Binary Options Trading Strategy – Best 60-Seconds Strategies

The Shoulders of Orion- Ch. 1: First Contact

Space-time rippled as the Horns of Glory snapped into real space. The normally smooth transition from FTL subspace travel back to the laws of relativity was instead dangerously jarring, as the inertial dampeners struggled to hold the innards of the massive warship in their proper places. After straining mightily for the briefest of moments, they failed, throwing Admiral Halon Va and the rest of his bridge crew violently into their restraining harnesses. The ship shuddered under the immense stress, then settled, drifting silently through space on minimal power.
“Tactical, get me a status report for the fleet on screen now. I want updates the instant ships jump in.” The Admiral’s voice was still firm and authoritative; it was taking every last shred of resolve he had to keep it that way. “Lieutenant Roshin, put a detail together and work with medical. I’m sure that re-entry caused more than a few extra injuries. Get as many of the crew patched up and ready for emergency action as fast as you can. I want a full casualty report as soon as possible. And if you find Science Officer Lentith and he’s still alive, send him to the bridge immediately.”
Admiral Va settled back into his command chair, drawing creaking sounds from the over-stressed frame as it absorbed the weight of his massive form. The bridge was completely silent now, the command crew entirely focused on the tasks at hand. Or they were too afraid to say anything; Va couldn’t be sure. He was thankful for their silence, though. He didn’t have any answers for them about his failure.
Keying in a few commands on the command panel at his station, the damage report for his ship popped up, the bridge lights flickering from the extra power draw. The Horns of Glory floated before him in hologram form. Long and slender, the ship was over two kilometers from bow to stern. At least, it had been a few hours ago. The forward 20 percent of the holographic ship was flashing red, indicating heavy damage. This was inaccurate, however, as the forward 20 percent of the ship simply wasn’t there anymore. The graceful lines and carefully crafted angles of the ship's armor were an unrecognizable slagged mess, and deep gouges had been cut into the inner decks all over the ship. Whole sections were missing amidships, two of the main reactors were offline, all the primary weapon batteries had been completely destroyed, and most of the critical systems were barely functioning. It was a miracle that she had survived the jump. That morning, Horns of Glory had been the greatest feat of Arien’Ra engineering, and it was now a barely functioning hulk.
And it had all happened under my command, thought Va.
He had no time to wallow in his failures, however, as at that moment tactical finally reconnected to the fleet command systems. The hologram of Horns of Glory quickly scaled down, appearing as a small, flashing, red point of light floating in loose formation with several other points of light. Most of them were flashing red as well. A constant stream of data and various reports scrolled down the right side of the hologram, listing in no uncertain terms the doom that Va had subjected his command to.
If Va had thought that the bridge was quiet before, it was nothing compared to the complete stillness that now settled over them. No one so much as moved a muscle, as they all sat in stunned silence, reading the reports. Occasionally, the hologram would flash, and a new point of light would join the formation, adding more data to the pile spelling out their damnation. After 30 ticks, new points of light had stopped appearing. Admiral Halon Va had lost over 60 percent of his fleet, and not a single other dreadnaught had survived the slaughter. His defeat was total, and the Federation navy was crippled.




Science Officer Beredarin Lentith had been the first member of his family not to enroll in command school in eight generations. They had been some of the finest members of the fleet the Vorqual race had ever contributed to the Federation. His brothers and sisters had all enrolled, which meant that as far as he was concerned, his family had more than fulfilled their duty to the Federation. Military life wasn’t for him, anyway; he wanted to explore. The Federation had been around for over 3000 years, and there were still vast swathes of the galaxy that they knew nothing about. They were still encountering new species every few hundred or so years, and there was nothing he wouldn’t give to find the next one. That had been the dream that directed him away from the military and into academia. The odds of actually finding a new race were so small, though. There were still at least 200,000,000 unexplored systems in the galaxy. There just wasn’t time to visit them all...
He snapped out of his reverie as he stepped over the body, or rather, what was left of the body, of a Zelnassi marine. Most of it was just a green stain on the corridor wall at this point, though there had been enough of the chitinous armored torso to partially obstruct his path. The young lieutenant quickly continued on towards the bridge.
If he was being honest with himself, becoming an expert on the area of unexplored space directly between the Federation and it’s largest military rival wasn’t the smartest of ideas. Between his family reputation and his unique knowledge base, he was just asking to get pressed into service.
Which was exactly what had happened immediately upon the recent outbreak of hostilities.
And now here he was stepping over corpses, marveling at the fact that he had somehow survived this long. He still couldn’t believe the insanity of the Dominion forces. Boarding an enemy ship MID-COMBAT. It was like something out of a youngling’s tale from before space travel. It was pure madness, but there were the bodies to prove that it had happened. He gingerly stepped around the remains of yet another Zelnassi.
The signs of battle continued all the way to the bridge, where he found security forces still holding quickly fortified positions around the bridge entrance. There were more Zelnassi bodies at their feet. Berendarin shuddered. He had been closer to death than he thought.
He quickly pushed those thoughts out of his mind. He could only imagine why he was needed on the bridge so urgently.
The door slid open, and Lentith walked into a completely silent room. Admiral Va was slouched at his command station, his enormous arm propped up on the chair arm and supporting his massive, horned head. Lentith didn’t even know that Arien’Ra COULD slouch. Nevermind that the fastidious Admiral could or would ever do such a thing. Maybe things were somehow worse than he thought. No one seemed to notice him enter, so he announced himself to the Admiral.
Though he didn’t shout, his voice echoed in the deathly silent room, startling most of the bridge command. Two of the other Vorqual officers swore, and the tiny Jezren manning the com station let out a high pitched sound somewhere between a squeak and chirp. Berendarin would have found it quite funny if the situation wasn’t so dire.
Admiral Va immediately snapped back to being the hulk of muscle and horn that imposed his will on a room just by being in it. His booming voice only added to his authority.
“Science Officer Lentith. I’m glad to see you’re still alive. Are you seriously injured?”
Berendarin had almost forgotten that he had walked the entire way to the bridge holding a bandage to his head just above his left eye. The drop out of subspace hadn’t been kind to him. He pulled the bandage away, revealing a dark orange stain on the bandage and a crack in the bone plate above his eye.
“I’m fine, sir, just one of the outer plates, and the bleeding has already stopped.”
“Good. Commander Vortith is currently overseeing the emergency repairs. Take his seat. You are going to help me find a way back home.”
“Sir? I’m sorry I don’t understand. Why don’t we just go back the way we came?”
“That’s not possible. Most of our supply ships and tenders were destroyed when that third wave of Dominion ships hit our flank. Almost all of our pre-prepared fuel reserves are gone. On top of that, some of our ships are so damaged that they don’t have another long jump in them. And if we run into any enemy ships, the whole rest of the fleet is done for. We barely qualify as a fighting force in the state we’re in.”
“Is it really that bad?”
“It’s worse, but we don’t have time to get into the details. You’re the expert on this section of the galaxy. I need you to find the fleet a hiding hole. Somewhere away from the known jump routes through the Spur. Any system where we can use the few miners we have left to scavenge up some fuel, and get some critical repairs done while we’re at it. And from there either wait for reinforcements or get ourselves patched up enough to limp home. Wherever it is, it needs to be close. I’m not leaving any ships behind because they can’t make the jump.”
“Oh. Just that?” The lieutenant knew that Arien’Ra were strict herbivores, but with the look that the Admiral shot him, he couldn’t help but think about the fact that his head would easily fit into that giant, molar filled mouth.
“And away from any known pirate hideaways. Like I said, our fleet can’t take any more fighting. And find it quickly. It won’t be long before the Dominion fleet locates us.”
“I. Uh. Sure. I’ll see what I can find.”
Berendarin shrank into the commander’s chair next to the enormous Arien’Ra, desperately wishing he had been more professional. If he had acted like a proper soldier, it might soften the blow of telling the Admiral that what he wanted was next to impossible. If he had a few weeks, he might be able to find something. So much of the Spur was still un-surveyed. The odds of there being anything useful to the Admiral in the databases was absurdly low, and there was even less of a chance he’d be able to find it in time for the information to matter. He began pouring through his notes anyway. It was better than waiting around to die, which, if the situation was as dire as the Admiral made it sound, was the only other option.
He spent the next hour lost in his notes, finding nothing, while the bridge crew went about piecing the ship and the fleet back together. The young scientist had all but given up on the Admiral’s impossible request when a raucous cheer went up from everyone on the command deck.
“Sir,” The coms officer called out, “The Consul’s Pride just dropped out of subspace and is hailing us, sir.
The main communication screen lit up, and Berendarin Lentith looked to see the face of his oldest sister on screen, strapped into the captain’s chair of her dreadnaught. He let out a sigh of relief; Baraquen was his favorite sibling. Her uniform was drenched in a deep orange blood stain at the shoulder, and she was covered in what looked like flecks of green gore from a Xelnassi. The artificial gravity was clearly malfunctioning, as the captain’s restraining harness was the only thing keeping her from floating around her bridge. But the bone plates of her jaw were turned as always into her calm, self assured smile
“My apologies for the delay in joining you, Admiral Va. We had some… guests shut down our drive mid jump. We had to deal with them before we rejoined the fleet. I assume there is a plan to get us back to federation space?”
“It’s good to see you in one piece, Captain Lentith,” the Admiral responded. He was barely able to keep the relief from his voice. “And there is indeed a plan.”
Berendarin returned to his research as the two ranking officers in the fleet went over the details of their current predicament. He was glad his sister had survived, and not just because they were close. It would have been a terrible blow to the whole family to have lost not only their future matriarch, but the ship she commanded as well. A member of his family had been commanding that dreadnaught uninterrupted for the last 5 generations. Military service had never appealed to Berendarin, but his family history was certainly still important.
And then the solution to the current problem hit him like a driver round. He let out a gasp and tore into his notes with a fervor. Both Admiral Va and his sister’s projection turned to look at him, but he didn’t notice. After a few seconds of curious silence from the rest of the onlookers, Berendarin practically jumped out of his seat.
“Admiral, I think I’ve got something that will work.” The young Lieutenant punched a few commands into his datapad, and a set of stellar coordinates popped up on the navigation terminal. “It’s a main sequence star, about 500 light years from us, fairly close to the edge of the Spur. It’s not anywhere near any established jump routes. The Consul’s Pride made me think of it.” He nodded towards his sister’s face on the ship's screen. “Our great, great grandsire took the Consul’s Pride through the system on her shakedown run a little over 300 cycles ago. Chased a band of Qorthi slavers out of the system. The outer four planets are all gas giants. If we can’t find Helium 3 there, I don’t know where else we should look.”
On screen, Captain Lentith looked impressed, but Admiral Va clearly didn’t seem too sure. “We’re supposed to be going away from Dominion forces, not into them. What were the Qorthi doing there?”
“There are also four rocky inner worlds in the system, Sir, according to reports from the encounter. Apparently, the third planet is a Class 7 Deathworld, and the Qorthi were running some experiments on the primitive lifeforms there. They were caught completely by surprise by the Consul’s Pride, and it was the first time that she fired her weapons in anger. I can’t find any reports of Dominion ships in that section of the Spur since.” There was a long pause before Va responded.
“Good work, Lieutenant. I knew my trust in you wasn’t misplaced.” Admiral Va replied, before turning to the rest of the bridge and booming “Coms! Tactical! Get those coordinates to every ship in the fleet. I want every ship we have left formed up and ready to jump as soon as possible. Any captain who feels that his drives can’t make the jump is to focus all repair efforts on getting their drives functioning immediately. I will transfer repair crews from less damaged ships to more damaged ships if that means we jump even a tick earlier. Get to it everyone. I’m not losing any more of my fleet today.”




