PC Engine system card confusion and other Qs

Talk about all aspect of Japanese games.

Moderator: Gaijin Punch

mackdangerously
Exchange Student
Exchange Student
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:06 am
Location: Tokyo

PC Engine system card confusion and other Qs

Postby mackdangerously » Tue Sep 23, 2014 7:29 am

I had a TG-16 as a kid, but I bought it right around the time stores started liquidating their stock. Also, I had a Genesis and a Super NES, so my game buying money was already stretched pretty thin. As such, Keith Courage and Legendary Axe are the only games I have ever played. After spending time last night looking at videos for a bunch of different games, combined with my two decade long desire to play Rondo of Blood, my resolve has broken and I am going to add the PC Engine to my harem of wallet draining whores.

Question(s) time.
For a system, I think I am going to sidestep the possible capacitor bomb DUO and just grab an R or an RX. Are there any technical differences between the R and RX?

I read the system card compatibility list at PC-FX, but one thing isn't clear. If I buy an R or RX, is there just one card I can buy and be good to go? Is there one card to rule them all?

User avatar
CIT Seven Force
Borderline recluse
Borderline recluse
Posts: 1041
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2005 8:51 pm
Location: Berlin, Germany

Re: PC Engine system card confusion and other Qs

Postby CIT Seven Force » Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:40 am

Yeah, R or RX are the best. There is no difference other than superficial design changes and the 6B pad for the RX. You're probably going to want to get an RGB-mod for your system though.

With a Duo you can play 98% of the games out of the box. You'll only need the Arcade Card Duo if you want to play one of the dozen or so Arcade CD-Rom games (like Sapphire, Strider, Mad Stalker, etc).

mackdangerously
Exchange Student
Exchange Student
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:06 am
Location: Tokyo

Re: PC Engine system card confusion and other Qs

Postby mackdangerously » Tue Sep 23, 2014 10:29 am

Cool. Thanks for that. Is the RX six button controller usable on the R? Also, if I ended up with a CoreGrafx /CD-Rom combo, would that mean I would need the Arcade Card Pro?

User avatar
CIT Seven Force
Borderline recluse
Borderline recluse
Posts: 1041
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2005 8:51 pm
Location: Berlin, Germany

Re: PC Engine system card confusion and other Qs

Postby CIT Seven Force » Tue Sep 23, 2014 1:32 pm

Yeah the RX 6B-pad works on any PCE.

With the CD add-ons it depends which one you get. If you get the CD-ROM² "Interface Unit" (the white briefcase thing), then yes, you're gonna need the Arcade Card Pro, or at least the System Card 3.0 (Super System Card) to play Super CD-Roms.
If you get the Super CD-ROM² (the grey thing that connects to the back of the Core Grafx), then that's the same as a Duo and you just need the Arcade Card Duo for the Arcade CD-Rom games.

mackdangerously
Exchange Student
Exchange Student
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:06 am
Location: Tokyo

Re: PC Engine system card confusion and other Qs

Postby mackdangerously » Wed Sep 24, 2014 3:57 am

Thanks for the info. Now to try to get my hands on one without selling some organs.

User avatar
Gaijin Punch
Supreme Leader
Supreme Leader
Posts: 7999
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2004 9:02 am
Location: in da house

Re: PC Engine system card confusion and other Qs

Postby Gaijin Punch » Thu Oct 02, 2014 6:13 am

I always went for the Duo-R. I know one of the units has a bad rep, but I've had good results w/ all of them.
Rade wrote:Finally received a reply by posting in a thread at that Gaijin forum:

User avatar
CIT Seven Force
Borderline recluse
Borderline recluse
Posts: 1041
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2005 8:51 pm
Location: Berlin, Germany

Re: PC Engine system card confusion and other Qs

Postby CIT Seven Force » Fri Oct 03, 2014 2:01 am

The first model Duos sometimes have problems with laser gears or capacitors, but the R models are holding up pretty well.

mackdangerously
Exchange Student
Exchange Student
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:06 am
Location: Tokyo

