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DirtyHairy

Stella 6 on the R77: the eagle is landing

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Thanks for testing. Unfortunately I can only partially try reproduce your test results with 2600 controllers (because I have no Ranger controllers). And here the paddles work with 6.2.1. Have you defaulted the input settings (or deleted the sqlite files) between tests of different Stella versions?

 

BTW: We removed paddle controls for the menu, because without automatic centering, a paddle attached will interfere with any other controller or switches input.

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On 8/10/2020 at 1:57 PM, Thomas Jentzsch said:

Thanks for testing. Unfortunately I can only partially try reproduce your test results with 2600 controllers (because I have no Ranger controllers). And here the paddles work with 6.2.1. Have you defaulted the input settings (or deleted the sqlite files) between tests of different Stella versions?

 

BTW: We removed paddle controls for the menu, because without automatic centering, a paddle attached will interfere with any other controller or switches input.

Hi Thomas,

Sorry it took sp long to get back.  Trying to do vacation stuff with family.  My paddles also worked.  Hopefully gave a better description below.  The only time they fail is on 6.2.1 on the DB9 port on RetroN77 box.  They worked on win10 with 6.2.1.

 

I just redid all tests and got same results.  I made one change in chart and that was to Bold and make red the 2 different systems.

I added to Yes*1 for a more complete explanation

On win10 my paddles work, just have to use mouse to manever menus.  F2 to reset game and esc to exit game.  No big deal.

There are no sqlit files on either SD card->(only created if I try to change menu items, at first I played with them and then redid card and erased all; never created again)) or win10 machine-> (no place for sqlit files).

 

So what is working

 

6.1.1 DB9

6.2.1 DB9

6.1.1 USB

6.2.1 USB

RetroN77

 

 

 

 

2600 Pad

Yes

Fail

Yes *1

Yes

2600 Stk

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Ranger Pad

Yes

Fail

Fail

Fail

Ranger Stk

Yes

Yes

Fail

Yes

 

 

 

 

 

Windows 10

 

 

 

 

2600 Pad

N/A

N/A

?

Yes

2600 Stk

N/A

N/A

?

Yes

Ranger Pad

N/A

N/A

?

Hyper*2

Ranger Stk

N/A

N/A

?

Yes

 

Yes*1-- ROM menu does not work with paddles at all; but paddles work in games, use front buttons on machine to maneuver menu.

Hyper*2—Very little movement of paddle in hand shoots paddle on screen across screen

Yes—Works Fine

Fail—Does not work at all

?—Could not find Stella version to test

 

If there is anything else I can do let me know.

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Hi all,

 

the Images for the Retron77 are always 80mb sized. The SD Card which came with the R77 is 128Mb. As i want to use Cover or Cartridge Scans instead of Screenshots/Snapshots for the UI i need more Space than the 80mb Image provides. Unfortuntely the Filesystem of the Image is FAT16 so i can't enlarge the Partition for the unused Space on the SD-Card.  How can i create an Image with a bigger Partition? Let's say i'll buy a 16GB microSD and want to use a 2GB Partition (maximum for Fat16). i tried formatting the Stock SDCard with Fat16 to 128mb and copy over all the Files from the 6.2.1 Image but the Console didn't start then.

 

Further Question is, is Fat16 necessary from the R77 Hardware or can it use Fat32 or exFAT Partitions? And what OS is Retron based on? Android?

 

Kind Regards

Romuluz

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R77 supports FAT32, so you can use really large partitions. The OS is Linux based.

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2 hours ago, Romuluz said:

How can i create an Image with a bigger Partition?

I used gparted to 'nondestructively' resize the partition to fit the size of my sdcard.  It works just fine.

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@Thomas Jentzsch

Thanks for the Answer. Grüße aus der verbotenen Stadt :)

 

@fluxit

There seems to be my Problem. I'm on Windows, i have no clue about Linux. The Windows Tools like Paragon or Minitool Partition Wizard don't let me change the size of the Partition. But if the R77 supports Fat32 i can try and convert the Fat16 to 32 and see if i can expand the Partition then.

