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alex_79

Member Since 7 Sep 2006
OFFLINE Last Active Today, 10:17 AM

#4277672 CX80 woes 😕

Posted by alex_79 on Sun May 19, 2019 3:46 AM

Fortunately all the ICs inside the cx80 are common off-the-shelf parts, so you won't have problems sourcing replacements for those.

But, as suggested by mr_me, first ensure to exclude the most obvious fault, that is the cable.
I'd also clean the JS-TB switch, as well as the connector pins with contact cleaner.

If you have an Harmony cart or UNOcart for the 2600, try the roms in the first post of this thread to test the controller in real TB mode.
 




#4276646 New Combo Controller for the 2600/Retron 77: The Ranger

Posted by alex_79 on Fri May 17, 2019 2:59 AM

Nice concept. I like the fact that's reversible and that it uses a small stick instead of a d-pad.

I think it would be perfect if it also had an additional switch to act as the second paddle (the Atari originals were paired on a single connector).

This would be useful for two reasons:

1 - you could play 2 players games with alternating turns

2 - A few games used the other paddle as player one (Tac-Scan, Demons to Diamonds, Street Racer, Video Olympics, Canyon Bomber, Star Wars - Jedi Arena, AStroblast).
This is not a problem on the r77, as Stella has those games in its internal database and swaps the paddle inputs for you, but on real hardware they cannot be played with that controller (unless you have one of those Y-adapters that came with the Coleco Gemini console, or you build one).

Maybe that's what is happening on your c64? If you can, try 2 player games and see if the second player respond to the Hyperkin controller.
 




#4274412 Atari 7800 Secam Question and information help

Posted by alex_79 on Mon May 13, 2019 5:35 AM

The 7800 never had  a SECAM version. Peritel 7800 consoles sold in France were based on PAL models with a RGB converter board installed instead or the rf modulator.
The cable of the Peritel 7800 only carries RGB and sync, there's no composite video (so neither PAL nor SECAM).

http://atariage.com/...t-for-the-7800/


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#4270329 Dead 2600RGB?

Posted by alex_79 on Sun May 5, 2019 6:39 AM

It seems that your TV is expecting a composite signal instead of RGB.

1 - ensure that the SCART socket on your TV supports RGB. Often TVs had 2 scart sockets, with only one of them supporting RGB.
 

2 - Did buy the scart cable from the etim shop, or you built your own? If the latter, remember that you need to provide proper switching signal to pin 16 of the scart: The TV must see a voltage between 1V and 3V on that pin to switch to RGB mode, else it defaults to composite. (This is not required if using a framemeister or OSSC)
 




#4270284 Stella 6 on the R77: the eagle is landing

Posted by alex_79 on Sun May 5, 2019 2:51 AM

What about a way to save the dumped roms to the sd card? Even if severely limited, the built in dumper might be of some use to fill some holes in the list of games still undumped.




#4268807 Atari 2600 Trak-Ball Games

Posted by alex_79 on Thu May 2, 2019 8:05 AM

I'm using it on my Atari Jr modded for RGB.

I only know about one RGB mod for the 2600: https://etim.net.au/2600rgb/

 

And, I guess we have the culprit.

That mod include the ability to mount an "extra" switch on the left joystick for additional functions (palette select and  remote "reset" and "select" switches functionality). The extra button activates the inputs normally used for left and right direction of the joystick at the same time. This is an "impossible" combination for a joystick, but not for a trackball in real TB mode, which therefore randomly activates the extra features of your RGB mod (in particular, it activates the reset and select switches repeatedly making the game impossible to play).

 

You have to modify your console to disable the "extra" button functionality, either permanently or with a switch.

I'm not an expert, but by looking at the diagram, a simple switch to break the wire going to either pin 3 or 4 of the "extra" 7 pins connector on the RGB board might be all that you need.




#4268779 New CX80 Trak ball does not work

Posted by alex_79 on Thu May 2, 2019 7:16 AM

That was my thought too, but he is using actual carts from the store, some of which have autodetection and should work with every trackball model.


#4267390 Strat o Gems Deluxe Ntsc screenroll on ntsc system (help plz)

Posted by alex_79 on Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:43 AM

That rom is multistandard, there's a menu to choose between PAL and NTSC.
To access the menu you have to keep the SELECT switch pressed while starting the game (if you are launching it from the harmony menu, you can do that while the spinning ying-yang logo is displayed).
 




#4265967 Jupiter Sumo (new game)

Posted by alex_79 on Sat Apr 27, 2019 2:19 PM

https://boomlin.de/s...upitersumo.html




#4255959 Kid Vid Tape Recorder Options\Help Needed

Posted by alex_79 on Thu Apr 11, 2019 9:52 AM

The cable connecting to the Atari doesn't carry audio signals.

4 pins of the Atari controller port are used for the connection and 4 pins are needed on the Kid Vid side as well. To save costs, the case and mechanics of an existing tape deck was reused, so it made sense to repurpose those two existing connectors which, paired, provide the required pins.

