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Author Topic: Welcome to the MiSTer FPGA LOVE Fest ;)  (Read 53988 times)

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dmckean

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Welcome to the MiSTer FPGA LOVE Fest ;)
« on: March 20, 2021, 07:51:35 pm »
Hello fellow arcade LOVERS,

This thread is for all of you that own, have ordered or want to order the MiSTer FPGA. I ordered mine last month with the option BlisSter LLAPI board in a Storm Tropper case.
This is a safe place to drool :P , oogle, pine, and generally express love and excitement for the MiSTer FPGA and all related accessories. I know that others have ordered theirs and I want to create a fun place to share our excitement.

This is not a thread for debate, but to celebrate, exalt, and ruminate.

Zeosstud

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Re: Welcome to the MiSTer FPGA LOVE Fest ;)
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2021, 08:07:56 pm »
The MiSTer is the only way to enjoy all the best arcade games from back in the day..

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pbj

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Re: Welcome to the MiSTer FPGA LOVE Fest ;)
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2021, 08:21:23 pm »
But a 60 in 1 is $30 and can be delivered in 2 hours.

 :dunno

dmckean

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Re: Welcome to the MiSTer FPGA LOVE Fest ;)
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2021, 08:24:16 pm »
But a 60 in 1 is $30 and can be delivered in 2 hours.

 :dunno

It sounds like someone could use a DE-10 nano and a HUG.

Zebidee

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Re: Welcome to the MiSTer FPGA LOVE Fest ;)
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2021, 12:31:36 am »
But a 60 in 1 is $30 and can be delivered in 2 hours.

 :dunno

Hey no fair! dmkean started a new thread to keep this FPGA stuff away from your 60-in-one discussion, don't bring it over here :P
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Zebidee

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Re: Welcome to the MiSTer FPGA LOVE Fest ;)
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2021, 12:36:47 am »
What I'd like is some advice on is: what accessories/addons I may need/want to go with the $170 MiSTer base unit, what should be ordered at the same time, and what should be ordered elsewhere. An idiot's guide for FPGA noobs like me. Or a recommended up-to-date link if it is all covered elsewhere.
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dmckean

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Re: Welcome to the MiSTer FPGA LOVE Fest ;)
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2021, 01:12:19 am »
What I'd like is some advice on is: what accessories/addons I may need/want to go with the $170 MiSTer base unit, what should be ordered at the same time, and what should be ordered elsewhere. An idiot's guide for FPGA noobs like me. Or a recommended up-to-date link if it is all covered elsewhere.

Sure!

If you want to play all cores you need the 128MB SDRAM module. I would suggest buying the official module from a trusted seller and not from aliexpress.

The analog board the and input board are optional. You can use a regular powered otg usb hub if you wish and you can get an analog through HDMI using a dongle dac if you desire. If your intention is the only run in a cabinet, I recommend the pre-ordering MiSTercade from MiSTer Addons as it replaces both the analog board and the input board plus give you a JAMMA connection and a fast sub-1ms arduino based input for the controls. It also supports multiple connection methods for a kick harness making it easy to move between cabs.

I recommend buying a heatsink as it helps with stability in a few cores. A fan is completely optional.

If you're planing to use this for desktop/living room use I would suggest some sort of case.

Trusted sellers can be found here: https://misterfpga.org/viewforum.php?f=34

If you're not into the idea of assembling a MiSTer yourself, you can buy pre-built and tested units from several sellers.

Zebidee

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Re: Welcome to the MiSTer FPGA LOVE Fest ;)
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2021, 01:58:41 am »

If you want to play all cores you need the 128MB SDRAM module. I would suggest buying the official module from a trusted seller and not from aliexpress.

The analog board the and input board are optional. You can use a regular powered otg usb hub if you wish and you can get an analog through HDMI using a dongle dac if you desire. If your intention is the only run in a cabinet, I recommend the pre-ordering MiSTercade from MiSTer Addons as it replaces both the analog board and the input board plus give you a JAMMA connection and a fast sub-1ms arduino based input for the controls. It also supports multiple connection methods for a kick harness making it easy to move between cabs.

