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Freeplay Zero finally done! Pictures and final thoughts
#11
Ed, now I think that there's something special about your FPZ image that is not outlined in your instructions. I have tried three images now including the stock 4.3 image directly from the Retropie website. The only change I made is the ssh file and wpa_supplicant.conf, and editing the config.txt to add the FPZ. All of them boot up with a white screen and never progress further.

Just flashed the original 4.2 FPZ image. No roms transferred yet. No slowdowns. Now updating to 4.3. Let's see what happens. Just curious, have you run any FPZ units on 4.3?

Update: transferred about 50 roms over across 4 systems and still no slowdown. The good news is the speed issues are gone on this fresh install ... so far.
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#12
Yes. There are changes more than just the config.txt. There is the cloning software (that runs the LCD), the driver that handles turning the button presses into a joystick device, and the script that handles shutting down the system when you hold the power button.

The instructions/scripts mentioned over here (http://forum.freeplaytech.com/thread-446...ml#pid5982) should detail these items.

However, in the case you described (where you just get a white screen), you would likely have had HDMI and keyboard input working properly if you connected them (which may or may not be useful to you).

I really wonder what this slowdown is. There was another guy asking about slowdown in some emulation (http://forum.freeplaytech.com/thread-447...ml#pid6023). I wonder if it's related.
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#13
I see what's happening here. When I use your instructions to update an existing image/install, I am going only as far as the Timezone settings. For GPIO and LCD, I expect to have to do them after I am booted up with SSH access. It makes sense, like you said, that I probably wouldn't have a functional display if the LCD steps haven't been setup. If it's true that I probably would have a HDMI and keyboard input (or better yet - SSH), I could totally finish the steps without using the actual FPZ display.

Not sure what caused the slowdown but with a free install and upgrade to 4.3, things have been working again.
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#14
Just a quick FYI...

I have just updated https://github.com/TheFlav/rpi-fbcp

I have not yet updated any instructions, but if you want to try it, the freeplayfbcp.cfg file would go in /boot (/boot/freeplayfbcp.cfg). Then if you use the new code (and compile it), you can tweak the settings. The main thing you could do is turn the scaling off in fbcp and then use the overscan options. If you prefer this method, it can actually use a little less CPU.

You might need to run
apt-get install libconfig-dev
before compiling.

Again, this is in a hurry, so you might not want to mess with it until I have it properly set up to be easy to compile/use.
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#15
Hmm interesting. I will check it out but right now things are working pretty well so I don't want to mess with it. I did have a question though. I am using the batteries you suggest, from RetroModding. I am using both of them so double the capacity. I never play long sessions (more than 30 mins) but after a few short sessions, I get the warning light then soon after, a forced shut down (no more power). You quote 5-5.5 hours of life and while I haven't measured it, I don't really think I am getting anything near that. I can do a more scientific test - maybe load a game and let it run through the intro loop until it runs out of power. It "feels" like the battery life is more like 2-2.5 hours.

For your numbers, did you do anything special like disable wifi and bluetooth? I can do that easily if it helps. I am not sure what else might be a big battery drain. it's so variable because my Retropie setup might use a special utility or tool (like Watchdog) which might take more power than your setup, etc.
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#16
Those numbers (5-5.5hrs) were done with a Pi Zero (maybe even before the Pi Zero W came out). We tested it several times and got very consistent results. We would usually run a GBA game and let it run it intro/attract mode until the battery died.

There have been changes to the software since then, but I can't think of anything that would impact the battery double (like what you're seeing).

If you can do a more scientific test, that would be quite helpful. I'm wondering if one of your batteries isn't fully plugged in or isn't working properly. If it was almost exactly half the battery life, that would be my first thought.

If you do some testing, maybe try with only one battery. See what you get. Then add the second battery, and see if you get double whatever your first result was.


-----
Just as a bit of added info, I believe that the RetroModding cells you have would be the 753050 batteries. Here are our original tests using singles of those (which is somewhat consistent with the results you mentioned).

1000mAh 753050 Cells (tested using GPA v2.0)
Size: 7.5x30x50mm each
Single Cell TEST 1: 2h 24m
Single Cell TEST 2: 2h 35m
Single Cell TEST 3: 2h 38m
----
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#17
Oh this is great information! Let me do the tests you suggested. I really do wonder if one of the cells is faulty or something's wrong with the board connection. I'll check.

I noticed sometimes when I plug in the first battery, a green light will flash briefly on the board. But not the second battery. I thought it was designed to do it with just initial power. But other times I remember the first battery not flashing but the second would. Are they both supposed to flash?
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#18
It’s as you thought. It flashes quickly when it initially gets power and then it “realizes” that it’s supposed to be turned off (and turns off). Smile
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#19
Is it supposed to flash with each battery? I figured out the culprint. One of the batteries doesn't flash. If I try to power it on with just that dead battery nothing happens. I don't think it's the connection on the board, I think it's the battery. It can't see any issues with the JST plug or wiring. When I have the dead battery plugged in alone, and plug in the microUSB cable to charge, it goes instant green. I assume this means it thinks the battery is fully charged, or it's not getting any resistance from the battery. I loathe to think I have to deal with RetroModding to replace this DOA battery.
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#20
Let's get this figured out. Can you email me some photos of the battery? I wonder if there's anything obvious.
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