Retrotink 2x – New Firmware

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  • #26294
    James-F
    Participant

    v3.2 PCB fixes:
    White screen sync loss fix by adding 24+51 ohm voltage divider at the video inputs per specification.
    Audio inputs accepts signal from hotter consoles without distortion like the N64.

    Firmware changes:

    
    * Added Retro Composite mode tuned for retro consoles.
    Disabled luma comb filtering because it distorted pixels.
    Use appropriate notch filtering for luma.
    Use appropriate chroma comb filtering for NTSC and PAL.
    Use appropriate chroma bandpass filter (SH1).
    
    * Added Video Composite mode.
    Suitable for digitizing VCR, Laserdisc and DVD composite video sources.
    Also suitable for 480i sources: PS2, XBOX, Gamecube, PS3, XBOX360, etc...
    Luma and Chroma Comb filtering is set to default.
    This is the default automatic mode of the digitizer chip.
    
    * Added PAL60 modes for Composite and S-Video.
    Support for PAL consoles with NTSC games.
    
    * Input gain tuned to support hotter inputs without clipping.
    Disable automatic luma gain control, which clipped whites in some situations.
    Luma and Chroma behaves like on a CRT.
    
    * Added DVI mode.
    DVI will output RGB Full Range (0-255), no hdmi packets.
    HDMI will output YCbCr4:4:4 Limited Range (16-235).
    4:2:2 to 4:4:4 with first order interpolation.
    
    * Fixed audio digitization to prevent clicks.
    
    * Disable HDMI cable hot plugging detection to prevent false boot sequence triggering.
    No more flashing leds each time you move the retrotink2x, much more stable operation.
    
    * Remember input mode after shutdown.
    

    New input modes.
    1. YPbPr, Component mode.
    2. Y/C, S-Video mode for NTSC and PAL.
    3. Y/C & YPbPr leds are lit, PAL60 mode for S-Video.
    4. CVBS, Composite Retro mode for NTSC and PAL.
    5. CVBS & Y/C leds are lit, PAL60 mode for Composite Retro.
    6. All leds are lit, Composite Video mode.

    DVI mode:
    Hold the 2X/Filter button while connecting usb power to enable DVI mode, release after 2 led flashes.
    Note that in DVI mode there is no audio output, and will output RGB Full Range (0-255).

    HDMI default now is YCbCr 4:4:4 Limited Range (16-235) which is the default for video content, and TVs have better support for that mode,, was RGB Full before this firmware update.
    PC Monitor should be just as compatible with HDMI mode as TVs are, but if you have problems use DVI mode where audio is not used anyway.
    Some HDMI-to-VGA adapters will behave better with YCbCr Limited or RGB Full and vise versa, with both options present now the RT2x is more compatible with variations of these adapters.

    #26296
    nmalinoski
    Participant

    It’s really nice to see that issues identified since release have been addressed.

    Is there an upgrade path for existing RT2X owners (hard mod+firmware flash?), or will they need to buy a whole new RT2X?

    #26317
    James-F
    Participant

    To flash a new firmware you need two items.
    1. Pickit 3 (12$ on eBay)
    2. TC2030-PKT-NL Cable

    Fixing the PCB is probably outside the possibility of users since it has tiny smt components and involves cutting microscopic traces and a lot of experience with very precise soldering.
    I would not recommend to even try.

    Keep in mind that no one knows when a hardware revision is going to happen as with phones or any other electronic device.
    I have the older v3.1 pcb too and had to modify and buy all the stuff above.

    I do not know if VGP flashes the firmware locally before shipping or receives the RT2x already flashed with the firmware from Mike.
    Maybe VGP can flash the new firmware for free if you pay for shipping there and back?

    #26325
    pva
    Participant

    Maybe VGP can flash the new firmware for free if you pay for shipping there and back?

    I couldn’t find a European reseller for the cable, and shipping a $43 cable via FedEx International Economy from California to Finland, where I live would have cost $48.13. I bet most European customers would find even a paid flashing service provided by VGP an attractive option to ponying up 90-odd dollars (~£71/81€) + potential duties and taxes for a cable that’d probably only end up being used once.

