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New RetroStone SBC gaming handheld

Posted: Sat May 18, 2019 8:11 am
by sgtgrumbles
The RetroStone folks have put a new Kickstarter up for a "metal edition" gaming handheld. Check it out:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/58 ... aming-cons
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It appears to use a custom PCB with an Allwinner H3 (Cortex A7 quad-core, HDMI, 4 USB, Ethernet, audio jack, volume wheel)

I'm happy to see they got the D-pad PCB contacts right! Finally, an AIO SBC handheld with good diagonal inputs :) Notice they're using the old NES/SNES/Genesis style contacts for the D-pad buttons in contrast to the contacts for the A/B/X/Y buttons.
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I'm curious about the choice of an Allwinner H3 SOC. I was under the impression this chip didn't support DPI/RBG but one of the pictures clearly states "AV->RGB24". I guess I've been mistaken?

In any case, this looks nice! Goodluck to RetroStone

Re: New RetroStone SBC gaming handheld

Posted: Sat May 18, 2019 9:19 pm
by Helder
I hope they are not taking Composite video signal and converting it to RGB for the LCD. It looks a little blurry and Composite video like in the image above. I don't know why they don;t take HDMI output and convert it to RGB and there are high quality chips from TI (if I remember correctly) that can do this.

Re: New RetroStone SBC gaming handheld

Posted: Mon May 20, 2019 7:55 pm
by mattyiceg
Helder wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 9:19 pm
I hope they are not taking Composite video signal and converting it to RGB for the LCD. It looks a little blurry and Composite video like in the image above. I don't know why they don;t take HDMI output and convert it to RGB and there are high quality chips from TI (if I remember correctly) that can do this.
So this is their Retrostone 1 in a aluminum case. Your hunch is correct. The creator is in the process of creating a version 2 with a better display... I guess some people seemed interested in an aluminum case for the version 1?

Re: New RetroStone SBC gaming handheld

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 9:20 am
by floppes
sgtgrumbles wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 8:11 am
I was under the impression this chip didn't support DPI/RBG but one of the pictures clearly states "AV->RGB24". I guess I've been mistaken?
The Kickstarter campaign of the original RetroStone has the same picture with "AV->RGB24". I think the only difference is the aluminium case and the lack of the EnergySquare pins.

I have one of the first RetroStrones with the plastic case and the display is horrible. It's 320x240 pixels, fed with an analog signal converted back to digital. It looks like an old TV with blurred lines and poor colors. Cannot recommend buying it. But it looks like they are working on RetroStone 2, hopefully with a fully digitally fed display.

Re: New RetroStone SBC gaming handheld

Posted: Mon May 27, 2019 2:40 pm
by Strider
I have one of these and my only complaint is the analog screen looks terrible compared to a TFT.

Other than that it's my go-to handheld, I've been using it for my first Majora's Mask playthrough. Battery life is over four hours and the controls feel good in my gormy hands.