Forum Home Forum Home > General Arcade Chat > M.A.M.E
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - ZVG - Zektor Vector Generator
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

ZVG - Zektor Vector Generator

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  12>
Author
Message
2huwman View Drop Down
Kill Screen
Kill Screen
Avatar

Joined: 28 March 2013
Location: Isle of Wight
Status: Offline
Points: 2275
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 2huwman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: ZVG - Zektor Vector Generator
    Posted: 26 January 2018 at 8:32pm
I've been looking for a ZVG for a couple of years as I wanted to use it with my Vectrex (which was expertly fixed by Monstermug!). One came up on eBay last week for a reasonable price from a UK seller, so I went for it. 

I knew that they were a bit of a hassle to set up, and were originally intended to be used with DOS 6.22. A quick search revealed that there was also a preliminary Windows build, as well as a Linux build, but it wasn't clear if these were still being worked on or if they were ever able to play the games at full speed. 

Anyway, I started with the DOS version as the instructions were clearest for that. The ZVG is connected by a parallel port, but i had a spare mobo with a parallel port and a core 2 duo CPU, which I thought would be plenty powerful enough.  

This is the hardware I'm using:
  • ASUS IMISR-VM motherboard with a 2GHz Core 2 Duo and 2GB RAM
  • Soundblaster Live PCI card 
  • 2GB USB memory stick
  • ZVG
So I had a go at the DOS route first. I didn't have the 6.22 floppy disks, let alone a floppy disk drive or IDE HDD, so I set up a bootable USB flash drive with DOS 7.1. I'd seen a video on youtube of someone using a higher version of DOS than 6.22 so I hoped it would be OK.

I followed the instructions of where to place the various jumpers on the ZVG, assigning the ZVGPORT according to the parallel port settings in the BIOS. I also installed the various files for the sound blaster live PCI card which is supposed to work with dosmame, making sure to avoid IRQ conflicts. I can hear the static hiss once the soundcard driver has loaded so I think it's OK. 

Anyway, the ZVG pumps out vectors as it's supposed to. I used the ZVGTWEAK program to get the picture as straight as I could. And here's how Star Wars looks:



It runs at full speed as far as I can tell. The screen is stretched into a sort of letterbox widescreen mode, but I'm hoping I can adjust that with the jumpers and ZVGTWEAK. Great progress, I thought. 

But the main issue is that it will only load when I choose the 'no sound' option. If I choose sound blaster, it gives me this error screen:


Anyone have any idea what this means?

This is what I get on the startup screen - any obvious issues?:



It then proceeds to load the sound blaster drivers fine, and the static noise starts up, so I think it's loading OK. 

Can anyone see anything obvious wrong? Could it be that the newer version of DOS is causing problems?

I've had a quick go with the Windows version as well, but can't get ZVGTWEAK to recognise the port I've assigned to the ZVG. Same settings as in DOS, but for some reason it doesn't work in Windows!

EDIT: Got it working on Windows XP with sound... but it runs a lot slower Cry

This is what you need to do to get it to recognise the ZVGPORT (see this thread https://forums.arcade-museum.com/showthread.php?t=135842&page=5):

+ on the desktop right click on the My Computer icon
+ select Properties
+ select the Advanced tab
+ click the button on the bottom labeled Environmental Variables
+ click the New button under System variables for a system variable. (this will always be set regardless of the user)
+ enter ZVGPORT in the Variable Name box and P378 D3 17 M4 (or whatever your values are) into the Variable Value box, click OK

EDIT: See further down for working DOS setup!