Re: PC Engine system card confusion and other Qs

Postby mackdangerously » Fri Oct 03, 2014 7:01 am

My route has changed a little bit. Outside of Rondo, many of the games I have wanted to play for a long time are on Hu Card. So I bought a Core Grafx and I am going to get a Ten No Koe 2 to slap an RGB mod inside. A little later, I will get a Duo R / RX and also RGB mod that so I can play the CD games. So far I picked up Legendary Axe, Neutopia, Genpei Toumaden, and Ninja Spirit. Since Ninja Gaiden is my favorite series of all time, I have wanted to play Ninja Spirit ever since I saw pictures of it about 150 years ago. Definitely a cool game and I am really digging it. Once I get my RGB mod sorted I am going to dust off my You Tube channel and start putting up some 1CC / No Miss videos of games for various systems. First one for PC Engine will probably be Legendary Axe.

Has anyone here done the RGB mod and amp install themselves? I have the schematic for the old transistor based one, but recently I have been seeing people installing one that has a TI chip on it. Anybody have any experience as to which one is better?

User avatar
Gaijin Punch
Supreme Leader
Supreme Leader
Posts: 7999
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2004 9:02 am
Location: in da house

Re: PC Engine system card confusion and other Qs

Postby Gaijin Punch » Fri Oct 03, 2014 8:04 am

I bought a Duo-R and a Duo-RX, both rgB modded (w/ different internals). One better than the other but can't remember which.... still both 1000x better than SVHS. Beautiful shit, actually. Brings a tear to my eye...
Rade wrote:Finally received a reply by posting in a thread at that Gaijin forum:

mackdangerously
Exchange Student
Exchange Student
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:06 am
Location: Tokyo

Re: PC Engine system card confusion and other Qs

Postby mackdangerously » Wed Nov 19, 2014 12:34 pm

Well, I finally got my Ten no Koe 2 and was able to do the rgb mod. I built the old transistor based amp and hot damn does it look great. I will make a photo bucket or imgur account later an upload some pics. I'm too drunk right now.

User avatar
schadenfreude
Exchange Student
Exchange Student
Posts: 98
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2014 8:28 am
Location: Youngstown, OH

Re: PC Engine system card confusion and other Qs

Postby schadenfreude » Wed Nov 26, 2014 6:10 am

I have been waiting patiently for almost a week. Stop drinking and hop to it, my man!

mackdangerously
Exchange Student
Exchange Student
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:06 am
Location: Tokyo

Re: PC Engine system card confusion and other Qs

Postby mackdangerously » Thu Nov 27, 2014 5:33 am

Dang man, sorry to leave you hangin'. I am actually writing up a blog post about getting into system modding and I will have the amp pics in there. I am aiming for a write-up that will help motivate people who have always wanted to mod systems, but avoided getting into it because they think it's too hard. I am still trying to get my blog in shape as well, so it may be a bit.

mackdangerously
Exchange Student
Exchange Student
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:06 am
Location: Tokyo

Re: PC Engine system card confusion and other Qs

Postby mackdangerously » Wed Mar 11, 2015 3:50 pm

Well, looks like we are back. I said in my previous post that I was going to write some blog post about modding but I am too lazy to keep a blog. However, I did make an imgur account so I can at least upload pics from now on. This is a picture of my DuoR mod and amp. If you have any questions about it, please ask.

Image

User avatar
schadenfreude
Exchange Student
Exchange Student
Posts: 98
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2014 8:28 am
Location: Youngstown, OH

Re: PC Engine system card confusion and other Qs

Postby schadenfreude » Thu Mar 12, 2015 11:27 am

mack is back! — and you're sober! (I think!)

Those screenshots look great! What display are you using? And what RGB mod did you decide to go with? I've read online that there are different RGB mods you can do on the PC Engine and that one of them produces the infamous jailbars that plague the RGB output of many vintage consoles. There's also an issue with image brightness, but this is easy to fix with an external amplifier.

Never one to be outdone, I have decided to join the PC Engine club. The Neo Geo isn't the only older system I don't know much about, but that one will have to wait for another day.

