So, who will be the first to setup their machine?

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Chuck
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So, who will be the first to setup their machine?

Post by Chuck » Fri Jul 31, 2009 9:41 pm

I thought for sure someone would have posted today.

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Re: So, who will be the first to setup their machine?

Post by Troz » Sat Aug 01, 2009 12:12 am

I just finished getting the software installed and running but I still need to get my lcd mounted into the cabinet. So far so good. Ubuntu & NuCore installation was very easy. Hopefully I'll have it up and running sometime tomorrow.

Any recommendations as for where to mount the 4-channel car audio amp?

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Re: So, who will be the first to setup their machine?

Post by Chuck » Sat Aug 01, 2009 12:26 am

Great! About the amp, I don't suggest mounting it inside the head. I made that mistake and I need to move it. When you crank the amp it will get really hot. I'm probably going to remount my amp on the outside of the head cover in the rear. If you decide to mount it inside add lots of fans for cooling.

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Re: So, who will be the first to setup their machine?

Post by mjannusch » Sat Aug 01, 2009 11:14 am

I ordered my computer parts yesterday after the kit arrived. A Core 2 Duo is new enough that I'm still using all mine for other things, so I got a Mini-ATX board, processor, memory, and power supply through NewEgg. I already had an ArcadeVGA card that I'm not using right now, so will use that to connect to the factory monitor.

One thing you might add to the user manual is in the requirements section add a line for the parallel port. Not all boards these days have a parallel port.

Looking forward to setting it all up, but it won't be until late next week. :(

Here's the hardware list, in case anyone is interested:

Gigabyte GA-G31M-ES2L LGA 775 Intel G31 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
Intel Pentium E5300 2.6GHz LGA 755 65W Dual-Core processor BX80571E5300
G.Skill 2GB (2x1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 800 SDRAM dual channel kit F2-6400CL5D-2GBNQ
Diablotek PHD380M 380W MicroATX Power Supply

$185.96 total cost from NewEgg. I'll post again when I get it put together to let everyone know whether those parts work well or not.
-Matt
RFM, SWE1, TZ, TAF

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Re: So, who will be the first to setup their machine?

Post by Chuck » Sat Aug 01, 2009 12:11 pm

mjannusch wrote:One thing you might add to the user manual is in the requirements section add a line for the parallel port. Not all boards these days have a parallel port.
Thanks Matt, I'll add it to the manual.

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Re: So, who will be the first to setup their machine?

Post by Troz » Sat Aug 01, 2009 6:22 pm

I'm up and running, at least somewhat! I hacked together a mount out of wood for the LCD monitor and stuck the computer on top of the cabinet to get the system running. The game plays perfectly (I only have RFM) as was expected. I'm running an Intel system with a E7400 2.8ghz processor. NuCore reports the system running at 60fps every time I've checked.

I'm using a Dell 22" LCD (e2209w) and I love the look of the graphics on it, however... the black levels are horrible, which was my fear. The monitor is clearly visible in the glass since the blacks are basically a gray, and there is nothing I can change in the monitor settings to darken it enough. I'm going to try to put a tinted piece of plexi directly over the LCD (hopefully I can find some locally) to see if that will help, otherwise I'm going to have to put the CRT back in and grab an ArcadeVGA.

My audio system isn't hooked up yet, so I'm just using headphones temporarily. The volume levels via headphones are very low, even with the volume level set to the max in the game. Is there another setting inside Ubuntu I need to change to get a higher volume level?

I'm struggling on how to mount everything in the cabinet. I think I'm going to wait for the computer case to be finished before putting the computer inside the cabinet, plus I really need to wait until I have my final verdict on the monitor situation.

Of course, most of these issues don't have to do with the software itself, which is perfect. I couldn't be happier with it! Thanks for all your time and effort in developing this!

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Re: So, who will be the first to setup their machine?

Post by Chuck » Sat Aug 01, 2009 7:25 pm

Troz,

Smoked plexi would work well. You could also try light window tinting. Most auto supply places carry it. You just need a little tint to take the glow off. It doesn't bother me but you certainly can see it. As far as the audio goes make it varies from computer to computer. My headphones on my dev machine are plenty loud but one of our alpha testers said his were a little quiet. You definitely need to get some amplified speakers hooked up. Cheap amplified computer speakers work well as a temporary solution until you can decide what to do.

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Re: So, who will be the first to setup their machine?

Post by Eric A. » Sat Aug 01, 2009 8:23 pm

HEY! I can actually help with this!

In Ubuntu you need to make sure all of your volume levels on the volume control are at 100% other than the master volume which should be at about 87% for close to original volume control through the coin door.

Who's your expert user baby! LOL!

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Re: So, who will be the first to setup their machine?

Post by Troz » Sat Aug 01, 2009 11:28 pm

Thanks Eric, that's what I thought it could be. I used "alsamixer" to set the volume levels as you said and that helped increase my headphone volume.

I've got a few more impressions after playing around for a bit longer:

Is it possible for it to run too fast? I feel like some animations are running too fast, such as the Bonus Wave Multiball animation. As far as I can remember (I've been without my machine for a few months...) the voice calls during that animation matched the words as they appeared during the animation. On my machine now, the animation sequence is finished before the audio sequence is. During Alien Abduction, I could swear that the items being abducted are being lifted much faster. Of course, I wish I had a machine running the original hardware beside this one to compare with since my memory may be fuzzy. The numbers for the match sequence count by much faster than I could remember also. I'll grab more examples of this as I play more, but those are the ones from the top of my head right now.