Edited by 2huwman - 12 March 2018 at 8:56am
Message me if you need a JAMMA Cab-ready 15Khz MAME PC!
Back to Top
Monstermug View Drop Down
Moderator
Moderator
Avatar

Joined: 03 March 2011
Location: London
Status: Offline
Points: 4935
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Monstermug Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 January 2018 at 10:25am
I think Equites had a problem getting sound to work as well.  Think he tried several different sound cards and motherboards until he managed to get his to work.  What sound card are you using?  
Back to Top
2huwman View Drop Down
Kill Screen
Kill Screen
Avatar

Joined: 28 March 2013
Location: Isle of Wight
Status: Offline
Points: 2275
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 2huwman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 January 2018 at 10:56am
I'm using a SB Live! (CT4830) at the moment, which is supposed to work with DOSMAME. There are drivers on the DOSMAME site for the following cards as well:

SB Audio PCI 128
Creative AudioPCI
Sound Blaster 16 PCI
Sound Blaster PCI 128
Sound Blaster AudioPCI
Creative Ensoniq AudioPCI
Creative Vibra 128
Any of the following chipsets: 1371, 1373, 5880

I've ordered a Creative Vibra 128 and a PCI 128 from eBay as they were only a few quid each, so will give them a try as well. 

It would be great if one of them works with this USB installation of DOS & this mobo. The mobo (ASUS IMISR-VM) is cheap and readily available, and seems able to play the games at full speed with a Core2Duo.

It looks like the Windows beta version can't play the Sega Vector games, so DOS is preferable. 

I also got the front end working in DOS mode as well - really nicely done. 











There are jumpers on the ZVG for doubling screen width and height, so i've sorted out the 'widescreen' problem. I can use ZVGTWEAK to increase the size of the screen, but not the position. So if I make it the right size, I lose part of the picture because it's not centred. Not sure what I can do about that - maybe there are pots on the Vectrex monitor I can adjust?

So I'll try the other soundcards with this setup and see what happens. 

I've also ordered a new mobo with a parallel port (didn't think they still made them!) so I can really up the CPU power for the Windows build. It's also got a PCI slot, so could be used for DOS as well as Linux if needed!

This is also making me want to get a colour Vector monitor. Anyone got a spare?!
Message me if you need a JAMMA Cab-ready 15Khz MAME PC!
Back to Top
Chad View Drop Down
Bonus Stage
Bonus Stage
Avatar

Joined: 29 November 2005
Location: Lancashire
Status: Offline
Points: 300
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 January 2018 at 7:00pm
I use CT4810 cards in my ZVG cabs, they definitely work but it looks like yours is being seen by the drivers so should be OK.

You often have to reserve an IRQ for the sound card in the BIOS, usually 9/10/11 or so. Sometimes you need to try different PCI slots as well. Don't use IRQ5, I think this gets used for the soundblaster emulation by the drivers. Think I've seen 7 used as well.

Disable any hardware you're not using to free up resources (network etc)

I spent some time building from the DOS source a year or two ago, managed to build based on 0.104 which looked like the sweet spot - it has fixed Sega sounds and working LED support (LEDs were broken in 0.106 IIRC). I backported a few bootlegs in as well.

EDIT: The ZVG works really well on a Vectrex, I did most of the development of the menu that way before coming writing some render to VGA stuff when I was looking at the Linux port

Good luck,

Chad


Edited by Chad - 28 January 2018 at 7:03pm
Back to Top
Monstermug View Drop Down
Moderator
Moderator
Avatar

Joined: 03 March 2011
Location: London
Status: Offline
Points: 4935
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Monstermug Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 January 2018 at 8:54pm
Do you remember what motherboard you used Chad?    It be nice to have a tried and tested sound card/driver/motherboard setup that works with dos.  Don't really like the idea of windows.
Back to Top
Chad View Drop Down
Bonus Stage
Bonus Stage
Avatar

Joined: 29 November 2005
Location: Lancashire
Status: Offline
Points: 300
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 January 2018 at 9:07pm
No idea without looking I'm afraid, they're quite old though - just P4s or so I think.

I don't think I had any success with the Ensoniq chip sets or SB live cards. The one I use has the old R G and B jacks rather than the more usual pink/lime/cyan. Careful as there are different variations of the same cards.

Some also have on board amps and a black jack for that.
Back to Top
2huwman View Drop Down
Kill Screen
Kill Screen
Avatar

Joined: 28 March 2013
Location: Isle of Wight
Status: Offline
Points: 2275
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 2huwman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 January 2018 at 9:16pm
Originally posted by Chad Chad wrote:

No idea without looking I'm afraid, they're quite old though - just P4s or so I think.

