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Dr_Dave

MiSTer: FPGA gaming

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Where did you buy the de-10 nano board from? it all seems rather confusing to me. Do you have any pics of what it looks like without the extra optional cases etc

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Here you go:

 

https://www.digikey.co.uk/products/en/development-boards-kits-programmers/evaluation-boards-embedded-complex-logic-fpga-cpld/796?k=de10-nano

 

ships from us but price includes VAT so no issues with customs.

 

I also had some discussions with Ricardo (retroshop mentioned up the thread). but decided to just buy the barebones board and pick up bits as i go along.

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17 hours ago, watusi said:

Now I'm fully operational the MISTer is amazing, it really does feel worlds apart from the PI.

 

I knew you wouldn't be disappointed!

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For those who aren't yet convinced by the MiSTer DE-10 Nano here's a very recent video highlighting some of the more demanding Neo Geo games that require the higher 128MB ram spec. They look and run fantastic .... and I'm now extremely jealous as I've heard my ram upgrade will be delayed :(

 

 

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Thanks for the suggestion, but I don't think I can justify buying a second 128mb ram as it would effectively be a waste of money. I'll make do with my experimental non-official 64mb ram for now. It's just unfortunate that my vendor has had a little setback. Still, I can wait as I have plenty to play on MiSTer as it is. I've still got to set up the newest arcade cores that I never got a chance to do last weekend. (Gun Smoke, Vulgus, Super Cobra, Tazz-mania and Gaplus (Galaga 3)).

 

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55 minutes ago, spanky debrest said:

The classic arcade core library on this is already ridiculous.

 

Can't wait to see what comes next.

 

There's too many arcade games already! I really do appreciate the arcade cores as owning arcade PCBs and a supergun setup is a very expensive hobby nowadays (it always was). I just wish the available cores were a little more to my personal taste. I've enjoyed about a quarter of the arcade cores with most games just being that bit too old for me to fully appreciate. My faves so far have been Space Invaders, Ghosts 'n' Goblins, 1943, Dig Dug, Galaga and Xevious and Commando.

 

I'd like to see arcade cores from a slightly later period, but before the CPS2 and other similar boards became the norm. I've no idea if these are being done but I'd like to see things like International Track & Field, Side Arms, R-Type, Mercs, Raiden, Rampage, Double Dragon, Shinobi, Karate Champ, Kung Fu Master .... I could go on, just my own personal wish list with a heavy slant on shmups!

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7 minutes ago, Ninja Doctor said:

When switching cores do you have to do a reflash of the fpga or is it all pretty much instant?

 

disclaimer: not 100% on how fpga chips actually work. 

It's pretty much instant, a few seconds at most! What I always do with the MiSTer though is to reboot the system via the menu before switching cores. Since I've been using a non-official 64MB sdram board for a while now I've experienced a few "niggles" when switching from one core to another without a reboot. But when I was using the official 32MB sdram I never had any issues switiching from core to core.

 

In technical terms the FPGA is flashed, or to be more precise the logic gates in the FPGA are reconfigured to mimic the system you're loading every time you load a new core. On occassion though the memory isn't fully cleared from the previous core loaded, hence why I personally reboot the system .... but even that only takes a few seconds! You certainly don't need to know how the FPGA works in order to use the MiSTer.

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22 minutes ago, shiffy said:

 

There's too many arcade games already! I really do appreciate the arcade cores as owning arcade PCBs and a supergun setup is a very expensive hobby nowadays (it always was). I just wish the available cores were a little more to my personal taste. I've enjoyed about a quarter of the arcade cores with most games just being that bit too old for me to fully appreciate. My faves so far have been Space Invaders, Ghosts 'n' Goblins, 1943, Dig Dug, Galaga and Xevious and Commando.

 

I'd like to see arcade cores from a slightly later period, but before the CPS2 and other similar boards became the norm. I've no idea if these are being done but I'd like to see things like International Track & Field, Side Arms, R-Type, Mercs, Raiden, Rampage, Double Dragon, Shinobi, Karate Champ, Kung Fu Master .... I could go on, just my own personal wish list with a heavy slant on shmups!

