Sunday, October 29, 2017

Boku no Hero Academia - You Say Run! - ProTracker Cover



This doesn't really have anything to do with electronic tinkering or software development.
But still I'm pround of this result and also want to share it here.

Friday, October 27, 2017

picoPSU + Adapter + Thingiverse Case = Amiga Power Supply

As I've already lost two 1200 units for unknown reasons (Well at least one of them) and because original Amiga power supplies seem to be crafted in Hell by Cacodemons I decided to get for an ATX PSU instead.

People on the internet and on the DoReCo this year seem to replace it very often. So why not? All you need is 12V, 5V and -12V and you are done. Every usual PSU for PCs can deliver this at high currents.

I'v stumbled across this website. This guy analyzed various options for replacement and also delivers some hardware to support it.

I've bought one picoPSU ATX adapter from him and ordered the picoPSU90 from Amazon.
On Mr. Stedmans page there is also a suggestion for a printable model of a shrunken down Amiga PSU suited to contain the circuit.

I don't own a 3D printer as I was in believe that I wouldn't need one ever.
(It's also my opinion that something like this should be shared in a group as one person would probably print too seldom to justify the costs.)
But I have a friend who has one and was able to print this thing overnight on an Ultimaker 2+.



The whole result is far from perfect and not as good as shown on Thingiverse. But the printer was set on 1.5x speed so maybe this is the reason why.
I'm still happy as this is the first time I've ever 3D printed something.

What is there still to say? I'll let the pictures talk.






This beast is powered by an external 12V adapter giving 5A resulting in 60W.
The picoPSU could do more but I didn't have a fitting adapter around. But 60W is still a lot, even for an Amiga.

I've tested it and I was kinda confused. The voltage ramps of the power up seem to be different compared to the original PSU as the screen goes green and the audio gives a clicking sound after powering up. Shortly after that the screen goes black like it should when an A1200 is booting and after that the system is running.

I hope this is just an unimportant side effect. I'm not an experienced analog guy.

Apart from that this is a really nice and clean solution.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Super Turrican MSU 0.4 + Super Turrican Soundfix 0.1 released

As Super Turrican MSU 0.3 kinda lead to confusion for a few people and I've stumbled onto some other stuff I decided to release a new version.

Changes for v0.4:
  • Assumed to fix Soundglitch (Removed 16 bit writes to $2140, further tests needed)
  • Fix swapped music of stages 1-2 and 1-3
  • Replaced IPS by BPS and more cleaned up package
  • Moved volume boosted sd2snes version for revision F and older into subfolder.
    As I no longer possess a revision F sd2snes active support for this revision is kinda sorta dropped as testing is not possible for me any more.
Download Super Turrican MSU 0.4

Also the Super Turrican Soundfix proposal needs further test data.
The patch is now also available for the NTSC version of the game.

Download Super Turrican Soundfix 0.1

Known bugs
During my testing it kinda happened again once. So the sound fix sadly doesn't work. My guess is that this never will be fixed which is quite sad. If enough people provide testimony for this modification to not help at all, I will make a version 0.5 which removes this hack as it might lead to unwanted side effects.


Disclaimer:
Please keep in mind that I'm growing more and more tired of testing this game with a full playthrough every time I update this. Especially now with 6 different ROM files resulting from both these hacks.
This is why I cannot guarantee proper function.
If this package deals damage to your hardware I'm not responsible for it.
If you encounter any bugs or uncertainty please use this blog to contact me.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Super Turrican Soundfix proposal

It seems not a lot gamers have played Super Turrican. This is my assumption and it has to be true as not much information is available on a significant bug this game has.

While playing the game more frequenty on the sd2snes to do the MSU hack I ran into issues sometimes. The sound glitched up. I was pretty certain that this was not caused by my hack as I had the same issue very rarely with my original PAL cartridge and blamed it for this. There is actually a video on YouTube showing off how it could sound like. Please turn down the volume as headphone user :3


There also do exists some discussion on that topic on some forums:

http://www.racketboy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=37267
http://shmups.system11.org/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=40996


Let sum this up here:

  • It happens on the NTSC and the PAL version. (I've tested this)
  • It never appeared to me on higan while developing my MSU Hack.
  • It is caused by a soundeffect and not music. (As my hack doesn't have music on levels)
  • The glitch only happens on 1chip SNES hardware. (Assumed)
  • Chances for this bug to happen are quite low. It's possible to make a complete run of the game without having issues at all.

Also there do exists a theory that the blue laser makes this happen more frequently. I can not approve that as it happend to me with the spread shot once too.

It's a mystery why this was unnoticed so long as the game has aged for quite a while and it seems to be unnoticed until 2010.


I never really intented to try to solve this issue as I can't debug it with an emulator. But a few weeks ago I've read this article.
It says:
Hardware Quirk! When writing in 16-bit values to 2140 / 2141, a noise pulse (or some technical thingy) may write data to 2143 too! Always write to 2140 / 2141 with 8-bit writes if this is undesired.

So that's some interesting stuff to look into.
I've modded higan for that purpose to detect 16 bit writes to 2140. As it turns out games like Super Turrican 2 and Super Bomberman 4 didn't have these while Super Turrican uses these writes for loading SPC data between the levels.

I've removed these instructions and replaced them by subroutines which write these values as separated bytes. I did one playthrough and no bug happend yet.

What I now really need are players that love to play Super Turrican and willing to test this patch to give me some test statistics.

