Technical knowledge compilation (Gamecubes, controllers, TVs, recording)

SpiderMad

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#81
Oh wow, I mistook your drawing for one of those "picture not found" images, lol.
Yeah, like that pretty much.

I just didn't like the feeling of instant digital. It worked reliably, though.
Lol. In a week or so I'll open up my controller and give a go at a few holes, I'll pry take pictures and review it with you to see if I'm doing it right.
Have you also tried shortening springs?
 

Gravitirax

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#82
Random fact about gamecubes that most people I've met don't know. If you press that little think that you put the disk on. (You know, the circle in the center) It's actually a button that releases the disk properly instead of pulling it out. That might help extend your disk / cube's lifespan.
 

Kadano

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#83
Random fact about gamecubes that most people I've met don't know. If you press that little think that you put the disk on. (You know, the circle in the center) It's actually a button that releases the disk properly instead of pulling it out. That might help extend your disk / cube's lifespan.
I haven’t met anyone who didn’t know this, haha.
 

Gravitirax

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#84
I haven’t met anyone who didn’t know this, haha.
I guess I've been hanging out with the wrong kind of people then, haha. As a collector and melee player, it hurts to see games removed the wrong way ;_; . Just getting the message out in case anyone didn't.
 

1ampercent

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#85
Since I am unable to test, or distinguish whether or not it has delay, I can't really recommend it.
^ My post from over 4 months ago about the distribution amp.

Anyways I do not notice any difference when the component signal is being split via a distribution amp which is great, however after attending some tournaments, I am finding it difficult to adapt to other people's setups. I assumed it was because I'm a newbie, but now I'm thinking maybe I'm used to my setup's (LCD) delay. But then, there are some setups that feel very close to mine, maybe it's just a mentality thing.

So I have access to an old CRT TV, but it does not have component input so I am still using my LCD to practice. I was wondering if there's a way to test delay between two of these setups, my equipment is listed below.

Wii (Has homebrew, access to NTSC Melee and Project M)
Wii Component Cables / Wii Composite Cables
2 x Component cables Male to Male
LG M2380D (Main screen I use for playing, secondary for PC, TV/PC monitor hybrid, 16:9 1080p max)
CRT TV (Small LG TV 4:3 with only composite inputs)
Avermedia H727 (capture card)
Samsung S27B550 (Main PC screen)
 
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Kadano

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#86
^ My post from over 4 months ago about the distribution amp.

Anyways I do not notice any difference when the component signal is being split via a distribution amp which is great, however after attending some tournaments, I am finding it difficult to adapt to other people's setups. I assumed it was because I'm a newbie, but now I'm thinking maybe I'm used to my setup's (LCD) delay. But then, there are some setups that feel very close to mine, maybe it's just a mentality thing.

So I have access to an old CRT TV, but it does not have component input so I am still using my LCD to practice. I was wondering if there's a way to test delay between two of these setups, my equipment is listed below.

Wii (Has homebrew, access to NTSC Melee and Project M)
Wii Component Cables / Wii Composite Cables
2 x Component cables Male to Male
LG M2380D (Main screen I use for playing, secondary for PC, TV/PC monitor hybrid, 16:9 1080p max)
CRT TV (Small LG TV 4:3 with only composite inputs)
Avermedia H727 (capture card)
Samsung S27B550 (Main PC screen)
First off, the different feeling might just be due to 480p vs. 480i; 480p being what you likely and hopefully use and 480i what’s always used when using composite or S-Video cables.

It’s very unlikely the distribution amp introduces lag as it doesn’t do any conversion / processing.
LCDs that accept component video sometimes don’t handle it as quickly as the VGA inputs (if available). You can test for delay by plugging in the green component cable from the amp you usually plug into your H727 into your CRT TV instead. Now I don‘t know how long LG manufactured CRTs, but there is a slim chance it has lag as well. (~1998 era CRTs sometimes have laggy postprocessing).

You will need a camera that captures with more than 60 fps to evaluate the lag. I use 240 fps on a Casio Exilim EX-FH100 I bought for ~40€. However, this camera methods is not accurate, so the results you get are only useful to find out whether one of your TVs lags much more than the other.
Capture both screens at the same time and in-game, start a match from the stage selection screen on a bright stage (Yoshi’s Story, for example). Only capture the first 5 seconds or so of the match.
Then, play the recorded file frame by frame in a media player (I know PotPlayer supports this, but I think all of them do). When you can see the first bright part at the top of the CRT, count the frames until the same part is visible on the LCD. Multiply by 1000 and divide this amount by your fps to get a rough estimate of the LCD “lag” compared to your CRT.
Repeat this at least 5 times with separate recordings. Write down the frame differences and average them. There will probably be a large deviation due to the inaccuracy of this method. However, if the averaged numbers are all in favor towards the CRT and more or less the same, it’s very likely that your LCD has considerable lag.