The four revolution long jump to Science Officer Lentith’s newfound sanctuary had done wonders for Halon Va’s mental state. The initial shock of his fleet's terrible defeat had worn off, and he had been able to focus on what came next. Repair crews were able to stabilize most of his ship's core systems, and he was no longer worried about the life support systems cutting out and killing the rest of his crew. There had also been time for him to visit with the wounded. To thank them for their sacrifices. He had expected it to be an act of contrition, maybe even a chance to start begging for forgiveness. But there had been no anger in his crew, and no blame hung on his horns. Most had just been relieved that he had survived, and had expressed as much. He would be forever grateful to them for that.
Most importantly, the four revolutions in hyperspace had given the admiral time to really think about what had gone wrong in the nebula. He had barely rested in the preceding four revolutions, spending every scrap of spare time in his office, pouring over records from the battle. That’s where he found himself now, tucked behind his massive ceramic and titanium alloy desk of Tellarim design. It had been custom made for him upon his promotion to this command, a gift from the high admirals and the council. It was the only luxury that Va allowed in his office. The rest of Va’s space he kept strictly utilitarian. There were no trophies adorning his walls, as was customary for other members of his species. The plain bulkheads of his office were instead lined entirely with screens, and each of them were now filled with footage and reports from the battle, running on loop.
Va soaked it all in. The more he watched, the more a singular conclusion crystallized in his mind. He had done everything right; he was sure of that now. 1000 years of doctrine and theory for fighting the Dominion had gone into his preparation for that battle, and he had followed it to the letter. And he had been winning. Then that attack on his flank by the Zelnassi had blown all of that out of the airlock. Something significant had changed in the way the Dominion fought...
Commander Vortith’s voice rang out over the com system. ”Admiral Va, we’ll be transitioning back to real space in moments.”
“Thank you. I’ll be there shortly. And get Science Officer Lentith to the bridge. I want him nearby just in case. He’s the only one who has any idea of where we are.” The Admiral pulled himself from his desk. He would have to leave the rest of his analysis for later. There was just enough time for him to reach the bridge and settle into his command chair before the Horns of Glory snapped back to real space. This time, the inertial dampeners held.
“Tactical, status report.”
“All ships accounted for, Admiral. Though the Consul’s Pride, several cruisers, and three of our escorts are all reporting massive failures in their Drive Cores. They won’t be jumping anywhere anytime soon.”
“Wonderful.” Va wasn’t sure if he meant that sarcastically or not. “Get scans up and running and deploy the pickets that aren’t crippled in a standard scouting formation. How close are we to the nearest gas giant?”
“We’re approximately half a light tick from the system’s innermost gas giant, sir.”
“Excellent. Deploy the rest of the fleet. Put us in a high orbit around the planet in a defensive formation, and get our miners working immediately. Once our orbit is stable, I want every hand, paw and hoof in the fleet working on repairs.”
“Yes sir.”
Admiral Va settled into his command chair for a long shift.
It would be a drawn out, boring process to refuel the ships. With his fleet limping along, and only two functioning miners, it would take far longer than it should. After all the chaos of the last few revolutions, boring would be a welcome change of pace. Va started to relax, sinking into his chair’s acceleration padding. His fleet and his crews were finally safe. The first priority would be to get one of the subspace beacons repaired and to get word back to the Federation that the fleet still existed. And hopefully call for aid. He was sure to be stripped of his rank as soon as contact was made, but hopefully he would avoid a Tribunal. That was an unpleasant prospect…
“Sir, we have unidentified ship signatures appearing from around the planet we’re approaching.”
Va had never heard panic in the voice of his young sensors officer before, but it was certainly there now. Va understood the sentiment, though. He found it difficult to keep the panic from his own voice as he started issuing orders
“Bring the fleet up to combat status immediately. How many ships are there?”
“I’m showing 35 individual signatures. All approaching us at combat speed and still accelerating. At current speeds, they will intercept us in just over 30 ticks, sir.”
“I want details as soon as you have them, Lieutenant. Size, make, estimated firepower. Who they are. And keep scanning the system. Find out where they came from.” The panic had partially subsided for Va. 35 unknowns was not too terrible a threat. He still had almost 240 warships under his command. Still, if there was a way to avoid combat, he had to try. His fleet couldn’t suffer any more losses. “Coms, any attempt by these unknown ships to contact us?”
“I”m not sure, sir,” the diminutive Jezren at the coms replied. “There’s nothing on standard communications channels. The ships are transmitting something, but I can’t figure out what it is.”
“Admiral,” the Lieutenant at the sensors station called out. “I think I might have an idea of where these ships came from. Preliminary scans show there is extensive urbanization on the third and fourth planets, as well as what appear to be habitation sized artificial satellites around the second and sixth planets. One of the moons of the gas giant we’re approaching shows signs of habitation as well. All of them are emitting significant signal pollution. This system clearly already belongs to someone, and they’re broadcasting everywhere.”
Halon Va, High Admiral of the Combined Federation Fleets, turned, slowly and with as much composure as he could muster, to face the young science officer seated to his left. Berendarin sat, mouth agape, staring transfixed at the sensor readouts in front of him. Va had never seen a Vorqual more confused in his life. “I want answers, Officer Lentith.”
“I… I don’t.. This doesn’t make any sense,” the young science officer stammered. “There shouldn’t be anything here.”
“Admiral,” The comms officer cut in, “The signal that we’re picking up from the unknown ships is definitely some kind of communication. I managed to put together audio from it.”
“Play it,” commanded Va. A series of short, guttural, and completely unintelligible sounds came over the speakers in reply. There was a short pause before the sounds repeated themselves again. “Coms, what was that?”
“No idea, sir, but it’s being transmitted on loop. If it is intended as a communication, our translators have no idea what to do with it.”
“Admiral.” The voice came from Va’s left, and was barely audible. Va turned yet again to look at the young science officer. His gaze was locked on the tactical readout, and there something in his eyes that Va couldn’t recognize. A mixture of pure terror and something else. Was it wonder? The young Vorqual’s voice was still barely above a whisper when he continued to address the admiral: “I think we should run the transmission through First Contact Protocols.”




Captain Benjamin Alvarez-León slammed against his restraining harness as the USCS Aurora started it’s decel burn. He had pushed the engines on the outdated cruiser to their limits, and the ship groaned in protest as it started counteracting his rather zealous acceleration orders. He hoped that his mad scramble with his small squadron of outdated ships had been an overreaction. The alternative was something he’d rather not think about.
All Ben had was the reserves; the rest of the fleet was on maneuvers at Sirius. The Admiralty had wanted to test the new, fully modernized fleet’s maneuvering abilities in the gravwell of a binary system. And, in their infinite wisdom, they decided they needed ALL of the new fleet assets, leaving nothing in Sol except for the handful of cruisers and escorts that couldn’t match the capabilities of the modern ships.
A handful of cruisers and escorts that were now hurtling towards more than 200 unknown contacts.
It was the unknown part of all of this that was unnerving Ben. There were no familiar energy signatures. No familiar scan data. No IFF. No signals coming off the contacts of any kind for that matter. Two of the contacts were too big to even be ships. If it wasn’t for the fact that they were moving towards Jupiter in formation, Ben wouldn’t even think they WERE ships.
“So what do you think, Alexi?” Ben asked, turning towards his second in command. “You and the rest of the bridge crew are always making inane bets. Have you whipped up an over-under for what we’re throwing ourselves at yet?”
“Haven’t had time,” came the quick reply from Ben’s right. The short, stocky man from Vladivostok was missing his trademark joviality. “Though, my money is on them being Ithacan, sir.”
Ben bristled at Alexi calling him sir. They’d been friends for twenty years, damnit, and had been practically joined at the hip since going through the Academy together. Outranking him still felt a little off. Now was hardly the time to worry about formalities, though.
“What makes you think they're from Ithaca?”
“It’s the only thing that makes sense. The locals have been getting increasingly radical, and Ithaca is the only sector where reports of piracy have been increasing.”
“Yeah, I could see a rebellion coming from Ithaca,” Ben added slowly, turning over that scenario in his head. “But there’s no way they could swing something of this magnitude. There aren’t even any shipyards in the sector. And even if there were, there’s no way they could keep the construction of over two hundred ships a secret.”
Alexi could only offer him a shrug in response.
It was at that moment that the coms station informed him there was a transmission incoming from the unidentified ships. Ben instructed the ensign to play it, and the bridge was suddenly filled with a stream of grotesque bleating noises and strange grunts, with the occasional recognizable syllable interspersed throughout the transmission. Ben thought he picked out ‘dentify’ from the mess, but he wasn’t sure. There was a long moment of silence on the bridge.
“What the hell was that?”
When no one had any answers for him, Ben tapped his command console and recorded a new message to broadcast.
“This is Captain Alvarez of the USCS Aurora. Unidentified ships, please clarify. Your transmission is badly garbled. We did not receive your identification. You are still trespassing in Commonwealth space and are on an unauthorized course towards Jupiter. Begin decelerating immediately and re-identify yourselves.”
He wouldn’t admit it to the crew, but Ben was profoundly unsettled. Something was deeply, deeply wrong about this whole situation. Not only was he vastly outnumbered by these things, but they were unwilling to communicate properly. He was almost believing this whole thing was some kind of bizarre prank.
“How much longer before we can get a decent visual on these things?
“Any moment now, sir.”
A new transmission arrived just then, and Ben had it played back immediately. This time, instead of almost bovine bleats and grunts, the sounds coming over the speakers were mostly intelligible. Or, they would have been, if any of the syllables were in the right order. It was almost like a toddler was rattling off all of his new favorite sounds, spitting them out in a random order and not knowing how they went together. There were still a few heavy grunts sprinkled in, just for good measure.
Before Ben could process this new joke of a transmission, the contacts finally started slowing. In a matter of moments, the strange wall of contacts was hanging lazily in Jupiter’s orbit, barely moving fast enough to keep their orbit from decaying. They were still in perfect formation.
“Huh. Well, I guess that’s something.”
With nothing to do but sit back and wait as his ship closed the distance, Ben tried to relax and began running over all of the possibilities in his mind of what the new contacts could be. He came up with nothing. Well, nothing feasible, anyway. He took a series of long, calming breaths, trying to clear his mind and focus. This was no time for his imagination to be running wild. But he couldn’t shake the feeling that logic was failing him. Something was off. Something…
“Captain, bringing visual of the unknown contacts up on screen now.”
Ben actually felt his jaw drop. Every contact on his display was clearly a ship. Most were long and spindly, wrapped in layers of some kind of highly reflective armor; a fleet of crystalline arrows hanging in the darkness. The two largest contacts, which Ben had just moments ago thought were too big to be ships, were large enough on the screen for him to clearly see details. In addition to their immense size and strange armor, both ships were dotted with what were clearly weapons platforms, though what kind, Ben couldn’t tell.
Noticeably, almost all of the ships on his screen were heavily damaged. Chunks were missing from some ships, and most had deep lines gouged into their hulls. Any form of decorative paint or markings had been burned away. Something had put these ships through absolute hell. But still, the damage could not take away entirely from the elegance of the ship’s designs. They were graceful and sleek, completely different from anything Ben had ever seen before.
It was all so different. So strange. So very, very… Alien.
Despite every effort he had made to avoid the word, it finally forced itself to form inside Ben’s mind, and forced him to acknowledge the reality that legitimate, extra-Solar life was hanging in the darkness in front of him. It forced him to acknowledge the screams he had been suppressing in the back of his mind. The screams of his imagination crying out in glorious triumph over reality. And with those screams came a deluge of accompanying thoughts and emotions.
He was a child again, staring up at the stars above Armstrong and wondering what else, and who else, was out there. He was a teen again, signing his name to the Academy enrollment paperwork, determined to get out there between the stars and see the galaxy himself. He was a young officer again, screaming and pleading with the Admiralty to at least consider a modern First Contact scenario. He was sitting in his command chair now, hurtling towards honest-to-god aliens, all of his dreams made manifest in an instant. He was overwhelmed. He was terrified.
And he had never imagined that he could feel such elation.
It was the young warrant officer at the coms that snapped Ben out of his reverie. “Sir, the contacts are hailing us on all standard channels, requesting a video feed.” She sounded very, very nervous.
Ben immediately stood up, straightening his uniform as best he could. “If they’re anything less than genocidal monsters, I’m going to offer them aid and repairs. As long as they’re peaceful, there’s no reason not to extend them the full hospitality of humanity.”
“Ben,” Alexi asked, clearly choosing his words carefully, “Are you sure that’s the… Wisest course of action? How will the Admiralty respond to Goddamned alien ships docking at Hephaestus?”
“Alexi, in the 250 years the Commonwealth has existed, the First Contact protocols haven’t been updated since the charter was signed. No one has cared. This has been nothing but a fantasy for most people. I am NOT letting this opportunity get away. Every child that has ever looked up at the stars and wondered finally got an answer, and I will not waste this moment. We’re making friends, the Admiralty and the government be damned.”
“You do realize you’re potentially deciding the fate of our entire species on a whim, right?”
“Is there someone else you’d prefer to have making this call?”
Alexi, apparently deciding that there was not, stood up and straightened his uniform, standing next to his friend as he ordered the connection of the video feed. The channel connected, and the human bridge crew found themselves looking at the bridge of a ship crewed by not one, but three alien races.
The largest alien in the center of the screen opened its mouth to speak. This time, instead of bleats and grunts, a choppy, mechanical voice that didn’t sync up to the alien at all proclaimed from the bridge speakers in broken, stuttering English: “I. Am Admiral. Halon. Va. Of the Federation of. Sentient Races. Greetings and. Welcome. To the. Galaxy.”
Ben couldn’t suppress his smile.
“On behalf of the United Solar Commonwealth, and all of Humanity, greetings, and welcome to Sol. Your ships look like they’ve had a bad time on your way here. If there’s any way we could aid with your repairs, we’d be happy to help.”




