Getting ready to build my first MISTer - A few Qs

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Humpo72
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Getting ready to build my first MISTer - A few Qs

Unread post by Humpo72 »

im going to build my first MISTer unit very soon and have a few questions before I proceed.

I/O Board
I will initially be plugging the MISTer into a 4Ktv using HDMI with potentially using a CRT some time in the future but for now, my intention is to get the best picture possible via HDMI. what is the best way to approach this?. Should I go with the Digital IO board or should I get the Analogue I/O board and use the HDMI port on the DE10 Nano. is there an advantage to using the HDMI on the digital I/O over the DE-10s HDMI port on 4K tvs?

Controllers
I will mainly be playing Neo Geo, Megadrive & SNES games to start off, with some spectrum 48k/C64 games as well. I see 8bitdo have replicas for all of the consoles I mentioned. Are these good options for MISTer and do they introduce any latency if I use them wired? I also have PS5 controllers & Qanba Obsidian fight stick I use on PS4/PS5/PC. is the fight stick a good option for Neo geo fighting/arcade games? for the computer type cores like spectrum & C64, what is the best controller method for these??

Parts - have I missed anything?
DE10 nano
New PSU to replace the US one that comes with the DE10 (im UK based)
Digital or Analogue I/O board (TBC)
USB Hub board
128MB ram module
Acrylic case
256 GB SD card

anything else I should get?

thank you for reading and sorry for all the questions :D

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lagerfeldt
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Re: Getting ready to build my first MISTer - A few Qs

Unread post by lagerfeldt »

Humpo72 wrote: Tue Feb 06, 2024 7:04 pm

I/O Board
I will initially be plugging the MISTer into a 4Ktv using HDMI with potentially using a CRT some time in the future but for now, my intention is to get the best picture possible via HDMI. what is the best way to approach this?. Should I go with the Digital IO board or should I get the Analogue I/O board and use the HDMI port on the DE10 Nano. is there an advantage to using the HDMI on the digital I/O over the DE-10s HDMI port on 4K tvs?

The analog I/O has the advantage of being able to output VGA (to a CRT) and HDMI at the same time. The HDMI is the same on both, AFAIK.

4K requires pixel repetition and generally can't be pivoted for vertical games, so I prefer a WUXGA screen instead.

Controllers
I will mainly be playing Neo Geo, Megadrive & SNES games to start off, with some spectrum 48k/C64 games as well. I see 8bitdo have replicas for all of the consoles I mentioned. Are these good options for MISTer and do they introduce any latency if I use them wired? I also have PS5 controllers & Qanba Obsidian fight stick I use on PS4/PS5/PC. is the fight stick a good option for Neo geo fighting/arcade games? for the computer type cores like spectrum & C64, what is the best controller method for these??

All of the controllers (via USB) will introduce a tiny amount of latency. Some more than others, but generally not a big issue.

The Obsidian is a great stick for many arcade games and Neo-Geo, yes.

For the C64 I recommend a Reflex Adapt + converter cable to DB9. Then you can use original joysticks.

Or you can simply use the Obsidian, works fine. I prefer to use original C64/Amiga joysticks, but I can certainly play C64/Amiga with my HORI RAP4.

Parts - have I missed anything?

I suggest giving this a quick look and maybe save it for future reference:
https://misterreplay.com/mister-fpga-guide.html

Patron of MiSTer + theypsilon + Jotego Team + Coin-Op Collection + Pierco + Nullobject

MiSTer RePlay website

Ultimate SID Collection website

ToothbrushThreepwood
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Re: Getting ready to build my first MISTer - A few Qs

Unread post by ToothbrushThreepwood »

Some builds can’t sufficiently power the USB board via the DE10-nano, so maybe consider a power splitter cable: e.g. https://misterfpga.co.uk/product/mister ... ter-cable/

Humpo72
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Re: Getting ready to build my first MISTer - A few Qs

Unread post by Humpo72 »

ToothbrushThreepwood wrote: Tue Feb 06, 2024 8:31 pm

Some builds can’t sufficiently power the USB board via the DE10-nano, so maybe consider a power splitter cable: e.g. https://misterfpga.co.uk/product/mister ... ter-cable/

that's a good idea, will add it to the list of bits.

