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 Post subject: Re: Mega SD
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 12:53 am 


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I should add that the PAL MegaDrive have the same noise issues as the US NTSC. Only the Japanese MegaDives are not riddled with power rail noise problems.
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 Post subject: Re: Mega SD
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 1:16 am 



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Mobiusstriptech wrote:
I should add that the PAL MegaDrive have the same noise issues as the US NTSC. Only the Japanese MegaDives are not riddled with power rail noise problems.
Given your findings, would it be best to use a Mega SG + Mega SD vs an original USA Genesis (any revision)?


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 Post subject: Re: Mega SD
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:17 am 


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If the noise is something you can actually hear and it bothers you, then the MegaSG or the Japanese MD1 is a solid choice. If you are using a US console, the Genesis 1 is a better choice than the Genesis 2. The Genesis 2 has always been known for having subpar video and audio compared to the Genesis 1. While part of that is the circuit choices, eliminating the YM2612 on some revisions for example. You also have significant interference in the lines.
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 Post subject: Re: Mega SD
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:30 am 



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Mobiusstriptech wrote:
If the noise is something you can actually hear and it bothers you, then the MegaSG or the Japanese MD1 is a solid choice. If you are using a US console, the Genesis 1 is a better choice than the Genesis 2. The Genesis 2 has always been known for having subpar video and audio compared to the Genesis 1. While part of that is the circuit choices, eliminating the YM2612 on some revisions for example. You also have significant interference in the lines.
Ok thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: Mega SD
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:06 am 


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Keep in mind, this SD access noise is no worse than what has been evident on the Mega Everdrive for years. If you didn't hear it on the Mega Everdrive, then it's probably because you weren't trying to find something wrong with it. We accepted the noise on those or just never noticed it. Right now, this "community" is falling into an unconscious, and in some cases conscious, negative bias. We want to find something wrong with it to feel vindication over what happened with the previous product.

The problem is, this time around TerraOnion did exactly what everyone said to do, consult with people who are considered experts. No I am not including myself as I had nothing to do with the audio circuitry design, nor would I have considered myself an expert on it. As a "community" we are ready to go with our pitchforks despite them trying to learn from a mistake and do the right thing.

I am completely open and honest about my thoughts in regards to the prior handling of the SSDS3. I had no issue saying things that were negative about that situation because it was genuinely a bad one that could have been avoided.

Honestly I find the reaction by the "community" over this product to be extremely disheartening. All the people mad about the shipping time/costs, once DHL finally takes over you get the cart in a day or two. If they didn't send out the initial tracking number people would complain that it wasn't available. I know this because that is literally what is happening now. I saw a post on the TO forums from someone angry that they just placed an order in the last week and they don't have a tracking number yet.

If you don't like the shipping time I have 1 two part question. Did you ever order from Krikzz directly, when he still sold direct? If so, how long did it take to get it? I can tell you from my personal experience my shortest wait was a month. My longest wait was 4 months. Yet we accept this as a group and tell other people to just chill and be patient because you will get it.

I'm honestly not even going to touch on the whole VAT/Taxes thing because I feel I have ranted enough and I don't need that kind of stress in my life.

My point to this whole thing is why can't we as a group, as a REAL community actually look at what is before us and be excited and actually give it a chance? I was right with everyone on being skeptical. That moment changed as soon as I had this thing in my hands. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be playing Sega CD games on a Nomad or Genesis 3 without some convoluted hacked up mess. We have a chance before us to do things that we likely never dreamed possible, I know I didn't, and we want to punish the people who made it possible because of something that happened in the past that they actually learned from? I'm sorry, I don't get it.

My rant has ended. Feel free to leave a thumbs down and nasty comment about me being an ass kisser below.
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 Post subject: Re: Mega SD
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:35 am 



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I suppose I should include myself among the consciously negatively biased, but I just feel too burned by the company to have a different attitude. First I got burned with an earlier SSDS3 that had all sorts of flaws and required additional mods, instead of dealing with that I sold it to recover most of what I paid but not all. Then I trusted the word that the latest revision solved all problems, only to discover that I needed to spend $400 on a SuperGrafx that I wouldn't have cared for its exclusive 5-game library simply because that turned out to be the only console free of SD card noise. I thought that would be the end of it, only to discover that 3 out of the next 5 games I tried to play had glitches that had been reported to TO since last year, if not earlier. At this point even Madnafen is more accurate than a real console with the SSDS3. That's when I gave up and sold both the SSDS3 and the SuperGrafx. I'll just have to wait for the Mister to do CD games, hope I can find a good Duo console, or just emulate the system and be done with it.