I've done some research over the past few days and can now finally understand what you gentlemen were talking about earlier in this thread; I also plan to go down the Turbo Duo-R(X) plus Arcade Card plus RGB mod route since it seems to be the most space-effective, cost-effective, and aesthetically pleasing (fuck the vacuum cleaner Supergrafx CD drive combo) solution available.

I'm going to be in Tokyo tomorrow night through Monday, so if you're available we can go shopping together like little school girls! If not (or even if so), what are good prices for the system, multitap, Arcade Card, and extra gamepads? And do you ever see ones that have already been modded for RGB, or is there a good source to do the deed in a short timeframe? I am not nearly patient or crafty enough for such things!

User avatar
Gaijin Punch
Supreme Leader
Supreme Leader
Posts: 7999
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2004 9:02 am
Location: in da house

Re: PC Engine system card confusion and other Qs

Postby Gaijin Punch » Thu Mar 12, 2015 11:30 am

That's a pretty freakin' awesome pic. :)
Rade wrote:Finally received a reply by posting in a thread at that Gaijin forum:

mackdangerously
Exchange Student
Exchange Student
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:06 am
Location: Tokyo

Re: PC Engine system card confusion and other Qs

Postby mackdangerously » Fri Mar 13, 2015 1:47 pm

schadenfreude wrote:mack is back! — and you're sober! (I think!)

Those screenshots look great! What display are you using? And what RGB mod did you decide to go with? I've read online that there are different RGB mods you can do on the PC Engine and that one of them produces the infamous jailbars that plague the RGB output of many vintage consoles. There's also an issue with image brightness, but this is easy to fix with an external amplifier.

Never one to be outdone, I have decided to join the PC Engine club. The Neo Geo isn't the only older system I don't know much about, but that one will have to wait for another day.

I've done some research over the past few days and can now finally understand what you gentlemen were talking about earlier in this thread; I also plan to go down the Turbo Duo-R(X) plus Arcade Card plus RGB mod route since it seems to be the most space-effective, cost-effective, and aesthetically pleasing (fuck the vacuum cleaner Supergrafx CD drive combo) solution available.

I'm going to be in Tokyo tomorrow night through Monday, so if you're available we can go shopping together like little school girls! If not (or even if so), what are good prices for the system, multitap, Arcade Card, and extra gamepads? And do you ever see ones that have already been modded for RGB, or is there a good source to do the deed in a short timeframe? I am not nearly patient or crafty enough for such things!


I am currently sober but am working on trying to remedy it. Friday night is drankin' night...and sometimes Wednesdays. On to your questions.

My RGB modded systems are piped through an XRGB Mini upscaler to an HD LCD television, in this case a Hitachi.
The RGB amp I am using was designed by "The Steve" and assembled by me. I also add a sync amp since I am using C-Sync. The C-Sync amp I use is the old one that came from a Japanese book about the PC Engine. Here is a picture of "The Steve" amp. You will need to make three of these, one for each color.
Image

Here is the schematic for the old amp from the Japanese book. If you are going to use C-Sync, you will need to make the sync amp. It is clearly labeled down in the bottom right:

Image

From what I know about the jailbars, they are a hardware fault. There are ways to reduce them for various systems, but I am pretty sure they are going to be there in some capacity. For my systems, with scanlines enabled through the Mini, I don't notice them at all. I have to turn off scanlines and really look for them. Brightness settings will also help.

I have never seen a modded system in a store here before. I don't think they will even buy anything that has been modded. The only person here I have heard of that does mods is a guy on YouTube named doujindance. Mind you, I have never used him myself, so I can't vouch for anything. For prices, my boxed Duo R ran me about $250. I got it from Trader, so check them. They usually have some of the better prices on systems. I haven't bought a Multitap so I don't know. Extra game pads run about $20-$30 or so depending on condition / yellowing etc. I also haven't bought the Arcade Card yet so not sure on that one either.

If you want to get me out of the house, I will need a little more advance notice. Gotta do stuff for the wife's birthday this weekend, but hit me up if you are ever in the area again. I'll check this thread throughout the weekend if you have any other questions.

