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MiSTer: FPGA gaming


Dr_Dave
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Another custom MiSTer unit enters the fray- although this one is a Mini-ATX board:

ironclad.jpg.d1557fcb7207f5175d637de1931453b5.jpg

Feature list:
 

Quote
  • Fully compatible with any standard Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, or ATX case.
  • Modification-free. Assemble and install inside your case and you are set, just like with any standard PC motherboard.
  • All functionality of the official Analog I/O board, USB hub with seven ports, Real time clock, Tape In, and SNAC is included in a single board.
  • Compatible with ANY model of SDRAM module in the market. Space or orientation is not a problem for this.
  • Ensure the MAXIMUM analog video quality using the built in Mega Drive II video-out connector for RGB/YPbPr, not compatible with composite video or s-video. Finding very high quality SCART cables is not easy, they are never double shielded and wires are thin for space reasons, just like VGA cables, they have simply too many conductors inside a single cable. On the opposite Mega Drive II / Genesis II double shielded ultra-high quality cables are readily available from sellers like RetroGamingCables.co.uk, say good bye to “buzzing” sound and picture noise, even mid priced MDII RGB cables provide better quality than most standard SCART cables from my testing. Also this connector is far less prone to problems than SCART sockets.
  • DB9 connector User port with SNAC compatibility. Use your Genesis/MD/Atari original controller directly without adapters, SNES and other consoles adapters are available, or connect your MT32-pi, you decide.
  • Custom made user-transparent Bios controlled functions using a fast MCU to keep things fluid and seamless
  • All three MiSTer FPGA I/O buttons, “Reset”, “OSD” and “User”, are interfaced to the case “Power” single button. Depending on how many “clicks” you do, or for how long you press on the button it does one function or another. If the case also has a “Reset” button, reset functionality is also directly available on it. another duplicated “Reset”, “OSD” and “User” individual buttons are soldered directly on the board, with adjacent pin header holes in case you need them to make your dream’s build come true.
  • Additional protection for your MiSTer FPGA!. The Ironclad provides over-voltage/short-circuit/over-current protection to your beloved DE10-Nano board, it also controls power-up and power-down cycle to make it softer and safer than the usual hard switch on and off. Besides that it watches the installation has no critical mistakes, in which case it will cut the power to your DE10-Nano and flashes the led/beeps the buzzer to warn you.
  • Even more protection!. Featuring a “Smart Fan Control” the Ironclad Plus detects how hot your FPGA is running, and control the fans connected to its PWM (4-pin) headers accordingly while keeping the noise as low as possible. If temperature rises to dangerous levels, it will warn you flashing a led and turn off your DE10-nano safely if the situation continues. Setting fans speed manually is also available in 8 speed levels.
  • Internal USB port for internal storage and two USB headers for front case USB connectors.
  • Cassette audio input connector to enjoy the feeling of being loading the original stuff.
  • Compatible with internal “PC Speaker” or “piezoelectric buzzer”. Core dependant, like the Amiga one to simulate floppy access noises. The Custom BIOS also makes a nice “beep” sound when booting successfully and uses it for other warnings like thermal or boot/installation errors.
  • HDAudio standard header on board for front case audio input and amplified headphone output plus I2S audio enhancement plug-in module expansion, more information on this BELOW.
  • 24-pin ATX power supply is required or 24-pin Pico-PSU. Please always use reputable power supply brands for all your electronics.
  • Future proofing!, thanks to its detachable individual interconnects you can remove one and install an addon accessory released in the future if you prefer it, or use dual SDRAM modules if a future core needs it. The choice is yours.
  • Cleaner audio and image output, The Mini-ITX Ironclad Plus uses separate power lines to run fans and other components prone to cause electrical noise, so analog outputs are as clean as they can possibly get.

 

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Ooh that ticks a lot of boxes.  the use of Mega Drive controller and SCART is inspired for exactly the reasons they say.

 

EDIT : Reading the site their biggest problem will be they can't make nearly as many of them if that's their method.

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I'm leaving this video here as a demonstration of the X68000 core with mt32-pi support. The only reason for doing so is that in the comments is a link to a more recent build of the X68000 core than any of us have had access to. Download & enjoy, even if you don't have an MT32-pi. The scaling on this build is far better than anything I've seen & tested previously.

 

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3 minutes ago, shiffy said:

I'm leaving this video here as a demonstration of the X68000 core with mt32-pi support. The only reason for doing so is that in the comments is a link to a more recent build of the X68000 core than any of us have had access to. Download & enjoy, even if you don't have an MT32-pi. The scaling on this build is far better than anything I've seen & tested previously.

 

I need help getting that core running Steve :)

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I should add that this build seems to break Cho Ren Sha ...... a little disappointing!

 

Edit: This build while an improvement in many ways in terms of scaling the image properly, the addition of MT32-pi support & proper implementation of the JT51 soft core (YM2151 soundchip) I'm finding that quite a few games that worked on previous builds are not working in this build. Most notible are the Capcom games, itself not really an issue since we have CPS1+2. Also noticed a few crashes on games that previously didn't like Parodius & Gradius 2.

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Even more footage of the MiSTer PS1 core, the graphical glitches seen earlier appear to have already been ironed out. Amazing stuff.

