BlisSTer quick reference

 

Requirements:

  • BlisSTer requires an input board 5.5 or greater. You can also make your own custom way of accessing the J2 on the DE10-Nano.
  • LLAPI cores are required for LLAPI features not for USB mode.
  • DO NOT use anything other then 5 volts to power this board. The MiSTer power adapter works fine, use a pass-thru to power the MiSTer.

BlisSTer accessories (email a link if you wish to have a link on this page)

Quick Connect Guide (For more detail see support page)

Minimal Mister Setup.

 

Newer boards have a power protection module.  This module is safe to press up against metal as all extruding points are ground. Tempering with the module can result in a non functional board. On the bottom of the BlisSter there will be a yellow/orange LED. It simply means the module has power. On top the red LED indicates current is flowing to the board. In the event of a power surge or over voltage the red LED will go out and the BlisSter and Mister will be protected.

 

If you wish not to use a I/O Board, here is a quick how to for making your own USB 3.0 port.

 

BlisSter features –

  • BlisSter is essentially an upgraded USB hub board. It has the same USB system with 7 ports but two are occupied with the same chip found in the Gamer-Pro (Bliss-Box). These ports are HDMI style ports used for Bliss-Box cables. Both are equipped with reset buttons.
  • The two HDMI ports can work in normal USB mode or LLAPI mode and are switched via the MiSTer. In USB mode the LEDS are green. In LLAPI mode they are red.
  • Power switch for easy on and off operation when routing the power cable in from the wall and out to the MiSTer.
  • Voltage shut off features (on second run v2 boards only). Saves all your hardware form over voltage and power strikes. Output port is not protected, only the input port is monitored.

Bliss-Box features – BlisSTer gets all of the Bliss-Box features as well. Here are some of the button combos for these features.  For more detail see support.

  • D-Pad-(UDLR) Mode:  Left trigger + Right Trigger + select or Z(for n64 pads)  (hold for 3 seconds) (Also can be turned on via the API Tool)
  • Turbo Mode: To enable turbo on any of the main buttons (i.e. b,a,x,y,l,r) press the button you wish to toggle and while leaving it pressed, do one of the following. The default mode is 20 shot.
    Press start 3 times to enable turbo on that button. To disable repeat the same operation.
    Press start 4 times to set the fast turbo mode, 20 shots a second.
    Press start 5 times to set the slow turbo mode, 10 shots a second.
    The slow turbo speed can also be sent in the API tool with more control.
  • Button Swapping and rotation:  To activate the rotation of 4 face buttons; press  the 4 face buttons then press start for 2 seconds. Repeat to rotate again. To activate a button swap (you may do two pairs) press  any two buttons then start for 2 seconds. For example  A and B and start, to swap A and B buttons. if you wish to also swap  C and D pres C and D and start for 2 more seconds.  (This is only configurable via the controller).
  • Hotkey: (defaults to off)  Pressing and holding START (2 seconds) will trigger a button combo. You may configure this combo for a hot key in front-ends like Retro Arch. Use the API to set this combo. Simply hold the combination of button(s) you desire and press the HotKey API button. Once that has been done, that combo will fire when you long press the start button. Only the first row of buttons (i.e. a,b,x,y,l,r) are supported. To disable this feature press the HotKey button with no combo held down. The default is unset so it will not work until it has been set in the API tool.
  • Alternative mapping: Currently there are two mapping modes for 6 button controllers. These are the controllers that normally have the Z and C buttons. The default is to put these buttons as left and right shoulder buttons (L1 and R1) but some gamers want to map them to the  L2 and r2. This can be done by pressing the two (Z and C) buttons then pressing a d-pad direction.  Currently and if a controller has an alternative mode, the d-pad up is default and down is the alternative. Left and right are reserved for potential future alternative mappings. Example; With a Saturn controller you may press both Z and C along with the down d-pad to enter the alternative mapping mode.

Maintenance and updating:

  • Since the LLAPI is not in the main, it is recommended to update the LLAPI cores to get MisSTer updates. The work for you has been done by the wonderful fans, here is now.

Run ‘update.sh’ the mister update script.
Run ‘llapi_updater.sh’ for newest llapi cores
blisster_updater.sh and llapi_updater.sh found here 

  • Also It is wise to  run the ‘blisSTer_updater.sh’ script often. Remember that you have to run this script two separate times. Once for each bliss-port. Do not use the same bliss reset button both times.  If you see an “Error opening HIDBoot device”, the script did not work. Reboot the mister and try running the updater again for that port. If you still see this you may have caused a faulty flash. Use the safe mode flashing instructions.

Notes:

  • LLAPI branch  not merged with the main branch is currently updated by rezb1t.
  • LLAPI is open source, see Mister implementation here And Bliss-Box’s implementation here.
  • What controllers work with the BlisSTer, see Bliss-Box compatibility here.

 

Latency, Jitter,lag, and polling. A simple illustration.
Not viewable in phone mode or short screens. 
Jitter
game   |———-|———-|———-|———-|———- Lets assume the game polls at 16ms.
USB    —-|———-|———-|———-|———-|—— USB polling at 16ms but not in sync
>USB  -|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-| USB at 1ms still not always in sync
LLAPI   |———-|———-|———-|———-|———-LLAPI always matches the game.

As you can see any deviation from the game poll we consider jitter. Even with 1ms poll-rate we still have jitter. Is that concerning, no probably not but LLAPI eliminates this by having the data ready at the time of polling.

