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Topics - Hanafuda

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Off Topic / RetroUSB AVS - why did they do this????
« on: October 01, 2018, 02:00 AM »
I have a Famicom version N8, so this is exactly what it would look like for me. All the time. So stupid. I'll lose some nice audio if I use an adapter and the NES slot, yes? I can't afford the pure unobtanium Mini NT, and don't want to butcher my pristine AV Famicom with a mod. Fug.


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Off Topic / Anyone else here tried the Switch and said "Nah."?
« on: May 09, 2018, 11:33 PM »
My daughter has a Nintendo Switch. I'll admit to enjoying the hell out of some Mario Kart online with it. But I started Mario Odyssey and it's about half-finished for a couple months now. Zelda's still in the wrapper, haven't gotten around to it. My daughter enjoys Splatoon2 and Mario Kart, and beat Odyssey some time ago. She's looking forward to some new stuff coming. I'm happy she's enjoying it. But I'm not. It's too big, delicate, and awkward for a portable. It's a pain in the ass to use and unimpressive as a home console. And I don't feel the same unique vibe in Nintendo's releases on Switch so far as I experienced with the brand from the beginning up through the Gamecube (and some Wii) on their home consoles, and up to and including the 3DS on portable. Switch just isn't hooking me for some reason. I'm starting to think I'm not going to buy one for myself, ever. I'm not saying I'm done with the company - I love, and I mean really love, the 3DS. But the Switch? meh. I'm having a lot more fun with my SuperNT/SD2SNES combo, and replaying SMSunshine for the umpteenth time. Really.

Just getting old?


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Off Topic / Did anyone here get Super NT??
« on: February 16, 2018, 05:41 AM »
First batch got delivered about a week ago, did anyone here get one? I ordered one yesterday, but I wasn't in with the early batch so it won't ship until March 1 or so. I waited until a few reviews popped up on YT, plus yesterday a jailbreak firmware was released through our benefactor, Smokemonster. That was my trigger to buy. I didn't need the jailbreak really since I have the SD2SNES, but it was a sign from kevtris above that unofficial goodies will be coming for the fantastic Super NT. (Hope I'm right about that.)


But I don't have it yet, so I'm hoping for some vicarious satisfaction. If you've taken delivery of the Super NT, please spill you thoughts here. Also if you bought that 8bitdo SN30 controller, impressions please. In the Amazon reviews there are several complaints that the D-pad is too touchy and registers diagonals too easily. Some of that can probably be chalked up to some gamers' thumb technique, but it seems a common complaint. I have 5 or 6 wired original SuFami controllers, plus extension cords, so I haven't bought one of the 8bitdo's yet. But it would be nice to have one for the wireless, and to match up aesthetically with the console.

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Off Topic / Totally redeemed myself! (SFCjr s-vid install/repair)
« on: February 02, 2017, 07:30 AM »
Almost 4 years back I posted a bunch of game stuff I bought on vacation to Japan. One of the items was a Super Famicom Jr. I said then I'd be installing the s-video mod. Well, I f**ked it up. In fact, while trying to attach a wire that was way too big for the job to leg 17 of the S-RGB chip (Luma), I ended up pulling the leg off completely. It was a major screw-up. I make no excuses. I'd done some soldering before that, but not enough. Clearly. I've had some time to practice and improve since.

I left the SuFami Jr alone after that, until tonight. I recently ordered an XRGB mini Framemeister, a selector box, and cables from Solaris Japan. I discovered after ordering that their cables are all sync-on-luma. That's fine, I thought, I'll need one for the N64 anyway. But as for my SuFami Jr., I'm planning on using csync with Voultar's THS7374 board. But since I was going to be in its guts again, I decided to attempt a repair.

This involved cutting a notch into the edge of the S-RGB chip where I'd ineptly broken off the leg 4 years ago, until I found some metal. The area involved is tiny and hard to reach, and the material is very, very hard plastic. It was not easy, but I have some good magnifying goggles, an x-acto knife, and God on my side lol. Once I had a tiny pad exposed, I first attached a short piece of a resistor leg. To this prosthetic chip leg, I then attached the wire leading to the components for the s-video mod.