Slave 782 slammed his right appendage onto the control console hard enough to rupture his outer membrane and smear ichor over the panel. It had been four days since the battle in the nebula, and with the latest round of reports, he finally had to admit that the rest of the Federation fleet had escaped him.
It was a minor frustration, all things considered, but the escape prevented this from being a total victory. Still, he had proven his worth to his owners in this battle, and his experiments with the Zelnassi had paid dividends beyond his wildest imagination. He had earned a command today, and with every success in that command, his ability to bargain for his people's freedom only increased. For what he would be asking, it might take the total defeat of the Federation to earn that kind of leverage. Also frustrating, but not a task that he couldn’t handle. It would be a long war, he was sure, but like his owners, he was patient.
He would earn his freedom, even if it meant reducing the entire Federation to glass.


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Video Encoding in Simple Terms

Video Encoding in Simple Terms
Nowadays, it is difficult to imagine a field of human activity, in which, in one way or another, digital video has not entered. We watch it on TV, mobile devices, and stationary computers; we record it with digital cameras ourselves, or we encounter it on the roads (unpleasant, but true), in stores, hospitals, schools and universities, and in industrial enterprises of various profiles. As a consequence, words and terms that are directly related to the digital representation of video information are becoming more firmly and widely embedded in our lives. From time to time, questions arise in this area. What are the differences between various devices or programs that we use to encode/ decode digital video data, and what do they do? Which of these devices/ programs are better or worse, and in which aspects? What do all these endless MPEG-2, H.264 / AVC, VP9, H.265 / HEVC, etc. mean? Let’s try to understand.

A very brief historical reference

The first generally accepted video compression standard MPEG-2 was finally adopted in 1996, after which a rapid development of digital satellite television began. The next standard was MPEG-4 part 10 (H.264 / AVC), which provides twice the degree of video data compression. It was adopted in 2003, which led to the development of DVB-T/ C systems, Internet TV and the emergence of a variety of video sharing and video communication services. From 2010 to 2013, the Joint Collaborative Team on Video Coding (JCT-VC) was intensively working to create the next video compression standard, which was called High Efficient Video Coding (HEVC) by the developers; it ensured the following twofold increase in the compression ratio of digital video data. This standard was approved in 2013. That same year, the VP9 standard, developed by Google, was adopted, which was supposed to not yield to HEVC in its degree of video data compression.

Basic stages of video encoding

There are a few simple ideas at the core of algorithms for video data compression. If we take some part of an image (in the MPEG-2 and AVC standards this part is called a macroblock), then there is a big possibility that, near this segment in this frame or in neighboring frames, there will be a segment containing a similar image, which differs little in pixel intensity values. Thus, to transmit information about the image in the current segment, it is enough to only transfer its difference from the previously encoded similar segment. The process of finding similar segments among previously encoded images is called Prediction. A set of difference values that determine the difference between the current segment and the found prediction is called the Residual. Here we can distinguish two main types of prediction. In the first one, the Prediction values represent a set of linear combinations of pixels adjacent to the current image segment on the left and on the top. This type of prediction is called Intra Prediction. In the second one, linear combinations of pixels of similar image segments from previously encoded frames are used as prediction (these frames are called Reference). This type of prediction is called Inter Prediction. To restore the image of the current segment, encoded with Inter prediction, when decoding, it is necessary to have information about not only the Residual, but also the frame number, where a similar segment is located, and the coordinates of this segment.
Residual values obtained during prediction obviously contain, on average, less information than the original image and, therefore, require a fewer quantity of bits for image transmission. To further increase the degree of compression of video data in video coding systems, some spectral transformation is used. Typically, this is Fourier cosine transform. Such transformation allows us to select the fundamental harmonics in two-dimensional Residual signal. Such a selection is made at the next stage of coding — quantization. The sequence of quantized spectral coefficients contains a small number of main, large values. The remaining values are very likely to be zero. As a result, the amount of information contained in quantized spectral coefficients is significantly (dozens of times) lower than in the original image.
In the next stage of coding, the obtained set of quantized spectral coefficients, accompanied by the information necessary for performing prediction when decoding, is subjected to entropy coding. The bottom line here is to align the most common values of the encoded stream with the shortest codeword (containing the smallest number of bits). The best compression ratio (close to theoretically achievable) at this stage is provided by arithmetic coding algorithms, which are mainly used in modern video compression systems.
From the above, the main factors affecting the effectiveness of a particular video compression system become apparent. First of all, these are, of course, the factors that determine the effectiveness of the Intra and Inter Predictions. The second set of factors is related to the orthogonal transformation and quantization, which selects the fundamental harmonics in the Residual signal. The third one is determined by the volume and compactness of the representation of additional information accompanying Residual and necessary for making predictions, that is, calculating Prediction, in the decoder. Finally, the fourth set has the factors that determine the effectiveness of the final stage- entropy coding.
Let’s illustrate some possible options (far from all) of the implementation of the coding stages listed above, on the example of H.264 / AVC and HEVC.

AVC Standard

In the AVC standard, the basic structural unit of the image is a macroblock — a square area of 16x16 pixels (Figure 1). When searching for the best possible prediction, the encoder can select one of several options of partitioning each macroblock. With Intra-prediction, there are three options: perform a prediction for the entire block as a whole, break the macroblock into four square blocks of 8x8 size, or into 16 blocks with a size of 4x4 pixels, and perform a prediction for each such block independently. The number of possible options of macroblock partitioning under Inter-prediction is much richer (Figure 1), which provides adaptation of the size and position of the predicted blocks to the position and shape of the object boundaries moving in the video frame.
Fig 1. Macroblocks in AVC and possible partitioning when using Inter-Prediction.
In AVC, pixel values from the column to the left of the predicted block and the row of pixels immediately above it are used for Intra prediction (Figure 2). For blocks of sizes 4x4 and 8x8, 9 methods of prediction are used. In a prediction called DC, all calculated pixels have a single value equal to the arithmetic average of the “neighbor pixels” highlighted in Fig. 2 with a bold line. In other modes, “angular” prediction is performed. In this case, the values of the “neighbor pixels” are placed inside the predicted block in the directions indicated in Fig. 2.
In the event that the predicted pixel gets between “neighbor pixels”, when moving in a given direction, an interpolated value is used for the prediction. For blocks with a size of 16x16 pixels, 4 methods of prediction are used. One of them is the DC-prediction, which was already reviewed. The other two correspond to the “angular” methods, with the directions of prediction 0 and 1. Finally, the fourth — Plane-prediction: the values of the predicted pixels are determined by the equation of the plane. The angular coefficients of the equation are determined by the values of the “neighboring pixels”.
Fig 2. “Neighboring pixels” and angular modes of Intra-Prediction in AVC
Inter- Prediction in AVC can be implemented in one of two ways. Each of these options determines the type of macroblock (P or B). As a prediction of pixel values in P-blocks (Predictive-blocks), the values of pixels from the area located on the previously coded (reference) image, are used. Reference images are not deleted from the RAM buffer, containing decoded frames (decoded picture buffer, or DPB), as long as they are needed for Inter-prediction. A reference list is created in the DPB from the indexes of these images.
The encoder signals to the decoder about the number of the reference image in the list and about the offset of the area used for prediction, with respect to the position of predicted block (this displacement is called motion vector). The offset can be determined with an accuracy of ¼ pixel. In case of prediction with non-integer offset, interpolation is performed. Different blocks in one image can be predicted by areas located on different reference images.
In the second option of Inter Prediction, prediction of the B-block pixel values (bi-predictive block), two reference images are used; their indexes are placed in two lists (list0 and list1) in the DPB. The two indexes of reference images in the lists and two offsets, that determine positions of reference areas, are transmitted to the decoder. The B-block pixel values are calculated as a linear combination of pixel values from the reference areas. For non-integer offsets, interpolation of reference image is used.
As already mentioned, after predicting the values of the encoded block and calculating the Residual signal, the next coding step is spectral transformation. In AVC, there are several options for orthogonal transformations of the Residual signal. When Intra-prediction of a whole macroblock with a size of 16x16 is implemented, the residual signal is divided into 4x4 pixel blocks; each of them is subjected to an integer analog of discrete two-dimensional 4x4 cosine Fourier transform.
The resulting spectral components, corresponding to zero frequency (DC) in each block, are then subjected to additional orthogonal Walsh-Hadamard transform. With Inter-prediction, the Residual signal is divided into blocks of 4x4 pixels or 8x8 pixels. Each block is then subjected to a 4x4 or 8x8 (respectively) two-dimensional discrete cosine Fourier Transform (DCT, from Discrete Cosine Transform).
In the next step, spectral coefficients are subjected to the quantization procedure. This leads to a decrease in bit capacity of digits representing the spectral sample values, and to a significant increase in the number of samples having zero values. These effects provide compression, i.e. reduce the number and bit capacity of digits representing the encoded image. The reverse side of quantization is the distortion of the encoded image. It is clear that the larger the quantization step, the greater is the compression ratio, but also the distortion is greater.
The final stage of encoding in AVC is entropy coding, implemented by the algorithms of Context Adaptive Binary Arithmetic Coding. This stage provides additional compression of video data without distortion in the encoded image.

Ten years later. HEVC standard: what’s new?

