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Thread: Will a Retro Duo look better with NES games than an NES?

  1. #16
    Creator of the Mega Amp Raging in the Streets Ace's Avatar
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    There are numerous issues with the RetroDuo:

    -Washed out NES Composite
    -Slightly washed out and blurry Super NES Composite
    -HORRIBLE NES S-Video(plays like an NES via a bad RF box)
    -INCREDIBLY DARK Super NES S-Video
    -MASSIVE interference(you get lines on the NES side that are in sync with music, and you can see 2 strips of static rolling down the screen on the Super NES side)
    -ABSOLUTELY MURDERED NES audio

    Most of these issues can be fixed:

    -Washed out NES Composite(replace a resistor on the NES video amp with a higher value)
    -Slightly washed out and blurry Super NES Composite(disconnect the Composite output from the KA2198BD video encoder and put a 75ohm resistor in series with a 470uF capacitor between the Composite pin and the Composite plug)
    -HORRIBLE NES S-Video(I haven't managed to fix this just yet, but it works in conjunction with the NES sound)
    -INCREDIBLY DARK Super NES S-Video(remove the Chroma and Luminance pins on the KA2198BD and do the same as with Composite, just on the S-Video plug's Chroma/Luminance solder spots
    -MASSIVE interference(I haven't fully eliminated the interference just yet, but read the next note)
    -ABSOLUTELY MURDERED NES audio(add a 0.1uF capacitor between the NES sound output from the NOAC and Ground, and add a 2.2Kohm resistor between the Base and Collector pins on one of the transistors in the NES sound amp)

    Don't get me wrong: the RetroDuo's awesome, but in order to make it awesome, you have to mod it. Otherwise, it's quite bad.
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  2. #17
    Outrunner Metalwario64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ace View Post
    ABSOLUTELY MURDERED NES audio
    I can attest to this; the audio was so bad, that sometimes it sounded literally like silent, hissing static. If you can't solder, then I would say to stay as far away as you can form this clone.

    Another clone to avoid would be the FC Twin if you like multiplayer games, as when both controllers have the same buttons pressed, it registers as the start button unless you use the stock controllers, which suck, have a short cord and break easily. If you like NES game soundtracks, then stay away from the Retro Entertainment System, as it frequently misses notes and the sound is very, very raw and harsh as opposed to the NES' softer, smoother audio output; Protoman's whistle made my ears bleed...

    I ended up giving my Retro Duo to a friend, and bought a refurbished, PIN connector replaced NES at a local game store for $50 (steep I know) and got a free SNES that my sister found at her dad's place.

    Because I got the SNES for free the $50 kind of evens out, especially since that's the typical cost of the Retro Duo, and I can finally enjoy all of my games again without fearing of going deaf or blind.
    Last edited by Metalwario64; 10-30-2009 at 01:27 AM.

  3. #18
    Hero of Algol kool kitty89's Avatar
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    Is the S-Video really s-video, or just composite hooked to the Y/C S-video pins? (like those cheap comp=>s-video adaptors and some 3rd party Nintendo multi av s-video cables)
    With the characteristic "checkerboard" noise.
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    Quote Originally Posted by evilevoix View Post
    Dude its the bios that marries the 16 bit and the 8 bit that makes it 24 bit. If SNK released their double speed bios revision SNK would have had the worlds first 48 bit machine, IDK how you keep ignoring this.
    Quote Originally Posted by evilevoix View Post
    the PCE, that system has no extra silicone for music, how many resources are used to make music and it has less sprites than the MD on screen at once but a larger sprite area?

  4. #19
    Outrunner Metalwario64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kool kitty89 View Post
    Is the S-Video really s-video, or just composite hooked to the Y/C S-video pins? (like those cheap comp=>s-video adaptors and some 3rd party Nintendo multi av s-video cables)
    With the characteristic "checkerboard" noise.
    I am not sure, but it does look very blurry with S-Video.