The finished repair.


I installed Voultar's RGB board at the same time. I won't be able to test RGB until the Framemeister comes in, but I'm not too concerned about that. Much easier than this repair was.

Here are a couple bad photos off my old Trinitron. It has some minor geometry problems, but still works so I was able to test my s-video install. I was fortunate.







Never give up! Never surrender!


 

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Off Topic / XRGB Mini- I took the leap. Also future supply info
« on: January 18, 2017, 04:28 AM »
I shot my wad today, pre-ordered an XRGB Mini Framemeister, cables, & Selecty21, after finding Micomsoft's announcement and tweets from last month. Wallet hurts.

http://www.micomsoft.co.jp/micomsoft_news3.htm

http://www.4gamer.net/games/999/G999902/20161202002/

https://twitter.com/micomsoftx


FYI, production of the XRGB mini Framemeister is currently suspended (it has been out of stock at amazon japan and solarisjapan for a while, probably still available on the street in japan). The main IC on the Framemeister's mobo, which is made by a 3rd party, is being terminated. Apparently Micomsoft negotiated another run, which is supposed to deliver in February, but when that supply runs out it's over. Micomsoft doesn't currently have plans for a successor product, and nobody makes a competing product that's even in the same ballpark. Once the last production run starts shipping and pre-orders are filled, availability of the remaining units will be limited, but there'll probably be supply to last out this year (?). It's an expensive, niche specialty product, so people aren't going to line up around the block. Still, if you are like me, and have been thinking 'someday' about the Framemeister for a long time, might be a good time to think a little harder.


* If you buy one, I take no responsibility is Micomsoft announces "New XRGB-Micro!" later this year LOL.


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EverDrive N8 / Compatibility with RetroUSB's AVS??
« on: September 08, 2016, 12:40 AM »
Looked and didn't see a thread. Has anyone bought RetroUSB's AVS, and have you tested your N8 on it?? I'm not a fan of clone systems, but I have to admit it looks like they did a very good job on this. Slots for NES and Fami, 720p HDMI out, scanlines, and a price point ($185) that has me reconsidering my plans to NESRGB mod my AV Famicom. (which is pristine, and really doesn't deserve to be chopped even if the result is an improvement)

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Off Topic / Salvaged a WEGA today!
« on: June 29, 2016, 02:06 AM »
About a half-block up my street there's a small apartment building -- 4-6 units I guess. Today when I was driving up my driveway, I noticed a bunch of junky furniture piled up out front, including a gray CRT TV. So, just out of curiosity, I backed out of the driveway and inched my car up the street alongside it for a look. SONY. TRINITRON. WEGA. HOLYSHIT.

It's a KD-27FS170, manufactured 2006. I spoke to the landlord, who was throwing it and a bunch of other stuff out that was left behind by a tenant who moved away a couple weeks ago. Said I was welcome to it, so I grabbed my little handtruck from my garage and rolled it over to my house. Woot! It's got a nice scuff about 2cm wide and 5cm tall on the plastic near one of the speaker grills, but the screen is spotless and it functions flawlessly. Needs a remote. I'm sure it was somewhere in all that bagged garbage, but I wasn't going digging for it.

Dumb luck? Or Karma?





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In Chrome I'm being told the site is sending back garbled credentials and a secure connection cannot be accomplished, attackers may be trying to steal information, etc etc. Happens whether I include www in the url or not.



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Off Topic / Raphnet has NES extension cables in stock again
« on: August 15, 2015, 12:14 AM »
Wasn't sure whether to put this in OT or the N8 section, but I just ordered a few things from raphnet-tech.com. Main thing I was after was their SNES controller to GCN adapter for use with my Gamecube's Gameboy Player. But by chance I checked on the NES controller extension cables, which have been out of stock for as long as I've been paying attention, and today they are in stock. I added a couple to my order (my controllers are famicom dogbones, I NEED extension cables) and checked out, so now it's safe to let you all know.  ;D They're cheap and AFAIK raphnet's rep for quality stuff is good.

