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Interesting. There's a Dreamcast and a Saturn case for the XU4 on thingiverse. Is the N2 the same footprint? Might make for a fun mini console project. I'll admit, my excitement for small form factor computers has waned. They don't have enough horsepower to use run-ahead latency reduction in retroarch, thus the suffer from lag (more than I care for). Does the N2 handle Run-Ahead latency reduction for NES, SNES, Genesis? I don't know if it's enabled in the RA cores for Odroid. N64, DC, and PS1 probably won't work well at all, but are of less consequence than older systems where tight controls matter.

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I'm not sure if it does or not.  My assumption would be yes.  I've never had much issue with lag and never bothered to look into it.  It uses the RetroArch system for most emulation, and it does all that stuff.  As for the footprint, if you're talking about power, it actually runs on 12v as opposed to 5v for most SBC's.  If you're talking about measurement dimensions, it is about the same length, but maybe double the width of other SBC's like the Pi and Xu4.  It's more square, and comes with a built in heat sink on the bottom.  The current OS is still buggy, and in still in beta.  If you're looking for a solid system, skip it for now.  I'm having issues with the 8bitdo dongle being unrecognized during boot up, and it occasionally loses connection.

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Pretty much what I suspected. I was thinking of trying an Intel NUC, but the better ones cost a fair penny (or perhaps an unfair penny, knowing Intel). Still, they are too big for what I have in mind. Maybe a full size console gut, but I don't have any bunked consoles. AND I'VE TRIED BUYING BROKEN...lol. I have to attempt to fix them, and apparently I'm too tenacious to give up and call it dead. Why can't you actually find a really broken console on e-bay? I should start a repair shop.

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I still really like the retro look of the original NES.  Nothing screams old like that.  So I look for broken NES's.  The funny thing is, 9 times out of 10 it's a simple fix.  They say it doesn't work, that the cartridge slot is broke or something.  There's usually just a bent or broken pin in the slot, and you can buy replacement parts for that really cheap.  But the NES is so old, nobody wants to bother fixing it.  I've got 4 now, 2 with RetroPi (using Raspberry Pi's) and 2 with TheRA (using an XU4 and eventually my N2).  I built a RetroPi for my brother using a Sega Genesis console because that was the one he wanted.  I also have a RetroPie inside an old PS1, but it's dedicated to just PlayStation games.  :)  I don't have a 3D printer, but if I did, there are some pretty nice looking "consoles" people are making.

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An interesting video. I have not heard of the DreamPi! Apparently it can be used to play Phantasy Star Online and download some DLC. I'll have to look into it as that sounds interesting.

 

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OMG just finding your post here RIP-Felix is like everything I wanted. I only have 2 final question for you when it comes to your monster set up is input lag on the lightconn to much for something like House of the Dead and have you heard of the Mclassic? If not I'd say look it up because that thing with the DCHDMI will be God! It will even up scale to 1440p while maintaining the 4x3 aspect ratio.

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On 9/17/2019 at 6:41 PM, Zombiekilldemon said:

OMG just finding your post here RIP-Felix is like everything I wanted. I only have 2 final question for you when it comes to your monster set up is input lag on the lightconn to much for something like House of the Dead and have you heard of the Mclassic? If not I'd say look it up because that thing with the DCHDMI will be God! It will even up scale to 1440p while maintaining the 4x3 aspect ratio.

Lol...thanks man! I'm glad my struggles to piece this together helped you out.

To answer your first question, I haven't tested the Gunconn out that much yet. It does work if you're standing far enough back. I just got a wide angle lens in and have yet to custom print a 3D mount for it. However, the lens should increase the field of view on the IR sensor allowing it to work in my game room. I'm guessing it will distort the aiming calculation causing accuracy to suffer, but that's something I'll test when I get to it. As for the tracking/lag. Chris confirmed he harvests the IR sensor out of Nintendo Wiimotes. So it's basically the same level of responsiveness you can expect from lightgun games on the Wii. I imagine that it's very similar in performance to an Ultimark Aimtrack which uses basically the same tech.

As for the marseille mCalssic, I agree with most of the sentiments others have expressed on the SHMUPS forums, but I don't see it as being completely useless. My main complaint with my mCable Gaming Edition is that it stretches everything to 16:9, even 4:3 content, and I can't stretch it back with my TV's aspect/zoom button because it rudely things It's already in the best mode (stay away from VIZIO). mClassic's retro mode fixes that! So that does entice me to give it another try. I have some real issues with it however:

