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CrossBow

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  1. Like
    CrossBow got a reaction from RickR in Old-school PC Benchmark for your modern PC   
    Well..I took the plunge about a week ago and bought quite a few new components for my new PC home workstation/server/gaming setup. Just ran the user benchmark and these are scores...

    UserBenchmarks: Game 96%, Desk 152%, Work 129%
    CPU: Intel Core i7-9700K - 105.1%
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 1070 - 84.2%
    SSD: Samsung 970 Evo Plus NVMe PCIe M.2 250GB - 283.6%
    SSD: Intel Raid 0 Volume 2TB - 177.7%
    HDD: Intel Raid 0 Volume 2TB - 195.1%
    RAM: Corsair CMW16GX4M2Z3600C18 2x8GB - 111%
    MBD: MSI MPG Z390 GAMING PRO CARBON AC (MS-7B17)
     
    So I should be good to go for awhile and ready for Cyberpunk 2077 next year!
     
  2. Like
    CrossBow got a reaction from MaximumRD in Old-school PC Benchmark for your modern PC   
    Well, while my current 7 year old rig can still play most modern games at high to ultra settings at 1440p, the real issue is how long it takes to edit and render videos. I have a 4k camera but my PC just cannot handle trying to edit large 4k video on the fly. Scrubbing the video is next to impossible and I end up having to put the preview windows at very low resolutions. That sucks because I sometimes cannot see something that might be off in the video because the resolution isn't clear enough to see if in the preview. Also, all effects such as the fades cause the CPU to hit 100% for a seconds making it impossible to view such effects in the preview in real time. Most of the stuff I do or edit into the video, I don't even get to really see until I render them. 
    Also the video card is not on the list of components to be changes. I really only have to change out the mother board, CPU and RAM as the old case and pretty much everything else I have can still be used. But damn..just getting a nice high end i7 with a modern motherboard and 16gb of medium speed DDR4 RAM is basically a grand. Eventually I would like to get an all different and smaller case as my Antec 902 is beast along with an nvME SSD as a new boot drive in place of my aging Intel 320 series SSD I've been using for like 4+ years now? 
    I currently have a 1050w Corsair PSU in my PC..yes...that is 1,050watts and I know that is still usable. But it too is 7 years old and not nearly as efficient as a newer 850w gold rated one would be these days. And if I were to basically build an all new PC, then my youngest can have this current one that would still be faster than his 2 year old gaming laptop he now uses.
    I know the newer AMD CPUs and chipsets seem to be wiping the floor with Intel these days, but I've never had very stable AMD setups in the past whereas all of my Intel based builds have been solid with this current one simply the best I've pieced together.
  3. Like
    CrossBow got a reaction from MaximumRD in Old-school PC Benchmark for your modern PC   
    Well..I took the plunge about a week ago and bought quite a few new components for my new PC home workstation/server/gaming setup. Just ran the user benchmark and these are scores...

    UserBenchmarks: Game 96%, Desk 152%, Work 129%
    CPU: Intel Core i7-9700K - 105.1%
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 1070 - 84.2%
    SSD: Samsung 970 Evo Plus NVMe PCIe M.2 250GB - 283.6%
    SSD: Intel Raid 0 Volume 2TB - 177.7%
    HDD: Intel Raid 0 Volume 2TB - 195.1%
    RAM: Corsair CMW16GX4M2Z3600C18 2x8GB - 111%
    MBD: MSI MPG Z390 GAMING PRO CARBON AC (MS-7B17)
     
    So I should be good to go for awhile and ready for Cyberpunk 2077 next year!
     
  4. Like
    CrossBow got a reaction from Atari Creep in Thrift Store Finds   
    This was mentioned by someone on the AtariAge FB group, but someone also tagged me to tell me about it as well. It has been a long time since I bought anything from a thrift store, but one of these from the local Salvation Army...

     
    Now resides here...

    ... at the Ivory Tower Collections game room.
  5. Like
    CrossBow got a reaction from RickR in Thrift Store Finds   
    I was tagged by a friend of mine that lives in Dallas. He first found out about it from a completely different FB group he is a member of that features pics people take of crazy stuff they find or see in Thrift stores. Anyway, once that original group posted that it was a salvation army in Tulsa (where the ITC exists..), he tagged me and other collects in this area about it. Since the nearest SA was literally only 1.5 miles from my work office, I went there after work and sure enough there they both were. 20min later one of them was loaded up in my little work S10 and headed home with me. 
    The story of the one you see posted doesn't quite end there. It met with a horrible accident when the wife came home. I spent the rest of Friday night and all day Saturday getting some lumber and channeling my inner carpenter skills to fix it hehe!
     
