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socrates63

socrates63's gaming collection and setup

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4 hours ago, HDN said:

Shame HERO has to be so darn expensive. I don’t recall ever playing Cosmic Commuter.

Actually, loose cart prices for these seem to have come down in recent months compared to a year or two ago especially for Cosmic Commuter. Boxed copies, however, looks to have gone up in price.

I've heard good things about Cosmic Commuter. Take a look, Harry.

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Making some changes to my CRT setup... this morning I picked up from a local gamer his JVC AV-27F577 TV to replace my Sony KV-27FS12. I think quality-wise, it's a lateral move. I did it primarily because it's in better physical shape, and I like the aesthetics of the JVC over my FS12.

Another change to the setup is the addition of the Denon AVR-3806 home theater receiver. This particular receiver up converts composite and s-video signals and outputs a component signal, so I'm excited about that. But that aside, I added the receiver for two reasons. The first was to expand the number of inputs because my console stable has grown recently. Second, I wanted better sound. The speakers on the Sony were not good. I'm not sure how the JVC sounds as I hooked it up immediately to the receiver. I had a pair of unused Paradigm speakers. They're currently sitting on top of the TV until I can figure out a better placement. My CRT setup is in a small corner of my office, so there's not much room to work with. I also intend to watch DVDs using the PS2, so the speakers will help with that as well.

This CRT A/V setup will serve up goodness from Atari 2600, 5200, 7800, Jaguar, SNES, Genesis, CoreGrafx, PS2, and later on, Wii and Atari 800XL. The Atari 2600, 5200, and 7800 output s-video, PS2 and Wii output component, and everything else is composite. I am currently using a passive switch box to handle the 2600, 5200, and 7800. I am getting another passive switch for the composite consoles. The passive switch boxes are connected to the receiver. PS2 and Wii will connect directly to the receiver. I also have a passive component switch box if I decide to add more component devices. The area is a bit of a mess right now, but things are finding their homes, and I'm happy about that.

One last thing to note is the small Ikea desk that is sitting above the TV stand. The TV stand is an inch too wide to fit between the legs of the desk, so it is turned slightly to fit under it. I moved the desk out of my home theater room where the more modern consoles are, and the vacated space will be occupied by a new standing desk when I get a chance to put it together.

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Edited by socrates63

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Surprised that the speakers aren't goofing with the CRT beams. They much be shielded I'm assuming? I've not gone into great detail too much about the AV setup in the game room, but I use an old (10years now) Yamaha 5.1 surround receiver that has 3 HDMI passthru inputs that comes in handy for the WiiU, PS3, PS4 etc. But I actually use an Extron 7SC for all the analog stuff. It can take pretty much every type of analog video signal and converts them all into a VGA output signal at whatever resolution and refresh I might want. That VGA signal goes into my OSSC and that in turn goes into one of the HDMI inputs on the receiver and back to the TV. As the HDMI are passthroughs, the receiver isn't doing any processing on its own so there isn't any additional lag introduced in using it thankfully. For my speakers, I have a hodge podge of stuff. I have some older Klipsch promedia 2.1 speakers as my satellites for rear channel that I mounted on the walls. We were using a Klipsch 5.1 surround system in the living room but when that was upgraded the center channel and sub were moved to the game room as well. For the front speakers in the game room I use an old pair of Roland MS-30 studio monitors. They are passive so they don't require external power and can be fed directly off the receiver. I just had to set the receiver into 6ohm mode. Luckily that doesn't seem to affect the other speakers too much that were 8ohm rated. I'm sure they would get blown if I cranked things up too much but that isn't likely to happen in the smallishness of the ITC game room.

 

 

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Yes, I noticed some warp and color distortion -- nice funky colors that went well with the pink/magenta sky 🙂 I moved the speakers slightly and that helped. I also put rubber/cork pads under the speakers and they lift up the speakers an inch, and that has solved the issue. There's also a chance that the piano in the room gets moved to a different part of the house, and that'd allow for me to move everything, so speakers aren't on top of the TV, and that'd be the optimal solution. This corner space is a bit small especially for a 27" TV. 

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2 minutes ago, socrates63 said:

Yes, I noticed some warp and color distortion -- nice funky colors that went well with the pink/magenta sky 🙂 I moved the speakers slightly and that helped. I also put rubber/cork pads under the speakers and they lift up the speakers an inch, and that has solved the issue. There's also a chance that the piano in the room gets moved to a different part of the house, and that'd allow for me to move everything, so speakers aren't on top of the TV, and that'd be the optimal solution. This corner space is a bit small especially for a 27" TV. 

