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Ultimate cart sd multicart

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#1 electrotrains OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 23, 2016 11:01 AM

Hi All,

 

This thread is intended for people that want to ask questions about the Ultimate Cart.

 

Due to the good efforts of Santosp, there's a lot of new users that have just got this cartridge - and there are bound to be questions. So this thread is the place to do it.

 

Before posting, it might be worth checking if the answer is in the documentation I've written for the cartridge. A copy of this should be sent out with every cartridge. If you didn't get it, you can download it from:

https://github.com/r...ds/UltimateCart

 

This covers (briefly) how to use the cartridge, how to update the firmware and how to modify a cartridge case to fit.

 

There is also a technical thread here - intended for people that want to develop for the cartridge, or discuss the technical aspects of it:

http://atariage.com/...chnical-thread/

 

The technical thread also has some photos of the internals of modified cartridge shell, so might be of interest.

 

There is also a thread where some compilations have been posted:

http://atariage.com/...cart-info-bits/

 

Finally, regarding the firmware. There is no need to update it, unless you want to add the new XEX loader functionality. The process is a bit technical, and probably not for everybody. I'm willing to update the firmware for anybody in the UK if they PM me. Perhaps somebody can make the same offer for those in the US?

 

Robin


Edited by electrotrains, Tue Feb 23, 2016 11:04 AM.


#2 MacRorie OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 23, 2016 11:20 AM

 

Finally, regarding the firmware. There is no need to update it, unless you want to add the new XEX loader functionality. The process is a bit technical, and probably not for everybody. I'm willing to update the firmware for anybody in the UK if they PM me. Perhaps somebody can make the same offer for those in the US?

 

Robin

 

 

I would be willing to do that for west coast people.  I have the hardware to do it.  PM if needed.



#3 orpheuswaking OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 23, 2016 11:22 AM

I'm fairly certain Santosp put the new firmware on the carts he sent out. 



#4 Supergun OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:14 PM

It's hard to tell, at least for me it is.
Regarding the firmware revision that allows "XEX" to work, is it an all or nothing scenario or a some do & some don't scenario? Reason being I loaded up my carts SD card with anything & everything, XEX files included, and some of them work while others do not. I am preparing a list of questions that I am compiling which I plan to post here once completed, but for now I will just ask the one related to this topic. Which is, is it "normal" when selecting one of those large XEX files for the Atari to "think" (load) with flashing paterns of blocky sprites & colors? (reminds me of 2600 Maze Craze & Video Chess)

#5 rdea6 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:54 PM

I just got around to adding my Williams roms and they need to have the car header added to them.  Some or all of the 8k and 16k common roms will run okay without the car header though..



#6 electrotrains OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Feb 29, 2016 12:58 AM

It's hard to tell, at least for me it is.
Regarding the firmware revision that allows "XEX" to work, is it an all or nothing scenario or a some do & some don't scenario? Reason being I loaded up my carts SD card with anything & everything, XEX files included, and some of them work while others do not. I am preparing a list of questions that I am compiling which I plan to post here once completed, but for now I will just ask the one related to this topic. Which is, is it "normal" when selecting one of those large XEX files for the Atari to "think" (load) with flashing paterns of blocky sprites & colors? (reminds me of 2600 Maze Craze & Video Chess)

 

Supergun,

 

FlashJazzCat and I tested a fair number of XEXs and all were working. The flashing stuff is normal for XEX files.

 

The best way to test whether you have the final firmware is try dropzone.xex (attached) - this wasn't working in the first beta but does works in the later ones and "final" firmware. Probably my favorite atari 8-bit game, so wanted to see it working!

 

I think santosp shipped some carts with the beta firmware - you may have on of these.

 

If you do have the final firmware, and find some XEX files that don't work, then could you PM me with examples (or post them in the technical thread)? Then we can try to make them work in a future version of the firmware.

 

Robin

Attached Files



#7 morelenmir OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Feb 29, 2016 12:25 PM

Many apologies - on further thought I have decided the question I asked is too technical and moved it to the technical thread.



#8 Supergun OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Feb 29, 2016 10:36 PM

Electrotrains:

Yes, I can confirm that Drop Zone works with my Santos_P cartridge. The game is a complete copy & modified re-working of Defender. Impressive, yes. But more of a hack then a homebrew if you ask me.

I'm putting together a list for you of which rom sets work & which do not. Some work, but are glitchy. I have done testing on my 800XL & on my XEGS. Varried results of course.

Can the memory on an XEGS or an 800XL be upgraded? Reason I ask, when I try to load Tower Toppler, it says: "At least 64kB of XMS needed!" Deflektor also gives me trouble. (both of these were intended to be XEGS carts; but went unreleased)

#9 electrotrains OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 1, 2016 12:31 AM

I'm putting together a list for you of which rom sets work & which do not. Some work, but are glitchy. I have done testing on my 800XL & on my XEGS. Varried results of course.
 

