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Got F18A installed some games don't work/black screen


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#1 Mika73 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 19, 2017 12:07 AM

I got F18A installed for France Colecovision. Some games don't work they just give black screen.
There's problem with games like River Raid, Pitfall, Space Fury and some other.
Games that work pic is just amazing with VGA output. Used Atari Max SD cart when try those.
Has someone try River Raid with F18A or had problems like this with it?


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#2 matthew180 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 19, 2017 2:16 AM

When a games does not start, try hitting the "reset" button.  If that does not help, it could be the fast power-on reset circuit.  The fix for that is to change the capacitor or resistor in the reset circuit to make the reset in the CV a little longer so the F18A has time to finish configuring the FPGA at power-on before the CV tries to initialize it.  I can't remember the capacitor designation off-hand, I'll have to look it up.

 

There are also some reports of the F18A not working in some EU/PAL CVs.  I have one of these CVs and I am actively working on troubleshooting what the problem might be with those specific consoles.



#3 Bmack36 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 19, 2017 8:00 AM

C3 1uF cap should be replaced with a 10uF cap



#4 Mika73 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 19, 2017 12:37 PM

Games like Donkey Kong and River Raid get to menu screen. Then when choose 1 etc from menu it get black screen. Reset button don't work after that only power off and on.
I been thinking could it be bios problem. I read that PAL BIOS has 50hz setting at bios. F18A output 60hz VGA. I been thinking update bios to NTSC version. It's strange that problem only with some games but there's many of those. Many crash black screen when you choose number from player/difficulty menu. Space Fury crash when alien head comes to screen and scroll text starts.


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#5 Mika73 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 19, 2017 12:46 PM

What difference jumper 3 and 4 does at Colecovision? Didn't notice any difference if those on or off. Actually I forgot two jumpers to my friends place and needed put 3 or 4 jumper to 2 because wanted turn off those scan lines. But are those 3 and 4 important and why?
Is there any diagnostic program for F18A that work with Coleco?


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#6 Mika73 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 19, 2017 12:56 PM

Here's what River Raid cartridge did. If boot River Raid ROM from Atari Max it gets normal River Raid menu and after make your choose black screen.

0fcf3117cbab9e24ccbb6c5648a03111.jpg


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#7 Mika73 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:26 PM

http://atariage.com/...hz-coleco-bios/


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#8 Mika73 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:30 PM

beee8e51b35ecf96d6cda5a671054612.jpg


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#9 matthew180 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:05 PM

The scrambled image above looks like a problem due to the fact power-on reset of the CV.  Replacing C3, as Bmack36 specified, with a 10uf cap should help correct that problem.

 

I have a EU PAL CV motherboard (thanks to an A.A. member loaning me one) and I am actively trying to find out why these motherboards are having problems.  The main symptom is the screen going black after the difficulty selection screen.  The reset button does not correct the problem, only a power-cycle can bring the system back.

 

It is *not* a BIOS problem.  I have swapped an NTSC BIOS with the EU BIOS, same symptom.  I have also swapped the Z80 CPU, since the EU board had a Z80C and the NTSC board I have uses a Z80A.  No change, the problem follows the motherboard.

 

The problem also seems to be time-related.  I can power up the board cold after sitting for a while and the game (I'm testing with Donkey Kong) will start fine.  Then over the next few minutes, if I power cycle or reset the console, the problem starts to come on slowly.  First, there are the graphic anomalies about Kong (blue pixels in places), then after a few more resets the game will lock up after the difficulty selection screen.

 

To me this represents a component slowing failing over time, and it is fine until it warms up.  This is just a theory at this point, but I'm working on narrowing it down.  However, so far it is not:

 

1. The BIOS

2. The CPU

3. The power supply brick (I'm using the same power brick for both my NTSC and EU boards)

4. Joystick (I'm using the same joystick in the same port when testing)



#10 Sparkoids OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 21, 2017 5:15 AM

OK if it's not the BIOS then is it the 50Hz output for PAL / SECAM TV signal?

