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Author Topic: Universal chassis arrives (and so do the problems & questions)  (Read 3865 times)

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Paradroid

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Universal chassis arrives (and so do the problems & questions)
« on: February 23, 2012, 06:59:55 am »
So, two packages arrived today! Pretty good timing since the I needed both components (chassis and video amp) before I could start experimenting with this.

The universal chassis that Jomac sent me for my Phillips tube turned out to be a Sharp Image. Don't know if that's a reputable brand or not but it looks nice and shiny. Also, the board itself is actually quite small which means I'll easily be able to stuff it in my gutted Loewe CT1170 television case.

After messing around soldering and patching all the cables (power, H and V monitor inputs, degauss coil, etc.) I was able to pull an image. At first it was all scrambled until I messed with the H and V holds on the wired remote control board. Once I got sync the image was upside down but a quick wire swap fixed that.

After next adjusting the focus, brightness and contrast I soon had a very sharp and stable image. Unfortunately, there's a major problem. If you look at the attached images you'll immediately see what I'm talking about.

I guess at this point I'm wondering if anyone has some ideas on what needs fixing before I start pestering Jomac? Is this something that needs changing with my modeline setup or is it purely a hardware issue? Of course, I had a fiddle with Arcade_OSD but didn't manage to rectify the situation.

One quick observation: coming from the world of SCART televisions, while actual image quality is looking very promising, it's certainly not leaps and bounds ahead of some of the SCART TVs I've used. In fact, the ancient Grundig I managed to fry last weekend would easily match the image quality here. However, the great thing is that this arcade chassis has literally 1/5 of the components. It's so minimal compared with the internals of a TV!

Back on topic, any suggestions regarding this issue are most welcome!
My MAME/SCART/CRT blog: SCART Hunter

Calamity

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Re: Universal chassis arrives (and so do the problems & questions)
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2012, 07:11:01 am »
Hi Paradroid,

I think it could be a wrong polarity issue for hsync. Does your chassis have any switch for sync polarities?
Unfortunatly Arcade_OSD/CRT_Emudriver don't have the polarity stuff implemented. That is a must, I know, and it's top priority in my to-do list. By now you can use Winmodelines to tweak existing modeline polarities by software, that would tell us if that's the issue actually.
Important note: posts reporting GM issues without a log will be IGNORED.
Steps to create a log:
 - From command line, run: groovymame.exe -v romname >romname.txt
 - Attach resulting romname.txt file to your post, instead or pasting it.

CRT Emudriver, VMMaker & Arcade OSD downloads, documentation and discussion:  Eiusdemmodi

lettuce

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Re: Universal chassis arrives (and so do the problems & questions)
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2012, 12:58:24 pm »
Surely going to these extents is a little OTT now for the ideal mame setup, after all i though it was to get the best possible TV to use for mame, this is moving further and further away from this? Wouldnt it been easier to just get a 15khz Arcade monitor and place that in the Lowes case?

Paradroid

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Re: Universal chassis arrives (and so do the problems & questions)
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2012, 05:19:28 pm »
I think it could be a wrong polarity issue for hsync.

Spot on! Flipping both the H and V sync fixed the issue. I didn't think of that last night since every SCART TV I've had operates on negative sync.

Does your chassis have any switch for sync polarities?

Not that I know of. It didn't come with any documentation. Mostly, it's self explanatory though. Unfortunately, I have to change a jumper to go into 25kHz mode. So, no fast switching there... :( I'll have to spend some more time to work out the other functions.

Unfortunatly Arcade_OSD/CRT_Emudriver don't have the polarity stuff implemented. That is a must, I know, and it's top priority in my to-do list.

I guess your post kind of pre-empted my next question but I'm still going to ask it anyway: how soon can we have this? :) Gonna be a pain to set every mode manually otherwise.

Of course, I'll have plenty more to report in the coming days. I'm very interested to see how this rig compares to my SCART boards. So far, I suspect it's not going to be quite the world of difference I imagined (or was led to believe by the purists).

Thanks for your help!
My MAME/SCART/CRT blog: SCART Hunter

Calamity

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Re: Universal chassis arrives (and so do the problems & questions)
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2012, 05:48:32 pm »
Oh those are good news indeed.

Quote
I guess your post kind of pre-empted my next question but I'm still going to ask it anyway: how soon can we have this? Smiley Gonna be a pain to set every mode manually otherwise.

I'll see if I can have it ready for this week. I'm preparing a new release of Vmmaker right now and this should get included, I've been lazy for not adding this feature before just because I didn't need it. Good news are that now I have someone with a suitable system for testing the sync polarity feature :)

Yeah you may have realized that arcade chassis are not a panacea either. I wish at least it behaves in a good analog way regarding picture centering and stuff.
Important note: posts reporting GM issues without a log will be IGNORED.
Steps to create a log:
 - From command line, run: groovymame.exe -v romname >romname.txt
 - Attach resulting romname.txt file to your post, instead or pasting it.

