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 Post subject: SSDS3 Video Fix
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:12 pm 


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Joined: 10 Jan 2014
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Location: USA
Hey all,

As many of you know, TerraOnion reached out to me several months ago to help them address issue's in the video section of their SSDS3. I worked with them on a list of things that needed to be remedied for a revision, they took some of my suggestions, and left the rest out.

Well, unfortunately V2 of the SSDS3 is also plagued with various video issues, though not nearly to the extent of the 1st revision. In April, I felt like I had all of the data necessary to resolve most video errors with the usual corner-cases rearing their head. I put the project down because I don't own every permutation of the PC-E, I don't have time to do analysis for every permutation of the PC-E and ultimately, and finally I'm not being paid to do any of this.

Nonetheless, Bob of RetroRGFail talked me into releasing the half-tested/half-baked solution in kit form and reached out to the community to help me test. . Based on the data that I received, I would make changes accordingly. I can't and won't install this FU-RGB board into 2 different PC-E derivatives and say it's a "solution" without vigorously putting it through the paces. This ultimately turned out to be the best decision I could've made in this situation. I got a ton of feedback with several "before and after" screenshots, as well as some good scope data to corroborate what's visually being represented on the screen.

In the next week, I'm going to release a finished/polished bypass kit for the V2 SSDS3. It's absolutely free, and I ask that everyone just help each other with getting these things installed. There's no charge from me. I can't in good conscious charge for something that all of you already paid for. And per my conversations with TerraOnion, there is no plans of deploying a 3rd revision of the SSDS3 to address these problems directly on the board. So this parasite board that I've created is what it's going to be.

Links to download/produce the PCB will be made available both here and RetroRGB's site. In addition, Mobius Strip Tech is going to offer a fitting service. Big thanks to him as he's been a really big help to me in collecting various data over a span of different systems.
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Last edited by Voultar on Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:22 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: SSDS3 Video Fix
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:15 pm 


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Super nice, thanks. Will definitely mod my SSDS3.
Still need to install the RGB mod kit for my SuperGrafx that I just bought from you.
Keep up the good work !
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 Post subject: Re: SSDS3 Video Fix
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:36 pm 



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Voultar and I have worked very very closely (and sensually) on this. While he is primarily the brains behind this and I don't want to take any credit away where credit is due. I have been gathering as much data as I can across a myriad of consoles. We have spent the last couple weeks testing as many consoles as I could get my hands on.

Our comparison tests have primarily been against bone stock systems with no jailbar fix or recap work, however we did also test some of those just to be as thorough as we can. As Voultar can attest, I even went out and bought an OSSC just so we could get comparisons of my results from the Framemeister, OSSC, and PVM.

We went through tests with existing internal RGB boards, comparing output with and without the SSDS3 attached. We compared the output of internally modified Duo R consoles as well, again to be thorough.

Once the final revision is released, I will be mass producing the boards and also providing install services if you need it. What this means is that you will be able to easily acquire a board without having to worry about component selections, assembly, or buying more boards than you need. While this will not be free, I am going to keep the cost as low as I can while maintaining quality.

Once the final revision is released and I have the boards in hand, I will also be compiling photos and install documentation. From our testing, the results have been very promising and we attempted to cover as much as we could. That being said, there could always be that one off case where the quality just won't be as good as in other cases.

Final comment. Be aware, it is highly likely that performing this modification will be considering "voiding your warranty" and the risk of damage to the device is high in the hands of a novice. While Voultar has painstakingly worked to make this as straight-forward as possible, you can still irreversibly damage the device.
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 Post subject: Re: SSDS3 Video Fix
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:24 pm 


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Will the data and/or very descriptive details be provided? I know you're smart guys, but I personally like to know exactly what's going on (and maybe learn something from it) to know what expectations to have. I don't know if the info is scattered about on twitter but I have no idea if this will be the silver bullet that has video quality as good as an internal amp with no SSDS3 attached, takes care of 70% of the issues but will leave the super anal people a bit disappointed, or what. (my personal metric for testing is the OSSC with the LPF off since I don't own a scope or know how to use one).

