Retrostone2 CFW v1.21 Alpha test release

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Re: Retrostone2 CFW v1.21 Alpha test release

Post by Admin » Wed 6 Jan 2021 12:30

Some things I noticed or remarks to make it more intuitive:
1. When you open Skin/GMenu2X with A, you can exit with B but with start.
But if you open Wallpaper/About with A, you can exit with B

I understand that it's because B is used for other navigation in Skin. But it would be more intuitive to have the same controls in all menus.

2. When pressing B it shows a CONTROLS help box. Could you also add some shortcuts description here? For instance how to exit a game?
I tried SRB2 v2.2 and couldn't find any way to exit the game.

3. It's confusing that you have a "settings" section in which you have About, GMenu2X... but also a "settings" menu that you open with start. I think it's confusing and it would be better to have all the settings in the same place. The best place is the 'start' menu I think.

4. LCD brightness : it updates only after you exit the menu. It would be better if the brightness steps as you modify it.

5. HDMI/LCD : I think it would be better to fit it inside the settings section rather than the applications section.
Also I have tried it but my monitor stayed black. And the LCD stayed black as well. So I have to hard shutdown to get it back to work.
Also how is the HDMI switch managed here? How is structured your firmware? Is it a kind of wayland compositor? If so can we not use the DRM/KMS to make the framebuffer switch automatic and on-the-fly (without reboot) when HDMI is detected?

If you have any question on the hardware don't hesitate to ask. If I can help I'll be glad.

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gameblabla
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Re: Retrostone2 CFW v1.21 Alpha test release

Post by gameblabla » Wed 6 Jan 2021 15:51

1. When you open Skin/GMenu2X with A, you can exit with B but with start.
But if you open Wallpaper/About with A, you can exit with B
I understand that it's because B is used for other navigation in Skin. But it would be more intuitive to have the same controls in all menus.
That's the way it was but it should be easily patchable.
4. LCD brightness : it updates only after you exit the menu. It would be better if the brightness steps as you modify it.
Yup, i've noticed that but it doesn't seem like it could be easily fixed ? I will look into it later.
3. It's confusing that you have a "settings" section in which you have About, GMenu2X... but also a "settings" menu that you open with start. I think it's confusing and it would be better to have all the settings in the same place. The best place is the 'start' menu I think.
There's not really a good way of fixing this by changing Gmenu2x entirely. Regardless, i think it's clear enough despite this potentially slight confusion.
2. When pressing B it shows a CONTROLS help box. Could you also add some shortcuts description here? For instance how to exit a game?
I tried SRB2 v2.2 and couldn't find any way to exit the game.
To exit SRB2 v2.2, there's no quick shortcut (or really a need for one but i could be wrong).
Bring up the menu with the select button and just select Exit. Nothing fancy.
Admin wrote:
Wed 6 Jan 2021 12:30
5. HDMI/LCD : I think it would be better to fit it inside the settings section rather than the applications section.
Also I have tried it but my monitor stayed black. And the LCD stayed black as well. So I have to hard shutdown to get it back to work.
Also how is the HDMI switch managed here? How is structured your firmware? Is it a kind of wayland compositor? If so can we not use the DRM/KMS to make the framebuffer switch automatic and on-the-fly (without reboot) when HDMI is detected?
The HDMI only works if you plug it BEFORE you boot it up with the power button. Believe me, i had a hard time trying to make this work at all due to numerous issues with it.
I wanted to mostly fix all of those issues by forcing 640x480 32bpp over HDMI but i inquired the Sunxi-folks about it, they were like "it works fine over HDMI & 1080p with Display Engine, why force it to 480p ?" and they felt like not telling me how to exactly change the resolution, it's annoying and the documentation is absolutely terrible on this and the patches are all over the place.

So sadly, the only way to make it work somewhat ok is to have the HDMI cable plugged in before booting (and not after) and then disable the HDMI output upon bootup and switch between the two. Sadly i was unable to change the HDMI's output resolution : it just decides to use whatever it wants.

Trying to enable both HDMI and LCD results in Gmenu2x detecting the resolution as 1080p, resulting in Display Engine downscaling 1080p to 640x480.
It looks terrible as a horrible and for some reasons it's flickery as well.