CRT Emudriver, VMMaker & Arcade OSD downloads, documentation and discussion:  Eiusdemmodi

Paradroid

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Re: Universal chassis arrives (and so do the problems & questions)
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2012, 07:28:07 pm »
I'll see if I can have it ready for this week.

That would be fantastic!

Yeah you may have realized that arcade chassis are not a panacea either.

Yeah, it's early days but I sense that even with a brand new chassis, not every single niggle I've ever had relating to image quality will magically disappear. Either way, I'll have no regrets about buying a purpose built chassis as I'm sure it'll be more compatible (sync wise) and it'll serve as a good reference even if I continue hunting SCART TVs.

I wish at least it behaves in a good analog way regarding picture centering and stuff.

Pretty confident that will be the case. There is a wired remote control loaded with potentiometers. Image adjustments are very easy to make. I only tested with the corrected sync over breakfast this morning but all seems well in this department.
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Paradroid

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Re: Universal chassis arrives (and so do the problems & questions)
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2012, 07:44:17 pm »
Wouldnt it been easier to just get a 15khz Arcade monitor and place that in the Lowes case?

That's essentially what I've done. The only difference is that I'm using a tube that I know to be of excellent quality also only cost me $0 (found on the side of the road a couple streets from my house). So, that saves me some expense and ensures I'm using a tube with excellent convergence and color purity. I would hate to fork out for a chassis and tube to discover the new arcade tube was inferior to what I've become accustomed to with high-end consumer TVs circa late '90s.

As for the "ultimate MAME television" quest, I think I found the ultimate (Grundig CUC 4635 chassis)... and then blew it up. :( Personally, I now believe that the best candidates are those with analog controls (for fast image adjustment, menus are just too slow) and earlier models that were built with "forever" in mind. Hard part is finding a TV like that in 2012. ;)

Also, this new chassis is silent during operation. That Grundig hummed and ticked as if it was about to give up the ghost any minute (which it eventually did). You'd hope something brand new is going to have great longevity than that.
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lettuce

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Re: Universal chassis arrives (and so do the problems & questions)
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2012, 01:46:26 pm »
As for the "ultimate MAME television" quest, I think I found the ultimate (Grundig CUC 4635 chassis)... and then blew it up. :( Personally, I now believe that the best candidates are those with analog controls (for fast image adjustment, menus are just too slow) and earlier models that were built with "forever" in mind. Hard part is finding a TV like that in 2012. ;)

Yeah was going to ask about this, and maybe apfelanni would know, but would it be at all possible (on a CRT that has OSD menu) to locate the pins on the TV's pcb that relate to the V-Size, V-Stretch of the TV and solder potentiometers to these pins??

Also what chassis did you get and how much was it??
« Last Edit: February 24, 2012, 01:57:26 pm by lettuce »

Paradroid

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Re: Universal chassis arrives (and so do the problems & questions)
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2012, 04:09:20 am »
would it be at all possible (on a CRT that has OSD menu) to locate the pins on the TV's pcb that relate to the V-Size, V-Stretch of the TV and solder potentiometers to these pins?

I highly doubt it. The way I understand it is that later generation TVs have DSP chips that process the image according to the parameters you tweak in the Service Menu. It's all done digitally rather than with the control voltages analog chassis use.

Also what chassis did you get and how much was it?

It's a universal chassis from Jomac. Basically, it's a Sharp Image chassis setup specifically for my Phillips tubes by Joey. It cost me AUD $240 plus $20 shipping. Jomac is an Australian company with a really good reputation for service and quality... but...

I've had a chance play around with it more today and unless I find some magic control that I've overlooked (highly unlikely) I think my verdict is going to be a negative one. The image is vibrant and really stable but the geometry is nowhere near as good as some of my SCART TVs. No matter what I do, I can't get rid of the dips and curves at the edges of the image. Aside from the size and position controls, there's only a pincushion adjustment. The Blaupunkt I have has pincushion and trapezium. The Loewes have 2 pincushion and 2 trapezium controls plus a bunch of others. With only pincushion, the best I can do is get one edge reasonably straight and the other quite wobbly. Or, I can get them both wobbly. :( Nowhere near as good as your Sony, lettuce.

I'm gonna take a whole stack of photos tomorrow comparing the analog Blaupunkt with the Sharp Image. Both have Phillips tubes. I'm pretty sure that $30 consumer TV is gonna put this "commercial grade" arcade chassis to shame. As for that holy grail Grundig CUC 4365 I keep banging on about, well, that thing would have eaten this Sharp Image for breakfast! I say you nip over to Germany, lettuce, and load up on vintage Grundigs. ;)

Oh, and Calamity, that effect you talk about with your Hantarex... does the image get squished in the middle of the screen? On this chassis, objects actually get smaller in the middle and then expand at the edges. Any side scrolling game will easily reveal this to a discerning eye. :( Just focus on one shape and watch it contract and expand as it moves across the screen. :'(
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lettuce

