What retro activity did you get up to today?

Discussion about old PC hardware.

Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby bjwil1991 » 2019-5-21 @ 01:13

Not sure if this counts as retro or modern. However, I cleaned a sticky DVDO Edge that I bought while thrifting on Friday evening last night and tested it by hooking up my Sega Genesis Model 1 with the composite A/V cable (not good picture quality with composite and upscaling composite is crap). Soon, I'm going to build a board with 3x 75 Ohm for Red, Green, Blue, and 470 Ohm for Sync, 4x 220µF caps, different colored RCA jacks and a headphone jack for the front headphone jack for stereo sound, wires for every jack, as well as ground, 8-pin 262 DIN, and a case for the board to prevent shorts.

The DVDO Edge's component connections not only support YPbPr, but, they support RGBs and RGBHV prospectively, which is nice.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby liqmat » 2019-5-21 @ 02:55

Tested four ISA sound cards tonight on my tech bench Slot 1 motherboard. The top two ESS Audiodrive cards both have a high pitch whine to them in Windows 98SE and are rather noisy (white noise) over headphones. The third ESS Audiodrive card is so noisy with hiss and white noise it is almost unusable. On that third card there is jumper block JP3 and JP4, but I don't have a clue what their settings are. All three have noise artifacts coming from other devices hooked into the motherboard such as hard drive access noise, mouse movement noise, etc. The fourth card is actually my favorite. It has a Crystal chipset and if you look closely towards the rear of the card that's a Crystal CS9236-CL wavetable chip which actually sounds rather incredible with MIDI tunes. It also is the least noisy of the four cards. I vaguely remember ISA sound cards having a slight hiss to them, but some more than others it appears.

isa_sound_cards.jpg
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby bjwil1991 » 2019-5-21 @ 04:01

I don't know if this is a true statement or not, however, have you used an ATX power supply that has the -5VDC or the ATX to ATX w/ -5VDC adapter to see if that fixes the whine? Could be capacitor issues.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Caluser2000 » 2019-5-21 @ 09:44

1.jpg
Playing with my 386dx25 running wfw 3.11. Got Opera 3.62 set up and registered. Downloaded IE5 and NS4.08 to compare how they go. Opera renders pages a lot better and is faster. It does pop up an error box every now and again but if you select ignor a couple of times it does recover fine without kicking you out or locking up windows.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby canthearu » 2019-5-21 @ 10:28

liqmat wrote:On that third card there is jumper block JP3 and JP4, but I don't have a clue what their settings are


Switch both those jumpers over, you will get much better quality output from that 3rd ESS card because that will disable the onboard amplifier (you will obviously need powered speakers or an external headphone amp to use it this way of course)

But I agree, that card based on the crystal chipset looks like a beauty.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby badmojo » 2019-5-21 @ 11:38

Yes that Crystal card looks good and the FM in that chipset should be nice too.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby appiah4 » 2019-5-21 @ 12:02

Those first two cards look like fine examples of OEM ES1869 cards, they should not be terribly noisy that chipset is fairly integrated and silent. That's strange.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby keenmaster486 » 2019-5-21 @ 13:08

Caluser2000 wrote:Playing with my 386dx25 running wfw 3.11. Got Opera 3.62 set up and registered. Downloaded IE5 and NS4.08 to compare how they go. Opera renders pages a lot better and is faster. It does pop up an error box every now and again but if you select ignor a couple of times it does recover fine without kicking you out or locking up windows.

Interesting. I have had the best luck browsing in Windows 3.1 with IE 3.0 or Netscape Navigator 3.04.
Netscape 4.08 works but can be crashy. IE 5 works but is slower.

I tried Opera 3.62 with catastrophic results; it would never really run properly at all and was pretty much useless. This was on a Pentium MMX. I wonder whether the slower computer somehow helps (speed-related bugs).
I flermmed the plootash just like you asked.

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http://keenmaster486.github.io
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby keenmaster486 » 2019-5-21 @ 13:11

Thermalwrong wrote:That's brilliant did you take any pictures, or is there a page that had some details on it?