  6. Like
    CrossBow got a reaction from jmjustin6 in Thrift Store Finds   
    This was mentioned by someone on the AtariAge FB group, but someone also tagged me to tell me about it as well. It has been a long time since I bought anything from a thrift store, but one of these from the local Salvation Army...

     
    Now resides here...

    ... at the Ivory Tower Collections game room.
  7. Like
    CrossBow got a reaction from RickR in McWill LCD Upgrade for Lynx   
    Wanted to mention that I recently did a BennVenn LCD upgrade in a clients Lynx II. It is a much simpler installation as only one easy to remove component has to come out and with the new brackets for the LCD they essentially drop in easily now to replace. Still requires nearly the same amount of soldering, but it is all along one side and area of the Lynx II making the installations look cleaner overall.
    The picture from this newer LCD is softer but I think I like that more. It does show horizontal pattering across the image but not enough to really detract from the game at all. You can adjust the brightness levels of the BennVenn LCD but on the one I did the changes were very subtle and I'm not sure it needs it. 
    But yeah, for roughly the half the cost you can get excellent output from a Lynx II with the new BennVenn kit. 
     
  8. Thanks
    CrossBow got a reaction from RockyRaccoon in Way to Obtain Atari 5200 Physical Case Parts   
    Yeah... again I'm quite lucky to have a retro game shop just around the corner from me that deals in all systems including old Coleco Tabletops. As a result of this, they have a small store room full of consoles. They don't really like to spend time fixing anything older than NES (Because it just doesn't sell for them honestly), so they end up with small piles of semi working Atari systems. I've gotten small stashes of 2600s for like $5 a piece in the past and as I mentioned 5200s for pretty decent prices. Hell, the ICs in these consoles alone are worth more than what I pay for them. Even a 5200 at $25 is worth it for the Pokey and GTIA plus the case shells if they are intact. 
    However, most 5200s that have been sent to me for service work, usually do NOT have the controller cover as that seems to be the first thing to break off.
     
  9. Like
    CrossBow got a reaction from RockyRaccoon in Way to Obtain Atari 5200 Physical Case Parts   
    That is what I ended up having to do with a 5200 that was sent to me for an AV upgrade and power mod. I'm guessing it wasn't packed very well and it suffered quite a bit of damage in shipping. Luckily the client had put a ton of insurance on it (Which I found strange BTW). Anyway, I didn't want to send their system back with a broken front panel and cracked to pieces lower shell so I bought a junker 5200 from the local retro game shop here for like $25 and swapped the guts into it. So it might be cheaper to go that route. Just hope that whomever ships it to you does so with plenty of packing around it!
     
  10. Like
    CrossBow got a reaction from TrekMD in AgaCart - New SD Multicart for Atari Lynx   
    I just released a video on this cool SD flash cart and go into the modes of operation it has.
     
  11. Like
    CrossBow got a reaction from TrekMD in AgaCart - New SD Multicart for Atari Lynx   
    Yeap mine arrived yesterday though I haven't fired it up yet to check it out. I can tell you that the entire package is excellent and worth the cost for admission on presentation alone!
     
  12. Like
    CrossBow got a reaction from Justin in Ivory Tower Collections - Tech, Game and More Videos!   
    ITC# 59 is finally done and published. I've actually had this footage in the can for nearly a month but been so busy with my actual day job and retro commissioned work that I simply hadn't had a chance to edit it and get it online.
    Finally I go into greater detail in the process I use when installing a UAV (Ultimate Atari Video) board into an Atari 7800. The most critical parts of this video compared to the overview of the installation I did previously, is that I show the most likely way you might want to install one of these into a 7800 without removal of any components at all. I also show my current method for filtering and routing the audio that keeps the TIA and POKEY/External audio volume in balance and doesn't kill the audio from the RF modulator as my previous video would have shown.
    Links are provided in the video description for my UAV installation instructions and on where you can order UAV boards for your own Atari console and computer needs. As always, thank you for watching and for any comments left that help me improve the channel and its content.
     
