Peer testing notes / findings / suggestion etc

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  • #3064
    Peer
    Spectator

    During calibration, I found it a bit difficult to precisely fine-tune things by using the joystick. With my (original Vectrex) controller, moving the joystick just a tiny bit resulted in a rather large change of the calibration factor. I tended to overshoot or undershoot and had to try several times until I got the desired result.

    As an idea: also allow calibration by using buttons 1 (down) and 2 (up). One press-and-release of a button advances the calibration factor by the minimum delta. That would allow for quickly getting calibration almost right by using the joystick and then for a subsequent fine-tuning by using the buttons.

    #3067
    vtk
    Spectator

    i have noticed that issue also, for example at the first calibration message:

    “STRAIGHTEN THIS TEXT”

    i have found that it moves quite quickly when i press joystick UP/DOWN

    (but i am using a digital gamepad, so thought that might have been the cause of the ‘high’ adjustment speed)

    #3070
    Peer
    Spectator

    (tested with beta 8, on my no-buzz home Vectrex)

    I also had some difficulty adjusting the brightness of my console (using the poti on the back). For example, in the initial game menu, the four sub-menus on the sides appear very weak (low vector beam intensity, hardly to be seen), while the center has a good brightness. When I turn up the machine’s brightness a tiny bit to a point so that the sub-menus have better visibility, then also the “vector beam movements” show up (dots and lines which are not meant to be seen). I understand that it is intended that the sub-menus appear weaker than the center, and that is fine. It just seems that I cannot get the right “constrast” between both on that machine. I have not yet tested this on my other consoles, but will do so soon.

    #3071
    Peer
    Spectator

    (tested with beta 8, on my no-buzz home Vectrex)

    Ok, I just played my first true and longer game. I got to level 13 without losing any life, but there it ended (lost my concentration when the phone rang). I came across several challenges, achievements, Mine Storm etc. I have to admit that I did not understand all the details to the last bit, but it really was great fun to play 🙂

    So far I have refrained from reading any spoilers or manuals or explanations, because I wanted to experience my first game like I did as a child whenever I got a new Vectrex cartridge. Ignore the manual, insert, play, and try to figure out everything on-the-fly. The “feeling” of the game play is absolutely great!

    Guess I have to do some reading now…

    #3074
    Peer
    Spectator

    Interesting. I brought one of my lab consoles home today. Flashed beta 9 and tested on all three machines:

    no-buzz home Vectrex: game works fine
    buzz home Vectrex: game works fine

    buzz lab Vectrex: game freezes after Vectorblade title screen, i.e. screen goes dark, sound freezes and single tone continues to play. Same behavior when pressing reset. Beta 9 screen is shown, then Vectoblade title screen comes up correctly, title music plays until end, then screen goes dark and sound freezes.

    Tested several other cartridges, original games as well as flash cartridges. All work fine on all three machines.

    There seems to be something different with my buzz lab Vectrex. Are there different versions of the buzz consoles? Or could this be due to some hardware defect on that console?

    Tomorrow, I will test on my no-buzz lab Vectrex.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 2 months ago by Peer.
    #3078
    Malban
    Keymaster

    Hi,
    sorry I didn’t react earlier – actually i thought I’d get a post from WP when a User wrote a topic – I don’t so I just saw it when you emailed me.

    (from top)
    1) Button calibration is on my todo list… no buzz machines are very “fast” to calibrate…

    2) Brightness
    Haven’t experienced this “cant find a center” myself – guess I have to “pimp up” the low brightness a bit (will do from $3f to $4f for a start)

    3) Non working Buzz
    Exactly:

    buzz lab Vectrex: game freezes after Vectorblade title screen, i.e. screen goes dark, sound freezes and single tone continues to play. Same behavior when pressing reset. Beta 9 screen is shown, then Vectoblade title screen comes up correctly, title music plays until end, then screen goes dark and sound freezes.

    Definition:
    – title screen – screen were VECTORBLADE is written and a ship comes and goes
    – desktop – screen where you can go in different directions… and start a game

    What should happen:
    Title screen comes up – the title screen does NOT finish playing the music.
    It displays the ship… the ship goes by and the screen is switched to the desktop (while in mid music).

    When does the Freeze occur?
    – on the title screen before the ship comes?
    – on the title screen after the ship comes – perhaps exactly at the “switch” to the desktop?
    – on the desktop screen – when the music should restart?

