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Thread: RetroDuo NES/SNES Clone Official Thread. Castlevania III, StarFox WORK, SMRPG WARNING

  1. #421
    Insert Coin (Level 0) darth's Avatar
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    The video problems are what bothers me the most. The SNES "static line" is kind of transparent but still quite noticable. It's the reason I don't use my RetroDuo. And the NES washed out colors are also kind of annoying but not so bad. The sound issues are hit or miss depending on the game. I don't even have a soldering iron to do the fix yet though. Another thing I just noticed that isn't really a problem, but just kind of strange is that if I unplug the right audio from the tv (the red one), the sound still comes out of both speakers. I then put the white one into the red input and it still plays out of both speakers with just the white audio cable, why?
    Last edited by darth; 01-16-2010 at 08:18 PM.
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    I just discovered something about the RetroDuo. While rearranging all of my game consoles yesterday, I happened to move the switchbox in which I had the RetroDuo plugged into, as well as the RetroDuo itself. Before, the switchbox was next to a heater, my RF connections and my Atari 5200 4-Port RF box, and the strips of static were clearly visible on bright colors, espeically white and gray. Now, I moved the switchbox away from all that, and the static is gone. Keep in mind that my RetroDuo was already modified with a new Composite and S-Video amp for the Super NES side using 470uF capacitors soldered in series with a 75ohm resistor from the KA2198BD encoder to the Composite and S-Video jacks.

    After finding this out, I'm under the impression that the RetroDuo is HIGHLY succeptible to interference from other electrical devices.

    Now, as for the NES washed out colors, I sort of took care of that by cutting the part of the ribbon cable that carries the NOAC signals(audio, video, controller signals, etc) that has the NOAC's Composite video and put 2 75ohm resistors in series from there to the Composite jack. It saturates the video a bit more, but anything yellow or orange comes out INCREDIBLY dull, almost with a gray tint. Is there a better way to saturate a video signal?

    I will take a picture of my RetroDuo's internals soon for those who are thinking of performing the video fixes and the NES audio fix.

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    That's pretty weird, just shows how little effort they put into making these things. I'm fed up with mine. I'm just gonna put it back in the box and hope to trade/sell it. Might as well just buy a real top loading NES and mini SNES.
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  4. #424
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    I happened to move the switch box in which I had the Retro Duo plugged into, as well as the Retro Duo itself. Before, the switch box was next to a heater, my RF connections and my Atari 5200 4-Port RF box, and the strips of static were clearly visible on bright colors, especially white and gray. Now, I moved the switch box away from all that, and the static is gone.
    After finding this out, I'm under the impression that the Retro Duo is HIGHLY susceptible to interference from other electrical devices.
    I wouldn't be so quick to judge the Retro Duo; based on the fact that you had a heater plugged into the same power strip / surge protector / outlet, or generally just within close physical proximity to the Retro Duo. Having sensitive electronics, like computers, TVs, Radios and not to mention game consoles, near Heaters, is never a good idea. They draw too much power, and often can cause large levels of interference.
    I am not calling you out on this, or even trying to put you down, but they even teach this fact in the most basic level of electrical and
    computer classes.


    Might as well just buy a real top loading NES and mini SNES.
    I wouldn't recommend either of these models. I have owned both the top loading NES and the Mini SNES. The NES top loader only has RF, and the mini SNES; only AV via standard RCA. The top loader also suffers from scan lines that are still visible when the AV mod is implemented (I confirmed this myself when I did the mod before selling mine). The original NES and SNES (which features S-Video, and can be modded to output RGB), are much better products. However, I personally like my Retro Duo better than these two original consoles. While I can't recommend it over the originals in all cases / for everyone, it is a very good product. I have had no scan line problems, but I will verify that by putting in my Super Game Boy, soon enough; to see if the lines are their and just faint.

    Anyway, I do feel that the Retro Duo isa much better product than both the top loading NES, and the mini SNES. The products are much too expensive and very over hyped; especially do to the loss in video quality among both of them. I have had no apparent problems with the video quality / interference with my Retro Duo, so I can't really comment on these issues.
    Last edited by Troglodyte; 01-20-2010 at 05:02 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Troglodyte View Post
    The NES top loader only has RF, and the mini SNES; only AV via standard RCA. The top loader also suffers from scan lines that are still visible when the AV mod is implemented (I confirmed this myself when I did the mod before selling mine).
    Well, it is POSSIBLE to mod the top loader and remove those scan lines (They are caused by poor shielding). and as for the mini SNES, having only AV is just perfect, as RF is obsolete now. Anyway, I have two original model SNES systems that work perfectly, so I won't be getting a mini SNES any time soon (plus my brother has one). And the only way I'm getting a top loading NES is if it has AV and no scan lines. I'll have to confirm that before I make any purchase.
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    as for the mini SNES, having only AV is just perfect, as RF is obsolete now
    While I agree that RF has been obsoleet for a long time; S-Video is an improvement over standard AV (composite).
    Composite suffers from visual problems / limitations, such as dot crawl.