And now it turns out, unsurprisingly, that this product also requires specific console models to avoid (or perhaps minimize) SD card noise. That's a clear pattern already. What about all the people who have the "bad" models again? Now they have to go and hunt for the right consoles. There's also glitches being found, and unlike the SSDS3 more than just the optical drive is being emulated so there's even more room for error.

Maybe the Mega Everdrive has similar noise, I'd have to hear both to say for sure, but the kind of noise I heard even on the latest SSDS3 on the wrong console (i.e. all of them except the SGX) is something way above whatever I've heard from any other flashcart.

And at least the PC Engine library is much bigger and stronger than the Sega CD's, so why even bother risk getting burnt in the same way as with the SSDS3 for less?

Now that's the end of my rant.


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 Post subject: Re: Mega SD
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:43 am 


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You are right it's a clear pattern. It's a pattern that the 20-30 year old consoles we enjoyed as children didn't worry about signal isolation. The cart isn't producing the noise, the system is. If you can take the same cart and put it in another system and lose the noise, then that tells you it's not the cart.
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 Post subject: Re: Mega SD
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:37 am 


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Because I believe in providing proof to my statements. Here's a blind test using the MegaSD, Mega Everdrive X7, and an Original Cart. Please feel free to tell me which one has the worst SD Access noise.

All 3 of these are tested with the exact same conditions and recording settings. The only difference is the cart being tested. Video is captured through an OSSC (line 3x generic 4:3) into a Datapath E1S directly. Audio is captured directly out of the Retro-Access coaxial shielded SCART cable, into a Voultar SCART to BNC breakout, then directly into a Lexicon Alpha audio capture device.

The unit in test is a Nomad equipped with a prototype Triple Bypass. Unit has all original capacitors and is stock other than the Triple Bypass. Power is supplied by a RetroGameCave Trio M2 plugged into a power line conditioned outlet on its own isolated circuit within my shop. Sonic 2 was chosen as an easily identifiable audio track that can be played from all 3 carts in a fair and unbiased manner. Meaning no additional enhancements could be applied.

Nomad Triple Bypass Blind Test 1
https://youtu.be/HiHbdN6U5Ro

Nomad Triple Bypass Blind Test 2
https://youtu.be/krGnrFMnGLE

Nomad Triple Bypass Blind Test 3
https://youtu.be/eiHukO7tbWo
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 Post subject: Re: Mega SD
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 5:36 am 


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I really don’t want make a big deal about the noise thing. I switched to my ntsc gen 1 and the noise is massively reduced. The noise is similar to that on an everdrive and I can confirm that my genesis 2 was the culprit. It is now more like the everdrive, however the difference with the everdrive compared to the mega sd is that everdrive loads a rom in a second and that’s its job done. The nature of cd emulation means that the read access noise happens far more regularly. It’s the price of using old hardware and that’s the end of it.

I got the redump set now and snatcher audio is perfect. Get the good set guys!

The sonic cd issue remains with a part of the start of the title track and the act 1 music cut off. Japanese sonic cd, the first thing I hear is the ‘Woo, yeaaaaah!’ And not the leadup to that. Can someone else test that? It only happens on act 1 and clears up after that


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 Post subject: Re: Mega SD
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 5:50 am 


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Most of my Nomad Triple Bypass captures are Sonic CD (J). Just the opening demo track. You can listen to them on the YouTube channel if that is any help.
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 Post subject: Re: Mega SD
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:14 am 


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Mobiusstriptech wrote:

Nomad Triple Bypass Blind Test 1
https://youtu.be/HiHbdN6U5Ro

Nomad Triple Bypass Blind Test 2
https://youtu.be/krGnrFMnGLE

Nomad Triple Bypass Blind Test 3
https://youtu.be/eiHukO7tbWo


My own review analysis of the noise floor on these tracks:

1. Least amount of noise. Likely the original cart I'm guessing.

2. Just a HAIR more noise.

3. Has clearly audible noise in the silent parts.
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 Post subject: Re: Mega SD
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:21 am 


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fernan1234 wrote:

And now it turns out, unsurprisingly, that this product also requires specific console models to avoid (or perhaps minimize) SD card noise. That's a clear pattern already. What about all the people who have the "bad" models again? Now they have to go and hunt for the right consoles.



Like Mobius stated, noise being changed due to the console revision is NOT something you can fix on the flashcart. The only way around that is to have a complete separate power supply wall wart for the flashcart itself, and lets face it, people would bitch to high heaven over a flashcart needing its own PSU.