The new H.265/HEVC standard is the development of methods and algorithms for compressing video data embedded in H.264/AVC. Let’s briefly review the main differences.
An analog of a macroblock in HEVC is the Coding Unit (CU). Within each block, areas for calculation of Prediction are selected — Prediction Unit (PU). Each CU also specifies the limits within which the areas for calculating the discrete orthogonal transformation from the residual signal are selected. These areas are called the Transform Unit (TU).
The main distinguishing feature of HEVC here is that the split of a video frame into CU is conducted adaptively, so that it is possible to adjust the CU boundaries to the boundaries of objects on the image (Figure 3). Such adaptability allows to achieve an exceptionally high quality of prediction and, as a consequence, a low level of the residual signal.
An undoubted advantage of such an adaptive approach to frame division into blocks is also an extremely compact description of the partition structure. For the entire video sequence, the maximum and minimum possible CU sizes are set (for example, 64x64 is the maximum possible CU, 8x8 is the minimum). The entire frame is covered with the maximum possible CUs, left to right, top-to-bottom.
It is obvious that, for such coverage, transmission of any information is not required. If partition is required within any CU, then this is indicated by a single flag (Split Flag). If this flag is set to 1, then this CU is divided into 4 CUs (with a maximum CU size of 64x64, after partitioning we get 4 CUs of size 32x32 each).
For each of the CUs received, a Split Flag value of 0 or 1 can, in turn, be transmitted. In the latter case, this CU is again divided into 4 CUs of smaller size. The process continues recursively until the Split Flag of all received CUs is equal to 0 or until the minimum possible CU size is reached. Inserted CUs thus form a quad tree (Coding Tree Units, CTU). As already mentioned, within each CU, areas for calculating prediction- Prediction Units (PU) are selected. With Intra Prediction, the CU area can coincide with the PU (2Nx2N mode) or it can be divided into 4 square PUs of twice smaller size (NxN mode, available only for CU of minimum size). With Inter Prediction, there are eight possible options for partitioning each CU into PUs (Figure 3).
Fig.3 Video frame partitioning into CUs is conducted adaptively
The idea of spatial prediction in HEVC remained the same as in AVC. Linear combinations of neighboring pixel values, adjacent to the block on the left and above, are used as predicted sample values in the PU block. However, the set of methods for spatial prediction in HEVC has become significantly richer. In addition to Planar (analogue to Plane in AVC) and DC methods, each PU can be predicted by one of the 33 ways of “angular” prediction. That is, the number of ways, in which the values are calculated by “neighbor”-pixels, is increased by 4 times.
Fig. 4. Possible partitioning of the Coding Unit into Prediction Units with the spatial (Intra) and temporary (Inter) CU prediction modes
We can point out two main differences of Inter- prediction between HEVC and AVC. Firstly, HEVC uses better interpolation filters (with a longer impulse response) when calculating reference images with non-integer offset. The second difference concerns the way the information about the reference area, required by the decoder for performing the prediction, is presented. In HEVC, a “merge mode” is introduced, where different PUs, with the same offsets of reference areas, are combined. For the entire combined area, information about motion (motion vector) is transmitted in the stream once, which allows a significant reduction in the amount of information transmitted.
In HEVC, the size of the discrete two-dimensional transformation, to which the Residual signal is subjected, is determined by the size of the square area called the Transform Unit (TU). Each CU is the root of the TU quad tree. Thus, the TU of the upper level coincides with the CU. The root TU can be divided into 4 parts of half the size, each of which, in turn, is a TU and can be further divided.
The size of discrete transformation is determined by the TU size of the lower level. In HEVC, transforms for blocks of 4 sizes are defined: 4x4, 8x8, 16x16, and 32x32. These transformations are integer analogs of the discrete two-dimensional Fourier cosine transform of corresponding size. For size 4x4 TU with Intra-prediction, there is also a separate discrete transformation, which is an integer analogue of the discrete sine Fourier transform.
The ideas of the procedure of quantizing spectral coefficients of Residual signal, and also entropy coding in AVC and in HEVC, are practically identical.
Let’s note one more point which was not mentioned before. The quality of decoded images and the degree of video data compression are influenced significantly by post-filtering, which decoded images with Inter-prediction undergo before they are placed in the DPB.
In AVC, there is one kind of such filtering — deblocking filter. Application of this filter reduces the block effect resulting from quantization of spectral coefficients after orthogonal transformation of Residual signal.
In HEVC, a similar deblocking filter is used. Besides, an additional non-linear filtering procedure called the Sample Adaptive Offset (SAO) exists. Based on the analysis of pixel value distribution during encoding, a table of corrective offsets, added to the values of a part of CU pixels during decoding, is determined.
In HEVC, the size of the discrete two-dimensional transformation, to which the Residual signal is subjected, is determined by the size of the square area called the Transform Unit (TU). Each CU is the quad-tree of TU’s. Thus, the TU of the upper level coincides with the CU. The root TU can be divided into 4 parts of half the size, each of which, in turn, is a TU and can be further divided.
The size of discrete transformation is determined by the TU size of the lower level. There are four transform block sizes in HEVC: 4x4, 8x8, 16x16, and 32x32. These transforms are discrete two-dimensional Fourier cosine transform of corresponding size. For 4x4 Intra-predicted blocks, could be used another discrete transform — sine Fourier transform.
The quantization of spectral coefficients of residual signal, and entropy coding in AVC and in HEVC, are almost identical.
Let’s note one more point which was not mentioned before. The quality of decoded images, hence the degree of video data compression, is influenced significantly by post-filtering, which applied on decoded Inter-predicted images before they are placed in the DPB.
In AVC, there is one kind of such filtering — deblocking filter. It masking blocking artifacts effect originating from spectral coefficients quantization after orthogonal transformation of residual signal.
In HEVC, a similar deblocking filter is used. Besides, an additional non-linear filtering procedure called the Sample Adaptive Offset (SAO) exists. Sample level correction is based either on local neighborhood or on the intensity level of sample itself. Table of sample level corrections, added to the values of a part of CU pixels during decoding, is determined.

And what is the result?

Figures 4–7 show the results of encoding of several high-resolution (HD) video sequences by two encoders. One of the encoders compresses the video data in the H.265/HEVC standard (marked as HM on all the graphs), and the second one is in the H.264/AVC standard.
Fig. 5. Encoding results of the video sequence Aspen (1920x1080 30 frames per second)
Fig. 6. Encoding results of the video sequence BlueSky (1920x1080 25 frames per second)
Fig. 7. Encoding results of the video sequence PeopleOnStreet (1920x1080 30 frames per second)
Fig. 8. Encoding results of the video sequence Traffic (1920x1080 30 frames per second)
Coding was performed at different quantization values of spectral coefficients, hence with different levels of video image distortion. The results are presented in Bitrate (mbps) — PSNR(dB) coordinates. PSNR values characterize the degree of distortion.
On average, it can be stated that the PSNR range below 36 dB corresponds to a high level of distortion, i.e. low quality video images. The range of 36 to 40 dB corresponds to the average quality. With PSNR values above 40 dB, we can call it a high video quality.
We can roughly estimate the compression ratio provided by the encoding systems. In the medium quality area, the bit rate provided by the HEVC encoder is about 1.5 times less than the bit rate of the AVC encoder. Bitrate of an uncompressed video stream is easily determined as the product of the number of pixels in each video frame (1920 x 1080) by the number of bits required to represent each pixel (8 + 2 + 2 = 12), and the number of frames per second (30).
As a result, we get about 750 Mbps. It can be seen from the graphs that, in the area of average quality, the AVC encoder provides a bit rate of about 10–12 Mbit/s. Thus, the degree of video information compression is about 60–75 times. As already mentioned, the HEVC encoder provides compression ratio 1.5 times higher.

About the author

Oleg Ponomarev, 16 years in video encoding and signal digital processing, expert in Statistical Radiophysics, Radio waves propagation. Assistant Professor, PhD at Tomsk State University, Radiophysics department. Head of Elecard Research Lab.
submitted by VideoCompressionGuru to u/VideoCompressionGuru [link] [comments]

CRTPi4-RCA v3.4FX - Composite TV-Out for your Pi4!

CRTPi Project Presents:

CRTPi4-RCA v3.4FX

A CRTPi image for running 240p via 3.5mm Composite on the Raspberry Pi4
Other Releases:
Changelog: v3.4FX for RCA (PAL Only) 5/18/2020
Changelog: v3.4FX for RCA (NTSC&&PAL) 5/17/2020
Changelog: v3.0F for RCA 5/11/2020
Changelog: v2.0F for RCA 4/1/2020
Changelog: v1.1FX 12/20/2019
Changelog: v1.0F Hotfix 10/31/2019
Changelog: v1.0F 10/29/2019
Changelog: v0.4 10/22/2019
Changelog: v0.3 10/2/2019
How does this even work!?
The amazing u/b0xspread has found a way to enforce modeswitching by watching the logs and processes, and continuing to enforce our desired mode long after the system wants to revert back. We're both expanding this scripting further to hopefully solve the same issues on the RGB and VGA forks -- but progress is slow due to the complex and varied nature of available resolution modes on those builds. But for now, let's just call this "black magic."
What Does That Look Like?
Here are some examples of games being played in beautiful 240p on CRT sets using the RCA Image!.
What is Different?
  • Retropie 4.6 (build 72132587 commit 05/07/20 Buster 10)
  • Retroarch 1.8.5
  • Full Apt-Upgrade for newest firmware and app dependancies (Recommended to repeat this function on your own Pi4)
  • 4GB (3872256 KB Uncompressed Image) (Compressed via WinRAR to 1043540KB)
  • SSH, Samba Share, and USB Rom Service enabled by default
  • Heavily modified Sakitoshi CRT-TVout script for switching between 480i and 240p
  • Further modified Sakitoshi script by u/b0xspread to allow video resolution switching on Pi4 Architecture
  • Optional overclock values in /boot/config.txt for Pi4 (disabled by default) [RECOMMENDED!]
  • NTSC @ 60hz 720/640x480 480i Resolution for Emulationstation & Kodi
  • PAL @ 50hz 720/640x576 576i Resolution for Emulationstation & Kodi
  • NTSC @ 60hz 640x480 Progressive (240 lines) for Retroarch
  • PAL @ 50hz 640x576 Progressive (288 lines) for Retroarch
  • Per-system custom refresh rates for Retroarch
  • Single-frame Run Ahead enabled for many 8-bit & 16-bit consoles and handhelds for Retroarch
  • Optional 480i mode for PSX and Arcade games
  • Preloaded with free 240p test suites for multiple consoles
  • Preloaded with additional stable (opt) Retroarch emulators
  • Preloaded with DOSBox and ScummVM
  • Preloaded with various 4:3 splashscreens from the RPiF download
  • Preloaded with 4:3 Ruckage's runcommand launching screens for supported systems
  • Custom 4:3 Arcade DOJ "Winners DO Use Drugs" splash screen.
  • Preloaded with MUNT Roland MT-32 MIDI emulation for DOSBox/ScummVM
  • Retroarch FCEUmm (NES) Emulator preconfigured for 4:3 horiz/vert overscan crop enabled w/ composite-direct-fbx pallete
  • Retroarch Picodrive (SMS/32X) Emulator preconfigured for 4:3 with 1X Sega Mastersystem & 1X Sega 32X resolution
  • Retroarch Gambatte (GB/GBC) emulator preset to Super Game Boy (Special 1 Pallete) mode with 2x integer scale SGB Overlay
  • Retroarch mGBA (GBA) emulator preset to Game Boy Player mode with 2x integer scale GBP Overlay
  • Other Retroarch handheld emulators preset for optimized wide display with overlay
  • Emulationstation preloaded with Ruckage's RetroPie menu icons
  • Emulationstation preloaded with Ruckage's snes-mini theme configured for 4:3
  • Custom ScummVM system artwork for snes-mini theme
  • Emulationstation systems ordered chronologically instead of alphabetically
  • Emulationstation preconfigured with best settings for analog A/V including best settings for video preview screensavers
What is Run-Ahead?
The Run Ahead feature calculates the frames as fast as possible in the background to "rollback" the action as close as possible to the input command requested.
I've enabled run-ahead on most of the 8 & 16-bit consoles and handhelds. A single frame (and using the second instance) is saved here, which dramatically improves input lag without affecting performance on a Pi3B+. More frames would require more hardware power, and may be achievable via overclocking.
lr-snes9x2010 consistent 60.0-60.2 FPS @ 60.098801hz lr-fceumm consistent 60.0-60.2 FPS @ 60.098801hz lr-beetle-pce-fast consistent 60.1-60.2 @ 60.000000hz lr-genesis-gx-plus consistent 59.9-60.2 FPS @ 59.922741hz (both genesis and sega cd) lr-picodrive consistent 59.9-60.2 FPS @ 59.922741hz (master system, game gear, and 32X) lr-gambatte consistent 60.0-60.2 FPS @ 60.098801hz (SGB2 framerate) lr-mgba consistent 59.8-60.4 FPS @ 60.002220hz (Gamecube framerate) 
Runahead Tested ~60FPS Stable:
  • Game Gear
  • Game Boy
  • Game Boy Color
  • Game Boy Advance
  • Master System
  • Megadrive
  • NES
  • PC Engine
  • PCE-CD
  • Sega 32X
  • Sega CD
  • SNES
Runahead Tested < 50FPS Unstable:
  • FB Neo
  • FB Alpha
  • Mame
  • N64
  • PlayStation
  • PSP
Runahead Untested:
  • Atari 800
  • Atari 2600
  • Atari 5200
  • Atari 7800
  • Atari Lynx
  • Coleco
  • Intellivision
  • MSX
What Does This NOT Have?
This doesn't have any ROMs (other than freeware test suites), BIOS files, music, screenshots, metadata, or videos concerning copywritten games. Other than the configurations and overlays, it has nothing that can't be downloaded through the repository or freeware.
Where Can I Get It?
You can download a premade image from Drive:
NOTE: Please expand your file system via Raspi-Config after your first boot, and reboot!
CRTPi4-RCA NTSC v3.4F: For Raspberry Pi4 Composite-Out @ 60hz
MD5: 7df8453c2e8029b06def7864351ec768 
CRTPi4-RCA PAL-D v3.4F: For Raspberry Pi4 Composite-Out @ 50hz
MD5: ab2bd6ab228bd6f58a22de15044fb46a 
How do I install the Arcade Configuration Pack?
These are the resolution-correct preset arcade configs for MAME/FBA including vertical games. There is roughly 38K files in there, spread out across several systems (arcade, fba, mame-libretro, and neogeo). Having these pre-installed would not allow either image to fit on the SD card used, and may not be needed for everyone. It's a fairly simple process that won't take more than a few minutes of your time.
  • Drop to shell or connect via SSH, and navigate to root (cd /)
  • Download the CRTPi-RCA_ArcadePack.zip with the command:
    sudo wget https://github.com/crtpi/CRTPi-Project/raw/masteCRTPi-RCA_ArcadePack.zip
  • Unzip and overwrite files with the command:
    sudo unzip -o -q CRTPi-RCA_ArcadePack.zip
  • Remove the zip with the command
    sudo rm CRTPi-RCA_ArcadePack.zip
  • Restore read/write access to the files you have overwritten with the command:
    sudo chmod a+rw -R /opt/retropie/configs/
How can I take full advantage of the 480i/240p Switching?
To force 480i for a system or game, you can create a '480i.txt' file inside the configuration folder of the system with a list of the file names (case insensitive, extension optional but recommended) you want to force.
If you wish to force 480i for a whole system, you can write "all" inside the '480i.txt' file.
Alternatively you can create a "240p.txt" file to force 480i to all games except for the ones inside the list.
You can read more about the script functionality here.
Example:
/opt/retropie/configs/psx/480i.txt containing "Bloody Roar 2.PBP" to force 480i for the file "Bloody Roar 2.PBP" /opt/retropie/configs/psx/480i.txt containing "all" to force 480i for all the PlayStation games. /opt/retropie/configs/ports/kodi/480i.txt containing "all" to force 480i on Kodi. 
I have X Issue! Help?
Why isn't there a Pi4 PAL version?
Try as I might, I have been unable to get a PAL signal out of the SDTV port on a Pi4. My BVM displays PAL-S and PAL-D fine, but neither will get anything but static. I don't even get a rolling B&W image, just horrible static. If you figure out a way, let me know!
I only have like 500mb of free space on my XXgb SD card!
You need to expand your file system via Raspi-Config. Follow these steps.
I want to switch back to lr-mupen64plus!
  • When launching an n64 game, mash buttons on the controller until the runcommand window comes up.
  • Select on "1 Set default emulator for n64" and choose "lr-mupen64plus"
  • Then "Q Exit (without launching)"
  • Launch the game again -- it will launch in the chosen emulator at the proper resolution
What A/V cable should I use for 3.5mm Composite?
I recommend the Zune A/V cable or XBOX 360E cable, you can find them on eBay and Amazon.
Samba Share won't work after I set up Wi-Fi!
Samba share service starts on boot, pending that a network is available. Configure your Wi-Fi then reboot first, and if that doesn't fix it then go into Retropie Setup > Configuration/Tools > Samba > Install Samba. Once it's complete, reboot and it should be golden.
USB-Romservice and/or Retropie-Mount don't work!
Follow this guide, but follow these steps before plugging in your thumb drive:
  • Go to Retropie-Setup
  • Update retropie install script
  • Go to Manage Packages -> Optional Packages
  • Scroll all the way down to usbromservice
  • Uninstall usbromservice
  • Install it again from Binary
  • Once finished, choose Configuration, then Enable USB Romservice
  • Reboot, and wait for it to fully boot in to ES
  • Plug in USB stick (has to be FAT32) and WAIT A LONG TIME (if your stick has a light, wait for it to stop flashing)
submitted by ErantyInt to u/ErantyInt [link] [comments]

