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 Post subject: Re: Dreamcast LightGuns HORRIBLE ACCURACY
PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 6:47 am 



Joined: 02 Mar 2017
Posts: 1011
Classicgamer wrote:
Based on my experiments, I am 95% sure it is a power related issue. It happens on the Time Crisis arcade guns even when connected to an official GC2 PCB. The TC arcade guns use the same sensor as the official GC2 so, the only difference is the distance between the sensor and the I/O pcb. I found the problem gets progressively worse as distance increases.

3rd party guns usually have the sensor on the pcb like the official GC2 so they must be getting a reduced signal strength in some other way. Given the age of the hardware being discussed, the most likely source of the problem is aging caps. Doesn't explain why official unmodded Namco guns remain accurate though.

.................


I definitely think age can add it's fair share of problems....but we're talking about a sample size of 3x DC's and 5x DC Light guns (2x brand new)....not that that's huge or anything, but I have to believe that with the sheer amount of combos of DC's + Light Guns that at least ONE of them would work properly (or at the very least work noticeably better than the other...but they seem to be roughly equal).... You can also see me in one video (think it was one I posted here), where I literally having the gun touch the glass of the TV (i.e. zero distance), so that shouldn't be a factor – and it STILL wouldn't hit that bottom right spot!

Also doesn't explain how EVERY other console I try (which I have at least 2x of each), with MULTIPLE light guns per-console (for NES, Saturn, PS1, PS2, OG Xbox) – most official but 3rd party too, ALL seem to work pretty perfectly (at least let me hit those smaller targets every single time because they don't seem to jump around nearly as much)....all except for DC. I would love to get to the bottom of it, but I just think it's how it is, with the DC being noticeably less accurate than all other consoles light-gun-wise.




maxtherabbit wrote:
I did notice most of your test CRTs are Sony. I've always had particularly bad results with lightguns on aperture grille displays. They seem to really thrive on slot mask.


Nah, the majority of these tests (first initial test every time at least), and the majority of my videos I posted was done on a Panasonic shadowmask widescreen multiformat CRT, DT-M3050W. Simply because that is my one non-PC-monitor CRT which will take RGBHV/VGA direct and not need an Extron RGB to merge sync, + also works with RGBS direct as well, + does 480i and 480p natively too. Only after that do I test on the other CRT's, which you're right are mostly Sony's. The one composite test I posted a video of was on a non-Sony as well, and I've tried that on multiple different non-Sony CRT's too.


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 Post subject: Re: Dreamcast LightGuns HORRIBLE ACCURACY
PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 8:00 pm 



Joined: 11 Sep 2014
Posts: 873
It has nothing to do with the display brand or the type of mask. I have tested (and still own) dozens of light guns. I tried them on 3 different types of arcade monitor (a 25" Billabs flat crt tri-sync, a 29" Mac-vision flat tri-sync and a 25" curved Wells Gardner cga only). I tried a 27" mid 90's Sony Trinitron, a 20" Ikegami curved crt video monitor and an Nec Xm2950.

Light guns that performed poorly did so on all monitors. Accurate lights guns were also unaffected by the change.

The only differences you find when changing displays (in terms of light gun performance) is related to brightness. If the screen is too dim, a light gun won't register the shot at all (a problem that is worse towards the edge of the screen). Poor quality light guns usually have crappy lenses which let through less light so you need to turn the brightness up more to make them register. Accuracy will still suck though. Regardless.

I find it easy to believe that Sega cheaped out on components for their Dreamcast peripherals. The company was in serious decline in the Dreamcast era and pulling out of the console market was likely already being discussed in meeting rooms. They also had a habit of releasing inferior hardware revisions like the Genesis 2 (yuck).

I find it similarly easy to believe that the Chinese 3rd party light guns also used crappy components. At the least, ones that were inferior to Namco's master piece or ones from Sega and Konami's golden age.

