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DirtyHairy

Stella 6 on the R77: the eagle is landing

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You guys did a lot of great work these last few weeks. I'm impressed.

 

The new light menu theme is actually readable on my composite connected CRT through an HDMI converter. The other themes are almost readable, but not quite.

 

 

If you turn off the phosphor option I bet you can actually see real phosphor on CRT playing STARBLITZ from this post on the other page

 

I turned off the phosphor option and was able to see very crisp animation just like CRT (minus the phosphor) over HDMI.

 

To digitally emulate phosphor would technically require rendering at least 120 FPS. Merging frames is not phosphor emulation; it makes Pacman and some newer games look more solid, but at the expense of breaking the display of high FPS games including those from bitd like Empire Strikes Back.

 

Hyperkin should keep this feature turned off for their commercial release.

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If you turn off the phosphor option I bet you can actually see real phosphor on CRT playing STARBLITZ from this post on the other page

 

I turned off the phosphor option and was able to see very crisp animation just like CRT (minus the phosphor) over HDMI.

 

To digitally emulate phosphor would technically require rendering at least 120 FPS. Merging frames is not phosphor emulation; it makes Pacman and some newer games look more solid, but at the expense of breaking the display of high FPS games including those from bitd like Empire Strikes Back.

 

Hyperkin should keep this feature turned off for their commercial release.

 

Yes, I did turn off Stella's video enhancements for the CRT. I'll try your Starblitz.

 

Scramble is beautiful on the CRT. It's much better looking than the arcade game ever was, IMO. For one thing, I guess it uses more colors.

Edited by fluxit
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I just played Draconian on the R77, and noticed there is no flickering at all using the default settings of the latest Stella R77 beta-2 build. While on my CRT's (connected to actual '2600 machines) I always see some flickering playing Draconian.

 

I know I can change this Phosphor-blend setting myself, but shouldn't the default options in Stella be set to emulate a (good) CRT monitor as close as possible?

Or is this a matter of taste?

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Each CRT is different. :)

 

Which setting does match your CRT best?

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I just played Draconian on the R77, and noticed there is no flickering at all using the default settings of the latest Stella R77 beta-2 build. While on my CRT's (connected to actual '2600 machines) I always see some flickering playing Draconian.

 

I know I can change this Phosphor-blend setting myself, but shouldn't the default options in Stella be set to emulate a (good) CRT monitor as close as possible?

Or is this a matter of taste?

 

I'd say it's a matter of taste. Mappy for example, due to it's complexity has quite a bit of flicker even on my CRT via the R77, enough that it bothers me. I'm going to turn on some phosphor for that game specifically. In general, when playing on the CRT TV instead of the LCD, what flicker is present with phosphor effects turned off doesn't bother me for almost all other games.

 

On the LCD on the other hand, I do use quite a bit of 'phosphor' for Draconian, Scramble, and Space Rocks. I think I'm using 60, IIRC.

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Each CRT is different. :)

 

Which setting does match your CRT best?

 

Nevermind, I found that after removing the sqlite setting files, the default phosphor settings work fine for me.

 

I guess I was confused by the different options for phosphor, that don't seem to affect each-other when changed:

  • the phosphor-blend control in the basic settings window, set to 6% by default
  • the phosphor-blend control in the advanced settings window, set to 45% by default
  • the phosphor button in the Commands windows, set to 'on' by default

E.g. when I set 'phosphor off' via the Commands window, I still see the phosphor-blend set to 6% in the basic settings window. And when I change this phosphor-blend from 6% to another value, the advanced phosphor-setting is still 45%. I guess this is still work in progress?

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I guess I was confused by the different options for phosphor, that don't seem to affect each-other when changed:

  • the phosphor-blend control in the basic settings window, set to 6% by default
  • the phosphor-blend control in the advanced settings window, set to 45% by default
  • the phosphor button in the Commands windows, set to 'on' by default
E.g. when I set 'phosphor off' via the Commands window, I still see the phosphor-blend set to 6% in the basic settings window. And when I change this phosphor-blend from 6% to another value, the advanced phosphor-setting is still 45%. I guess this is still work in progress?

This and it is complex. icon_smile.gif

 

The Basic settings are meant for the causal user, so they are much simplified. E.g. the phosphor level can only be set globally and only as a level between 0 and 10 (same for scanlines). So this is not a percentage, that's why the values do not match with the advanced settings. And in the Command window you can disable the global phosphor temporarily for the current game.

 

I hope it makes sense now.

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I just played Draconian on the R77, and noticed there is no flickering at all using the default settings of the latest Stella R77 beta-2 build. While on my CRT's (connected to actual '2600 machines) I always see some flickering playing Draconian.

