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Messages - MHzBurglar

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1
As I thought. The second controller sounds like the best solution to this. The same problem would arise when playing 2-player though.
A dedicated button on a future revision is also an alternative.

That's true, though I'd imagine there would be less want/need for save states when playing 2-player (so you turn the menu off when playing 2-player games.)  Personally I'd be happy with that as a workaround.  A dedicated hardware button would be a perfect solution, but then I'd have to buy a whole new Everdrive  :-\

So, the current one has trouble with the Mark-III and SG-1000/SC-3000 systems?  I knew it had issues on the Japanese SMS, but that's disappointing to hear.  SG-1000 games play nice with it on a US SMS model 1, but I don't own the other systems (yet) so I haven't run into that.

2
Quick question, if you mod the NES to have the expansion audio, it would work exactly as the n8 pro Famicom on a Famicom console correct?

That's correct.  If you mod your NES, you can get the same expansion audio sound with a frontloader NES and an NES version of the Everdrive N8 Pro as you would from a Famicom with the Famicom version of the N8 Pro.  The N8 Pro even has a volume level preset for it called "NES 47K Mod".

I've encountered two different versions of the mod: one is from FirebrandX that's meant for systems with the NESRGB kit where you place 1,000 Ohm resistor between pins 2 and 9 of the expansion port, and tack a 47,000 Ohm resistor onto pin 9 and wire it to the mixing port of the NESRGB board.  The other is from Retrofixes, where you just place a resistor (preferably 47,000 Ohms) between pins 3 and 9 of the expansion port.  I've only ever done the FirebrandX mod, as I have a NESRGB in my system, but I assume the pin 3+9 mod mixes directly into the default NES audio output.

You can read about the mods here:

FirebrandX's NESRGB-specific mod:  http://www.firebrandx.com/edn8tonesrgb.html

Retro-Fixes' stock NES mod:  http://www.retrofixes.com/2014/05/open-hidden-sound-channels-in-nes.html

3
I don't know how the Everdrive intercepts the buttons, but I would guess that the game will also receive the signal and do a soft-reset (if it supports the reset button). So it's probably only good for returning to the Everdrive menu. But I might be wrong.

Looks like that is the case, unfortunately.

I just did a quick test on my Master Everdrive X7:

I set the menu trigger to Up + 1 + 2 and booted up Alex Kidd in Miracle World.  I pressed up + 2 at the same time, and held them while Alex punched.  After he was idle, I added the 1 button to the combo and the menu opened as expected.  Upon closing the menu, Alex jumped, which means that the game received the 2 button as well.

So it looks like we could trigger the menu with the reset button, but the game would just do a soft reset the second the menu is closed unless there's some way to 'disable' it at the game level while leaving it accessible to the Everdrive's menu interrupt.

I guess the easiest solution would be to look at using the player 2 controller buttons to open the menu.


4
The reset button is, unlike the pause button, a normal polled input device like the buttons on the controllers, and games could use it for anything. So it should be as possible as any button combination on the controllers. But the reset button is also only available on non-Japanese SMS1. Not on Mark III, Japanese SMS, any SMS2 or the SMS adapter for Mega Drive. It's probably possible to mod most of them to give them the reset button though.

Interesting.  So for SMS model 1 systems or anything that has a reset button, it's theoretically possible to intercept the reset button as a button input and trigger the menu with it.  Assuming that the game doesn't also receive the reset button's input at the same time and reset the game, this could be a great solution.  It would effectively turn the reset button into something like the Everdrive GB X7's hardware button.

5
Hi Krikzz,

I know I had briefly asked about this on Twitter ages ago, but is there any way that the Master Everdrive X7 firmware could be adjusted to be able to read Genesis/Mega Drive buttons or input from the Player 2 controller?  Currently, my only complaint with the Master Everdrive X7 is how easy it is to accidentally trigger the menu during normal gameplay due to the limited number of buttons on the SMS controller.  I usually need to have the in-game menu/save states completely disabled because of this.