User avatar
schadenfreude
Exchange Student
Exchange Student
Posts: 98
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2014 8:28 am
Location: Youngstown, OH

Re: PC Engine system card confusion and other Qs

Postby schadenfreude » Fri Mar 13, 2015 4:17 pm

The sober mackdangerously wrote:My RGB modded systems are piped through an XRGB Mini upscaler to an HD LCD television, in this case a Hitachi.


Ah, I should have guessed by the sharpness in the picture. I use a similar setup, though attached to an LCD computer monitor. It's hard to justify a CRT plus a 1080p screen for movies in the bedroom with the lady, so it's a doable compromise. I still miss the warmth of a good PVM, though, and will definitely acquire one when I return to the Land of the Free®.

By the way, the scanlines look really thick. Are you outputting at 720p or 1080p? I would guess 1080p since the black lines are so thin. I really wish Micomsoft would fix that issue.

Thanks for all the schematic tips and prices! I will definitely be bookmarking this thread — in my brain, at least.

The sober mackdangerously wrote:If you want to get me out of the house, I will need a little more advance notice. Gotta do stuff for the wife's birthday this weekend, but hit me up if you are ever in the area again. I'll check this thread throughout the weekend if you have any other questions.


Yep, I was just lost in the desert for 40 days and nights due to the "www vs. sans-www gamengai crisis of 2015", but then finally the god known as Google showed me the light. Have fun with the birthday! And I will be back in Tokyo, but probably not for another year, though the plan is for a long-term visit.

mackdangerously
Exchange Student
Exchange Student
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:06 am
Location: Tokyo

Re: PC Engine system card confusion and other Qs

Postby mackdangerously » Fri Mar 13, 2015 4:31 pm

I am outputting 720p because 1080p scanlines still don't display properly. That picture is actually a little old and I have gone into the Mini's settings and messed with the scanlines and brightness. I will have to post an updated pic later.

User avatar
schadenfreude
Exchange Student
Exchange Student
Posts: 98
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2014 8:28 am
Location: Youngstown, OH

Re: PC Engine system card confusion and other Qs

Postby schadenfreude » Tue Mar 17, 2015 12:17 pm

Club joined. Though there are a lot of video game stores in Akihabara, most of them are treasure troves of Japanese gaming only if you're looking for stuff PS2-era and up. I only found a handful of places that have decent selections of vintage stuff, and the ones with the shit I wanted (Super Potato and Retro Game Camp) have the highest prices. Whatever. I got everything I wanted except an Arcade Card Pro, which I found at Retro Game Camp for 4900 yennies. Fuck dat. No other store had one in stock, though the dude at Trader's said that they just sold their last copy to a dude the day before for 2500 yennies. Hosed!

Now the challenge is to avoid playing the system until the RGB mod is done, though the challenge isn't very difficult since composite through the Framemeister looks like ass.

mackdangerously
Exchange Student
Exchange Student
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:06 am
Location: Tokyo

Re: PC Engine system card confusion and other Qs

Postby mackdangerously » Tue Mar 17, 2015 12:57 pm

A number of years ago, (I can't exactly remember how many) just about every store carried the old stuff. Yodobashi, Bic, Book Off, Tsutaya, Sofmap, Liberty, there were tons. Virtually every one of them seemed to liquidate at around the same time. I don't know why, but it happened quickly. Where did you pick up your Duo R?

User avatar
schadenfreude
Exchange Student
Exchange Student
Posts: 98
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2014 8:28 am
Location: Youngstown, OH

Re: PC Engine system card confusion and other Qs

Postby schadenfreude » Wed Mar 18, 2015 3:29 am

Yeah, Tokyo was enjoyable for me for reasons I didn't expect. I had these idealistic dreams of streets being paved with PC Engines and Saturns and skyscrapers being built out of Famicom carts, but instead it looked like a typical Asian city with its own charm. But like I said, if you're into newer stuff, it's pretty amazing, though the higher language barrier of modern games encourages me to stick with US releases.