Switching both LCD & HDMI is done in a simple way, it just echos on and off to the status file descriptor so like this :

Code: Select all

echo off > /sys/class/drm/card1-Unknown-1/status;echo on > /sys/class/drm/card1-HDMI-A-1/status
If you have any question on the hardware don't hesitate to ask. If I can help I'll be glad.
Well i do have several questions :
- I saw you post something about dual output here :
https://forum.armbian.com/topic/10928-l ... -mainline/
As i said above, i could only make it work with HDMI cable plugged in and only if i specifically disable it upon boot and enable it later.
Where did you get the HDMI_sound references from ? Because i was able to make HDMI sound work briefly (including the firmware i just released) but when i recompiled my firmware again, hdmi sound no longer works and i have no idea why and this greatly frustrates me.
I was able to find this patch :
https://github.com/gameblabla/retroston ... hdmi.patch

in the armbian repo but it doesn't actually add the hdmi_audio devicetree as it's done in your patch and i see patches like those :
https://github.com/armbian/build/blob/m ... port.patch
That makes no sense to me and i don't know why it's that. Probably something i have to ask the Sunxi-folks about...

- Is the micro usb port OTG capable or is it just for charging the console itself ? I haven't looked too deeply into it but i think it's just wired up for charging.

But yeah, getting HDMI to work properly is a big pain in the butt, especially since mirroring doesn't work properly, and i seemingly can't force 480p, resulting in other issues that otherwise wouldn't have happened. (and not just kernel issues mind you !)
Edit: After watching the video I understand that it's not us that sent you one actually. Sorry about that we forgot to send you one...
Yup, i tried telling you about it on Discord and posted a few messages here as well but seems like you did not see them and my ticket on your website got closed...
If you intend on releasing the Retroblock 2, then you know what to do. (and i believe that it's just a Retrostone 2 with 2 sticks and wifi ?)

RonaldRSB
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Re: Retrostone2 CFW v1.21 Alpha test release

Post by RonaldRSB » Wed 6 Jan 2021 17:53

hey,

i have the rs2 pro an i have no ingame sound with the new image.
is it possible to use the internal ssd for the games. the format is ext3
when i format it to ntsc, can i see the drive?

thanks

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gameblabla
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Re: Retrostone2 CFW v1.21 Alpha test release

Post by gameblabla » Thu 7 Jan 2021 00:09

hey,
i have the rs2 pro an i have no ingame sound with the new image.
Yeah i believe that's due to the HDMI sound code : if it doesn't detect it then ALSA will fail. If you attempt to enable the TTS in the Settings, you will still be able to hear sound, just not over HDMI.
RonaldRSB wrote:
Wed 6 Jan 2021 17:53
is it possible to use the internal ssd for the games. the format is ext3
when i format it to ntsc, can i see the drive?
I don't have a Retrostone 2 Pro so for me, there's no way to test the eMMC internal storage. (and besides, i thought it was kind of redundant given that you could upgrade the sdcard)
Your drive is most likely detected but it won't be mounted as there's no logic to handle that. (The same is true for USB devices as well)

You could try to run a small script that does just that but obviously it would be a poor experience.


I am thinking of reverting the HDMI changes (or at the very least, the HDMI sound changes in ALSA) until i can get it to work properly.

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Re: Retrostone2 CFW v1.21 Alpha test release

Post by Admin » Sat 16 Jan 2021 15:16

gameblabla wrote:
Wed 6 Jan 2021 15:51
Well i do have several questions :
- I saw you post something about dual output here :
https://forum.armbian.com/topic/10928-l ... -mainline/
As i said above, i could only make it work with HDMI cable plugged in and only if i specifically disable it upon boot and enable it later.
Where did you get the HDMI_sound references from ? Because i was able to make HDMI sound work briefly (including the firmware i just released) but when i recompiled my firmware again, hdmi sound no longer works and i have no idea why and this greatly frustrates me.
I was able to find this patch :
https://github.com/gameblabla/retroston ... hdmi.patch
in the armbian repo but it doesn't actually add the hdmi_audio devicetree as it's done in your patch and i see patches like those :
https://github.com/armbian/build/blob/m ... port.patch
That makes no sense to me and i don't know why it's that. Probably something i have to ask the Sunxi-folks about...
I'm afraid I don't know how the HDMI sound is implemented. I only know that it wasn't supported until recently where Olimex team apparantly made a patch for it.
- Is the micro usb port OTG capable or is it just for charging the console itself ? I haven't looked too deeply into it but i think it's just wired up for charging.
It's only charging.
[/quote]

But yeah, getting HDMI to work properly is a big pain in the butt, especially since mirroring doesn't work properly, and i seemingly can't force 480p, resulting in other issues that otherwise wouldn't have happened. (and not just kernel issues mind you !)
If you intend on releasing the Retroblock 2, then you know what to do. (and i believe that it's just a Retrostone 2 with 2 sticks and wifi ?)
Yes RetroBlock2 is basically a RetroStone2 with 2 joysticks and stereo audio.

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