CRTPi4-RCA v3.4FX - Composite TV-Out for your Pi4!

CRTPi Project Presents:

CRTPi4-RCA v3.4FX

A CRTPi image for running 240p via 3.5mm Composite on the Raspberry Pi4
Other Releases:
Changelog: v3.4FX for RCA (PAL Only) 5/18/2020
Changelog: v3.4FX for RCA (NTSC&&PAL) 5/17/2020
Changelog: v3.0F for RCA 5/11/2020
Changelog: v2.0F for RCA 4/1/2020
Changelog: v1.1FX 12/20/2019
Changelog: v1.0F Hotfix 10/31/2019
Changelog: v1.0F 10/29/2019
Changelog: v0.4 10/22/2019
Changelog: v0.3 10/2/2019
How does this even work!?
The amazing u/b0xspread has found a way to enforce modeswitching by watching the logs and processes, and continuing to enforce our desired mode long after the system wants to revert back. We're both expanding this scripting further to hopefully solve the same issues on the RGB and VGA forks -- but progress is slow due to the complex and varied nature of available resolution modes on those builds. But for now, let's just call this "black magic."
What Does That Look Like?
Here are some examples of games being played in beautiful 240p on CRT sets using the RCA Image!.
What is Different?
  • Retropie 4.6 (build 72132587 commit 05/07/20 Buster 10)
  • Retroarch 1.8.5
  • Full Apt-Upgrade for newest firmware and app dependancies (Recommended to repeat this function on your own Pi4)
  • 4GB (3872256 KB Uncompressed Image) (Compressed via WinRAR to 1043540KB)
  • SSH, Samba Share, and USB Rom Service enabled by default
  • Heavily modified Sakitoshi CRT-TVout script for switching between 480i and 240p
  • Further modified Sakitoshi script by u/b0xspread to allow video resolution switching on Pi4 Architecture
  • Optional overclock values in /boot/config.txt for Pi4 (disabled by default) [RECOMMENDED!]
  • NTSC @ 60hz 720/640x480 480i Resolution for Emulationstation & Kodi
  • PAL @ 50hz 720/640x576 576i Resolution for Emulationstation & Kodi
  • NTSC @ 60hz 640x480 Progressive (240 lines) for Retroarch
  • PAL @ 50hz 640x576 Progressive (288 lines) for Retroarch
  • Per-system custom refresh rates for Retroarch
  • Single-frame Run Ahead enabled for many 8-bit & 16-bit consoles and handhelds for Retroarch
  • Optional 480i mode for PSX and Arcade games
  • Preloaded with free 240p test suites for multiple consoles
  • Preloaded with additional stable (opt) Retroarch emulators
  • Preloaded with DOSBox and ScummVM
  • Preloaded with various 4:3 splashscreens from the RPiF download
  • Preloaded with 4:3 Ruckage's runcommand launching screens for supported systems
  • Custom 4:3 Arcade DOJ "Winners DO Use Drugs" splash screen.
  • Preloaded with MUNT Roland MT-32 MIDI emulation for DOSBox/ScummVM
  • Retroarch FCEUmm (NES) Emulator preconfigured for 4:3 horiz/vert overscan crop enabled w/ composite-direct-fbx pallete
  • Retroarch Picodrive (SMS/32X) Emulator preconfigured for 4:3 with 1X Sega Mastersystem & 1X Sega 32X resolution
  • Retroarch Gambatte (GB/GBC) emulator preset to Super Game Boy (Special 1 Pallete) mode with 2x integer scale SGB Overlay
  • Retroarch mGBA (GBA) emulator preset to Game Boy Player mode with 2x integer scale GBP Overlay
  • Other Retroarch handheld emulators preset for optimized wide display with overlay
  • Emulationstation preloaded with Ruckage's RetroPie menu icons
  • Emulationstation preloaded with Ruckage's snes-mini theme configured for 4:3
  • Custom ScummVM system artwork for snes-mini theme
  • Emulationstation systems ordered chronologically instead of alphabetically
  • Emulationstation preconfigured with best settings for analog A/V including best settings for video preview screensavers
What is Run-Ahead?
The Run Ahead feature calculates the frames as fast as possible in the background to "rollback" the action as close as possible to the input command requested.
I've enabled run-ahead on most of the 8 & 16-bit consoles and handhelds. A single frame (and using the second instance) is saved here, which dramatically improves input lag without affecting performance on a Pi3B+. More frames would require more hardware power, and may be achievable via overclocking.
lr-snes9x2010 consistent 60.0-60.2 FPS @ 60.098801hz lr-fceumm consistent 60.0-60.2 FPS @ 60.098801hz lr-beetle-pce-fast consistent 60.1-60.2 @ 60.000000hz lr-genesis-gx-plus consistent 59.9-60.2 FPS @ 59.922741hz (both genesis and sega cd) lr-picodrive consistent 59.9-60.2 FPS @ 59.922741hz (master system, game gear, and 32X) lr-gambatte consistent 60.0-60.2 FPS @ 60.098801hz (SGB2 framerate) lr-mgba consistent 59.8-60.4 FPS @ 60.002220hz (Gamecube framerate) 
Runahead Tested ~60FPS Stable:
  • Game Gear
  • Game Boy
  • Game Boy Color
  • Game Boy Advance
  • Master System
  • Megadrive
  • NES
  • PC Engine
  • PCE-CD
  • Sega 32X
  • Sega CD
  • SNES
Runahead Tested < 50FPS Unstable:
  • FB Neo
  • FB Alpha
  • Mame
  • N64
  • PlayStation
  • PSP
Runahead Untested:
  • Atari 800
  • Atari 2600
  • Atari 5200
  • Atari 7800
  • Atari Lynx
  • Coleco
  • Intellivision
  • MSX
What Does This NOT Have?
This doesn't have any ROMs (other than freeware test suites), BIOS files, music, screenshots, metadata, or videos concerning copywritten games. Other than the configurations and overlays, it has nothing that can't be downloaded through the repository or freeware.
Where Can I Get It?
You can download a premade image from Drive:
NOTE: Please expand your file system via Raspi-Config after your first boot, and reboot!
CRTPi4-RCA NTSC v3.4F: For Raspberry Pi4 Composite-Out @ 60hz
MD5: 7df8453c2e8029b06def7864351ec768 
CRTPi4-RCA PAL-D v3.4F: For Raspberry Pi4 Composite-Out @ 50hz
MD5: ab2bd6ab228bd6f58a22de15044fb46a 
How do I install the Arcade Configuration Pack?
These are the resolution-correct preset arcade configs for MAME/FBA including vertical games. There is roughly 38K files in there, spread out across several systems (arcade, fba, mame-libretro, and neogeo). Having these pre-installed would not allow either image to fit on the SD card used, and may not be needed for everyone. It's a fairly simple process that won't take more than a few minutes of your time.
  • Drop to shell or connect via SSH, and navigate to root (cd /)
  • Download the CRTPi-RCA_ArcadePack.zip with the command:
    sudo wget https://github.com/crtpi/CRTPi-Project/raw/masteCRTPi-RCA_ArcadePack.zip
  • Unzip and overwrite files with the command:
    sudo unzip -o -q CRTPi-RCA_ArcadePack.zip
  • Remove the zip with the command
    sudo rm CRTPi-RCA_ArcadePack.zip
  • Restore read/write access to the files you have overwritten with the command:
    sudo chmod a+rw -R /opt/retropie/configs/
How can I take full advantage of the 480i/240p Switching?
To force 480i for a system or game, you can create a '480i.txt' file inside the configuration folder of the system with a list of the file names (case insensitive, extension optional but recommended) you want to force.
If you wish to force 480i for a whole system, you can write "all" inside the '480i.txt' file.
Alternatively you can create a "240p.txt" file to force 480i to all games except for the ones inside the list.
You can read more about the script functionality here.
Example:
/opt/retropie/configs/psx/480i.txt containing "Bloody Roar 2.PBP" to force 480i for the file "Bloody Roar 2.PBP" /opt/retropie/configs/psx/480i.txt containing "all" to force 480i for all the PlayStation games. /opt/retropie/configs/ports/kodi/480i.txt containing "all" to force 480i on Kodi. 
I have X Issue! Help?
Why isn't there a Pi4 PAL version?
Try as I might, I have been unable to get a PAL signal out of the SDTV port on a Pi4. My BVM displays PAL-S and PAL-D fine, but neither will get anything but static. I don't even get a rolling B&W image, just horrible static. If you figure out a way, let me know!
I only have like 500mb of free space on my XXgb SD card!
You need to expand your file system via Raspi-Config. Follow these steps.
I want to switch back to lr-mupen64plus!
  • When launching an n64 game, mash buttons on the controller until the runcommand window comes up.
  • Select on "1 Set default emulator for n64" and choose "lr-mupen64plus"
  • Then "Q Exit (without launching)"
  • Launch the game again -- it will launch in the chosen emulator at the proper resolution
What A/V cable should I use for 3.5mm Composite?
I recommend the Zune A/V cable or XBOX 360E cable, you can find them on eBay and Amazon.
Samba Share won't work after I set up Wi-Fi!
Samba share service starts on boot, pending that a network is available. Configure your Wi-Fi then reboot first, and if that doesn't fix it then go into Retropie Setup > Configuration/Tools > Samba > Install Samba. Once it's complete, reboot and it should be golden.
USB-Romservice and/or Retropie-Mount don't work!
Follow this guide, but follow these steps before plugging in your thumb drive:
  • Go to Retropie-Setup
  • Update retropie install script
  • Go to Manage Packages -> Optional Packages
  • Scroll all the way down to usbromservice
  • Uninstall usbromservice
  • Install it again from Binary
  • Once finished, choose Configuration, then Enable USB Romservice
  • Reboot, and wait for it to fully boot in to ES
  • Plug in USB stick (has to be FAT32) and WAIT A LONG TIME (if your stick has a light, wait for it to stop flashing)
submitted by ErantyInt to crtgaming [link] [comments]

