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MiSTer FPGA - 7800 Core

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1 minute ago, youxia said:

I recommend https://misterfpga.co.uk/ for add-ons. Bought there myself, all works fine, and Nathaniel is a very helpful guy.

 

Just think carefully before buying: it's very easy to overspend on MiSTer for no good reason. You can easily save a lot of money by not buying the I/O and USB boards, which are not really needed. Even 32MB SDRAM instead of 128 is a good option if you want to push it even further (it will run everything apart from some NeoGeo games).

 

This is true. There is no downside in starting minimally (just DE-10 and ram, with a cheap $4 usb hub from amazon). You can always add on the rest later if you enjoy it.

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10 hours ago, Muddyfunster said:

I'm thinking of bringing my plans forward to get a MiSTer (Instead of an NTSC 7800). 

 

Starting to look for suppliers in the UK.

Keep us up to date what you get Lewis! I've got my money waiting for a Mega65 ATM but one of these will be on my ever growing list eventually!

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4 hours ago, youxia said:

Just think carefully before buying: it's very easy to overspend on MiSTer for no good reason. You can easily save a lot of money by not buying the I/O and USB boards, which are not really needed. Even 32MB SDRAM instead of 128 is a good option if you want to push it even further (it will run everything apart from some NeoGeo games).

Yep, I started with just the DE-10 Nano and 32MB Ram.  Cut a top plate out of cardboard to mount a fan (connected the wires directly to pins on the DE-10).  Used a small USB hub I already had laying around.  Bought a $10 HDMI > VGA adapter to connect the MiSTer to a VGA CRT. 

 

The only upgrade I've done since then is the 128MB memory.  I've been waiting 2 years for a case to wow me; the upcoming MSTR case looks quite interesting.

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1 hour ago, mksmith said:

Keep us up to date what you get Lewis! I've got my money waiting for a Mega65 ATM but one of these will be on my ever growing list eventually!

Will do Matt :)

5 hours ago, Kitrinx said:

 

This is true. There is no downside in starting minimally (just DE-10 and ram, with a cheap $4 usb hub from amazon). You can always add on the rest later if you enjoy it.

Good stuff :) I'm pretty sure I'm going to enjoy tinkering with it. 

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One of the best purchasing decisions I made.  A fun mini-project to boot:

 

Items purchased:

1.  REQUIRED - DE10-Nano Kit 
 

2.  REQUIRED (Can be substituted) - MakerSpot Micro USB OTG Hub
 

3.  REQUIRED (Can be substituted) - Rii X8 Portable 2.4GHz Mini Wireless Keyboard Controller with Touchpad Mouse
 

4.  OPTIONAL - Samsung Electronics EVO Select 256GB MicroSDXC

 

5.  OPTIONAL - Mister SDRAM Extra Slim XSD v2.5 SD Board 128MB
 

6.  OPTIONAL - Vonets VAP11G-300 Wireless to Wired Ethernet dongle WiFi Bridge
[Arriving this weekend]

 

Additionally, I am utilizing an 'oldie but goodie' Saitek P880 USB Controller, though anything with USB capabilities can be leveraged - wired, wireless, Bluetooth.  After the initial setup, all selection and menu navigations can be performed with just the controller; switching cores, changing settings, rebooting, etc.

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1 hour ago, youxia said:

You should get some sort of cooling as well. I guess MiSTer will work without it as well, at least initially, but some cores (ao486 and Minimig) can make it run really hot and become unstable.

I'm using this cheap heatsink/fan combo: https://misterfpga.co.uk/product/mister-fpga-fan-and-heatsink/

I'm definitely considering it, and would have it unquestionably, if the DE-10 were in a case.  I have it positioned in a well ventilated, cool area, leaving it running for hours with varies console cores, including (but not exclusive to) PC Engine CD, Mega CD, GBA.  No issues so far, but can see how that 486 and Amiga core would be more taxing.

 

Regardless, with the benefit far outweighing the cost, I see myself obtaining something similar to what you posted, if not exactly that, sooner than later.

 

Truth be told, I didn't realize how much I would like it and sort of kicking myself for not going more all out.  Standard I/O would be real sweet for me, having both digital and analog video output.  Although I may have to acquire that as well down the road, right now, I'm relatively content.

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Biggest challenge right now for me is finding a supplier with DE10's in stock in the UK. There are a few European suppliers that I've seen offering full (but expensive) kits like this : https://ultimatemister.com/product/ultimate-mister/ . I didn't really want to spend €300 / $350 on a kit when the board is like £100.

 

The other addons and options / alternatives seem to be readily available, just not the main boards.

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1 hour ago, Trebor said:

Standard I/O would be real sweet for me, having both digital and analog video output.

A half measure can be using Direct Video for analog (my setup), and having ready configs for HDMI (you can flip through configs at boot time), though of course then you have to switch cables manually.