Spoiler
  1. You will NOT get 4K upscaling on anything but bluray movies. It only supports 1080p24 --> 4k24. Games run at 50/60Hz. Their advertizing doesn't make this abundantly clear from their website. In fact they try to obfuscate this fact and imply it upscales games to 4k as well. Unless you understand industry terms and look closely at their technical details page showing the resolution in/out chart, you come away with that impression. That's not a mistake, it's an intentionally deceitful marketing tactic I absolutely despise. Moreover, the 4K upscale in blurays isn't seamless either. I have noticed artifacting in The Martian which was really distracting, basically ruined one scene. I haven't used it extensively, but did like it for use on my PS3. 720p consoles is what this was designed for and It works okay for PS3/4 and XBOX360/one. So I can see someone why buys an mClassic being able to find a use for it. It's just not the miracle I wanted.
  2. You can NOT turn off the image "enhancments" separatly from the upscaling and Antialiasing. The artificial sharpening causes ringing, and the contrast adjustment crushes darks to black. These fake a more vibrant and sharp picture, but actually result in loss of detail. If you know what to look for this may bother you (like me). If not, you may actually like the changes (most untrained observers do).
  3. In order to utilize it your device MUST already have HDMI output. Either it can do this natively (PS3/4, XBOX360+, DVD player or whatever) or you need another device to convert the analog signal to at least 480p via HDMI. To avoid lag, you need to stay away from cheap composite to HDMI adapters sold on amazon for $20-30. They add lag like crazy. I wouldn't recommend anything less than a RetroTink2x. That gets you from 240p/480i --> 480p, without lag or loss of signal/detail (you may not like the bob deinterlace, but its pretty good IMO, and it's fast). If you already have a retrotink2x, then you could use the mClassic to bump the upscale the rest of the way to 1080p or 1440p (if your display supports it). However, $200 for that combo is more than an OSSC. So unless you already have a RetroTink2x, it's cheaper to just get the OSSC to start with. The OSSC gets you to 960p/1080p respectively (if your TV supports it, not a given as my VIZIO doesn't accept 960p). The OSSC also doesn't do any kind of contrast, artificial sharpening or whatever enhancements the mClassic does. This yields the best signal  quality possible with high quality cables (RGB Scart or component, if your console/mod supports it). IMO this looks better than my mCable gaming edition going from 480p all the way to 1080p. The Antialiasing undoes what you gain by using higher quality cables/connections. It softens the edges too much, making the output look more like composite again - lagless composite sure, but smeared puke regardless. However, 960p-->1080p with the mCable looks pretty good. Not too much AA. The only thing is that it stretches everything to 16:9. On my Dreamcast, outputting 960p via the DCHDMI mod, I thought it might be a good use case for the mClassic. It'll stretch to 4:3 in retro mode, instead of 16:9. Unfortunately, the DC is a DTV VGA aspect, not 4:3. So 4:3 would look slightly thin. This is more acceptable though. I think the one use case that might redeem this product is with the Gamecube --[480p]--> OSSC via the Component cables --[960p]--> mClassic --[1080p or 1440p)--> TV. Taking 960p off the OSSC to 1080p or 1440p via the mClassic could be the right amount of AA. 

EDIT: I just learned about the RAD2x (Retro Analog to Digital 2x) upscaler by the same creator as the RetroTink. I'm planning to get the Nintendo Multi Out version, which is compatible with all Nintendo consoles that support the multi out video port (AV Famicom, SNES, N64, and GameCube). It uses RGB if available and composite if not, then converts to 480p over HDMI. It also has it's own anitalasing filter switch. It does not apply any video enhancements. This could work well with the mClassic, which I just backed. I'll try it out and see if my opinion changes on Dreamcast. 1440p is intriguing.

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Okay, I tested the lens today and have updated PART 2 with my conclusions having played with the lightgun for awhile. I also updated the part about the Dreamconn+ blutooth controller.

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Hello RIP-Felix, am glad that i found your post here as I have a very similar, project. It all started with buying a 30 USD pound cable just so I can play sega rally again and ended up with have having 3 DC consoles with almost every mod except an original GDEMU as I could only find clones online and am on the edge of getting dreamport. Although I am some kind reluctant after reading your review. 

I was planning to get the dreamport for two reason 1- the console looks better without controllers connected specially after adding RGB lights to the controller ports and a custom shell. 2 - Being able to turn on an off the console remotely. However, after learning about the input lag and the 2-3 seconds disconnection issues I Am kinda putting this on hold. would you buy it again after knowing those issues?

Thanks

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Though to answer. It's not as reliable as a wired connection. So I plug in when I care. I had a friend over a week or so back and we were playing a bunch of multiplayer titles. He was wired and I had the Dreamconn+. He was beating me in power stone and chuchu rocket. I was holding my own in propeller arena. I didn't notice the lag too much in the heat of battle, but I did lose connection once or twice when someone was standing in the line of sight. I enjoy it in a casual gaming setting. If thing get serious or I got tired of losing, I can just plug in.