Whatever the secret sauce is for light gun accuracy, it's on the PCB and sensor.

As a point of common sense, in the CRT era, the Sony Trinitron was easily the most popular and common brand. Everyone had one, or knew somebody who did. There is no way anyone would sell a light gun that didn't work on Sony TV's without it being heavily discussed and complained about. It wouldn't be discovered by us.


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 Post subject: Re: Dreamcast LightGuns HORRIBLE ACCURACY
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:50 am 


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Joined: 09 Aug 2017
Posts: 1285
Location: Australia
Wide screens are no good for lightguns.

As for Trinitrons I've had more than 1 that wouldnt let me shoot the bottom of the screen. They were all flat screens.


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 Post subject: Re: Dreamcast LightGuns HORRIBLE ACCURACY
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:56 pm 



Joined: 02 Mar 2017
Posts: 1011
Syntax wrote:
Wide screens are no good for lightguns.

As for Trinitrons I've had more than 1 that wouldnt let me shoot the bottom of the screen. They were all flat screens.


Widescreen MULTIFORMAT monitors, like the one I'm using, and the Sony BVM D24 and D32 for example, are perfectly fine for this. They run at the native 480p resolution, no up or downscaling (unlike most consumer widescreen CRT's), and keep the 4:3 aspect ratio of the original signal as too (well, unless you butcher it and manually make it stretch the image).

My main test monitor throughout all this has been a curved screen non-Sony CRT fyi – although it's been tested on a crapload of other CRT's as well (in both 480i and 480p).


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 Post subject: Re: Dreamcast LightGuns HORRIBLE ACCURACY
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:15 pm 



Joined: 11 Sep 2014
Posts: 873
Poor coverage of a light gun at the edges of the screen is a brightness issue and it can usually be solved by turning the contrast way up and / or replacing the cheap plastic lens with a decent glass (or decent plastic) one. It happens on any CRT, including curved ones if the brightness is insufficient for the gun.

I have 3 flat CRT's including a Trinitron. All work with light guns there is no reason for a flat crt to matter. Light guns even work with crt rear projection and CRT front projection screens if they are bright enough. My 29" Mac Vision arcade monitor is the dimmest so it is very hard to make my 3rd party guns register at the edge. Official Namco guns work just fine though.

The issue of shaky, unstable and inconsistent crosshairs, i.e. Poor accuracy is different and is not solved with more brightness or changing screen brands or screen shape or anything like that.

For anyone trying to work with a dim CRT, I highly recommended Namco's new amplified sensor pcbs. They are made to work with aging dim screens. I have one in one of my Time Crisis arcade guns and they are super reliable. They are a noticeable step up over the old sensor boards and the ones found in a GC2 (in terms of registering every shot).

The issue with widescreen CRT's is that most of them upscale which stops light guns working. They wouldn't work with on an upscaled 4:3 crt either. I think that if you were able to track down one of Sony's first 16:9 SD only crts, I bet light guns would work (in 4:3 mode).


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 Post subject: Re: Dreamcast LightGuns HORRIBLE ACCURACY
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:09 pm 


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Joined: 05 Mar 2018
Posts: 959
Classicgamer wrote:
For anyone trying to work with a dim CRT, I highly recommended Namco's new amplified sensor pcbs. They are made to work with aging dim screens. I have one in one of my Time Crisis arcade guns and they are super reliable. They are a noticeable step up over the old sensor boards and the ones found in a GC2 (in terms of registering every shot).

where would you get one? are they sold as a component?


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 Post subject: Re: Dreamcast LightGuns HORRIBLE ACCURACY
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:24 pm 



Joined: 11 Sep 2014
Posts: 873
maxtherabbit wrote:
Classicgamer wrote:
For anyone trying to work with a dim CRT, I highly recommended Namco's new amplified sensor pcbs. They are made to work with aging dim screens. I have one in one of my Time Crisis arcade guns and they are super reliable. They are a noticeable step up over the old sensor boards and the ones found in a GC2 (in terms of registering every shot).

where would you get one? are they sold as a component?


