"In het verleden behaalde resultaten bieden geen garanties voor de toekomst"
About this blog

These are the ramblings of Matthijs Kooijman, concerning the software he hacks on, hobbies he has and occasionally his personal life.

Most content on this site is licensed under the WTFPL, version 2 (details).

Questions? Praise? Blame? Feel free to contact me.

My old blog (pre-2006) is also still available.

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My NES: Working with a buzz

I mentioned earlier on that I had been given an old NES, without any accessories (no power adapter, no controllers, just the box itself). Having grand plans to use it for various cool mods, I needed to get it to work first. As I am writing this, Brenda is playing Mario bros on my NES, so it actually works!

Does it even work?

Using a bunch of borrowed (original NES) hardware, I established that both the NES and the Mario/duckhunt cartridge I had with it, were working. I did need to bend out the pins on the cartridge slot on the NES, but now it seems to make contact properly.

Last week, I bought a second hand NES controller, so I could start experimenting with it. This weekend, while I was in Enschede with Brenda, I have been toying around with it. I borrowed a power supply from Bert, which had conveniently and only supplied AC voltage (which is exactly what the NES wants, though DC should work as well). I connected the NES to the composite input of my workstation's TV card.

After remembering exactly how to properly setup my TV card (haven't been using it in years), I got a properly coloured and sized image. Only, the image was distorted here and there and sometimes sprites would disappear all together. The cause of this was the power supply: When the NES was turned on, it supplied only 6V instead of the 9V the NES required. The solution was to turn up the power supply to 12V, so it supplies about 8V when loaded (yes, the supply is a bit overloaded).

The only problem left so far, is a nasty low buzz in the audio. This is probably related to the unstable power supply, but is nasty nevertheless. I have tried filtering the signal to get the buzz out, but that failed because using my microphone input as an ALSA input just didn't work for some reason.

Anyway, I can now play Mario! Next project: Building my own zapper gun to play duck hunt!

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