More LCD fun - I can only assume this issue is because the LCD is 16:9 instead of 4:3. I'm noticing that the on-screen images are not lining up with their appropriate shots. One example is in Paris in Peril where the right and leftmost martians straddle the line between the left loop/ramp shot and the right loop/ramp shot. I found this to be more pronounced during Bonus Wave Multiball but getting a decent photo during that proved to be a little more difficult. Is there any way to shrink the screen in NuCore? Examples:

Image
Image

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Re: So, who will be the first to setup their machine?

Post by Troz » Sun Aug 02, 2009 1:12 am

In regards to the perceived speedup I'm seeing, I was able to find a video online to compare to.

Go to 4:50 in the video to see the Bonus Wave Multiball intro:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaTCsNek ... re=related

Then I took this video (via iPhone) of my game's Bonus Wave intro:
http://www.twistedrails.com/rfm/BonusWave.MOV (5mb)

I've come to the conclusion that it may be the higher fps that I'm noticing. Could there be a small speedup due to the higher fps? Or am I just crazy? :lol:

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Re: So, who will be the first to setup their machine?

Post by mjannusch » Sun Aug 02, 2009 1:27 am

Seems like the overall timing looks the same to me. Maybe a hair quicker on NuCore - but with the stock RFM computer skipping frames all over the place, it could just be that the smoother video of NuCore makes it seem quicker. When I set mine up, I'll try to get some HD video of the stock computer and then another shot with the NuCore and edit them together side-by-side to compare. Unless someone else can do it first.
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Re: So, who will be the first to setup their machine?

Post by Eric A. » Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:15 am

Troz wrote:In regards to the perceived speedup I'm seeing, I was able to find a video online to compare to.

Go to 4:50 in the video to see the Bonus Wave Multiball intro:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaTCsNek ... re=related

Then I took this video (via iPhone) of my game's Bonus Wave intro:
http://www.twistedrails.com/rfm/BonusWave.MOV (5mb)

I've come to the conclusion that it may be the higher fps that I'm noticing. Could there be a small speedup due to the higher fps? Or am I just crazy? :lol:
FPS You're crazy! LOL!

I think as far as the alignment goes the screen is completely off center to the left. You need to adjust the screen from the left to the right.

Also, I had a problem on my EP1 where you could NEVER get the screen aligned with every switch and ramp on the game. It was the nature of the beast. Even the original hardware was this way.

While we were testing the system I had a switch box hooked up to everything and compared the nucore system to the original system and could never get either one absolutely "perfect". Close but not 100%. Also I adjusted certain scenes that looked like they were almost there and then others would load and they looked off a bit.

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Re: So, who will be the first to setup their machine?

Post by GLModular » Sun Aug 02, 2009 10:10 am

Troz wrote: More LCD fun - I can only assume this issue is because the LCD is 16:9 instead of 4:3. I'm noticing that the on-screen images are not lining up with their appropriate shots. One example is in Paris in Peril where the right and leftmost martians straddle the line between the left loop/ramp shot and the right loop/ramp shot. I found this to be more pronounced during Bonus Wave Multiball but getting a decent photo during that proved to be a little more difficult. Is there any way to shrink the screen in NuCore?
This is normal for a 22" LCD as the aspect is (as you have surmised) different from the standard monitor. Chuck mentioned playing around with the dot-clock to adjust the width. He will have to explain how he's doing this, but I suspect you may need to alter the VESA video settings on the Linux side if your monitor doesn't have something built-in.

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Re: So, who will be the first to setup their machine?

Post by Chuck » Sun Aug 02, 2009 11:21 am

Ok, lots of good questions ;-)

1) Game speed/speech calls - The game speed is very close to the original if not right on. Where you really see a huge difference is in the number of frames of animation. We run a solid 60fps and the original would freeze sometimes when it ran out of cpu power. The smooth animations will make it look faster. There is one exception, on swe1 the intro animation runs faster than the original depending on the speed of your machine. The way the intro was coded it relies on a time base the doesn't scale well with faster processesors. So the animation (scrolling text) is faster than the original. You still get the voice calls and most people skip it anyway ;-) RFM is pretty solid in the way it keeps time so we can't find any scenes where the timing is off from the original. I toyed with emulating the original animation speed but why gimp the system when the animations look so much better on nucore.

2) LCD monitor width and shot placement - Like Tony mentioned I picked the dell monitor I did because it has an adjustable pixel clock. Adjusting the pixel clock allows you to shrink the screen so the targets line up very well. If your lcd has a width adjustment that works you could use it, most don't. Like Eric said not all shots lined up with the original monitor either so the original game isnt perfect either. The way I have my lcd adjusted makes the shots line up very well IMO. As tony also mentioned you can specify exact video setups in your xorg.conf using modelines. I really don't suggest that anyone but very advanced users try this. They are a pain to setup right and can cause monitor issues with crts. Originally we were going to use modelines to drive the crt but decided against it.

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Re: So, who will be the first to setup their machine?

Post by Troz » Sun Aug 02, 2009 1:16 pm

Thanks for the help. I found the pixel clock settings on my monitor after switching over to VGA from DVI (the motherboard I bought has both). I've dealt with Powerstrip before on the Windows side for custom video settings so I'm not new to the concept but it is a pain, especially with no nice GUI. Glad I won't have to now.

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