C64 PAL to RetroTINK to OSSC config?

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    I just received my RetroTINK 2X and am trying to setup it up to play nice with the OSSC but I do not seem to have much luck.
    I am using S-Video from the C64 into the RetroTINK, then through the included HDMI to VGA adapter, into AV3 on the OSSC. The OSSC is running the latest FW 0.81-aud.

    I am unable to figure out how to change the synclen, backporch, active etc. settings as I cannot find the ‘Adv timing’ menu that matches the mode it is running with my PAL C64. I have set ‘480p in sampler’ to ‘DTV 480p’, however that does not seem to make any difference and the display says 312p with the RT in transcoder mode and 624p with line-doubling, so the OSSC does not seem to be getting a 240p signal with either.

    Any tips on how it should be configured?

    I do have a decent picture except that it has some noise which I hope could be improved if I would be able to adjust some more details.


    I have have much to tell you, but I will post a lengthy explanation about my findings in my thread once my RT2x arrives next week.
    I have to confirm a few things first before I post.

    HDMI-to-VGA adapter

    Meanwhile I can tell you that the HDMI->VGA adapter is transparent and outputs exactly the same analog VGA timing as the incoming digital HDMI timings.
    I’ve done plenty of timing testing going from my PC GPU (HDMI) into this VGA adapter then into the OSSC, I could achieve pristine quality HDMI output from the OSSC with the right timing settings.


    There is hardly anything to adjust on the RT or the VGA adapter so perhaps this topic belonged more in the OSSC section. It is basically a question of whether it is possible to change how the OSSC treats the 312p signal that it gets from the C64.

    To get rid of the noise I see, I at least need to be able to adjust the sampling rate of the OSSC since I can tell that it is off a bit. I will look forward to your findings next week if I haven’t figured it out until then.


    Remember the numbers the OSSC shows are the total line count, not the resolution, so 312p is quite normal here.

    In Line 2x I got a noise/jitter free image out the box, but for 3x I had to change the advanced timings to match 2x before the image looked good.

    This was with a PAL C64, I don’t have access to a NTSC model.

    Edit – I should add we always recommend fitting a LumaFix too.


    At first, I was using my C64 Reloaded but found that using a regular C64 with a lumafix produced a much nicer picture (although it could still use some fine tuning). I think the SMPS on the Reloaded board generates some interference with the output video signal.

    For some reason, both with the Reloaded and the regular C64, I see that the picture is pretty stable for the first 30-60s and then suddenly it starts to judder as if the phase shifts a bit. If I reset the RetroTINK by using one of the buttons on it (or power cycle the C64), it is again stable for another short while. This is not related to the OSSC since I get the same noise when I hook my TV directly to the RetroTINK output.

    So which menu did you use to change the adv. timing of the C64 signal? If I use the 240p menu, nothing that I change in there seem to make any difference.


    I’ve been playing around with the OSSC + Retrotink2x with a PAL C64 (Reloaded Mk II) too.

    The main thing I was interested in was trying to get optimised mode setup. I think I have something, but the picture isn’t clean enough over using the Retrotink2x on it’s own – which does a pretty good job with s-video.

    The settings I have for optimised are:

    Output opt.
    240p/288p proc.: Line5x
    Line5x mode : 320×240 optim.
    Line5x format : 1920×1080

    Sampling Opt.
    Adv Timing
    – H. samplerate: 504
    – H. synclen : 63
    – H. backporch : 31
    – H. active : 384
    – V. synclen : 3
    – V. backporch : 36
    – V. active : 240

    Is there a better optimised configuration? Perhaps we need something like 384×272 optimised, which is meant to be the maximum drawable area of the C64 display.

    This config is a bit weird because of the way 1080p mode works in 5x, it fills the 16:9 frame by chopping off quite a bit of the horizontal borders. The aspect ratio isn’t right, but it is surprisingly close.

    If you wanted 320×240 Optim. in one of the other line multiplier modes, you’d probably need to set H. active to 320, and H. backporch to 63 for it to work (or stand a chance of it working – only 3x did for me), although that cuts off the vertical borders completely.

    I think some horizontal tremor is introduced by the HDMI->VGA adaptor and the C64 Reloaded itself, but I don’t know which is most to blame. The Retrotink2x by itself produces a much steadier image, and I haven’t experienced the same kind of shifting as demolition.