 

I know I can change this Phosphor-blend setting myself, but shouldn't the default options in Stella be set to emulate a (good) CRT monitor as close as possible?

Or is this a matter of taste?

 

 

 

 

I'd say it's a matter of taste. Mappy for example, due to it's complexity has quite a bit of flicker even on my CRT via the R77, enough that it bothers me. I'm going to turn on some phosphor for that game specifically. In general, when playing on the CRT TV instead of the LCD, what flicker is present with phosphor effects turned off doesn't bother me for almost all other games.

 

On the LCD on the other hand, I do use quite a bit of 'phosphor' for Draconian, Scramble, and Space Rocks. I think I'm using 60, IIRC.

 

I agree the 'phosphor' setting enhances those games and that almost all other games are better with the effect turned off.

 

And I think it's a good point the emu should emulate a CRT as closely as possible which essentially means not merging frames.

 

All CRT's render 60 frames per second from the Atari's nonstandard video signal and HDMI can do that too, so the issue isn't about CRT or LCD but simply about emulating the nonstandard Atari signal.

 

Merging those frames together with the 'phosphor' settings on LCD or CRT creates visibly blurry double vision score power ups falling down the screen that are hard to read in STARBLITZ and similarly blurry animation in ESB because the console doesn't render 60 frames per second any more.

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Thank you for all of the work involved with this! I can finally stream audio and after A LOT of messing around with Beta 2, paddles all work great! You guys rock! Looking forward to next release.

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Here are a few more wireless bluetooth controller connection options for the Retron 77:

 

post-47453-0-96228800-1558230615.jpg

Mayflash NS(Nintendo Switch) - Works in NS mode(may work in other modes as well) on the R77. Can be hot-plugged. Supports 'first' and third party bluetooth game controllers. Does not support Wiimotes. Only supports one controller at a time(though others may be paired.)

 

 

post-47453-0-46855700-1558230617.jpg

JYS Nintendo Switch - JYS-NS130. May also be sold under other brand names as well. Works in NS mode(may work in other modes as well.) Can not be hot-plugged with current firmware. Supports first and third party bluetooth game controllers. Does not support Wiimotes. Only one game controller at a time, others may be paired.

 

 

post-47453-0-58558400-1558230618.jpg

Culsam NES to usb + 8bitdo NES bluetooth. Should support first party bt controllers. Does not support some third party controllers. Does support Wiimotes. The 8bitdo NES on its own does not seem to be compatible with the R77 through its built-in micro usb port(possibly due to its use of x-input mode.) The Culsam adapter on its own does support wired NES compatible controllers on the Retron 77.

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Hi - for SSH in Developer mode I am seeking a recommendation for working USB ethernet adapter. Thanks

 

 

Thank you to all the folks that made Stella 6 possible on the unit! After seeing this thread today I ordered the R77

Edited by JL

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Hi - for SSH in Developer mode I am seeking a recommendation for working USB ethernet adapter. Thanks

 

 

Thank you to all the folks that made Stella 6 possible on the unit! After seeing this thread today I ordered the R77

 

Per Dirty Harry's Wiki for the R77 firmware updates, this should work, assuming the listing is accurate.

Edited by fluxit
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Per Dirty Harry's Wiki for the R77 firmware updates, this should work, assuming the listing is accurate.

 

The reviews seem to indicate that the above linked NIC is probably not actually RTL8152 based. There are many listings on ebay for rtl8152 chipset usb NICs though. It shouldn't be hard to find one that works.

 

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...after A LOT of messing around with Beta 2, paddles all work great!

What was the problem?

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Hi - for SSH in Developer mode I am seeking a recommendation for working USB ethernet adapter. Thanks

 

 

Thank you to all the folks that made Stella 6 possible on the unit! After seeing this thread today I ordered the R77

 

I just tried the Nyko 87024-E14 that's plugged into my Wii and it worked with R77. It's apparently based on an ASIX AX88772 chipset according to the Retron, FWIW.

 

--edit-

 

It took me about half an hour to discover that the reason the R77 wasn't accepting my SSH password was because I was trying to login as myself instead of root. /facepalm

Edited by fluxit
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Anyone already tried to connect a wireless PS3 controller? I have a few of these controllers laying around.

These 8bitdo adapters look promising

 

[Edited: It seems the PS3 controllers have a weird bluetooth implementation and won't connect. I'll be looking for another wireless controller]

Edited by Dionoid

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Both the Mayflash and JYS dongles claim to support wireless PS3 controllers. I don't have a PS3, so I can't test one.