I'm also most curious about results with a Core Grafx unit (since that's what I have). It seems like a lot of people are primarily using a Super Grafx which seemingly has better luck with the noise than other hardware versions. I really do appreciate your work on this and everyone else that has been investigating.

EDIT: Another thing I'd really like to know is there will be any issues/impact using the FU-RGB board when paired with a PC-Engine that already has an internal RGB amp (assuming you're not actively outputting from both at the same time)


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 Post subject: Re: SSDS3 Video Fix
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:15 pm 


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cr4zymanz0r wrote:
Will the data and/or very descriptive details be provided? I know you're smart guys, but I personally like to know exactly what's going on (and maybe learn something from it) to know what expectations to have. I don't know if the info is scattered about on twitter but I have no idea if this will be the silver bullet that has video quality as good as an internal amp with no SSDS3 attached, takes care of 70% of the issues but will leave the super anal people a bit disappointed, or what. (my personal metric for testing is the OSSC with the LPF off since I don't own a scope or know how to use one).

I'm also most curious about results with a Core Grafx unit (since that's what I have). It seems like a lot of people are primarily using a Super Grafx which seemingly has better luck with the noise than other hardware versions. I really do appreciate your work on this and everyone else that has been investigating.

EDIT: Another thing I'd really like to know is there will be any issues/impact using the FU-RGB board when paired with a PC-Engine that already has an internal RGB amp (assuming you're not actively outputting from both at the same time)



I don't have mounds of free time to dedicate to documentation. I don't mean to sound rude when I say this, but I'm not being paid for any of this by TerraOnion or anyone else. RetroRGB's site will house all of the data from the analysis, but I don't know when I'll have the time to piece everything together, or if I ever will. Direct captures and things of this nature have been done extensively and will be handled by Bob.

Please understand, there are a myriad of unique corner cases that the Super SD System 3 can not be responsible for. The motivation behind fixing the video circuitry on the SSDS3 is to mitigate and remedy problems generated by the SSDS3. As I've stated from the very beginning, your mileage may very.

I can tell you that the CGFX, SGFX, TG16, and OG PC-E were all exercised by different people. I let the data come in for weeks from a variety of different setups and configurations to establish some psuedo-definitive baselines. Ultimately, I don't have a crystal ball and I certainly can't state unequivocally that this will remedy any and all video issues that you've ever had with PC-E hardware.

Internal RGB bypass mods can absolutely have a negative impact on the video quality from the FU-RGB board. I was able to replicate the conditions of "bad video" when the FU-RGB is used in concert with an RGB modification performed internally. Internal modifications can disturb the outputs to the expansion connector and absolutely cripple video performance coming from the SSDS3.
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Last edited by Voultar on Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: SSDS3 Video Fix
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:25 pm 



Joined: 05 Dec 2012
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Voultar wrote:
RetroRGB's site will house all of the data from the analysis, but I don't know when I'll have the time to piece everything together, or if I ever will.

Same here - I put my plans for an SSDS3 review on indefinite hold, just because there are so many factors involved. As soon as the new site is up (hopefully within a few days at this point), there will be an SSDS3 page under the PCE/TG-16 section. It'll host Voultar's files, as well as general information and basic install info. I'll also link to all of FBX's audio work as well.

...but that's going to be more of a basic, "reference" page. Any in-depth review, installation guides or comparison is just impossible at this point, as I'd need a whole week and piles of PCE revisions to test. It's just too big a project and a community effort like what's been happening so far is a much better short-term solution.

Sorry.


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 Post subject: Re: SSDS3 Video Fix
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:19 pm 


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retrorgb wrote:
I'll also link to all of FBX's audio work as well.



