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MiSTer: the thread of cycle accuracy

Yimothy

Red Plane
(he/him)
When I got my mister I made a daemonbite mega drive controller adapter with an arduino pro micro board. It was always a little dicky and I’ve since switched to a Bluetooth MD controller, so I thought I might repurpose the board and make a spinner. I don’t really need one, but all I’d need to buy was a cheap rotary encoder, the rest I had already, so why not?

In the process of trying to cram the components into the top-small case I already had, I managed to break the USB port off the pro micro. So now I’m buying another one of those, probably a bigger case too, and my cheap and quick why-not project has at least quadrupled in cost. And once I get it working I’ll probably play arkanoid for about five minutes and then leave it alone.
 

Klatrymadon

Twilight Rascal
(he/him)
Excited by how well Akumajou Dracula and Mad Stalker are running here:


I never expected the MiSTer to lay so many nagging "I wish I could own [x system]" longings to rest, but it's doing so at an alarming rate.

Edit: someone is working on a Raizing core, too! Batrider and Bakraid have never been ported, so this will be the closest most people will come to the real thing.
 
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John

(he/him)
I think it's funny how nonchalant he is on the speed of it. All he had to do was write his own software emulator from scratch, and that made porting simple. I still remember when bleem! and Connectix Video Game Station were slowly getting released, and how much of an undertaking those were. I know it's been 20 years since those products broke ground, but I still think of PSX emulation as Next-Gen.
 

John

(he/him)
The PlayStation core’s moving along, a ton more games are loading now. What’s a bit concerning is that it apparently requires two memory sticks? I don’t know if my current setup can use that. I’ve got a v6.0 I/O board according to my purchase email, and the MiSTer Addons PCB case, and I have no clue if that even has two ram slots.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
The analog IO board uses the extra pins that a 2nd memory stick would require, but I think the digital IO board leaves them free. Anyway, the final core isn't necessarily going to require double memory, I think it's being used as a shortcut during development. And if you DO end up needing it, well, have I told you the good news about Second MiSTer?

On another subject, this weekend I acquired a CRT television with component inputs and I'm pretty excited to test it out with my MiSTer. I've been using a CRT computer monitor for about a year to play kaizo hacks and it looks nice, but it's not quite the aesthetic that I want. The pixel density on a computer monitor is so high that it ends up looking a little too clean, almost like a flat-panel display. There's something about the chunkier look of a 240p set that just speaks to me, you know? I have the cable that I need to hook everything up, but I'll have to spend a few minutes reconfiguring my ini files before I can give it a test. Does anyone else here use a CRT television with their MiSTer?
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
The PlayStation core’s moving along, a ton more games are loading now. What’s a bit concerning is that it apparently requires two memory sticks? I don’t know if my current setup can use that. I’ve got a v6.0 I/O board according to my purchase email, and the MiSTer Addons PCB case, and I have no clue if that even has two ram slots.
From his tweet it sounds like the second board is not going to be a requirement in the future.

Meanwhile he's got Gex, Crash Team Racing, Moto Racer 2 and Croc working, the absolute madman
 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
Yes, I'm rocking a CRT for my MiSTer. It looks fantastic. About as clean as you could ever hope. I don't remember my exact configuration options, but it's not too hard to get up and running.
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
There are now save states on NES games. That's a huge deal, and makes a bunch of stuff more beatable.

The new shadow masks are on there now. What settings should I be using with them, because shadow masks alone look pants.
 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
I was fiddling with them a little bit last night. Not sure I liked anything more than my current CRT setup, but I liked Shadow Mask 1X, Thin RGB Lines combined with Soft scanlines. And after a bit of testing, the Magenta-Green option produces something that looks a bit Trinitron-like.
 
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Phantoon

I cuss you bad
I was fiddling with them a little bit last night. Not sure I liked anything more than my current CRT setup, but I liked Shadow Mask 1X, Thin RGB Lines combined with Soft scanlines. And after a bit of testing, the Magenta-Green option produces something that looks a bit Trinitron-like.
Thanks Sarge, I suspected I needed to combine them with other things to look right
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
I tested out that newly-acquired CRT TV with my MiSTer and everything seems to work! Just had to make a few small tweaks to the ini file and I was off to the races. I only had a few minutes to mess with it, and it seemed like the colors might have been a bit too intense, but I haven't tried adjusting the settings on the TV yet. I'd like to do an A/B comparison between my 27" Trinitron + SNES (s-video) and the new Toshiba 24" TV + MiSTer (component video), which should give me a better idea what to aim for with the Toshiba.

The only real problem is that now, I find myself wanting to buy a bunch more MiSTer parts. I have two MiSTers: one that is dedicated to streaming/kaizo hacks, and a "naked" MiSTer that's hooked up to my living room HDTV. The former has RAM, an IO board and a 3D-printed case, whereas the latter just has the RAM and a leftover fan board to keep it cool. But digging the one that I use for streaming out from behind my computer is a colossal pain, so I'm starting to think about how nice it would be to have a second IO board for the caseless MiSTer, which could then be easily hooked up to the CRT. And I've always wanted one of the aluminum brick cases, but to use that you also need the USB hub, too. And there are 2 or 3 new case form factors in the works (or recently released), some of which come with built-in expansion boards. There are too many options!
 

John

(he/him)
There's a couple JAMMA compatible add-ons I've seen (MiSTercade from MiSTerAddons, and JAMMIX from jammix.io/Zerohimself), which aren't my bag because I don't have a JAMMA compatible cabinet. The JAMMIX is a little more interesting that it's also based on the Mini-ITX standard, so you can install a MiSTer in pretty much any small PC case.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
It is a DAMN good thing that nobody sells candy cabs around here, otherwise this would very quickly turn into a three-MiSTer household.
 

John

(he/him)

I like the option to make the PSX core look slightly worse, for "accuracy". I know composite would soften and blend the image, and dithering helped with that, but I used S-Video on my PS1 even though it made a ton of games look worse. The dithering on stuff like Gran Turismo really stood out once you upgraded the video cables.

The future isn't just accurate emulation/simulation of the consoles themselves, but the environment that they lived in. I need my college dorm room replicated to properly play Final Fantasy 8, including the dread of all the classes I'm skipping in order to draw all my spells to 100.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
I finally took the plunge and ordered one of Porkchop's aluminum cases, during the brief window when that was possible today. It's still my favorite form-factor for the MiSTer, and the fact that it's fanless is a huge plus. Unfortunately, I won't be able to use it until I get another IO board and USB hub, and right now Pork isn't selling those individually. That makes the case a pretty pricey splurge, since it's being shipped internationally all on its lonesome. I really wish I could have gotten the other parts at the same time, but I wanted one of these sleek metal bricks and I don't know how long it will be before another batch comes in*.

*I believe that more cases from this current batch will be listed on different days in the future, in case you wanted one and missed out.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
It's very exciting! From what I've read, FPGAzumSpass is pretty hopeful he can get the core working with a single RAM module, albeit with some imperceptible timing differences for games that have very demanding sound. That's a compromise I'm 100% willing to live with, since the analog IO board doesn't allow use of dual RAM and I'm not willing to give up my VGA ports.

In other good news (for me), I was able to complete my parts order at MisterAddons, and my stuff should ship pretty soon! Once I've put everything together, I'll have one fully-kitted out MiSTer in the aluminum case and another with just the IO board and a 3D-printed case for streaming and playing kaizo hacks. It's a bit of a splurge to own two, but the MiSTer has become far and away my favorite way to play old games and I know I'll be using these things for a long, long time.
 
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