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Should per game control choices be saved? They don't seem to be here. I've changed Thrust's left controller from Automatic to Joystick, exited the game and powered down the system at least three times, with it always resetting itself to Automatic upon powering back up. The change does fix the mentioned issue until I reboot.

 

 

Did this work on beta 1? If I remember the code correctly, saving per-game preferences currently suffers from the same problem as savekey data: it only happens at certain points (maybe even only on shutdown), and chances are that you switch off the device before the data is saved (if it happens on shutdown, you'll never execute this code path unless you kill Stella via SSH). This will change in the next beta when we move per-game preferences to SQLite, too.

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Hi - for SSH in Developer mode I am seeking a recommendation for working USB ethernet adapter. Thanks

 

Per Dirty Harry's Wiki for the R77 firmware updates, this should work, assuming the listing is accurate.

 

As Fluxit says: check out the README for detailed instructions on getting SSH access. Generally speaking, all USB dongles that were supported by Linux 3.4 (that's the base for the sunxi kernel used on the R77, about mid-2012) should work. I am recommending the RTL8152 chipset as this is what I am using. Ironically, it isn't supported in Linux 3.4, but I backported the driver as that's what I had lying around :P

 

If you have enough experience and feel comfortable with hacking at the kernel, backporting other networking drivers is definitely possible, but you should get a serial connection to the R77 using an UART dongle first in order to get a shell for debugging. You can find instructions on this in the Stella wiki on github.

 

 

I just tried the Nyko 87024-E14 that's plugged into my Wii and it worked with R77. It's apparently based on an ASIX AX88772 chipset according to the Retron, FWIW.

 

--edit-

 

It took me about half an hour to discover that the reason the R77 wasn't accepting my SSH password was because I was trying to login as myself instead of root. /facepalm

 

 

Nice, that makes you the third known person to get SSH access to the device working ;) Could you send me the output of dmesg and lsmod on the device? I'll then update the README accordingly.

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Can not be hot-plugged with current firmware.

 

Whether hotplugging works or not depends on how the driver interfaces with the evdev subsystem of Linux. Tbh, I am surprised that hotplug works for any device at all.

 

The deeper issue is that the R77 does not run udev (and most likely never will, unless anyone has the nerves to set it up). Thus, SDL2 will only scan for joystick devices on startup (and even this is a hack I had to add to the source). Any device node that belongs to a device that was plugged in after Stella has started will not be picked up by SDL2. I guess that any device that can be hotplugged uses the existing evdev device nodes instead of adding new ones.

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Done. icon_smile.gif

 

 

Thank you for the overscan option. I look forward to its release.

 

My TV does have a "Just scan" option, and it works great with my AppleTV. But since the N77 outputs 720, not 1080 and the TV (Samsung 4095DX) is a 1080 panel, the Just scan option is not available when using my N77. Without a way to reduce the overscan, Stella is pretty much unusable (can't even see the score in most games).

 

On another topic — is there a preferred location to put the ROMs so that they show up right when the system boots? Or is there a way to set the default directory where Stella looks for the ROMs? I didn't see anything in the options, and having to navigate a directory tree with a joystick makes my family less interested in using the machine.

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What was the problem?

Right paddles buttons were not functioning in Basic settings. 2 sets of paddles had same results. Player 2 and 4 could not start the ball in Breakaway or hold the ball in Warlords.

 

Binding the buttons worked in Advanced settings, but activating that caused a small cascade of other issues. Had to re-bind all aspects of each paddle control after the first power down.

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Whether hotplugging works or not depends on how the driver interfaces with the evdev subsystem of Linux. Tbh, I am surprised that hotplug works for any device at all.

 

The deeper issue is that the R77 does not run udev (and most likely never will, unless anyone has the nerves to set it up). Thus, SDL2 will only scan for joystick devices on startup (and even this is a hack I had to add to the source). Any device node that belongs to a device that was plugged in after Stella has started will not be picked up by SDL2. I guess that any device that can be hotplugged uses the existing evdev device nodes instead of adding new ones.

 

That's exactly the conclusion that I came to after checking the dev/input/* node of a device that never worked when hotplugged(and apparently I left out 'cold-boot' testing, as it isn't wireless) on the R77. It did generate a working 'js2' node(active output,) but after unplugging it, none of the compatible devices would generate working nodes.

 

During my testing this confused me, as devices that could be successfully unplugged and replugged multiple times and even swapped for each other would suddenly stop working. This was apparently due to the order in which they were tested during a single boot.

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On another topic — is there a preferred location to put the ROMs so that they show up right when the system boots? Or is there a way to set the default directory where Stella looks for the ROMs? I didn't see anything in the options, and having to navigate a directory tree with a joystick makes my family less interested in using the machine.

 

/games should work.

 

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