lagerfeldt wrote: Tue Feb 06, 2024 8:17 pm

I suggest giving this a quick look and maybe save it for future reference:
https://misterreplay.com/mister-fpga-guide.html

that's brilliant, thank you, site bookmarked :)

I will go with the analogue I/O board then & use the DE10 Nano HDMI port to get me going. ive been reading a lot about the retrotink 4k so also considering that as well. I think just need to get up & running first though :)

Humpo72
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Re: Getting ready to build my first MISTer - A few Qs

Unread post by Humpo72 »

all the parts have been ordered. how exciting.

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Re: Getting ready to build my first MISTer - A few Qs

Unread post by ToothbrushThreepwood »

Enjoy! It’s a great little piece of retro gaming hardware that can be easily upgraded as you go, due to it’s modular nature, so there’s no FOMO in terms of hardware. E.g. if you end up with a finer taste for MIDI music in the cores that support it, you can consider a Raspberry for MT32 emulation if the onboard MUNT isn’t enough for you.

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Re: Getting ready to build my first MISTer - A few Qs

Unread post by aberu »

The main advantage to connecting to some 4k tv's is dependent on the compatibility of that TV with non-standard resolutions. The MiSTer can output a maximum of 2560x1440 resoultion with pixel repetition mode (which is actually doing 1280x1440 in a stretched way skinnier than normal, but it's telling your screen to double the pixels horizontally to stretch it) which will often have artifacts if you are sensitive to that kind of thing. Alternatively without pixel repetition the max resoluttion is 2048x1536 over hdmi, which is taller vertically than a 1440p screen can do, so using a 4k screen is usually great. However this is a sorta 4:3ish aspect ratio and sometimes some tv's can't work with this signal right.

Generally for the highest compatibility 1920x1080 works great and modern 4k tv's will natively output that resolution. If your 4k tv can do more, just consider it a bonus :)

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Humpo72
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Re: Getting ready to build my first MISTer - A few Qs

Unread post by Humpo72 »

ToothbrushThreepwood wrote: Wed Feb 07, 2024 7:59 pm

Enjoy! It’s a great little piece of retro gaming hardware that can be easily upgraded as you go, due to it’s modular nature, so there’s no FOMO in terms of hardware. E.g. if you end up with a finer taste for MIDI music in the cores that support it, you can consider a Raspberry for MT32 emulation if the onboard MUNT isn’t enough for you.

ive been using MIDI synthesisers since 1993ish so love myself some MIDI :) . ive never really thought about the MISTer MIDI capabilities before but now you mention the MT32, ive noticed that the place I bought everything else but the DE10 also stocks the MT32. I definitely need to investigate this further. I started out with Cubase on the Atari ST which I notice has a core on MISTer. I wonder if I could run cubase on it??

aberu wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 3:43 am

The main advantage to connecting to some 4k tv's is dependent on the compatibility of that TV with non-standard resolutions. The MiSTer can output a maximum of 2560x1440 resoultion with pixel repetition mode (which is actually doing 1280x1440 in a stretched way skinnier than normal, but it's telling your screen to double the pixels horizontally to stretch it) which will often have artifacts if you are sensitive to that kind of thing. Alternatively without pixel repetition the max resoluttion is 2048x1536 over hdmi, which is taller vertically than a 1440p screen can do, so using a 4k screen is usually great. However this is a sorta 4:3ish aspect ratio and sometimes some tv's can't work with this signal right.

Generally for the highest compatibility 1920x1080 works great and modern 4k tv's will natively output that resolution. If your 4k tv can do more, just consider it a bonus :)

thanks for the info, its something ive been wondering about and something that quite honestly confuses the life out of me. im fine with audio signals but video signals are a dark art :D my TV is the 2018 Samsung 55Q9FN QLED which I currently plug my PS5 in to & use game mode. I also have a 27" 1440p dell gaming monitor with a very low response time. would that be a better bet to use the MISTer on?

and just to add, my DE-10 Nano arrived today. that was 36 hours from order to delivery to the UK from the USA. incredible.

