VOGONS


Reply 260 of 436, by rasteri

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NachtRave wrote on 2022-02-11, 20:17:

Actually, @rasteri, are you okay with us building these and auctioning them off on eBay? Hate to see perfectly good PCBs go to waste.

Go nuts. You gotta provide all the customer support tho 😀

Reply 261 of 436, by Mu0n

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Glad you figured it out NachtRave. I sent you a DM with the gdrive link.

1Bit Fever Dreams: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9YYXWX1SxBhh1YB-feIPPw
DOS Fever Dreams: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIUn0Dp6PM8DBTF-5g0nvcw

Reply 262 of 436, by NachtRave

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rasteri wrote on 2022-02-11, 23:45:

Go nuts. You gotta provide all the customer support tho 😀

Haha, no worries. I'll make sure to throw something to that effect in the description. 😉

Mu0n wrote on 2022-02-12, 14:29:

Glad you figured it out NachtRave. I sent you a DM with the gdrive link.

Awesome! Ty! I'll help throw in entries once I get things working and going. I am literally just waiting on the audio chip at this point and it should be here today or early next week. Have 3 boards built and just got the rest of the parts for building 3 more for selling (I've already got about 800$ invested in each one at this point, so).

I admit some of the titles I have downloaded are GOG only, so I am unsure if I am going to get some of the Windows titles working in 98SE with unofficial SP3 and KernelEx (may have to dual boot it with XP for some), but we'll see what happens. Looking at the video card specs on the Vortex86DX SoM promises a lot, though. Excited to get in there and start setting things up.

Reply 263 of 436, by rasteri

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The best way to install most games is to have the original floppies/CD, the GOG/steam rereleases are often not very suitable for running on actual hardware.

Honestly, I usually pay for the game on steam or GOG and then just obtain the original CD/floppy images by *cough* other means. The developer gets more money this way anyway

Reply 264 of 436, by digger

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rasteri wrote on 2022-02-13, 10:54:

Honestly, I usually pay for the game on steam or GOG and then just obtain the original CD/floppy images by *cough* other means. The developer gets more money this way anyway

☝️ This is the way.

Reply 265 of 436, by NachtRave

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Yeah, I've been quickly realizing that myself, alas. I have an entire tote in storage filled full of jewel cases from the time, so there are a few I can rip with cloneCD from my personal collection. Others I may have to grab originals off eBay if any are still available, last resort being dual boot with Windows XP.

Reply 266 of 436, by Mu0n

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GoG game files are retro machine compatible. Just copy over all the files that are in caps, not more than 8 characters long for the prefixes, don't carry windows icons, etc. it's pretty obvious which is a dos file and which isn't. I've successfully done it for games like Ultima VII, sierra games, etc. Useful to know if you have a huge collection accrued from sales on gog (like most people).

1Bit Fever Dreams: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9YYXWX1SxBhh1YB-feIPPw
DOS Fever Dreams: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIUn0Dp6PM8DBTF-5g0nvcw

Reply 267 of 436, by NachtRave

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Yeah, the DOS games seem to not have been mucked with, only some of the Windows games, likely to get it to work in Win 7/8/10. That’s okay, I spent the 200$ and went bargain bin hunting on eBay and got as good a set of popular games as I’ll ever have. CloneCD and some time should be fun enough.

On the flip side, I finally got the audio chips, and after I failed to get the first chip in (one of the pins came off, doh), the second chip got successfully soldered in place. Very exciting (as well as incredibly hard to solder that audio chip in - hardest thing I ever did solder, hands down), so I went and hooked it up to the VGA->HDMI cable to test, put on some 5v 3A raspi power, and…. *drum roll* .... Nothing…

The light on the Vortex86DX does turn on, that’s good, and I went back and checked all my work, couldn’t find anything that didn’t look right. Went and took the ohm meter to some of the resistors and all the ones I checked seemed to be good. Took out my cheap tester and tested as many caps as I could, although it’s cheap and saw a few as diodes (pretty sure it’s just cheaply made crap tho, the tester that is), but looked fine… The LDO didn’t seem to be putting out 3.3v on the center pin, even after the capacitor, although I did put a 1.5A one in there (since 1.2A was out), so hopefully I’m just a dummy.

Ugh… Gonna have to pull out my equally pathetic analyzer to see what kind of signal the VGA is putting out. Might have to finally break down and get one of the nicer 500$ ones, though.

Any ideas where to start? Included pics of what my V1 board looks like atm. Any help is appreciated, given I am a programmer by profession and electronics by hobbist.