Ready, set, go!

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EverDrive 64 / Anyone else have trouble with PNY cards?
« on: July 17, 2015, 07:24 AM »
So I've had my ED64 2.5 for a while, but haven't done much with it. It works like a charm with an old Toshiba 2GB card I had laying around, but I finally went out and bought a 16gb PNY card (SDHC) to load up the full gameset. Result: every time the ED64 tells me that file OS64.v64 doesn't exist in the ED64 directory, that I need to go to krikzz.com and get it. It's FAT32 formatted and I've tried several different formatting tools now with the same result every time. My PC reads the card fine. The old 2GB Toshiba still works 100% in the ED64, even after formatting it again the same as I did with the PNY, loading the latest FW and trying again.

It's no big deal to go buy another card (Sandisk next time I guess), but just wondering if this PNY problem has been experienced by anyone else?

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Off Topic / XRGBmini & LCD HDTV -- yes/no
« on: April 05, 2015, 01:19 AM »
My 36" JVC television, which I bought new in 2001, appears to be dying a slow death. It's just some thin, bright horizontal lines across the top of the screen, more noticeable with bright backgrounds, more or less invisible on black. But it's not going to miraculously get better, so time to look for a replacement. I went to a couple pawn shops in my area, checked Craigslist, newspapers and found nothing but junk. Checked ebay and found some nice Trinitrons, PVM's, BVM's, etc ... but for the antiques they really are, these items are way too expensive to obtain if the owner isn't just across town from you. So, I've begun thinking about jumping into the deep end, with an XRGB mini and an LCD HDTV for my retro gaming. It seems like a good time for it ... with the dollar/yen exchange being where it's at, the XRGB mini is priced under $310 right now, and a nice Samsung 720p 32" with 2 HDMI and 1 component input can be had for $200 or so. That's really all I'd need for everything I like to play, from the Famicom through the Wii. I'd probably have to spend another $150 or so in SCART cables and what-not, but the results should be whoa! inducing if all the reviews and youtube videos are true.

And that's why I'm asking .... if you have one of these gadgets, please tell me .... is the XRGB mini as amazing as I've been reading/seeing online, or should I just be patient and keep looking for a good CRT TV with component, s-video, and composite inputs to replace my old JVC?

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Off Topic / Anyone have a SFC in box? I need measurements pls.
« on: March 15, 2015, 01:08 AM »
Hey all!

I'm taking a vacation trip to Japan (again) in June, and plan on buying a Super Famicom in the box while I'm there. But ANA recently changed their checked-baggage size limits, and while I'm sure the Super Famicom (in the box) will fit in a suitcase that complies with ANA's new limits, it won't be the only thing I'm packing. So I'd really like to know ahead-of-time just how big a lump it's going to be.

ANA's new limit for checked bag size is 157cm, for the total measurement of three dimensions (WxLxH). That includes handles, wheels, etc. It's ridiculous, and I'm sure they allow a little leeway, but this is a Japanese airline we're talking about. Polite as hell, excellent service ... but rules are rules.




If you happen to have a Japanese SFC w/ box, please measure the box exterior in 3 dimensions and reply. I would really appreciate it. Thanks.






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In case you're solidly retro and don't follow the new stuff too closely ... Nintendo is making an adapter for $19.99 with four Gamecube controller ports that plugs into the Wii U console for the new Smash Bros. game that comes out this fall ("Holiday 2014", whenever that is). That's cool, if you have a Wii U. But the big news IMHO is they're going to actually sell brand new Gamecube controllers (wired) for $29.99.

http://www.ign.com/articles/2014/06/10/e3-2014-gamecube-adapter-controller-and-smash-bundle-pricing-revealed

Now, yes I'm very familiar with the retro gamer mindset/disease, and it's tempting to dismiss this news since decent used official Gamecube controllers can be had for $15-$20 depending on condition, and new third-party clone Gamecube controllers can be bought for $15 or even less (no thanks, but maybe you don't mind). But when it comes to controllers, new is new. The buttons will not stick, it will not have another person's finger grunge in the seams, it will not reek of cigarettes. And the opportunity to buy a brand new official Nintendo Gamecube controller will likely not ever come again.

Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure new Wavebirds ain't gonna happen.  :(

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Off Topic / If you buy a new EZ-Flash IV
« on: June 04, 2014, 11:15 PM »
So, considering krikzz isn't interested in working on a GBA cart right now, I decided to buy an EZ-Flash IV. About a year ago the things were pretty scarce, as they were apparently out of production and remaining stock was pretty well sold off. But there was a new batch of carts produced last year, and while they outwardly appear identical to the original production run (een the date on the PCB wasn't updated, still says 2006), apparently a new NOR chip was used which caused some incompatibility with the old firmware. EZ-Flash responded incrementally to this problem earlier this year, with a few partial fixes and then finally an official release, here. But, that version still has the ridiculous Darth Vader theme, so I found pintcat's "Clearlooks v.5" skin/firmware, here which is built on the new FW release. This looks much better, and seems to be working fine so far, but the client software that's included with that 20140306 release is slightly broken. Although you can enable it in the client software while patching roms, the reset to loader menu feature doesn't work, and you can't customize the hotkey for it when running the client - attempting to do so causes an instant crash. You can still soft-reset most games with ST+SEL+A+B because that's a native feature in GBA games, but you can't reset back to the loader menu to choose a new game.

I got around this by finding an old version of the client software, here . Just disregard the firmware "efla_up.bin" file from this package, and use the client software only. So far, I haven't encountered any incompatibilities using the new FW and the old client software, and the reset to menu function is not broken (it still doesn't work for ALL games, but it works when it works, which is to say most games).


Not that complicated .. use the new firmware, use the old loader. But it took me some frustrated time fiddling with a micro-sd card back and forth from my PC to the EZ-IV to figure this out, so I thought I'd share if it might save someone the trouble. And also AFAIK, this applies only to the new carts made in 2013, but if you find an EZ-IV brand new on sale from an online vendor, that's almost definitely what it is.


Now that I have this sorted out, I'm enjoying the hell out of the thing.  ;D
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http://analogueinteractive.com/products/analogue-nt

So from what I've read, what these people have done is pull the guts from a bunch of beat up old model 1 Famicoms, wire them up for RGB-out (probably using viletim's board, or a clone of it), packaged it inside an aluminum shell to create an illusion that this is something 'new,' and put a $499 price tag on it. For another $50, they'll let you buy an RGB-to-HDMI upscaler (240p to 720p/1080p), which itself might be an incredible bargain, if it can be bought and used separately from their console, but most people are arguing it should be included in the console's total price of $499 in the first place. There are also component, composite/s-video, and SCART cables available, but I doubt many people will be buying the Analogue Nt to use on a CRT.

I've got mixed feelings about this thing. It's overpriced, but not as much as that big number ($500!!!) looks like at first. The labor and skillset necessary to install the nesrgb board (plus the expense of the board kit itself) gets the price up there easily. Getting a Famicom/NES to output RGB has always been an expensive and risky business, so paying that premium is probably worth it for anyone who wants to be sure the thing will work. On the other hand, Analogue's warranty is only for 90 days, and on their website they more or less admit they've built these from discarded 30 year old junk Famicoms.


All of my retro stuff is played on an old CRT, and I'm not super-sensitive to display quality. My Wii looks great over component, my Gamecube, Saturn, N64, and Super Famicom look really good on S-video, and my AV Famicom looks fine on composite. Could the Famicom look better? Sure, but it isn't worth $500 to me.


Edit: Also, for those of you who are giving this some thought, the Analogue website specifically states the console is Everdrive & Powerpak compatible. It's built on a real Famicom board, so I didn't think that needed saying, but someone would probably ask. Also, there are Famicom and NES cart slots, and there is a Famicom expansion port.

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