As I mentioned before, TO actually held off on releasing the MegaSD for many weeks to specifically address SD access noise. They hired 4 different EEs to work on it, and tried many board revisions before realizing they could NOT get it any lower without a separate PSU, which again, would be a total negative to the convenience of the device. You wouldn't be able to use it on a Nomad at all unless you had access to a power socket.
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 Post subject: Re: Mega SD
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 12:15 pm 



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That is a reasonable argument for the "inevitability" of SD card noise on specific models. It makes sense to see it as an unfortunate consequence of dealing with original hardware and flashcarts. I apologize if I was too negative, but I felt inflamed by the suggestion that, sure, we may have been screwed over in multiple ways with the previous TO product before, but this one is different! Because the pattern emerging is too similar and revives bad old and recent memories with the earlier product. Two points to expand upon.

-On the other hand, is the noise problem really inevitable? Assuming it really can't be helped with SD cards, wouldn't it be possible to take the lesson from the SSDS3 or when testing MegaSD, and use a different design, one that doesn't involve SD cards at all? How about using a USB connector instead and have users connect USB drives to it? Perhaps that requires more power? I'm sure that can be worked around too, either requiring external power to the device or to the drive. Sure, it's less convenient, but dealing with one extra cable sounds like a good tradeoff for not having to worry about access noise on any console model. It doesn't matter how much work went into the engineering if the initial concept of using SD cards is flawed in the case of these old consoles that constantly read a game image (unlike ROMs). Or could offer both SD and USB connections like the PSIO does. The UGX found a way to not have noise even for the noisier PCE. Point is, this kind of problem can be fixed.

-I did get something wrong about the SSDS3 though, it does emulate something more than the optical drive, it emulates the Arcade Card. And that emulation is not completely accurate and leads to glitches. The last game I tried to play on the SSDS3 was an arcade-enhanced game (Popful Mail), found a glitch and went to report it last month, and then realized it had been reported already since April 2018. Neodev's reply didn't seem to indicate that this had really been debugged all this time. Ironically, the cool feature of emulating Arcade Card locks you out of using a real one to bypass the glitches. Sounds familiar? The record is just not good. Like with the SSDS3 where people played Rondo of Blood and Sapphire, loaded up the first minute of random games and called it perfect, here people are running Sonic CD, Lunar, etc. and thinking that this is fantastic. But there is even more stuff being emulated, and as soon as serious users start digging into the less common games it should not be surprising to find similar issues, given the track record. But who knows? Now things will surely be different, and both the SSDS3 and MegaSD glitches will be addressed promptly and adequately?


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 Post subject: Re: Mega SD
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 12:31 pm 


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Mobiusstriptech wrote:
Keep in mind, this SD access noise is no worse than what has been evident on the Mega Everdrive for years. If you didn't hear it on the Mega Everdrive, then it's probably because you weren't trying to find something wrong with it. We accepted the noise on those or just never noticed it. Right now, this "community" is falling into an unconscious, and in some cases conscious, negative bias. We want to find something wrong with it to feel vindication over what happened with the previous product.

The problem is, this time around TerraOnion did exactly what everyone said to do, consult with people who are considered experts. No I am not including myself as I had nothing to do with the audio circuitry design, nor would I have considered myself an expert on it. As a "community" we are ready to go with our pitchforks despite them trying to learn from a mistake and do the right thing.

But they clearly didn't learn from their mistake of not honestly communicating with their customers. Why the deception about the Mega SD's limitations? Why the deception about moving the company to Andorra?

Mobiusstriptech wrote:
I am completely open and honest about my thoughts in regards to the prior handling of the SSDS3. I had no issue saying things that were negative about that situation because it was genuinely a bad one that could have been avoided.

Prior handling of the SSDS3? What about their continued handling of the SSDS3? There are several documented issues with specific games. The UI is borderline unusable. Just releasing an updated SSDS3 firmware with a readable UI font would go a long way to showing me Terraonion has learned from their mistakes.

Mobiusstriptech wrote:
Honestly I find the reaction by the "community" over this product to be extremely disheartening. All the people mad about the shipping time/costs, once DHL finally takes over you get the cart in a day or two. If they didn't send out the initial tracking number people would complain that it wasn't available. I know this because that is literally what is happening now. I saw a post on the TO forums from someone angry that they just placed an order in the last week and they don't have a tracking number yet.

Maybe don't accept orders until you are able to fulfill them in a timely manner?