  13. Like
    CrossBow got a reaction from Justin in Ivory Tower Collections - Tech, Game and More Videos!   
    ITC# 58 is finally released! Been very busy with commissioned console work again and haven't had much time to create much less edit any videos LOL. But I had been meaning to make this one for a while and a recent purchase for more battery holders jogged my memory to get this one done and released. Here I go through the process I follow when replacing out batteries on game cartridges. Specifically I install a battery holder that I have to modify to make as low profile as possible to fit in the confines of the cartridge case but I also show you how I do it without the possibility of losing any potential save game data on the game.
     
     
  14. Like
    CrossBow got a reaction from Justin in Ivory Tower Collections - Tech, Game and More Videos!   
    ITC# 57 went live ahead of schedule and finally has me taking that needed break from hardware work and videos and getting back to playing some video games! Join me as I go through a complete long play of the unreleased game for the Atari 5200, The Last Starfighter! I give you information about how the game is played and some interesting tips I've found to help make playing the game easier. In all honesty, this being an unreleased prototype and only thought to be the final completed game, could be me exploiting some bugs that remained in the game not yet polished out. But who cares, as it is a lot of fun to play!
     
     
  15. Like
    CrossBow got a reaction from Justin in Ivory Tower Collections - Tech, Game and More Videos!   
    ITC# 56 went live this morning. This will likely be the last hardware tech video I do for a while as it seems that is all I've been doing for the last several months. Truth is, I've been so busy doing commissioned modification work on other retro gamer enthusiasts consoles, that I haven't really had any time to play any actual games as late. So it was easiest to just make videos of the consoles I was modifying at the time and well...there you go.
    With that, here in ITC# 56 I go through the process and give you some tips should you ever need or decided to replace the capacitors in your Roland MT-32 sound module. It is pretty retro game related as this module, along with the original Adlib is what really started the sound card boom of the late 80s and early 90s. Therefore if you were a PC gamer in that era, you likely had or knew someone with an Adlib or Sound Blaster card, but all of you were drooling for one of these MT-32 modules like I was! Video features some new custom music composed for my channel and music from some well known PC games that really pushed the MT-32.
    Thanks for watching and enjoy!
     
  16. Like
    CrossBow got a reaction from MaximumRD in I finally got a TG-16!   
    Wanted to update this. I got word from MuhMullet that he is nearly out of these boards and isn't sure he will make more due to I guess a lack of interest in them? But it also appears he increased the costs a bit which is why I hadn't bitten on getting a second one of these for myself just yet. I do like the fact he includes the SCART cable so that there aren't any issues there. As to be honest I've tried 2 different model 2 Genesis/Megadrive cables with the board I have and cannot get it to look right. I either get no picture unless I make some crazy modified adjustements to the OSSC or I get a great picture but missing the color green?! I don't think it is the board as the guy making them stated he advises a plain SCART cable that doesn't have anything inside the connecto aside from a cap for the audio output line. Pretty much ever cable I've purchased (SCART anyway), has some PCB or other added components inside them to make them work and look the best on the actual hardware it was designed to be used with.
     
     
  17. Thanks
    CrossBow got a reaction from Justin in I finally got a TG-16!   
    Wanted to update this. I got word from MuhMullet that he is nearly out of these boards and isn't sure he will make more due to I guess a lack of interest in them? But it also appears he increased the costs a bit which is why I hadn't bitten on getting a second one of these for myself just yet. I do like the fact he includes the SCART cable so that there aren't any issues there. As to be honest I've tried 2 different model 2 Genesis/Megadrive cables with the board I have and cannot get it to look right. I either get no picture unless I make some crazy modified adjustements to the OSSC or I get a great picture but missing the color green?! I don't think it is the board as the guy making them stated he advises a plain SCART cable that doesn't have anything inside the connecto aside from a cap for the audio output line. Pretty much ever cable I've purchased (SCART anyway), has some PCB or other added components inside them to make them work and look the best on the actual hardware it was designed to be used with.
     