Anywhere that sells Namco arcade parts. If you live in America then SuzoHapp and Betson carry them as well as Namco America's online parts store.

https://na.suzohapp.com/products/accessories/96-0454-00

Might be worth shopping around as Namco arcade parts seem to have insane pricing. Happ wants over $760 for a complete new TC gun. You can literally buy all the parts individually (from them) for half that.

I got my one by chance. It just happened to be in the latest TC arcade gun I bought. It seems to be the replacement for the old sensor board. It uses the same 3 wire connector as the original (sensor, signal, ground) which is great as it's easy to figure how to connect it to a GC2 board. But, it uses a new type of sensor. They describe it as "new inductorless sensor design".

I have zero idea if putting one in a Dreamcast gun would result in greater accuracy but it will fix any issues with shots not registering at the edges of the screen.


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 Post subject: Re: Dreamcast LightGuns HORRIBLE ACCURACY
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 8:27 pm 



Joined: 01 Jul 2015
Posts: 147
yeah DC accuracy is definitely messed

ive played so many light games in the passed month. elemental gear bolt on ps1, vampire night/ninja assault on ps2, hotd/mechanical violator/virtua cop on saturn, and confidential mission/death crimson ox on dc.

on saturn, ps1 and ps2 (its really a ps3 running on component cables), I have zero accuracy issues. it's not 100% accurate but it is damn playable and enjoyable

but the DC? damn its fucking bad. im using 2 starfire blasters. both of them act the exact same. there seems to be some invisible margin. the aiming crosshair vanishes when pointing near the edges but while still within the screen. this margin would be on all sides and quite a few pixels. not just that but when I aim at the screen (and I mean at the center), I sometimes see the crosshair vanish or spazz out and just keep aiming between where im pointing and way to the left. it makes these games unplayable. id like to try a different gun but i was just thinking what would the chances be that two guns act the exact same way?


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 Post subject: Re: Dreamcast LightGuns HORRIBLE ACCURACY
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:38 pm 



Joined: 11 Sep 2014
Posts: 873
MidOrFeed2015 wrote:
yeah DC accuracy is definitely messed

ive played so many light games in the passed month. elemental gear bolt on ps1, vampire night/ninja assault on ps2, hotd/mechanical violator/virtua cop on saturn, and confidential mission/death crimson ox on dc.

on saturn, ps1 and ps2 (its really a ps3 running on component cables), I have zero accuracy issues. it's not 100% accurate but it is damn playable and enjoyable

but the DC? damn its fucking bad. im using 2 starfire blasters. both of them act the exact same. there seems to be some invisible margin. the aiming crosshair vanishes when pointing near the edges but while still within the screen. this margin would be on all sides and quite a few pixels. not just that but when I aim at the screen (and I mean at the center), I sometimes see the crosshair vanish or spazz out and just keep aiming between where im pointing and way to the left. it makes these games unplayable. id like to try a different gun but i was just thinking what would the chances be that two guns act the exact same way?



When the light gun crosshairs don't reach the edge of the screen, it's usually a brightness issue (I.e. Monitor needs turning up) or the gun is too far from the screen. This problem is usually worse with 3rd party light guns as they have awful lenses. It's amazing any light at all gets through some of them...

There are a few other things that make it worse too. Larger CRT's with more geometry issues seem to perform worse at the edges. I use a 25", a 19" and a 29" crt. The 25" is the sweet spot for light guns.

Also, if the monitor needs degaussing then you sometimes find a dead zone in one or more of the corners that seems to get progressively worse.

I have put off buying a Dreamcast light gun because I'd rather not play at all than use a light gun that doesn't register shots reliably. I'd rather use my TC arcade gun (wired for guncon 2) on my PC with dreamcast and Naomi emulators. I will try an official Sega Japanese gun at some point though.


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