 

Both run at 50Hz instead of 60Hz. At some point the signal surely has to be buffered and dumped to the screen (assuming the motherboard crystals are the same).

 

 

Just a thought....



#11 Mika73 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 21, 2017 12:10 PM

So does 10uf cap help? Have you try it when there's black screen problem?


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#12 Bmack36 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 21, 2017 12:29 PM

If the problem goes away after hitting the reset button after powering up, then the 10uF cap will fix it. If it does not get better after hitting reset after powered up, it will not.



#13 Sparkoids OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:37 AM

The 10uf cap does help make the video output reliable in that it boots to the VGA screen every time instead of it being hit and miss. It is the actual output once Matthew's board is running when you select and try to play the game. The issue is in the Colecovision itself....



#14 Mika73 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:00 AM

When black screen comes after difficulty menu reset button doesn't do anything. Only that helps is turn power switch off and on again. Strange thing was that sometime Donkey Kong work and sometime it doesn't. Also Centipede did crash middle of game. It did just stop and nothing happened.


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#15 omf OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 22, 2017 2:59 PM

sound similar if not the same as the issue i was having before, look here:   http://atariage.com/...-certain-games/



#16 Mika73 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:11 AM

Yes. Sounds same problem. Moon Patrol did work for me when try it. Can't get River Raid work no matter how hard try. DK did work few time and now it won't start, black screen. Strange problem.


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#17 Mika73 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:33 AM

Spunkys Super Car go black screen right away. But when screen go black it's not total dead. When press reset light at Atari Max flash and also can hear sound that cartridge menu does when move controller Joystic.


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#18 ten-four OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:55 AM

I'm not saying, but I think the issue could be something around NTSC and PAL.
​Maybe on another board could be implemented AD 724 or 725, and 2 crystals for both outputs.

:) 



#19 Mika73 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:29 AM

Thats why I was thinking that NTSC bios :)


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#20 Mika73 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 24, 2017 12:13 PM

So this 10uF cap should be changed to F18A ?


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#21 Bmack36 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 24, 2017 12:23 PM

The issue is startup delay. The F18a needs a little more time to load and get ready for operation. By changing the C3 capacitor from 1uF to 10uF, the startup time for the coleco is increased which allows the F18a to be ready in time.



#22 matthew180 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 24, 2017 3:51 PM

@Mika73.  The 10uF cap C3 is on the CV motherboard, not the F18A.

 

The problem is *not* the BIOS.  See my update post #9 above.  I put the NTSC BIOS in the PAL CV motherboard and have the same problem.  I also put the PAL BIOS in my NTSC CV motherboard and do not have any problem.

 

Edit: It is not the 50Hz vs 60Hz frequency either.  The CPU on both systems run at *exactly* the same frequency (I have measured both).  The 50Hz/60Hz is created with a tuned R/C circuit that is driven by the main system clock.  The only place the 50Hz/60Hz are used are as inputs to the original VDP, and those clocks signals are not used by the F18A.


Edited by matthew180, Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:17 PM.


#23 Mika73 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 25, 2017 12:40 AM

I understand that Matthew has already try change that 10uF cap and it didn't fix problem. Because if it would fix this then we wouldn't have mystery anymore.

I wonder if problem is only with PAL Colecovision.. Other PAL machines work ok, like TI99/4A, MSX1 and Memotech.

It's interesting to see when reason is found does it need hardware mod to CV or can it be fix with F18A firmware update.

It's good that Matthew has also PAL Colecovision board so can see what's happening.


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#24 Mika73 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 25, 2017 12:52 AM

One thing that bother me/I don't understand is that Donkey Kong work before with Atari Max, actually first it didn't, then after switch off 1 jumper of sprites it did and now I can't get it start no matter how many times I try. How ever Super Donkey Kong prototype rom starts.
Everything should be same as before. Game just gives black screen after difficulty screen.


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#25 Mika73 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 25, 2017 1:02 AM

Is it possible that it has something to do with US and EU power supply difference. US it's 60hz and Europe 50hz. Just come to my mind...

http://www.djtelectr...z-Frequency.pdf


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