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You have a piano in the game room too? Do you play?

I took lessons once but could never do well at it. My sister loves the thing though. I find the guitar is much better for me.

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Yes, @HDN there's a piano in the office where my CRT TV sits. No, I don't play any instrument actually. The piano was a gift from my dad to my wife when we married. I briefly gave it a try last year, and I even bought a book (You Suck at Piano) that was supposed to teach non-musical adults. Learning to play piano is hard!

Learning to play guitar is a bucket list item for me. I tried two times (once when I was in college and a second time a few years ago) and failed both times -- these short fat fingers but more than that, it's these nails that grow beyond the finger tips.

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Piano:  I remember the term "Chopsticks and Forks".  "C" is the note to the left of the two black keys (that look like chopsticks) and "F" is the note to the left of 3 black keys (that look like a fork....well maybe a threek). 

Guitar:  My youngest son has taken my electric guitar and is learning to play.  He's getting better!  I used to play, but it's been many years.  @socrates63, it's a matter of finding a guitar neck that fits your fingers.  And longer nails are perfect for an acoustic guitar.  If you are seriously interested, find a good music shop that will help you find a guitar that fits your hands. 

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7 minutes ago, socrates63 said:

Yes, @HDN there's a piano in the office where my CRT TV sits. No, I don't play any instrument actually. The piano was a gift from my dad to my wife when we married. I briefly gave it a try last year, and I even bought a book (You Suck at Piano) that was supposed to teach non-musical adults. Learning to play piano is hard!

Learning to play guitar is a bucket list item for me. I tried two times (once when I was in college and a second time a few years ago) and failed both times -- these short fat fingers but more than that, it's these nails that grow beyond the finger tips.

Wait, your piano and setup are in your home office as well? What is this, the Twilight Zone?

I understand that starting to play the guitar is very hard (and painful) at first. There was an online series I learned from on YouTube, I believe it was called Morgan Guitars or something. Check it out. I’ll see if I can’t find it again.

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Just now, RickR said:

If you are seriously interested, find a good music shop that will help you find a guitar that fits your hands. 

So, there's hope? That's good to know. I've a friend who plays guitar. She looked at my hands, and she shook her head and said nope. I tried trimming my nails and failed that too.

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6 minutes ago, socrates63 said:

So, there's hope? That's good to know. I've a friend who plays guitar. She looked at my hands, and she shook her head and said nope. I tried trimming my nails and failed that too.

Oh yes, absolutely there is hope.  My guitar has a very thin neck for my smaller fingers.  I have trouble playing other guitars.  You might also consider bass guitar.  Only 4 strings = you don't need super long fingers.  My brother-in-law plays banjo, which requires strong fingers with those super-tight metal strings. 

I'd suggest a smallish sized acoustic guitar for you to try on for size.  When you look at them in person, note the different thicknesses on the necks and try out the thinner ones first. 

Edited by RickR

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3 minutes ago, HDN said:

Wait, your piano and setup are in your home office as well? What is this, the Twilight Zone?

The home office was my dad's when my parents lived with us. The piano and desk were always in the office, after my parents moved out a few years ago, I added a stereo rack, bookshelf speakers, shelves for CDs, and most recently, the TV and my consoles.

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And one more piece of advice that's going to sound really stupid....try out one of the "Rock Band" games.  The PS2 versions are super cheap.  They do nothing to teach you how to really play except for one thing:  They are really good at getting your brain to understand the timing between getting your left hand set first and strumming with the right after.  It's your right hand that has to have perfect timing, and lefty must be a step ahead.  If you can get your brain working that way, it's more than half the battle for guitar. 

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Some New Year's additions! I picked these up this morning.

Going into 2021, I had in mind to add a Vectrex and GBA this year. I had no idea that I'd acquire both of them during the first week of the new year though. I missed out on a deal for a Vectrex that Rick pointed me to last month and felt bad about missing out. This one makes up for it though. It's in great physical cosmetic condition, and it comes from a loving home. The local gamer who sold it to me only had it a little over a year and had very limited use. Prior to that, it sat in his friend's parents' house unused for more than twenty years. It belonged to his friend's father who passed away about a year and half ago. Photos below of it sitting in the front seat for the ride back home safely buckled in.

