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Thread: The Open Source Scan Converter and vintage computers.

  1. #1

    Default The Open Source Scan Converter and vintage computers.

    A new toy finally arrived and I have completed testing with the machines I have on hand. First off, some links about the product

    Development thread: http://shmups.system11.org/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=52158
    Wiki detailing the features and settings: http://junkerhq.net/xrgb/index.php?title=OSSC

    I purchased my unit pre-assembled from https://www.videogameperfection.com/

    Right now the product is being made in batches and you need to put yourself onto a waiting list in order to purchase, click on "Reserve your OSSC" at the site above. It is recommended that you purchase a remote and AC power supply with the unit as well since a remote is required to change all the settings. This unit requires ALOT of tweaking to deliver an optimal picture depending on your source and your TV/monitor. The output from the OSSC might not by compatible with your display device depending on the source you have connected, particularly if you are using the Line3x,Line4x, and Line5x upscaling options. The trade off is the unit costs less then the XRGB-mini (under $200US vs. over $300 for the XRGB), and since it is a simple line doubler, there is close to no video lag introduced by the upscaler. Note: Your monitor's video processor may add its own lag! Also note that the OSSC only support RGB and component (YPbPr) video. Composite and S-Video sources are not supported at all.

    If you are looking for a plug-n-play solution for video upscaling that is guaranteed to work with your TV (and also has composite and S-video in), consider the Micomsoft XRGB-mini Framemeister instead. The trade off is higher price, and a slight amount of video lag introduced into your input chain.

    Below are my test results with vintage computers

    Amiga 4000 with Video Toaster: Works in both 60Hz and 50Hz video modes. Interlaced modes work (the OSSC does simple bob deinterlacing), but the OSSC had trouble detecting them. Usually switching to another video input and back to the input you have the Amiga connected to clears this up. Note that this may be due to my use of an official Commodore DB-23 to HD-15 adapter which contains a sync seperator. The OSSC may be better behaved if connected via the SCART RGB input or with composite sync on the VGA port.

    Apple IIgs: The 640x200 video mode on this machine is notorious for tripping up video scalers. The OSSC does work with it, but its recommended that you run Line3x mode or above. The only issue I had with it was an odd shimmering that appears to be interference. I connected my Apple IIgs via the VGA input on the OSSC, which lacks a low pass filter. I have to test via the SCART socket which does have a LPF.

    Both of the above machines require that you tinker with the "Advanced Timing" settings to obtain pixel perfect results.

    Will it work with XX computer? It should as long as it outputs analog RGB. In addition there is a "passthru" mode that simply digitizes the video and applies no line doubling, handy for PC-VGA sources. Digital TTL RGB sources like CGA adapters and the Commodore 128 should work with an external DAC connected.

    Final Verdict: A must buy for vintage computer users and console gamers, particularly if your display is compatible with Line3x and above output modes.
    Last edited by njroadfan; April 29th, 2017 at 03:02 PM.

  2. #2

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    After much testing and some video mode math from folks on the OSSC support forum, I got the IIgs working properly on the OSSC. There still some flickering, likely due to poor shielding somewhere in the input chain, but its pixel perfect output. Here is a direct output capture from my DVI2PCIe in 640x200 SHR video mode via the OSSC.


  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by njroadfan View Post
    After much testing and some video mode math from folks on the OSSC support forum, I got the IIgs working properly on the OSSC. There still some flickering, likely due to poor shielding somewhere in the input chain, but its pixel perfect output. Here is a direct output capture from my DVI2PCIe in 640x200 SHR video mode via the OSSC.
    Wow. That's a *very* nice looking display! Tempting to me, for sure.

    smp

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    Impressive!! Now I have to look into one of these for my CGA pipeline.
    Offering a bounty for:
    - Documentation and original distribution disks for: Panasonic Sr. Partner, Corona PPC-400, Zenith Z-160 series
    - Music Construction Set, IBM Music Feature edition (has red sticker on front stating IBM Music Feature)
    - Any very old/ugly IBM joystick (such as the Franklin JS-123)

  5. #5
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    Just here to add an additional "holy crisp image, Batman!"

