2339d9624d8980b30d.jpg

 

While not an exact comparison, here are the health meters in Super Castlevania IV (Super Nt, composite) and Castlevania: Bloodlines (Mega Sg, composite).

 

522200311_DAC(3).thumb.jpg.51835af86bbd69ae3f6fe8d279b935ab.jpg    913615331_DAC(5).thumb.jpg.e785d9863b24d0de830665af8d66b51e.jpg

 

Another interesting effect is that as you progress across the screen in Castlevania: Bloodlines, your spear looks to be an Amazing Technicolor Spear.

 

845929140_DAC(8).thumb.jpg.240958eeb9cc42d4783551010dbf65b9.jpg    84155332_DAC(9).thumb.jpg.c0bc0cacbfb2f5219da63fcf8c073180.jpg    1991845662_DAC(10).thumb.jpg.da8340a5bdd98635972f38c481f3cd57.jpg    622710983_DAC(11).thumb.jpg.fdea5cf43e21539c4539e4c2767aa93c.jpg

 

I prefer to game on an Amdek Color-I, so I was disappointed by how this looked. While some Genesis revisions may have output like this, my experiences has been different. I would have preferred the composite output to be cleaner. This effect shows on every composite CRT I own, not just the Amdek. Toejam & Earl is extremely distracting to play like this, as is Sonic and many other games. I can minimize this by adjusting the "Color" knob on my sets, but this mutes ALL colors.

 

S-video output from the Mega Sg is good, however. Here are some examples:

 

1156674571_DAC(21).thumb.jpg.19b382bd5cbb77cffebc2671e109f20a.jpg    1183160154_DAC(22).thumb.jpg.68ddfcb9e5fd389c7fbf10b4ddaddad2.jpg    1745341535_DAC(23).thumb.jpg.e8373c6b5dc33985618477e0030150b3.jpg

 

And some SG-1000 games (which is mostly why I was excited about the DAC--I could only play these over RF before)

 

2005755326_DAC(27).thumb.jpg.e4002324f99c49b71201aa244ca149c5.jpg    1026848957_DAC(28).thumb.jpg.b775943901dad1eb38ed251111f7e755.jpg

 

These I played using a homemade JP SMS>US SMS adapter stacked on the Analogue SMS adapter. I originally made this to play JP SMS games on my Game Gear (through the Master Gear adapter). This adapter has worked for me ever since the Mega Sg launched (well, all my games except for Sokoban, which is unstable through this adapter on any system), though I might hold off on using it until we know the reason the GG adapter can damage the Mega Sg. That was worrisome news.

 

30094802_DAC(14).thumb.jpg.7a188220b5d326f3b4b40a3aa1e02d2a.jpg    1504480504_DAC(20).thumb.jpg.0df19ebe56964bc6258ea00cbdf1ecca.jpg

 

Interestingly, when I play an SG-1000 cartridge the Mega Sg boots with the correct palette, but when I load a ROM through the jailbreak SMS/SG core, it defaults to the darker SMS palette (though this can be changed in the DAC settings).

 

The advanced DAC options also also different in each of these cases. Booting from a cart doesn't give me an option to select a palette.

 

1420270845_DAC(18).thumb.jpg.2bbd0eadf1b8a851f8444cc03702d451.jpg    2052913922_DAC(19).thumb.jpg.0214e67ada634f53c7d6b872565d8549.jpg

 

And, finally, GG games look like this through the DAC. The game fills about half of the screen vertically and horizontally. I thought it was comfortable to play at this resolution.

 

1212654535_DAC(16).thumb.jpg.222422f9f004f80defefb5ab69081f57.jpg    417096653_DAC(15).thumb.jpg.d5ed0caf5e7609d5fe36f715be2cde8d.jpg

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3 hours ago, spspspsp said:

 

Just look at the menu to get an idea of how severe the banding is.

 

1235143778_DAC(4).thumb.jpg.91e217c30257fa2339d9624d8980b30d.jpg

.913615331_DAC(5).thumb.jpg.e785d9863b24d0de830665af8d66b51e.jpg  

That health bar is epic! The world needs more rainbows!

🌈🦄

 

Part of the issue here is the 320 pixel wide Sega Genesis is cycle locked to half the width of the ntsc colorburst. So naturally alpha blending of pinstripe stages such as the waterfalls in sonic 3 is not visible in composite as it is in rgb on real hardware.

 

It appears the Mega SG output is not cycle locked to the NTSC color burst as in real Sega hardware which is why you get the rainbow banding. The slightly wider 256 pixel width NES/SNES creates moire patterns not present on Sega hardware.

 

My NES creates a checkerboard moire pattern on crt screens but it is very clean. White/black edges on the nes show yellow/cyan/magenta tinted edges on my crt.

 

As far as the analogue adapter goes, none of my TVs, tube or otherwise, support standards other than composite/rf/hdmi, and I have original hardware to use with tube tvs so the adapter is redundant for my purposes. I still think the rainbow effect of the genesis is a fun effect, if technically wrong.

 

Perhaps the adapter firmware can be updated to create a cycle lock with the pixel output and ntsc colorburst as with real hardware...

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Woah, so the Mega SG via composite out the DAC mimics an original Genesis, rainbow banding and all?   I guess this was also done to give the blending effect on dithered patterns.

BTW, that is exactly how Bloodlines looks on my VA6 Model 1 Genesis.  The healthbar is plagued with rainbow banding.

Edited by SegaSnatcher

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8 hours ago, spspspsp said:

And, finally, GG games look like this through the DAC. The game fills about half of the screen vertically and horizontally. I thought it was comfortable to play at this resolution.