     
  18. Like
    CrossBow got a reaction from Justin in I finally got a TG-16!   
    RickR
    I've sent you a PM
  19. Thanks
    CrossBow got a reaction from Justin in Jaguar ProController Reproductions Announced   
    Wanted to give some more thoughts on these controllers...
    I haven't tested both of my controllers...just the one I've actually take out of the box. I mentioned before about the keypad buttons sticking down? Thankfully that really hasn't been an issue in actual game play and I've found that those buttons are quite sensitive and do not require that hard a press to engage them. 
    But one thing was bugging me at first and I'm glad a fix of sorts has been found.
    The issue was that I was playing Wolf3D (Jag version is my favorite version btw), and I was noticing that frequently when trying to turn left on the d-pad that I would actually move up and left. I found I had to press down on the bottom edge of the left d-pad side to make sure I only moved left and didn't move diagonally up/left. Well other buyers of the controller reported the same issue.
    Turns out the problem is that there is only a single center mount screw that holds the PCB in place. Because of this there is some play in the PCB allowing it to rotate up and down a tiny bit. If you have the d-pad side down too low, then it is easy to actually be hitting both the up and left contact pads on the pcb at the same time, hence the movement issues.
    The fix is to basically loose the center screw holding down the PCB, rotate the PCB just a few mils up on the d-pad side, wedge something between the PCB and the plastic that frames it, and then tighten the screw back down. It was mentioned to use a post-it-note folded up into a small square. I chose to use about 2cm from a cable tie I clipped off and fold that in half to wedge in there. 
    It did indeed fix the issue. 
    They could have avoided this by doing two things:
    - design the PCB with guide holes in it and plastic pegs molded into the top shell to align the pcb properly. You know like Nintendo and most other controller companies have been doing to ever now?
    - Make the contact pads on the pcb a bit smaller so that there is less risk of it happening in the first place.
    Still I've been enjoying the heck out of this controller as once I got that issue resolved it easily is the best controller I've used for playing games on my Jag.
  20. Thanks
    CrossBow got a reaction from Justin in 7800 S-Video Out Magic Knight Kit   
    I'm surprised there isn't a thread about this already as this isn't new. But sometime back in 2017 a UK member at Atari Age came up with his own take on the old Soundby s-video mod that was tailored for the PAL regions and found that is produced really good results on NTSC 7800s he had tested as well. So he began offering his kits. Fast forward to Nov. 2018 and he has an updated version of his kits that tweaked things a bit more and now his s-video solution is nearly equal to that of the UAV's s-video output. As a result of this, I've been installed a few of his boards in some recent commissions for lesser cost since his boards cost less than the UAVs and at the time were more available.
    Few things to note about this Av board:
    - It doesn't have any ground attachements on the board itself and it is expected you will just attach your AV out connections to any ground along the main board.
    - It is S-video out ONLY. There is no composite filtering built into this board so keep that in mind
    - Similar to the UAV, no components have to be removed from the console. So it makes it easy to reverse the modification if needed
    - It includes audio filtering that the UAV does not currently include. However, while there are attachements for Left and Right audio, they are in fact tied together on the board internally in a dual mono fasion. So only one of the attachments points is needed. The audio doesn't have to be used if you have other audio modifications you would rather use..Stereo...etc.
    - It features a 10k trimmer for dialing in and adjusting the Luma brightness for your particular needs
    - It has the same initial installation that the UAV uses in that you attach wiring from the different Luma, colorbursts, etc to the Magic Knight from the same points on the 7800 main board.
    - The kit is available both populated with AV panel mount connectors and hookup wire and as bare PCBs as needed. Other options are likely available as well if you ask Magic Knight about it.
    So yeah, it is good s-video out solution for the 7800 I'd recommend if the UAV availability and recent cost increases aren't your thing. Again it doesn't have composite filtering on it and while it is possible to use an s-video to composite adapter to get composte. It had pretty bad color bleeding using one of these adapters. Magic Knight is looking into the possibility of offering a slightly more complicated board in the future that could have both composite and s-video selected with a toggle switch or hardwired for one of the other if desired.

    Here is a sample video of the Magic Knight s-video board in action on several games both 2600 and 7800, along with examples of both the Harmony and Uno flash carts so you can see how the menus are displayed through this board. The checkerboarding and audio distortion are not actually present and are artifacts from my camera pointed at the LCD while recording. The Audio distortion is because I had the audio plugged directly into the Mic input on the camera and that is a powered mic input and not designed for line level audio. So all audio comes in hot because of this. Still it gives an excellent idea visually of the clarity this kit can provide.
     
     
    Original thread from Magic Knight that goes into ordering details etc can be found here:

    http://atariage.com/forums/topic/236273-new-7800-s-video-board-available/page-3#entry4155428
    and finally attached is my basic installation guide for installing the Magic Knight S-video board into an NTSC 7800.
     