The SMS itself is capable of reading the additional Genesis/MD buttons (proof of concept ROM and source code here: https://www.smspower.org/Homebrew/MegaDrive6ButtonControllerTest-SMS) and it would open up a great number of extra button combination possibilities to trigger the in-game menu.

Many SMS ROMs and converted Game Gear games have also been modified to use the Gensis/Mega Drive Start button to trigger the SMS pause button's register, so I'm hoping something similar could be implemented in the firmware to use for calling the in-game menu.

If that's not possible to implement due to technical limitations with how the menu call function on VBlank works, would you be willing to rewrite the menu call routine to accept buttons from controller 2 to open the menu?

Another thought I had is a possible "reset to save state menu" feature.  Assuming that it's possible to intercept the reset button, the following could take place:

  • The user presses the reset button on the SMS console
  • The everdrive takes a snapshot, and the SMS resets
  • The everdrive boots to a menu, allowing the user to save a state (write the current snapshot to SD as a save state), load a save state (copy the save state from SD to overwrite the current snapshot), or exit.
  • Exiting the "menu" would boot the last-played ROM and load the current snapshot to either bring the user back to where they were when reset was pressed, or to their loaded state.

Since I'm no expert in how the SMS handles input and memory, I don't know what is and isn't possible of the ideas I mentioned, but I'd love to have an option to trigger the menu with something I wouldn't normally press while playing a game.

6
FDS games still work the way you described in 1.20-onward (just load 'em like NES games.)

I also get the random game crashes on v1.23; it seems to just be an issue on NTSC NES systems as PAL NES users don't seem to have the same problem.  Perhaps it can't handle the glory of 60Hz ;)

I'd recommend using OS v1.16 in general, and only use v1.23 for anything with expansion audio (like FDS games or the Japanese Castlevania 3), as the expansion audio is horrible in pre-1.20 firmware.

I remember getting a similar 'disk error' with FDS games ages ago on an older firmware version, and I found that using a freshly-formatted SD card with a fresh copy of the latest firmware (not just overwriting an old version) solved the issue.

I'd recommend you do the following:

  • Format your SD card as FAT 32, with 32KB allocation unit/cluster size
  • Copy the v1.23 firmware zip's "EDFC" folder to your SD card
  • Copy some FDS games to your SD card and test.  You don't need a separate FDS bios.

If that works, I'd also recommend grabbing firmware v1.16 and copying the contents of the "MAPS" folder over to your SD card's EDFC\MAPS folder without overwriting any existing files.  I found that firmware v1.23 was missing some mappers included with previous firmware, so you will want to grab the missing ones, but not replace the 1.23 version of the mappers that are already there.

Edit:  The older EDN8 uses "EDFC" as its system folder name, not "EDN8"

7
EverDrive N8 / Re: NES N8 Pro - Button Access?
« on: June 08, 2020, 10:13 PM »
I was wondering that myself...  I have a Blinking Light Win installed in my front loader, so the cart goes straight in without pressing down.  This lets me access the button, but I noticed that I wouldn't be able to reach the it if I was using the stock 72-pin port and tray.

The good news is that the button doesn't do much outside of swapping FDS sides; I've never been able to get it to bring up the menu.  You can bypass the need for the button entirely by using a controller button combo to access the menu and enabling FDS auto-swap.

Edit:  I wonder if it would be possible to move the button into the little 'grip' recessed area in the cart shell in a future revision.  It could be mounted on the side wall of the recessed area to avoid accidentally un-mounting the cartridge with downward pressure.

8
EverDrive N8 / Re: EverDrive-N8 PRO bug reports.
« on: May 30, 2020, 10:02 PM »
I recently bought an Everdrive N8 Pro, and it has been working fine up until today.  Now, for some reason, I always get a solid grey screen when I turn my NES on, and I have to press reset to get the EDN8 Pro to actually boot.  It used to boot immediately without any issue...  Regular NES carts boot up right away, so it's just the Everdrive doing this.  I updated the firmware to 2.08 last week, but it's was working fine until today.