If you want to keep playing on your LCD, you could also try a component (YPbPr) to VGA (RGBHV) converter and plug that to your TV or to your monitor. Repeat the process of lag testing against the CRT to find out whether the difference is less now.

When I compare my LCD VGA 1080p monitor (rated with 5 ms response time, but that doesn’t really say anything) against my CRT VGA monitor, the difference is about one 240fps frame, probably a bit less (when the bright frame starts on the CRT, I can already see it on the LCD as well, but only with 20% of the final brightness). Playing on the LCD feels no laggier than the CRT, although I personally prefer my CRT for the picture quality.
 

1ampercent

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#87
So how do I test the difference if I want to compare the LCD with 480p vs the CRT with 480i? If I do the method above I can only run it 480i on both screens.
 

Kadano

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#88
So how do I test the difference if I want to compare the LCD with 480p vs the CRT with 480i? If I do the method above I can only run it 480i on both screens.
Ah, right. Sorry for the brainfart on my part. It’s impossible to do it like that with your hardware.
The part about VGA maybe lagging less on your monitor is still true, though.
 

1ampercent

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#89
Ah, right. Sorry for the brainfart on my part. It’s impossible to do it like that with your hardware.
The part about VGA maybe lagging less on your monitor is still true, though.
Would that make the graphics look worse when I convert from component > VGA?
 

SpiderMad

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#93
So I heard the Whites have more durable control sticks. I also heard they lack a bar piece in the shoulder to prevent jamming or something. I also heard some of the newer silvers also lack this bar piece. Does this mean some of the newer silvers thus have the more durable control sticks as well then? Is there a way to tell if the silver is one of the this newer ones then that has the more durable control stick without having to open it up to find out?
 
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Kadano

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#94
So I heard the Whites have more durable control sticks. I also heard they lack a bar piece in the shoulder to prevent jamming or something. I also heard some of the newer silvers also lack this bar piece. Does this mean some of the newer silvers thus have the more durable control sticks as well then? Is there a way to tell if the silver is one of the this newer ones then that has the more durable control stick without having to open it up to find out?
Some do, but from my observations so far, they don’t correlate. So if your platinum controller has type 3 stickboxes, it can still have metal bars.
The only controller color where you always know what’s inside are the Japanese white ones.

I guess you can tell by moving the control stick around. I feel like type 3 stickboxes are slightly more resistant at the start than type 2 stickboxes.

Also, the white controller shoulder trigger problem is, in my experience, easily solved by greasing the plastic shafts with silicone oil. I’ll make another video on several controller mods in the near future.
 

1ampercent

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#95
After some thinking, I've decided against this idea, mainly because my LG TV has optical audio output, and would not want to sacrifice my sound quality while playing. Ideally I would use my Samsung monitor to output the game, however I wouldn't be able to see what I'm recording. Since I do have a distribution amp, I'm better off with a CRT TV with component input, output sound via the LG TV, while displaying my recordings on my Samsung. I'm also getting a phone that has 120 fps video recording sometime in the future, so maybe it has some to test delay. Problem is, how do I test/compare when the LG requires 480p, while most CRTs can only output 480i/576i?
 
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Kadano

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#96
I'm also getting a phone that has 120 fps video recording sometime in the future, so maybe it has some to test delay.
It’s fine for rough comparisons, but because of technological shortcomings inherent to fps capture, it won’t be very accurate. With a 120 fps camera, you can determine the amount of lag difference down to approximately ±5 ms. So your TV/monitor might lag by half a frame in reality even though your footage suggests it doesn’t lag more than the CRT.
Problem is, how do I test/compare when the LG requires 480p, while most CRTs can only output 480i/576i?
You need a YPbPr to CVBS converter. The Blackmagic Intensity Shuttle is known for its ability to do this without any lag (probably only about 0.1ms, so it should be negligible).
 

N1c2k3

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#97
Kadano: Thanks for you effort in putting this together. Definitely useful to have all this knowledge in one place. One thing I would suggest though: updating the TV lag section. There's been quite a bit of progress in the area of lag-reduction in LCD's, particularly from efforts of Fizzi: http://meleeiton.me/2014/03/27/this-tv-lags-a-guide-on-input-and-display-lag/. Be sure to look at his follow-up Reddit post as well: http://www.reddit.com/r/smashbros/comments/26got5/quick_followup_to_miom_lag_article/

I personally bought the Sewell Wii-HDMI converter for my LCD tv, and it's amazing. Even on my 10ms TV, it's completely playable; just about as good as CRT, and I wouldn't be afraid taking it to a tourny (in fact I'm going to this Sat).
 
