Dreamcast Modem Testing with World Series Baseball 2K2

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thecodygriffin
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Dreamcast Modem Testing with World Series Baseball 2K2

Post#1 » Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:32 pm

Upon World Series Baseball 2K2 being brought back online, I noticed that the game would report connection details in the format of #####/#####/V42BIS. My assumption is that this information is reporting download speed, upload speed, and compression method respectively for the connection.

I have AT&T Gigapower (FTTH) internet service with real-world download and upload speeds of approximately 700Mbps with a 1ms ping as reported by Speedtest.net from my home computer connected to my network via ethernet. From the DreamPi connected to my network via ethernet, using the following command in ssh, my real-word download and upload speeds are approximately 25Mbps and 10Mbps respectively with a 33ms ping.

Code: Select all

curl -s https://raw.githubusercontent.com/sivel/speedtest-cli/master/speedtest.py | python -


Given the speed of my internet service and connection speeds reported on the DreamPi, I was surprised that the connection details reported by World Series Baseball 2K2 were anything less than the maximum possible 33600/33600/V42BIS. In fact, the connection details would often change for each connection and were never the maximum possible 33600/33600/V42BIS.

At first, I thought it may be the telephone cord I was using. So I swapped it out, but the results were the same. Then, I thought maybe it was the Dreamcast modem. So I swapped it out with the Dreamcast modem from my Sega Sports Dreamcast, but the results were even worse. Since I had just bought my DreamPi and USB modem with an integrated line voltage inducer from the Dreamcast Live Shop, I made the assumption that they were not the problem as their quality is highly regarded within the community and the odds of me receiving a bad build-out were low.

After asking around, it seemed that my experience was somewhat unique within the community as others had claimed that they always receive the maximum possible 33600/33600/V42BIS. So my next option was to buy another Dreamcast modem and continue to test. Instead of buying just 1, I decided to buy a lot of 22 modems for $60 USD to experiment with. The rest of this post documents my methodology for testing and the findings that resulted.

Equipment

  • Sega Sports Dreamcast (HKT-3020) and controller
  • World Series Baseball 2K2 (NTSC-U)
  • 7 Model # 670-14140A Dreamcast modems
  • 17 Model # 670-14140B Dreamcast modems (2 of which were my original Dreamcast modems)
  • Standard DreamPi Kit (http://www.dreamcastlive.net/shop.html)

Methodology

  1. Power on the DreamPi and wait for both lights on the USB modem to illuminate indicating that the DreamPi is in listening mode
  2. Install the Dreamcast modem to be tested into the Dreamcast
  3. Connect the telephone cord from the DreamPi and USB modem to the Dreamcast modem
  4. Power on the Dreamcast with World Series Baseball 2K2
  5. Once World Series Baseball 2K2 has booted, navigate to network
  6. Press Start to connect
  7. Wait for the connection details to display on screen and record them in Excel noting the Dreamcast modem tested along with the test number for it
  8. Select that I have a user name, but then instead of signing in, close the connection
  9. Wait for the DreamPi to close the connection and resume listening mode as indicated by both lights on the USB modem illuminating
  10. Repeat Steps 6 through 9 to complete 4 additional tests for a total of 5 tests for each Dreamcast modem
  11. Power off the Dreamcast
  12. Repeat Steps 2 through 11 for each Dreamcast modem

Results
Of the 24 total Dreamcast modems, across 120 unique connection tests, there were 68 (56.7%) "passing" connection tests with connection details reported as 33600/33600/V42BIS. Only 3 (4.4%) of those 68 "passing" connection tests were with Dreamcast modems that were later determined to NOT be performing optimally. The remaining 65 (95.6%) "passing" connection tests were with Dreamcast modems that were later determined to be performing optimally.

Of the 24 total Dreamcast modems, 14 (58.3%) were determined to be performing optimally as all 5 of their connection tests were "passing" with connection details reported as 33600/33600/V42BIS. All 7 of the Model # 670-14140A Dreamcast modems were in this group of 14 Dreamcast modems to be determined as performing optimally. The other 7 were Model # 670-14140B Dreamcast modems.