Thanks, good advice. I'm preordering Mistercade so don't need analogue or IO boards.

Will grab some 128MB SDRAM as suggested. Should I grab a SDRAM expansion board as well?

Quote
I recommend buying a heatsink as it helps with stability in a few cores. A fan is completely optional.

Looks like they are both included with the Mistercade preorder.

Quote
If you're planing to use this for desktop/living room use I would suggest some sort of case.

Trusted sellers can be found here: https://misterfpga.org/viewforum.php?f=34

If you're not into the idea of assembling a MiSTer yourself, you can buy pre-built and tested units from several sellers.

Thank you. Will see about a case later, but if can mount into a cab perhaps no need. You know I don't mind assembling it :D Hopefully no setup headaches like some others have had, but from what I hear their pain has been mostly "self-inflicted" rather than the fault of MiSTer itself.
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dmckean

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Re: Welcome to the MiSTer FPGA LOVE Fest ;)
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2021, 02:08:13 am »
Will grab some 128MB SDRAM as suggested. Should I grab a SDRAM expansion board as well?

One of these is what you're looking for:
https://misteraddons.com/products/sdram-xsd-2-5-128mb

And I'm sure you'll have no problems assembling it, it's a piece of cake.

Zebidee

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Re: Welcome to the MiSTer FPGA LOVE Fest ;)
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2021, 03:52:41 am »
OK, I've just ordered the Mistercade + 128MB SDRAM from the site.

Shipping costs a bomb for something so small. Ah well, support the cause.

After payment I got a "Get 10% off when your friends buy from your invite" link. I guess that means 10% for someone else, not me. Anyway here it is:

CLICK HERE for 10% deal
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bobbyb13

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Re: Welcome to the MiSTer FPGA LOVE Fest ;)
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2021, 04:01:09 am »
Seems like everything you need to know can be found on Github.

If you already speak Linux it will be really easy for you but initial setup for the micro sd requires a pc or mac to get going.

With me not feeling intimidated by it I'm sure you could wake up groggy and do it before your first cup of coffee!
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Re: Welcome to the MiSTer FPGA LOVE Fest ;)
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2021, 06:22:36 am »
I don't have a MiSTer, but from what I've seen there are two things putting me off...

1) The frontend.  Don't get me wrong, I don't want a flashy frontend.  I've always hated the likes of hyperspin etc.  Total overkill imho.  But I would be planning on using the MiSTer on an arcade cab in my game room, which is regularly used by friends and family.  It looks to me that it's fairly easy to get into the system menus and mess around with stuff.  If it were to be viable in my game room I'd need a menu that just had a list of games, and a button to start a game, and exit a game, and *that's it*.  I'd want absolutely zero way the kids can get into to a menu they shouldn't and mess something up.  Admittedly I've not tried one, but from the videos I've seen I'm yet to be convinced this is possible?  Somebody please correct me if I'm wrong!

2) Having limited space, I'd really like to use the MiSTer in a vertical cab for some classics... but I'd end up missing out on a few of my loved classics where cores don't yet exist.  As I don't want (or have the space for) 2 cabs for vertical classics, I'm not sure that's a compromise I'd be willing to take, especially as a groovymame/CRT/high-framedelay setup solves the problem and is so good/authentic these days.

I love the idea of the MiSTer project, but I can't see myself personally investing in it at the current point in time for the above reasons.

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Re: Welcome to the MiSTer FPGA LOVE Fest ;)
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2021, 07:24:59 am »
I love my Mister!
I sold my Pi setups and just got the Mister for playing on my HDTV downstairs when I am feeling to lazy to play the original stuff.
Everything looks and plays great on it.

I must admit Jimbo I would also like to see a way to lock out the menu's so you cant accidentally go into anything you should not, Of course its easy to backup the SD card so if anything gets broken its easy to put it back but be nice to not need that option.
I have accidentally switched it to SD instead of USB a few times myself and so locked myself out requiring me to plug a keyboard in as my 8bitdo controllers are linked to the config files on the USB (atleast I think thats why!)
Again not a big deal but just one of those irritating things.