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Last edited by NachtRave on 2022-02-17, 01:26. Edited 2 times in total.

Reply 269 of 436, by NachtRave

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ockiller wrote on 2022-02-16, 08:28:

Just in case, can you plug a VGA screen ? A lot of VGA-HDMI converters don't support the DOS text mode resolution (720x400 70 Hz)

Ughhghghghgh I really hope that isn't the case. I just ordered a small VGA-capable mini monitor to explore that avenue, and I'll let you know how it goes when I get it. I think I may have an old monitor laying around that accepts DVI, maybe VGA, but I'll have to wait until I can dig through things tomorrow and not wake up everyone. 😖

Btw here is the coord I am currently using: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B071SHJ1S3/ -- I am looking and seeing that you may in fact have a good point, and I may be looking for something like a scan converter for what I'm hoping to do here.

Edit: Also tried it with https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CTK4TH4, same outcome. Also saw that the first one says "SUPPORT VGA RESOLUTION: From 800*600 to 1920*1200 input." I am pretty sure that this issue may change once I get an OS installed (if I can get that far) and as soon as it kicks in Windows @ >= 800x600 then the signal starts going through.

Further Edit: @rasteri, an idea for v0.4 of your board - HDMI output, or something like a hardware scaler to convert DOS resolution to some sort of larger size (like 800x600) that may wind up being more commonly supported by these converter coords.

Reply 270 of 436, by SScorpio

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NachtRave wrote on 2022-02-16, 08:19:

Yeah, the DOS games seem to not have been mucked with, only some of the Windows games, likely to get it to work in Win 7/8/10. That’s okay, I spent the 200$ and went bargain bin hunting on eBay and got as good a set of popular games as I’ll ever have. CloneCD and some time should be fun enough.

That's not true. I've seen cases like Wing Commander where for whatever reason they removed the setup program so you have to go digging to figure out how to change the audio settings.

CD-based games also generally have a renamed ISO you still need to either burn, mount, or somehow crack to get running outside of DOSBOX.

Reply 271 of 436, by Mu0n

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Can you test the continuity between every one of the 304 SOM pads to the extremity of the top of their corresponding pin? You used a bit less solder than me, which is not automatically bad, but I was extra paranoid in that step.

1Bit Fever Dreams: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9YYXWX1SxBhh1YB-feIPPw
DOS Fever Dreams: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIUn0Dp6PM8DBTF-5g0nvcw

Reply 272 of 436, by ockiller

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NachtRave wrote on 2022-02-16, 08:37:

Also tried it with https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CTK4TH4, same outcome.

That's the first one I bought, and I can confirm it doesn't work for DOS text mode. I bought another one as indicated from this thread, which works (but rescale the text mode output to 640x400, all other modes/resolutions works perfectly fine).

Reply 273 of 436, by Mu0n

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I've had success with this adapter: https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B08KG117QM/r … 0?ie=UTF8&psc=1
but it's the typical chinese product fare where multiple company names are used across different months and a line disappears and then 3 more pop up.

I've been able to use it very reliably with my Eyoyo 8 inch monitor that takes in HDMI, but also VGA directly. I've been semi-successful using it on my regular living room Sony Bravia 55", as I was dealing with a polyfuse problem on my Weecee at the same time. I did not retry using my VGA-HDMI adapter again at a later date, so YMMV.

Another adapter which didn't work for me that I tried initially was this one:
https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B07CTHPVB5/r … 0?ie=UTF8&psc=1

on paper, they're very similar products. Both are not taking the risk things will work in 320x200, but here we are. One works and the other doesn't. How much of the heavy lifting my little monitor does? Hard to say.

I got it from aliexpress (here if you're interested https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005001557321 … .4ebe4c4diaFd0v)

1Bit Fever Dreams: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9YYXWX1SxBhh1YB-feIPPw
DOS Fever Dreams: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIUn0Dp6PM8DBTF-5g0nvcw

Reply 274 of 436, by NachtRave

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SScorpio wrote on 2022-02-16, 12:46:

That's not true. I've seen cases like Wing Commander where for whatever reason they removed the setup program so you have to go digging to figure out how to change the audio settings.

CD-based games also generally have a renamed ISO you still need to either burn, mount, or somehow crack to get running outside of DOSBOX.

Oh wow! I did not know that, that’s a very astute observation. I’ll definitely keep that all in mind, especially about the improper names and such. A lot of my sources have been Yar Har Matey and the naming and quality of rip is never consistent. Good thing I have an old tote full of the originals from when I was younger.