 

Results should not be varied with ROM files. The ROM emulation is (as far as I know) 100% accurate. I did a lot of testing before release, and didn't find any ROM images that didn't work (as long as coverted to the correct CAR type).

 

I guess It's possible the cart does not play well with your Atari.

 

XEX loading is newer and less tested, so there may well be glitches.



#10 rdemming OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 1, 2016 7:08 AM

Yes, I can confirm that Drop Zone works with my Santos_P cartridge. The game is a complete copy & modified re-working of Defender. Impressive, yes. But more of a hack then a homebrew if you ask me.

 

Lol, DropZone is regarded by many as the best defender type of game on the Atari (and C64) and you call it a hack of Defender?

 

 

 

Can the memory on an XEGS or an 800XL be upgraded? Reason I ask, when I try to load Tower Toppler, it says: "At least 64kB of XMS needed!" Deflektor also gives me trouble. (both of these were intended to be XEGS carts; but went unreleased)

 

Seems you used the cart to xex conversion of Tower Toppler that indeed needs extended RAM to "emulate" a bankswitched cart. You should use the cart version of Tower Toppler (.car not .xex). Try also the cart version of Deflector instead of the .xex version.

 

Robert



#11 Supergun OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 1, 2016 9:14 PM

Robert,

Questions / Clarrifications if I may?

The links you provided have the .rom and/or .xex files available for download, but not the .car files as you instructed me to get? Where can I get those? The Deflektor.xex file works, but is not the correct rom file. It has a 2008 copyright on screen, and gives credit to some guy, Famdal, so it's obviously been messed with. I want the REAL file; as in the original Proto rom file of the game from circa 1988/89.

Commando, Mean 18, and Midi Maze are also similar, newer, unreleased Atari XEGS titles, and are all just regular .rom files, and they all work as such. Why not Deflektor?

#12 electrotrains OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 2, 2016 12:52 AM

Supergun,

 

I had a quick look. The deflector.rom file on atarimania (the one linked above) is not a plain ROM dump - it's actually already in CAR format. Someone has used the wrong file extension when the file was uploaded.

 

So simply rename deflekor.rom -> deflektor.car and it works fine on the cartridge (I just tested it).

 

You can spot this because the file is too big to be a plain dump - it should be 65,536 bytes, but its actually 65,552 bytes - the 16 extra bytes is the CAR header.

 

Robin


Edited by electrotrains, Wed Mar 2, 2016 12:53 AM.


#13 morelenmir OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 2, 2016 7:30 AM

Supergun,

 

I had a quick look. The deflector.rom file on atarimania (the one linked above) is not a plain ROM dump - it's actually already in CAR format. Someone has used the wrong file extension when the file was uploaded.

 

So simply rename deflekor.rom -> deflektor.car and it works fine on the cartridge (I just tested it).

 

You can spot this because the file is too big to be a plain dump - it should be 65,536 bytes, but its actually 65,552 bytes - the 16 extra bytes is the CAR header.

 

Robin

 

Excellent tip there Robin!  I'll keep that one in mind for the future.



#14 rdemming OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 2, 2016 7:40 AM

The links you provided have the .rom and/or .xex files available for download, but not the .car files as you instructed me to get? Where can I get those? The Deflektor.xex file works, but is not the correct rom file. It has a 2008 copyright on screen, and gives credit to some guy, Famdal, so it's obviously been messed with. I want the REAL file; as in the original Proto rom file of the game from circa 1988/89.

 

 

As Electrotrains already said, the "Deflektor.rom" file is already a CAR file with the wrong extension. Also the "Tower Toppler.bin" file is already a CAR file also with the wrong extension. Just rename it to "Tower Toppler.car".

 

About the "Deflector.xex", this is not only a cart to xex conversion but also fixes errors in some of the levels. See for more information the Deflektor xex conversion topic.

 

Robert



#15 CharlieChaplin OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 2, 2016 7:48 AM

And errmm, for the emulator and SIO2xxx users FANDAL did convert most XE/XEGS carts into XEX fileversions. Many of these XEX fileversions do require more than 64k RAM however, since the cart- bank-switching technique cannot be used there, instead the RAM / XRAM bank-switching technique is used... (believe me, it was a lot of work to do that).

 

And no, FANDAL is not just "some guy", he is THE MAN, when you want a converted ROM to XEX file or any other kind of patch or fix for an A8 program; he is not only a hacker/patcher/fixer, but also a very good and talented programmer ! He has his own website with a huge database and lots of self-written programs: http://a8.fandal.cz or for his own works, including Deflektor II and a Deflektor editor:  http://a8.fandal.cz/stuff.php

 

(And if you see some old links to atari.fandal.cz, he had to change this, because Atari, yes, Atari! complained about using their name for his webpage, so he changed it to a8.fandal.cz)


Edited by CharlieChaplin, Wed Mar 2, 2016 7:56 AM.