I made a video about it if anyone is interested for my YT channel, Yeah its a new channel and I am still learning about this YT video editing malarky!


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Re: Welcome to the MiSTer FPGA LOVE Fest ;)
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2021, 11:35:40 am »
Titchgamer I watched part of your video but I mainly just fast-forwarded to the middle where the games started.  Just a tip you can use Alt-F12 to jump between cores without using that reboot menu option.

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Re: Welcome to the MiSTer FPGA LOVE Fest ;)
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2021, 01:23:08 pm »


I made a video about it if anyone is interested for my YT channel, Yeah its a new channel and I am still learning about this YT video editing malarky!



Subscribed to your channel.I wouldnt usually hang around for a 30 minute video,but found it very informative :applaud:

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Re: Welcome to the MiSTer FPGA LOVE Fest ;)
« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2021, 01:37:13 pm »
I love my Mister!
I sold my Pi setups and just got the Mister for playing on my HDTV downstairs when I am feeling to lazy to play the original stuff.
Everything looks and plays great on it.

I must admit Jimbo I would also like to see a way to lock out the menu's so you cant accidentally go into anything you should not, Of course its easy to backup the SD card so if anything gets broken its easy to put it back but be nice to not need that option.
I have accidentally switched it to SD instead of USB a few times myself and so locked myself out requiring me to plug a keyboard in as my 8bitdo controllers are linked to the config files on the USB (atleast I think thats why!)
Again not a big deal but just one of those irritating things.

I made a video about it if anyone is interested for my YT channel, Yeah its a new channel and I am still learning about this YT video editing malarky!


If you start a channel called The English Arcade I will fly to Stratford-on-Avon and personally kick your ass.


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dmckean

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Re: Welcome to the MiSTer FPGA LOVE Fest ;)
« Reply #16 on: March 21, 2021, 01:39:33 pm »
I don't have a MiSTer, but from what I've seen there are two things putting me off...

1) The frontend.  Don't get me wrong, I don't want a flashy frontend.  I've always hated the likes of hyperspin etc.  Total overkill imho.  But I would be planning on using the MiSTer on an arcade cab in my game room, which is regularly used by friends and family.  It looks to me that it's fairly easy to get into the system menus and mess around with stuff.  If it were to be viable in my game room I'd need a menu that just had a list of games, and a button to start a game, and exit a game, and *that's it*.  I'd want absolutely zero way the kids can get into to a menu they shouldn't and mess something up.  Admittedly I've not tried one, but from the videos I've seen I'm yet to be convinced this is possible?  Somebody please correct me if I'm wrong!

2) Having limited space, I'd really like to use the MiSTer in a vertical cab for some classics... but I'd end up missing out on a few of my loved classics where cores don't yet exist.  As I don't want (or have the space for) 2 cabs for vertical classics, I'm not sure that's a compromise I'd be willing to take, especially as a groovymame/CRT/high-framedelay setup solves the problem and is so good/authentic these days.

I love the idea of the MiSTer project, but I can't see myself personally investing in it at the current point in time for the above reasons.

The front end will most definitely continue to add functionality, but a big graphical front end it just not possible. The DE-10 nano's ARM SOC attached to the FPGA is about as powerful as a Pi Zero and has no video of it's own. The MiSTer framework dedicates one entire core to housekeeping duties and the other core runs everything else. And everything else is already a long list of things.

I do expect that as more arcade cores are added and more of that crowd comes to the MiSTer project that some sort of operator mode will get added. A mode that would allow users to change games but tightly lock down configuration menus.

As for number two, this is why a lot of us here wired our MAME cabinets for JAMMA the second go around even if we had no intention of ever running an arcade board in it.

I encourage you to keep an eye on the project. I dismissed it two years ago as finicky and not for me, but when I checked it out again in December and saw all the progress that had been made, I knew I had to have one. 

