A whole bunch of questions


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I'm very new here so please forgive me if I ask stupid questions.


1 - I recently brought a RetroCade someone was selling on eBay for £68.60 ($106.26 I'm not even sure if I paid a fair price?). Sadly thought the screen is damaged please can someone tell me the cheapest place to buy a new one in the UK (or EU online) and what exactly to buy, could I replace it with a RGB equivalent as the blue light hurts my eyes a bit and it's nice to adjust the colour?


2 - Would the RetroCade work with the Papilio DUO?


3 - I purchased this having read this: http://www.gadgetfactory.net/2013/10/retrocade-v1-1-c64-sid-analog-filters-are-here/

I am guessing the since that was posted in 2013 the Mac software will be out by now, where can I download it?



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2) no. you need a Papilio 500k minimum but best a Papilio Pro.

2a) http://retrocade.gadgetfactory.net/index.php?n=Main.HomePage   see the section 'RetroCade Hardware'


3) not sure as i dont use a mac.. i let Jack answer that one. 

3a)  http://forum.gadgetfactory.net/index.php?/topic/1684-retrocade-for-mac/





carries Jack's products, however I don't see the retrocade there.


you can probably get this guy




to ship it to you (official germany distributor)

but if not, i am sure we can work something out and i can order it for you and ship it to you in the UK as I am in Germany.


i assume you already have a papilio pro or papilio 500k board.


out of curiosity, what ebay user did you buy your retrocade from?


the LCD looks to be a simple HD44780 compatible interface (i would have to check out the schematics to find out)

means we can probably get yours fixed for way cheaper than it would cost to buy a new one, assuming it is the actual LCD that is broken.


whereabouts in the UK are you located?




 expanded some answers.. also,


 yes its an HD44780 LCD.

 looks like it is pin/socket mounted meaning

 should be just unscrewing old lcd, removing it.

 putting in new pins to new lcd. done.



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Hello SpaceFire,


Felix's answers are dead on, you can easily replace the LCD module with one from ebay or other sources for very cheap. Just search for HD44780 16x2 LCD, any color will work. As far as RGB, I'm not sure about that one, it depends on how the RGB color is controlled and if those pins are connected... They probably are not connected, pins were at a premium in this design.


As for the MAC client, I think there was a MAC version of the Papilio Loader over a year ago, but it has not been updated. Your best bet is to get the latest version of the DesignLab software and run it in parallels on your MAC. That is where all of the latest RetroCade work is happening. Some Papilio community members are working on support for new chips, POKEY, Atari TIA, NES and they will release in the latest version of DesignLab.




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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Felix and Jack,


Thank you both for your help-



The eBay purcahse was a  one off privet sale I guess, he's not selling anymore of them or anything like that as far as I know..

I am located in the SouthWest of England.




I hope you don't mind, I have a few more questions:


1. What are the actual differences between the Papilio Pro and the Papilio DUO and which one is more recent?

2. I am unable to run parallels, I purcahsed this specifically because it seemed to be advertised as working on the Mac.

3. Who would I have to bribe to get the Papilio Loader updated for Yosemite?

4. Is there anyway to reset the synth back to default settings I cannot seem to get any MIDI in or out of it.



All the best,



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Here's my attempt at answering a few of the questions:


1. Both Papilio Pro and Papilio Duo have the same FPGA (Spartan 6).  The Papilio Duo has an addition to that an AT micro controller chip.  The Papilio Pro and Papilio Duo have different onboard, off chip memory.  Papilio Duo is more recent but I don't believe it's compatible with "wings" like the RetroCade one, instead it takes Arduino-style "shields."

2. I'll note that I in turn am using Papilio Loader on Linux within VMware Fusion under Mac OS X 10.9.5.  When I first got my Papilio Pro I tried setting up the loader on the Mac side, and had problems.  (I don't remember what they were.)

3. I have no answer.  Somebody would have to figure out why it's not working.  (Tried building & running it just now, on my system, which is older than Yosemite.  It compiles, and runs, and fails with "Could not access USB device 0403:6010. If this is linux then use sudo" and that's when run under sudo.)

4. I don't think the RetroCade synth board has any persistent state onboard.  The actual work of the synth is done on the Papilio board.  My Papilio Pro came preloaded with a demo program that wasn't for any particular wing.  I don't know what it does on the RetroCade; on the Arcade MegaWing it causes some of the LEDs to blink and produces a clicking sound on the audio output.  As for changing it, I believe the Papilio Loader can do that, though I haven't ever actually tried it.

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Hello SF,


The Papilio DUO is the newer board, but as far as using the RetroCade the Papilio Pro is going to be a better choice. The DUO is better for people who want to make their own FPGA projects with easier to use SRAM memory. The RetroCade project already makes use of the SDRAM memory, of which there is more. On the Pro there is 8MB of SDRAM memory and on the DUO the max is 2MB. People prefer SRAM because it is much easier to use in a project, but for the RetroCade it is a moot point. So if your interest is in the Retrocade Synth then you have the best solution with the Pro and the RetroCade Synth.


As far as the Mac support, I'm sorry that it is not working with the latest version on the Mac. At one point I hired someone to get Papilio Loader working on the Mac and it was working correctly. It looks like upgrades to the OS have caused problems. Here is a guide for setting up Papilio Loader on the Mac:



There is a forum thread talking about getting it to work on Mavericks, maybe it applies to Yosemite too?



Let me know, worst case scenario I will see if I can track down the gentleman who did the Mac work before and pay him to upgrade the installer. That could take a while to work out though.



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