    Looks great!
    ***Join the IRC chat at #vc on irc.slashnet.org! Please use your forum username as your nickname.***

    Franken486 - Intel Overdrive DX4 100MHz, 64 GB RAM, 40 GB HDD (8 GB usable), DVD-ROM, 1.44 MB Floppy, Diamond Stealth III S530, Intel PRO 10/100, AWE 64, Running MS-DOS 6.22 & Windows 3.11
    IBM Model 80 Type 8580-321 - 386DX 20MHz, 4 MB RAM onboard, 4 MB RAM via 80386 Enhanced Memory Expansion, 400 MB Type 0661 HDD, 1.44 MB Floppy, Running MS-DOS 6.22 & Windows 3.11

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    Seems like a nice solution... However, I think the name is rubbish.
    "Open Source" seems to be such a hyped term these days. I can't stand it when people refer to anything hardware-related as "Open Source".
    "Open Source" is a term that originates from the software world, and applies to source-code, hence the "source" in "Open Source".
    Hardware doesn't have source-code which I can download and compile, and *poof* suddenly my OSSC appears before me.
    But for some reason people invented the term "Open Source Hardware" some time ago. That really makes no sense.
    "Open Hardware", yea sure... But source? As in source code? At best that's only a very small part of the total requirement to build the hardware (firmware, HDL and such). What about the other stuff? PCB designs etc?
    Not to mention that there is a very significant difference in that hardware can never be truly 'free', unless you happen to have your own fab for every component you need.

    So no, I don't think "Open Source" is a good term to describe hardware.

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scali View Post
    Seems like a nice solution... However, I think the name is rubbish.
    "Open Source" seems to be such a hyped term these days. I can't stand it when people refer to anything hardware-related as "Open Source".
    "Open Source" is a term that originates from the software world, and applies to source-code, hence the "source" in "Open Source".
    Hardware doesn't have source-code which I can download and compile, and *poof* suddenly my OSSC appears before me.
    But for some reason people invented the term "Open Source Hardware" some time ago. That really makes no sense.
    "Open Hardware", yea sure... But source? As in source code? At best that's only a very small part of the total requirement to build the hardware (firmware, HDL and such). What about the other stuff? PCB designs etc?
    Not to mention that there is a very significant difference in that hardware can never be truly 'free', unless you happen to have your own fab for every component you need.

    So no, I don't think "Open Source" is a good term to describe hardware.
    Do you think good ol "DIY" would be better than "Open Source" for projects like this?

    Technically open source software isn't 100% free as you at minimum need a compatible computer for said software. At any rate, I do get your point .
    ***Join the IRC chat at #vc on irc.slashnet.org! Please use your forum username as your nickname.***

    Franken486 - Intel Overdrive DX4 100MHz, 64 GB RAM, 40 GB HDD (8 GB usable), DVD-ROM, 1.44 MB Floppy, Diamond Stealth III S530, Intel PRO 10/100, AWE 64, Running MS-DOS 6.22 & Windows 3.11
    IBM Model 80 Type 8580-321 - 386DX 20MHz, 4 MB RAM onboard, 4 MB RAM via 80386 Enhanced Memory Expansion, 400 MB Type 0661 HDD, 1.44 MB Floppy, Running MS-DOS 6.22 & Windows 3.11

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    Quote Originally Posted by trmg View Post
    Do you think good ol "DIY" would be better than "Open Source" for projects like this?
    Well, you could use the term "Open", but "Source" seems misplaced.
    Then again, I think any kind of "Open Source" should be avoided. It's an overhyped, empty term.
    I find it's quite like 'vegan': people love to stress that they're vegan, just like they love to stress that something is 'open source', while completely foregoing any practical concerns, or quality for that matter.
    Because, let's face facts: 99% of the open source out there is garbage written by incompetent novice programmers who just found out from their friends at college that 'open source' is what all the cool kids are into.
    There's only a handful of open source projects out there that are actually decent, and even fewer are actually production-hardened. And even of those, there's a lot of things you can point out that they haven't designed or maintained quite as well as their professional, closed competitors.
    So to me, 'open source' in itself isn't quite a label of quality, on the contrary. And I think many seasoned professionals would agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by trmg View Post
    Technically open source software isn't 100% free as you at minimum need a compatible computer for said software.
    I think that's irrelevant. Open Source software doesn't make any claims whatsoever about the hardware. It just claims that the software is open source, which it is.
    Open Source Hardware on the other hand... well, clearly that is about the hardware, which is why it is missing the point.
    The term 'source' only applies to a small subset of the hardware. Not to mention that a lot of the parts they use aren't actually open.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by njroadfan View Post
    After much testing and some video mode math from folks on the OSSC support forum, I got the IIgs working properly on the OSSC. There still some flickering, likely due to poor shielding somewhere in the input chain, but its pixel perfect output. Here is a direct output capture from my DVI2PCIe in 640x200 SHR video mode via the OSSC.

    Sorry to necro-bump this thread, but can you please share the settings that you settled on in order to get this picture?

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