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Re: Welcome to the MiSTer FPGA LOVE Fest ;)
« Reply #17 on: March 21, 2021, 02:28:50 pm »
The front end will most definitely continue to add functionality, but a big graphical front end it just not possible. The DE-10 nano's ARM SOC attached to the FPGA is about as powerful as a Pi Zero and has no video of it's own. The MiSTer framework dedicates one entire core to housekeeping duties and the other core runs everything else. And everything else is already a long list of things.

I do expect that as more arcade cores are added and more of that crowd comes to the MiSTer project that some sort of operator mode will get added. A mode that would allow users to change games but tightly lock down configuration menus.

As for number two, this is why a lot of us here wired our MAME cabinets for JAMMA the second go around even if we had no intention of ever running an arcade board in it.

I encourage you to keep an eye on the project. I dismissed it two years ago as finicky and not for me, but when I checked it out again in December and saw all the progress that had been made, I knew I had to have one.

Thanks for the reply - I don't care for a flashy frontend at all, but an operator mode as you mentioned would be perfect and solve my major grievance with the MiSTer!  I'll definitely continue to keep an eye on the project.  A few more classic arcade cores and an operator mode and it'd be "shut up and take my money". ;)  :cheers:

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Welcome to the MiSTer FPGA LOVE Fest [emoji6]
« Reply #18 on: March 21, 2021, 04:22:53 pm »
As someone who knows nothing about this, what would I need to get started? Whatís the cost? I followed the link and see that you need more than just that $175 board.


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Re: Welcome to the MiSTer FPGA LOVE Fest [emoji6]
« Reply #19 on: March 21, 2021, 04:52:02 pm »
As someone who knows nothing about this, what would I need to get started? Whatís the cost? I followed the link and see that you need more than just that $175 board.

At the bare minimum you need the $135 Terasic DE-10 Nano board here:
https://www.terasic.com.tw/cgi-bin/page/archive.pl?Language=English&No=1046

That alone will allow you play several of the cores that don't require the SDRAM board. The 128 MB SDRAM board that I linked above will allow you play all cores. I also recommend a heat sink.

Then there's an analog I/O board for easily connecting to a CRT. There's also a USB input board, you could use an USB OTG hub instead but buying the official boards let your build a "stack" that most cases are designed to fit. There's also a digital only I/O board for people that have no intention of connecting it to a CRT but still want the three buttons and integrated mount for a fan that the analog I/O board provides.

If your plan is to only ever use it inside an arcade cabinet, the MisterCade that just went on pre-order yesterday is by far the best solution for that. Opt2Not has been beta testing the prototype unit on his stream and he loves it.

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Welcome to the MiSTer FPGA LOVE Fest [emoji6]
« Reply #20 on: March 21, 2021, 04:57:23 pm »
So.... $175 for the Mistercadd
$135 for the DE-10 nano...
What else?

Iím cool with looking at new solutions. Iím just trying to figure out everything needed - whatís optional vs whatís required vs nice to have.


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« Last Edit: March 21, 2021, 05:00:31 pm by yotsuya »
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Re: Welcome to the MiSTer FPGA LOVE Fest ;)
« Reply #21 on: March 21, 2021, 05:03:12 pm »
Ok, so around $60 for the 128 SD Ram board...


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Re: Welcome to the MiSTer FPGA LOVE Fest [emoji6]
« Reply #22 on: March 21, 2021, 05:03:56 pm »
So.... $175 for the Mistercadd
$135 for the DE-10 nano...
What else?

Iím cool with looking at new solutions. Iím just trying to figure out everything needed - whatís optional vs whatís required vs nice to have.


$60 for the SDRAM board.
https://misteraddons.com/products/sdram-xsd-2-5-128mb

The DE-10 nano comes with an SD card but you might want a bigger one eventually.

That's pretty much it.

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Re: Welcome to the MiSTer FPGA LOVE Fest ;)
« Reply #23 on: March 21, 2021, 05:04:31 pm »
Ok cool, you figure it out!