    No – as to my knowledge NoBuzz machines should all react the same way.

    I think some different components were used, probably what was cheapest at the time. The different components do usually not make a huge difference. The only “plausible” explanation I ‘might’ have right now…

    I have here a machine which’s T1 Timer starts a couple of cycles later (2 cycles).
    If there are machines where the cycles are even more OFF, than a bankswitch using the T1 timer interrupt “might” occur to late.
    In the private beta directory: http://vectrex.malban.de/privatBeta is a beta, that has 2 nops inserted after the T1 timer for bankswitching… perhaps try that one.

    If that doesn’t help we have to think about some remote debugging 🙂

    Thx for the tests!

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 2 months ago by Malban.
    #3081
    Malban
    Keymaster

    I have also uploaded to the private directory a bin called “QuadBankTest.bin” – which just “tests” the bankswitching.

    It starts in bank 3

    button 1 – switch to bank 0
    button 2 – switch to bank 1
    button 3 – switch to bank 2
    button 4 – switch to bank 3

    Perhaps you can try that one too.

    The only crash I would expect from machine difference would be something about bankswitching…

    #3082
    Malban
    Keymaster

    Also…

    My personal ZIF socketed beta card is by now really worn out. Sometimes the chip does not sit all to tight.

    Perhaps the most stupid thing – but just take the flash out and insert it again :-)…

    #3083
    Peer
    Spectator

    It happens after the ship has gone by, when switching from title screen to desktop. Sorry about the confusion with the music, the freeze is in mid music.

    Don’t think it has to do with the socketing. I have moved the PCB back an forth between the three machines several times within a few minutes. Always worked fine on the other two.

    I have just fetched the two binaries from the private directory. Will try them and then report back. Probably not today, as I was just about to fall asleep when your posts came in 😉

    #3084
    Malban
    Keymaster

    So that you don’t get bored – I have uploaded a 3rd binary “stepper.bin”.
    This runs Vectorblade and after the title screen waits with a number displayed at different stages of the steps between title and desktop.

    Please tell me the last number you see (press always button 1 to continue).

    Good old “printf()” debugging…

    #3086
    Peer
    Spectator

    Getting bored? What does that mean? I don’t know that word?

    I have twins! For the past years there has not been a single second of boredom in my life 😉

    Ok, just tested the stepper.bin on said machine. This is what happens:

    “00,01” – pressed button 1
    “00,02” – pressed button 1
    “00,03” – pressed button 1
    brief flicker of desktop, then immediately
    “00,05” – pressed button 1
    bra -2 (meaning, from here on it loops, brief flicker of desktop, then “00,05” again)

    Never saw a “00,04”. Have to go now, but will also test this on the other machines later. Hope this helps!

    #3088
    Malban
    Keymaster

    Hm.
    At work right now too – so I can’t say what step 4 was.

    But quintessitially when you get to step 5 – and also can repeat step 5, you ARE already on the desktop screen…
    Meaning past the stage where you before crashed.

    You can repeatedly press 1 – and you will see the scroll text “flicker up”… etc.
    If you find the time perhaps test the T1 NOP binary too.

    I have three more vectrex stored away – perhaps I should get them out of their closet and try VB on them too.

    #3089
    Peer
    Spectator

    Yep, I will do so. I will also rerun to stepper test, just to make sure that I did not accidently mix up the two buzz machines. I will also take home the no-buzz lab Vectrex for the weekend and then test on all 4 consoles.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 2 months ago by Peer.
    #3094
    Peer
    Spectator

    Ok, my mistake. I had indeed mistaken one buzz console for the other. Sorry for that. I reran the stepper test on all four machines. These are the results:

    buzz home: regular game works fine, stepper test goes 01-02-03-05 as described above
    no-buzz home: regular game works fine, stepper test goes 01-02-03-05 as described above
    buzz lab: regular game works fine, stepper test goes 01-02-03-05 as described above
    no-buzz lab: regular game freezes when going from title to desktop, stepper test goes 01-02-03, then same freeze as regular game

    Does this already help?

    #3095
    Peer
    Spectator

    buzz home: T1TimerTest works fine
    no-buzz home: T1TimerTest works fine
    buzz lab: T1TimerTest works fine
    no-buzz lab: T1TimerTest freezes when going from title to desktop

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 78 total)
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