Binary Options Review; Best Binary Options Brokers

Binary Options Review; Best Binary Options Brokers

Binary Options Review; Best Binary Options Brokers
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You can put different trading signals into consideration such as using payout (maximum returns), minimum deposit, bonus offers, or if the operator is regulated or not. You can also read full reviews of each broker, helping you make the best choice. This review is to ensure traders don't lose money in their trading account.
How to Compare Brokers and Platforms
In order to trade binary options, you need to engage the services of a binary options broker that accepts clients from your country e.g. check US trade requirements if you are in the United States. Here at bitcoinbinaryoptionsreview.com, we have provided all the best comparison factors that will help you select which trading broker to open an account with. We have also looked at our most popular or frequently asked questions, and have noted that these are important factors when traders are comparing different brokers:
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The Regulated Binary Brokers
Regulation and licensing is a key factor when judging the best broker. Unregulated brokers are not always scams, or untrustworthy, but it does mean a trader must do more ‘due diligence’ before trading with them. A regulated broker is the safest option.
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It is worth taking the time to understand those terms before signing up or clicking accept on a bonus offer. If the terms are not to your liking then the bonus loses any attraction and that broker may not be the best choice. Some bonus terms tie in your initial deposit too. It is worth reading T&Cs before agreeing to any bonus, and worth noting that many brokers will give you the option to ‘opt-out’ of taking a bonus.
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There you can find extensive analyses of numerous binary options brokers irrespective of your trading strategy. Each company is represented with an all-encompassing review and several other articles dealing with various aspects of their offer. A list containing the very best choices will appear on your screen as you enter our website whose intuitive design will allow you to access all the most important information in real-time.
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submitted by Babyelijah to u/Babyelijah [link] [comments]

CRTPi-RGB v3.0 - Buster Busts Loose!

CRTPi Project Presents:

CRTPi-RGB v3.0

A CRTPi image for running 240p via GPIO RGB DAC Hats
Other Releases:
Changelog: v3.0 for 888 & 666 05/12/2020 - Emergency Fixes
Changelog: v3.0 for 888 & 666 05/08/2020
Changelog: v2.0 for 888 & 666 03/25/2020
Changelog: v1.1X for 666 12/20/2019
Changelog: v1.1X for 888 & 666 12/19/2019
Changelog: v1.0 for 888 & 666 11/7/2019
Changelog: v1.0 for 666 10/24/2019
Changelog: v1.0 for 888 & 666 10/22/2019
Changelog: v0.3 for 888 & 666 10/2/2019
Changelog: v0.2 for 888 09/27/2019
Changelog: v0.1 for 888 09/20/2019
Required Hardware:
What is a RetroTINK? Or a VGA666?
RetroTINK is a GPIO hat for the Raspberry Pi3/3B+ that converts digital video signal back into 24-bit analog. It provides output over RCA, S-Video, Component, and VGA -- as well as supporting CSYNC, super-resolutions, and custom resolution timings.
VGA666 is a GPIO hat for the Raspberry Pi that converts digital video signal back into an 18-bit analog out via VGA. It also allows for super-resolutions and custom resolution timings.
Pi2SCART is a GPIO hat for the Raspberry Pi that converts digital video signal back into an 18-bit analog RGB out via SCART. It also allows for super-resolutions and custom resolution timings.
What Does That Even Mean?
It makes your Pi capable of outputting a true 240p analog signal for CRT televisions and monitors, and is capable of 5x (1600x240) and higher super resolutions.
What Does That Look Like?
I don't have the greatest pics saved for comparison, but here's some examples of the 888.
What is Different? (888 & 666)
  • Retropie 4.6 (build 7c5e31bb commit 05/07/20 Buster 10)
  • Retroarch 1.8.5
  • 4GB (3872256 KB) Uncompressed Image (Compressed via WinRAR to 982256 KB)
  • SSH, Samba Share, and USB Rom Service enabled by default
  • Custom /boot/config.txt settings for DPI output and custom HDMI timings
  • Optional overclock values in /boot/config.txt for Pi2 & Pi3B (disabled by default)
  • Modified Michael Vencio's Runcommand “On Start” and “On End” scripts to automatically change the resolution system-by-system and game-by-game
  • Modified Runcommand "On Start" script to allow creation of game-specific arcade configs for arcade/fba/mame-libretro/neogeo
  • NTSC @ 60hz 320x240 resolution for Emulationstation and DOSBox/ScummVM/Kodi
  • NTSC @ 60hz 2048x240, 1920x240, and 1600x240 resolution for Retroarch
  • Per-system custom refresh rates for Retroarch
  • Single-frame Run Ahead enabled for many 8-bit & 16-bit consoles and handhelds for Retroarch
  • Preloaded with free 240p test suites for multiple consoles with art by chipsnblip
  • Preloaded with additional stable (opt) Retroarch emulators
  • Preloaded with DOSBox and ScummVM
  • Preloaded with various 4:3 splashscreens from the RPiF download
  • Custom 4:3 Arcade DOJ "Winners DO Use Drugs" splash screen.
  • Preloaded with MUNT Roland MT-32 MIDI emulation for DOSBox/ScummVM
  • Preloaded with custom runcommand launching screens for supported systems
  • Preconfigured MOST Retroarch emulators for proper Integer Scale SuperRes
  • Retroarch FCEUmm (NES) Emulator preconfigured for 8:7 vert overscan crop enabled w/ composite-direct-fbx palette
  • Retroarch Gambatte (GB/GBC) emulator preset to Super Game Boy (SGB2 auto coloration) mode with Integer Scale Overlay
  • Retroarch mGBA (GBA) emulator preset to Game Boy Player mode with Integer Scale Overlay
  • Emulationstation preloaded with Ruckage's RetroPie menu icons
  • Emulationstation preloaded with Ruckage's snes-mini (default) and nes-mini themes configured for 4:3
  • Custom ScummVM system artwork for snes-mini theme
  • Emulationstation systems ordered chronologically instead of alphabetically
  • Emulationstation preconfigured with best settings for analog A/V including best settings for video preview screensavers
  • Custom Retropie menu scripts for switching between Retrotink and VGA666-based hardware ___
What is Run-Ahead?
The Run Ahead feature calculates the frames as fast as possible in the background to "rollback" the action as close as possible to the input command requested.
I've enabled run-ahead on most of the 8 & 16-bit consoles and handhelds. A single frame (and using the second instance) is saved here, which dramatically improves input lag without affecting performance on a Pi3B. More frames would require more hardware power, and may be achievable via overclocking.
lr-snes9x2010 consistent 60.0-60.2 FPS @ 60.098801hz lr-fceumm consistent 60.0-60.2 FPS @ 60.098801hz lr-beetle-pce-fast consistent 60.1-60.2 @ 60.000000hz lr-genesis-gx-plus consistent 59.9-60.2 FPS @ 59.922741hz (both genesis and sega cd) lr-picodrive consistent 59.9-60.2 FPS @ 59.922741hz (master system, game gear, and 32X) lr-gambatte consistent 60.0-60.2 FPS @ 60.098801hz (SGB2 framerate) lr-mgba consistent 59.8-60.4 FPS @ 60.002220hz (Gamecube framerate) 
To disable runahead for a game (or emulator):
Quick Menu > Latency > Run-Ahead to Reduce Latency > OFF 
What about your new Per-Game Configs and Snap-Shader?
The RGB and VGA forks are now utilizing Snap-Shader, plus a newly-enhanced runcommand-onstart script, with provision for user-specified per-game configuration!
Here's the new script:
https://github.com/crtpi/CRTPi-Project/blob/masteRGB-to_opt/retropie/configs/all/runcommand-onstart.sh 
Here's information about Snap-Shader:
https://github.com/ektgit/snap-shader-240p 
And here's a quick rundown on how it works:
Not only does the new script carry forward the per-core scripting for 2048x / 1920x / and 1600x resolutions -- but adds per-game scripting by adding a text file to the system config and naming the rom(s) within the file. This allows you to force 2048x on a system that defaults to 1920x. This is especially useful for PSX, FDS, PCE/PCE-CD, and MAME for the few games that are 256 or 512 wide. Below are some example config files:
/opt/retropie/conifgs/psx/256.txt
Brave Prove Castlevania - Symphony of the Night Crash Bandicoot Final Fantasy Origins Final Fantasy Tactics 
/opt/retropie/conifgs/megadrive/256.txt
Bubble And Squeak Bubsy in - Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind Bugs Bunny in Double Trouble Caesars Palace Captain America and the Avengers 
/opt/retropie/conifgs/fds/320.txt
Akumajou Dracula Donkey Kong Otocky Super Mario Brothers 2 
You get the jist. It doesn't need an extension, not case sensitive, but should match the ROM name (including punctuation) exactly. This forces them to launch in 2048x240p instead of the default 1920x240p. This gives the end user full control on a game-per-game basis over the horizontal integer. You'll still need to write a retroarch game config to override the defaults there, but this at least gets you the right field. For games with odd/shifting vertical resolutions (like Chrono Cross, Battle Arena Toshinden, Castlevania SotN, etc.), a single pass of snap-shader is applied (snap-basic, nearest neighbor filtering, and "don't care" scale).
What Does This NOT Have?
This doesn't have any ROMs (other than freeware test suites), BIOS files, music, screenshots, metadata, or videos concerning copy-written games. Other than the configurations and overlays, it has nothing that can't be downloaded through the repository or freeware.
Where Can I Get It?
You can download a premade image from Google Drive:
NOTE: Please expand your file system via Raspi-Config after your first boot, and reboot!
CRTPi-RGB v3.0: For Pi3B/3B+ with Retrotink, Pi2SCART, RGB-Pi, or VGA666
MD5: d9d28f5ae8fe5cc829348be4b5a103fc 
Install Instructions:
For Retrotink Ultimate:
  • Download image and unRAR it.
  • Flash to your SD card with Win32DiskImager or Etcher.
  • Boot as normal, run Raspi-Config, and choose Expand Filesystem from Advanced Options.
  • Reboot from Raspi-Config, and enjoy your Pi!
For Pi2SCART/RGB-Pi/VGA666:
  • Download image and unRAR it.
  • Flash to your SD card with Win32DiskImager or Etcher.
  • BEFORE BOOTING Edit 'config.txt' on your SD card's BOOT partition, uncomment the section relevant to your device, and comment all other devices.
    ## Pi2SCART & VGA666 only!!
    #dtoverlay=vga666
    #hdmi_timings=320 1 16 30 34 240 1 2 3 22 0 0 0 60 0 6400000 1 #Pi2SCART/VGA666 [email protected]
    __
    ## RGB-Pi only!!
    #dtoverlay=pwm-2chan,pin=18,func=2,pin2=19,func2=2
    #dtoverlay=rgb-pi
    #dpi_output_format=6
    #hdmi_timings=320 1 16 30 34 240 1 2 3 22 0 0 0 60 0 6400000 1 #RGB-Pi [email protected]
    __
    ## RetroTINK Ultimate only!!
    #dtoverlay=dpi24
    #dpi_output_format=519
    #hdmi_timings=320 1 23 30 34 240 1 4 3 15 1 0 0 60 0 6400000 1 #RetroTINK [email protected]
__
  • Boot as normal, run Raspi-Config, and choose Expand Filesystem from Advanced Options, then reboot.
  • In Emulationstation, run "Enable VGA666" from the Retropie menu.
  • Your system will automatically reboot. Enjoy your Pi!
To Revert VGA666 to Retrotink Settings
  • In Emulationstation, run "Enable Retrotink" from the Retropie menu.
  • Your system will automatically reboot with the new settings.
Default Retroarch Keyboard Hotkeys
*SPACE: Enable Hotkey* F1 Menu F2 FF Toggle F3 Reset F4 Cheat Toggle F5 Save State F6 Load State F7 Change State - F8 Change State + F9 Screenshot F10 Mute ENTER: Exit 
I have X Issue! Help?
I only have like 500mb of free space on my XXgb SD card!
You need to expand your file system via Raspi-Config. Follow these steps.
Samba Share won't work after I set up Wi-Fi!
Samba share service starts on boot, pending that a network is available. Configure your Wi-Fi then reboot first, and if that doesn't fix it then go into Retropie Setup > Configuration/Tools > Samba > Install Samba. Once it's complete, reboot and it should be golden.
USB-Romservice and/or Retropie-Mount don't work!
Follow this guide, but follow these steps before plugging in your thumb drive:
  • Go to Retropie-Setup
  • Update retropie install script
  • Go to Manage Packages -> Optional Packages
  • Scroll all the way down to usbromservice
  • Uninstall usbromservice
  • Install it again from Binary
  • Once finished, choose Configuration, then Enable USB Romservice
  • Reboot, and wait for it to fully boot in to ES
  • Plug in USB stick (has to be FAT32) and WAIT A LONG TIME (if your stick has a light, wait for it to stop flashing)
Timings for Boot and Runcommand
320 x 240p @ 60hz Timings: Emulationstation, DOSBox, ScummVM, etc.
320 1 15 30 42 240 1 4 3 15 1 0 0 60 0 6400000 1 Retrotink 320x240p Timing 320 1 16 30 34 240 1 2 3 22 0 0 0 60 0 6400000 1 #VGA666 320x240p Timing 
Integer Scale Super-Resolution 240p @ 60hz Timings: All Retroarch Emulators
2048 1 160 202 320 240 1 3 5 14 0 0 0 60 0 42954545 1 #256x240/224p 1920 1 137 247 295 240 1 3 7 12 0 0 0 60 0 40860000 1 #320x240/224p 1600 1 73 157 204 240 1 4 3 15 0 0 0 60 0 32000000 1 #320x240/224p Alternate 
submitted by ErantyInt to u/ErantyInt [link] [comments]