Mobiusstriptech wrote:
If you don't like the shipping time I have 1 two part question. Did you ever order from Krikzz directly, when he still sold direct? If so, how long did it take to get it? I can tell you from my personal experience my shortest wait was a month. My longest wait was 4 months. Yet we accept this as a group and tell other people to just chill and be patient because you will get it.

Yes I purchased directly from Krikzz many years ago. You are comparing apples and oranges. Krikzz presents himself as an independent one man operation who designs and sells hand built hobby projects. Terraonion presents themselves as a professional corporation who sells finished high quality, meticulously engineered products (and their prices reflect this).

Mobiusstriptech wrote:
My point to this whole thing is why can't we as a group, as a REAL community actually look at what is before us and be excited and actually give it a chance? I was right with everyone on being skeptical. That moment changed as soon as I had this thing in my hands. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be playing Sega CD games on a Nomad or Genesis 3 without some convoluted hacked up mess. We have a chance before us to do things that we likely never dreamed possible, I know I didn't, and we want to punish the people who made it possible because of something that happened in the past that they actually learned from? I'm sorry, I don't get it.
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 Post subject: Re: Mega SD
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 1:07 pm 



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the Goat wrote:
Terraonion presents themselves as a professional corporation who sells finished high quality, meticulously engineered products (and their prices reflect this).


Yes, this is an important point to consider. I get FBX's point about an external PSU, but for the price charged, and for all the supposedly rigorous engineering, why not offer options to users? Then no one would bitch to heaven, at least for this problem (even though the original devices these flashcarts replace also had their own power...). Could offer both the convenience factor of SD cards for those not bothered or those lucky ones that already own the "right" console model, and a USB or external PSU option for those that would want to have one less headache when using their products? It's only adding one or two more components to the board (USB connector and power connector), and can still give people the option to use the product in the way it is now. Apparently, the pure SD card model just doesn't make sense for a flashcart that is constantly accessed on these older consoles (then again, there's the UGX). Luckily it's not a problem with newer ones (PS1 and forward).


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 Post subject: Re: Mega SD
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 1:58 pm 



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the Goat wrote:
Why the deception about the Mega SD's limitations?


What limitations? We have been very transparent about any limitations or variables with using the MegaSD.
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 Post subject: Re: Mega SD
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:10 pm 


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broken wrote:
the Goat wrote:
Why the deception about the Mega SD's limitations?


What limitations? We have been very transparent about any limitations or variables with using the MegaSD.

No you have not been transparent. I have to read to forms like this one too learn details of your products and how they operate.
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 Post subject: Re: Mega SD
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:15 pm 



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Again, what specifically have we not been transparent about?

We even published the users manual on the same day we started selling the MegaSD.
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 Post subject: Re: Mega SD
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:18 pm 


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the Goat wrote:
broken wrote:
the Goat wrote:
Why the deception about the Mega SD's limitations?


What limitations? We have been very transparent about any limitations or variables with using the MegaSD.

No you have not been transparent. I have to read to forms like this one too learn details of your products and how they operate.


There is a cool fold out manual that tells you everything you need to know in order to play it on the different console models and how to set up the SD card.

If you want to know the inner workings and how it operates, I'd expect that's something you need to learn about through other channels. Similar to how Krikzz has his own forum. Or are you referring to something else?


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 Post subject: Re: Mega SD
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:30 pm 



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broken wrote:
Again, what specifically have we not been transparent about?


Perhaps it doesn't count, but one thing could be what has been discussed the past couple of days here, which perhaps you noticed, regarding variable SD read noise on different console models, which going by FBX's comment was known during development but tolerated to avoid the supposed inconvenience of adding a PSU.

This can be seen as a serious omission in information, as it affects people who don't own or don't prefer the models that behave better with the MegaSD. Could have just said during the presentation something like, "you may hear some more noise if you use the following models of the Genesis or Mega Drive..." Of course that may make your product sound less attractive, but it would be more transparent.


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 Post subject: Re: Mega SD
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:38 pm 



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Have people been living under a rock for the last 25 years? It’s common knowledge that the audio in model 2 consoles is total garbage. That’s why all these Mega amp and triple bypass mods exist.

Saying we didn’t inform people of that seems like a real stretch.
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 Post subject: Re: Mega SD
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:45 pm 


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broken wrote:
It’s common knowledge that the audio in model 2 consoles is total garbage. That’s why all these Mega amp and triple bypass mods exist.



