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MiSTer: FPGA gaming


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I had a bit of time tonight and decided to set it all up. Didn't read anything and didn't realise the USB port on the digital io clearly marked was indeed not USB.


Just spent twenty minutes looking for my micro usb otg adapter but I finally found it.


Running the update script now. I think not buying the USB hub add-on was a mistake.

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On 29/10/2022 at 13:59, Bangaio said:

The digital io board gives you a digital io which can read tape from original tapes etc. and not a lot else. It really is niche. 

Analogue io still has  a digital audio out as well as analogue and obviously had analogue video out. 

I have seen lots of people but the digital io thinking they need it for HDMI or USB and it couldn’t be further from that. If you don’t need to connect to a crt then you don’t need either at all. 

if you want to mount a fan and have the three buttons get the analogue board. 


It's about time I started getting some of the things I need for my board, which is currently just sitting in a box. But as ever, I have questions :D

Digital IO board allows you to load games from tape. I realise I'm in a minority, but this appeals to me as I own lots of tapes.

Analogue IO board allows connection to CRT TVs. This appeals to me also, as I have CRTs.


Can I use both?


What are the three buttons mentioned above? Why can a fan not be mounted without an anaologue board?


EDIT: Looks like there is a specific audio input board too. https://misterfpga.co.uk/product/adc-in-audio-tape-input-board/


EDITEDIT: Do I need a fan _and_ a heatsink?


To answer some of my own questions: looks like the three buttons are for controlling the unit. Reset, menu etc. And both IO boards have these three buttons. So I can probably go with the analogue IO board and get the separate audio input board.

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There's a fan on the IO boards, but I think you do need to pick a heat sink unless one comes bundled with said IO board.


Yeah, if you have a USB hub, OTG cables and separate hubs don't matter.


I personally have found the supplied PSU fine, but some people have had power issues - perhaps with a lot of things attached?

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Almost. The analogue io board will take power from the de10 but you’ll still need to power the usb hub. Normally this is either done via a splitter off your psu or by contacts on the usb board touching the underside of the de10 (very sketchy at best). If you’re technical you could always just solder a power line from the de10 power jack to the usb board. 

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ok so I need to make sure I have a splitter to power the USB hub. It says this on the site:



So there’s a minimalist connection via [word soup] but there’s also a power splitter cable. That’s two separate options right? And the minimalist option is to be avoided?

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Ah so that’s for actually connecting the hub to the Nano board? I’m still confused about where the “sketchy” connection comes into it but perhaps this will all make more sense once I get it all. Thanks all for your patience.

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1 hour ago, Camel said:

Ah so that’s for actually connecting the hub to the Nano board? I’m still confused about where the “sketchy” connection comes into it but perhaps this will all make more sense once I get it all. Thanks all for your patience.


It’s a total piece of piss. It’s minimal, and there’s nothing sketchy about it at all. It will all make sense.


The PSU goes into the splitter cable. One half powers the DE10, the other the USB hub*. The DE10 and the USB hub are also bridged with the little right-angled connector before being screwed together with the stand-offs.

*Another handy feature of the USB hub is that the port at the back is actually a USB power outlet. I use mine for powering my external DAC.

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2 hours ago, Camel said:

Sorry, another: if I get an acrylic case, a USB hub V2.1 and a Mean Well PSU, can I stop trying to make sense of discussions about otg cables and USB hubs and power splitters?



Get a heatsink as well. Don’t compromise the longevity of the DE10 over saving a few quid. I treated mine to the copper one, not only because it’s better, but the fins are also easy to access for the monthly compressed air blasting it gets. You might want to bear the rotational positioning in mind for that when affixing it to the chip.

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10 hours ago, Camel said:

Ah so that’s for actually connecting the hub to the Nano board? I’m still confused about where the “sketchy” connection comes into it but perhaps this will all make more sense once I get it all. Thanks all for your patience.

Some variants of the usb hub don’t have a proper barrel connector and rely on a fork touching the underside of the de10 power jack. Sounds like you’ve gone with a proper board that has a power jack and comes with a splitter. You’ll be good. 

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Got around to trying out the wired 8bitdo Pro 2 as I couldn't resist trying another controller that could possibly work well with most cores.


So I mapped the buttons on the MiSTer menu, and returned later to find it wasn't being recognised.


