Streaming Setup, Iterated

While playing “Rick Dangerous” during my first live stream, I did notice an interference in the video signal coming from my Amiga 1200. It did not look too bad, though, and I decided to worry about it later.

When I captured a video of installing “Die Kathedrale”, the interference became much more prominent:

I am not sure what causes this interference just yet, but at this point I am almost certain that it is caused by my current power supply. I will know for sure whether or not the power supply is the culprit when my Compact Amiga Power Supply Unit from Individual Computers arrives.

Regardless of whether I will be able to solve this video signal interference issue or not, I began to wonder whether it is a good idea to use the analog video output of my Amiga 1200 in the first place.

The Amiga’s Lisa chip produces a digital video signal that is converted to an analog signal for output. The Open Source Scan Converter converts this analog signal back to a digital signal for video capture.

All the while, though, I have a flickerfixer which takes the digital video signal right from the Lisa chip and makes it available through DVI.

So the question is: can I capture video from my Amiga’s DVI port?

I acquired a DVI-to-HDMI adapter for connecting my Amiga’s flickerfixer’s DVI output to my video capture device which required an HDMI connection. The result looked great:

Good DVI Output

I have configured my Amiga 1200’s Workbench to use a graphics resolution of 1280x512 (PAL:Super-High Res Laced). Games, though, use a much lower resolution. The same applies to a default Workbench setup. Here is a capture of the video signal that I got for a common low resolution:

This is, of course, not useful. I asked what was going on in the support forum for my Individual Computers AGA MK2cr flickerfixer and quickly got a useful response from its designer. All I needed to do was change the output mode of the flickerfixer for the Amiga’s low resolution from “800x600 60 Hz” to “1280x1024 60Hz”.

Here is a schematic of my new streaming setup:

Streaming Setup

Streaming Setup

Inspired by my friend Daniel, I started to stream from my Amiga 1200 to Twitch today.

This is a schematic of my streaming setup:

Streaming Setup

This is what it looks like in OBS Studio on my PC:

OBS Studio

And this is what I see while streaming:

Rick Dangerous on Amiga 1200

ATX Power Supply

Back in December 2018, I installed a RapidRoad USB expansion in my Amiga 1200. I only had limited time to test the setup at the time, everything seemed to work great, and I was happy.

When I finally wanted to use the USB ports for real about half a year later, though, the USB expansion suddenly stopped working, its power LED would not even turn on anymore. In a discussion with Jens Schönfeld, the designer of the USB expansion, I learned that my RapidRoad board probably died due to voltage/power fluctuations. After over two decades, not only do the capacitors on the mainboard need capacitor replacing but also the power supply’s components are deteriorated.

Thankfully, although entirely not his fault, Jens Schönfeld offered to repair my RapidRoad board for free. He insisted, though, that I get a new power supply for my Amiga in order to avoid running into the same problem again.

When I asked him at the time, Jens Schönfeld did not want to suggest a replacement power supply for me. So I turned to Stefan Schakow for help. He suggested to use a regular ATX power supply that only needs slight modification for use with an Amiga. The power supply he modified for me arrived back in September 2019:

ATX Power Supply

Again, I only had limited time available for testing when the power supply arrived. It was only over the last couple of days that I powered my Amiga 1200 up again. Both the power supply and the USB expansion work like a charm.

In his seminar at Revision 2020, Jens Schönfeld revealed that he is working on a new Amiga power supply. And while my current setup works, I sure look forward to a modern power supply that is explicitly designed for the Amiga.

Amiga Development with Visual Studio Code

At Evoke 2019 last week, Bartman/Abyss presented a seminar on “Modern Amiga 500 Demo Development” where he showed off a “new open-source and easy-to-use toolchain and extension for Visual Studio Code you can harness the power and speed of GCC 8 code generation, full syntax highlighting and code completion, as well as source-level debugging” that he developed.

This toolchain is now available on GitHub and I just played with it a bit:

It is really convenient to use a modern code editor and then just hit “F5” and have Bartman’s toolchain take over to compile the code with a modern compiler (that can perform optimizations not available back in the day) to an Amiga binary that then gets automatically executed in an emulated Amiga.

Kipper2k External Compact Flash Adapter

Kipper2k External Compact Flash Adapter

Today the Kipper2k External Compact Flash Adapter that I ordered in December of last year finally arrived. After a quick and painless installation I can now replace my Amiga 1200’s internal “hard disk drive” without opening the computer’s case.

Photos of the installation can be found here.