 

 

Also, Patreons of Sorg (of which I am not) will have access to the "Main" file that will be updated to include the 2nd analogue stick functionality.

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1 hour ago, ulala said:

How do the patreon cores work?

 

you pay and they give you a link?

 

In Jotego's case, his beta cores come down with the update_all.sh script, and he sends a beta key by email fairly regularly. Without it, the cores have input disabled.

 

For Robert Piep (the PS1 core dev) he sends his cores by email - though anyone could go to the github and compile the latest.

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Where's the best value place to get a DE-10 these days?

 

Considering previous ordering I do for engineers at work, I'm guessing something like RS/Digikey/Mouser, but I swear I watched a video mentioning that Digikey's DE-10 came as a kit form with a couple of extra bits like a power supply and standoffs. Is it just a standard offering elsewhere as well?

 

I'm definitely interested more in consolized solutions like the ITX Ironclad above and to pick up the right SDRAM that will work for the PS1/Saturn votes before I start using it, so I don't need a complete kit immediately. Thanks in advance!

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The best place to get DE10 Nano is still Digikey or Mouser. The De10-Nano comes as a standard package wherever you buy it from. As standard it comes with a multi-voltage PSU (USA style plug), a plexiglass cover on top on the DE10+nano attached by standoffs, and an 8gb SD card that is isn't really any use for MiSTer.

 

I think that most of the MiSTer resellers who sell consolized versions are based in the USA, and due to the recent VAT changes many USA people aren't shipping to the UK. Last time I checked with Porkchop (four months ago maybe) he wasn't.

 

Far too early to know what's going to happen with the SDram as far as Saturn & PS1 are concerned. Robert has hinted that the initial release of the PS1 core might need a dual ram setup, but he'll be looking at ways to avoid the dual ram if at all possible. I'm sure SRG320 will come up against the same issues. Both authors will be working with the aim of getting the cores up and running on the hardware setup that most of the community has (128mb sdram + analogue i/o board). Moving over to dual ram setup will mean losing the analogue output from the i/o board which is one of the main highlights of the MiSTer in the first place.

 

All I'll say is this. If you're wanting a MiSter for the Saturn & PS1 cores I'd suggest holding on until both of these cores are out before investing. There is still the possibility that neither of these cores will ever be released. If what is already available appeals to you then buy the MiSTer for what cores it has available today, not what cores might be available tomorrow.

 

 

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Conversely I would say get one now and enjoy all the other 8 and 16 but gems that you can play at the moment. The DE10 from digikey came from Nebraska in 2 days all duties paid. Add in a sdram card and a usb otg cable and you have a starter pack for not much more than £150. That’ll play anything snes, mega drive and most neogeo. 

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Just as a heads-up, don't leave a MagicBoots adapter in your arcade stick if you're using it with anything other than the designated console. The sound on my PC mysteriously dropped out*, and the MiSTer couldn't interact with the SD card at all. Thought it was done for! 😛

 

*I only realised it was the MagicBoots because the sound came back when I switched to x-input mode. 

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22 hours ago, Dr_Dave said:

Well, I've gone and ordered a second DE-10 Nano. Had a look around my box of bits and realised I've got a spare USB hub, SD-RAM, IO board and case... somehow. So I reckon it's time for a downstairs MiSTer.

One for TATE cores?

I'd have a CRT permanently on its side :D

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57 minutes ago, roobarb said:

One for TATE cores?

I'd have a CRT permanently on its side :D

As mentioned earlier in the thread, I’ve got a vertical CRT & horizontal CRT set up running off of one MiSTer plus a VGA CRT and an LCD.

 

AdGOiyb.jpg

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I've got a 2nd DE-10 Nano to use exclusively in an arcade cabinet now. Originally I wasn't bothered about playing console-based FPGAs on one as my main interest was Nintendo and I've got other means of playing that sort of thing. But, PC Engine, Megadrive and their CD-based games are another great reason to own a MiSTer and I didn't want to give up having that connected to a CRT. 

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This looks intriguinging.

 

https://www.mortaca.com/rgb-mister/

 

Came across on on the RGB PI discord. I have the same cable for the PI3 and its a really nice simple good quality thing.

 

image.thumb.png.99c8b3690d332acecc0bad9cf6a47a07.png

 

Quote

SCART without IO Board

Enjoy the simplicity of a cable ready to plug on your DE10-Nano and CRT TV without IO Board or HDMI converter plus VGA to SCART cable, with RGB-MiSTer you have stereo sound and auto-switching feature and no need nothing more.

 

Hardware specifications

Auto-switching to AV channel on 4:3 with 12v stepup, 18 Bit RGB without conversions and clean CSync signal generated on the PCB within the scart providing the highest possible signal quality and the lowest loss, two filtered audio channels, all pre configured on our images.

 

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3 hours ago, Swainy said:

As mentioned earlier in the thread, I’ve got a vertical CRT & horizontal CRT set up running off of one MiSTer plus a VGA CRT and an LCD.

 

AdGOiyb.jpg

Clever :slowclap:

Love the proper old school look!

Is it a VGA switcher with multiple VGA-scart cables then?

I was thinking of using a separate hdmi-vga-scart for verts but a scart switch box would be easier/cheaper/better I think..

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