I didn't take any pictures, but here's the YouTube video I used to help me get my bearings around what was inside:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZpPZM5nRpM
I flermmed the plootash just like you asked.

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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby liqmat » 2019-5-21 @ 14:42

bjwil1991 wrote:I don't know if this is a true statement or not, however, have you used an ATX power supply that has the -5VDC or the ATX to ATX w/ -5VDC adapter to see if that fixes the whine? Could be capacitor issues.

I was thinking the same thing, but I just don't have time to work on recapping anything right now. I had some noise issues with a few PCI sound cards as well on the same test mobo and PSU so I will mix it up today and see if it improves with a different mobo and PSU.

canthearu wrote:
liqmat wrote:On that third card there is jumper block JP3 and JP4, but I don't have a clue what their settings are


Switch both those jumpers over, you will get much better quality output from that 3rd ESS card because that will disable the onboard amplifier (you will obviously need powered speakers or an external headphone amp to use it this way of course)

But I agree, that card based on the crystal chipset looks like a beauty.

Thank you! I'll give that a try. That's exactly what it sounds like on the third card down. Like the amp is cranked all the way up on a cheap stereo system. Even when I mute all audio channels in the mixer it's still there. As far as the Crystal card goes I always assumed they were cheap knock-off sound cards, but this particular card changed my mind on that. One of the better wavetable chips I've listened to.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby PTherapist » 2019-5-21 @ 18:26

I've been playing with a lot of old 8-bit micros & 8/16-bit games consoles recently and so a few days back I decided to dig out my NES.

It had lay unusued and gathering dust for nearly 25 years and was practically a human hazard when I unearthed it from it's resting place. There was dust, dirt & grime all over it and some weird green gunk inside the cartridge slot and over several pins.

Armed with isopropyl alcohol, cotton buds & kitchen towel, I set about cleaning it all up to a liveable standard, but didn't have a power supply nor any games in order to test it out.

Fast forward to today and the game I ordered to test it with arrived - Super Mario Bros (plus Duck Hunt, but I have neither the gun nor a CRT TV).

My Power Supply hadn't arrived yet, but thanks to sheer luck I happened to find in my drawer 1 of those multi voltage changing plugs which lacked any DC cable on the end. After a bit of cable splicing, I had this thing up and running and it's working great. :cool:

Image

Just waiting on various items that I've ordered now - a replacement front door/flap, a 2nd gamepad & a 500-in-1 Games Cartridge to fully put this thing through it's paces. In the meantime, I need to practise some Super Mario in glorious Composite Video & Mono Sound. :lol:
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby appiah4 » 2019-5-21 @ 18:40

liqmat wrote:Thank you! I'll give that a try. That's exactly what it sounds like on the third card down. Like the amp is cranked all the way up on a cheap stereo system. Even when I mute all audio channels in the mixer it's still there. As far as the Crystal card goes I always assumed they were cheap knock-off sound cards, but this particular card changed my mind on that. One of the better wavetable chips I've listened to.


For the first two cards, J6 is a similar jumper. It's from left to right Up, Mute, Down for volume level, it probably defaults to UP. Just jumper the rightmost two pins closed for DOWN and you'll get clear sound from them.

Those cards are Acer OEMs btw, Acer FX-16 to be exact.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby gdjacobs » 2019-5-21 @ 19:02

liqmat wrote:Tested four ISA sound cards tonight on my tech bench Slot 1 motherboard. The top two ESS Audiodrive cards both have a high pitch whine to them in Windows 98SE and are rather noisy (white noise) over headphones. The third ESS Audiodrive card is so noisy with hiss and white noise it is almost unusable. On that third card there is jumper block JP3 and JP4, but I don't have a clue what their settings are. All three have noise artifacts coming from other devices hooked into the motherboard such as hard drive access noise, mouse movement noise, etc. The fourth card is actually my favorite. It has a Crystal chipset and if you look closely towards the rear of the card that's a Crystal CS9236-CL wavetable chip which actually sounds rather incredible with MIDI tunes. It also is the least noisy of the four cards. I vaguely remember ISA sound cards having a slight hiss to them, but some more than others it appears.

isa_sound_cards.jpg


Those two jumpers are for amplification on or off. One is for the left channel, the other for the right.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby liqmat » 2019-5-22 @ 01:14

canthearu wrote:
liqmat wrote:On that third card there is jumper block JP3 and JP4, but I don't have a clue what their settings are


Switch both those jumpers over, you will get much better quality output from that 3rd ESS card because that will disable the onboard amplifier (you will obviously need powered speakers or an external headphone amp to use it this way of course)

But I agree, that card based on the crystal chipset looks like a beauty.

