A Retron 3 project, and a few queries...

Includes but not limited to: SNES, Genesis, Sega CD, PlayStation 1, Nintendo 64, Dreamcast, Game Gear and I guess the Virtual Boy.

Moderator: Moderators

Random_Hajile1980
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 9:19 pm

Retron 3 CIC

Post by Random_Hajile1980 » Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:21 pm

deleted
Last edited by Random_Hajile1980 on Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:05 am, edited 4 times in total.

Ace_1
Posts: 138
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 8:09 pm

Re: Retron 3 CIC

Post by Ace_1 » Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:23 am

Random_Hajile1980 wrote:I stumbled across your posts on sega-16 about the retron 3, I went ahead and performed the SNES composite brightness and genesis green fixes you mention. I'm also considering doing the genesis PSG/FM balance fix as well, was it 30k ohm resistors you used or was it 33k?
I suggest you ignore the PSG/FM volume balance fix as I'm working on a universal audio amp for GOAC-based Geniclones and any real Sega Genesis with a GOAC (there is a Model 2 with a GOAC and all Genesis 3s have GOACs as well). This will give much louder and cleaner sound than the on-board mixer the RetroN3 uses.

What I also suggest you do is to remove some resistors on the NES audio outputs and replace those by a dual op-amp (TL072) wired up as a voltage follower to fix Stereo separation on the Genesis and Super NES sides. Since I don't remember what the RetroN3 Version 3's NES board looks like off-hand, I will be taking a look inside my RetroN3 Version 3 in the coming days and take a picture of the NES board to show you the resistors in question.

Random_Hajile1980
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 9:19 pm

Retron 3 amp

Post by Random_Hajile1980 » Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:03 am

deleted
Last edited by Random_Hajile1980 on Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

Ace_1
Posts: 138
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 8:09 pm

Re: Retron 3 amp

Post by Ace_1 » Thu Feb 28, 2013 6:14 am

Random_Hajile1980 wrote:Ok then, do you have an idea when the circuit design will be ready? I would imagine adapting and modifying a circuit like this might be rather complex and time consuming, I also would guess that this fixes the reversed stereo channels as well. Do you have the solder points for the amp?
I have a prototype version of the circuit ready, but I find its audio output to be a little too low, so I will tweak it over the weekend to get the volume levels of the YM3438 and SN76489 properly balanced and get the overall volume level as loud as a Genesis Model 2. I will also get the solder points for you.

As for the reversed Stereo, you will have to wire up the audio output from the amp correctly, otherwise you will end up with reversed Stereo again. I'll indicate the proper points for the audio outputs so you don't reverse anything.
Random_Hajile1980 wrote:I know which resistors you mean for the NES, they are still in essentially the same place as they were in other revisions, and I found them using a multimeter. Also I have an dual op amp It's a 2904D in my parts box, can I use it or do I specifically need TL072?
It seems to have a unity gain bandwidth of just 600KHz. That's probably pushing it with the NES side. You should use the TL072 as that's the only op-amp I've had good results with (I originally used an LM358 to make an audio amp for my Top-Loader NES which ended up inducing very heavy noise, so I now use the TL072 for everything I make).

And if you're wondering how to wire up the op-amp, you have to do the following:

-Audio output to pins 3 and 5 of the op-amp
-Pin 8 to VCC on the NES board (it must not be the common VCC that goes to the power switch)
-Pin 4 to Ground
-Pin 1 linked to pin 2, pin 6 linked to pin 7

Take your audio outputs from the linked pins. This will prevent any crosstalk on the Genesis and Super NES sides' audio output.

Random_Hajile1980
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 9:19 pm

Re: A Retron 3 project, and a few queries...

Post by Random_Hajile1980 » Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:11 am

deleted
Last edited by Random_Hajile1980 on Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

Random_Hajile1980
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 9:19 pm

Re: A Retron 3 project, and a few queries...

Post by Random_Hajile1980 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:29 am

deleted
Last edited by Random_Hajile1980 on Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

Ace_1
Posts: 138
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 8:09 pm

Re: A Retron 3 project, and a few queries...

Post by Ace_1 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:33 pm

Random_Hajile1980 wrote:Ok, Typically I will not double post, however since there is so much new information to share on this project, I wanted to call attention to it.

I got the replacement power switches in today, it took a while to get here because the seller lives in HK but I can say these are VERY high quality switches and I was able to replace the broken stock one with little effort.
They are slightly smaller than the original part, measuring only 7mm x 7mm when the original was 8mm x 8mm but the pins are compatible.
They came in a pack of 10 so I have spares.
Nice to see you got that fixed up.
Random_Hajile1980 wrote:Also, I have been tracing the pins on the retrons's SNES side to see how to hook up the lockout chip and there are indeed traces connecting to the pins that on a real SNES connect to the cic pins. I have not traced them back to their source but it appears they connect to the main chipset.
:?:

What for? It's not as if there's a clone of the lockout chip in the TCT-970 chipset, so what's the deal with this?
Random_Hajile1980 wrote:However, I made an accidental discovery tonight. I am still unsure how to reliably replicate it but I was able to get my copy of Kirby Superstar to run

*snip*

It is a copy that will NOT typically boot on systems without a working lockout chip, here is what I did:
insert cartridge and turn system on for a few moments, press and hold Reset, turn off power, turn on power again and release reset.
This does not work 100% of the time though, it only works sometimes like it's part dumb luck, but it has worked many times for me since my initial discovery. If someone else can try this on a locked-out SA-1 title let me know if you can get it working.
That is dumb luck, much like I've experienced with a Japanese copy of Super Mario RPG with a lockout chip check. On the FC Twin, if you turn on the NES side for half a second, then switch back to the Super NES side, the game will boot (this works on the Version 2 and Version 4A, at least), on the RetroDuo v2.0 and v3.0, the game works if you turn on the NES side for about 5 seconds then switch to the Super NES side, and I discovered that on an FC3 Plus Version 2, if you leave the Genesis side on for about 10 seconds or so (haven't timed it) then switch over to the Super NES side, Super Mario RPG will work. I have yet to wrap my head around this, but some Super Famiclones appear to have their own little tricks to getting SA-1 games with lockout chip checks working. Of course, some simply will not work with those games without adding a lockout chip, one of which is the FC16 Go. I'm gonna add one into mine once I get all the capture footage I need for FC16 Go V2 vs. Original Hardware on YouTube (I currently only recorded Super Famicom games; I still need to record Super NES games and GameBoy games running through the Super GameBoy).
Random_Hajile1980 wrote:Also I was able to improve the range on the pack in wireless controllers, here is how:
open the console and carefully bend the IR receiver forward so it will touch the window when the top is put back in place, then after reassembling the system disassemble the controllers, bend the LED emitters so that they extend out of the casing the two on the front are easy, the one on the back needs to have the hole slightly enlarged to allow the emitter to fit in further.
The emitters should look like domes when the controller is reassembled. you can use some hot glue to hold them in place so if the controller is dropped the emitters do not get pushed back in.
This improves the range and usable angle of the controllers, and as long as the SNES controllers are unplugged (so they won't block the window)
This is gonna be very useful for me. My RetroN3 Version 3 is placed in a really bad spot for me to be able to use the infrared controllers comfortably and I really do not want to load the thing with 6 controllers. That's gonna make a friggin' mess around the thing.
Random_Hajile1980 wrote:however you still can't mash buttons quickly :)
Go figure. I think either the receiver isn't receiving data fast enough, or the emitting LEDs on the controllers emit the infrared in pulses that are too long. Is there a crystal in the controllers?

Random_Hajile1980
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 9:19 pm

Re: A Retron 3 project, and a few queries...

Post by Random_Hajile1980 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:06 am

deleted
Last edited by Random_Hajile1980 on Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

Ace_1
Posts: 138
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 8:09 pm

Re: A Retron 3 project, and a few queries...

Post by Ace_1 » Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:05 pm

Random_Hajile1980 wrote:I didn't see any oscillator crystal in the controllers, just a glop top and a resistor and capacitor, seems rather spartan inside.
Must have an internal oscillator in the glop top, then. If that's the case, we can't fix anything.
Random_Hajile1980 wrote:On a side note I hear that Hyperkin is planning a Retron4, with nicer bluetooth controllers and while on paper it sounds neat something to me screams Atgames software emulation. The details are still rather light though. I just can't see them using SOACs the way they describe it working and there is the fact that it has GBA compatibility, and that system's patents have NOT expired.
Unless they somehow manage to get all 4 sides working with reverse-engineered hardware running through some kind of ADC setup for the HDMI output, I don't see how the RetroN4 can have all those features and not use software emulation. I'm especially suspicious of the GameBoy Advance compatibility due to the fact it hasn't been 20 years since the system was released. I wouldn't be surprised if Nintendo puts a halt to the RetroN4 because of the GameBoy Advance compatibility.

Random_Hajile1980
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 9:19 pm

Re: A Retron 3 project, and a few queries...

Post by Random_Hajile1980 » Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:00 am

deleted
Last edited by Random_Hajile1980 on Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

Ace_1
Posts: 138
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 8:09 pm

Re: A Retron 3 project, and a few queries...

Post by Ace_1 » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:23 pm

Covering the lockout chip pins on the card-edge of a crappy game should be the way to go about doing this without it being too much of a hassle.

Unless that chip contains an inactive lockout chip clone of sorts? I wonder about this as the RetroDuo Portable is able to play copies of Super Mario RPG with a lockout chip check first shot. Either it's dumb luck or there's something going on inside that TCT-970 chipset we don't know about. It may be something worth checking with a logic probe or oscilloscope.
Random_Hajile1980 wrote:I also got a nice lot of 15 cartridges to test out on the system.
I am getting ready to compile my own compatibility list for the system.
which consists of over 120 titles, I just don't know where I should post it.
When you do this, I'll make a full written review of the RetroN3 Version 3 like I've done with the RetroN2 on DigitPress and with the RetroGen Adapter and RetroN3 Version 1 on Sega-16. I will also compare the system to original hardware in RetroN3 V3 vs. Original Hardware once I'm done comparing the RetroGen Adapter, RetroN2 and FC3 Plus Version 1 and Version 2.

Random_Hajile1980
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 9:19 pm

Re: A Retron 3 project, and a few queries...

Post by Random_Hajile1980 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:59 am

deleted
Last edited by Random_Hajile1980 on Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:08 am, edited 11 times in total.

Random_Hajile1980
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 9:19 pm

Retron 3 compatibility continued.....

Post by Random_Hajile1980 » Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:56 am

deleted
Last edited by Random_Hajile1980 on Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:09 am, edited 2 times in total.

Ace_1
Posts: 138
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 8:09 pm

Re: A Retron 3 project, and a few queries...

Post by Ace_1 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 5:55 am

That is really nice. Man, I'm gonna have to pick up some more flash cartridges and a standalone Disk System so I can test them out on clone systems. I only have the PowerPak, which has yet to work on any NOAC I've tried to use it on, legal or not.

One thing I should point out is that there's a possibility the later Mega EverDrive fails to work on the RetroN3 (all versions) as SatoshiMatrix1 let me know his Mega EverDrive fails to work on the RetroGen Adapter, which shares the same TCT-6801 GOAC as the RetroN3. He says the cartridge fails to read the SD card.

What I want to see working on these clones is the SD2SNES. It's insanely expensive as it can do much more than any other Super NES flash cartridge, but if it works on a Super Famiclone (and I've seen it working on some), that's a HUGE plus.

As for expansion audio, I haven't messed with this just yet, but it should just be a matter of soldering a resistor between the cartridge slot and the NOAC's audio output (or a wire if the audio levels are correct). I will take a look at this after I finish wiring up an AY-3-8910A to an FPGA development board I bought so I can put together an MSX2+ clone.

Random_Hajile1980
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 9:19 pm

Everdrives and Reton 3

Post by Random_Hajile1980 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:24 pm

deleted
Last edited by Random_Hajile1980 on Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

Post Reply