Any idea what's causing this?

Edit:  Just to test, I took the Everdrive N8 Pro out of my NES, unplugged the system, and pressed the power button to drain the residual power from the system.  After I plugged it back in, the EDN8 Pro started booting immediately on power on again.  Very strange.  At least my cart works just fine once it does boot.

Edit 2:  It happened again after the power cord was accidentally pulled from my NES while it was running.  This time, the 'power drain' trick on the NES didn't stop the grey-screen boot from occurring, but it did go away after leaving the EDN8 Pro disconnected from the NES for about half an hour.  After that, it was working perfectly again.  I thought it might have had to do with some kind of residual power in my NES/NESRGB board, but maybe it's actually the EDN8's FPGA that needs to discharge.

Hopefully this will help others who are seeing this issue.

9
I'm having the same problem

freezing on Super Mario Bros (world) from no intro rom set

firmware 1.23 freezes
firmware 1.16 no problems

I do have a blinking light win installed

I got my everdrive n8 from stoneagegamer so is legit

Thanks for posting this.  I did some testing with and without the blinking light win (had to boil my old 72-pin connector to get it working) and it seems that the freezing occurs without the Blinking Light Win installed too.  I think it's an issue with firmware 1.23 on US NTSC systems.

Still no word from Krikzz on the issue yet, but he's been pretty busy lately with the Mega Everdrive Pro and the Everdrive GBA X5 redesign.  Hopefully he can look at this soon...

10
Update:  I cleaned and did the boil trick on one of the original 72-pin connectors and got my Everdrive N8 booting with the original 72-pin connector.

I played The Legend of Zelda from the beginning of the game and got another freeze about 15 minutes in, right outside of the entrance to the second dungeon.  The same graphical glitches (the thin line of garbage that appears for a split second occasionally) still occured in Zelda, but I didn't see it in Super Mario Bros. this time.

Looks like it's not the Blinking Light Win causing the issue after all...  It seems to happen on a completely stock NES with a clean 72-pin adapter too.

@Turk182:  My NES is an NTSC system.

Edit:  Once again, I reformatted my SD card and put firmware 1.16 on it.  Using firmware 1.16, with my Blinking Light Win installed, I successfully played the Super Mario Bros Special romhack from start to finish without a single graphical glitch or freeze.  I also tested Firmware v1.20 and it had the same issues as 1.23.  This freezing/glitching issue seems to be a problem that was introduced in v1.20 that is still present in v1.23.  It's understandable, as v.120 was a huge revision of the firmware.

11
I borrowed a working NES from my friend and tried my Everdrive N8 on it with firmware 1.23.  I Played Super Mario Bros. and got a freeze on world 1-3.  It's definitely not my NES that's the issue.

It really looks like there's some obscure bug with the 1.23 firmware that isn't affecting all units.  To re-iterate, I did not have this issue with the early OS20 betas (I didn't use the later ones) and I never had any issues on v1.16 or any prior firmware versions.

For those who are not having issues, as well as those who are, when was your Everdrive N8 made?  Mine has an assembly date of July 12, 2017 according to the Device Info page.  (Firmware v1.23, BIOS version 5, CPLD version 2.)

Update:  I changed my SD card from a SDHC (16 GB Sandisk) card to a plain SD card (2GB Transcend), and formatted it FAT32, 32KB cluster size.  I played Super Mario Bros again, and got another freeze in World 2-2.  It's not My SD card either.

I am using the Blinking Light Win on both NES systems, as I cannot get my Everdrive to boot on either system with the original 72-pin adapter.  Is it possible that the issue is specific to OS 1.23 and the blinking light win?

