OSSC losing sync on SNES screen transition – only certain games

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  • #41160
    chronous3
    Participant

    Hi everyone. I’ve got an issue that’s been baffling me all day today.

    When playing Secret of Evermore, I noticed a sync drop on almost every screen transition. From the opening sequence, to each time I open and close the save menu. It happens in line 5x, 4x, 3x, and 2x mode. I’ve been playing in 5x mode with no issues for a while. Before I got this TV, I had been playing in 4x mode with no issues. My SNES is going into 2 gcompsw’s via HD retrovision cables. It’s a 1CHIP, but isn’t modded. The switchers go into the OSSC, and from there into a 2 way HDMI switcher, then into the TV. A retrotink2x is plugged into the other slot on that HDMI switcher, and this issue doesn’t occur when I switch to that.

    I recently updated to the newest firmware, and didn’t notice the issue before that. I’m currently using FirebrandX’s profile for SNES. This happens on the real Secret of Evermore cart, as well as on the FXPak Pro. I tested Earthbound, Chrono Trigger, Super Mario World, and Mega Man X3, and none of them ever lost sync, even on screen transitions. Interestingly, Secret of Mana loses sync every time I exit a save menu, but not when I enter one, nor any other screen transition.

    Although I’ve been seeing this on my SNES optimized timings profile, this happens on my universal profile as well, using generic line 5x, 4x, etc. I’m thoroughly baffled by this. Here’s a video of it happening. It’s hard to see the red light, but you can see the OSSC lose sync every time I go in and out of the save menu. Happens on every other screen transition in the game too. But most other games are fine, and this also never happens during gameplay. Only transitions.

    Does anyone have any ideas as to what’s going on or how to fix this?

    #41210
    BuckoA51
    Keymaster

    It could be SNES actually turns off the screen at that point for a moment, such things never bothered the old analogue CRT TVs, but confuse more modern equipment, there’s not a lot that can be done about that unfortunately.

    Your video chain seems pretty complex, have you tried stripping it down to something more basic to see if it’s caused or at least exasperated by all those switchers/splitters?

    #41220
    chronous3
    Participant

    Thanks for the reply! I haven’t tried that, although the retroTINK I’ve got is also using the exact same chain. On my second gcomsw I have one output go to the tink, and the other output go to the OSSC. The tink doesn’t appear to drop sync. Although, it’s possible maybe the game still does it but the tink handles it a little faster so I don’t notice. I have yet to see this happen on any other games I test, or consoles. It’s so strange. Have you ever heard of a game behaving this way? Have you or anyone else tried Secret of Evermore with an OSSC?

    #41256
    BuckoA51
    Keymaster

    I’ve not played Secret of Evermore but I could try it on a flash cart, do I need to get far into the game to get this to happen?

    #41258
    chronous3
    Participant

    It happens during the intro sequence repeatedly, and during the opening sequence when you start a new game. It also happens on most screen transitions, and any time you go into or out of the save menu. It happened to me on 2 different real copies, and on the FX Pak Pro. I haven’t seen it do it in any other game or on any other system! I’m starting to think you’re right, it’s the game. It’s just weird. Didn’t happen on framemeister or tink, but for all I know the video *does* cut out and I didn’t drop sync or notice on those devices. Such an odd issue.

    #41261
    FADing
    Participant

    Some Square SNES (SFC) games use horizontal hi-res mode (512×224) with modes 5 or 6 on the menu screen.
    As far as I know, I use this mode in the following games.
    -Romancing Saga 3
    -Secret of Mana
    -Secret of Evermore
    This is done in Square’s game engine to represent the complex shapes of Kanji.
    I live in Japan and can provide these cartridges if needed for testing.

    #41273
    euan
    Participant

    I recently played through Secret of Mana (US) without experiencing any issues like this.

    #41311
    BuckoA51
    Keymaster

    Just tried Secret of Evermore on an FXPack Pro with an LG C9 and at Dell LCD, neither had any problems viewing the intro, no sync drops.

    #41312
    chronous3
    Participant

    Oh man, I am officially baffled on this one. Happens to me with the real cart, my friend’s real copy, and the FX Pak Pro. Happens on 2x, 3x, 4x, and 5x. So far, only this game. I must have a setting off or something. Although it happened on generic too. I’m stumped on this one! I’ve been playing Lunar 2 on PS1 in 5x mode for like 10 hours without a single drop, and I haven’t seen it happen in any other game or any other system. This is so strange!

    #41426
    BuckoA51
    Keymaster

    Have you tried different TVs and different SNES consoles?

    #41513
    marqs
    Participant

    Have you tried any of the sync settings? At least you should try setting “Analog sync LPF” to 2.5MHz and “Analog STC LPF” to 0.5MHz. If that doesn’t help, try raising “Analog sync Vth”.

    #41516
    chronous3
    Participant

    I don’t have access to another SNES right now, but I’m using an unmodded 1CHIP SNES. I did replace the voltage regulator with a new one from console5. I tried a different TV and got the same result. Every time I go in and out of a save menu, and most other screen transitions on Secret of Evermore, I see the red light briefly turn on on the OSSC. Then the signal comes back a moment later. I haven’t really seen this with other games or systems. It doesn’t happen with the retrotink either, which is using the exact same setup (one output of the gcompsw goes to OSSC, the other to the tink). It’s SO strange!

    I tried those settings you recommended marqs. It was already on 2.5MHz, but Analog STC LPF was on something else. I got excited thinking aha! This is the dumb setting I had causing this! I set it to 0.5MHz, and it’s still happening. I then tried raising Analog sync Vth by 1 step, testing it, and repeating. Every single level of analog sync Vth, it still happened. Eventually, somewhere above 300, the signal cuts out permanently. I went in the opposite direction, all the way down to 0, same thing. It never fixed it, until eventually the signal is lost entirely. This is the strangest riddle.

    I really appreciate you guys’ continued efforts to find suggestions and try to help. Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to help, whether or not we end up figuring it out!

    #41548
    marqs
    Participant

    Do you have any other cable for the SNES to try out? Even if it’s just a composite cable, you could hook it to Y of AV3 (results to B/W image) and check whether the issues occur at same places?

    #41749
    chronous3
    Participant

    PROGRESS! I got my hands on another SNES. I swapped it with my current one and tested it with the same exact SoE cart, same cables, everything. No drop in sync. Didn’t do it once, ever. So we’ve officially found the source, you were right. It’s the SNES itself.

    Now I’m wondering two things:

  • Why does it briefly lose sync with the OSSC, but not the retrotink2x?
    More importantly, what in the SNES could be causing this, but only on screen transitions in a certain game?
  • I recently replaced the voltage regulator in the problem SNES with a better one from console5. I also replaced a couple caps, and did the ghosting fix. Perhaps I messed something up in some way? This is not your problem, and you have no obligation to help. OSSC is fine, it’s my own SNES that’s the issue. If you did have any ideas though, I’d love to hear your thoughts. I’m always interested in learning more about the SNES, OSSC, video signals, and what makes it all tick.

    Thanks for all your help guys, this was a really weird problem and I really appreciate your input.

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