I'm not really sure what causes the 2 second drop outs on my unit. They are pretty annoying in certain circumstances. Other times it's not a big deal. Hard to say if the downsides are not worth the price premium. At the price Chris asks I feel the device has to be perfect. But that's not reasonable, nothing is...

Ok, let me put it this way. I don't feel like I wasted my money. I do feel like I over spent it. I wish it was perfect, but can't expect it to be. I use it a lot, but if it bothers me, I change back to a wired controller. Would I buy another Dreamconn+? Not at that price. 1 yes, another no.

As for the dreamport, it's a nice upgrade simply for the ease of turning on/off the console. Cool, but not perfect either. I feel best about the dreamcon and port. The gun on is probably not worth the price, but works with some consideration of the limitations.

I can advise you to choose carefully how much you want the wireless. Manage your expectations, but don't hold the limitations against the devices. The price is the only reason I'm apprehensive to give a clear recommendation. They're right at the limit I feel anyone not rolling in money would be willing to pay. So you might be disappointed unless you made the decision to buy knowing the limitations. That's why I put so much effort into being honest in my review.

Hope that helps.

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Thank you so much for the replay. From what you said the best conclusion is to skip the dreamport. Yes it’s remarkable but still unfinished and still needs some work to be done. 

however, if I don’t get I’ll spend a lot of time and money looking for matching controllers (Japanese clear black or red) and I’ll end up buying the dreamport it anyway.

but it’s good to know the issues before buying. Am also not expecting anything good from retro bit. Dreamconn is as close it’s it’s gets to the original. 

In addition, the Dreamcast wouldn’t be an ultimate Dreamcast without this mod. But so far out of all the reviewers and website promoting everything (including the useless mclassic) you are the only one who reviewed the dreamport and you did it throughly.

 

9BF71B6F-4495-4909-9602-1EB470D4F42C.jpeg

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1 hour ago, ra2ed said:

Thank you so much for the replay. From what you said the best conclusion is to skip the dreamport. Yes it’s remarkable but still unfinished and still needs some work to be done. however, if I don’t get I’ll spend a lot of time and money looking for matching controllers (Japanese clear black or red) and I’ll end up buying the dreamport it anyway. but it’s good to know the issues before buying. Am also not expecting anything good from retro bit. Dreamconn is as close it’s it’s gets to the original. In addition, the Dreamcast wouldn’t be an ultimate Dreamcast without this mod. But so far out of all the reviewers and website promoting everything (including the useless mclassic) you are the only one who reviewed the dreamport and you did it throughly.

Felix purrs when you stroke his ego!  I appreciate your kind words and am glad I was able to help you make an informed decision. Sounds like you got the modding bug too. Yeah you can send a lot chasing cases, mod boards, and soldering it all together, but for me that's the fun. Sharing it here is too I guess. And of course, playing the games!

At last check RetroBit's wireless DC controller hasn't officially been canceled, but they wont confirm the existence of a working prototype (yet). I would think they'd say if they did. So, IMO they are nowhere close to having a product. That means the DreamConn+ is currently the only wireless DC controller, at least on the immediate horizon. All we've seen from Retrobit is an empty box and a "we want to make one someday" kind of promise. At least Chris has an actual product you can buy. And he's a solid dude.

My Dreamport did need a bodge wire to work properly with my clone GDemu, but it was designed to work with the official, so I can't hold that against it too much. Chris replicated the issue and had a fix for me the next day. I expect Chris will implement the design change as soon as possible and then it'll be a finished product. Of course, if you have an official GDemu you don't have to worry. Plus you can benefit from official GDemu updates, unlike the clones.

Mcalssic - Well I don't like to hate on devices that could appeal to someone. I have tried to think about who that would be and have decided it's someone who HATES aliasing (jaggies). Feed it 480p and it does indeed soften the edges. It's HDMI compliant, so it doesn't much care for the OSSC's off spec brand of 720p, 960p, or 1080p. You get garbley gook. It will work with the OSSC's 480p, but why use that when you can cut out the mClassic and go higher? This is for the person with a RetroTink2x, or another device that takes 240p/480i and outputs 480p, but does not go further or add antialiasing that they want. If you like sharp pixels, it's definitely not for you! It makes the screen look like slightly better than composite and does it lag free. That sounds terrible unless you hate jaggies. Also, most untrained eyes will probably prefer the trade off of crushing dark detail to black to increase color saturation (appears more vibrant). Trained eyes will hate it. And the ringing artifacts due to artificial artifacts is present as well. Again something untrained eyes prefer and trained hate. My guess is that it's for the majority of users wanting to get into retro gaming on modern TV's, but don't like jaggies, and don't want to spend too much. Honestly, I don't really think it's worth it. I got mine and put it through it's paces. I don't think I'll use it.

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