    The scan lines (on the Top loading NES) are caused by poor shielding
    That's been proven not to be the case. I'd link to the documentation on this if I still knew where it was. The problem is believed to actually be caused by crosstalk between the internal circuits of the motherboard. So if you mean shielding in that respect, then you are correct. If you mean shielding in respect to outside interference, then no, this is not the cause, and any amount of shielding surrounding the inside of the console will not alleviate this issue.

    With all of that said, if you know of a mod that has been proven to rid the top loading NES' infamous scan line problem; then I'd love to hear about it. However, right now, I have my doubts. Even if I don't have any intention of buying another one. I'd still like to keep informed.

    Also, in addition to the Retro Duo, I own an AV Famicom. This console is basically the Japanese Famicom version of the top loading NES. However, unlike it's American counterpart; it features AV out, and does not suffer from any interference or scan line issues, not to mention audio problems. Although, I can not recommend long term use of this console with NES games; since using a Famicom to NES adapter (although I have one) over an extended period of time; can put unneeded amount of stress on both the NES games, as well as the console itself.

    And the only way I'm getting a top loading NES is if it has AV and no scan lines. I'll have to confirm that before I make any purchase.
    While the scan line problem has been severely improved with a newly discovered mod this time around, despite what may eBay modders might tell you; the scan lines are not entirely removed; they are still there, yet fainter. Also, I believe the picture is more saturated / brighter / darker / somewhat muddy or more sharp than the original. The mode uses a capacitor of a certain value to try and compensate for these issues, but it isn't perfect. Depending on the value of the capacitor(s) used in this mod; the quality of the picture will vary; but not the degree of visible scan lines. To my knowledge, no one has been able to find a 100% fix for the scan line problem. The old mod looked almost unbearable in a lot of games. I personally performed this one myself several years ago. The new mod is much better; but the scan lines have been proven to still be there; however faint they may appear.
    Last edited by Troglodyte; 01-20-2010 at 07:27 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Troglodyte View Post
    While I agree that RF has been obsoleet for a long time; S-Video is an improvement over standard AV (composite).
    Composite suffers from visual problems / limitations, such as dot crawl
    There are S-Video cables for the SNES. They can also be used on the N64 and GameCube.

    Anyway, perhaps I should just buy a new 72-pin connector for my original NES and just use that for now. I just really want an easy-to-use, works first try, great quality NES system.
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    There are S-Video cables for the SNES. They can also be used on the N64 and GameCube.
    I'm aware of that. I assumed you were saying that only AV was perfect for the SNES mini. The SNES mini does not support S-Video.
    Only the original SNES model(s) do. that is what I was referring to, in response to what you stated here:

    as for the mini SNES, having only AV is just perfect, as RF is obsolete now
    I assume, that we either miss understood each other, either that, or you didn't
    understand that I was stating that just the SNES mini does not support S-Video.
    Last edited by Troglodyte; 01-20-2010 at 09:09 PM.

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    Oh okay, so you're saying that if I did get that cable and used it on a SNES mini, it just wouldn't output anything through S-Video?
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    You need to modify the Super NES Mini to get it to output S-Video, but honestly, it's not really worth it. I modified my Super NES Mini with S-Video, but the only difference between the Super NES Mini's Composite and S-Video is that the video has slightly less smearing. The difference is negligible.

    As for the Top-Loader NES having bad video output, that's actually caused by the way Nintendo made the video circuit. It's too close to certain traces on the motherboard which are address lines, data lines and such. While I haven't done a full-blown Composite video mod on my Top-Loader NES(nor do I intend to do so unless the RF modulator fails), changing the way a few parts are hooked up on the video circuit and changing/adding a few parts reduced the intensity of the line noise and brightened the video, although I think what my Top-Loader NES really needs is a brand new video circuit based off the old circuit Nintendo used, but placed somewhere where it can't get too much interference.

    And by the way, Darth, don't bother to buy a new 72-pin connector for your Front-Loader NES. Just tighten the existing cartridge slot and clean the crap out of it. Works wonders. Also make sure to disable the lockout chip.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NayusDante View Post
    I honestly can't deal with anything OTHER than that control scheme. The way I look at it, the four buttons correspond with a human figure. At the bottom is jump, because you're using your feet. Y is shoot, because that's the character's right hand. A is usually an action button, since that's your free hand. X is usually a menu or something, since that's where the head is. If anything, it's modern games that screw it up. Why anyone would map jump to the top button is beyond me.
    I hate the Y and B Control scheme because I grew up playing on an NES Max on my NES

    But, if you were playing a NES game correctly. Yes, B and A on the Super NES Controller should corresond to B and A on the NES Controller.

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    Default Better NES S-Video.

    Is there a way to get a better NES S-Video output from the Retro Duo? Without the artifacting?

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    As for the Top-Loader NES having bad video output, that's actually caused by the way Nintendo made the video circuit.
    It's too close to certain traces on the motherboard which are address lines, data lines and such
    Yes, that is basically what I meant when I said crosstalk.
    You may have provided a clearer explanation though.