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Re: Universal chassis arrives (and so do the problems & questions)
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2012, 08:45:44 am »
Thats a shame about the chassis not being even up to spec of consumer Scart TV. I popped into my local charity shop today (British Heart Foundation) and they have to massive 29" Sony Trinitron TV's, one is an older Black cased model and the other newer silver case. I didnt have time to check what models they are, but hopefully the older one will be an analog chassis, back part they want 25 and 30 for them, im going to see if i can hagle them down to 40 for both, still alot seeing as Sony Trinitrons usually go for under 3 usually on ebay

Calamity

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Re: Universal chassis arrives (and so do the problems & questions)
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2012, 10:04:26 am »
This will show you the geometry issues I found in my Hantarex Polostar. If you look at the grid and follow the lines individually, you'll notice how the sign of the curvature changes twice across the screen, instead of just once in the center. This causes that a rectangle in the middle of the screen will be concave, but if it's on the exterior of the screen it will be convex (it becomes obvious on MAME's nag screens).




BTW: I've attached a beta version of VMMaker with sync polarities support implemented. Check included ini for info.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2012, 11:13:17 am by Calamity »
Important note: posts reporting GM issues without a log will be IGNORED.
Steps to create a log:
 - From command line, run: groovymame.exe -v romname >romname.txt
 - Attach resulting romname.txt file to your post, instead or pasting it.

CRT Emudriver, VMMaker & Arcade OSD downloads, documentation and discussion:  Eiusdemmodi

lettuce

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Re: Universal chassis arrives (and so do the problems & questions)
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2012, 11:49:11 am »
Does Sega Rally, work in Mame now then?

Paradroid

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Re: Universal chassis arrives (and so do the problems & questions)
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2012, 05:56:24 pm »
If you look at the grid and follow the lines individually, you'll notice how the sign of the curvature changes twice across the screen, instead of just once in the center.

Yep, I see that. Frustrating! Still, your setup has better geometry than this Sharp Image. At least the borders meet the edge of the screen properly with your Hantarex. I'll try to get some pictures up today so you guys can see how a $10 SCART TV compares to a $240 arcade chassis. :)

Oh, and thanks for the beta! I'll definitely give it a spin today! ;D
My MAME/SCART/CRT blog: SCART Hunter

Paradroid

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Blaupunkt vs Sharp Image
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2012, 06:27:17 am »
Okay. My SLR camera had a flat battery so I had to use my phone. Please excuse the quality...

I've got 3 shots to show you guys. The $30 SCART TV is the one with the test grid that doesn't look like it melted in the sun (unlike the $240 arcade chassis). ;)

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Calamity

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Re: Universal chassis arrives (and so do the problems & questions)
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2012, 06:35:38 am »
Long life to the SCART TV  :)
Important note: posts reporting GM issues without a log will be IGNORED.
Steps to create a log:
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 - Attach resulting romname.txt file to your post, instead or pasting it.

CRT Emudriver, VMMaker & Arcade OSD downloads, documentation and discussion:  Eiusdemmodi

Paradroid

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Re: Universal chassis arrives (and so do the problems & questions)
« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2012, 07:14:47 am »
Long life to the SCART TV  :)

Haha! Yeah, well, at least now I know that what I already had was pretty damn good. Expensive way to find out! :banghead:
My MAME/SCART/CRT blog: SCART Hunter

Paradroid

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Re: Universal chassis arrives (and so do the problems & questions)
« Reply #16 on: February 28, 2012, 07:18:21 am »
BTW: I've attached a beta version of VMMaker with sync polarities support implemented.

Oh, also, so as not to appear unappreciative, thanks for this! It turns out something funky was going on with my setup initially. I haven't worked out exactly what yet (something to do with composite sync settings and the Ultimarc video amp) but in the end the chassis did sync to negative after some fiddling. :-[
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Paradroid

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Re: Universal chassis arrives (and so do the problems & questions)
« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2012, 09:11:47 pm »
Okay, here's the response from Jomac:

"Mate honestly that picture looks awful , I know exactly what's causing it but it's not something I can do remotely or without the same tube here , I wouldn't be happy with that either the way it is. , fortunately it's not a issue with most tubes , for some reason it only appears on some of the Euro types with moulded yokes but still not all , I think you would have heard by now if this was a general issue."

So, sounds like it's not so much a quality issue but an unfortunate incompatibility. Looks like the chassis will be going back. :( What a bummer.
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princess prin prin

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Re: Universal chassis arrives (and so do the problems & questions)
« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2012, 10:20:38 am »
For your information, A66EAK071X11 is used on Intervideo monitors (it's even pictured on the cover of the VP series manual). I'd rather use a chassis that was designed around that tube. I happen to have one myself (found in a Seleco TV) but haven't had the time to put it to work yet.

Paradroid

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Re: Universal chassis arrives (and so do the problems & questions)
« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2012, 02:11:48 pm »
Yeah, they're great looking tubes! When you say "Intervideo monitors", is that a brand of arcade chassis? Sounds promising...
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Re: Universal chassis arrives (and so do the problems & questions)
« Reply #21 on: March 08, 2012, 05:01:12 am »
Thanks for the info, ppp. I'll have to look into this some more...
My MAME/SCART/CRT blog: SCART Hunter

  
 

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