I'll be back...

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Well, Problem solved :)

 

As i tried to convert the Partition to FAT32 i got an Error Message stating that there were some lost Data on the SDCard. After Fixing that, expansion of the FAT16 Partition worked. It did not mention those Errors when i tried to expand the Partition before. I guess a Programmer can't think of all possible Possibilities :D

 

Thanks for the Help

Romuluz

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Hello all,

 

Has anyone tried using joysticks with the 2600-dapter and experience slowdown when playing games?  My son and I were playing 2 player co-op Robotron this weekend and we typically use the standard joystick ports on the R77.  Unfortunately, I have found that the connection isn't that good in that the joystick connectors are a little loose and we'll have situations where you can't move in certain directions unless you really press in the joystick.

 

To get around this, I hooked up 2 joysticks through 2600-dapters to a USB OTG hub which have a much more snug fit.  The controls work great, but for some reason the games experience intermittent slow down (slow audio, choppy movement).  This only happens when using the 2600-dapters; I never see slowdown using the joystick ports on the front of the R77. 

 

Any ideas?  Is it possible that it's the USB OTG hub causing the slowdown?  Eventually I would like to use 4 joysticks for 2 player co-op Robotron (each player uses 2 joysticks) using Stella 6.3 that has QuadTari support so having all 4 joysticks working without slowdown would be ideal.  I have been able to successfully configure 4 joysticks using the pre-release 6.3 build (thanks @DirtyHairy!), but the slowdown is too annoying to enjoy the game. 😕  

 

Any help is appreciated!

 

Thanks,

John

 

 

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I would suggest also trying this on a PC, to see if similar slowdowns occur.  We would need to determine if it's related to the QuadTari handling itself, or moreso with the R77.  I will say that the R77 port is marginal on certain games.  That is, it's operating close to the limits of what the hardware can do, and just a little more processing would cause noticeable slowdowns.  And your ROMs are using ARM and are quite advanced, so it's possible that the processing of the QuadTari on top of the ARM emulation is bringing the hardware to its knees.

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37 minutes ago, stephena said:

I would suggest also trying this on a PC, to see if similar slowdowns occur.  We would need to determine if it's related to the QuadTari handling itself, or moreso with the R77.  I will say that the R77 port is marginal on certain games.  That is, it's operating close to the limits of what the hardware can do, and just a little more processing would cause noticeable slowdowns.  And your ROMs are using ARM and are quite advanced, so it's possible that the processing of the QuadTari on top of the ARM emulation is bringing the hardware to its knees.

Thanks for the suggestions and quick reply!  Apologies if it wasn't clear, but I experience slowdown even on 6.1 (no QuadTari support) when using 2 joysticks hooked up to the 2600-dapters, so I don't think it's specific to the QuadTari support (although it's most likely that using it on 6.3 with 4 joysticks and QT support will slow it down even further).  Perhaps it's the overhead with using USB controllers vs. the native R77 ports?  In my tests, Robotron experiences no slowdown when using 2 joysticks hooked up to the R77 ports; only if you're using USB joysticks.  I went to try this on my PC but alas it seems that one of my 2600-dapters has crapped out on me. 😕  I do have some Legacy Engineering USB controllers that I'll test with also and see how it goes.  One thing I'll test is using 1 controller hooked up to the R77 and one USB joystick hooked up through the 2600-dapter DB9 and see if that has any slowdown.

 

Thanks for the suggestions!

John

 

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5 hours ago, johnnywc said:

Any ideas?  Is it possible that it's the USB OTG hub causing the slowdown?