    Also a GameCube over composite with the same setup (Retrotink2x > HDMI-VGA Adaptor > OSSC) was much steadier in 240p, not perfect, but much less ‘interference’ at pixel edges than the C64.


    For me 3x was the highest I could go, I’m not a fan of 5x anyway. My pictures are up on the review https://videogameperfection.com/2018/07/23/retrotink-the-verdict/


    Were those captured using the OSSC in 4:3, or one of the optimised modes? Did you try optimised, or tweak any of the sampling options?


    I used line 3x generic mode, and tweaked the advanced timing parameters to be basically the same as the default 2x mode.


    I ended up getting a pretty nice picture using these settings to achieve a 1600×1200 output mode which is native for my Dell 2001FP:

    Output opt:
    240p/288p proc Line4x
    Line4x mode Generic 4:3

    Sampling opt -> adv. timing (1280×288):
    H. samplerate 1620
    H. synclen 10
    H. backporch 10
    H. active 1600
    V. synclen 1
    V. backporch 10
    V. active 300

    I see a very slight horizontal tremor but otherwise it looks almost perfect. It is also great for my VIC20 which has been modified with S-Video output.

    I have tried using the 320×240 opt. mode however it did not have any impact on the horizontal tremor and it did not produce a better image than Generic 4:3. That being said, the tremor is not really an issue since it is only noticeable if you move up close to the monitor and look for it.


    Nice, I’ll try that.

    For me 3x doesn’t look very different to the Retrotink in line doubling node, slightly softer than using the OSSC maybe, but better video quality/less jitter when connected directly.

    512×240 optimised in the latest firmware might be a good fit though, I need to give that a go.


    You need to consider the quality of the scaler in your monitor. If you present the monitor with a signal that matches its native resolution then it will not need to do any scaling and you have full control over the picture quality. If you would like a softer vertical resolution then it might be good to take advantage of the monitor’s scaler since it might do some kind of bilinear resampling which the OSSC is not capable of doing.

    So for 1080p displays, 4x is too much since it will generate more than 1080 lines. It is however possible to use 4x on displays with 1200 lines and then add a few black lines until you reach those 1200 lines. I have a 3x config for my Full HD TV and the above 4x config for the 1600×1200 monitor. I could use 3x on the Dell but then I’d have quite small picture with a lot of black around it since I want to have integer pixel mapping.


    I’ve been experiencing exactly the same issues as @demloition did with the C64 Reloaded Mk2 with RetroTinkX2 + OSSC. The image is stable for around 30 seconds and then shimmers, I’ve tried changing the h.samplerate as suggested in the other thread but this does not make a difference.

    I’ve connected up my LCD to ther Retrotink2X directly and I have a far more stable image but without the abilities of the OSSC which is somewhat highly desired. Also a really weird bug where if connected directly to RetroTink2X the sound only plays while I’m holding one of the RetroTink2X’s buttons down, however if connected to OSSC the sound plays perfectly.

    Very annoying but if anyone has any further pointers I’d be glad to hear about them.

    PS – Just noticed before posting this reply that according to the OSSC wiki this is known issue, see here -> http://junkerhq.net/xrgb/index.php?title=RetroTINK2X#RetroTINK_2X_and_OSSC


    Hmmm ok starting to get a bit confused now, did some further testing with display directly connected to RetroTink2X and the shimmering appears but after a much greater length of time.


    While researching this issue further, I stumbled across a post on Lemon64 which is suggesting the shimmering/wiggling issue is related to a certain MOS VIC-II chip variant 8565R2

    I tested a RetroTINK 2X today. It loses horizontal sync on the 8565R2 after 40 seconds. I tested two chips from different factories and two monitors. Always goes wiggly after 40 seconds.

    It worked on a 6567R8, 6569R3, and a newer 8565 (forgot which one and not going to open case). The 6560 works too. So it’s just one chip version that’s a problem, which happens to be a very popular chip.

    Link to thread: https://www.lemon64.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=69472

    I opened up my C64 Reloaded Mk2 and it does indeed have the 8565R2 installed (with LumaFix64), I just checked my spares and I fortunately have a 6569R3 so I’m going to swap this out and I will report back (might be next week somepoint with Xmas and my shift pattern).

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