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Kadano

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#98
Kadano: Thanks for you effort in putting this together. Definitely useful to have all this knowledge in one place. One thing I would suggest though: updating the TV lag section. There's been quite a bit of progress in the area of lag-reduction in LCD's […]
I wrote that 2 ms of input lag is the minimum for current LCD technology. From Fizzi’s article, which gives a value of 2.86 ms for the fastest setup, this seems to still be up-to-date.

Anyway, I added in his findings. For setups that need to be transportable easily, I think LGP+RL2455HM is a good option, but there’s still the black frame problem.

My current setup is Gamecube DAC cable modded by me for VGA output (I paid about 20€ for it), an active 4x VGA splitter (12€), a Philips Brilliance 109MP 19 inch graphical CRT with speakers (10€). The capture card I use is the StarTech PEXHDCAP (120€). So all in all, 162€. For PAL Melee only, you also need a modchip (Qoob Pro or Wiikey Fusion) to force 480p, that would be another 20€ or so.

I don’t have black frame problems or input lag this way. I can really recommend this setup if you care more about saving money and having 480p in good quality with sub-microsecond lag than going for an LCD instead of a CRT. You do need to have a desktop PC with a free PCIe slot, though.

Also, I think I got pretty lucky with the DAC cables for only 20€ per piece. They are usually sold on eBay for 100€+. There are Wii VGA cables as well for only 15$, which work fine without lag. Their big drawback is that they are incompatible with at least some VGA splitters. Thus, they are fine if you only want to play in high quality, but if you want to capture or stream your gameplay, they are not suitable.
 

SpiderMad

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#99
Some do, but from my observations so far, they don’t correlate. So if your platinum controller has type 3 stickboxes, it can still have metal bars.
The only controller color where you always know what’s inside are the Japanese white ones.

I guess you can tell by moving the control stick around. I feel like type 3 stickboxes are slightly more resistant at the start than type 2 stickboxes.

Also, the white controller shoulder trigger problem is, in my experience, easily solved by greasing the plastic shafts with silicone oil. I’ll make another video on several controller mods in the near future.
Is there ways besides feeling the stickbox to differentiate the Whites of the Japanese versus the non-Japanese?

Also are Purples say any different from Blacks or Oranges or is that all a myth? Black controllers feel bigger
 
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Kadano

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Is there ways besides feeling the stickbox to differentiate the Whites of the Japanese versus the non-Japanese?
Yes, opening the controller and looking at the stickbox.

Also are Purples say any different from Blacks or Oranges or is that all a myth? Black controllers feel bigger
I’m pretty sure it’s a myth. Front and back plates of different controller colors can be combined just fine, so there can’t be a noticeable size difference.
 
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My first impression of newer controllers were that they always felt lighter. I never actually weighed any of them so I won't say for sure, but I remember that was my impression, especially with the newer white controllers, they felt 'more plastic-y.' Kadano I was wondering if you know anything about that... it interested me a little.
 

Sir Bubbles

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Whenever I play Melee I feel that 50-70% of my button inputs don't work. It's becoming the biggest reason why I'm losing to my friend all the time. For example, when my friend is on a platform above me I shuffl uair. But what usually happens is that I usmash or uair and don't fastfall. When I need to retaliate to an incoming attack I crouch-cancel and try to dsmash, but I do nothing and get punished severely because of it.

My controller is really old (had it since 2004) and it's been through a lot these years. Me and my pal play on a CRT monitor which should be lag free. Is it my old controller that's causing all this or is the game naturally this unresponsive?
 
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Kadano

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For example, when my friend is on a platform above me I shuffl uair. But what usually happens is that I usmash or uair and don't fastfall. When I need to retaliate to an incoming attack I crouch-cancel and try to dsmash, but I do nothing and get punished severely because of it.
Sounds like your control stick is broken and doesn‘t accept downward inputs well, if at all. Move it around in the character select screen and check for whether moving the cursor down is slower than the other directions. If yes, you’ll want to replace your controller. (Or repair the stick box, but if you didn’t think of that by your own and by reading the op of this thread, I don’t think you should try to do this.)