Anyways, I dug up an old monitor today with VGA today and, forgoing dusting it off, plugged it all up and… HOUSTON WE HAVE IGNITION. You guys rock with all the help getting these working. I super appreciate it!

Pics of the startup. Yay! :3

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Reply 275 of 436, by NachtRave

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Mu0n wrote on 2022-02-16, 12:52:

Can you test the continuity between every one of the 304 SOM pads to the extremity of the top of their corresponding pin? You used a bit less solder than me, which is not automatically bad, but I was extra paranoid in that step.

I actually took quite a bit of time to make sure that all of these pads were soldered, adding with a bit more solder paste (and taking away with wick) just the right amount to what I would feel comfortable with. That you mention it though, I will go back over them and make sure that they have a small layer of additional solder paste on them and put the heat on it. Shouldn't affect the quality of the weld too much but add just enough to cover the issue you raise here. Wise observation and I'll be sure to go in there and do such (especially for the ones I'm due to sell off).

Mu0n wrote on 2022-02-16, 15:37:

How much of the heavy lifting my little monitor does? Hard to say.
I got it from aliexpress (here if you're interested https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005001557321 … .4ebe4c4diaFd0v)

So the one I got off eBay is basically the same thing, and will be fine for what I need. Just a little VGA capable monitor for me to install and set them up with Win98SE/SP3/KernelEx. I guess if I do another run of these I won't be buying VGA->HDMI coords and just let whomever figure that part out themselves. 😒 I also got one of the OSSC adapters just so that I can use my main monitor with the 486 retro PC I'm building on the side (mainly for doing CloneCD images).

ockiller wrote on 2022-02-16, 13:57:

I bought another one as indicated from this thread, which works (but rescale the text mode output to 640x400, all other modes/resolutions works perfectly fine).

OOOOOOOoooo look at that! You may of just solved a mystery! =D Maybe an included converter is back on the table.

Edit: Update, I received the OSSC today (130$ on Amazon) and it converts the DOS VGA signal over to HDMI like a champ. Ordered 4 of the units from the Aliexpress link that ockiller provided, and will ship those with the units I sell/give away. What a fun time getting this all to work. :3

Reply 276 of 436, by NachtRave

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Well, I have been playing around with what I can on the v1 of the weeCee board I'm working on, and I don't believe the SD card is working as intended. After some time looking at the schematics and doing some measuring, I noticed that the 3.3v rail is used in the SD card circuit, and that lead me back to my LDO issue I described earlier. Well, suffice to say, the LDO on the v1 board is toasted, it's only putting out 0.03v on pin 2/4 while powered up to 5v, and on the other two boards I am seeing 1.99v. My LDO must be wrong, because that should be putting out a 3.3v signal. Well, suffice to say, I ordered different LDOs, actually the original ones in the BOM at that rate since they're back in stock now, and will install them when I get them. I can't believe I screwed up the LDO. Are they like super heat sensitive and only should be soldered via iron and not heat gun, or? Are they highly susceptible to static electricity, more-so than usually? Are they supposed to be putting out 1.99v like that when the SoM is uninstalled and power is applied w/o load?

Edit: Went back and added some more solder to the SoM socket pins, they def look a bit better, but still same issue. Also replaced MicroSD card slot since I mucked up the mechanism on the previous one. Tried 4GB, 32GB, 128GB, nothing. Made sure to set BIOS to use SDCARD as the Primary IDE Pin Select option. Notta. Has to be a 3.3v supply issue.

Reply 277 of 436, by rasteri

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Yeah if you don't have 3.3v the SD card won't work.

LDO's arent normally very easy to fry. Could you have a short on the 3.3v rail somewhere? Disconnect all power and measure the resistance between the ground and 3.3V rail

Reply 278 of 436, by NachtRave

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rasteri wrote on 2022-02-17, 23:47:

Yeah if you don't have 3.3v the SD card won't work.

LDO's arent normally very easy to fry. Could you have a short on the 3.3v rail somewhere? Disconnect all power and measure the resistance between the ground and 3.3V rail

Yup, that's precisely what I'm thinking. I can't believe that something so simple shouldn't work, alas it was built by me so ofc it's just my luck. I just got some more stuff to test out my first board here, was going to start taking out some of these decoupling capacitors (C34, C36, etc) just to make sure I'm seeing the right voltage coming out, but even when I desolder the LDO out and hook it up to my power supply and put 5v on pin3 and gnd on pin1, pin2 doesn't seem to produce the correct "fixed" output. It even was changing the output as I played around with the voltage. Is that normal for a "fixed" LDO? Ugh.

So close I can taste it. So close.