My audio work is taking so long to finish that you might as well leave it out. I wished I could have been more a part of the testing phase on the video end, but alas I missed out on that. Still though, I'm hoping to contribute the results from my Super Grafx when I finish making a mini-DIN adapter for my SCART cable. I know the Super Grafx has already been covered in tests, but it might still be useful as another data point.
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 Post subject: Re: SSDS3 Video Fix
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:59 pm 


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Does anyone know if I screwed up the build on this FU-RGB board? The colors are WAY overblown to the point of severe clipping:

Image

And here's the color at default pre-gain on the OSSC:

Image

Here's what it should look like as in the internal bypass mod:

Image
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 Post subject: Re: SSDS3 Video Fix
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:18 pm 


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Okay so the issue was the cable. I was using the straight SCART cable designed for Voultar's V.69 internal board. So I switched to HD Retrovision cables and the colors are correct now. But guess what? Horrid diagonal noise on the Lords of Thunder opening test...
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 Post subject: Re: SSDS3 Video Fix
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:26 pm 


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Thank, Voultar! Can't wait to get this done. (Where are the IFU-RGB boards by the way?)

Is the optional LPF on the mod board comparable to the 9Mhz setting on the OSSC ?


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 Post subject: Re: SSDS3 Video Fix
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:37 pm 


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FBX - is that the latest and greatest board that is talked about in the OP, or there another final revision coming (also question to Voultar)?

I'm hoping to get on the testing bandwagon with my CGfx2 here shortly. Thank you for all the hard work fellas!


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 Post subject: Re: SSDS3 Video Fix
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:05 pm 


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So I hate to be the bad guy (once again) but here are my results with the FU-RGB board versus internal bypass with pins lifted from the video section of the SSDS3:

First up is Bonk III with internal bypass:

Spoiler: show
Image


Next up is FU-RGB output into HDR cables of the same game (Internal bypass was removed before running test):

Spoiler: show
Image


Next is Lords of Thunder opening sequence with internal mod and pins lifted. I'm told just about EVERY other method of playing this game even with legit CD hardware shows noise, but not on my setup:

Spoiler: show
Image


And the FU-RGB version:

Spoiler: show
Image



I'm sorry but as far as my setup goes with the Super Grafx and Voultar's V.69 board (and the pins lifted on the video section of the SSDS3), nothing tops it. Every game is CRYSTAL-fucking clean. Now I get the wonderful task of desoldering the SSDS3 expansion connector a 3rd time to set it back to the internal bypass isolation method.
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 Post subject: Re: SSDS3 Video Fix
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:19 pm 


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Sorry, but I thought you were going to take several screenshots. Is it just these couple?

Can you take pictures of your mod-work, as well as precisely what's in your video chain? What kind of PSU are you using, too?

We have tested a few different SuperGrafx systems. Interestingly enough, none of them have performed even as remotely as poorly as yours, so the more data we have, the better.
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 Post subject: Re: SSDS3 Video Fix
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:19 pm 



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The final revision board is not yet completed. There are additional tweaks being made to it based on the results of all the testing. Voultar has been compiling data from everyone who would provide it. I have been compiling the data from all of my testing as well, which was shared with Voultar.

I am intrigued by the issues that FirebrandX is encountering. Now that I have purchased a capture card, I will be able to take lossless photos as well. So that will provide more comparisons. Hopefully others can provide their results as well.
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 Post subject: Re: SSDS3 Video Fix
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:29 pm 


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Voultar wrote:
Sorry, but I thought you were going to take several screenshots. Is it just these couple?

Can you take pictures of your mod-work, as well as precisely what's in your video chain? What kind of PSU are you using, too?

We have tested a few different SuperGrafx systems. Interestingly enough, none of them have performed even as remotely as poorly as yours, so the more data we have, the better.


I actually had a whole plethora of pics planned, but it didn't make any sense to go beyond these two before we figure out what's going on here. Maybe it's not my Super Grafx? Maybe it's the SSDS3 or maybe some bad component in the FU_RGB board? Hell, maybe its the HDR cables?