 

1212654535_DAC(16).thumb.jpg.222422f9f004f80defefb5ab69081f57.jpg    417096653_DAC(15).thumb.jpg.d5ed0caf5e7609d5fe36f715be2cde8d.jpg

Thats because GG games only have a vertical resolution of 144p and unlike HDTVs your standard CRT can't upscale the image to fill the vertical axis of the TV.

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Analogues customer support contacted me once again this morning and asked me to send my Mega SG in for repair.
 

I asked if they would compensate me for the postage costs from the U.K. back to the USA.

 

They then suddenly changed their minds and said we’ll go back to the original plan and see if it’s broken when the new GG adaptor shows up! 
 

On the subject of the adaptors I’m very pleased with the fit and finish of them. The carts fit very snugly with minimal movement and the connectors don’t seem overly tight. Tried out the mk3 one earlier and as expected it worked great.

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@spspspsp are you pleased with the DAC overall with the exception of the SG’s composite output?

 

What does passthrough mode do?

 

Has anybody run a 32x through it yet?

Edited by Enragedwhale

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Regarding the composite output on the Mega Sg through the DAC, I mentioned this previously as well and if there is any way to clean it up I'd be heavily in favor of it. Not every Genesis has bad composite like that. I'm not sure what would be involved and if it would be more trouble than it's worth though. I assume Kev used an early model 1 Genesis as his source of record, but many of the later revisions weren't plagued by this. Given that a lot of Genesis owners like to use composite because of the heavy use of dithering, I think it's something that would definitely be appreciated.

 

That said, I do find it amusing how accurately he's recreated an actual Genesis :lol:

Edited by jamon1567
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@spspspsp I posted my review of the DAC earlier in this thread, but my review was much less in-depth as it only covered the Super NT over component on consumer CRT TVs, since I prefer the look of consumer CRT TVs for 8-bit and 16-bit games.  Here is my original post:

 

 

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2 minutes ago, jamon1567 said:

Regarding the composite output on the Mega Sg through the DAC, I mentioned this previously as well and if there is any way to clean it up I'd be heavily in favor of it. Not every Genesis has bad composite like that. I'm not sure what would be involved and if it would be more trouble than it's worth though. I assume Kev used an early model 1 Genesis as his source of record, but many of the later revisions weren't plagued by this. Given that a lot of Genesis owners like to use composite because of the heavy use of dithering, I think it's something that would definitely be appreciated.

 

That said, I do find it amusing how accurately he's recreated an actual Genesis :lol:


It would be really cool if the DAC supported multiple console revision specific modes, so it could accurately recreate the same quality of video of each revision of Sega Genesis and SNES.

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13 minutes ago, Jagasian said:


It would be really cool if the DAC supported multiple console revision specific modes, so it could accurately recreate the same quality of video of each revision of Sega Genesis and SNES.

I don't really know that this is necessary, but I also don't think anyone would rather have the rainbow banding if given the choice. I kind of look at it like how he created the Super Nt, which if I recall, was kind of a hybrid of the early 2 chip models and the later 1 chips, which of course had compatibility issues. The better picture of the 1 chip with the full compatibility of the 2 chip. If he were to do the same for the Mega Sg where you have all the desired audio from the original model genesis, but the better composite of the later models, that would be the sweet spot IMO.

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Analogue said they would give info on Nt Mini near end of the month.  Still waiting for analogue to at least give us something on it?  This was also a week after the coronavirus outbreak when they said they would give us info?

 

I hope they stick to there word?

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9 hours ago, Enragedwhale said:

@spspspsp are you pleased with the DAC overall with the exception of the SG’s composite output?

 

What does passthrough mode do?

 

Has anybody run a 32x through it yet?

 

Overall, yes. I am happy with the DAC. And while I'm not a fan of the Mega Sg composite output, I am very impressed that it was possible to recreate that.

 

Pass-through mode is a setting that basically allows controllers like mice or light guns to communicate directly with the system without any interpretation layer therebetween, I think.

 

The annoying thing about it is that once enabled you can no longer access any on-screen menus, so you have to either hold reset for two seconds to exit pass through mode (also resetting your game) or reboot the system. It might be nice if this could also be enabled on a port-by-port basis. For example, only allowing pass-through mode on controller port 2.

Edited by spspspsp

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That rainbow health meter is quite something. Looks just like when I tried my Mega Drive's composite for the first time a while ago. Has anyone gotten it working with the 32X yet?

 

Oops, must have missed the post just above asking about 32X. Sorry. Question still stands, though.

Edited by Steven Pendleton

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17 hours ago, jamon1567 said:

Regarding the composite output on the Mega Sg through the DAC, I mentioned this previously as well and if there is any way to clean it up I'd be heavily in favor of it. Not every Genesis has bad composite like that. I'm not sure what would be involved and if it would be more trouble than it's worth though. I assume Kev used an early model 1 Genesis as his source of record, but many of the later revisions weren't plagued by this. Given that a lot of Genesis owners like to use composite because of the heavy use of dithering, I think it's something that would definitely be appreciated.

 

That said, I do find it amusing how accurately he's recreated an actual Genesis :lol:

Does your TV support S-video? Just use that.

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On 2/13/2020 at 10:28 AM, ErebusMaligan said:

I get the impression that they just have an extremely poor PR side of their company.  They tend to not answer questions and lack transparency, and just seem really not customer focused at all.  While people aren't necessarily entitled to either of those things, it frustrates them.

They could really learn a thing or two from DragonBox, which has been developing a handheld device called the Pyra. They (especially EvilDragon) regularly post updates about it's status on their forums; positive stuff as well as talking about solving issues that have come up. They used feed back for many aspects like button and keyboard ok layout and other things. Very open and transparent all the way.

 

While I understand not everyone's development environments may allow for that level of involvement with their user base, it is one hell of a way to build one, as DragonBox has. No one who follows their forums and tweats is in the dark at all.

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