As the slowdown is intermittent, I have a vague idea that this may actually be thermal throttling. The NG firmware clocks the R77 at 1.2GHz, which is higher than the original clock speed of 1GHz, but still within the spec. However, even with the increased clock, CDF and DPC+ games drive one of the CPU cores at almost 100%. Maybe the activity of the USB bus increases power consumption of the SOC and increases the thermal load, causing the CPU to throttle every now and then in order to prevent thermal damage.

 

Do you have equipment to measure the power consumption of the R77? It would be interesting to measure consumption with and without the daptors attached. If you feel adventurous, you could also open the casing and provide some additional cooling to the CPU (which only has a pretty small heatsink, see https://github.com/stella-emu/stella/wiki/Retron-77), like an external fan.

 

Cheers

    -Christian

Edited by DirtyHairy

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1 hour ago, DirtyHairy said:

As the slowdown is intermittent, I have a vague idea that this may actually be thermal throttling. The NG firmware clocks the R77 at 1.2GHz, which is higher than the original clock speed of 1GHz, but still within the spec. However, even with the increased clock, CDF and DPC+ games drive one of the CPU cores at almost 100%. Maybe the activity of the USB bus increases power consumption of the SOC and increases the thermal load, causing the CPU to throttle every now and then in order to prevent thermal damage.

That sounds like a plausible explanation! :thumbsup:  

1 hour ago, DirtyHairy said:

Do you have equipment to measure the power consumption of the R77? It would be interesting to measure consumption with and without the daptors attached. If you feel adventurous, you could also open the casing and provide some additional cooling to the CPU (which only has a pretty small heatsink, see https://github.com/stella-emu/stella/wiki/Retron-77), like an external fan.

 

Hmmm, being a software guy with my only real hardware experience being the QuadTari ;), this is probably a bit out of my league.  I have a multi-meter, but I wouldn't know where to start or what to measure as far as power consumption is concerned. 😕  I may be able to install a small fan on the CPU if given explicit instructions. :D 

 

Thanks for the info!

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Hmm, are we sure multi-threading is enabled for R77 here?  Because if one core is at 100% and the rest not loaded, perhaps multi-threading can help.  Of course, if it's one part of the code that is loading the core (like the ARM emulation), and that doesn't support threading, then there's not much more to do.  Maybe in the future we can have a threaded implementation of the ARM emulation, but honestly it's NOT something I am qualified to do.

Edited by stephena
Make my qualifications clear

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17 hours ago, johnnywc said:

Hmmm, being a software guy with my only real hardware experience being the QuadTari ;), this is probably a bit out of my league.

 

Hmm - for a simple test try to turn the R77 on its side then position a small fan to blow in, or pull air out of, the vent at the bottom where the heat sync is visible.

 

IMG_1284D.thumb.jpg.8b1ec30622fca111027214781a38e07b.jpg

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Yep, this is a very quick way to at least tell if it's a heat issue.  And that alone could point us in the right direction.

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17 hours ago, johnnywc said:

 Hmmm, being a software guy with my only real hardware experience being the QuadTari ;), this is probably a bit out of my league.  I have a multi-meter, but I wouldn't know where to start or what to measure as far as power consumption is concerned. 😕  I may be able to install a small fan on the CPU if given explicit instructions. :D 

 

I wasn't thinking about a multimeter; there are meters that you plug in between USB port and power supply / hub and that measure current and power consumption over USB. As for the fan, I would do something like @SpiceWare suggested first, just to see whether this is really the issue. If it is, then it might be worthwhile to look for a more permanent solution.

 

1 hour ago, stephena said:

Hmm, are we sure multi-threading is enabled for R77 here?  Because if one core is at 100% and the rest not loaded, perhaps multi-threading can help.  Of course, if it's one part of the code that is loading the core (like the ARM emulation), and that doesn't support threading, then there's not much more to do.  Maybe in the future we can have a threaded implementation of the ARM emulation, but honestly it's something I am qualified to do.