 

From what I understand:

 

- A WIP R-Type exists in FPGA form thanks to a Japanese dev - hopefully someone can help with completion / transfer to MiST / MiSTer 

- Double Dragon is definitely happening (Jotego picked up a PCB a while back and is confident about implementing a CPU overclock hack as well)

- Shinobi is within the realms of possibility (its sound chip has been written and confirmed to be accurate - possibly already being used on a recent core - and the demand for it is massive)

 

With Neo Geo already a thing CPS1 with your Mercs and Strider and Ghouls 'n Ghosts and SFII etc seems well within reach. It's far less complex yet similar hardware. Similarly with Shinobi - games like Fantasy Zone (and M2's Fantasy Zone 2), Alien Storm, Golden Axe should be fairly simple to port once the base work has been completed.

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On 10/10/2019 at 00:23, spanky debrest said:

 

From what I understand:

 

- A WIP R-Type exists in FPGA form thanks to a Japanese dev - hopefully someone can help with completion / transfer to MiST / MiSTer 

- Double Dragon is definitely happening (Jotego picked up a PCB a while back and is confident about implementing a CPU overclock hack as well)

- Shinobi is within the realms of possibility (its sound chip has been written and confirmed to be accurate - possibly already being used on a recent core - and the demand for it is massive)

 

With Neo Geo already a thing CPS1 with your Mercs and Strider and Ghouls 'n Ghosts and SFII etc seems well within reach. It's far less complex yet similar hardware. Similarly with Shinobi - games like Fantasy Zone (and M2's Fantasy Zone 2), Alien Storm, Golden Axe should be fairly simple to port once the base work has been completed.

 

I'd forgotten that R-Type was being worked on by. But I'd missed the fact that Double Dragon had been confirmed by Jotego, I must have missed a post or two from him somewhere down the line. That's two of my faves to look forward to!

 

The arcade side of MiSTer is now where we're going to the see the biggest gains over the coming year or two. Once the developers build up a library of "FPGA hardware components" that were common between various arcade machines (best way I can describe it for now) I think we'll see a situation where games would come thick and fast with only the logic of any given game being programmed to work the the "FPGA arcade components"

 

In terms of consoles I think we've hit the limit already in terms of what is possible, although we will see CD implemenations for the PC Engine, Neo CD and Amiga at some point ..... even the Mega CD might be possible? Given how the Neo Geo core turned out I wouldn't rule the Mega CD out entirely now . But there will certainly be refinements of all the existing cores. Anyone looking for a PS1, Saturn or N64 will be disappointed.  I know there's a proof of concept PS1 core and I'm sure I've seen a GBA core mentioned that only boots a homebrew rom but I don't think these will come to fruition. I'm sure there's a few early obscure consoles that could have cores created for them, I for one would like to see an Acetronic core (I'm showing my age a little here, it was the first console I played as a very young child) but I doubt there would be anyone interested enough to either create a core or enough people who would even use it.

 

It will be interesting to see what develops. For those who are following the MiSTer Project but who are not on Discord I'll copy a post that was recently made by Ace, one of the FPGA programmers ...... exciting times!

 

Ace10/04/2019

Oh screw it, I'm just going to spill the beans on cores I have in the pipeline (5 of these are in active development - they are in no particular order):

-Contra -Jackal -Gradius/Nemesis -Salamander/Life Force -Sega System C-2 hardware -Haunted Castle (the somewhat maligned Castlevania arcade game) -Gradius II -Gradius III -Space Harrier -OutRun -Sega X-Board (After Burner II, Thunder Blade, Super Monaco GP, etc.) -Sega Y-Board (Power Drift, Galaxy Force II, G-LOC Air Battle, etc.)

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Another weekend and we have another new core, Donkey Kong Junior this time. This and the other two cores there won't get pulled in via the updater scripts though so here's the link to the creator's repository on gihub (gaz68). I've also linked to the Mister-X repository as well as there's also a few arcade cores there that also won't be downloaded automatically with the updater.

https://github.com/gaz68

https://github.com/MrX-8B

 

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Breaking MiSTer news, straight from self-appointed leader himself! You've got to feel for those who recently splashed out on the TerraOnion Mega SD. This, along with the incoming GBA core, will certainly make the MiSTer the retro device to own in 2020 in my humble opinion.

image.thumb.png.00322013dbe821fa96bc775bdcfa9b39.png

 

 

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Great news about incoming Mega CD support but I cant see too many Mega SD owners feeling bad about shelling out for their premium flashcart myself. I mean - this probably isn't the best analogy but I doubt collectors of arcade boards feel compelled to sell on some their stuff due to the existence of perfect MiSTer recreations but it'll be interesting to observe what happens.