#16 electrotrains OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 2, 2016 8:05 AM

 

As Electrotrains already said, the "Deflektor.rom" file is already a CAR file with the wrong extension. Also the "Tower Toppler.bin" file is already a CAR file also with the wrong extension. Just rename it to "Tower Toppler.car".

 

About the "Deflector.xex", this is not only a cart to xex conversion but also fixes errors in some of the levels. See for more information the Deflektor xex conversion topic.

 

Robert

 

I notice that (in addition to the XEX version) there is also patched ROM version in a slghtly later post, which fixes the bugs in the original ROM.



#17 electrotrains OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 2, 2016 8:09 AM

 

Excellent tip there Robin!  I'll keep that one in mind for the future.

 

Yeah - I'll add this to the cartridge documentation, since I've come across a few of these badly named files.

 

Robin



#18 morelenmir OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 3, 2016 6:40 PM

One feature that would be very useful I think is some form of 'autorun' for a pre-chosen cartridge image.  That way you could make the UltimateCart behave exactly like whatever cartridge you had specified, so on power-cycling it would go directly in to 'BASIC XE' or an AtariMax 'SDX' cartridge.

 

One usage scenario might be:

 

Initially:

You boot normally with the UltimateCart attached.

The menu appears.

You 'mark' whichever image you want to autorun at the next and all future power-cycles.

 

Then, either:

You power-cycle the system.

The UltimateCart autoruns the marked image.

 

Or:

You power-cycle the system with the UltimateCart Reset button pressed.

The UltimateCart ignores the marked image and boots to the menu.

 

There are numerous other ways an autorun could be implemented such as checking for a specifically named 'config.sys' file in the SD-Card root folder which specifies the chosen image, or even something as pedestrian as the UltimateCart always auto-running any image which is named 'AUTORUN.CAR'.

 

I don't know if any of these ideas would be technically feasible given the hardware, however if it were possible then I really think this would be an extremely user-friendly feature to implement.



#19 Supergun OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 3, 2016 11:11 PM

Thanks for the tip. It worked. By simply changing those file extensions, it made both the Deflektor & Tower Toppler roms 100% functional, and more importantly, the Deflektor is original.

So just curious here, but I downloaded a bunch of rom files from Famdals site, and none of them work. Most of them were 5200 conversions like Berzerk, Space Dungeon, Vanguard, etc. They all had .xex extensions, in case that helps. So what gives? Are all his downloads only for use on a certain model Atari computer?

#20 CharlieChaplin OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 4, 2016 2:55 PM

Hmmm,

 

did you switch off built-in Basic ?!?

 

Fandal (with "n" please) and most Europeans are using XL/XE computers, except the uncommon/rare 1200XL, so try XL/XE OS Rev. 2 or Rev. 3 and 64k RAM. The 1200XL has a "not-so compatible" OS (XL-OS Rev. A or B) and afaik, the older 600XL computers were partially delivered with XL-OS Rev. 1, which also gives problems here and there...

 

Besides, I also once had an XEGS and noticed that a number of programs did not work with the XEGS-OS (Rev. 4), that worked fine with my 800XL and its XL-OS Rev. 2. Did not write down the programs that did not work on the XEGS, after a while I simply sold the XEGS and bought more 800XL computers... ;-)  In my eyes the XL/XE-OS Rev. 2 and Rev. 3 are simply the most compatible (and also the most common for XL/XE machines, I guess).

 

Of course you can also burn the XL-OS (Rev. 2) into an Eprom and use it with your XEGS (as a replacement of the XEGS-OS ar as another OS with a switch)...


Edited by CharlieChaplin, Fri Mar 4, 2016 2:56 PM.


#21 mulcmu OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 5, 2016 10:03 AM

I created a guide covering my experience upgrading the firmware.  Should give a good overview of what to expect if you were debating upgrading it yourself.

Attached Files



#22 Protestari OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 5, 2016 10:55 AM

I created a guide covering my experience upgrading the firmware.  Should give a good overview of what to expect if you were debating upgrading it yourself.

 

Thanks so much.



#23 vespertillio OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:45 PM

Hello all, is there a good site that has bulk downloads seperated by type? I want to load this baby up but it's hard to distinguish the lists with atrs and such.

Sent from my HTC One_M8 using Tapatalk

#24 rdea6 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 16, 2016 3:43 AM

Hello all, is there a good site that has bulk downloads seperated by type? I want to load this baby up but it's hard to distinguish the lists with atrs and such.

Sent from my HTC One_M8 using Tapatalk

Try this thread it has a lot of ready made files for dropping into the SD card of choice..

 

http://atariage.com/...bits/?p=3325996



#25 Protestari OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 16, 2016 7:18 PM

Hi, can someone help me out. I need a working Mario Bros. for the XEGS working rom. I keep getting an error message. I got the game from Atarimania. I need a working game for a game review I am doing, thanks.

I get the following message Error: Bad Rom/Car File?

Attached Files


Edited by Protestari, Wed Mar 16, 2016 7:19 PM.






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