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Mega Cat Studios: Creein' It Reel... Black Screen of Death...

Nov 09 at 10:54:34 PM
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Kosmic StarDust (43)
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(Ay Jay Will-Yams) < Master Higgins >
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I recently added this chiptune cart to my NES collection. Plays fine on my side loading NES with Blinking Light Win. Crashes with Black Screen of Death on AVS. Any suggestions?

To do list: Install the new replacement NES cartridge slot daughterboard. I ordered one, just haven't installed yet.

FYI, running AVS 1.20b8 (which I assume according to AVSchanges.txt has not been updated compared to 1.20 ).

Anybody else have problems with this cart? (or any other Megacat release). Please let me know below.

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~From the Nintendo/Atari addict formerly known as StarDust4Ever...

Selling my 8-bit Xmas collection:
http://nintendoage.com/forum/mess...


Edited: 11/09/2017 at 10:56 PM by Kosmic StarDust

Nov 10 at 7:11:17 AM
Mog (140)
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(Mr Mog) < King Solomon >
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Try turning off extra sprites and Four Score.

Nov 10 at 7:44:42 PM
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Kosmic StarDust (43)
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(Ay Jay Will-Yams) < Master Higgins >
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Originally posted by: Mog

Try turning off extra sprites and Four Score.
Already tried that last night.

I just installed the new NES pin connector (rev. J) and updated to firmware 1.2 final version. Turned off extra sprites and Four Score emulation. Still getting blacked out screen. Furthermore the menu hotkey (Select + B + A) does not work with the game inserted which tells me it's not even polling the controller. Cart runs flawlessly on my Rev G NES side-loader.

This is the first homebrew I've come across (besides Kira-Kira Star Night) that fails to boot on my AVS.

I'll snap some photos of the PCB later. Hopefully it's not crappy 3V chips running at full 5V like the Columbus Circle Famicom carts...

-------------------------
~From the Nintendo/Atari addict formerly known as StarDust4Ever...

Selling my 8-bit Xmas collection:
http://nintendoage.com/forum/mess...


Edited: 11/10/2017 at 07:47 PM by Kosmic StarDust

Nov 14 at 4:51:58 PM
Only_None (0)
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(Dana M) < Tourian Tourist >
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My Vegavox II, Teletime - Animal Style and NTRQ cartridge all work. Not sure if they are similar.

Nov 14 at 7:29:15 PM
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Kosmic StarDust (43)
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(Ay Jay Will-Yams) < Master Higgins >
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Pics time.



Board is definitely not 3V flash. It uses 5V DIP EPROMs, one of them has a window which I promptly covered with electrical tape. The other appears to be write once. The DIP chip on the top is a HM6264ALP-10 which is used as cart RAM. The mapper chip is handled by a Xlinx and the lockout chip is handled by an 8-pin pic micro, a design very similar to older RetroUSB repros.

I have no idea why this PCB shouldn't work on AVS.

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~From the Nintendo/Atari addict formerly known as StarDust4Ever...

Selling my 8-bit Xmas collection:
http://nintendoage.com/forum/mess...


Edited: 11/14/2017 at 07:34 PM by Kosmic StarDust

Nov 14 at 7:36:18 PM
Retrostage (35)
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It's most likely just an AVS problem. If it works on an official NES console, but not on the AVS, it's not a board problem.

I know I've contacted RetroUSB support for an incompatibility with some of my MMC1 boards (which work perfectly on any official and clone console), and they have yet to even address it. That was a year ago.

EDIT: I wanted to add that even the ones that had issues on the AVS worked fine on a Analogue NT mini.

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Brand New NES, SNES, N64 and Sega Genesis boards available! Great for reproductions/homebrew! http://nintendoage.com/forum/mess...
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Edited: 11/14/2017 at 07:39 PM by Retrostage

Nov 14 at 7:48:15 PM
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Kosmic StarDust (43)
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(Ay Jay Will-Yams) < Master Higgins >
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Originally posted by: Retrostage

It's most likely just an AVS problem. If it works on an official NES console, but not on the AVS, it's not a board problem.

I know I've contacted RetroUSB support for an incompatibility with some of my MMC1 boards (which work perfectly on any official and clone console), and they have yet to even address it. That was a year ago.

EDIT: I wanted to add that even the ones that had issues on the AVS worked fine on a Analogue NT mini.
Hi thanks for the reply. It definitely appears to be a quality PCB with 5V chips, not like that asian junk the repro boots are made of (and sadly a few legit homebrew like 8-bit Music Power et al...)

I'm still curious to know why the AVS doesn't like these games, but it appears to be an issue across several of your PCBs. Something appears different to the console compared to normal mappers. But yeah, if it works across all real hardware, clones, and the NT Mini, then something on the AVS side?  

-------------------------
~From the Nintendo/Atari addict formerly known as StarDust4Ever...

Selling my 8-bit Xmas collection:
http://nintendoage.com/forum/mess...


