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Ultimate Cart firmware - Now with XEX loading

ultimate cart multicart xex fpga

69 replies to this topic

#51 Fingolfin OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:48 PM

Hello IntrepidErie,

 
FWIW, formatting in FAT32 also works on Macs using Disk Utility.
 
If you are able to you might want to try another SD card; I'm not an expert but have been using the Ultimate Atari Cart for a couple of months, and it sounds like your Ultimate Atari Cart is working.  Would you happen to have a spare SD card that could be used for a test (just temporarily)?
 
Question: when your SD card is inserted into the Ultimate Atari Cart and the cart's in your 800XL and the machine's on and displaying the Ultimate Atari Cart logo, is the light blinking on your Ultimate Atari Cart?
 
I would guess your green Ultimate Atari Cart is one of the newer ones, not an older one, and I believe that's why it doesn't match the photos online/in .pdf manual.  Mine is green and bought just over two months ago.
 
I know you posted this link but I just found some specific text that would seem might apply to your situation @ http://atari8.co.uk/...e-sd-multicart/
 
Perhaps unusually, the ROM-based menu which is actually booted when the Atari is powered on is not housed in a discreet flash ROM chip (which is conspicuously absent from the board) but in the FPGA’s internal flash memory. Because of this, any replacement boot ROM is loaded from the SD card. The firmware looks for an 8KB ROM file called “_boot.rom” and loads it on power-up, resorting to the built-in menu ROM if no such file is found.
 
That would seem to mean that either your SD is an issue in some way or the Ultimate Atari Cart FPGA firmware may be not be working properly.
 
FWIW, I looked on my SD card with hidden files visible and found no _boot.rom at all; I am fairly certain that my SD card has always been read from the start by the Ultimate Atari Cart FPGA firmware (that has the _boot.rom on it).
 
Attached are the Ultimate Atari Cart manual .pdf and the _boot.rom I believe you're looking for from the website https://github.com/r...ootROM/Boot.rom
 
I've included an html page for the .bin/.rom to .car web utility for use with the Ultimate Atari Cart as well.
 
I hope this helps!
 
MacRorie and Electrotrains, the promoter/distributor and engineer/developer, both here at AtariAge, are great guys; please give them a chance to answer and help solve your issue if nothing here is of any help.
 
Best Regards
Fingolfin

Attached Files



#52 IntrepidErie OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 21, 2018 10:15 AM

SOLVED: You guys are awesome. I simply tried another SD and it worked fine. I did not even need that _boot.rom file, but thanks for attaching it in case others can use it, and the manual too. I used a Sandisk Ultra 8GB class 10, did not format it (just used it as it came), put an assortment of CAR and ROM files on it at root, fired up the 800xl with the Ultimate Cart, and the menu works just fine. So the cart either does not like PNY, or it does not like 16GB, or maybe PNY does not come formatted "quite right" - in any case, the Sandisk Ultra 8GB works great. Glad I did not have to fool around with blaster cables and flashing firmware from github and all that, I would have never been able to do that correctly :-)

 

As an aside, the SIO2SD works great as well. I use that for ATR and XEX files, so it is like using a disk drive, and I will use the Ultimate Cart for CAR and ROM files, just like cartridges. The SIO2SD has tons of disk images and Basic programs, so I have them organized in folders. I am only going to put "best of" files on the cart, so I may just keep everything right at the root.

 

Thanks again.



#53 SS ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 21, 2018 1:08 PM

As an aside, the SIO2SD works great as well. I use that for ATR and XEX files, so it is like using a disk drive, and I will use the Ultimate Cart for CAR and ROM files, just like cartridges.
...

I am only going to put "best of" files on the cart, so I may just keep everything right at the root.


This is what I do too. I use the Ultimate for cartridge emulation and the SIO2SD for disk and executable file emulation. It just feels right that way. The only real difference is that I have put any and every ROM and/or CAR that I can possibly find onto my Ultimate Cart. I am more selective about disk image and executable files on the SIO2SD.

#54 Mathy OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 21, 2018 4:32 PM

Hello guys

 

My Ultimate Cartridge works just fine with my 16GB SD card.  IIRC after formatting it on a computer that has this OS on it that sound like the things we use to look outside.

 

Sincerely

 

Mathy



#55 CharlieChaplin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 21, 2018 6:11 PM

My 16GB Sandisk Ultra SD-card also works fine with my Ultimate cart. Allthough the 16GB Sandisk SD-card is a class 10 it seems not to be any faster with the Ultimate cart. than the 2GB Sandisk SD-card which is only a class 4 - meaning loading an 8MBit/1MB CAR/ROM on the Ultimate cart. takes the same time with both SD-cards (and loading XEX files up to 1MB also makes no noticable speed difference with both SD-cards)...