My controller is really old (had it since 2004) and it's been through a lot these years. Me and my pal play on a CRT monitor which should be lag free. Is it my old controller that's causing all this or is the game naturally this unresponsive?
Melee is an extremely responsive game. I’m pretty sure that no other similar game requires this extreme analog precision. See things like 1 frame shield drop, smash turns, Fly Amanita’s new IC desync strat, pivot tilts, pivot edgehog, moonwalk … there’s no end to it, really.
 

Oskurito

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LOL I didn't read the last part of pulling out the control stick box, used the same kind of gripper as the black one (mine is red but it pretty much is the same) and things went pretty bad. Since I was grabbing the mainboard with one hand and I was pulling the cs box with the gripper using my other hand, I pulled it so hard that I ended up broking the mainboard, didn't move the little box a single milimeter and to top it all, I pulled skin off my middle finger, ouch!

This was a very old controller so no problems I guess, will try to pull it with the thicker gripper now. * Goes to try*

Nope, didn't work either. I'm afraid I might break some more stuff again so I wont try to pull it harder.

I'm going to try it with the screw driver now, but first I have to look for smaller one, not sure if I have one small enough.
 

SpiderMad

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http://smashboards.com/threads/me-need-a-cheap-decent-quality-capture-card.337777/#post-15649274

Sometimes doesn't show up right in OBS/Virtual dub and have to re-plug in a few times or more, using it on other people's laptops can be bad luck on getting the drivers to work fine for it. Audio needs to be lowered and AGC thing turned off, or it will be inaudibly loud. It uses a 3.5mm for the audio, which requires an open audio in port (which my laptop needed that audio usb device, but now I need to sometime buy a 2nd to be able to use a 3.5mm microphone). Quality obviously doesn't match $100+ Equipment, though it's obviously still nice using S-video.

I already find it annoying to get the laptop next to everything and all that too. If portable laptop-less capture cards, that could do S-video, were much cheaper the world would be a better place.
 
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Zankoku

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From personal experience on using on no fewer than four different laptops running varying operating systems ranging from Windows XP to Windows 7, I don't think I've ever had issue having to re-plug in the KWORLD capture card or anything like that.
 

Zankoku

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I used VirtualDub until eventually switching to OBS for recording purposes sometime last year.
 

Windjammer

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Has anyone taken apart a newer Wii U Nunchuk? I was curious if Nintendo had transitioned over to the design 3 stick boxes instead of the design 2s. I'm guessing Nintendo just used all the same parts internally, but it would have been nice had they updated the boxes.
 

SpiderMad

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Can you modify using a transistor or something the analog to trigger the digital button on one of the shoulders?
 

Windjammer

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Answered my own question above. Decided to buy one of the newer Wii U Nunchuks to see if the joystick box had changed. Sadly, it's still the old type 2 design. Really too bad there is not a known vendor selling those type 3 joystick boxes. I wonder what stickboxes are being used for the new Hori Gamecube and PDP Gamecube controllers that are just now rolling out?
 

Mechageo

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Answered my own question above. Decided to buy one of the newer Wii U Nunchuks to see if the joystick box had changed. Sadly, it's still the old type 2 design. Really too bad there is not a known vendor selling those type 3 joystick boxes. I wonder what stickboxes are being used for the new Hori Gamecube and PDP Gamecube controllers that are just now rolling out?
They're all-metal stick boxes with smaller connection points and matching plastic covers:



They seem compatible if the whole analog stick is replaced.



Does anyone know anything about these all-metal stickboxes? Are they any good in the long run?

I can say, in the short run, I'm really enjoying the Hori controller.

I can't say anything about the PDP controllers though.
 

SpiderMad

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My controller I use for Melee is very old, and got loose both in the stick and the triggers over the years from friends I had over using it. Its hard press in the L (which I use) has become weak enough to the point where the past years it's not able to be felt or heard anymore. So it's nice to use, and the springs themselves are also probably on the weaker side as well.

The thing is though, I actually believe it triggers the hard press at different locations depending on the velocity you hit it. If you say go in the air and slowly depress it, it will reach the hard press point about where normal controllers do. If you instead hit it rapid, I think it reaches it a bit sooner. I don't know how the hard press works; I recall it being a digital button at the end that is hit by something? I've used this controller for a long time and never theorized this, but I sometimes seem to I believe trigger it too soon and miss WDs, and while it could be a placebo of me just reaching that far point when I do it fast I wanted to see if anyone would have insight.

I also wondered if there's a way out there to test my muscle memory if I full press on accident my L-cancels. So far I only think the 20XX pack with a feature to show your character change color whenever you activate tech would be the only way. Otherwise doing no actual aerial and trying to mentally do it doesn't feel accurate.
 
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