After a quick Google, discovered that you need to hold the B button down upon boot for it to handshake properly. 


Okay, that's annoying, but maybe I'll get used to it. I guess this is all part of the 'convenience' of using a modern controller loaded with multiple functions no-one will ever make full use of.


Today I switch the MiSTer on after a break, forget to hold down B on the new controller I've still not used for gaming, reboot, and update the system.


Because I wasn't holding down B when the update finished & rebooted..I had to reboot again the correct way.


Still not used this controller for gaming, but I think I kinda hate it out of principal and will stick to OG controllers via usb adaptors etc, because they don't need an unintuitive extra step prior to system boot to work. Also, needing to use Google / read forum posts to find out crucial info that doesn't exist in the user guide is the cherry on the cake.


If you have a shit tonne of perfectly good original controllers there's absolutely no need to get this one.


No need whatsoever.


Edit: Reading back, this sure is a pissy entitled '1st world' post about a controller I'll probably never use because it asks me to do something first. But had I known about the holding button handshake thing I'd definitely have avoided it regardless of how good the d-pad is. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I spent the afternoon assembling another MMS with the latest case.


I've been away from this thread for a while so have forgotten a few things.


I've run MrFusion and got the newest update_all script. I've set everything up and have all arcade cores working. Yippee!!!!!


I've got a 512gb SD Card in it which I know is plenty of space for most "ROMS" e.g. Neo Geo, Megadrive, SNES etc.. but will run out quickly once i start ploughing into Saturn, Playstation etc...


I've got a spare external SSD drive which I can plonk them on.

I seem to remember I need to create a folder called Games on the external SSD and put the folders named correctly that I want to be on the USB drive e.g. Saturn

Is this correct?

Also, where do the BIOS files go for these systems?  Can they stay on the SD card or do I have to move them to the SSD as well?

Also, will the update_all script cope with some systems with bios files on the SSD or will it try and update it always on the SD card?


I seem to remember problems if the same folder names are on both the SD card and SSD.

Is this still the case? Will it cope if there is for example an empty "Saturn" folder on SD card but another on the SSD drive with games? Do I have to remove the folder on the SD card?

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@AceGraceEverything you've described looks to be correct. The update_all script will now grab the PS1 bios files, the PS1 core is now official.


You'll need to set up the Saturn core manually. You'll need to get the bios files for this yourself, they live inside the /games folder and are named boot0, boot1 & boot2 for the three main regions.


Having two folders with the same name in two different locations (ie, one on the sd card & one on the HDD) will cause issues. Best practice is to keep CD images on an external HDD (converted to ".CHD" format to save space in the case on PCE & PS1).


If you have any issues post here. I'm still around and looking in here often and still keep very much up-to-date with things, but I've very much taken a back seat in recent times as far as being "RLLMUK MiSTer Support" goes! There are lots of people who can help now! 😀

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Thanks for the info. I assume the Saturn core shenanigans is because it hasn't been officially released yet?

I will follow the advice i.e. put CD games onto the external hdd only. 🙂

I assume the easiest way to do this for say PSX is to cut the folder from the SD card and then paste it into the Games folder on the SSD drive? That way the bios files should already be there.

Thanks for the help. I may post some more questions but so far so good.

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The Saturn core is unlikely to go into MiSTer-Devel anytime soon, so definitely won't be picked up by the updater. It's a manual install job for the forseeable future.


I guess there's nothing stopping you from having CD based games on your SD card, but as they take up quite a bit of space (even if you only keep a "small curated set" of images) I just think it's best to keep them on a external HDD and leaving enough space on the SD card for the Mame / Arcade stuff as this is where we're currently seeing the most activity. With the exception of the Jaguar & Virtual Boy I think we've seen all we're going to see in terns of cartidge based systems. The only other "mainstream" consoles (I use that term quite loosely here!) we're likely to see now are 3DO & CDI.


If update-all creates the PSX folder and grabs the necessary files (been over a year since I looked at this, and even then I done it as manual install because it was beta at the time) just cut and paste the PSX folder from the SD card to the HDD. You should then be all good!


Just as an aside, you can view the external HDD over the network (USB0 in the PSX folder structure below). Just don't attempt to copy anything to the MiSTer external HDD over the network, the human race will be extinct by the time it finishes transfering. Always trnasfer stuff to the HDD directly from a PC.

mister PSX.png

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