That did the trick on the third card. Thanks a bunch. After all these years of doing this I somehow missed there were jumpers that toggled the internal amp of a sound card. Learn something new all the time in my case. Your suggestion also fixed the Avance Logic sound card I posted about one page back. J4 and J5 on that card disable the very noisy internal amp. It sounds very clean now.

appiah4 wrote:For the first two cards, J6 is a similar jumper. It's from left to right Up, Mute, Down for volume level, it probably defaults to UP. Just jumper the rightmost two pins closed for DOWN and you'll get clear sound from them.

Those cards are Acer OEMs btw, Acer FX-16 to be exact.

Actually J6 is for remote volume control and mute. Thanks for pointing it out though because it made me investigate deeper and it turns out J5 controls the amp. Much better now so thanks for jump starting my brain.

gdjacobs wrote:Those two jumpers are for amplification on or off. One is for the left channel, the other for the right.

Yep. you are correct and thanks.

All of you guys have been super helpful and my ears thank you for it!
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby badmojo » 2019-5-22 @ 03:23

I didn't know about inboard amp jumpers until I joined this forum either - louder was always better for me back in the day and my speakers were generally the biggest I could find in the local hard rubbish so I probably wouldn't have cared anyway :dead:
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Scraphoarder » 2019-5-22 @ 04:20

Just woke up and saw this. Wish i was a millionaire and in Texas instead :exclamation:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7l7iU3wvT9o
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Turbo -> » 2019-5-22 @ 05:24

gdjacobs wrote:I've successfully used CS4232 drivers from Turtle Beach, although I don't really care about the 3d function of the CS4289 companion chip. Also, IMO the FM reproduction of the companion chip is absolutely nasty.


appiah4 wrote: I have the exact same card, it's a Crystal CS4232, use Crystal's latest drivers and it will work perfectly fine.


Thank both of you. I found Crystal CS4232 drivers in Vogons library and installed them. When testing it in DOS with games like Lotus and Secret of the Monkey island it worked great. But when testing the card in DOS with games Prince of Persia and Day of the tentacle, it had issues with midi sound (doors closing, falling, jumping - is this called midi?) Changing the IRQ and other setting had the same or even worse affect. The computer also froze for two or three times. Had to reset it with button. But when I installed Turtle beach drivers which were luckily in the same folder, I did not occur problems.

Yet another ISA sound card in my collection is saved :happy:
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby GigAHerZ » 2019-5-22 @ 07:00

Got a ATI Rage Pro Turbo PCI 8MB graphics card and upgraded to it from Matrox Millenium 4MB in my Pentium MMX machine.
Monster Truck Madness 2 can now actually run with DirectX acceleration! (Y)
"640K ought to be enough for anybody." - And i intend to get every last bit out of it even after loading every damn driver!
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Deksor » 2019-5-22 @ 07:26

No it's not "midi" sounds. Midi is a music standard, basically it holds the informations on notes, instruments and etc to be played by a synth, which can be anything, including the Yamaha OPL3 (or a clone).

Theses sounds are just regular sounds.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby appiah4 » 2019-5-22 @ 07:56

That card has no MIDI wavetable so you should NOT be using MIDI for music or sound effects in those games. For Prince of Persia just select Adlib for music, for day of the tentacle it should be 100% compatible with SB Pro for Music and Sound. If it crashes on using digitized SB Pro sounds, try using regular SB option, if that also fails it may be a weird IRQ or DMA conflict, would need to know more about the setup.
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