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#1 Trip2018 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:35 AM

So I was puting away my 2600 when an idea hit me, what if there was an advanced passthrough cartridge almost like the sega 32x. Here's a list of features it could include.

 

 -Built in bios

 -Extra 64k ram

 -Cartridge pull out protector (If you pull out a cartridge, it will reboot to the bois)

 -Sid chip (so we can finally have better music in our games)

 -Upgradeable

 -Dpc+ and Superchip compatible

 

I would love to do this myself but I'm not very good with electronics nor do I have the budget to do it. XD



#2 DrVenkman OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:59 AM

SID chip? Hell, no. Keep that Commodore crap out of my Atari. If you want to hypothetically add more sound, you'd have to go with Atari's own POKEY. Problem is, the little 6507 processor has a limited address space as it is; adding more registers and the data to control a more capable chip gets problematic real fast.

 

Most of the rest of your wish list is already satisfied by the existing Melody board games that have on-board ARM co-processor chips. Play Space Rocks, Medieval Mayhem or Stay Frosty 2 to see what can be accomplished with those. 



#3 Trip2018 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:11 AM

I was also considering uograded graphics chip but I like 2600 graphics.



#4 high voltage OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:25 AM

So I was puting away my 2600 when an idea hit me, what if there was an advanced passthrough cartridge almost like the sega 32x. Here's a list of features it could include.

 

 -Built in bios

 -Extra 64k ram

 -Cartridge pull out protector (If you pull out a cartridge, it will reboot to the bois)

 -Sid chip (so we can finally have better music in our games)

 -Upgradeable

 -Dpc+ and Superchip compatible

 

I would love to do this myself but I'm not very good with electronics nor do I have the budget to do it. XD

 

Pokey beats Sid


Edited by high voltage, Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:25 AM.


#5 imstarryeyed OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:53 AM

SID Rocks, but Pokey is great too... Even as a Commodore lover, I would have to say 4 Pokeys so you can have amazing sound, but yes.. day dreaming...

 

Humm... I think I will load up & listen to some of my SID music now..haha



#6 Jinroh OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:03 PM

I agree, POKEY all day long.

 

Something like SAVEKEY support to that list would be cool too.



#7 Trip2018 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:45 PM

New list

 

 -Built in bios

 -Extra 8k ram

 -Cartridge pull out protector (If you pull out a cartridge, it will reboot to the bois)

 -Pokey chip

 -Upgradeable

 -Savekey support

 -Easily compatable with bB (I don't have any assembly expierience, hopefully someone is willing to code a kernel)

 -pcm sound sample chip


Edited by Trip2018, Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:22 PM.


#8 Trip2018 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:47 AM

Let me know if there are any features you would like in the cart. :D



#9 Video OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:45 PM

Basically a supercharger with some extra goodies, and a pass through for enhanced carts to make use of it? I've thought of it. Could be cool. I seem to remember a similar device for the NES though I don't remember what it was called, or added to the games.

#10 Trip2018 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:49 PM

Basically a supercharger with some extra goodies, and a pass through for enhanced carts to make use of it? I've thought of it. Could be cool. I seem to remember a similar device for the NES though I don't remember what it was called, or added to the games.

The only thing I can think of is the game genie. :P



#11 KaeruYojimbo ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:07 PM

The Aladdin Deck Enhancer maybe? It didn't add to games, it was mostly just a way to produce cheaper games by having a passthrough cart with the lockout chip and separate game carts that plugged into it that then didn't need lockout chips of their own.



#12 pacman000 ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:37 PM

The Aladdin Deck Enhancer was supposed to add features to the NES, but the final released version was cut down.

http://www.atarihq.c...in/aladdin.html

http://www.nesworld....dindeckenhancer

#13 high voltage OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:01 AM

I mean, I love Sid too, it's a great sound chip, but Pokey is easily on par, if the right person knows what to do



#14 Trip2018 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:09 AM

I mean, I love Sid too, it's a great sound chip, but Pokey is easily on par, if the right person knows what to do

 

I mean we could include both if its possible. :?

 

But I'm sure I know what I want. :grin:


Edited by Trip2018, Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:29 AM.


#15 solidcorp OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:01 PM

Extra RAM is one thing, but buss stuffing and extra sound/video hardware makes it not an Atari anymore for me. Its cool, but with the 2600 it doesnt take much to turn it into something else.

#16 Mr SQL OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 18, 2018 8:18 AM

Extra RAM is one thing, but buss stuffing and extra sound/video hardware makes it not an Atari anymore for me. Its cool, but with the 2600 it doesnt take much to turn it into something else.

 

Atari seems to share this perspective - their Flashback consoles only run classic Atari games that use vintage technology.

 

ie your StarCastle plays, but the modern 32-bit version is not supported.

 

Previously Atari was more liberal with what constituted an Atari game, when I competed in Atari's Pong Challenge contest in 2012 was the only programmer using an Atari VCS as the virtual machine. The other entries used Sparkles, Sapphire and other modern 32-bit dev kit to write Atari style games which were awesome but lacked the classic feel.  



#17 Trip2018 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:19 PM

Extra RAM is one thing, but buss stuffing and extra sound/video hardware makes it not an Atari anymore for me. Its cool, but with the 2600 it doesnt take much to turn it into something else.

Well dpc+ and dpc optimised video and dpc+ added extra sprites (didn't pitfall 2 use dpc). Also "ball blazer" for the 7800 used the pokey chip for its awesome music. The starpath super charger enhacned the graphics and made one of the best versions of froggeron the system. Also, there is the harmony cart that gives the ability to load game from an sd card or you could download games to the cart.


Edited by Trip2018, Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:47 PM.


