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Longhorn Mod or UAV or Both?

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Hands down UAV is better. Forget the longhorn mod

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Posted (edited)

The LHE mod is just trash honestly, the UAV is better in every way. Even the UAV's composite output is better than the LHE mod's S-video output, which is really saying something.

Edited by ApolloBoy
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I must have the Longhorn composite in my systems.  Checked out the UAV thread and wow, the differences in the color tints being output is ridiculous!  I mean good grief, I've got blues displaying as greens.  I guess I just never paid it much mind.  Yuck!!!!!

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11 hours ago, Greg2600 said:

I must have the Longhorn composite in my systems.  Checked out the UAV thread and wow, the differences in the color tints being output is ridiculous!  I mean good grief, I've got blues displaying as greens.  I guess I just never paid it much mind.  Yuck!!!!!

Green instead of blue, like the water in Rikki & Vikki for example, via composite, may occur with a UAV mod too. 

 

From the video linked above - Same UAV mod - Composite capture followed by S-Video:

1328177249_UAVComposite.thumb.PNG.51f5f6e3330b8100d3301e7be034db3b.PNG595061400_UAVS-Video.thumb.PNG.c179a432a2622b7929623b3be3c8bff6.PNG

 

The issue is with 320 mode and color artifacting

 

On some display combinations, the outcome will be green instead of blue for the water in Rikki & Vikki, and some may very well be blue instead of green, as artifact effects can vary between setups.  Leveraging S-Video takes color artifact differences out of the equation; however, any game that relies on it, can look considerably worse.  Tower Toppler is the best example of this under the 7800.  Jinks to a much lesser extent.

 

Under Rikki and Vikki, utilizing S-Video, the water is not just blue, it's blue with white 'jailbars'.  Tower Toppler is similar when S-Video is utilized, where there is a color followed by black 'jailbars' for the towers and other items.

 

Here is a setup incorporating just straight RF, and has blue water:

 

image.thumb.png.e7530496c66014a023977f890ebfd886.png

 

Note too, that it doesn't mean all blue colors appear green under Composite for 320 modes for some setups. Utilizing Rikki & Vikki again, even though there may be green water, the blue keys probably still appear blue.  It depends on how the color is utilized and what color is adjacent to it that can make the difference and likelihood of there being variance among setups due to the impact of artifacts.

 

To answer the topic question, UAV is definitely the superlative mod for the 7800 currently, but a LHE mod done right is not bad by any means.  A simple or basic composite mod is where things can get quite ugly.

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11 hours ago, Trebor said:

Green instead of blue, like the water in Rikki & Vikki for example, via composite, may occur with a UAV mod too. 

 

The issue is with 320 mode and color artifacting

 

On some display combinations, the outcome will be green instead of blue for the water in Rikki & Vikki, and some may very well be blue instead of green, as artifact effects can vary between setups.  Leveraging S-Video takes color artifact differences out of the equation; however, any game that relies on it, can look considerably worse.  Tower Toppler is the best example of this under the 7800.  Jinks to a much lesser extent.

 

Note too, that it doesn't mean all blue colors appear green under Composite for 320 modes for some setups. Utilizing Rikki & Vikki again, even though there may be green water, the blue keys probably still appear blue.  It depends on how the color is utilized and what color is adjacent to it that can make the difference and likelihood of there being variance among setups due to the impact of artifacts.

 

To answer the topic question, UAV is definitely the superlative mod for the 7800 currently, but a LHE mod done right is not bad by any means.  A simple or basic composite mod is where things can get quite ugly.

Wow, I did not know any of that.  It's not just 320 mode though, even regular old Donkey Kong has the wrong colors.  DK himself is not brown, even after adjusting the pot at best he's dark red.  And as Crossbow had shown, I can barely read the Harmony menu, there's like a purple glow that screws with the text.  Granted S-Video is always going to be sharper than Composite, but the LHE just seems muddy, and I'm willing to swap it out for the UAV in the 2600/7800.  Whether I go out and find another 7800 and hope the "green issue" goes away is probably a bit nutty.

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11 hours ago, Umberto said:

I have both, very little noticeable difference in the s-video 

The LHE seems to operate differently depending on the 7800 system itself it happens to be installed into. On my A1 series 7800 I had mine in, I had horrible color bleed and streaking from the s-video side along with noticeable jail bar like patterns on the fringing edges of the games. The composite from it looked okay, but wasn't really what I had installed it for. 

 

I've said this before, but I can tell you that at least on a CRT, the LHE in s-video looked really good! All of the issues I described with it above were not present on a CRT. But I didn't do the AV work on my 7800 to use it with a CRT then or now. The s-video issues didn't go away until I installed the magic knight and then later, the UAV. 