Edit: I'll take pics of the work and detail the chain in a few.
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 Post subject: Re: SSDS3 Video Fix
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:44 pm 


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Also, what software is it that you're using to capture these?
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 Post subject: Re: SSDS3 Video Fix
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:47 pm 


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Okay here's a pic of my crappy soldering work (I was in a hurry):

Image

As bad as it looks, I checked with the multimeter and there are no shorts.

Next is the top of the SSDS3 with the video section stripped and my audio amp board installed:

Image

And here's the PSU:

Image

Video chain: SSDS3 mini-DIN to HDR Genesis cables (version AH0) >>> OSSC Component input optimally timed at 4x scale >>> E1S card >>> 8-8-8 screen dumps.


-FBX
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 Post subject: Re: SSDS3 Video Fix
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:13 am 


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It seems your solder points are very close on the sync to the red. You could be getting interference.

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 Post subject: Re: SSDS3 Video Fix
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:22 am 


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I grabbed the noisiest PC-E that I have (unmodified) and paired it with my test V2 SSDS3.


I'm unable to replicate the video distortions you're seeing in Bonk III or Lords of Thunder. The horrible Jailbars of the PC-E are glaringly obvious, but other than that the output is quite clear. There must be something else factoring into your setup. I can't possibly see how a vastly superior designed SuperGrafx can perform abysmally next to what's considered the shittiest routed PCB (white PC-E) of the 20th Century..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLTrxWKhjvA&feature=youtu.be
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 Post subject: Re: SSDS3 Video Fix
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 1:43 am 


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No worries. I really had no business wasting everyone's time with my bullshit anyway. I should have left well enough along and kept working on the audio side.

In that regard, I'm going to be taking some time off because I'm really not feeling well mentally. The Genesis sound amp boards have been shipped by OSH Park, so when those come in, I'll offer them up for sale. The Yamaha switcher is going to be really cool if it works out, so I'll be glad to do a video on that and then call it for a while. I'm sort of at a crossroads right now and have to decide where to go from here.

-FBX
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 Post subject: Re: SSDS3 Video Fix
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 2:30 am 


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Honestly, I think the noise that you're experiencing can be remedied with a few capacitors situated past the expansion connector. We should look into it as it might help others out there.
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 Post subject: Re: SSDS3 Video Fix
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 3:03 am 



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Just for sake of clarity, did you completely disconnect the internal RGB amp from your SuperGrafx? I ask because when we were testing with internally modded consoles the only way to completely eliminate the noise was to fully remove the amp connections. It could not have a single line connected to the huc6260, the expansion connector, or anything else, except the output DIN.

Basically all the input lines had to be fully disconnected.
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 Post subject: Re: SSDS3 Video Fix
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:41 am 


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Posting here, at Voultar's suggestion. I understand I'm a bit behind the 8-ball on the effort, but ready to get up to speed quickly.

Core Grafx II

All screenshots are OSSC default settings, line5x, Video In Proc LPF @ 9Mhz. OSSC output -> Elgato Camlink -> OBS capture @ Lossless (AMD R285 hardware processing), 1920x1080 @ 129Mb/s.

For the FU-RGB install, I removed the following, and simply soldered to the underside of the SSDS3 expansion connector. C12, C15, C17, C61, R12, R14, R16 and R36 are removed. There's one other resistor on the bottom of the board removed, which breaks the sync line, but the FU-RGB is now covering it and I didn't note it.

My power supply is an official Sega Genesis 1602-1.

Moving my effort forward, if I understand it correctly, I need to do the following. Please offer any advice or recommendations to get to the best possible end result (and provide the best benefit to the overall project).
1) Remove SSDS3 7374
2) Remove internal bypass mod
3) lift the pins that the FU-RGB gets soldered to, so they do not make contact with the SSDS3 PCB
4) Re-connect FU-RGB to lifted pins
5) Since FU-RGB will now be on the top of the SSDS3 PCB (instead of the bottom as shown below), connect RGB outputs to the av-out-side of the pads for R12, R14, R16 and R36 (if R36 isn't sync, don't call me dumb, I'll verify before connecting to the appropriate location for sync output).