I don't think I had any success with the Ensoniq chip sets or SB live cards. The one I use has the old R G and B jacks rather than the more usual pink/lime/cyan. Careful as there are different variations of the same cards.

Some also have on board amps and a black jack for that.

Thanks for your advice Chad. I've played around some more with the IRQ settings for the SB Live card, and I haven't managed to get it to work. 

I've ordered one of the cards you used and I'm guessing it'll work with that (hopefully!). 

You mentioned the Linux port - how well does that work?


Edited by 2huwman - 28 January 2018 at 9:17pm
Message me if you need a JAMMA Cab-ready 15Khz MAME PC!
Back to Top
Chad View Drop Down
Bonus Stage
Bonus Stage
Avatar

Joined: 29 November 2005
Location: Lancashire
Status: Offline
Points: 300
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 January 2018 at 9:45pm
Just looked on eBay, seems they don't have a black connector, but some have an amp chip and I think there are jumpers to select amplified output.

I use the AR board in my cabs.

I did the menu for Linux but someone else did the mame port and I don't have the source or an up to date binary. It worked ok, but Dos is a lot faster to boot as works as well.

Someone needs to do a port to the raspberry pi and use the gpio pins as a parallel port... :)
Back to Top
2huwman View Drop Down
Kill Screen
Kill Screen
Avatar

Joined: 28 March 2013
Location: Isle of Wight
Status: Offline
Points: 2275
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 2huwman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 January 2018 at 10:33pm
There's apparently a port for the pi that works.

https://trmm.net/Vectrex

and

https://trmm.net/MAME

I even bought the bare PCBs for his vector generator but am not really up to assembling all the components...


Edited by 2huwman - 29 January 2018 at 7:56am
Message me if you need a JAMMA Cab-ready 15Khz MAME PC!
Back to Top
2huwman View Drop Down
Kill Screen
Kill Screen
Avatar

Joined: 28 March 2013
Location: Isle of Wight
Status: Offline
Points: 2275
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 2huwman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 January 2018 at 7:26pm
Well, I've tried a CT4810 sound blaster, and I get the same error as with an SBLive, so maybe the mobo is the problem. Same problem whether it's dos 6.22 running from an IDE HDD, or DOS 7.1 running from a USB stick. ZVG works great with either, but no sound. Cry

Guess I'll try a different mobo next...
Message me if you need a JAMMA Cab-ready 15Khz MAME PC!
Back to Top
Chad View Drop Down
Bonus Stage
Bonus Stage
Avatar

Joined: 29 November 2005
Location: Lancashire
Status: Offline
Points: 300
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 January 2018 at 7:30pm
PM me your email address, I'll dig out the drivers I use for my card. I had something similar with noise with a different driver before I found one which worked.
Back to Top
2huwman View Drop Down
Kill Screen
Kill Screen
Avatar

Joined: 28 March 2013
Location: Isle of Wight
Status: Offline
Points: 2275
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 2huwman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 February 2018 at 11:12am
With Chad's help we've identified a mobo that definitely works (Foxconn N15235). So I've ordered one and will give that a go. 

In the meantime, I've noticed that the sound blasters will play the midi/synth music on doom on my current mobo (ASUS IMISR-VM) , but none will play the digital sound effects. One of them it says that it has loaded in analogue mode, so something's going wrong with the digital effects, which i guess mame uses. 

I think I've tried every possible combination of settings to get the Sound Blasters to work on the ASUS IMISR-VM mobo, but if anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears!