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Re: Welcome to the MiSTer FPGA LOVE Fest ;)
« Reply #24 on: March 21, 2021, 05:06:51 pm »
Ok cool, you figure it out!
Ok, so for a n00b like me, around $375 to play everything


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Re: Welcome to the MiSTer FPGA LOVE Fest ;)
« Reply #25 on: March 21, 2021, 05:13:06 pm »

Ok, so for a n00b like me, around $375 to play everything


Yes, that will play everything. The only other options that we haven't discussed are the RTC clock module and the audio in module that emulates a tape drive for a few of the computer cores. You're not really missing anything at all not having those.

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Re: Welcome to the MiSTer FPGA LOVE Fest ;)
« Reply #26 on: March 21, 2021, 06:18:39 pm »
Mister doesn't do savestates, right?

It also doesn't have a power switch natively. How are you guys turning the system on and off, through the menu?

I'm looking at a full setup at Misteraddons. Neo Geo, Turbografx, and MSX cores almost have me sold. I really would like to be able to play Tempest 2000 on the Jaguar. Does anyone know if that is working well?

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Re: Welcome to the MiSTer FPGA LOVE Fest ;)
« Reply #27 on: March 21, 2021, 06:37:50 pm »
Mister doesn't do savestates, right?

It also doesn't have a power switch natively. How are you guys turning the system on and off, through the menu?

I'm looking at a full setup at Misteraddons. Neo Geo, Turbografx, and MSX cores almost have me sold. I really would like to be able to play Tempest 2000 on the Jaguar. Does anyone know if that is working well?

Savestates are feature that need to be added individually per core. Currently only Gameboy, Gameboy Advance and Lynx cores have them. I expect that we'll see more cores re-written to support them eventually, but it could be a while. 

The BliSTer board that I'm using for input has a power switch, so that's how I'm shutting mine off. But a lot of folks use an inline power switch like this: https://www.amazon.com/TronicsPros-Inline-5-5x2-1mm-Connector-Adapter/dp/B01FT4RBBM/ref=cm_cr_srp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

The three cores you're most interested in are all excellent on the MiSTer. The Jaguar core however is still in early alpha state, Tempest 2000 will start but almost immediately crashes. There's currently no one actively working on the Jaguar core. 

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Re: Welcome to the MiSTer FPGA LOVE Fest ;)
« Reply #28 on: March 21, 2021, 07:03:51 pm »
Thanks for the reply. That's a bummer about the state of Jaguar on the Mister. It seems like that and 3do would be really cool and unique to get working on the Mister, but I guess that would require special interest from a gifted developer.

Regarding the power switch, is it cool to just power it down? No script needed for safe shutdown?

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Re: Welcome to the MiSTer FPGA LOVE Fest ;)
« Reply #29 on: March 21, 2021, 07:16:19 pm »
There's only really four or five truly gifted developers working on the MiSTer project and they're currently working PSX, Saturn, CPS2 and only god know what Sorgelig is working on. There's lots of other talented folks working on the lower hanging stuff all the time.

For a safe shutdown you do a soft reboot of the MiSTer from the core menu and when it returns to the main menu all files are closed and it's safe to kill the power.

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Re: Welcome to the MiSTer FPGA LOVE Fest ;)
« Reply #30 on: March 21, 2021, 07:16:56 pm »
Hopefully the recent publicity of the MiSTer in the mainstream press will attract more developers.

Zeosstud

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Re: Welcome to the MiSTer FPGA LOVE Fest ;)
« Reply #31 on: March 21, 2021, 07:57:45 pm »
I have my MiSTer plugged into a smart switch and I turn it on and off with Alexa. I have been doing it like this for over a year, zero issues.. I also have it boot to the last exact core setup, so it goes right into a game, there is a small window of time where you can hit a button and boot into the main menu too.