    Magic_Knight_NTSC_Installation_A7800.pdf
  21. Like
    CrossBow got a reaction from RickR in I finally got a TG-16!   
    Okay I own both an NA TG-16 and my JPN TurboDUO. I naturally use the Duo since I can play pretty much everything on it. If you want to get good composite and left/right stereo without a ton of money (Turbo Boosters are damn pricey people!!!), then Might I suggest this route?
    Although currently out of stock... but I would check with them from time to time to see about getting one.
    https://console5.com/store/av-adapter-cable-module-for-nec-turbografx-16-tg16.html
    Also there is a member on the FB group who goes by MuhMullet I beleive? He created an RGB amp board you can use to plug into the back of any TG-16 or PCE to get RGB out for a crazy low price as well. He also includes the SCART cable to make sure you get one that works properly. 
    But because I never take my TG-16 out of its hard shell case and only use the DUO, I don't use these options myself. I actually added in standard RCAs to the back of my DUO for stereo audio and composite, and wired in an S-video circuit. That is how I play and am honestly quite pleased with the results. But I do have to say that the composite on the TG-16 and PCE is some of the best I've seen from a classic console of that era. 
     
  22. Thanks
    CrossBow got a reaction from Justin in Flex circuit needed.   
    Well perhaps when you are ready for this, the other new options teased by BennVenn electronics will be available as well. No real details other than he will be releasing it soon for both Lynx and Game Gears and supposed it costs 1/2 the price of the McWill kit. But again no other details other than words.
     
  23. Like
    CrossBow got a reaction from RickR in 7800 Arcade Proline controllers   
    I searched and didn't see this mentioned here yet so thought I would toss this out there...
    Curt Vendel is almost done with the XM modules and slated to be shipping them soon. In the meantime he has also created some new arcade style controllers for the 7800 and 2600. He started offering these around the middle of this past December. I ordered one of these and thought I would share my thoughts and provide some pics for others to see and get an idea about them. They come in both a left handed or right handed configuration on the joystick placement.
    I'm a right handed person, however, I've always been used to arcade style controllers and thus I ordered the left handed version controller. In fact, the exact left handed controller that was sent to me is the one that is shown in the pic of both controller types that curt posted on the AA forums.
    Control wise it feels really good and everything responded exactly as I needed it to. It is a bit more clicky than I would like in that it is loud when using it. Same for the buttons and I've been toying with the idea of perhaps putting leaf switch versions into mine. 
    Speaking of the buttons, they feel nice but are reversed on mine. That is when using the 7800 diagnostic Utility in the Joystick test, Button 1 on the left is actually button 2 on my controller and vice versa. So it could be awkward to use if you are used to the buttons being mapped differently. I might change these at a later time to match what I'm more used to.
    The paddle controller works well or at least it did for the game of Steeplechase I was testing it with. On mine the On position is actually 7800 controller mode and the off position is Paddle mode. But I did find it odd that when using the Joystick test in the Diag utility, that the paddle has ZERO response on the other inputs variables and I'm used to see number values move across when using standard paddles in the ports for testing before. But the paddle does indeed work.
    Also an odd quirk to be aware of if you should you get one of these, is that on mine at least, it doesn't matter which position the switch is in, but if you move the paddle to the far right clockwise, it will always activate button 2. So in the game Commando for instance, if I had the paddle all the way to the right, then I would be tossing grenades constantly one after the other until they were depleted. So if you find odd button 2 behavior, you might check that you haven't moved the paddle knob all the way clockwise.
    I've included some pics of my controller in this post and of the inside so those asking about the circuit on how the switch controls the paddle lines..etc could have a better idea on how that is being done.
    Here is the original forum link over at AA regarding when these were announced and additional details from Curt about them:
    http://atariage.com/forums/topic/285914-new-desktop-arcade-controllers/page-1#entry4175100










  24. Like
    CrossBow reacted to Justin in Flex circuit needed.   
    Thank you @CrossBow! I understand the costs involved. The McWill screen is beautiful and the results will be worth it to somebody who loves the Lynx and wants a nice reliable unit to play for years to come. I've been looking for somebody trustworthy to perform this mod, I especially like that you'll be recapping the unit and replacing the power components. I have an NOS Lynx I'll be using for this mod. I'll start saving up my ₩oolongs and we can do this sometime this year at a time that is convenient for us both.

  25. Thanks
    CrossBow got a reaction from Justin in Flex circuit needed.   
    Shoot me a PM if you want or need more information.
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