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 Post subject: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 5:17 pm 


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Location: DFW area, Texas
This is a new thread to detail the currently released Firmware updates for the NESRGB board that make use of my palette improvement projects. There are two flavors of new palettes to choose from:


1. YUV-V3:

This is identical to the "natural" palette you may already be used to from the default NESRGB board selections, with the exception of 4 dark green/cyan colors being corrected using Drag's palette generator algorithms. This allowed for a consistent transition from dark the light, with faithfully reproducing the more bluish tint to these colors as the original hardware displays them. Below is an example from Mega Man 2 showing the YUV-V3 version on the left versus the original "natural" palette from the NESRGB board:

Image


2. Unsaturated-V5:

This is a more interpretive palette that attempts to reproduce the brightness/contrast levels of the original console, without over-saturated colors. It was made combining direct-capture results, manual corrections, and algorithmic corrections. Below is an example on the left compared to the "natural" NESRGB board palette on the right:

Image


The zip package contains three optional NESRGB board firmware updates as follows:

Playchoice 10 (garish) >>>>> Unsaturated-V5 >>>>> YUV-V3

Playchoice 10 (garish) >>>>> YUV-V3 >>>>> FCUX (improved)

Playchoice 10 (garish) >>>>> Unsaturated-V5 >>>>> FCUX (improved)

Here's the download:

http://www.firebrandx.com/downloads/nesrgbupdatefiles-jan30-2016.zip

And below is the project page with full details and firmware update instructions:

http://www.firebrandx.com/nespalette.html
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NES NTSC Palettes: http://www.firebrandx.com/nespalette.html


Last edited by FBX on Mon Feb 01, 2016 2:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 5:50 pm 



Joined: 10 Mar 2014
Posts: 106
Location: Toronto, Canada
Holy smokes, Tim delivers again- thank you for this update!

This is fantastic now, because between the 3 different palette permutations, anyone who's interested in either of FBX's efforts can now find a firmware update that suits their tastes. As always, awesome stuff FBX, and congratulations on your completed palettes; they're absolutely killer 8) .


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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 9:00 pm 



Joined: 04 Apr 2014
Posts: 352
Tim + FBX = win.


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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:19 pm 



Joined: 26 Dec 2015
Posts: 27
I just updated mine - great improvement =]
Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 4:10 am 


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Posts: 473
Thank you for getting a firmware made that retains the Improved palette.

When I have time soon, I'll install the firmware and mess around with it.


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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 4:50 pm 


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Location: Asheville, NC
Awesome!

I can't wait to try this out. :D

Will future NESRGB boards be shipped with default palette or update palette firmware?


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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 8:08 pm 


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RetroFixes wrote:
Awesome!

I can't wait to try this out. :D

Will future NESRGB boards be shipped with default palette or update palette firmware?



That depends on Tim, though you can always request the palettes you want installed if you order a board from him directly.
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NES NTSC Palettes: http://www.firebrandx.com/nespalette.html


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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:56 pm 



Joined: 10 Mar 2014
Posts: 106
Location: Toronto, Canada
Hey FBX, I just had my system updated with the custom firmware, and needless to say, it's awesome.

I'd just like to point out that the palette order (for the first listed iteration) is actually Playchoice 10 (garish) >>>>> Unsaturated-V5 >>>>> YUV-V3, not
Playchoice 10 (garish) >>>>> YUV-V3 >>>>> Unsaturated-V5; I guess your two palettes got switched in the actual firmware release, just pointing that out for anyone who may be confused by what they see when they update their kit due to what's laid out in this thread.


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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 1:27 am 


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The_Atomik_Punk! wrote:
Hey FBX, I just had my system updated with the custom firmware, and needless to say, it's awesome.

I'd just like to point out that the palette order (for the first listed iteration) is actually Playchoice 10 (garish) >>>>> Unsaturated-V5 >>>>> YUV-V3, not
Playchoice 10 (garish) >>>>> YUV-V3 >>>>> Unsaturated-V5; I guess your two palettes got switched in the actual firmware release, just pointing that out for anyone who may be confused by what they see when they update their kit due to what's laid out in this thread.


I thought it was just the way my toggle switch was hooked up in that I had the same order as you do. Thanks for checking on that.
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NES NTSC Palettes: http://www.firebrandx.com/nespalette.html


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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 1:52 am 


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Does that mean that the order of the palettes are different than the stock firmware?

If so, that's gonna be a problem for me, because I have my LED modded to change color based on the palette selected and I'd really like the red color (the stock color) to go with the YUV-V3 palette (the stock palette).


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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 2:08 am 



Joined: 10 Mar 2014
Posts: 106
Location: Toronto, Canada
FBX wrote:
The_Atomik_Punk! wrote:
Hey FBX, I just had my system updated with the custom firmware, and needless to say, it's awesome.

I'd just like to point out that the palette order (for the first listed iteration) is actually Playchoice 10 (garish) >>>>> Unsaturated-V5 >>>>> YUV-V3, not
Playchoice 10 (garish) >>>>> YUV-V3 >>>>> Unsaturated-V5; I guess your two palettes got switched in the actual firmware release, just pointing that out for anyone who may be confused by what they see when they update their kit due to what's laid out in this thread.