That's what's happening: threading is enabled, but the emulation itself isn't threaded, and that's what's loading the core. I am very sceptical about whether there is a way to thread ARM emulation --- each cycle of the CPU requires the previous cycle to complete, and I don't see a way to parallelise ARM and 6507 code either --- data for the ARM gets set up by the 6507, then the ARM runs while the 6507 is stopped on NOP, and then the 6507 runs again with the data the ARM calculated during its run.

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6 hours ago, SpiceWare said:

 

Hmm - for a simple test try to turn the R77 on its side then position a small fan to blow in, or pull air out of, the vent at the bottom where the heat sync is visible.

 

IMG_1284D.thumb.jpg.8b1ec30622fca111027214781a38e07b.jpg

Thanks for the suggestion Darrell!  I ordered a small fan (I don't have one handy) and will try this as soon as it arrives. :) 

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I'm new here but super interested in the Stella teams work. I just reached out to them about a donation :)

 

I have a few of these and wouldn't live without them now. I use them in front of EVERYTHING that uses 5V or USB power. Totally worth the $10 on Amazon.

 

There are fancy one with logging and such but I find myself using these simple ones most.

 

Scott

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00J3JSEG6/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

IMG_1895.thumb.jpg.cbd403acee339f80dcf45ad19a475050.jpg

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On 10/26/2020 at 8:05 PM, mgas said:

I have a few of these and wouldn't live without them now. I use them in front of EVERYTHING that uses 5V or USB power. Totally worth the $10 on Amazon.

Thanks, that's precisely what I meant 😏

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On 7/19/2020 at 10:08 PM, Thomas Jentzsch said:

Glad to hear that this fixed your problem.

 

Now I hope it works for everyone else too. Please let me know.

Works now on 6.1.2 so many thanks for your assist! Got 2 rangers in today just to be able to use paddles so was a bit annoyed that those didn't work (stick works fine though). Any clue if this is "fixed" by default in newer release(s)? New job for the weekend: hooking up the two for an old fashioned pong game ;)

 

[edit as this reply makes no sense without context]

 

I was referring to Thomas' fix for not-working (Ranger) paddles on the Hyperkin 77:

  • "either use the advanced settings and then Options/Input/Emul.  Events and there press Defaults"

 

Apologies for the mess.

Edited by gvb
missing info

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No clue why the rangers do not work. Maybe I have to buy one to find out.

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We have released verion 6.4.0 of Stella for the R77. The release can be downloaded on github. This release fixes a number of bugs in 6.3.0 that affected the R77 port in particular, so there shouldn't be any need to retract this one 😏

 

In addition to the changes in Stella 6.4.0, this release introduces support for the Atarivox connected to an USB-to-serial dongle and supports storing the dumped ROM images to SD. Please refer to the instructions in the README on how to dump ROM images. Thanks to @johnnywc for testing Atarivox support!

 

In order to use the Atarivox, the Vox must be connected to an USB-to-serial dongle with an USB Y cable at boot. Refer to the Stella user's guide for further instructions. The dongle should show up as either ttyUSB0 or ttyACM0. Support of a specific dongle depends on the (ancient) Linux kernel used by the console, but most dongles should be supported.

 

Have fun!

 

(I'll update the post at the top of this thread as soon as I find time)

Edited by DirtyHairy
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9 hours ago, DirtyHairy said:

...

 

In addition to the changes in Stella 6.4.0, this release introduces support for the Atarivox connected to an USB-to-serial dongle and supports storing the dumped ROM images to SD. Please refer to the instructions in the README on how to dump ROM images. Thanks to @johnnywc for testing Atarivox support!

 

...

Being able to store the dumped cart-ROM is a really cool feature! Thanks!

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On 11/2/2020 at 4:59 PM, DirtyHairy said:

We have released version 6.4.0 of Stella for the R77.

Does the "time machine" feature have working support? (I remember hearing something about past issues, and not to use it on the R77)?

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