Latency
A much easier concept to grasp often confused for jitter. Simply a delay in payload.
Button press ————|————————–|
poll read       —-|—-|—-|—-|—-|—-|—-|—-|—-|
As shown above the read may take longer to see that a button was pressed. So when we refer to lag, We are talking about the combine issues.

However the main point here is, LLAPI is not an interval’d poll, it’s polled via the master. The MiSTer core is simulating the hardware, so when the game polls, it tells the MiSTer to poll, that tells the LLAPI to poll. Doing so just before the console asks for it. In other words, just like the real hardware.

FAQ

  • Q. General
  • When transitioning to and from LLAPI mode or when hitting reset, wait 3 seconds before pressing any buttons on the controller. The Bliss-Box chip needs a moment to detect the controller plugged in. This also happens when the OSD is opened or closed while running in LLapi mode.
  • If you’re consistently having troubles with intermittent connectivity check the pins in the Bliss-Box dongle. They at times can get pushed in. If you can not pull the pins back out with a players, or they come off, let Bliss-Box know so you can get them replaced.

 

  • Q. What is the advantage of LLAPI?
    A. LLAPI was engineered to do one thing and one thing only. That is to gain access to the controller and bypass USB.  Many advantage can come of this and the poll rate is one of them as well as but not limited to; support for non gamepad accessories, direct access to Bliss-Box features (button mapping, button swapping, rumble), access to memory cards and other proprietary features USB can not support. LLAPI is not limited to controllers and could be used as a wrapper to other protocols like ADB. LLAPI will work over a USB connector by bring both data wires high so there is no need for extra hardware. LLAPI is public domain and therefor free of royalties and copyright. 
  • Q. Can BlisSTer USB ports use 1ms polling?
    Q. Can LLAPI use 1ms polling
    Q. Can HDMI ports on the BlisSTer use 1ms pulling
    A. For the most part the BlisSTer is identical to the HUB board. All of those USB ports are just like any other, so you can use them with the hack. The HDMI ports go hdmi->BB chip->usb port, so the hack will not work well with those as Bliss-Box needs at least 4ms (Some controllers will work under 4ms). As for LLAPI mode, it bypasses the USB anyways, so there is no point.
  • Q. Is there any way to make the 4-Play or Gamer-Pro use 1ms polling?
    A. Yes, a device add-on will do this. A product called the A.I.R. is on the way but in the meantime and if you are skilled, one can simply read the LLAPI (Source is open) from a IC clocked around 12Mhz or higher.
  • Q. m30 8BitDo sega not working.
    A1. In some cases you will need to hold down the reset, to charge up the capacitance for detection.
    A2. Make sure you have the latest firmware by 8BitDo.
    A3. Make sure you have 3.20 or higher flashed to the Bliss port.   
  • Q. Will LLAPI be merged to the main MiSTer branch?
    A. The maintainer for the MiSTer branch has decided not to merge LLAPI for reasons of his own choosing. He and he alone makes that call. It is best to respect his decision and if it changes, it changes.
  • Q. Bliss-Box HDMI ports not responding in USB mode or the OSD?
    A1. Make sure you’ve ‘defined joystick & buttons’ from both the mister main menu, and whatever core is non-responsive.
    A2. Run the update script.
    A3. Try tapping the reset button on the bliss-port and waiting three seconds.
    A4. Try reseating usb connection to the de-10.
  • Q. Bliss-Box ports are functioning in USB mode and the OSD, but not in LLAPI mode:
    A1. Make sure  your controller is plugged into the right Bliss-Box port designated ‘Player 1’.
    A2. Try tapping the reset button on the bliss-port and waiting three seconds.
    A3. Try reseating the cable from the Blisster’s serial connector to the IO-Board’s Serial port (Looks like a USB3 connector).
  • Q. Controller not being recognized.
    A1.  Some controllers have required button detection. ColecoVision,Bally,Intellivision, and sega 6 button require a button to be held down furring detection. *This also means when exiting the menu*. When in doubt hold the button indicated in the manual for your controller and hit reset.
    A2. Remember to wait 3 second after resetting before you press buttons.
  • Q. Can I bring up the OSD(on screen menu) when in LLAPI mode?
    A1.  Yes, press down+start+ (your main buttons). i.e Nintendo, typically B, sega A
  • Q. Does the Zapper work?
    A1.  3.21 and earlier. The core can read the condition of the trigger and light. The result may vary and largely depending on the user and game. A game like Duck Hunt may work very well but a game like freedom force will not. There is still room to improve on the code and that will come in time. Give it a try ans see for yourself.
    UPDATE: 3.22 soon to be out, does show improvements. https://youtu.be/JBeZejBZqPk more  on that at release time. 
  • Q. I have issues when switching to and from LLAPI mode, where sometimes the red LED would stay on when it should have gone off
  • A1.  If you have a v2 (without the voltage protection module under the board)  you may need to replace the resisters. With some input boards this has been reported and can be fixed. Image here. Here is a link to the replacement 1k resisters. You can also ask for a free fix by contacting Bliss-Box and our approved resellers.
    A2. It’s possible that the core programmer has accidentally programmed that particular core to activate the serial port in a way that may interfere with bliss-controllers. This happens very rarely in arcade cores and is usually fixed shortly after it’s discovered.  Let support know if you see this.
  • Q. How do I recover a bad port (safe mode flash)
    A1.  Sometimes a port is locked because a flash didn’t succeed. To recover the port. Pres and hold down the reset button for that port, Power off the board and after 1 second power it back on. Proceed to re flashing.  You must leave the button pressed during this process, so if you let go start this process over.

For images and in-depth details please visit support and select BlisSTer.

All information on this page is public knowledge and complied collectively by many users and resellers.