 

PC Engine fans might be wondering about CD support though seeing as that should be a fair bit less complicated to implement than what they've pulled off here.

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8 hours ago, spanky debrest said:

Great news about incoming Mega CD support but I cant see too many Mega SD owners feeling bad about shelling out for their premium flashcart myself. I mean - this probably isn't the best analogy but I doubt collectors of arcade boards feel compelled to sell on some their stuff due to the existence of perfect MiSTer recreations but it'll be interesting to observe what happens.

 

PC Engine fans might be wondering about CD support though seeing as that should be a fair bit less complicated to implement than what they've pulled off here.

 

Upon reflection, you're right! I wasn't too unhappy when MiSTer got Snes support only a couple of months after I bought myself an SD2SNES flash cart, and that still has 2 advantages over the MiSTer in terms of MSU-1 & BS-X support.

 

I think that now a CD system has been implemented the PCE CD won't be too far behind. Exciting times ahead.

 

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58 minutes ago, shiffy said:

 

I think that now a CD system has been implemented the PCE CD won't be too far behind. Exciting times ahead.

 

 

Gonna need a bigger SD card :)

 

My one frustration with Mister at the moment is how fragmented the arcade cores are getting. It's difficult to figure out where to put what, how to get the files, even how to set them up in some cases. Some devs seem to be diverging from the standard interface somewhat. Minor complaints, I know.

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Google for retrodriven mister updated script.  Running it in your MiSTeR will download the arcade cores with the ROMs injected, including cores not part of the official updated script.

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11 hours ago, Dr_Dave said:

 

Gonna need a bigger SD card :)

 

My one frustration with Mister at the moment is how fragmented the arcade cores are getting. It's difficult to figure out where to put what, how to get the files, even how to set them up in some cases. Some devs seem to be diverging from the standard interface somewhat. Minor complaints, I know.

 

I'm going to need a bigger card as well. I recently tried plugging a HDD into  a spare USB port on my router and seeing if the MiSTer could see it over the network (apparently the MiSTer can do this) but I couldn't get it to work no matter what I tried. That would be the way to go, maybe I need to try a NAS plugged in to the router via an RJ45 cable. Currently, a 400GB SD card is £60 on Amazon ..... I might hold out for Black Friday to see if any deals are offered. I certainly don't intend to put the entire Mega CD library on an SD card though, I'll stick to my favourite 15 - 20 games me thinks!

 

I'm not over keen on the on the way arcade games are currently being handled either, something that another MiSTer guru, Rysha, commented on recently. Admittedly, because I'm over year into ownership of the MiSTer I'm now well versed in setting these up now so if you need a hand let me know. But the way I tend to organise it is to put the RBF file into the "_ARCADE" folder, put the main rom that's built with the batch file into the "BOOTROM" folder. If there are any variants of the game I then create a folder for that game (based on the core name "a.corename" or "jt.corename" if it's a Jotego creation) which goes into the "Arcade" folder that itself now resides in the "Game" folder.  I hope that's clear.

 

My main concern at the moment is the way the userbase seems to be fragmenting with regards to the Blistter and SNAC boards. Sorgelig seems very reluctant to make these boards part of the official project, but other developers still seem to be pressing ahead with these boards by creating specific core builds to utilise these input boards. I can see this causing a lot of confusion with newer users, I just hope that the community doesn't split off into two.

 

 

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A quick heads up for those who don't know yet, the GBA core is out. For a "beta release" it's really, really good. It's played everything I've thrown at it so far. Mario Kart, Castlevania Aria Of Sorrow & Circle Of The Moon, F-Zero Maximum Velocity among others.

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1 hour ago, shiffy said:

A quick heads up for those who don't know yet, the GBA core is out. For a "beta release" it's really, really good. It's played everything I've thrown at it so far. Mario Kart, Castlevania Aria Of Sorrow & Circle Of The Moon, F-Zero Maximum Velocity among others.

 

Awesome! Some of those GBA games play really well on the big screen.

