Issues and Questions

NewHome Forums C64 & ZX Spectrum Video Enhancement Issues and Questions

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  • #40093
    Andreas Römer
    Participant

    Hi there,
    I have an C64 Component Video Mod successfully installed in my C64 (ASSY 250466 Longboard, VIC-II 6569R5) and I have a clear and sharp picture over my RetroTink 2x Pro.
    But there are still some issues that i don´t understand:
    1.) the standard Video Out (DIN Plug) is not working any more, there is no signal using my DIN-Plug to S-Video Cable (even if I´m only using the DIN-Plug Video Out)
    2.) some Games and Demos seem to have difficulties with their graphics and sound, the timing on the motherboard seems to be different to the original which results in strange behaviour like messed up graphics and out of sync sound, some games do not work at all (like “Fix it Felix”)
    3.) I have downloaded the newest firmware C64mod_2_7.pof but I didn´t find any docu how to update the FPGA although I was searching very hard
    Thanks very much in advance and best regards,
    Andi Roemer

    #40135
    BuckoA51
    Keymaster

    Hi Andreas,

    1) That’s not normal at all, I regularly use the DIN and the component video mod together to compare.

    2) This is to be expected in some cases although it was thought most bugs/inaccuracies were fixed. Anything you find that might have an issue please let us know. Is the Fix it Felix game a free download? If so can we have a link?

    3) You need a USB blaster cable/JTAG programmer. You need to lift off the cover of your C64, connect the JTAG programmer to the connector then use programming software on your PC to send over the software. C64 must be powered on so be careful.

    #40137
    Andreas Römer
    Participant

    Hi BuckoA51,
    at first thanks a lot for your reply.
    The game “Fix it Felix” is bought over itch.io, but i can send you a link to some demos that are’nt working as well in my current configuration (csdb.db).

    On Amazon I have found this: https://www.amazon.de/s?k=Usb-Blaster-Kabel-CPLD-Programmierer-Altera&__mk_de_DE=%C3%85M%C3%85%C5%BD%C3%95%C3%91&ref=nb_sb_noss
    Is this suitable for programming the FPGA Firmware?

    In the docu of the C64 S-Video Bypass/RF Replacement – DIY Kit (I have already ordered one) I have seen that you have to ground the PCB on the motherboard beside the ground that it already has over the 2x 4-pin socketing on the mainboard.

    Do I have to ground the Video-Enhancement PCB the same way as it is shown in the docu for the S-Video-Bypass-PCB?

    Best Regards,
    Andi from Berlin

    #40160
    Andreas Römer
    Participant

    Hi BuckoA51,
    after further research I watched the YouTube Video of Jan Beta concerning the C64VE. Beside that I read the thread of Copperdragon: “INSTALLING C64VE IN SHORT BOARD C-64, GROUND ISSUE” in this forum. It’s a pity that the normal docu didn´t mention the necessity to ground the C64VE PCB to provide full funcionality.
    Above that even Copperdragon mentioned, that the additional ground-standoffs should be part of the DIY-Package to avoid misunderstandings or malfunctioning.
    Fact is: Without the additional ground-standoffs the PCB isn´t working correctly, so they really should be added to the package. At least they are not that expensive , isn’t it? Fortunately I had some in my parts-box 🙂
    Another reason to add them is the hight of the C64VE PCB over the C64 Mainboard. If you just use the delivered 2 times 4 standoffs the PCB is too low to reach the hole of the former TV out hole, the same for the resolution switch. Perhaps its not a bad idea to link Jan Betas Youtube video if he agrees.

    I think the difficulties I have with the Ypbpr output over my retrotink 2x pro to my LCD Monitor over HDMI is caused by converting the signal two times: 1st time through the FPGA of the C64VE and 2nd by the FPGA of the retrotink 2x pro.

    Unfortunately I have no CRT Monitor with Ypbpr input available so I can´t check the timing problems using the C64VE output signal directly. Perhaps you have experiences that can confirm my theory?

    Nevertheless I want to try to update the C64VE firmware with the newest version. Is the USB Blaster Cable the I picked on amazon (s.a.) suitable to do so?

    Best Regards and thanks in advance,
    Andi

    P.S. Is it possible to share some picturesin this forum? Like small jpegs?

    #40161
    Andreas Römer
    Participant

    Hi BuckoA51,

    after continuous testing I found the reason for the timing problems: Indeed it´s as i thought!
    The two FPGA’s are the problem. If i put my retrotink 2x pro in passthrough mode the timing probs are gone.
    The pic is clear and crisp and everything ist working as expected. Exept the pic format. Now i have a widescreen format on my LCD Screen instead of the requested 4:3. But this is a problem of my display. Everything would be perfect if i could force it to 4:3 …

    Best regards!

    #40162
    BuckoA51
    Keymaster

    Hi Andreas,

    The additional pin headers/ground standoffs are now included in the kit, you must have had one of our earlier kits where they weren’t included so sorry about that.

    RetroTINK Pro doesn’t accept 480p so you would need to have the C64 component kit in 240p output mode. Otherwise, there should be no issues whatsoever. The RetroTINK won’t care about what conversion has been done at the C64 end.

    #40175
    Andreas Römer
    Participant

    Hi BuckoA51,
    due to my ACER LCD Display I have to choose the leftmost position of the C64VE mode switch.
    No matter what i configure on my Retrotink, if I choose one of the other switch positions my display says: “Videomode not supported”. Bad luck for me. 🙂
    I think the only way is to look after another display that supports 240p or YpPbr/Component Input. I was searching the internet but i didn´t find any proper device, not even on eBay. Perhaps you have a hint for a suitable LG oder Samsung LCD-monitor? In best cases it supports also 15KHz RGB (VGA) so I can use my C128 in 80column mode with it – using the GGLabs CGA2RGBv2 PCB. Even a small suitable LCD-TV would be fine.
    For programming the C64VE FPGA firmware: Can I use the following device I found on Amazon?
    amazon.de, article STK0114003019

    #40196
    BuckoA51
    Keymaster

    The USB blaster you linked to should work, though I have had issues with those cheaper ones.

    Why would you want an LCD with 15khz support? The point of RetroTINK and/or C64 component is so that you don’t ever need such things. Keep your C64 component mod in 240p and just feed it to RetroTINK like that. On your RetroTINK I think you’re confused and passthrough mode is the one that does not work while line double does, that’s the case on many displays.

    #40278
    Andreas Römer
    Participant

    The LCD with 15KHz support should serve my C128DCF in 80 column 16 Colour Mode. The C128 puts out an digital RGBI-Signal with is mostly like CGA but needs to be converted in an analog VGA like signal. Therefore I have the GGLabs CGA2RGBv2 PCB which transforms the digital output from the C128 in an analog signal which most displays can handle – if they support 15Khz VGA. The CGA2RGBv2 is no scandoubler and keeps the frequency that comes out of the C128DCF.

    If you believe it or not: My configuration is working now. 🙂

    After your last mail I updated the firmware of my “retrotink 2x pro” from version 1.3 to 1.5 and now everything is fine. I dont need the passthrough mode any more and the C64VE puts out 240p/288p progressive 60Hz/50Hz (leftmost position of the switch if the C64VE-PCB is build in my breadbin C64 and the switch is at the rear edge of the C64). Now I have a 4:3 picture on my LCD-screen without any timing probs even with heavy load demos like “edge of disgrace”. If i want to have a little softer picture or scanline effect i have to use my retrotink and not the C64VE.

    The RF-Replacement (my last order) also works flawlessly because of the precision sockets and the ground pin-headers on my C64 mainboard.

    The next step is to update the C64VE firmware to the newest version with the USB-Blaster …

    Thanks a lot for your help so far!!!

    #40513
    BuckoA51
    Keymaster

    Ah great, another happy customer then 🙂

    #40541
    jdryyz
    Participant

    Andreas,

    May I ask what LCD monitor you are using with your CGA2RGBv2?

    I have the Dell U2410 which will accept a 15KHz signal over VGA. I am only using this so far with an Amiga 1200. With most Amiga-to-VGA adapters, the display will have vertical bars. Fortunately, Edu Arana made an adapter that eliminates this.

    I wonder how the CGA2RGBv2 looks though. Are there any unwanted artifacts? I would like to connect my C128 to my U2410 using the CGA2RGBv2. Sounds like I just need some good quality cables and an adapter to supply power.

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