#18 CPUWIZ OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:38 PM

When can we expect a schematic?

#19 solidcorp OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:18 AM

Well dpc+ and dpc optimised video and dpc+ added extra sprites (didn't pitfall 2 use dpc). Also "ball blazer" for the 7800 used the pokey chip for its awesome music. The starpath super charger enhacned the graphics and made one of the best versions of froggeron the system. Also, there is the harmony cart that gives the ability to load game from an sd card or you could download games to the cart.

True.

 

But once you are running an ARM processor with megs of RAM in the cartridge and bus stuffing on every cycle, I have to ask "why?" - just to hijack a TIA? 

 

I suppose it would be to stretch the definition of what you could accomplish from the 24 pins on the cartridge port.  Meh, if you make it, the demo crowd will probably make some really impressive demos.



#20 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:28 AM

I have to ask "why?"


Atari's promise. That's why.
 

randomterrain.com/atari-2600-memories-cheating.html

 

If somebody eventually wants to put a supercomputer inside of every new Atari 2600 cartridge, sign me up.



#21 ZackAttack OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:58 PM

True.

 

But once you are running an ARM processor with megs of RAM in the cartridge and bus stuffing on every cycle, I have to ask "why?" - just to hijack a TIA? 

 

I suppose it would be to stretch the definition of what you could accomplish from the 24 pins on the cartridge port.  Meh, if you make it, the demo crowd will probably make some really impressive demos.

 

It's not possible to bus stuff every cycle due to the fact that the cartridge has no access to the CPU control signals. The best you can achieve is one TIA write every 3 CPU cycles. This can be achieved in a 2K game too, the big differences is that you can do it more often.

 

None of this extra cart hardware removes the limitations set by the TIA. It just allows for more opportunities to be creative with how the TIA is used to draw each frame. If the end result is a normal looking cartridge that you can plug into any 2600 and it looks good and is fun to play, why wouldn't you want that?



#22 Mr SQL OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:13 PM

Well dpc+ and dpc optimised video and dpc+ added extra sprites (didn't pitfall 2 use dpc). Also "ball blazer" for the 7800 used the pokey chip for its awesome music. The starpath super charger enhacned the graphics and made one of the best versions of froggeron the system. Also, there is the harmony cart that gives the ability to load game from an sd card or you could download games to the cart.

 

The SuperCharger doesn't provide extra graphics hardware only extra RAM like the SuperChip, so I think the difference is mainly about having a modern processor run the gameloop and the graphics calculations.

 

 

 

None of this extra cart hardware removes the limitations set by the TIA. It just allows for more opportunities to be creative with how the TIA is used to draw each frame. If the end result is a normal looking cartridge that you can plug into any 2600 and it looks good and is fun to play, why wouldn't you want that?

 

The primary limitation of the TIA is that it needs to be driven by the CPU and takes nearly all of it's time; a modern processor can be used to animate a 96x225 bitmapped pixel display an Atari 2600 kernel is capable of rendering as a static image to render a  3D poygon based display in real time - you could write a modern fast action game like SSX Tricky or Tekken in monochrome on your Atari with a fast framerate with this technique - would be pretty cool to see too!  But would it feel like an Atari game to you? 

 

Here is the technique illustrated on a smaller scale using the native 6507 and extra RAM (from either the SuperCharger or the superchip) to render a 20x10 large pixel display; the static image the program reads is stored in RAM and the native processor is used to rebuild it each frame before the game kernel reads it:



#23 Trip2018 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 2, 2018 1:51 PM

True.

 

But once you are running an ARM processor with megs of RAM in the cartridge and bus stuffing on every cycle, I have to ask "why?" - just to hijack a TIA? 

 

I suppose it would be to stretch the definition of what you could accomplish from the 24 pins on the cartridge port.  Meh, if you make it, the demo crowd will probably make some really impressive demos.

Isn't DPC+ ARM, or is that just me. Not to mention It added extra ram.


Edited by Trip2018, Fri Feb 2, 2018 1:56 PM.


#24 Trip2018 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:53 AM

Isn't DPC+ ARM, or is that just me. Not to mention It added extra ram.

guess so.

 

Most of the rest of your wish list is already satisfied by the existing Melody board games that have on-board ARM co-processor chips. Play Space Rocks, Medieval Mayhem or Stay Frosty 2 to see what can be accomplished with those. 



#25 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:13 AM

Haha neat idea, OP wants to make an XM accessory for the 2600. Melody pcbs may give you a run for your money in terms of competition. There isn't much else you can add to the 2600 besides Melody and Atarovox... :P

A cheat device for Atari would be awesome though. I propse this pseudo Game Genie format:


5-digit codes for 4k games:

AAA:NN

Hexidecimal address (up to 4kb of address space) plus a one byte value to replace it with.

7-digit codes for bankswitched games:

AAA:CC:NN

Hexidecimal adress, check byte (replace with NN only if the value in ROM matches CC), replace byte.

Fairly straightforward, just plug the cartridge into the Cheat device (like a Game Genie)

 

The Aladdin Deck Enhancer was supposed to add features to the NES, but the final released version was cut down.

http://www.atarihq.c...in/aladdin.html

http://www.nesworld....dindeckenhancer

Plus most of the notable games for it are found much more easily as standalone Camerica game carts and cheaper to collect in this format. So the Alladin deck enhancer was really just a failed marketing experiment. People still collect for it but there were only six games before it got canned iirc. I think only Big Nose Freak Out is rarer as a NES cart than as an Alladin cart. A couple of others not released as standalone NES carts can be found in the quattro 4-in-1 multicarts. There's three versions, Quattro Adventure, Quattro Arcade, and Quattro Sports.





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