    Anyway, I finally re-found the two sites that explain the scan line problem with the NES2 top loader much more in depth. Like I said, there is some debate about whether or not the new composite mod completely removes the scan lines; matching the level of composite video quality to that of the original toaster style NES or not. Also, some say that even the AV Famicom has very faint scan lines that are only visible in certain rare instances. Without a newly modded NES2 top loader in front of me to compare to the composite video output of both the original model NES and the AV Famicom; I can't say for certain. Either way, the NES2 top loader's RF and composite video output (with the original mod) was, at best, barely tolerable.

    Anyway, here are the two sites that I was referring to earlier. They feature the most accurate and useful
    information I could find concerning this often talked about, misunderstood, and sometimes confusing topic:
    Is there a way to get a better NES S-Video output from the Retro Duo? Without the artifacting?
    No... first of all, no NOAC (or standard consumer level NES console for that matter), can output RGB, or even S-Video, as the PPU was designed specifically to output composite; straight from the source. I'm not sure why this was the case, as even a lot of older consoles where designed to convert an RGB signal to composite (well RF, in most cases). The famed Famicom Titler can; but that is another story.

    The original NES and top loader can be modded with a PC10 PPU, to get RGB, and then another compatible NTSC / S-Video encoder can be run in parallel to convert the RGB signal to one of those; but there appears to be no such mod with a NOAC; since they are typically housed in fully self contained "glob-tops." Why they haven't figured out how to "reverse engineer" the PC10 PPU is beyond me. Although, they probably just don't want to spend the time and money, as most of the time, it's not simple to reverse engineer ICs.

    As for the Retro Duo, and other clone consoles that appear to feature NES & S-Video outputs; the S-Video on the NES side is not native.
    In reality, it is converted to S-Video from composite; which will always amount to some level of video degradation.

    Hope that makes since.
    Last edited by Troglodyte; 01-23-2010 at 07:16 PM.

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    Just discovered something else about the RetroDuo's video interference: if, like me, you've got your game consoles hooked up via switchboxes into your TV, be careful what switchbox you plug the RetroDuo into. I had it plugged into a Philips switchbox before plugging it into a Pelican switchbox. With the Philips switchbox, the interference was clearly visible on anything gray and white, but on the Pelican switchbox, the interference is practically invisible(but keep in mind that my RetroDuo is modified). So it would seem like some switchbox brands induce extra interference on the RetroDuo's already dirty video output.

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    pardon me for not reading all 11 pages.

    How "off" is the audio compared to a real NES?
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    Can anyone answer me

    Alot of seller on ebay selling the FC Twin Gun(Yellow Zapper)

    All say it doen't work with the Retro Duo, Does it work??

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arkhan View Post
    pardon me for not reading all 11 pages.

    How "off" is the audio compared to a real NES?
    It's not that far off in reality, but when you take into consideration that there are 2 parts RetroBit omitted from the NES sound circuit, the sound strains like hell, making it sound more off than it really is.

    I made 2 videos so far comparing my NES games between a RetroDuo and a Front-Loader NES. Have a look and see for yourself the differences:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whZ3Id9k0OE
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wvcx6-2LEgI

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    K im convinced, that blows.

    My FC-Twin isn't that bad though. I just checked.

    its still crap compared to an original. so i guess its about what i would expect from knock offs. ....but man, that retro duo sure aint worth the pricetag. My fc-twins were like 20$



    how bad is it with Chrono triggers tunes? or Secret of Mana
    Last edited by Arkhan; 01-25-2010 at 12:28 AM.
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    I don't have either games, so I can't tell. Plus, aren't those Super NES games? Super NES games sound perfectly fine on the RetroDuo, however, it seems like all White/Blue RetroDuos have a problem with static bands that roll down the screen. It's incredibly annoying, and it can be worsened by switchboxes and other electrical devices within close proximity to the RetroDuo and its hookups.

    The thing is, you CAN improve the sound on the RetroDuo. RetroBit omitted a 2.2Kohm resistor and 0.1uF capacitor on the sound circuit, resulting in audio interference(those diagonal lines as seen in The Hunt for Red October on RetroDuo vs. Original Hardware Part 2, waves in sync with all sounds output from the NOAC). The FC Twin actually had perfect sound before, but a recent revision to the FC Twin causes some slight distortion in the sound output(probably a missing resistor). My FC Twin has perfectly clean NOAC sound(but I managed to screw up the sound circuit, and I can't fix it no matter what I do), and this is the first revision of the FC Twin to have Yobo branding(the older ones without Yobo branding are crap). The ones with slightly distorted NOAC sound are newer(kind of ironic that the newer hardware is worse).

    Would you be able to take pictures of your FC Twin's internals? I'd like to compare them to my FC Twin to see what part in the sound circuit is missing to cause the distortion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ace View Post
    Would you be able to take pictures of your FC Twin's internals? I'd like to compare them to my FC Twin to see what part in the sound circuit is missing to cause the distortion.
    Yeah. I could do that I suppose. Give me a day or so. Half swamped with schoolwork since classes just resumed.

    i notice my Chrono Trigger has an audible skip/pop occasionally during songs. Especially when its really long drawn out pads.

    I wonder if it's a consistent problem with them, or just a case of "duhrrr, its a knock off."
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