Click through to enlarge. You can really see the noise in the gray areas at the top of each screenshot.

SSDS3 native output, with internal bypass in place:
Image

Output from CG2 Internal Bypass, with SSDS3 installed but no FU-RGB in place yet:
Image

FU-RGB w/ LPF jumpered 'on', internal mod still in place:
Image

FU-RGB w/ LPF jumpered 'off', internal mod still in place:
Image

Image
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 Post subject: Re: SSDS3 Video Fix
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:26 am 


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Mobiusstriptech wrote:
Just for sake of clarity, did you completely disconnect the internal RGB amp from your SuperGrafx? I ask because when we were testing with internally modded consoles the only way to completely eliminate the noise was to fully remove the amp connections. It could not have a single line connected to the huc6260, the expansion connector, or anything else, except the output DIN.

Basically all the input lines had to be fully disconnected.


Correct. Thankfully I'm not so retarded as to forget that step, but yes, I completely removed the internal bypass amp. I'm of the opinion that the SSDS3's noise behavior must somehow get worse depending on internal factors. It could be anything from my PSU, to needing to recap the Super Grafx, or just for some reason my SSDS3 has REALLY bad noise. I will say this as I mentioned before in the other thread: The level of noise is proximity-based, and the mini-DIN socket is THE WORST contaminated area of the SSDS3. I'd venture so far as to speculate that Voultar's FU-RGB board would work beautifully on my system if it didn't hook into that mini-DIN, but then we're back to might as well use Voultar's internal mod. I myself I'm going to switch back to it as I realized I tried to 'fix something that wasn't broken'. From what I understand in your PMs, I'm very fortunate to have a console that responds so well to Voultar's internal mod board as to show ZERO noise on the Lords of Thunder opening sequence. I'm told even official CD drive hardware shows up noise on that sequence.

By the way, badassconsoles says he found the fix to the video problems for the SSDS3. He doesn't feel like posting the fix though.
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 Post subject: Re: SSDS3 Video Fix
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:54 am 



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FBX wrote:
I actually had a whole plethora of pics planned, but it didn't make any sense to go beyond these two before we figure out what's going on here. Maybe it's not my Super Grafx? Maybe it's the SSDS3 or maybe some bad component in the FU_RGB board? Hell, maybe its the HDR cables?


Is the noise visible with generic 4:3? The OSSC optimized modes can make noise much more visible compared to generic modes. The same happens with the SNES APU revision where the digital noise is easily seen in optimized modes but is hard to see in generic mode.

Could be why other people did not notice the noise you are seeing.


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 Post subject: Re: SSDS3 Video Fix
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:21 am 


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paulb_nl wrote:
FBX wrote:
I actually had a whole plethora of pics planned, but it didn't make any sense to go beyond these two before we figure out what's going on here. Maybe it's not my Super Grafx? Maybe it's the SSDS3 or maybe some bad component in the FU_RGB board? Hell, maybe its the HDR cables?


Is the noise visible with generic 4:3? The OSSC optimized modes can make noise much more visible compared to generic modes. The same happens with the SNES APU revision where the digital noise is easily seen in optimized modes but is hard to see in generic mode.

Could be why other people did not notice the noise you are seeing.


I'll check it when I get back, but the fundamental problem with this is I LIKE optimal timing. If I can't use it because of noise, then I wouldn't be interested in using such a bypass mod in the first place. I'm sure there are others that would agree with me on this. That's not to say this is really the source of the problem, but I'll check it anyway when I get back from Colorado.
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 Post subject: Re: SSDS3 Video Fix
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 1:43 pm 



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NoAffinity wrote:
Posting here, at Voultar's suggestion. I understand I'm a bit behind the 8-ball on the effort, but ready to get up to speed quickly.

Core Grafx II

All screenshots are OSSC default settings, line5x, Video In Proc LPF @ 9Mhz. OSSC output -> Elgato Camlink -> OBS capture @ Lossless (AMD R285 hardware processing), 1920x1080 @ 129Mb/s.