 

Also noticed Black Tiger arcade core going into beta from jotego. Amazing game.

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1 hour ago, Dr_Dave said:

 

Awesome! Some of those GBA games play really well on the big screen.

 

Also noticed Black Tiger arcade core going into beta from jotego. Amazing game.

 

Don't they just! I've spent a good 45 minutes with Hajime No Ippo, I used to love that back in the day, it was my go to game for the tube journey to work! Looks really good on the big screen. I know some of the big hitters in terms of the GBA and a few more "off the beaten path" games but I'm really going to have to look at some recommendation lists for the GBA as I'm not overly familiar with most of the library.

 

Black Tiger is a fantastic game, I remember playing it in the arcade, and I spent quite a lot of time with it on the "Capcom Arcade Cabinet" for Xbox360. To have an accurate FGPA version .... awesome stuff! Jotego has  updated all of his public cores within the last few days. I wonder what's been fixed / updated as I can't seem to find any update notes.

 

I think Mega CD core is closer than we all think, it seems "Main MiSTer" was updated yesterday to handle more than one cue per folder (multi-disc games) and zip support for Mega CD. Something that I hadn't noticed on that video I posted earlier until a friend pointed it out to me today is the audio on the FMV movie in Sonic seems to trip over itself towards the end. I think the TerrOnion Mega SD cart had some way of handling that (something to do with CD read speeds and streaming timings if I recall) so I hope that is addressed in the Mega CD core for MiSTer. Still, as this is the first CD based system I'm sure there'll be teething problems that will get ironed out in due course.

 

This kind of reminds of last year when I first got the MiSTer, there suddenly seems to be so much happening again. New arcade cores, new console cores, major updates to the Amiga core (the main reason why I got the MiSTer and it's barely getting a look in at the moment). It's the machine that keeps on giving. All I need is a 32X & PCE CD cores and I can then give up all my original retro hardware prior to the Playstation.

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Ok, i've decided to jump in and ordered a board from mouser. So what exactly do i need (128mb ram and the IO board)? do i need the usb hub and also how do i power the thing as i keep seeing pictures of splitters with round adapters etc

 

anyone recommend misterfpga.co.uk ? would rather use people in the uk

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Hi bwi. Yet another convert! How did you hear about the MiSTer? The bare minimum to get up and running is the DE10-Mini, 128MB SDRam, cheap generic USB hub, cheap shaving adapter that will take a US style plug .... more below.

 

I sure that "Watusi" above ordered some bits from MiSTerFPGA.co.uk, and I know that the rising Youtube star, Pezz82, ordered his addons from misterfpga.co.uk as well. To my knowledge, they're the only supplier who have a web store who are selling in the UK. A lot a people still use the Atari forums to buy boards as that's where a lot of builders of these components started. I don't see any reason not to use misteraddons.co.uk. Personally, I used retroshop.pt (only operates via Facebook at the moment but is in the process of setting up a web store, based in Portugal and is probably the biggest seller of boards in Europe) and MiSTeraddons.com in USA (top fella and very active in the MiSTer community). I am UK based.

 

To get the most out of the MiSTer you will definitely need the 128MB SDRAM. While there are 32MB & 64MB SDRAM boards I can't recommend getting those now. For the few extra quid the 128MB costs you might as well future-proof yourself. The I/O board is what I consider to be a "luxury item". When I first got the MiSTer quite a few cores (computer based) needed the second SD card slot that is on the I/O board. That has all changed and nothing needs that now (although futures cores still could use the secondary SD card slot .... looking at you Sharp x68000!). Also when I first got the MiSTer the I/O board was the only option if you wanted to hook the device up to a CRT or VGA monitor. Again, that has changed during 15 months or so of my ownership. I still haven't looked into this too closely but take a look at the link below to see what you need to hook up the MiSTer to a CRT using the HDMI source. There's a few quid to be saved by using this method instead of getting the I/O board. But you can get away with not having the I/O board and/or these items if you intend to use HDMI only to a modern TV. The built-in scaler is really good!

 

You could simply use a cheap generic USB hub from Amazon, which is how I initially started, and a lot of people still go down this route. With this setup I never needed any additional power. The power plug that comes with the DE10-Nano is multi-voltage so you won't need a stepdown converter but you will need a shaving adapter (travel adapter or similar) to change the supplied plug from a 2-pin USA plug to a UK 3-pin plug.

