VOGONS


Reply 220 of 381, by kisscool

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

Hi guys,

I'm not used to write a lot on the forum, but I'm a huge fan of Serge's work, as well as keropi, Daniel and Tiido. Bought nearly all the sound devices Serge created, the MPU401 replica and Orpheus from keropi, and a lot of replicas from Daniel and Tiido. Being in Belgium like Serge helps to get things faster, and to encourage him to design and build more and more devices. And as a big fan I am, he offers me a real favor, and I thank him so much for that.

So, Serge contacted me some weeks ago and asked me if I want to do a review of his amazing work for you. Guess what ? Of course I said yes 😁

Deal was simple : he sends me a complete set of the bays adapters he printed, I try, take pictures, whatever, just a review to show you what is gonna be available when it's done. Of course I was already the happy owner of the McCake, as well as the MP32L.

So, here is the package I received, with different bays and buttons, 2 panels, necessary cables and screws :

box1.jpg

Inside, different colors for the bays to choose from :

box2.jpg box3.jpg box4.jpg

Just inserted in a vintage tower, here are the results, with the name Serge gave to it (but I didn't used the brown one, not sure anybody will ever need, unless he/she is a heavy smoker and the tower has turned brown, not yellowed, brown !) :

- cream white :

cream.jpg

- glow in the dark :

glow.jpg

- light grey :

lightgrey.jpg

- neutral :

neutral.jpg

- white :

white.jpg

- black (fully assembled, with mixed black and white buttons, white for switching modes and roms/soundfonts and black for volume) :

mixedBW.jpg

And if anyone wants to build a special case with a Ghostbusters look, glow in the dark flavor is definately what you need :

ghostbusters.jpg

Now, you certainly noticed that the bays were just put in the case, without connection and McCake connected. Unfortunately, I don't have the time right now to build a complete system with everything. I'm still waiting for 2 vintage PC cases I bought last week, but I'll post more updates as soon as I've been able to setup what I have in mind.

So, I used a completely different system to make some videos and give you an idea of how this works. I used my MiSTer FPGA, running the AO486 core, and connected the McCake by inserting it on the Chill II from Serdaco and the MiSTer MIDI from Legacy Pixels to provide MIDI signal. Screen is a simple 10" LCD screen I use for my MiSTer, and speakers is a good old Roland CS-10, perfectly accurate for the real sound of those years.

Some pictures of the setup :

MiSTer.jpg screen.jpg CS-10.jpg

Results on YouTube videos :

The Secret of Monkey Island (MT-32 mode) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJVuNp73Pig
Sam and Max Hit the Road (soundfont mode with SGM-V2.01) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLiwo6GY0PY
Day of the Tentacle (MT-32 mode) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNHnpxc2XLg
Descent setup test music in soudfont mode then Monkey Island 2 LeChuck's Revenge intro in MT32 mode : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAwabJzqMcU

If you are interested in a comparison between different devices to give you an idea of how it sounds, here are what I still have available (MT-32 speaking, I have many other MIDI modules and wavetables in my collection, real vintage and from Serge, Daniel, Tiido) :

familyreunion.jpg

Hope you enjoyed this review, and Serge, thank you so much for giving me this opportunity 😉

Reply 222 of 381, by dreamblaster

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Thanks Kisscool, based on the photo, 'cream white' seems the best match for your setup, right ?

Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, video converters, ...
OPL3LPT, X2, S2, S2P, MCE2VGA, ... many projects !
New X2GS sound card : https://www.serdashop.com/X2GS
Thanks for your support !

Reply 224 of 381, by dreamblaster

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

I will print some cream white panels, and also complete some more McCakes. pm me if interested

Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, video converters, ...
OPL3LPT, X2, S2, S2P, MCE2VGA, ... many projects !
New X2GS sound card : https://www.serdashop.com/X2GS
Thanks for your support !