Zeosstud

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Gilrock

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Re: Welcome to the MiSTer FPGA LOVE Fest ;)
« Reply #32 on: March 21, 2021, 10:36:47 pm »
Sounds like Iím not supposed to just shut off power while game is live like Iíve been doing...lol

bobbyb13

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Re: Welcome to the MiSTer FPGA LOVE Fest ;)
« Reply #33 on: March 22, 2021, 12:47:41 am »
Ok cool, you figure it out!
Ok, so for a n00b like me, around $375 to play everything


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The MiSTeraddons guys have all you need and ship quickly (although I just went to their site to pull a link for you and their shopping menu isn't happening at the moment.)

I wanted the no lag bliss of using a CRT so got the whole pile they offered a year ago- which was like $350 then, but the arcade add on changes the stack a bit it appears.
Relax, all right? My old man is a television repairman, he's got this ultimate set of tools! I can fix it.

Zebidee

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Re: Welcome to the MiSTer FPGA LOVE Fest ;)
« Reply #34 on: March 22, 2021, 04:51:37 am »
Ok cool, you figure it out!
Ok, so for a n00b like me, around $375 to play everything

The MiSTeraddons guys have all you need and ship quickly (although I just went to their site to pull a link for you and their shopping menu isn't happening at the moment.)

I wanted the no lag bliss of using a CRT so got the whole pile they offered a year ago- which was like $350 then, but the arcade add on changes the stack a bit it appears.

With the Mistercade it is a different stack! Took me a while to work that out.

You don't need the IO board or USB expansion boards as they are built into Mistercade. Heat sink and fan provided. I was confused about which SDRAM as there are different versions, but followed dmckean's advice. No need for a separate power supply as it gets 12v via JAMMA from your cab's DC PSU.

So you need:
- Mistercade $170
- SDRAM $60
- DE10 Nano (from elsewhere) $135

Which addds up to $365, similar price as the other generic Mister bundle. The only other thing that I might want is a RTC (real time clock) add-on.

One thing that excites me about MiSTer is that there are a bunch of console and older computer cores & games available, ready to go so you can play on an arcade cab.
Check out my completed projects!


gamepimp

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Re: Welcome to the MiSTer FPGA LOVE Fest ;)
« Reply #35 on: March 22, 2021, 07:10:45 am »
For all the folks that are new to MiSTer there are a bunch of scripts that can be used to update content on your SD card or USB connected HDD which make life a lot easier since there can be tons of new changes every week. I use the Update_All script (link below) which essentially downloads all new/updated cores, MRA files for arcade games, BIOS files, etc. and helps you keep current. Just plug the DE-10 into your network thru ethernet or you can also get a WiFi module to connect wirelessly. I do this about once a week to make sure I have the newest updates.

https://github.com/theypsilon/Update_All_MiSTer

gamepimp

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Re: Welcome to the MiSTer FPGA LOVE Fest ;)
« Reply #36 on: March 22, 2021, 08:56:08 am »
Here's an interesting YT video I just stumbled on that tells you what you need to put together a "basic" MiSTer setup:


Gilrock

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Re: Welcome to the MiSTer FPGA LOVE Fest ;)
« Reply #37 on: March 22, 2021, 10:37:32 am »
I'd kinda like to learn how to work on the cores for this.  I've always wanted to work on the FPGA side of things at work but have been stuck doing embedded SW development.  I've worked with the Zynq 7000 and Ultrascale+ SOCs for years but mainly writing for the internal ARM cores and interfacing to the FPGA logic that the other team develops.  We use tools that have $10,000 licenses at work so I'd like to know what these Mister guys are using for development.  I've tried searching the forums and Discord and I've seen people asking how to get started to help and then nobody gives them any advice.

Zeosstud

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Re: Welcome to the MiSTer FPGA LOVE Fest ;)
« Reply #38 on: March 22, 2021, 11:02:54 am »
Reach out to alanswx, pretty good chance he will help..

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Zebidee

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Re: Welcome to the MiSTer FPGA LOVE Fest ;)
« Reply #39 on: March 22, 2021, 11:14:47 am »
Check out my completed projects!