  5. #20
    Master of Shinobi ooXxXoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kool kitty89 View Post
    Is the S-Video really s-video, or just composite hooked to the Y/C S-video pins? (like those cheap comp=>s-video adaptors and some 3rd party Nintendo multi av s-video cables)
    With the characteristic "checkerboard" noise.
    Is truly s-video from the Samsung KA2198BD RGB encoder (Yes you can even tap RGB from it, but only for the SNES Side).....But is badly encoded on the Retro Duo s-video output....And @Ace, the S-video is only meant for the SNES side ,Although NES washed composite video runs through the s-video connector (NES checkered effect) because of the badly mixing....
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  6. #21
    Outrunner the.importer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ooXxXoo View Post
    Well, those vertical lines (video noise) in a NES2 Top loader for example, are caused to the PPU (in which the video output pin is also relatively close to the addresses pins) by the Master Clock signal (xtal) as I have found out. Mostly consisting in a badly designed motherboard layout, and yes by Nintendo...I have managed to built an amp which acts as a filter around this area, sort of like the one that the AV famicom has, which this one, doesn't have the vertical lines issue...

    EDIT:Also, not only the Top Loader has this problem, the Famicom does too...This is the reason NOACS have the vertical lines effect, because they are taken and replicated mainly from a Famicom...Long story indeed...
    ..
    Getting back on this, my friend who modded my NES 2 with AV-Out might be able to remove my vertical line issue if he were to build his own Amp. Anything special regarding this Amp (trade secret) or is it something he can make with spare parts?

  7. #22
    Hero of Algol kool kitty89's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ooXxXoo View Post
    Is truly s-video from the Samsung KA2198BD RGB encoder (Yes you can even tap RGB from it, but only for the SNES Side).....But is badly encoded on the Retro Duo s-video output....And @Ace, the S-video is only meant for the SNES side ,Although NES washed composite video runs through the s-video connector (NES checkered effect) because of the badly mixing....
    The real NES PPU natively outputs only composite, right? (with playchoice machines using a modified PPU that outputs RGB -or a transcoder?)


    And does the retroduo have the same problem with sound (flipped pulse wave duty cycles) as other NOACs that causes weird pitched sounds?
    Last edited by kool kitty89; 10-30-2009 at 03:12 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by evilevoix View Post
    Dude its the bios that marries the 16 bit and the 8 bit that makes it 24 bit. If SNK released their double speed bios revision SNK would have had the worlds first 48 bit machine, IDK how you keep ignoring this.
    Quote Originally Posted by evilevoix View Post
    the PCE, that system has no extra silicone for music, how many resources are used to make music and it has less sprites than the MD on screen at once but a larger sprite area?

  8. #23
    Master of Shinobi ooXxXoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kool kitty89 View Post
    The real NES PPU natively outputs only composite, right? (with playchoice machines using a modified PPU that outputs RGB -or a transcoder?)


    And does the retroduo have the same problem with sound (flipped pulse wave duty cycles) as other NOACs that causes weird pitched sounds?
    Yes, same Audio problem...And the native NES PPU only does composite sadly...The PC-10 has the RGB PPU where the signals are mixed via some variable pots and transistors....A couple of years ago, while driving around my neighborhood, I stumble across a broken arcade cabinet (ready for the dump) in someone's front yard...As I parked near by and got close to it, Jackpot!...It was a broken play choice-10, got the main motherboard (and the RGB PPU with it)...
    ...
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  9. #24
    Creator of the Mega Amp Raging in the Streets Ace's Avatar
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    No, the RetroDuo does not suffer from the reversed Square wave duties from most NOACs. The only audio problem it has is the overloaded audio output due to the missing resistor and capacitor.

    Doesn't the NES PPU mix Chroma/Luminance within the chip before outputting it as Composite?