Apparently not common enough according to all the bitching going on in this thread. And I like how because M2's have shit audio, people who own those are "unfairly screwed". Pre-VA7 M1 consoles are as common as cockroaches. If you want the best audio experience REGARDLESS of what device you use in the Genesis, people have been saying for YEARS that you have to either mod the M2 or buy an M1. It's flat out impossible to fix M2's shitty audio from the cart side. It has to be done internally.

Anyway, this thread is bullshit. I'm out.
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 Post subject: Re: Mega SD
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:54 pm 



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To me it sounds like you simply ran out of excuses a while ago, ignoring multiple suggestions regarding how this kind of noise problem can be avoided (and in other devices has been avoided) altogether. The comments above were not about sound quality of different models, but specifically SD read noise.


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 Post subject: Re: Mega SD
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:00 pm 


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I totally get hating terraonion - in fact I 100% support those who refuse to forgive them and hate them regardless of how the MegaSD or any future products preform

That being said, prattling on about the SD noise has crossed the threshold of "fucking stupid"

My everdrive has a shitload of SD access noise, it's the nature of the beast. It doesn't bother me because ROMs only load one time before gameplay. Obviously CD games on an ODE will have to seek throughout - it's the price you pay for convenience. Don't like it, buy a CD unit.


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 Post subject: Re: Mega SD
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:04 pm 



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Okay, but is it really "bullshit" or "fucking stupid" to suggest that, since you know for CD games the card will be read constantly and may cause noise all the time, the wrong approach was chosen, and you could offer other options? Or at the very least that you should disclose this when you sell the product? Is this really something unreasonable?


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 Post subject: Re: Mega SD
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:10 pm 


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fernan1234 wrote:
Okay, but is it really "bullshit" or "fucking stupid" to suggest that, since you know for CD games the card will be read constantly and may cause noise all the time, the wrong approach was chosen, and you could offer other options? Or at the very least that you should disclose this when you sell the product? Is this really something unreasonable?

I can't think of a practical alternative approach that could have been chosen

having them be more verbose about the inherent limitations of the SD based ODE certainly wouldn't have hurt, I'll give you that


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 Post subject: Re: Mega SD
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:17 pm 


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fernan1234 wrote:
The comments above were not about sound quality of different models, but specifically SD read noise.


If SD read noise is louder on a poorly designed revision console, then it IS the sound quality of different models. Do you think it's merely a coincidence that M2's just so happen to have crappy audio to begin with? Seriously?

I swore I wouldn't come back to this nonsense, but that was just too absurd to ignore.
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 Post subject: Re: Mega SD
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:20 pm 



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You guys do realize that the original Sega/Mega-CD disc access could be heard through the console audio output, right?

It’s a limitation of the Sega console.
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 Post subject: Re: Mega SD
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:28 pm 



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maxtherabbit wrote:
I can't think of a practical alternative approach that could have been chosen


A PSU sounds practical enough IMO. Again, the original CD unit had one, if you're replacing a CD unit in your setup with an externally powered ODE it should make zero difference. But maybe this downplays the huge burden of keeping a wall wart around. Personally, what stings is that this lesson was already learned with the SSDS3 and yet still the same problematic approach was taken under the sake of "convenience".

FBX wrote:
If SD read noise is louder on a poorly designed revision console, then it IS the sound quality of different models. Do you think it's merely a coincidence that M2's just so happen to have crappy audio to begin with? Seriously?


But if some users happen to be happy with, or for some crazy but personal reason prefer, the crappy sound quality of their model 2, and now they're specifically affected by louder noise from their flashcarts, isn't it a legitimate complaint?

It's more about the surprises that also happened with the SSDS3. Imagine an M2 user who had been using a CD unit, finding out about the MegaSD and getting excited, goes and sells his CD unit or puts it in storage, only to find out later that his console has an additional issue with the ODE. That's not something you should be trying to excuse, even if you had a hand in the product design.

broken wrote:
You guys do realize that the original Sega/Mega-CD disc access could be heard through the console audio output, right?

It’s a limitation of the Sega console.


A similar argument was raised in regard to the PCE CD units. The thing is, the mechanical noises come from the machine. If you don't sit close to it you won't hear it as much, and can drown it out with clean CD music turned up. The SD noise comes from your speakers, and is as loud as you like to keep your sound, there's no escaping it other than lowering the volume. It's not the same problem.


Last edited by fernan1234 on Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Mega SD
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:33 pm 



Joined: 27 Jul 2012
Posts: 110
Uh. No. I mean you can hear the cd accessing the disc/laser movement come out over the audio. I’m not talking about mechanical noises.
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