Edited by 2huwman - 02 February 2018 at 11:38am
Message me if you need a JAMMA Cab-ready 15Khz MAME PC!
Back to Top
Monstermug View Drop Down
Moderator
Moderator
Avatar

Joined: 03 March 2011
Location: London
Status: Offline
Points: 4935
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Monstermug Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 February 2018 at 4:53pm
Hope that Foxconn N15235 mother board works!  I will order one if so.  Sorry I'm being a freeloader here.  Just no time to experiment atm.  Embarrassed  I did spend about two weeks buying a load of sound cards and motherboards and then just stashing them in my cupboard after a futile attempt at installing dos mame on it LOL  Perhaps next month if you haven't figured this out I will pull them all out and start tinkering with you.  The pictures you posted looks amazing though!  
Back to Top
Chad View Drop Down
Bonus Stage
Bonus Stage
Avatar

Joined: 29 November 2005
Location: Lancashire
Status: Offline
Points: 300
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 February 2018 at 6:16pm
I think the BIOS settings I had to play with were:

Plug and play OS = no

And

Assign IRQ to PCI = (pick and experiment)

It's been quite a while though... Should be able to hook up a VGA and have a look at the weekend.
Back to Top
tb2000 View Drop Down
Moderator
Moderator
Avatar
Da Mon

Joined: 10 April 2005
Location: West Country
Status: Offline
Points: 9243
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tb2000 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 February 2018 at 11:28pm
I would've thought that if you could find a board with an isa slot and used an isa Soundblaster you wouldn't get any problems at all? Don't know what the fastest cpu you can get on an isa slotted board is though.
Currently looking for: 14" and 19"/20" Hantarex/WG/Electrohome/Kortek etc. monitor frames
Back to Top
shagster View Drop Down
Kill Screen
Kill Screen
Avatar

Joined: 06 September 2007
Location: Eire Tipperary
Status: Offline
Points: 1164
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote shagster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 February 2018 at 8:01am
Did you see the video titled VectorMAME DOS Configuration (ZVG) on youtube, it's not bad.
" Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right "   -   Henry Ford
Back to Top
2huwman View Drop Down
Kill Screen
Kill Screen
Avatar

Joined: 28 March 2013
Location: Isle of Wight
Status: Offline
Points: 2275
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 2huwman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 February 2018 at 9:32am
Originally posted by shagster shagster wrote:

Did you see the video titled VectorMAME DOS Configuration (ZVG) on youtube, it's not bad.

Yes, it's a really good video. The ZVG side of things works well on the hardware I've got. It's just the sound cards that aren't co-operating! I'll try again when I get the mobo that Chad has working in his setup. 

Originally posted by tb2000 tb2000 wrote:

I would've thought that if you could find a board with an isa slot and used an isa Soundblaster you wouldn't get any problems at all? Don't know what the fastest cpu you can get on an isa slotted board is though.

I think there are some with p3 and celeron processors. 1.3ghz at least. might be enough?
Message me if you need a JAMMA Cab-ready 15Khz MAME PC!
Back to Top
2huwman View Drop Down
Kill Screen
Kill Screen
Avatar

Joined: 28 March 2013
Location: Isle of Wight
Status: Offline
Points: 2275
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 2huwman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 February 2018 at 9:57am
After 4 sound blasters and 3 mobos, I've finally got a combination that works! DOS MAME is producing sound!

Sadly, the power transformer on my ZVG seems to have died, so I've ordered a replacement. Hopefully that's all it is...
Message me if you need a JAMMA Cab-ready 15Khz MAME PC!
Back to Top
Monstermug View Drop Down
Moderator
Moderator
Avatar

Joined: 03 March 2011
Location: London
Status: Offline
Points: 4935
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Monstermug Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 February 2018 at 9:37am
Looking forward to the update!   
Back to Top
2huwman View Drop Down
Kill Screen
Kill Screen
Avatar

Joined: 28 March 2013
Location: Isle of Wight
Status: Offline
Points: 2275
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 2huwman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 February 2018 at 9:44am
Originally posted by Monstermug Monstermug wrote:

Looking forward to the update!   

The PSU for the ZVG was producing zero volts, and another is being delivered today, so it should all work. Although I'll believe it when I see it (and hear it!) LOL

The fastest CPU I could find for the mobo was a 3.2ghz pentium D which should be enough...

I'll do a detailed write up of the parts list and setup later.
Message me if you need a JAMMA Cab-ready 15Khz MAME PC!
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  12>
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down