    #26326
    BuckoA51
    Keymaster

    We will be offering a firmware flashing service for cost of postage, that’s the plan anyway.

    #26364
    mikechi2
    Participant

    First of all a big thanks to James-F. He really carried the project. I just flashed the boards. And yes, we are working on a service that at least lets us cover North American and EU customers to give people with the older boards the ability to remember input settings, additional video modes (PAL-60, retro CVBS) and slightly more stable HDMI output and audio compatibility.

    #26580
    whitezombie
    Participant

    Mike and James,

    Can you two collaborate and try to fix the smoothing filter pixel flicker issue. When I use the smoothing filter with HD Retrovision cables I noticed that sometimes I get some small pixel flickering on some games. I noticed it a lot when playing jRPG’s with static text on screen. I emailed Mike about this issue and below was his response.

    “I know exactly what you’re talking about. I think it’s due to low
    level noise in the video so the interpolator sometimes decides the
    pixel should be on or off depending on how much random noise there is.
    I tried to fix it in the new hardware rev with more power supply
    filtering but it didn’t seem to make a difference.”

    #26688
    cleitonspindola
    Participant

    Hello people

    Its possible to update my RT2x 3.1 to new firmware or not? If have possibility how upgrade and where find firmware files?

    Thanks.

    #26698
    Galdelico
    Participant

    Hi everyone,
    as an OSSC early adopter, I followed the RT news with interest since the beginning (still on the fence, as I’d be using its S-Video out with the N64 only, coupled with the OSSC itself): my question is, should I buy it now, would the RT come with the latest hardware revision and new firmware installed?

    Thanks in advance!

    #26702
    nmalinoski
    Participant

    I would say it depends on where you buy it. If you buy one from Mike Chi directly, I would expect it to be the new board revision with the newest firmware, or at least clear labeling on the product page telling you one way or the other.

    If you buy from anywhere else, you should check the product page for any versioning information (there might be a separate page for the new board/firmware); otherwise, you should contact the seller to see which version it is before buying.

    #26706
    Galdelico
    Participant

    Thank you. ^_-
    Didn’t know you could buy the device from Mike himself… I was thinking about getting it from here, just like the OSSC, as I’m from Italy and the shipping is always fast and easy.

    #26707
    nmalinoski
    Participant

    I think Mike Chi is based in the US, so VGP might be a better source for you, because they’re already in the EU.

    As for which version you’ll get, the VGP product page for the RT2X says that all their units are shipping with the newest firmware; however, I didn’t see anything about which board revision they’re shipping. Without specific confirmation from BuckoA51 that they’ve exhausted their old stock and they’ve started shipping 2.x PCBs, I would think there’s a chance you’d get a 1.x PCB, but still with the latest firmware.

    #26708
    Galdelico
    Participant

    Thanks again. I’ll check it out with Matt directly and see what’s the current situation.

    #27117
    d020
    Participant

    Hi, thanks for the good information in this thread! I have an older-revision 2x and wonder if the new firmware might be for me.

    Sometimes think I see a bit of clipping in bright scenes when using classic game consoles or VHS players on the composite or S-Video inputs. I think I see the clipping when using the 2x directly with either my HDMI TV or DVI monitor no matter which settings I alter on the displays. If I use the 2x with an OSSC I have not been able to reduce the perceived clipping by altering any of the settings on the OSSC. The same analog video signal on CRT passthrough does not appear to be clipped.

    I notice James-F mentions input gain tuning in the description of the new firmware. Should I try and upgrade my older-revision 2x to the new firmware?

    #27120
    bamf226
    Participant

    still on the fence, as I’d be using its S-Video out with the N64 only, coupled with the OSSC itself

    I wouldn’t recommend chaining with the OSSC. In my testing with N64 and Gamecube, both look better with 2X and smoothing from the RT2X compared to OSSC at 2X or 4X with the RT2X in passthrough mode.

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