CRTPi-RGB v2.0 - A Whole New World!

CRTPi Project Presents:

DEPRECIATED BUILD, SEE VERSION 3.0!

CRTPi-RGB v2.0

A CRTPi image for running 240p via GPIO RGB DAC Hats
Other Releases:
Changelog: v2.0 for 888 & 666 03/25/2020
Changelog: v1.1X for 666 12/20/2019
Changelog: v1.1X for 888 & 666 12/19/2019
Changelog: v1.0 for 888 & 666 11/7/2019
Changelog: v1.0 for 666 10/24/2019
Changelog: v1.0 for 888 & 666 10/22/2019
Changelog: v0.3 for 888 & 666 10/2/2019
Changelog: v0.2 for 888 09/27/2019
Changelog: v0.1 for 888 09/20/2019
Required Hardware:
What is a RetroTINK? Or a VGA666?
RetroTINK is a GPIO hat for the Raspberry Pi3/3B+ that converts digital video signal back into 24-bit analog. It provides output over RCA, S-Video, Component, and VGA -- as well as supporting CSYNC, super-resolutions, and custom resolution timings.
VGA666 is a GPIO hat for the Raspberry Pi that converts digital video signal back into an 18-bit analog out via VGA. It also allows for super-resolutions and custom resolution timings.
Pi2SCART is a GPIO hat for the Raspberry Pi that converts digital video signal back into an 18-bit analog RGB out via SCART. It also allows for super-resolutions and custom resolution timings.
What Does That Even Mean?
It makes your Pi capable of outputting a true 240p analog signal for CRT televisions and monitors, and is capable of 5x (1600x240) and higher super resolutions.
What Does That Look Like?
I don't have the greatest pics saved for comparison, but here's some examples of the 888.
What is Different? (888 & 666)
  • Retropie 4.5.17 (build 32617750 commit 03/21/20)
  • Retroarch 1.8.4
  • 8GB (7892992 KB) Uncompressed Image (Compressed via WinRAR to 4658943 KB)
  • SSH, Samba Share, and USB Rom Service enabled by default
  • Custom /boot/config.txt settings for DPI output and custom HDMI timings
  • Optional overclock values in /boot/config.txt for Pi2 & Pi3B (disabled by default)
  • Modified Michael Vencio's Runcommand “On Start” and “On End” scripts to automatically change the resolution system-by-system
  • Modified Runcommand "On Start" script to allow creation of game-specific arcade configs for arcade/fba/mame-libretro/neogeo
  • NTSC @ 60hz 320x240 resolution for Emulationstation and DOSBox/ScummVM/Kodi
  • NTSC @ 60hz 2048x240, 1920x240, and 1600x240 resolution for Retroarch
  • Per-system custom refresh rates for Retroarch
  • Single-frame Run Ahead enabled for many 8-bit & 16-bit consoles and handhelds for Retroarch
  • Preloaded with free 240p test suites for multiple consoles with art by chipsnblip
  • Preloaded with additional stable (opt) Retroarch emulators
  • Preloaded with DOSBox and ScummVM
  • Preloaded with Kodi 18.2 w/ Convergence Theme
  • Preloaded with various 4:3 splashscreens from the RPiF download
  • Custom 4:3 Arcade DOJ "Winners DO Use Drugs" splash screen.
  • Preloaded with MUNT Roland MT-32 MIDI emulation for DOSBox/ScummVM
  • Preloaded with Ruckage's runcommand launching screens for supported systems
  • Preconfigured MOST Retroarch emulators for proper Integer Scale SuperRes
  • Retroarch FCEUmm (NES) Emulator preconfigured for 8:7 vert overscan crop enabled w/ composite-direct-fbx palette
  • Retroarch Gambatte (GB/GBC) emulator preset to Super Game Boy (SGB2 auto coloration) mode with Integer Scale Overlay
  • Retroarch mGBA (GBA) emulator preset to Game Boy Player mode with Integer Scale Overlay
  • Emulationstation preloaded with Ruckage's RetroPie menu icons
  • Emulationstation preloaded with Ruckage's snes-mini (default) and nes-mini themes configured for 4:3
  • Emulationstation preloaded with PietDAmore's 240p Honey and Bubblegum themes
  • Emulationstation preloaded with KALEL1981's Super-Retroboy theme
  • Custom ScummVM system artwork for snes-mini theme
  • Emulationstation systems ordered chronologically instead of alphabetically
  • Emulationstation preconfigured with best settings for analog A/V including best settings for video preview screensavers
  • Custom Retropie menu scripts for switching between Retrotink and VGA666-based hardware ___
What is Run-Ahead?
The Run Ahead feature calculates the frames as fast as possible in the background to "rollback" the action as close as possible to the input command requested.
I've enabled run-ahead on most of the 8 & 16-bit consoles and handhelds. A single frame (and using the second instance) is saved here, which dramatically improves input lag without affecting performance on a Pi3B. More frames would require more hardware power, and may be achievable via overclocking.
lr-snes9x2010 consistent 60.0-60.2 FPS @ 60.098801hz lr-fceumm consistent 60.0-60.2 FPS @ 60.098801hz lr-beetle-pce-fast consistent 60.1-60.2 @ 60.000000hz lr-genesis-gx-plus consistent 59.9-60.2 FPS @ 59.922741hz (both genesis and sega cd) lr-picodrive consistent 59.9-60.2 FPS @ 59.922741hz (master system, game gear, and 32X) lr-gambatte consistent 60.0-60.2 FPS @ 60.098801hz (SGB2 framerate) lr-mgba consistent 59.8-60.4 FPS @ 60.002220hz (Gamecube framerate) 
To disable runahead for a game (or emulator):
Quick Menu > Latency > Run-Ahead to Reduce Latency > OFF 
What Does This NOT Have?
This doesn't have any ROMs (other than freeware test suites), BIOS files, music, screenshots, metadata, or videos concerning copy-written games. Other than the configurations and overlays, it has nothing that can't be downloaded through the repository or freeware.
Where Can I Get It?
You can download a premade image from Google Drive:
NOTE: Please expand your file system via Raspi-Config after your first boot, and reboot!

DEPRECIATED BUILD, PLEASE SEE VERSION 3.0!

CRTPi-RGB v2.0: For Pi3B/3B+ with Retrotink, Pi2SCART, RGB-Pi, or VGA666
MD5: f860516358f5c2941de3bc6170234b88 
Install Instructions:
For Retrotink Ultimate:
  • Download image and unRAR it.
  • Flash to your SD card with Win32DiskImager or Etcher.
  • Boot as normal, run Raspi-Config, and choose Expand Filesystem from Advanced Options.
  • Reboot from Raspi-Config, and enjoy your Pi!
For Pi2SCART/RGB-Pi/VGA666:
  • Download image and unRAR it.
  • Flash to your SD card with Win32DiskImager or Etcher.
  • BEFORE BOOTING Edit 'config.txt' on your SD card's BOOT partition, uncomment the section relevant to your device, and comment all other devices.
    ## Pi2SCART & VGA666 only!!
    #dtoverlay=vga666
    #hdmi_timings=320 1 16 30 34 240 1 2 3 22 0 0 0 60 0 6400000 1 #Pi2SCART/VGA666 [email protected]
    __
    ## RGB-Pi only!!
    #dtoverlay=pwm-2chan,pin=18,func=2,pin2=19,func2=2
    #dtoverlay=rgb-pi
    #dpi_output_format=6
    #hdmi_timings=320 1 16 30 34 240 1 2 3 22 0 0 0 60 0 6400000 1 #RGB-Pi [email protected]
    __
    ## RetroTINK Ultimate only!!
    #dtoverlay=dpi24
    #dpi_output_format=519
    #hdmi_timings=320 1 23 30 34 240 1 4 3 15 1 0 0 60 0 6400000 1 #RetroTINK [email protected]
__
  • Boot as normal, run Raspi-Config, and choose Expand Filesystem from Advanced Options, then reboot.
  • In Emulationstation, run "Enable VGA666" from the Retropie menu.
  • Your system will automatically reboot. Enjoy your Pi!
To Revert VGA666 to Retrotink Settings
  • In Emulationstation, run "Enable Retrotink" from the Retropie menu.
  • Your system will automatically reboot with the new settings.
Default Retroarch Keyboard Hotkeys
*SPACE: Enable Hotkey* F1 Menu F2 FF Toggle F3 Reset F4 Cheat Toggle F5 Save State F6 Load State F7 Change State - F8 Change State + F9 Screenshot F10 Mute ENTER: Exit 
I have X Issue! Help?
I only have like 500mb of free space on my XXgb SD card!
You need to expand your file system via Raspi-Config. Follow these steps.
Samba Share won't work after I set up Wi-Fi!
Samba share service starts on boot, pending that a network is available. Configure your Wi-Fi then reboot first, and if that doesn't fix it then go into Retropie Setup > Configuration/Tools > Samba > Install Samba. Once it's complete, reboot and it should be golden.
USB-Romservice and/or Retropie-Mount don't work!
Follow this guide, but follow these steps before plugging in your thumb drive:
  • Go to Retropie-Setup
  • Update retropie install script
  • Go to Manage Packages -> Optional Packages
  • Scroll all the way down to usbromservice
  • Uninstall usbromservice
  • Install it again from Binary
  • Once finished, choose Configuration, then Enable USB Romservice
  • Reboot, and wait for it to fully boot in to ES
  • Plug in USB stick (has to be FAT32) and WAIT A LONG TIME (if your stick has a light, wait for it to stop flashing)
Timings for Boot and Runcommand
320 x 240p @ 60hz Timings: Emulationstation, DOSBox, ScummVM, etc.
320 1 23 30 34 240 1 4 3 15 1 0 0 60 0 6400000 1 Retrotink 320x240p Timing 320 1 16 30 34 240 1 2 3 22 0 0 0 60 0 6400000 1 #VGA666 320x240p Timing 
Integer Scale Super-Resolution 240p @ 60hz Timings: All Retroarch Emulators
2048 1 180 202 300 240 1 3 5 14 0 0 0 60 0 42954545 1 #256x240/224p 1920 1 152 247 280 240 1 3 7 12 0 0 0 60 0 40860000 1 #320x240/224p 1600 1 85 157 192 240 1 4 3 15 0 0 0 60 0 32000000 1 #320x240/224p Alternate 
submitted by ErantyInt to u/ErantyInt [link] [comments]