    Quote Originally Posted by ooXxXoo View Post
    Although NES washed composite video runs through the s-video connector (NES checkered effect) because of the badly mixing....
    So you're saying that the source of the nasty video interference is the NES' Composite output being put into the S-Video jack? *opens RetroDuo and removes NES S-Video to check*

    EDIT: Well it does seem to be part of the problem, but the strips of static are still there. Did you manage to completely eliminate them? If so, how?
    Last edited by Ace; 10-30-2009 at 02:42 PM.
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  10. #25
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    Id suggest getting a Hyperkin NES. The graphics will be the same but the music will sound slighty diffrent.

  11. #26
    Creator of the Mega Amp Raging in the Streets Ace's Avatar
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    Man, screw that! There's the RetroBit Retro Entertainment System for a good NES-only clone(gets the sound right, unlike the Hyperkin FC Super Loader). Or better yet: the Hyperkin FC Mobile II. Can be used on the go or at home with a power supply and wireless controllers.
    HATES ATGAMES WITH A PASSION


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  12. #27
    Master of Shinobi ooXxXoo's Avatar
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    I do remember having that interfering noise that you are talking about Ace...It seem like some sort of ground loop, ...I did alot of modding to my RetroDuo (but gave it away to a good friend of mine a while ago)...After splitting a whole bunch of signals and adding the ceramic cap, the problem finally was isolated.....
    ...
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  13. #28
    Creator of the Mega Amp Raging in the Streets Ace's Avatar
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    Damn it... do you at least remember what was the source of the Ground loop? Did it come from the NES or Super NES board?
    HATES ATGAMES WITH A PASSION


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  14. #29
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    Well I went headed and bought a Retro Duo at my local Flee Market and although I wouldn't use this for my SFC games, it works great on my LCD TV with my NES and FC games.

    Positives:

    +No Vertical Lines like the NES 2

    +All my NES and FC games worked (which means that 60 to 72 pins converters work)

    +You can use both SNES and SFC games in there (don't care personally)

    +Although some are different, I find the colors to be better than on my NES 2

    +It's great that I can use my SFC controllers on this. The makers of this thing were even smart enough to make it that 8bit games would have the same Jump and Attack buttons as the 16bit games (B = Jump Y = Attack)

    +I can even use my SNES Power Plug on it.

    +It's nice to be able to use universal AV cables because I was able to hook this system using those expensive shielded cables

    +Comes with a smaller AC, so less room on your power bar

    Negative

    -The sound is not perfect for all games (but they're 8bit games, so the sound wasn't great to begin with)

    -It's just too bad that my PS2 to SNES converter doesn't work in 8bit mode cause now I can't use my PS2 HORI Stick (my NES Advantage won't work with that system either because there's no NES plug)

    -Kirby SuperStar and Kirby's Dream Land 3 won't run (again, I don't care, I have a SuperFamicom for those 16bit games)

    -The final negative point is that you'll probably need an extension cord for the AC adapter since it's pretty damn small


    So in conclusion, it's nice to know there's a better Top Loading NES out there than Nintendo's and like all Top Loaders, you don't need to worry about the pins being crushed down.
    Last edited by the.importer; 11-01-2009 at 12:10 AM.

  15. #30
    Hero of Algol kool kitty89's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the.importer View Post
    -The final negative point is that you'll probably need an extension cord for the AC adapter since it's pretty damn small
    That isn't that much of a detriment though, hell, using an extension cord basicly adds a "dongle" so will fit much better into a power strip or outlet. (I prefer the standard 2-prong houshold extension cords for most stuff, with 3 outlets on the end -usually only good for 2 power bricks though, except for some smaller bricks or with some odd/doler extension cords with the third outlet on the end of cord/splitter rather than having 2 on one side)
    6 days older than SEGA Genesis
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    Quote Originally Posted by evilevoix View Post
    Dude its the bios that marries the 16 bit and the 8 bit that makes it 24 bit. If SNK released their double speed bios revision SNK would have had the worlds first 48 bit machine, IDK how you keep ignoring this.
    Quote Originally Posted by evilevoix View Post
    the PCE, that system has no extra silicone for music, how many resources are used to make music and it has less sprites than the MD on screen at once but a larger sprite area?

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