Of the 24 total Dreamcast modems, 10 (41.7%) were determined to NOT be performing optimally as 3 or more of their connection tests were "failing" with connection details reported as something OTHER THAN 33600/33600/V42BIS. All 10 of these Dreamcast modems were Model # 670-14140B.

Based on my limited sample and what I define as an "performing optimally" Dreamcast modem using the World Series Baseball 2K2 connection details reported as 33600/33600/V42BIS as reference, one would expect:

  • approximately 58% of all Dreamcast modems encountered, regardless of model, perform optimally
  • approaching 100% of Model # 670-14140A Dreamcast modems encountered perform optimally
  • approximately 41.2% of Model # 670-14140B Dreamcast modems encountered perform optimally
Attachments
dc_modem_tests.xlsx
(12.5 KiB) Downloaded 17 times
Last edited by thecodygriffin on Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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itsthinkingstill
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Posts: 750

Re: Dreamcast Modem Testing with World Series Baseball 2K2

Post#2 » Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:54 pm

Great Job!

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pcwzrd13
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Re: Dreamcast Modem Testing with World Series Baseball 2K2

Post#3 » Sat Mar 10, 2018 6:37 pm

About in line with what I've found. I have 8 spare modems and 4 don't work properly. One isn't detected by the Dreamcast and the other three are slow.
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SEGA RPG FAN
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Re: Dreamcast Modem Testing with World Series Baseball 2K2

Post#4 » Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:01 pm

thecodygriffin wrote:DreamPi's internet traffic is routed through a DNS server that is located much further away from my location in Austin, TX.

Don't mean to nitpick, but no traffic gets routed through a DNS server and DNS servers don't affect ping. It's lookup only.
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thecodygriffin
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Re: Dreamcast Modem Testing with World Series Baseball 2K2

Post#5 » Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:10 pm

Now that I think about it, yes, you are right. It should have no impact on ping or download/upload speed. I’ll make a quick edit. It does make me wonder again why the Speedtest from the DreamPi is slower than from my computer when the are both connected to the same access point over Ethernet. It doesn’t really matter given that the bottleneck is between the DreamPi and Dreamcast, but it still has me curious.

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SEGA RPG FAN
St.Jimmy
Posts: 387

Re: Dreamcast Modem Testing with World Series Baseball 2K2

Post#6 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:35 pm

I think line noise and attenuation are big factors in how fast the modems connect. The modems will negotiate the fastest speed that current line conditions will support. The direct modem to modem setup with line voltage "induced" is less than ideal. Whenever I've used a real line simulator, the results were always as expected (33600 up/down). When connecting modem to modem however, the results would vary much like you describe. Anything 28800 or above should be considered good. I would be more worried about ping.
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OfManNotMachine
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Re: Dreamcast Modem Testing with World Series Baseball 2K2

Post#7 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:47 pm

Very intersting

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mistamontiel
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Re: Dreamcast Modem Testing with World Series Baseball 2K2

Post#8 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:48 pm

Getting reports of any less than 33600 is not ideal don't think

I was getting that 28880 in Alien Front and wouldn't stay on

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thecodygriffin
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Re: Dreamcast Modem Testing with World Series Baseball 2K2

Post#9 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:20 pm

I am going to monitor my connection details when signing into WSB2K2 over the next few weeks, but thus far, I am only experiencing 33600/33600 which I think should pretty much always be possible given that most of the old analog variables have been removed (i.e. the telephone line from the node to my home, my home junction box to the wall, the wall to the Dreamcast, and all the trappings of dial-up technology).

Unless the DreamPi software isn't running properly and/or the modems (USB and Dreamcast) are not performing optimally, I see no reason for anything but the maximum possible connection speed.

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HuntrRose
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Posts: 608

Re: Dreamcast Modem Testing with World Series Baseball 2K2

Post#10 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:39 pm

how is it when you play a game?

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