CRTPi-RGB v2.0: A Whole New World!

CRTPi Project Presents:

CRTPi-RGB v2.0

A CRTPi image for 240p via RGB DAC Hats
Other Releases:
Changelog: v2.0 for 888 & 666 03/25/2020
Changelog: v1.1X for 666 12/20/2019
Changelog: v1.1X for 888 & 666 12/19/2019
Changelog: v1.0 for 888 & 666 11/7/2019
Changelog: v1.0 for 666 10/24/2019
Changelog: v1.0 for 888 & 666 10/22/2019
Changelog: v0.3 for 888 & 666 10/2/2019
Changelog: v0.2 for 888 09/27/2019
Changelog: v0.1 for 888 09/20/2019
Required Hardware:
What is a RetroTINK? Or a VGA666?
RetroTINK is a GPIO hat for the Raspberry Pi3/3B+ that converts digital video signal back into 24-bit analog. It provides output over RCA, S-Video, Component, and VGA -- as well as supporting CSYNC, super-resolutions, and custom resolution timings.
VGA666 is a GPIO hat for the Raspberry Pi that converts digital video signal back into an 18-bit analog out via VGA. It also allows for super-resolutions and custom resolution timings.
Pi2SCART is a GPIO hat for the Raspberry Pi that converts digital video signal back into an 18-bit analog RGB out via SCART. It also allows for super-resolutions and custom resolution timings.
What Does That Even Mean?
It makes your Pi capable of outputting a true 240p analog signal for CRT televisions and monitors, and is capable of 5x (1600x240) and higher super resolutions.
What Does That Look Like?
I don't have the greatest pics saved for comparison, but here's some examples of the 888.
What is Different? (888 & 666)
  • Retropie 4.5.17 (build 32617750 commit 03/21/20)
  • Retroarch 1.8.4
  • 8GB (7892992 KB) Uncompressed Image (Compressed via WinRAR to 4658943 KB)
  • SSH, Samba Share, and USB Rom Service enabled by default
  • Custom /boot/config.txt settings for DPI output and custom HDMI timings
  • Optional overclock values in /boot/config.txt for Pi2 & Pi3B (disabled by default)
  • Modified Michael Vencio's Runcommand “On Start” and “On End” scripts to automatically change the resolution system-by-system
  • Modified Runcommand "On Start" script to allow creation of game-specific arcade configs for arcade/fba/mame-libretro/neogeo
  • NTSC @ 60hz 320x240 resolution for Emulationstation and DOSBox/ScummVM/Kodi
  • NTSC @ 60hz 2048x240, 1920x240, and 1600x240 resolution for Retroarch
  • Per-system custom refresh rates for Retroarch
  • Single-frame Run Ahead enabled for many 8-bit & 16-bit consoles and handhelds for Retroarch
  • Preloaded with free 240p test suites for multiple consoles with art by chipsnblip
  • Preloaded with additional stable (opt) Retroarch emulators
  • Preloaded with DOSBox and ScummVM
  • Preloaded with Kodi 18.2 w/ Convergence Theme
  • Preloaded with various 4:3 splashscreens from the RPiF download
  • Custom 4:3 Arcade DOJ "Winners DO Use Drugs" splash screen.
  • Preloaded with MUNT Roland MT-32 MIDI emulation for DOSBox/ScummVM
  • Preloaded with Ruckage's runcommand launching screens for supported systems
  • Preconfigured MOST Retroarch emulators for proper Integer Scale SuperRes
  • Retroarch FCEUmm (NES) Emulator preconfigured for 8:7 vert overscan crop enabled w/ composite-direct-fbx palette
  • Retroarch Gambatte (GB/GBC) emulator preset to Super Game Boy (SGB2 auto coloration) mode with Integer Scale Overlay
  • Retroarch mGBA (GBA) emulator preset to Game Boy Player mode with Integer Scale Overlay
  • Emulationstation preloaded with Ruckage's RetroPie menu icons
  • Emulationstation preloaded with Ruckage's snes-mini (default) and nes-mini themes configured for 4:3
  • Emulationstation preloaded with PietDAmore's 240p Honey and Bubblegum themes
  • Emulationstation preloaded with KALEL1981's Super-Retroboy theme
  • Custom ScummVM system artwork for snes-mini theme
  • Emulationstation systems ordered chronologically instead of alphabetically
  • Emulationstation preconfigured with best settings for analog A/V including best settings for video preview screensavers
  • Custom Retropie menu scripts for switching between Retrotink and VGA666-based hardware ___
What is Run-Ahead?
The Run Ahead feature calculates the frames as fast as possible in the background to "rollback" the action as close as possible to the input command requested.
I've enabled run-ahead on most of the 8 & 16-bit consoles and handhelds. A single frame (and using the second instance) is saved here, which dramatically improves input lag without affecting performance on a Pi3B. More frames would require more hardware power, and may be achievable via overclocking.
lr-snes9x2010 consistent 60.0-60.2 FPS @ 60.098801hz lr-fceumm consistent 60.0-60.2 FPS @ 60.098801hz lr-beetle-pce-fast consistent 60.1-60.2 @ 60.000000hz lr-genesis-gx-plus consistent 59.9-60.2 FPS @ 59.922741hz (both genesis and sega cd) lr-picodrive consistent 59.9-60.2 FPS @ 59.922741hz (master system, game gear, and 32X) lr-gambatte consistent 60.0-60.2 FPS @ 60.098801hz (SGB2 framerate) lr-mgba consistent 59.8-60.4 FPS @ 60.002220hz (Gamecube framerate) 
To disable runahead for a game (or emulator):
Quick Menu > Latency > Run-Ahead to Reduce Latency > OFF 
What Does This NOT Have?
This doesn't have any ROMs (other than freeware test suites), BIOS files, music, screenshots, metadata, or videos concerning copy-written games. Other than the configurations and overlays, it has nothing that can't be downloaded through the repository or freeware.
Where Can I Get It?
You can download a premade image from Google Drive:
NOTE: Please expand your file system via Raspi-Config after your first boot, and reboot!
CRTPi-RGB v2.0: For Pi3B/3B+ with Retrotink, Pi2SCART, RGB-Pi, or VGA666
MD5: f860516358f5c2941de3bc6170234b88 
Install Instructions:
For Retrotink Ultimate:
  • Download image and unRAR it.
  • Flash to your SD card with Win32DiskImager or Etcher.
  • Boot as normal, run Raspi-Config, and choose Expand Filesystem from Advanced Options.
  • Reboot from Raspi-Config, and enjoy your Pi!
For Pi2SCART/RGB-Pi/VGA666:
  • Download image and unRAR it.
  • Flash to your SD card with Win32DiskImager or Etcher.
  • BEFORE BOOTING Edit 'config.txt' on your SD card's BOOT partition, uncomment the section relevant to your device, and comment all other devices.
    ## Pi2SCART & VGA666 only!!
    #dtoverlay=vga666
    #hdmi_timings=320 1 16 30 34 240 1 2 3 22 0 0 0 60 0 6400000 1 #Pi2SCART/VGA666 [email protected]
    __
    ## RGB-Pi only!!
    #dtoverlay=pwm-2chan,pin=18,func=2,pin2=19,func2=2
    #dtoverlay=rgb-pi
    #dpi_output_format=6
    #hdmi_timings=320 1 16 30 34 240 1 2 3 22 0 0 0 60 0 6400000 1 #RGB-Pi [email protected]
    __
    ## RetroTINK Ultimate only!!
    #dtoverlay=dpi24
    #dpi_output_format=519
    #hdmi_timings=320 1 23 30 34 240 1 4 3 15 1 0 0 60 0 6400000 1 #RetroTINK [email protected]
__
  • Boot as normal, run Raspi-Config, and choose Expand Filesystem from Advanced Options, then reboot.
  • In Emulationstation, run "Enable VGA666" from the Retropie menu.
  • Your system will automatically reboot. Enjoy your Pi!
To Revert VGA666 to Retrotink Settings
  • In Emulationstation, run "Enable Retrotink" from the Retropie menu.
  • Your system will automatically reboot with the new settings.
Default Retroarch Keyboard Hotkeys
*SPACE: Enable Hotkey* F1 Menu F2 FF Toggle F3 Reset F4 Cheat Toggle F5 Save State F6 Load State F7 Change State - F8 Change State + F9 Screenshot F10 Mute ENTER: Exit 
I have X Issue! Help?
I only have like 500mb of free space on my XXgb SD card!
You need to expand your file system via Raspi-Config. Follow these steps.
Samba Share won't work after I set up Wi-Fi!
Samba share service starts on boot, pending that a network is available. Configure your Wi-Fi then reboot first, and if that doesn't fix it then go into Retropie Setup > Configuration/Tools > Samba > Install Samba. Once it's complete, reboot and it should be golden.
USB-Romservice and/or Retropie-Mount don't work!
Follow this guide, but follow these steps before plugging in your thumb drive:
  • Go to Retropie-Setup
  • Update retropie install script
  • Go to Manage Packages -> Optional Packages
  • Scroll all the way down to usbromservice
  • Uninstall usbromservice
  • Install it again from Binary
  • Once finished, choose Configuration, then Enable USB Romservice
  • Reboot, and wait for it to fully boot in to ES
  • Plug in USB stick (has to be FAT32) and WAIT A LONG TIME (if your stick has a light, wait for it to stop flashing)
Timings for Boot and Runcommand
320 x 240p @ 60hz Timings: Emulationstation, DOSBox, ScummVM, etc.
320 1 23 30 34 240 1 4 3 15 1 0 0 60 0 6400000 1 Retrotink 320x240p Timing 320 1 16 30 34 240 1 2 3 22 0 0 0 60 0 6400000 1 #VGA666 320x240p Timing 
Integer Scale Super-Resolution 240p @ 60hz Timings: All Retroarch Emulators
2048 1 180 202 300 240 1 3 5 14 0 0 0 60 0 42954545 1 #256x240/224p 1920 1 152 247 280 240 1 3 7 12 0 0 0 60 0 40860000 1 #320x240/224p 1600 1 85 157 192 240 1 4 3 15 0 0 0 60 0 32000000 1 #320x240/224p Alternate 
submitted by ErantyInt to crtgaming [link] [comments]

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