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Re: Getting ready to build my first MISTer - A few Qs

Unread post by aberu »

What's better will depend on what you find out when you test it. Even from just one tv model to the next it can differ.

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Re: Getting ready to build my first MISTer - A few Qs

Unread post by LamerDeluxe »

The VGA output on the analog I/O board provides 18 bit color, a good VGA converter on the HDMI output provides 24 bit color. However, there are now PWM test cores that use multiplexing to achieve 24 bit color on the analog boards. Still, a good analog converter could potentially achieve better color accuracy.

If I'm not misremembering, the digital board doesn't have analog audio output. Analog audio is handy to use in combination with a CRT. The analog board does still provide optical digital audio as well (and of course the HDMI output also provides audio). Analog output on the current analog board has a lot of digital noise though.

Sorgelig is working on an updated analog board right now though, with 24 bit color output and better audio quality. It doesn't have a secondary memory card slot, but that is not necessary for any of the cores.

As for controllers, I really like my 8BitDo Neo-Geo controller, with its clicky thumbstick. Apparently it is faster wireless than wired. A PS4 (or PS5) controller has low latency and works well with almost all cores.

I use a power switch that plugs into a wall outlet, this prevents the voltage drop you can get with a switch in the 5 volt wire. This in combination with a 5A Meanwell power supply (4A is enough for setups using a lot of peripherals).

Humpo72
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Re: Getting ready to build my first MISTer - A few Qs

Unread post by Humpo72 »

I got the MiSTer built last night. the build went without a problem. I didn't have to back track on anything. first power up was a bit nerve-wracking but it all went to plan and everything installed fine. Then ran the update all script after enabling the BIOS bits in the settings. that's is something i need to dig deeper on as well is this update all script. there seems to be more stuff that could be handy. After it was all up & running i set about getting the neo geo core working. i connected to the Mister using FTP and dropped some ROMS in that I was using for retroarch on the PS3 . i think they were FB neo roms. computer says no. after another failed rom set, I found a good one. third time lucky. then the floodgates opened :D

I also picked up the 8bitdo Neo Geo controller & I have the white M30 arriving tomorrow for all my megadrive indulgences and eyeing something SNES/NES related as well. I also ordered a 5m cable to keep that wired connection. I was so impressed how low the latency was compared to retroarch on the PS3 which was quite frankly garbage, i nearly cried lol. even when I was using the 2.4gh dongle it was perfectly playable. the qanba obsidian is all set up as well.

have been tinkering with the video output settings for the neo geo core as well. found something that looks pretty nice on the 4K tv but if there are god mode settings that most people use, I'm all ears :)

I even got my feet wet with the mister.ini file earlier today as well so i now have a new system font an wallpaper :)

absolutely loving it so far :D

one thing I've not worked out how to do yet is load a different core once a core is already loaded. can I do that without having to press the reset button on the device?

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Re: Getting ready to build my first MISTer - A few Qs

Unread post by thorr »

Welcome to the club! One option is if you have a keyboard hooked up, hit F12 for the menu. Generally speaking, assign the Menu to the PS or Xbox type button on your controller. From there you can load different cores under the Core option (use left and right to navigate menu screens if you don't see it, and sometimes you have to hit the Menu button twice depending on where you are to see all the available menu options (like before loading a core)).

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Re: Getting ready to build my first MISTer - A few Qs

Unread post by liuszuping »

Yes, you can, for example, switch from SNES games to PCEngine games or Arcade... (use the core option in the menu to switch) without rebooting, but sometimes there will be problems because some cores use sdram storage and memory. The body is not completely released.

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Re: Getting ready to build my first MISTer - A few Qs

Unread post by LamerDeluxe »

Really fun to read your first impressions, enjoy your MiSTer setup! The 8BitDo Neo Geo pads are great.

If the idea of having it randomly displaying all your games for a lot of system cores sounds interesting to you, look into the MiSTer SAM script. It is really fun to have it running in the background. I use it in combination with a TTY2OLED display, which shows what game it is currently playing and a small 4:3 iPad monitor, which is perfect for the MiSTer.

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