I bought the Duo-R at Super Potato. Luckily for me, it was the only PC Engine hardware they had in stock besides a silly SuperGrafx. The only other place I saw a Duo-R was a boxed copy at Mandarake going for some crazy amount like 35000 yennies.

Another question I forgot to ask: What's the best gamepad for this system? My Duo-R came with the standard two-button issue for that system, and on the side I bought a 6-button Avenue for diversity's sake and in case I want to try out a fighter for some dumb reason. Both of them are functional but feel pretty ass, especially the two-button one. I've been playing Mega Drive games a lot the past few weeks, and it's a noticeable downgrade to use these pads over the Mega Drive 6-buttoner.

mackdangerously
Exchange Student
Exchange Student
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:06 am
Location: Tokyo

Re: PC Engine system card confusion and other Qs

Postby mackdangerously » Wed Mar 18, 2015 3:56 am

You got lucky on that Potato score. Their system shelves are usually picked clean by the weekend. As far as best pads well I'm not sure. I am an old school arcade man so it is joysticks only for me. When I pick up a system I grab the rattiest pad I can find, gut it, and slap it into a stick with some Sanwa and Seimitsu hotness. :)

User avatar
schadenfreude
Exchange Student
Exchange Student
Posts: 98
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2014 8:28 am
Location: Youngstown, OH

Re: PC Engine system card confusion and other Qs

Postby schadenfreude » Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:10 am

mackdangerously wrote:From what I know about the jailbars, they are a hardware fault. There are ways to reduce them for various systems, but I am pretty sure they are going to be there in some capacity. For my systems, with scanlines enabled through the Mini, I don't notice them at all. I have to turn off scanlines and really look for them. Brightness settings will also help.


This past weekend, I got some spare capacitors and performed the jail bar fix described on this page: http://etim.net.au/av-driver/pcebars/ (Tim's the same guy who made NESRGB and lots of other goodies, so he knows his shit). My system's a Duo R, and the jail bars were quite noticeable before the fix, especially on solid, bright backgrounds like the blue sky in PC Genjin. I could see them on both the PVM and the Framemeister. After the installation, the jail bars are barely noticeable; you'd have to squint to just barely make them out on solid dark colors, like the dark green bushes at the beginning of PC Genjin. I'm damn impressed!

From posts I've read at the Pcenginefx and Shmups forums, this seems to be "the" fix that will work across all variations of PC Engine hardware. Try it if you're bored!

User avatar
Gaijin Punch
Supreme Leader
Supreme Leader
Posts: 7999
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2004 9:02 am
Location: in da house

Re: PC Engine system card confusion and other Qs

Postby Gaijin Punch » Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:07 pm

This is actually quite interesting. I had two separate Turbo systems RGB modded, and they both came with their own pitfalls. I can't recall if I had this one or not (probably) but one of them had a decent amount of jitter. Ironically, I didn't play either of them all that much. Way too many games and not enough time in that era. For shame.
Rade wrote:Finally received a reply by posting in a thread at that Gaijin forum:

mackdangerously
Exchange Student
Exchange Student
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:06 am
Location: Tokyo

Re: PC Engine system card confusion and other Qs

Postby mackdangerously » Sun Apr 02, 2017 1:12 pm

schadenfreude wrote:This past weekend, I got some spare capacitors and performed the jail bar fix described on this page: http://etim.net.au/av-driver/pcebars/ (Tim's the same guy who made NESRGB and lots of other goodies, so he knows his shit). My system's a Duo R, and the jail bars were quite noticeable before the fix, especially on solid, bright backgrounds like the blue sky in PC Genjin. I could see them on both the PVM and the Framemeister. After the installation, the jail bars are barely noticeable; you'd have to squint to just barely make them out on solid dark colors, like the dark green bushes at the beginning of PC Genjin. I'm damn impressed!

From posts I've read at the Pcenginefx and Shmups forums, this seems to be "the" fix that will work across all variations of PC Engine hardware. Try it if you're bored!


I meant to reply to this earlier but I got sidetracked. I think I will give that fix a try this weekend.


Return to “Japanese Video Games”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron