EverDrive Forum

General => Off Topic => Topic started by: Hanafuda on May 03, 2013, 08:29 AM

Title: Going to Japan in June - what should I buy?
Post by: Hanafuda on May 03, 2013, 08:29 AM
Hi everyone, new member, first post. I just bought an Everdrive N8 last night from retrogate - guess it'll get here in a couple weeks or so. Also planning to get an SD2SNES whenever they become available again.

Anyway, I'm going to be in Tokyo during the second half of June and while I've had plenty of good times playing on Nintendo consoles over the last 25 years, I'm just a gamer. My technical knowledge of Nintendo's consoles stops at just knowing their names (i.e. Famicom, FDS, Twin Famicom, etc.)

I'm planning to buy a AV Famicom and a Super Famicom, some spare controllers and certain games (Super FX, SA-1), and maybe some stuff for my Saturn while I'm there. But once I decided to get serious about the N8 and SD2SNES purchases, I started browsing here, and at famicomworld and assemblergames, and I got a little overwhelmed by the technical expertise. Apparently some Super Famicoms might be more desirable than others, based on serial number or model number, for pumping out better video quality? I've even seen the Super Famicom Jr. suggested as the superior model, and I thought it was the opposite. And what about Famicoms? I assumed the AV Famicom would be the one to get, but should I be considering another model? And is there anything specific (i.e. serial number range, etc) in an AV Famicom I should be looking for?

Maybe I'm over-thinking this and should just look for clean consoles that don't show signs of abuse and be happy with them. But if there's good advice to be had, I'd like to benefit from it.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Going to Japan in June - what should I buy?
Post by: reprep on May 03, 2013, 12:02 PM
get the AV famicom. it is definitely the superior model. it has native composite output, joysticks are detachable, the design is smaller and nicer for me etc.

i have a pal super nes and ntsc super nes mini. the mini has superior rgb when rgb modded. same for the super famicom jr. though i heard it is harder to find super famicom jr. than ntsc snes jr.
Title: Re: Going to Japan in June - what should I buy?
Post by: Hanafuda on May 03, 2013, 02:17 PM
Well, that makes things a lot easier. I'm in the USA - I'm not sure if RGB connections for TV even exist here. I've got this monster 36" JVC CRT-TV (AV-36D304) that I intend to use with my old-school consoles. It has component and s-video in, but not RGB. So I'll go for the regular Super Famicom and use S-video, assuming I can find a proper cable.
Title: Re: Going to Japan in June - what should I buy?
Post by: reprep on May 03, 2013, 03:08 PM
buy a rgb-to-component converter, this will give better video than s-video.
Title: Re: Going to Japan in June - what should I buy?
Post by: Hanafuda on May 03, 2013, 05:22 PM
buy a rgb-to-component converter, this will give better video than s-video.

Well, I'll think about it. Might have to wait for later. The Everdrive N8, SD2SNES (money already set aside and waiting), AV Famicom, Super Famicom, and oh yeah the $20k family vacation to Japan are kinda blowing my budget right now LOL. But it's good to know I can do a little better than s-video with the Super Famicom if I throw a little more $$ at the project.

Any other suggestions, anyone? I know there's a board mod that'll let me use a US Zapper, but I'll probably get the (japan version) Nintendo "Gun" if I see one.
Title: Re: Going to Japan in June - what should I buy?
Post by: reprep on May 03, 2013, 05:24 PM
my AV famicom is modded with that "mod" and nes zapper works great on it. i don't have enough money to buy the jap version unfortunately.
Title: Re: Going to Japan in June - what should I buy?
Post by: Hanafuda on May 03, 2013, 07:20 PM
buy a rgb-to-component converter, this will give better video than s-video.

well, I may end up giving this a try after all. Especially after I just watched a vid on youtube for how to get RGB out of the AV Famicom, too. Then I browsed ebay and found this:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/RGB-SCART-ADAPTER-TO-RCA-COMPONENT-DM500-A-V-DREAMBOX-/220786275049?pt=US_Video_Cables_Adapters&hash=item3367e332e9

Seems almost too cheap.


Edit: and maybe it is too cheap. A little more looking and this looks more like the way to go. But it's $50, so yeah ... later on.

http://www.amazon.com/SPECIALTY-AV-SCART-Component-Converter-Genesis/dp/B004XSSDPO
Title: Re: Going to Japan in June - what should I buy?
Post by: reprep on May 03, 2013, 07:22 PM
get RGB from AV famicom? hope you have about 400-500$ ready. please inform me if you can find one cheaper. i am looking for one.
Title: Re: Going to Japan in June - what should I buy?
Post by: Hanafuda on May 03, 2013, 07:30 PM
get RGB from AV famicom? hope you have about 400-500$ ready. please inform me if you can find one cheaper. i am looking for one.

I dunno. Just something I saw on the internets.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yurmrnfrFw


Edit: ahhh, I see there in the comments ... he admits you still need the Playchoice PPU. Well, at least I'm learning.
Title: Re: Going to Japan in June - what should I buy?
Post by: Grambo on May 03, 2013, 07:50 PM
It really depends on what's important to you. There's a lot to factor.
Physical console aesthetics / build quality? Best bang for your buck? Best possible video and/or audio quality? Are you into tweaking and modding? What's most easily available? Game cartridge preference? Does having different revisions of consoles interest you?
Knowing all this is helpful when suggesting a console. With the amount of mods available out there, there is no "perfect" revision of almost any console. For me, it's about personal preferences and getting the most audio and video quality out of that preferred console.


If console build and game cartridge quality interest you more than nostalgia do, or if you like having multiple console revisions, the AV Famicom is a fantastic no-brainer. I'm waiting on: http://universalppu.com/ before I get any RGB quality from an NES/Famicom. RGB PPU is a little too rich for my blood right now. I'd rather spend the cash on my other projects. You cannot get RGB from any NES/Famicom without a modification. Even with a SCART cable.
Also, (I could be wrong on this) I don't think there were any significant AV Famicom revision differences that should matter in terms of finding a good one.

reprep has supplied you with some good advice. The SNES 2 has the best RGB quality, but it does require a mod, albeit a very simple one. To my understanding, the Super Famicom Jr. uses the same circuitry as the SNES 2 and you should expect the same results. I'm not 100%, however. If it interests you, I would suggest it.

The possibilites and solutions are endless, so I can understand your being overwhelmed. I know that if I had a CRT with only YPbPr inputs, I would try and mod the TV to take RGB :) But that's just me.

I have a SNES with a BA6594AF encoder that I've modded to output YPbPr (Component); I don't think the encoder is all that popular (Canadian), but getting YPbPr from the BA6592F is similar. This may interest you, but if you do start collecting consoles (it's pretty addicting!) I would suggest getting an RGB w/ Sync solution like your posted http://www.amazon.com/SPECIALTY-AV-SCART-Component-Converter-Genesis/dp/B004XSSDPO. Apparently it has color trimmer potentiometers on it; this is a good thing. Don't get that other cheap one; it looks awful and I'm fairly certain you'd be wasting your money and time with it. You'll still need to find an audio solution with this. The box can probably be easily modified to output audio or you can probably find some sort of cheap SCART audio breakout (cheap is ok for this, as it's just analog audio and doesn't require any processing or electronic components).


Here's my NTSC Canadian SNES with a BA6594AF encoder outputting YPbPr:

(http://imageshack.us/a/img43/7870/img0710bi.th.jpg) (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/43/img0710bi.jpg/)
(http://imageshack.us/a/img191/4002/img0713ar.th.jpg) (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/191/img0713ar.jpg/)
(http://imageshack.us/a/img854/6622/img0712iv.th.jpg) (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/854/img0712iv.jpg/)

Hope this answers some questions (although, it's probably raised more). The rabbit hole can get pretty deep with this stuff :)
Title: Re: Going to Japan in June - what should I buy?
Post by: Hanafuda on May 03, 2013, 11:01 PM
So, is there any downside to the Super Famicom Jr., besides the need to do the mod to get RGB out? Any other shortcuts to the design that actually matter, i.e. cheaper/less shielding, audio quality, etc? I know the controller is slightly different but I'll be buying several loose SFC controllers while I'm there anyway. Aesthetically I do prefer the original SFC design, but on the chance that I stumble across the SFC Jr  for sale, I'll try to snag it if there's no good (functional) reason not to.


Edit: Also, I should have put this in the OP in the first place, but if anyone here on the board is living in Tokyo, would you recommend any other retro shops besides SuperPotato in Akihabara? Doesn't have to be in Akiba, I'll be in Tokyo for at least a week.
Title: Re: Going to Japan in June - what should I buy?
Post by: Grambo on May 03, 2013, 11:33 PM
SNES 2 and Jr apparently have no reduced vertical banding (as shown in my 3rd pic in previous post) and I haven't heard of any audio complaints in any SNES revisions (unlike its 16-bit competitor). Controllers are cross compatible anyways, so if you prefer the SNES' controllers, no problem.
Title: Re: Going to Japan in June - what should I buy?
Post by: reprep on May 03, 2013, 11:37 PM
no disadvantages afaik, i have the PAL snes (which is same as super famicom exterior) and the NTSC snes mini (same as super famicom jr. exterior). jr. is much smaller and lighter. and lacks the eject button which i have never used anyway.


Title: Re: Going to Japan in June - what should I buy?
Post by: Hanafuda on May 04, 2013, 08:36 PM
Re: the 4-wire mod to the SFC Jr. to enable RGB out through the multi, does it also enable S-video??

Also, when the usual Nintendo red-white-yellow composite cable is used on the AV Famicom, does the audio split to the red and white, or just come out one of them?

I know I'm getting into tech minutia with my questions here, but picking your brains is working out for me so far.  ;D

I did some reading at retrorgb and decided to just stick with s-video on my big JVC, and maybe find a Sony largish PVM someday to try RGB. I also did a little more research on SNES/SFC and learned about the 1CHIP. At the retro store I'll be going to, before this conversation I was originally planning to buy a 'model 1' SFC in the box. They usually have a few, and it just seems better, you know, having that outer packaging and that big chunk of styrofoam. But they've also got STACKS ... I mean dozens ... of loose model 1 SFC's on the floor in shrink-wrapping, meaning you can see the serial numbers. Maybe I'll get lucky and find one (or two) in the likely range for being a 1CHIP. For that, I'll give up the box (and my wife won't be as pissed about the wasted suitcase space).

.
Title: Re: Going to Japan in June - what should I buy?
Post by: reprep on May 04, 2013, 08:55 PM
i am using the nintendo red-white-yellow cable and i get mono audio on both channels.

even if you got mono audio on one channel, most TVs audio input can be set to mono and this way tv can output dual-mono on both channels.

i would still go with mini instead of 1chip, but that is just me.
Title: Re: Going to Japan in June - what should I buy?
Post by: Grambo on May 04, 2013, 08:58 PM
On the SNES 2, the RGB mod does not enable S-Video, but it's exactly the same idea. You just have to add some wire and simple components from the encoder to the AV port.

I actually don't know about the audio... I imagine it does split out both red and white! If not, it'd be the easiest mod ever... solder one wire. It's line level audio and there would be no problem just bridging the two outputs.

No worries about the questions. You ask some good ones and we're more than glad to help clear the water :)

Good luck with finding a 1CHIP! Seems like you just might have a shot with all those SFCs with visible serial numbers. That'd be a great console to own. Totally worth ditching the box, imo.
S-video can still look fantastic, sometimes even indistinguishable from RGB. Sounds to me like you've come to some good conclusions on what consoles work best for you.
Title: Re: Going to Japan in June - what should I buy?
Post by: Hanafuda on May 05, 2013, 02:57 AM
I found all the info I need to do the s-video mod to the SFC Jr.

http://www.retrogaming.com.ar/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2652  (in Spanish. use Chrome, etc. to translate)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzXh6XOORLw

http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthread.php?18292-How-to-mod-your-Super-Nintendo-Mini-Jr-model-2-for-S-
video&p=390905#post390905
(includes http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKDyg-SWZms )



At first, I was a bit confused because the schematic he provides in the first link there (the argentine one) shows one 75ohm resistor on each line off from the video encoder, but in his photos there are two resistors on each wire. But apparently, two 150ohm resistors in parallel is the same as one 75ohm resistor. I learned something new today. I have no idea, however, whether there is some advantage to doing it this way, or if he just had a bunch of 150ohm resistors laying around and no 75's. In the youtube vids and the sega-16 page, the mod is done with a single 75 on each line.

It is simple. Not quite as simple as doing an LED power light mod, but a helluva lot easier than installing a mod chip into an original Playstation.

I may end up doing this. Depends on what's available when I go shopping.

Title: Re: Going to Japan in June - what should I buy?
Post by: Grambo on May 05, 2013, 03:27 AM
two 150ohm resistors in parallel is the same as one 75ohm resistor. I learned something new today. I have no idea, however, whether there is some advantage to doing it this way, or if he just had a bunch of 150ohm resistors laying around and no 75's.

I guarantee your theory as to why he did it with 2 x 150ohm in parallel is correct. It'll have the exact same result, electronically.
Title: Re: Going to Japan in June - what should I buy?
Post by: JimmyMz on May 05, 2013, 07:21 AM
At first, I was a bit confused because the schematic he provides in the first link there (the argentine one) shows one 75ohm resistor on each line off from the video encoder, but in his photos there are two resistors on each wire. But apparently, two 150ohm resistors in parallel is the same as one 75ohm resistor. I learned something new today. I have no idea, however, whether there is some advantage to doing it this way, or if he just had a bunch of 150ohm resistors laying around and no 75's. In the youtube vids and the sega-16 page, the mod is done with a single 75 on each line.
There are three reasons why someone might use 2 (or more) resistors in parallel/series, instead of a single resistance value.

- one, to construct a non-standard value.
**this is probably the most likely reason for the installation you saw. 75 ohms is only available for resistors with a tolerance of <=5%, while resistors with a tolerance of 10% or higher are cheaper in cost. F.Y.I., If a resistor has four bands, with the fourth band being the color silver, it's a 10% resistor. If a resistor has five bands, it's a 10% resistor when the fifth band is the color silver.

- two, to spread heat (a.k.a. Watts) over multiple components, instead of torching :o one.

- three, the circuit designer is making a voltage divider.