 

So again I'm not saying the LHE doesn't work as I've heard from plenty that it does on their systems and I don't doubt that. I'm just stating that the results I had and the results of a few other 7800s I've taken the LHEs out of to install UAVs did NOT produce similar results or even acceptable results to be honest. So at least with the UAV I know that I should get a consistent image quality across all of the 7800s it gets install into. So far, that is exactly what I've seen from all the of ones I've done over the past couple of years now.

 

 

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19 hours ago, Greg2600 said:

Wow, I did not know any of that.  It's not just 320 mode though, even regular old Donkey Kong has the wrong colors.  DK himself is not brown, even after adjusting the pot at best he's dark red.  And as Crossbow had shown, I can barely read the Harmony menu, there's like a purple glow that screws with the text.  Granted S-Video is always going to be sharper than Composite, but the LHE just seems muddy, and I'm willing to swap it out for the UAV in the 2600/7800.  Whether I go out and find another 7800 and hope the "green issue" goes away is probably a bit nutty.

Here are some captures from the LHE mod displayed on the composite input of a C1702 manufactured in 1983.  Although it's a 37 year old display, honestly, these few captures really do not provide justice for it.  It looks much better in person; especially color saturation and clarity.

 

Apologizes for the glaring moire effect (which is not present when viewed 'live'):

 

 LHE_DK1_7800.thumb.png.11ce08fd2fba95fd5ab426d8dd791f49.pngLHE_DK2_7800.png.54ea6a5dc828b53a8215b54c468b8ecc.png

 

The aperture grille seen on the output for the zoomed-in Donkey Kong of course has nothing to due with the mod, but native to the display. 

 

LHE_SPSC1_7800.thumb.png.d6b529e09768f3abedb1855119a16c6c.pngLHE_SPSC2_7800.png.cfa48bb595676638b14f1743287e7bac.png

 

Some strong reflection is present and unavoidable at the time, sorry about that.

 

Of course, it's not perfect.  However, none of the issues mentioned with Donkey Kong or the Harmony Cart have been experienced by me.  It's hard to capture how rich and brilliant the output appears.  On the other hand, one of my other systems with a simple/basic composite mod is a different story - that is relatively both muddy and dull in appearance.

 

If you have a choice, of course you want to go UAV.  However, a great deal on a Longhorn mod is nothing to sneeze at either.   I can only imagine how much better it would look on a late model CRT with digital comb filters and such.

 

-^CrossBow^- knows his stuff though.  Numerous consoles have received a mod from him with the utmost care and attention to quality.  I'm actually looking forward to having a system mod with UAV performed by him, added to my 7800 collection.  Nonetheless, I may be lucky or have the ideal setup for the LHE, but either way, I'm very happy with it.  It's worlds better than those standard/basic/simple composite mods out there.

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@Trebor those screens are a definite help in terms of making a comparison.  I'm using a 27" Sony Trinitron, but let's say our CRT's and cellphones are equal.  You're definitely getting what I'd say is a more accurate palette on the 7800 games.  Donkey Kong is brighter/redder than on mine, which is a dark brown.  I would say that the Harmony menu is legible on mine on further review.  2600 games on my 7800 seem fine, though I have to fiddle with the pot again to fix the color a bit.  On the 2600, the LHE seems on par with your results.  I don't know, what you do think? 

 

Atari 7800 LHE screens:

 

20200803-114809.jpg  20200803-114501.jpg
20200803-114428.jpg  20200803-113725.jpg  20200803-113349.jpg  20200804-171539.jpg
20200803-112923.jpg  20200803-112915.jpg

 

20200803-114551.jpg  20200804-171715.jpg
20200804-171647.jpg

 

Atari 2600 LHE screens:

 

20200804-171959.jpg  20200804-164628.jpg
20200804-164549.jpg

Edited by Greg2600

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There is typically going to be some variance among some displays for colors.  It's not necessarily hue related either.  Saturation, brightness, and contrast can all play a significant role on how colors are perceived and demonstrated. 

 

Those all look very good to me, Greg; especially the 7800 pics.  The 2600 ones look a bit duller.  Although, how and what conditions the captures were under make a difference as well.  Look at the three Donkey Kong example above.  Same console and display, but the angle, lighting, and other factors impact how the captures appear.  All three look pretty different from each other.

 

While UAV would certainly improve output even more overall, we're not taking anywhere near the leap that was made when the console went from RF to the Longhorn mod.  They'll be some improvements, but nothing drastically better utilizing Composite under a CRT.

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