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NES Satellite, anybody have experience?


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I've had my NES 4-Score for years, always liked having the wired capability for those few 4 player NES games. But lately, I'm thinking some remote control might be nice. I've almost snagged a few newish ones on ebay over the years, before everything got loony expensive, but these still come in at a somewhat reasonable price.

 

Does anybody own one, or have an experience with them? It takes...get this...SIX C CELL batteries!...you read that right, six. Now I know what that plastic off-set box next to the controller inputs must be, a battery compartment :D

 

As far as the wireless, is it line of sight, like can somebody walking in front of the receiver end up causing the controllers to stop working? What's the range, something reasonable? And...is there any input lag, any delay? I hate lag, and sadly, seem to be more perceptive to it than most. My test for NES lag is Punch Out: if it affects my gameplay on that game, then it's what I consider noticeable.

 

Thanks for any thoughts, guys.

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I've had my NES 4-Score for years, always liked having the wired capability for those few 4 player NES games. But lately, I'm thinking some remote control might be nice. I've almost snagged a few newish ones on ebay over the years, before everything got loony expensive, but these still come in at a somewhat reasonable price.

 

Does anybody own one, or have an experience with them? It takes...get this...SIX C CELL batteries!...you read that right, six. Now I know what that plastic off-set box next to the controller inputs must be, a battery compartment :D

 

As far as the wireless, is it line of sight, like can somebody walking in front of the receiver end up causing the controllers to stop working? What's the range, something reasonable? And...is there any input lag, any delay? I hate lag, and sadly, seem to be more perceptive to it than most. My test for NES lag is Punch Out: if it affects my gameplay on that game, then it's what I consider noticeable.

 

Thanks for any thoughts, guys.

 

I just looked at some pics. It has a voltage regulator. It has two 74 series logic ICs which i would replace with 4000 series CMOS for something battery powered if not wanting to use voltage regulator but however it has also another chip I can't make it out what it says from google pics, probably an encoder chip which probably has to have 5V. Point being though is the voltage regulator though in this would be why it takes such big batteries.

 

It can probably be replaced with this though now

 

1065-02.jpg

 

And could probably get away with AA batteries I would think but then the whole case has to be redesigned. I'm not sure how long the C cell batteries last in the thing but replacing the regulator with the buck converter should make the batteries last a lot longer than they do.

Edited by SignGuy81
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I have one that got used a few times as a kid. It does indeed use an infrared signal, so it should be entirely blockable if it's not lined up right. I don't really remember any lag or issues other than that, and it had enough range that it worked in the room we had the NES in.

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I avoid infrared anything.

I got a Famicom infrared pad. The nice part is that it got a (Famicom) gamepad/expansion port, so you can either use it for two players with your infrared pad and one more standard pad, or use the module as an infrated emitter to play with your favorite wired controller.

The bad part? it's too slow. While I found that the infrared transmission is reasonnably reliable, the transmission speed isn't. Playing a shoot'm'up with that thing would be a nightmare.

 

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Freedom connect is the same way. Has to be directly in line of site. RF was just not that good back then.

It's not RF, it's infrared. It's why it need a direct line of sight to work.

RF would be much better, but there would probably still be a speed limit on how many inputs the RF can send, but that would be an electronical limit of the era.

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The difference will come from the electronics that deal with it.

Typically infrared will be slower because the receptor will require several long flashes to get the order right. You might be wndering then, why we use optical fiber to speed up Internet?

The difference is that fibre is enclosed, and light is "directed" in the fiber.

Infrared in your house isn't directed, else it would be a wired pad, and there are several sources of infrared wavelenghts in a house.

RF is then faster (Bluetooth is RF); lag is introduced because of the digital encoding and decoding of the buttons you press.

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I have a NES Satellite, and apart from the issue with the C-cell batteries, I have found it useful for controllers with short cords (like the AV Famicom controllers).

I understand that the turbo feature is less than impressive, especially as the batteries age. The NES Advantage is the best official means for obtaining turbo.

 

The best feature of the Satellite, compared to most other infrared controllers, is that the controller's transmitter and the console's receiver should have a stable connection if there is a line of sight. Wireless infrared controllers are difficult to maintain a steady connection with the receiver.

 

As far as latency goes, I have never read anything to suggest that infrared controllers were noticeably more laggy than wired controllers. Modern RF controllers do induce latency between the protocols, the transmission/polling rate and the cleanliness of the signal. But infrared controllers also use a protocol to avoid confusion with other devices. But these protocols can be efficient since they are typically sending only a few bytes-worth of information. In total I would suggest that infrared probably adds 2ms of latency over a wired controller, but more research or testing would be illuminating.

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As far as line of sight goes, my only worry was where I read that the console and the receiver need to be at the same height. That would be a bit limiting, to say the least. But if the console is in an entertainment unit, and the receiver is on the floor, as long as there is a line of sight (albeit on an angle), as long as the signal isn't blocked by the edge of the shelf the NES is sitting on, it should be ok, right? I guess I'll have to try one as I keep finding reasons to get one :D The six C cells however...nothing to NOT complain about there, that's just crazy. I know there's adaptors out there to go from C to AA, though, and I have plenty of NimH AA batteries. I can't use my beloved C cells for anything other than powering Expansion Module #2 ! :D

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have one and don't really like it. Infrared lags. For its time it was OK I suppose, and for a more passive game it works, but action like Mario its noticeable. And shooters, yeah, forget that.

 

The controller is nice, but with the huge box (and wire) hanging off it, it would have been better (and cheaper) to just add more wire and plug it direct.

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  • 2 years later...
On 3/27/2018 at 4:41 PM, Video said:

I have one and don't really like it. Infrared lags. For its time it was OK I suppose, and for a more passive game it works, but action like Mario its noticeable. And shooters, yeah, forget that.

I know I'm resurrecting an old thread, but if my Google search of NES Satellite brought me here, then others may benefit from the post too.

 

I just picked up an NES Satellite and it DOES lag.  Most games it is not noticeable.  I've been using it for a month and just realized it lags after starting The Adventure of Link.  It lags just enough to make it impossible to get out of tight situations without taking damage.  If it weren't for the lag, I'd say I love it.  Rechargable aaa batteries with C adapters have lasted about a month so far (and still going) with 1-2 hours of play each day.  Batteries seem to last a very long time.  I'm going to keep using it, but only for 4 player games because of the minor lag.

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