I thought it was just the way my toggle switch was hooked up in that I had the same order as you do. Thanks for checking on that.


I was talking to leonk today and it's also the same for him, so it's definitely the order that Tim placed the palettes for this firmware update; perhaps the first post in this thread should be amended so as to avoid potential confusion for people interested in your palettes?


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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 2:20 am 



Joined: 13 Mar 2011
Posts: 815
Location: Toronto, Canada
darcagn wrote:
Does that mean that the order of the palettes are different than the stock firmware?

If so, that's gonna be a problem for me, because I have my LED modded to change color based on the palette selected and I'd really like the red color (the stock color) to go with the YUV-V3 palette (the stock palette).


Just change the wire order on the NESRGB to the order you like/match your LED :)


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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 2:41 am 


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Joined: 18 Feb 2015
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Location: DFW area, Texas
The_Atomik_Punk! wrote:
FBX wrote:
The_Atomik_Punk! wrote:
Hey FBX, I just had my system updated with the custom firmware, and needless to say, it's awesome.

I'd just like to point out that the palette order (for the first listed iteration) is actually Playchoice 10 (garish) >>>>> Unsaturated-V5 >>>>> YUV-V3, not
Playchoice 10 (garish) >>>>> YUV-V3 >>>>> Unsaturated-V5; I guess your two palettes got switched in the actual firmware release, just pointing that out for anyone who may be confused by what they see when they update their kit due to what's laid out in this thread.


I thought it was just the way my toggle switch was hooked up in that I had the same order as you do. Thanks for checking on that.


I was talking to leonk today and it's also the same for him, so it's definitely the order that Tim placed the palettes for this firmware update; perhaps the first post in this thread should be amended so as to avoid potential confusion for people interested in your palettes?



Hmm well, I wonder about the other 2 flavors offered. Perhaps they are swapped too? I don't feel up to cracking my NES open and testing each one...
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NES NTSC Palettes: http://www.firebrandx.com/nespalette.html


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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 2:53 am 



Joined: 13 Mar 2011
Posts: 815
Location: Toronto, Canada
FBX: Have you noticed if the palette is swapped on your console?


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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 2:39 pm 


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leonk wrote:
FBX: Have you noticed if the palette is swapped on your console?

FBX wrote:
I thought it was just the way my toggle switch was hooked up in that I had the same order as you do. Thanks for checking on that.


Anyway, I've rewritten the file name so it reflects the correct arrangement and also updated the web page to reflect this as well (may take a few mins for the site to update).

If anyone tries one of the FCEUX flavors, please let us know if it is also swapped (as in the FCEUX palette is in switch position #2 instead of #3). Thanks!
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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:25 pm 


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Location: USA
I've had a dozen people ask me to flash their NESRGB boards with the updated palette entries.

It could become quite popular. :D
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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 11:32 pm 


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Voultar wrote:
I've had a dozen people ask me to flash their NESRGB boards with the updated palette entries.

It could become quite popular. :D


Even if it doesn't, I'm thrilled with the results myself. Just the other night I was playing Metroid and went into the left segment at the start of Norfair. On my unsaturated palette, the walls were exactly the same purple color I remember from the CRT days. So then I flicked the palette switch over to the "Natural" palette, and the walls were suddenly overblown with blue weight. It looked nothing like the original experience. Then again, I'm on an LCD display, which is much more sensitive to hue variations. But that's the whole reason I wanted the alternative Unsaturated palette in the first place.
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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 11:46 pm 


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leonk wrote:
darcagn wrote:
Does that mean that the order of the palettes are different than the stock firmware?

If so, that's gonna be a problem for me, because I have my LED modded to change color based on the palette selected and I'd really like the red color (the stock color) to go with the YUV-V3 palette (the stock palette).


Just change the wire order on the NESRGB to the order you like/match your LED :)


Oh yeah.

Duh. :lol:

(Been a few months since I did an NESRGB)


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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 11:50 pm 



Joined: 04 Apr 2014
Posts: 352
I'd like to see someone take picture comparisons off an actual crt, but I can imagine getting accurate pictures off of them is hard enough.


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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 3:55 am 



Joined: 22 Sep 2010
Posts: 60
Of the 3 firmware options:

Quote:
Playchoice 10 (garish) >>>>> Unsaturated-V5 >>>>> YUV-V3
Playchoice 10 (garish) >>>>> YUV-V3 >>>>> FCUX (improved)
Playchoice 10 (garish) >>>>> Unsaturated-V5 >>>>> FCUX (improved)


Which of these would be considered by most to be the most standard or "preferred" combination?


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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 5:38 am 



Joined: 13 Mar 2011
Posts: 815
Location: Toronto, Canada
The first one .. PC10 is for PC10 games, the other 2 are for people that want as realistic NES colors as possible. I think one looks better on CRT the other better on LCD TV.


