retrogames

All posts tagged retrogames

I tried RGB modding my JVC TM-150CG PVM a while back with some help from the guide over on the Shmups forums, but wanted a cleaner, all round, better looking install / finish to what I had done.

After scouring reddit, someone suggested just buying the input card for it, which at the time (late 2019), the official ones were real pricey at around £200-£400, depending on where you bought them from. With a little bit of searching earlier this year in 2021, I came across the JVC IF-C01COMG RGB card from Retro Upgrades UK  (link) that was compatible with my model

So I decided to purchase the RGB unit from them. They also have the BNC (YPbPr) version for component connectors, all for £49.99 which are compatible with the following JVC monitors:

JVC TM-H150CG
JVC TM-H1750CG
JVC TM-H1950CG
JVC DT-V1700CG
JVC DT-V1710CG
JVC DT-V1900CG
JVC DT-V1910CG

JVC IF-C01COMG BNC YPbPr card for JVC Monitors – Image courtesy of Retro Upgrades UK

Simple plug and play setup, slide the card into the slot on the back of the PVM and you are good to go. It really is that simple. You also have the added benefit of using… Continue Reading

I know what you are probably thinking, or perhaps not thinking, but…PS2 in 2021, why? Well, why not? the PS2 is still an awesome machine, even in 2021. I’m sure loads of folk would agree.

I decided to dust off my PS2 slim after over a year lying dormant and started to test some of my backups, all of which were skipping FMV’s and crashing so i thought, the lasers probably on its way out. Sad and crying (not really) I looked into alternative options to see what I could do to get it back up and running with better performance. OpenPS2Loader is one solution which I’d highly recommend. I’d heard of this a while ago, so thought I’d finally take a dive into checking it out to see what it was all about, and its honestly the best thing you could ever do for your PS2.

There’s plenty of guides out there so I wont go into the details here, but check out the videos from Phoenix Media:

This is also heavily documented on https://github.com/toolboc/psx-pi-smbshare

There is also a huge community forum over at https://www.ps2-home.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=13&sid=c5a821159fe273c550ddf1044964bb54 – that shows you how to install themes / discuss game compatibility, issues, and so on.

What is it?

psx-pi-smbshare is a preconfigured Raspbian based image for Raspberry Pi 1, 2, 3 and 4. It runs a Samba share, a pi-compatible build of ps3netsrv, and reconfigures the ethernet port to act as a router. This gives low-latency, direct access to the Samba service through an ethernet cable connection between a PS2/PS3 and Raspberry Pi.

Essentially, you are setting up the Pi as a router (connected to the PS2. Pi ethernet port configured to talk to the PS2 ethernet port), then through the PS2 OpenPS2Loader app (when configured) the Pi will access the USB stick or HDD through this ethernet connection between the devices, allowing you to play your PS2 backups all through the neat UI on the PS2. This method is much better than running a HDD through the PS2’s USB 1.1 port for obvious reasons. Through the PS2 USB port you will inevitably encounter FMV and game lag plus sound stuttering due to how slow the 1.1 port is.

All you need for this is a USB drive (or externally powered hard disk drive – in my case), a raspberry PI (doesn’t matter if its a pi0,1,2,3,4 etc), and an ethernet cable, plus a soft modded PS2 (with free mcboot).

I used a really old raspberry PI B+ model (yes that old) and a 500GB SSD in an external enclosure (with external power) for mine and it works a treat following the guides / github above.

There is also a nifty tool (USBUtil 2.2v) that will prep / patch backup game files greater than 4.5Gb into smaller parts that you can copy to the USB stick or hard drive, ready to play. OPL manager is another program for PC which will gather game images / box art and so on so that all your games look sweet through the PS2 UI. Check out some of the screenshots of it completed and working below:

Testing with a USB 3.0 Stick (64Gb)

Completion: Using a 500Gb external SSD in a (powered) caddy connected to the PS2 via ethernet cable. Beautiful.

This mod, alongside the PS2 connected to my PVM with RBG is the ultimate PS2 mod in my opinion. To add new backups I just connect the HDD to my PC, run the games through the USBUtil 2.2 program, then OPL manager to gather the box art etc, then put them onto the drive, and then reconnect it back up to the PS2 via ethernet, turn it all on, and its good to go.

If you have a PS2 and want to ”save” its laser, or just fancy a little side project (like I did), give this one a go. You won’t be disappointed.