 

Think I am gonna use the 2GB SD-cards for the Ultimate cart now (since I do not have more than 2GB of ROM/CAR files) and the 16GB SD-cards for my SIO2SD devices (for all my ATR images and XEX files)...



#56 tane OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:38 AM

Customizing boot menu Ultimate Cart

 

All required files to build a custom menu are here:

 

https://github.com/r...ce/AtariBootROM

 

I'd like to make a custom menu with few changes, for example with an Atari logo at the top, but not sure how to start.

 

Ultimate Cart Logo

 

It will be great customize the background color, maybe to change the font, to hide the file extensions .rom, .car, so it will look more professional, and so on, simple changes of how it looks. But no idea how to compile it. Has anyone build a custom boot.rom? What are the steps?

 

 

post-41252-0-27691400-1454787892.jpg


Edited by tane, Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:41 AM.


#57 tane OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 26, 2018 6:13 PM

Done:

https://www.wudsn.co...de/installation



#58 tane OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:00 PM

Here is my first attempt of a custom menu with an Atari logo. Not tested yet in real hardware.

 

Installation: Copy _boot.rom to your SD card.

 

If rollback is required: Original boot.rom

 

Any better logo please post it as a BMP file 320 x 19.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Screenshot.png

Attached Files


Edited by tane, Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:08 PM.


#59 flashjazzcat ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:58 AM

It will be great customize the background color, maybe to change the font, to hide the file extensions .rom, .car, so it will look more professional.


The implication being that the original is unprofessional or less professional? :) The extenders are displayed in order to differentiate between file types (bearing in mind the device can also load XEX files). I suppose some graphical symbol could be used to signify the file type instead, but in the SIDE loader (which supports twice as many file types), simply displaying the file extension turned out to be the easiest solution.

#60 tane OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:25 AM

The implication being that the original is unprofessional or less professional? :) The extenders are displayed in order to differentiate between file types (bearing in mind the device can also load XEX files). I suppose some graphical symbol could be used to signify the file type instead, but in the SIDE loader (which supports twice as many file types), simply displaying the file extension turned out to be the easiest solution.

 

I'm referring with the professional term: how it looks to be a corporate product, not how it works.

 

The Side works with CF Cards, something that is becoming obsolete. Not sure if it works with Atarimax Roms, that has the best menu editor.


Edited by tane, Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:57 AM.


#61 flashjazzcat ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:50 AM

 

I'm referring with the professional term: how it looks to be a corporate product, not how it works.

 

I see. I didn't realize it was a corporate product. :)



#62 tane OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 27, 2018 10:02 AM

From a customer side, in some cases the way it looks is much as important the way it works.



#63 flashjazzcat ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 27, 2018 10:11 AM

Sorry you don't like it. Will try harder next time.

#64 tane OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 27, 2018 10:15 AM

If I wouldn't like it I wouldn't have ordered. Still I'm an intricate customer.

 

If you're open to product critics and eventually leads to an improvement, I'll be happy to.


Edited by tane, Fri Apr 27, 2018 10:40 AM.


#65 flashjazzcat ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 27, 2018 11:29 AM

I didn't have much of a free hand with the Ultimate Cart menu. The number of items per page is hard-coded into the MCU firmware, and I was working to order regarding colour scheme, stripes, and general aesthetic. It's not something I expect to be working on further in the future, so if you can improve it, you're welcome to have at it. :)



#66 mytek ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 27, 2018 5:06 PM

The Side works with CF Cards, something that is becoming obsolete.

 

Obsolete  :-o . Haven't you heard that due to the massive purchases of CF cards from Atari users everywhere, Walmart will once again be stocking Sandisk CF cards.

 

Just kidding  ;) .

 

However we did find an excellent source at a reasonable price for 4-16GB CF cards (Sandisk Store).



#67 flashjazzcat ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 28, 2018 5:07 AM

The Side works with CF Cards, something that is becoming obsolete. Not sure if it works with Atarimax Roms, that has the best menu editor.


I heard that Atari 8-bit computers are obsolete as well. :)

But if you wish to use SD media with SIDE2, these work:

eBay Auction -- Item Number: 231491095626

Edited by flashjazzcat, Sat Apr 28, 2018 5:10 AM.

  • SS likes this

#68 tane OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 28, 2018 8:31 AM

The idea would be to bring things from the past to the future, not the middle-future. It is likely the SD cards will remain for a long, the CF never take off. The same for the DVI, the HDMI seems that will remain for a long time as the standard #1.



#69 SS ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 28, 2018 8:47 AM

But if you wish to use SD media with SIDE2, these work:

eBay Auction -- Item Number: 231491095626


I was unaware that these adapters existed. Very cool.

#70 flashjazzcat ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 28, 2018 9:35 AM

...HDMI seems that will remain for a long time as the standard #1.


Definitely, until it's replaced by something else. :)





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