For the FU-RGB install, I removed the following, and simply soldered to the underside of the SSDS3 expansion connector. C12, C15, C17, C61, R12, R14, R16 and R36 are removed. There's one other resistor on the bottom of the board removed, which breaks the sync line, but the FU-RGB is now covering it and I didn't note it.

My power supply is an official Sega Genesis 1602-1.

Moving my effort forward, if I understand it correctly, I need to do the following. Please offer any advice or recommendations to get to the best possible end result (and provide the best benefit to the overall project).
1) Remove SSDS3 7374
2) Remove internal bypass mod
3) lift the pins that the FU-RGB gets soldered to, so they do not make contact with the SSDS3 PCB
4) Re-connect FU-RGB to lifted pins
5) Since FU-RGB will now be on the top of the SSDS3 PCB (instead of the bottom as shown below), connect RGB outputs to the av-out-side of the pads for R12, R14, R16 and R36 (if R36 isn't sync, don't call me dumb, I'll verify before connecting to the appropriate location for sync output).

Click through to enlarge. You can really see the noise in the gray areas at the top of each screenshot.


Two things that are definitely going to have a seriously negative effect on your testing. Thing number 1, any internal RGB board will cause the noise to be just as bad as when the bypass is not installed. In the testing that Voultar and I did together we tested this quite a bit and all it took was having even one line connected to create the noise.

Thing number 2, and this is super important, you need to connect the 10uf, .1uf, and 75ohm resistor lower pads to ground. They are causing the composite video signal to mix with the 5v rail. This can cause all kinds of noise in any setup. This was a mistake in all of the prototype boards and I did post about it on Twitter when I found it. Take a look at the picture of FirebrandX's board and you will see the ground connection he added to the plane below the pads. Also make sure that if you happened to order one of the boards that did not have the 2 vias underneath the tantalum capacitor, you will need to add a wire to connect the analog ground to that plane as well. This can be connected to the LPF On pad.

A third thing that I would personally do but have not actually tested so I can't be 100% on it's validity in causing noise. I would remove ALL passive and active components in the video circuit they have on the board. While they might not have an actual effect on the noise, it's definitely possible considering that even having a single wire connected to an internal RGB amp can cause noise to return.
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 Post subject: Re: SSDS3 Video Fix
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 1:48 pm 



Joined: 23 Dec 2016
Posts: 56
FBX wrote:
By the way, badassconsoles says he found the fix to the video problems for the SSDS3. He doesn't feel like posting the fix though.


So far I have seen badassconsoles claim to have the fix for just about everything. I wouldn't be surprised if he also discovered cold fusion but just isn't in the mood to share right now. Now if only he could find that money he owes everyone.
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 Post subject: Re: SSDS3 Video Fix
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 1:54 pm 


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Joined: 20 Jul 2017
Posts: 295
Awesome news and many thanks to you guys for spending so much time on this.

Will it be feasible to modify the currently available version of FU-RGB to bring it up to spec with the final revision? I already have some of the PCBs so I'd prefer to do that if possible. Is it just a case of grounding those pads or is there other stuff that has been changed?


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 Post subject: Re: SSDS3 Video Fix
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 2:05 pm 



Joined: 23 Dec 2016
Posts: 56
Kez wrote:
Awesome news and many thanks to you guys for spending so much time on this.

Will it be feasible to modify the currently available version of FU-RGB to bring it up to spec with the final revision? I already have some of the PCBs so I'd prefer to do that if possible. Is it just a case of grounding those pads or is there other stuff that has been changed?


While I can't speak to the experiences of others, if you already have the boards my recommendation is to add the ground connections for those 3 pads and enable the Low Pass Filter for the ths7374. Then if you remove all of the existing video circuit, I think you will have a good time. This will not be exactly the same as the final revision but honestly from my testing it was finally useable. The final revision is going to have some more tweaks to it based on the data that was collected.

In my personal experience I tested this board on 2 separate SSDS3 devices and on more than 10 consoles. I found the results to be fantastic.
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