I got the itch to play GB and GBC games, and I learned that the GBA can play them all. This one is in a custom case with SNES colors and a new IPS screen.

Rick, I feel a little stupid right now. I thought you recommended Guitar Hero, and that's what I picked up for the PS2. Oh well. I'll have some fun with it, and look into Rock Band later as well 🙂 

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Wow! Great job finding that Vectrex.

And you got a GBA, too? That's awesome! One of my favorite consoles, for sure.

Wait a minute... A BACKLIT SCREEN? What's the point of Game Boy Advance if you can see the screen?

Just messing with you, man. Have fun.

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This morning, I dusted off my Gameboy Color and turned it on for the first time in nearly 30 years ⁉️ and it still works! As I went to put in the batteries, I noticed that there was a cartridge inserted — Street Fighter Alpha. I had completely forgotten that I had this game. I just wanted to share this find. It’s like opening a time capsule. This was the last game I played on the GBC those many years ago.

By the way, the reason I brought out the GBC was to compare game performance between it and my new Gameboy Advance. Galaga on the Namco Arcade 3 cartridge for the OG Gameboy looked slightly sluggish on the GBA. I’ll have to play more to see if I’m just imagining.

Oh and I also found that my GBA headphone output suffers from humming, a common condition from what I gathered. It's annoying but thankfully not noticeable during gameplay.

 

IMG_0096.jpeg.b94b5a328a9b9502084265ab0ac532de.jpeg IMG_0097.jpeg.0758a80a7fa22b4ee0b385ff8373eaf4.jpeg

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1 hour ago, socrates63 said:

By the way, the reason I brought out the GBC was to compare game performance between it and my new Gameboy Advance. Galaga on the Namco Arcade 3 cartridge for the OG Gameboy looked slightly sluggish on the GBA. I’ll have to play more to see if I’m just imagining.

I just so happen to have that one. And yes, it does seem a bit sluggish on the GBA. The only other way I have tried it is on my Super Game Boy, which it was partially designed for. It is much improved there and has special features as well. I know that the SGB runs the games slightly faster than intended, so maybe that's what is helping. However, I'd wager that it's some placebo effect thing going on.

I'd recommend getting a Super Game Boy in the future. It is THE way to play OG Game Boy games on the big screen. I might send you one someday. They're awesome.

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If playing GB/C games on the GBA gets annoying, I can always plays them on my GBC.

I have Super Game Boy on my wish list, and it's a neat accessory to have. I also have a Game Boy Player for the GameCube, and I bought a few cartridges a couple of years ago to try that out. However, the GC currently sits disconnected.

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I posted photos of the Data Age subset from my Atari 2600 collection in response to Rob's thread. I collected Data Age games for two reasons -- I liked the box designs and because I wanted the Journey game. I know almost all Data Age games are usually panned for being bad, but I haven't played any yet myself. 

 

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On 1/9/2021 at 12:29 PM, socrates63 said:

I posted photos of the Data Age subset from my Atari 2600 collection in response to Rob's thread. I collected Data Age games for two reasons -- I liked the box designs and because I wanted the Journey game. I know almost all Data Age games are usually panned for being bad, but I haven't played any yet myself. 

Except for Frankenstein's Monster! That game is really quite good and exceptional when compared to the rest of the DataAge lineup. I think Journey was the first DataAge game I ever played. Borrowed it from a friend back in the day.

And from what I'm reading, yes pretty much all the IPS screen replacements in the GBA cause humming in the audio. Likely the switching supply used for the backlight. There are ways to filter it out or get a replacement audio amp installed to be rid of it but I never play with the headphones and don't notice it on the external speaker. I recently did that upgrade on my OG GBA glacier. If I were to do it again or offer it, I would insist that you get a premodded case for this. I spent well over an hour total time trimming mine and trying to get it smooth etc. It isn't worth the labor time to charge someone when you can buy ready made shells for like $15.

 

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6 hours ago, CrossBow said:

And from what I'm reading, yes pretty much all the IPS screen replacements in the GBA cause humming in the audio. Likely the switching supply used for the backlight. There are ways to filter it out or get a replacement audio amp installed to be rid of it but I never play with the headphones and don't notice it on the external speaker.

I did not know that the hum was linked to the IPS screen replacement 😮 The guy I got it from is going to look into mitigating the hum. I will pass your comments to him. Thanks, Jesse. I often use headphones with handhelds and the hum is annoying me to the point that I’m not using the GBA. 

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