Reply 226 of 381, by dreamblaster

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
Martin8bity wrote on 2021-09-04, 20:59:

I am interested, but cannot PM yet 🙁

Oh, well as alternative you can contact me through this link : https://www.serdashop.com/contact

Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, video converters, ...
OPL3LPT, X2, S2, S2P, MCE2VGA, ... many projects !
New X2GS sound card : https://www.serdashop.com/X2GS
Thanks for your support !

Reply 227 of 381, by Martin8bity

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie
dreamblaster wrote on 2021-09-04, 21:17:

Oh, well as alternative you can contact me through this link : https://www.serdashop.com/contact

Thanks, contact sent.

Reply 228 of 381, by aitotat

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

I'm having a problem that I can't figure out. The problem is that sound rarely disappears completely. This affects both MT32 and Fluidsynth modes and mt32-pi -r or resetting system does not help. Usually powering off the computer helps but not always. This latest appearance was worst of them all.

I have McCake connected to Roland MPU401AT, port 330 and IRQ 2. Leds on the McCake flash so it is trying to play music but nothing can be heared, not from headphone or RCA outputs from the MPU401AT. I have edited configuration file a bit: resampler_quality is set to best, gain and reverb_gain are set to 0.5 under the [mt32emu]. Under [fluidsynth] gain is set to 0.1. I have also disabled the display since I do not need it at the moment.

So after the last appearance of the issue I powered the computer off couple of times but that did not help. I removed the McCake and MPU401AT and reinserted them. Did not help. Then I removed X2GS from other sound card on this same system and inserted it to MPU401AT and it worked right away. I was almost sure at that point that if I reinsert McCake now, it will work again. And it did.

So I don't know should I suspect MPU401AT or McCake but something does not work the way it should. On thing to note is that when sound plays it plays correctly without problems of any kind. When I start a new game (or maybe only if I reboot the system) then it usually works or rarely it is mute.

Any ideas what to try? All I can think now is to keep the X2GS on the MPU401AT for a while and see if it works without issues or not. One more thing. I have updated software to v0.10.2. I just noticed that v0.10.3 is released. I could try that as well.

Reply 229 of 381, by dreamblaster

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
aitotat wrote on 2021-09-05, 15:34:

Any ideas what to try?

You are powering through the molex connector right ? Could you monitor the voltages in your pc ?
McCake consumes around 2A, maybe it does not get enough juice ?
Feel free to pm me a photo of your setup, i will have a look

Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, video converters, ...
OPL3LPT, X2, S2, S2P, MCE2VGA, ... many projects !
New X2GS sound card : https://www.serdashop.com/X2GS
Thanks for your support !

Reply 230 of 381, by aitotat

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

I send PM yesterday but if others are interested this is my setup.

I just noticed that Roland MPU401AT has shorter pins on the wavetable header than for example the Labway I have on the same system. If this problem happens again I'll first try to test if the connection is okay. I already placed rubber pad between Roland and McCake so it stays better in place.

Reply 231 of 381, by kisscool

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie
aitotat wrote on 2021-09-05, 15:34:

Any ideas what to try?

As dreamblaster said, that should be a power problem. I experienced the exact same symptom with the MP32L. If power supply used is less than 2A (better choice is 3A), device is flashing and screen is showing everything, but no sound at all out of it.

I cheated on my test with the McCake, because I used it on a MiSTer FPGA. I get the power from a power supply normally used to deliver power to an external USB3 device to connect hdd, which has a molex connector. And this power supply deliver 12V 4A so powerful enough (and 5v to the McCake because of the yellow 12v/red 5v on the molex).

Reply 232 of 381, by aitotat

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Good to know. I no longer should have any connection problems with wavetable header so if the problem happens again, I'll know it must be power issue. I use quite typical 200W AT PSU with 20A to 5V rail and 8A to 12V rail. I do have all ISA/VLB slots in use so power consumption is more than typical 486DX4 system.

Maybe future revisions of McCake should take power from 12V instead? Now when hard drives are often changed to CF cards there is even less usage on 12V.

