New to the MSX community. Have question about blurry text in Sofarun

By Cultstorm

Supporter (5)

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31-05-2019, 19:46

Hello everyone!

I'm new to this whole MSX community. I recently picked up a Panasonic FS-A1 and a Carnivore 2. I have it all basically set up and working... except the font in Sofarun is basically impossible to read. If I squint, I can make out the ROM file names, but it's very difficult.

I'm connected to a Toshiba CRT via composite. I am in the United States, so Scart isn't really a thing, but I do have the potential to connect with a component cable if that's even possible.

I'm not super skilled with the MSX, so any explanations may have to be dumbed down for me.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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By Jorito

Mr. Ambassadors (1761)

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31-05-2019, 20:03

That MSX has an RGB connector so ideally you would use that to connect for the best image quality (provided your monitor supports it). Still, with composite you should at least have readable text without needing to squint. It might be the cable, it might be the CRT, it might be the computer itself.

Maybe you can share a photo of what it looks like so more knowledgeable people can see if they recognize it?

By Cultstorm

Supporter (5)

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01-06-2019, 00:10

I made an imgur album. The ones with the blue screen are the roms in sofarun. They are actually easier to read in these pictures than they are in real life....go figure

Msx https://imgur.com/gallery/JYEVa6l

By DamnedAngel

Master (143)

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01-06-2019, 01:00

Cultstorm, your images look better than what I get when I connect my FS-A1mkII to a Sony CRT TV via composite.
I do not think you will get to improve the image too much, unles you stick to an RGB connection.

Here you will find info on how to build an adapter (in Portuguese, but the schemes are simple and google translate should be enough):

https://www.msxpro.com/rgb-vga.html

You will have to have a TV with VGA or Video Component input, or a 15Khz monitor.

Be sure to triple check the RGB pinout of your MSX.

By DamnedAngel

Master (143)

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01-06-2019, 01:04

Also, if you prefer, you can set SofaRun to display 40 columns instead of 80. That may be the simplest solution to readability.

By Cultstorm

Supporter (5)

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01-06-2019, 02:10

I think seeing sofarun to 40 columns would do the trick. How do I go about doing that?

By gdx

Prophet (2930)

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01-06-2019, 02:27

DamnedAngel wrote:

Here you will find info on how to build an adapter (in Portuguese, but the schemes are simple and google translate should be enough):

https://www.msxpro.com/rgb-vga.html

In English here:
https://www.msx.org/wiki/RGB_%288-pin_DIN_45326%29

By DamnedAngel

Master (143)

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01-06-2019, 02:57

Cultstorm wrote:

I think seeing sofarun to 40 columns would do the trick. How do I go about doing that?

There is an option in SofaRun's settings menu. Please refer to https://www.louthrax.net/mgr/sofarun_usage.html.

By Cultstorm

Supporter (5)

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01-06-2019, 03:16

I spent the last 20 minutes trying to follow louthrax's instructions. The settings are menus hidden inside menus.

The problem was that I couldn't actually read what the words said in these menus.

Boot up sofarun, hit esc. That takes you to a menu. Go to the 4th option (sofarun & default settings) (thought it said said restore default settings). Go to the bottom option of the second group (sofarun settings). This says, "force 40 columns" toggle the option to yes.

Then, sit back and enjoy being able to read what's actually on the screen!

By RetroTechie

Paragon (1563)

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01-06-2019, 05:37

DamnedAngel wrote:

You will have to have a TV with VGA or Video Component input, or a 15Khz monitor.

Forget VGA. It uses a different horizontal sync frequency. Meaning you'd either have to have a VGA monitor that supports eg. ~15 kHz hsync rates (AND split sync signals using an LM1881 or similar), or forget it.

With MSX, analog RGB @ 15 kHz hsync is what gets you best results. In practice, that means SCART, or something that's compatible signalling-wise. If you have that, a suitably wired cable should do the job. If that's not available: composite video.