Problem with Retrotink 2x and Genesis/PS1 S-Video

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  • #24077
    ki_atsushi
    Participant

    Got my Retrotink 2x hooked up today and I’m sorely disappointed. S-Video on SNES works ok, except that the first game I tried was Super Ghouls N’ Ghosts, and I lose video for 2 seconds every time the lightning strikes on the second half of level 2, making it unplayable. All the other SNES games I’ve tried so far look and play great.

    Playstation 1 on official S-Video cables gives me no color! The picture is stable but it’s completely back and white.

    Sega is a whole different beast. I’m using an S-Video modded 32x and somehow it alternates from giving me no color at all, to garish, oversaturated color with weird horizontal rainbow banding at times.

    I’m sad because the cheap video converter I got on Amazon a few years back has handled these systems perfectly, but adds a few frames of lag. The only reason I wanted this thing was to reduce the lag, which I can tell it’s good at. But I’m not down for playing in black & white!

    #24079
    BuckoA51
    Keymaster

    Super Ghouls N’ Ghosts was one of the games I tested and had no such problems, so that could be a cable issue.

    On the PlayStation front are you sure you selected the correct input? PS hasn’t been extensively tested since it has good RGB output.

    32x again sounds like a cable issue to me.

    #24088
    nmalinoski
    Participant

    Regarding the PlayStation, the only two reasons I can think of for you getting an entirely black and white image is that either the RT2X is in the wrong mode, like BuckoA51 suggested (luma is black and white, so selecting composite only pays attention to that) or the chroma line on your S-Video cable is broken.

    Are you using a power supply that came with the RT2X, or something else? And have you tried a different HDMI cable?

    #24101
    ki_atsushi
    Participant

    I ruled out the HDMI cable as the culprit, it’s brand new and all SNES games I’ve tested look great and don’t give me any problems other than Super Ghouls N’ Ghosts. I also ruled out my existing cables because they have been working fine with my previous setup with absolutely no problems.

    I cycled through all of the different retrotink modes many times to see if I could get the picture to look normal. I also played with settings on my TV to see if that might be the problem, but my TV has always accepted a wide range of resolutions including 240p and weird refresh rates with no problems (Samsung UN32F5500) .

    As far as power supply, I’m using a Samsung 2 amp phone charger, one thing I might test is another micro USB cord though now that I think about it, as it is a rather thin gauge and long. I’ll report back.

    #24102
    James-F
    Participant

    The current RT2x revision will lose sync with any console if a white screen (like flashes) is more than 1v peak-to-peak (including sync).
    This is because the ADV7280 video inputs requires 24+51ohm divider to accept higher input voltages, but Mike only implemented 75 Ohm load without complying with the specification data sheet, hence a larger than 1v signal (out of spec) which more than a few console produce enters the ADV7280 chip and activates the overvoltage reduction circuitry.
    I did modify my RT2x with this divider at each input and the image became stable with flashes and white screens with all consoles.
    You can test this with ‘240p test suite’ and go from black to white screen to see if the RT2x looses sync when switching quickly between full screen black to white test pattern.

    I contacted Mike about this design flaw but got no reply, probably because a lot of units with this flaw already been shipped.
    Hopefully he will fix the next revision, it’s a simple addition of resistors.

    There is also a flaw with the audio chip that distorts the audio that I also fixed, and very low wattage 3.3v regulators that dies fast if its input voltage is not stable, but these are different issues that also need to be solved.

    I love the RT2x and will re-buy it (my first one is dead) when these issues are fixed.

    #24105
    ki_atsushi
    Participant

    Very interesting! I’d like to try modding this myself. Where is the best place to add the resistors?

    I’d like to solve the audio issue as well, bassy sounds come out scratchy on the retrotink. The audio is extremely loud in general, I know a pretty significant amount of resistance is needed there as well.

    BTW, the usb cable wasn’t the culprit either.

    #24109
    James-F
    Participant

    The datasheet clearly specifies a 24+51 divider at each input so that’s what I did.
    From ADV7280 (video) datasheet:
    Inputs divider

    The audio chip accepts 3Vpp, but most retro consoles output way more than that.
    Do the same with audio inputs but 10k+10k, the 10k to ground is already there.
    This will accept even the loudest console without clipping like the N64 which outputs a huge 6Vpp, and will bring the overall volume to standard set-top/satellite box levels.

    Here’s how my mod looks (there are more resistors on the back for s-video not shown in the photo), it fixed all audio+video problems.
    I could have used SMD resistors but, I only had the correct values in through-hole 1/4w size.
    Don’t mind the dangling oscillator in the photo, my RT2x is dead from a power surge and I’m trying to revive it.
    rt2x modded

    NOTE this will void your warranty, since it involves cutting traces on the PCB.
    To be frank, the RT2x does not worth 100$ with the current flaws.
    I really hope Mike Chi fixes both audio and video inputs in the next revision.

    PS.
    I also did not have color in Composite/S-Video with my modded PAL PS1 which runs in PAL60/NTSC4.43 mode when booting NTSC games.
    The ADV7280 chip supports both these formats according to spec sheet and should produce color with this signal.
    Maybe Mike turned these modes off, when I asked him about it I got no reply.

    #24110
    ki_atsushi
    Participant

    Thanks so much for the photos, mind if I see what you did on the underside of the board?

    #24111
    James-F
    Participant

    Do not copy my work by appearance only!
    You have to have experience with electronics and the right tools to measure continuity and resistance, and have a good soldering station with all the right soldering supplies and plenty soldering experience.
    You will have to trace back each input (including s-video pins) to the ADV7280 chip and cut the correct traces with a scalpel knife to add the series resistor.

    I repeat, DO NOT mod your RT2x unless you absolutely sure you want to void your warranty.
    DO NOT, modify your RT2x if you do not have experience with electronics and all the right tools to do it proper job and test your work.

    By fact that you asked for a photo of the other side, I can tell you have no experience in electronics or the right tools,, so please do not tinker with your retrotink.

    #24115
    ki_atsushi
    Participant

    It’s not working for me, so I don’t care if I void the warranty. And I do have some experience soldering and the tools, but I admit I don’t know what points to connect just based on that diagram. I have done simple modwork based on photos before with success.

    I guess I’ll just sell this stupid thing.

    #24200
    BuckoA51
    Keymaster

    Again I definitely tested Super Ghouls and Ghosts and did not have this issue. It’s something I looked for as the old Sony YR transcoders suffered from it too.

    Could it not be fixed by adding a resistor to the S-video cable too?

    #24326
    ki_atsushi
    Participant

    I used 2 different cables, an official Nintendo brand S-Video cable as well as a monster S-Video cable. I also tried it on my Samsung UN32F5500 TV as well as my BenQ ZOWIE monitor, it’s definitely the retrotink as the picture drops out during bright flashes with every combination.

    #24336
    BuckoA51
    Keymaster

    @JAMES-F could you e-mail in directly to us? Mike wants to look more into the mods you made to your RetroTINK, if we could get a look at what you’ve done we can replace your RetroTINK for you even with the warranty voiding mods.

    #24345
    James-F
    Participant

    Thanks Matt, Done.

    #24503
    ki_atsushi
    Participant

    Any recourse for me? I’m beginning to think us consumers are all beta testers for this thing, I’m having the same screen blanking problem on more games that I’ve tried, like Super Mario RPG even.

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