Hi, everybody, I am so glad to announce that, after the huge success the previous batches had, all thanks to you, I managed to get all the necessary parts and arrange the dates with the factories to build another run of the Ironclad Plus which is already in production, you can get yours at the shop right now. I estimate it will be all assembled and shipped during the months of June and July, i have been quite accurate lately with dates, and i really, really, will do everything i can to not have any delay as i really need some rest during August for once in years 😉

First quarter of 2023 has been an optimization period, I knew what should be done and that’s why the 6th batch was announced with so much anticipation vs delivery dates, I needed to optimize the manufacturing process much further, replace some parts with easier to get ones and available at the factory, doing some re-arrangements and, in the end, making everything I could to make the Ironclad Plus production faster and lighter with less manual work from my side, of course without losing anything in quality, as that is the key here, and the latest run went with 0 defects or returns, which is impressive!. I think i managed to get just that, and more… I also needed to improve in that because some changes in my life are coming and i am going to need more time to spend with my family from this summer and on.

Now to the interesting stuff, during this time we had a huge functionality addition to the MiSTer project; official support for S-Video and Composite (cvbs) analog output, this took me in the middle of making adjustments and I thought; “well, here we go again…”

Ironclad Plus’s Composite and S-Video output: People from the previous batch are already noticing there is a new switch on board when receiving their orders, behind the audio output jack, labeled as “Y/C MIX as composite”.The Ironclad Plus supports S-Video and Composite with the officially added functionality through the VGA output, just like the official IO board, but with this new addition Composite video is also available from the MegaDrive/Genesis 2 video output, so you can use official Sega or third party composite cables. As you might already know the composite video output level from the MiSTer is a bit under spec in output level, so it will look dark in most TV sets, and that is what the newly added switch solves, flicking it to the “ON” position while your MiSTer is configured to output S-video mixes the Y&C signals to create a splendid Composite video signal on spec with the correct brightness output. This switch affects the MD2 and the VGA analog connectors at once, so you will not have to worry about creating external joining circuits or modding your cables to get correct output, everything is integrated on board. Please remember that this switch should be left “OFF” in any other video output mode configuration, or you will get an image with incorrect colors. For the cores that do not yet support S-Video/composite output, the universal S-Video converter add-on is available at the shop to be bought as an add-on, as always.

USB on/off controller charging ports: Now USB ports 3 and 4 (the closests to the VGA connector) can be used to charge your wireless controllers while your Ironclad Plus MiSTer is OFF, this USB ports are limited to 1 Amp output which is plenty to charge any couple of controllers at once, but not enough to fast charge your cell phone, or overload the PSU while the system is OFF, which is the main reason I limited them. The charging while off function can be disabled as there might be cases were you want to use that ports to plug a storage device and do not want it to be ON all the time, so they will shut off with your MiSTer as the other ports do. The instructions to enable/disable the functionality is written on the board’s printed instructions, which is; “Triple click on the case power button while the system is off”, which is perfect as you can toggle charging or not-charging at will without needing to turn on your MiSTer, genius! XD

This functionality has some limitations though, It charges every third party controller i tried, 8Bitdo, Retro-Bit, etc… but some official “hi-tech” controllers need to make a “handshake” with the host system to allow charging, this applies to DualShock4, DualSense, and probably others, so this controllers will not charge while the system is off. Xbox controllers with “play & charge” kits do work though.

6th Batch status report: Shipping is going mostly on schedule, a bit on the late side of the estimated dates I gave but not by much, this was due to the optimizations to the production process and the changes i explained above, but i hope you appreciate the new functionalities you are getting at no additional cost to compensate a bit for the small delay ;). 6th batch will be completely shipped before May 5th.

Hi-Fi Blaster for previous customers: The run i did at the beginning of this month was sold out pretty quick, it seems i underestimated the demand by a lot shot, more units are already been produced and will be restocked during May, please subscribe to the item at the shop so you will receive an e-mail as soon as the stock is back. I am so glad to see you coming back… the sensation i have when i see your names again cannot be described with words 🙂

And that’s it for now, this coming months are going to be, maybe, the more exciting ones for the MiSTer’s community we have ever had with all the new cores being developed, with special mention to the mighty N64, I hope you enjoy every second of them as this only happens once in life, but remember that your MiSTer FPGA is forever! 😉

Love you all!!

Categories: News