I also noticed, on both NES systems, that I am getting some minor graphical glitching when using the Everdrive that isn't present with a real cartridge.  Every so often, a thin line will flicker in the middle of the screen or the HUD at the top of the screen (in Super Mario Bros) will flicker.  The game also seems to stutter very slightly when this happens.  Occasionally, when Mario enters a castle after hitting a flagpole, half the screen will jumble for a split second before going back to normal.


12
Hi Guys,

I played 2H yesterday and 2H today .. No Freeze at all.
My config :

N8 Original V1.23
Zelda Europe REV1 No-intro set
NES Pal Europe

I'm using a US NTSC system with the US version of the ROM.  Maybe PAL systems aren't affected?

To completely rule out that my NES itself is the issue, I'm going to borrow another working NES from a friend and try that one.

I have v1.23 on my original N8 and haven't had one issue at all.  Maybe you should reformat sd card or see if n8 is real everdrive and not a Chinese fake

I bought it directly from Krikzz on this very site back in 2017, so my cart is legit.  (Can't speak for Erai though.)  I'll see how the other NES goes and report back.  I never had any issues with the V20 beta firmware, but 1.23 just seems to hate my cart/system.

13
Hi,

I played  Zelda yesterday with my NES PAL and my Everdrive N8 V1.23 and I had no freeze, I enter in a couple of cave on the first level and everything was OK.
Can you give me more info to make more test by my side ?

Unfortunately, there's no consistent way to trigger the freeze, which makes it very hard to troubleshoot.  It seems to happen randomly;  Sometimes it will work fine for a few hours, sometimes it'll only be a few minutes before a freeze happens.

14
The screen and sound freezing on a note sounds like PPU and APU are still working when something else fails. Maybe the cartridge, does this only happen with the Everdrive, never with any other cartridges? This is typical for dirty contacts as well but that sounds unlikely with an Everdrive and Blinking Light Win. Check the pins so that there are no resin or anything on them.

Thanks for the suggestions.  I cleaned the pins on the Everdrive and port just in case, but they were already pretty clean so no dirt really came off them.  I then played for about an hour and got another freeze.  This only seems to happen with the Everdrive; my original NES games don't freeze regardless of how long I play them; I played a real cartridge of Zelda 1 today for about 4 hours without a single issue.

I didn't used to have this issue prior to updating to 1.23; I was previously running OS V16 without any freezing ever (I also used the OS v20 beta for a while, but I didn't play enough on it to know if it had the freexing issue.)

Edit:  I once again reverted my Everdrive N8 to OS16 (1.16), and was able to play through Super Mario Bros. Special up to world 8-4 without any freezing (I have been getting constant freezing on this game on v1.23.)  It definitely seems to be an issue with the latest firmware.

15
I am encountering an issue where my games are randomly freezing.  When this happens, some graphics will slightly distort, the screen freezes and the sound stops.  I haven't been able to identify a trigger yet, but I have had this happen to me 3 times today playing the first Legend of Zelda game.  each time it seemed to happen following a screen transition or exiting a cave, but I haven't been able to faithfully replicate the issue.  The freeze occurs after roughly half an hour of playing.

I tested my original, authentic Legend of Zelda cartridge and played for an hour straight without any issues.  My NES is a frontloader with a Blinking Light Win pin adapter and both the pin adapter and cartridge pins are clean.  I am also using the original Nintendo power supply that came with the system.

I also had this issue occur in Super Mario Bros yesterday, but I had originally attributed it to an issue with the romhack I was playing (Super Mario Bros. Special X1.)  When that game froze, Mario had recently exited a pipe about 1-2 seconds before the freeze.

I am going to test on firmware version 1.16 shortly to see if the issue occurs on the older firmware as well.

Edit:  I played Zelda 1 on firmware 1.16 from the start of the game through to the end of the second dungeon without any issue.  I switched back to firmware 1.23, and started from the beginning of the game again, and got a freeze in the first dungeon in the room where you get the bow.  Here is what it looks like when the freeze occurs.  The background graphics and HUD mess up, but the sprites stay in place.  The sound will pause on the last note played and hold it indefinitely.

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