Edited: 11/14/2017 at 07:52 PM by Kosmic StarDust

Nov 14 at 8:03:09 PM
Retrostage (35)
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(Mike S) < Meka Chicken >
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Originally posted by: Kosmic StarDust
 
Originally posted by: Retrostage

It's most likely just an AVS problem. If it works on an official NES console, but not on the AVS, it's not a board problem.

I know I've contacted RetroUSB support for an incompatibility with some of my MMC1 boards (which work perfectly on any official and clone console), and they have yet to even address it. That was a year ago.

EDIT: I wanted to add that even the ones that had issues on the AVS worked fine on a Analogue NT mini.
Hi thanks for the reply. It definitely appears to be a quality PCB with 5V chips, not like that asian junk the repro boots are made of (and sadly a few legit homebrew like 8-bit Music Power et al...)

I'm still curious to know why the AVS doesn't like these games, but it appears to be an issue across several of your PCBs. Something appears different to the console compared to normal mappers. But yeah, if it works across all real hardware, clones, and the NT Mini, then something on the AVS side?  
Yeah everything there is in happy +5V land  

I always assumed it's something to do with the timings in my mapper, but I haven't been able to iron it out because things work perfectly on any other console I try without fail. Even PAL consoles behave as they should. It's ONLY with the AVS. I asked how they check and initialize their carts - in order to see if there is something I can tweak on my end - but again I haven't received any response from them.

I'll email MegaCat and see if they can send me a sample so I can test it on my AVS here. Maybe I'll be able to get some more info to pass off to RetroUSB for some kind of future fix.

-------------------------

Brand New NES, SNES, N64 and Sega Genesis boards available! Great for reproductions/homebrew! http://nintendoage.com/forum/mess...
Buy them from my website here: http://www.retrostage.net

Nov 14 at 8:20:55 PM
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Kosmic StarDust (43)
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(Ay Jay Will-Yams) < Master Higgins >
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Thanks. It's not a deal breaker, just an observation. But FPGA consoles strive themselves on being perfect compatibility, and I think it is safe to say people who collect these boutique consoles are more likely to also be homebrew collectors, compared to the mass market retron5 emulator box junk, which absolutely don't work with homebrew 95% of the time.

No NT Mini on the cards due mainly to price point, but I do have a Super NT on preorder.  

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~From the Nintendo/Atari addict formerly known as StarDust4Ever...

Selling my 8-bit Xmas collection:
http://nintendoage.com/forum/mess...


Edited: 11/14/2017 at 08:21 PM by Kosmic StarDust

Nov 14 at 11:15:33 PM
Retrostage (35)
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(Mike S) < Meka Chicken >
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So a little bit of an update here. It's not your cart - it's definitely the AVS!

MegaCat was nice enough to send me the files to test it out on my AVS, and I was surprised to see it booted! Checked my firmware, I was on 1.20b6.

Upgraded to 1.20b8, game no longer boots. Upgraded and downgraded back and forth between the two versions, will not work on 1.20b8 firmware on any attempt. Just boots to a black screen.

I tried 1.20b7 and it still works, so something must have gotten broken in the most recent update.

So downgrade to 1.20b7 and it should boot up properly  

-------------------------

Brand New NES, SNES, N64 and Sega Genesis boards available! Great for reproductions/homebrew! http://nintendoage.com/forum/mess...
Buy them from my website here: http://www.retrostage.net

Nov 15 at 7:28:45 AM
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Ferris Bueller (213)
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(Christian D) < King Solomon >
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I recently tested Cowlitz Second Adventure with Bruleski for the same issues. The game was fine on his toploader, but didn't boot on the AVS. So he changes Firmware and it worked. Then he brought it over and we tested both our copies of the game on my AVS, straight out of the box from the first run. It worked, but only after I bypassed the title screens by pressing buttons, because on mine it froze at the menu if it sat.

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Nov 15 at 7:53:24 AM
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Kosmic StarDust (43)
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(Ay Jay Will-Yams) < Master Higgins >
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That's good to know. Presumably the 1.20 firmware on Brian's website is an exact copy of 1.20b8. Perhaps a v1.21 is in order? I don't really think there's much change from b7 to b8 so I may downgrade my AVS. Thanks for figuring this out...  

@Ferris, the AVS manual mentioned you could enable horizontal overscan to display the natural background color of the NES pallet. This feature presumably got nuked in v1.10.  I upgraded almost immediately after unboxing my AVS, so I never got to fiddle with the v1.00 firmware. As far as I know, there's no way to downgrade below v1.10. Just kind of curious what if any menu options were axed after v1.00. Sideband colors were something no emulator ever supported, so it would have been cool to render it visible for a "warts and all" presentation.

-------------------------
~From the Nintendo/Atari addict formerly known as StarDust4Ever...

Selling my 8-bit Xmas collection:
http://nintendoage.com/forum/mess...


Edited: 11/15/2017 at 07:57 AM by Kosmic StarDust