 

Don't forget that you'll need an MicroSD card. As Mega CD is right around the corner you might want to take advantage of any Black Friday deals and get the largest you can. If the Mega CD doesn't interest you then everything you could ever want (at the time of writing!) will fit comfortably on a 128GB micro SD card.

 

Although I can't do it right this minute, I'll maybe take a few pics of the components of my original setup. These days I'm rocking with a dedicated USB hub and a nice case, but for a long time I was scrimping on a few items. With the release of the Neo Geo core I realised that the MiSTer was not going to be a throwaway machine like the Rapsberry Pi's are (to a certain extent) so I wanted something that looked half respectable to sit among my gaming setup and not a bare circuit board.

 

If you need any help at all in setting up don't be afraid to ask! There are at least three experienced MiSTer users among us here!

 

 

 

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Yeah I've ordered from misterfga - that's where i got my memory from.

I've also ordered from a seller called TWINKYTWONKA on atari forums. He sells on ebay here:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/223525038478

Knock 12% off and you'll get the forums price.

 

I use the Mister with an IO Board, I have used it with a hdmi to VGA adaptor too - there's a few cores that don't support the latter still and I bought the IO board as i thought i had a bad adaptor (but that was me being stupid). The IO board is cool if you want to output HDMI and VGA at the same time. But I'd definitely consider it a luxurt. As Shift says the 128MB ram is essential.

 

The vga to scart lead is this one:

 

https://amigastore.eu/en/512-mist-scart-cable-mist-db15-f-to-scart-tv.html

https://lotharek.pl/productdetail.php?id=116

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So I've joined too.

 

Decided to stay with hdmi so I have ignored the IO board.

 

Just ordered the main board and heat sink from Digikey.

 

Ordered a USB hub from Amazon along with a Nocturn fan and thermal compound.

 

Finally got the 128mb memory expansion on ebay.

 

Total cost £206.

 

Not too bad really.

 

I don't have a case at the moment. Can anyone recommend one that would fit the board with a heat sink, fan and preferrably a 4 port hub (although that is not essential)?

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Welcome to the club AceGrace. I notice you mention thermal paste, although I can't see any disadvantages to using thermal paste (Arctic Silver I presume?) most of us are just using the thermal tape adhessive that come on the heatsinks that most addon vendors are supplying. As you haven't ordered the I/O board you will need a way to mount the fan to the De-10. There are sellers who sell a fan mounting plate for the DE-10, or order an unpopulated I/O board from misterfpga.com and mount the fan to that. I'm not sure where it would plug into the DE-10 though as personally I've only seen the fan plugged into the I/O board. I can't remember the last time I saw my DE-10 naked and can't remember the exact layout of the board.

 

I guess I could mention at this point that the fan isn't essential either. Granted, it's good to have it and it does keep the FGPA cooler which helps with the stability of one or two cores .... the Amiga comes to mind as the core that benefits most from the fan, but earlier in the year I ran the MiSTer without a fan for a good 3 months and never really saw any issues.

 

Cases for the MiSTer are still largely 3d printed affairs, the exception being the "Stormtrooper" case designed by Sorglig and sold by retroshop.pt. I have one of the early 3d printed cases and the quality of it wasn't that great if I'm to be honest. It might be worth a look here to see what people have used in terms of cases. If you have access to a 3d printer yourself you can always print your own. Most 3d printed cases you see on the link above are based on a design by Negsol on the Atari forums and the files for the case can be found here.

 

£206 sounds about right. I know that some people think it's expensive but that's only because they think of it in Raspberry Pi terms, but it really isn't when you compare cost of the MiSTer to original hardware, software collection or flashcard and an OCCS.

 

Edit: I've attached some pics of my cases inside the spoiler.

Spoiler

 

mister1.thumb.JPG.0f87a891ec79338ce5de6b9896980b78.JPGmister2.thumb.JPG.5de4d5ada6fc5469b2296d4201f9f65f.JPGmister3.thumb.JPG.bc8ca3a8b2b9ba78163b83dd3475e9f9.JPG

 

 

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That was a long read and i think i know the route im going now. Main board should be here tuesday or wednesday so get prepared for some questions.

 

Thanks to everyone who replied

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