 

1 hour ago, Muddyfunster said:

Biggest challenge right now for me is finding a supplier with DE10's in stock in the UK.

https://www.enrgtech.co.uk/product/evaluation-boards-embedded-complex-logic-fpga-cpld/ET16484260/P0496

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9 hours ago, Trebor said:

One of the best purchasing decisions I made.  A fun mini-project to boot:

 

Items purchased:

1.  REQUIRED - DE10-Nano Kit 
 

2.  REQUIRED (Can be substituted) - MakerSpot Micro USB OTG Hub
 

3.  REQUIRED (Can be substituted) - Rii X8 Portable 2.4GHz Mini Wireless Keyboard Controller with Touchpad Mouse
 

4.  OPTIONAL - Samsung Electronics EVO Select 256GB MicroSDXC

 

5.  OPTIONAL - Mister SDRAM Extra Slim XSD v2.5 SD Board 128MB
 

6.  OPTIONAL - Vonets VAP11G-300 Wireless to Wired Ethernet dongle WiFi Bridge
[Arriving this weekend]

 

Additionally, I am utilizing an 'oldie but goodie' Saitek P880 USB Controller, though anything with USB capabilities can be leveraged - wired, wireless, Bluetooth.  After the initial setup, all selection and menu navigations can be performed with just the controller; switching cores, changing settings, rebooting, etc.

 

I'd like to point out just for the sake of clarity that while the SDRAM is technically optional, a large number of cores require it to run, including the 7800 one. However, the 32mb version of the SDRAM tends to be very cheap and will serve for most cores except CPS2 and NeoGeo which require space for very large ROMs. As for cooling, usually a cheap stick on heat sink will do. A fan is recommended, but the chip won't be damaged or anything if you don't have one. The extra cooling only adds stability for a few ambitious cores which are inherently unstable. At this point that is mostly the 486 core.

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I need to sell some stuff to be able to buy one of these!

I promised myself I'd try one a couple of years ago but no 7800 support was a bit of a deal breaker.

I'm hoping I'll like it more than raspberry pi/retro pi when I do eventually get one.

 

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3 hours ago, youxia said:

A half measure can be using Direct Video for analog (my setup), and having ready configs for HDMI (you can flip through configs at boot time), though of course then you have to switch cables manually.

 

https://www.enrgtech.co.uk/product/evaluation-boards-embedded-complex-logic-fpga-cpld/ET16484260/P0496

Thanks, but 0 stock showing unfortunately, looks like an 8 week lead time.

 

Also tried Mouser, expected stock end of July

 

Looks like a little wait until they come back in. 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Muddyfunster said:

Thanks, but 0 stock showing unfortunately, looks like an 8 week lead time.

 

Also tried Mouser, expected stock end of July

 

Looks like a little wait until they come back in. 

 

 

I looked this morning and digikey have them in stock

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Nightmare, just checked terasic themselves, $135 but also out of stock.

Hope they're not discontinued 🤔

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Just now, mimo said:

Nightmare, just checked terasic themselves, $135 but also out of stock.

Hope they're not discontinued 🤔

I did wonder that too, but a bunch of places are showing them on back order. Mouser has 2500 on back order for July.

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1 minute ago, Muddyfunster said:

I did wonder that too, but a bunch of places are showing them on back order. Mouser has 2500 on back order for July.

A quick Google didn't find anything , so fingers crossed.

I've got time to save/sell some crap in the meantime

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10 minutes ago, Muddyfunster said:

Thanks, but 0 stock showing unfortunately, looks like an 8 week lead time.

 

How bizarre. When I clicked on it, it showed 77 in stock, wouldn't post that link otherwise. But yeah, now it's 0.

 

Seems Covid hit the FPGA scene too, not only modern GPUs/retro gaming enthusiasts 😕

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I think it's just the general lack of availability of entertainment devices, due to increased demand and competition for fab capacity. Keep at it.

 

It's worth pointing out that the de10-nano is a dev kit that's subsidised to encourage development on this FPGA platform, and you're getting a very substantial discount on the hardware you're actually receiving. Some day they may remove that subsidy, or discontinue the nano entirely.

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Unpopular opinion but I opted to buy a pre-built MiSTer.   Too many vendors with too many things to ship - most out of stock on one part or another.  Plus, I didn't want to risk fugging it up.

 

No regrets.  I enjoy the few 7800 games that work with the currently available core on my Xbox One joystick.

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The low availability of DE-10 Nanos is mostly likely due to an article The Verge posted about the MiSTer project a few weeks ago. 

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1 hour ago, dmckean said:

The low availability of DE-10 Nanos is mostly likely due to an article The Verge posted about the MiSTer project a few weeks ago. 

Yes, the demand for them went through the roof after that article. Retailers weren't prepared for the surge I guess.

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8 hours ago, Gandor said:

Followed the link and it says 258 In Stock?

that must have changed in the last few hours, thanks for the heads up, I managed to snag one. 

 

It's their UK site but the item is shipping from the US, nice thing is they take care of customs and VAT so pretty good. Now I just need to get the other odds and ends.

 

{edit} seems it went from 77 to 0 to 258!

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