Reply 233 of 381, by dreamblaster

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Hi ,
more progress,
the 60cm custom cable samples arrived and look good,
also received more CM4 modules,
and the printed 3.5" panels in cream white and black look good, design of this is final too..

So I will have some full sets including 3.5" panel available the next days/weeks, and will be contacting people that are on the wait list.
(If you are interested in early bird sets, before november, you can still pm me of contact through https://www.serdashop.com/Contact )

The large batch should be ready by end october, and from then on McCake will also be available from the webshop.

Attachments

  • DSCN0998.JPG
    Filename
    DSCN0998.JPG
    File size
    993.78 KiB
    Views
    767 views
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception

Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, video converters, ...
OPL3LPT, X2, S2, S2P, MCE2VGA, ... many projects !
New X2GS sound card : https://www.serdashop.com/X2GS
Thanks for your support !

Reply 234 of 381, by bnz99

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

In the meantime, I finally had time to test my custom DIY front bay. It seems to work well 😀 Find it here in case you are interested: https://github.com/bzeiss/retro-pcbs/

By the way: for the cable, I ended up simply using a 20-pin IDC cable and connected only 9 pins of it.

Attachments

Reply 235 of 381, by dreamblaster

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
bnz99 wrote on 2021-09-10, 15:46:

In the meantime, I finally had time to test my custom DIY front bay. It seems to work well 😀

Wonderful !!

Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, video converters, ...
OPL3LPT, X2, S2, S2P, MCE2VGA, ... many projects !
New X2GS sound card : https://www.serdashop.com/X2GS
Thanks for your support !

Reply 236 of 381, by JimWest

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

Dreamblaster was kind enough to provide me with a panel as a kit. It was very well packaged.
I don't want to withhold the result from you.

Here is the kit:

IMG_9210.jpg
Filename
IMG_9210.jpg
File size
548.32 KiB
Views
640 views
File license
CC-BY-4.0

The assembly is done in 15 minutes. Here is the result:

IMG_9211.jpg
Filename
IMG_9211.jpg
File size
465.59 KiB
Views
640 views
File license
CC-BY-4.0
IMG_9213.jpg
Filename
IMG_9213.jpg
File size
316.59 KiB
Views
640 views
File license
CC-BY-4.0
IMG_9261.jpg
Filename
IMG_9261.jpg
File size
512.55 KiB
Views
640 views
File license
CC-BY-4.0
IMG_9264.jpg
Filename
IMG_9264.jpg
File size
1.35 MiB
Views
640 views
File license
CC-BY-4.0

Overall, I find the panel very appealing and can recommend it to others. 👍🏻
In terms of color, it goes very well with this case.
For my personal taste, however, I think it would be better if the plastic was more matt and not quite as shiny.
Furthermore, I don't have a recess in my case for fixing the panel to the two corresponding screw holes. I haven't found an elegant solution for this yet.
Perhaps there is the option of a larger panel variant so that the standard fixation can be used as with a floppy disk drive.
I tried the panel on other cases of mine, I think the light gray or white variant would probably be better for one or the other.

Reply 237 of 381, by appiah4

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

You can always paint the plastic, then give it a coat of satin, followed by matte varnish for durability and appeal.

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 238 of 381, by dreamblaster

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

investigating more matte PLA, i will have more printed by a 3d printing company who has more PLA selection

Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, video converters, ...
OPL3LPT, X2, S2, S2P, MCE2VGA, ... many projects !
New X2GS sound card : https://www.serdashop.com/X2GS
Thanks for your support !

Reply 239 of 381, by dreamblaster

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

New Mc Cake revision,
just a few prototypes as final test for production run.
I expect to have the production batch in november.

Attachments

  • DSCN1137.jpg
    Filename
    DSCN1137.jpg
    File size
    1 MiB
    Views
    516 views
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception

Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, video converters, ...
OPL3LPT, X2, S2, S2P, MCE2VGA, ... many projects !
New X2GS sound card : https://www.serdashop.com/X2GS
Thanks for your support !