Here is the download link for the PAL versions patch.
Apply using flips or some other patch tool.

Please keep it mind that this is ONLY a soundfix patch. No MSU hack is applied here. I will update the MSU version of my hack with this fix when I've finished resolving issues with sd2snes revision differences on volume levels.

The NTSC version will follow if we are able to proove that the fix is actually working.

Here the md5sums for checking:
90c9fe8386a7f69de475c58bb8de01f7  Super Turrican (Europe).sfc
d17a07bd58bf295fe09ff6d88f7d0151  SuperTurricanSoundFix_PAL.bps
5d214342d2eb3beae115471e4dbc1a6e  SuperTurricanSoundFix_PAL.sfc



Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Compiling higan v101 under Debian Stretch


While writing Super Turrican MSU i used a modded version of higan v094 back then. byuu was not sleeping and i'm pretty sure he doesn't uses Debian as higan v101 can't be compiled out of the box.  Change the following line of GNUmakefile.

flags += -I. -I.. -O3
to
flags += -I. -I.. -O3 -I/usr/include/gtk-2.0/ -I/usr/include/cairo -I/usr/include/glib-2.0 -I/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/glib-2.0/include/ -I/usr/include/pango-1.0/ -I/usr/include/gdk-pixbuf-2.0 -I/usr/include/atk-1.0/

higan should now compile but still not runnable as the manifest.bml is missing.

run make install once as a normal user. your home directory is set up.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Super Turrican MSU v0.3 now with NTSC support

Some people asked for the US NTSC version of Super Turrican MSU...

You people are crazy!
The game was made in germany. It has to be played in 50 Hz! D:
Factor 5 did a bad job on having both versions consistent in manner of speed. It almost feels like the only difference between them is that the US version has the SEIKA logo.
This is why i conclude here that the US version is a little bit more difficult but also more fast paced if you like that. On my TV set the 60 Hz video signal is more crisp but this is not the version i've grown up with...
I'll stick to PAL.

Anyway, you asked for it:

Download Super Turrican MSU v0.3

I will remove v0.2 in a few days or weeks from Dropbox as it won't be needed anymore. Version 0.3 contains the PAL version as well so don't bother loading the old one.


I only play tested the NTSC port once. I had to rewrite some of the code to get it right. The program code of Super Turrican is compressed on the cart. But hacking compressed code in an algorithm i don't know is tedious. I had to work around this time making the NTSC version behave different.
Especially the title screen is buggy as the cursor won't show up by itself. But apart from that the US version is fully playable and hasn't shown signs of failure during my playthrough.....

Please keep in mind that even the original version of Super Turrican can crash on 1chip SNES models and i'm not able to debug that. The SPC is prone to hang himself in this game.

Turrican Soundtrack Anthology:
The music in this game is an altered version of the Turrican Soundtrack Anthology made by Chris Hülsbeck. If you like the Soundtrack you can buy it from his bandcamp site in lossless FLAC and MP3. There are 4 albums to get, containing not only the arranged Soundtrack for Super Turrican but also for the other games as well. If you are confused by the sheer amounts of music Chris has made there is also website especially for the Turrican Soundtrack albums.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Super Turrican MSU V0.2 released!


>>>Update: Go check out this post for Version 0.3.

I'm happy to announce that my Super Turrican MSU Hack will now be released. Chris Hülsbeck gave me permission to publish the soundtrack with the hack which was the crucial part in the end.
You can download the hack here.

Download Super Turrican MSU Hack

Keep in mind that you need a sd2snes or the emulator higan to run this hack! Currently only the PAL version is supported!
 
The package only contains the soundtrack for the MSU chip and an .ips patch file. You need to get the ROM by yourself.
You are only allowed to apply this patch if you are in possession of the original.
For this you need the .sfc file of your game. Either read it back from the cartdrige or ….. help yourself in other ways.

Download JIPS or another ips patcher to apply the patch. It's very important you got the right ROM. To be sure the correct file has the md5sum of 90c9fe8386a7f69de475c58bb8de01f7.
If you patched your .sfc file put it together with the rest of the files inside the package into a directory on your sd2snes.

The package contains a README.txt which will explain the process in more detail.

That's all!


The music in this game is an altered version of the Turrican Soundtrack Anthology made by Chris Hülsbeck. If you like the Soundtrack you can buy it from his bandcamp site in lossless FLAC and MP3. There are 4 albums to get, containing not only the arranged Soundtrack for Super Turrican but also for the other games as well.


---> Very important note <---
The game has one major bug which was kinda amplified with my hack (at least i feel so). The usage of the blue laser weapon can lead to a hickup of the SPC on some SNES devices. If this happens you can hear a strange and loud noise that sounds like "frfrfrfr". At this point the game still runs but you are unable to get to the next level as the main CPU is not capable of talking to the SPC anymore.
Even a reset of the SNES doesn't restore a healthy state sometimes.
You need to cut the power of your SNES for seconds to make it runnable again.
I'm not yet sure how this happens and it kinda flaws the whole hack. The only bright side is that this flaw is actually part of the original game.

Please help me investigate. Test the game and report issues. This flaw never happened to me on the emulator higan i used to develop the hack which is a major fallback. I'm not capable of debug this issue at this state. Just try to stay away from the blue laser.

Sadly enough it's also possible to get this problem in more rare occassions with other weapons as well. I could only assume that the soundeffect playback routine has a bug that i still don't understand.

Now as it turns out this happens only on 1chip SNES and newer revisions. I will investigate!