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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 5:59 am 



Joined: 04 Apr 2014
Posts: 352
leonk wrote:
The first one .. PC10 is for PC10 games, the other 2 are for people that want as realistic NES colors as possible. I think one looks better on CRT the other better on LCD TV.

What would be the game list for the games originally intended for PC10? Looking at Wikipedia the Super Mario Bros titles, Metroid and much more were on PC10, but I can't imagine that palette being the most accurate for those titles...


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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 12:28 pm 


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Taiyaki wrote:
leonk wrote:
The first one .. PC10 is for PC10 games, the other 2 are for people that want as realistic NES colors as possible. I think one looks better on CRT the other better on LCD TV.

What would be the game list for the games originally intended for PC10? Looking at Wikipedia the Super Mario Bros titles, Metroid and much more were on PC10, but I can't imagine that palette being the most accurate for those titles...


PC10 was just an NES on a timer that increased as you put more quarters in. PC10 games are all the same as their NES counterparts. So, playing with PC10 palette is "most accurate" if you are imagining going to the arcade to try out a new game, but the other palettes are "most accurate" if you're imagining yourself at home in front of an NES ;)

The Versus System had games exclusively made for it and was played like a standard arcade, i.e. not on a timer. It also had the same PC10 color palette. So, playing with the PC10 palette can be seen as 100% accurate when playing Versus ROMs that are hacked to run on an NES. However, it's pretty much all the same franchises as NES games anyway, with more difficulty and extra modes/content... so you can still debate whether you think it's "accurate" or not.

IMO, Nintendo didn't care... it's probably not that big of a deal.


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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 1:00 pm 


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Wow, nice job!


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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 8:19 pm 



Joined: 04 Apr 2014
Posts: 352
darcagn wrote:
Taiyaki wrote:
leonk wrote:
The first one .. PC10 is for PC10 games, the other 2 are for people that want as realistic NES colors as possible. I think one looks better on CRT the other better on LCD TV.

What would be the game list for the games originally intended for PC10? Looking at Wikipedia the Super Mario Bros titles, Metroid and much more were on PC10, but I can't imagine that palette being the most accurate for those titles...


PC10 was just an NES on a timer that increased as you put more quarters in. PC10 games are all the same as their NES counterparts. So, playing with PC10 palette is "most accurate" if you are imagining going to the arcade to try out a new game, but the other palettes are "most accurate" if you're imagining yourself at home in front of an NES ;)

The Versus System had games exclusively made for it and was played like a standard arcade, i.e. not on a timer. It also had the same PC10 color palette. So, playing with the PC10 palette can be seen as 100% accurate when playing Versus ROMs that are hacked to run on an NES. However, it's pretty much all the same franchises as NES games anyway, with more difficulty and extra modes/content... so you can still debate whether you think it's "accurate" or not.

IMO, Nintendo didn't care... it's probably not that big of a deal.

This is very informative. I never played much on PC10 systems. I was still too little in the late 80's to go to the arcades, but I probably did see one a few times at family restaurants. Thanks for the info. :)


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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 2:30 pm 


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Been playing NES games for a week now with the Unsat-V5 and have been thrilled with it. It's actually renewed my nostalgia weenie for NES games, and so I played through Kid Icarus last night.

On the hardware end of things, I started trading ideas back and forth with my friend Ste, and he came up with a neat adapter board design that will making updating NESRGB boards a much easier process. So we're thinking pins that fit neatly into the NESRGB JTAG terminals, which then get rerouted on the adapter board to a 10-pin ribbon socket. Here's the bare board concept design:

Image
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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 3:35 pm 


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Ste of Ste and Nick fame?


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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 4:12 pm 



Joined: 13 Mar 2011
Posts: 815
Location: Toronto, Canada
might not be a good idea:

- In top loader installation, no space between the NESRGB and slot.
- In installations that have the component adapter, no space in front of holes. The component adapter almost sits on top of the holes!

How often do you think the firmware will need to be updated? 1.7 seems to be the final / stable version and has now been shipping for a long time. Now that your palette is also stable again not needed.

I typically solder a header into that port and have a custom ribbon cable I made that plugs into it for programming. The 1 customer that wanted to do their own future upgrades, I soldered the blaster ribbon right into the NESRGB. Now, they can open the NES, plug the adapter into the blaster and program it. No need to take apart the Front Loader to get to the NESRGB. The programming cable is sitting right there on top of the shield. :)


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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 5:13 pm 


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I really don't see the point of making a breakout PCB for that $3 Altera USB Blaster Clone..

Tim put an unpopulated header there on the JTAG.. I just solder a 90 degree header to that port and program all day long..

It takes 3 minutes to rewire the Altera's interface to accommodate the JTAG pinout there. Hell, you don't even need to hard-solder the header. I have several systems that come in for flashing, I just insert the header and hold it firmly as I flash the board.

An 'ole NESRGB board I use for troubleshooting botched installs for others.

Image
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 Post subject: Re: NESRGB New Firmware Palette Updates:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 5:45 pm 



Joined: 13 Mar 2011
Posts: 815
Location: Toronto, Canada
oh .. that is an old one. Forgot how the first few looked like. :)


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