And while the tapes are in stereo, and the kid vid module has a stereo head, it's not designed to play stereophonic music and therefore doesn't need a stereo jack.
The left channel of the kid vid tapes is not supposed to ever be played back as audio, but only to be sent to the Atari, after being converted to a digital signal.
Only the right channel goes to the built-in speaker and to the (mono!) "earphone" jack.
 


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#4255120 Kid Vid Tape Recorder Options\Help Needed

Posted by alex_79 on Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:20 AM

The tapes for the Kid Vid are actually in stereo, with the music on the right channel and the data on the left one (the audio files available on-line, as slydc said, were modified for use with z26 emulator, and only contain the music, so they cannot be used to make duplicate tapes for use in a real Kid Vid).


https://www.biglist....1/msg00147.html


Hints that the Kid Vid is not a standard tape player can be found also in the manual which, when describing how to use the device as a portable cassette recorder (page 6), includes a note informing that with stereo cassettes, only the right channel will be heard (standard mono decks would play both channel "summed")

Moreover, it's stated that you can use the built-in mic and plug an earphone or speaker to the unit, but there's no mention of being able to use external microphone or remote switch, which suggests that the two jacks used to connect to the Atari cannot be used for other purposes.

There must be circuitry inside the unit in order to convert the data stored in the left channel as audio beeps to TTL compatible signals that the VCS can see throught the controller port pins, as well as a way to start and stop the recorder using a digital signal coming from the console, instead of the ON/OFF switch required for the "remote" jack of standard players.


 




#4205729 Bee Ball - 2600

Posted by alex_79 on Fri Jan 25, 2019 8:16 AM

Decimal flag seems to start at 0 most of times when you power on the console, but  at very random event it could start at 1 and then I got problems.

Yup, I can confirm that in my short tests the D flag seems to be cleared most of the time when first powering on the console. But sometimes it gets set after a few power cycles, and chanches seem to increase if you try a different cart first. It's like if, once the flag is set by the previous cart, its status tend to persist on subsequent powercycles.
I tested 4 consoles from different eras and was able to replicate the glitch at least once in all of them.

 

I only noticed this glitch on my hardware like 2 times ever, and I thought was a cartridge connection problem, which was solved by re-inserting the cart (actually power cycling the console fix it).

Yeah, I think anyone would assume it's caused by dirty contacts in the cart slot or the power switch. And the fix is the same too: power cycle the console.

"Rescue Terra I" is an original release that has the same bug (you can see it glitching sometimes when starting the rom in Stella 6)
 

The game also have others small glitches that really annoys me, sorry about that.


I find it a really good game. The concept is interesting, graphics are really nice and it's fun to play. I will definitely revisit it in my next playsession. (and try to find the easter egg!)


#4201532 Looking for odd console owners!

Posted by alex_79 on Sun Jan 20, 2019 4:34 AM

Late 2600 Jr PAL (1991 copyright on the box):

TIA.JPG

 

(I used NTSC roms for these screenshots, and my TV shows PAL color loss with odd number of scanlines)

 

Pesco

IMG_20190119_224739.jpg

 

Masters of the universe

IMG_20190119_224801.jpg IMG_20190119_224806.jpg

 

Kool-Aid man (took a while to understand that I have to set the left diff to B to make it run...)

IMG_20190119_224838.jpg

 

Thunderground

IMG_20190119_224909.jpg IMG_20190119_224919.jpg

 

Spider Fighter

IMG_20190119_225042.jpg

IMG_20190119_224955.jpg IMG_20190119_224957.jpg

 

G.I. Joe

IMG_20190119_225104.jpg

 

Cosmic Ark

IMG_20190119_225133.jpg IMG_20190119_225136.jpg

 

Hmove test

IMG_20190120_104233.jpg

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PAL 7800

this one gave some trouble with bus stuffing and needs a couple minutes of warmup to stabilize its behaviour. I posted a video of the hmove test on the Stella github pages (https://github.com/stella-emu/stella/issues/246):

tia.jpg

 

 

Pesco

IMG_20190119_230829.jpg

 

masters of the universe

IMG_20190119_230907.jpg

 

Kool-Aid man

IMG_20190119_230946.jpg

 

Thunderground

IMG_20190119_231025.jpg

this game needs a while to stabilize on this console. here are a few pictures taken while it was warming up:

IMG_20190119_231741.jpg IMG_20190119_231800.jpg IMG_20190119_231805.jpg IMG_20190119_231828.jpg

 

Spider Fighter

IMG_20190119_231115.jpg IMG_20190119_231120.jpg IMG_20190119_231205.jpg

 

G.I. Joe

IMG_20190119_231244.jpg

 

Cosmic Ark

IMG_20190119_231317.jpg IMG_20190119_231322.jpg

 

 

I have a few other consoles (including a working Tournament table arcade board), but it might take a while before I can test them (they're on storage and a few need some repair work).




#4173572 Stella getting into details - Help wanted!

Posted by alex_79 on Sun Dec 9, 2018 3:09 PM

I got slightly different results than before for the two "Dig Dug" carts, but I also tried the old test rom again and got these new patterns as well!

I think it's just due to e.g. different temperature of the console and/or carts, while the address wraparound apparently makes no difference.

IMG_0239.JPG IMG_0240.JPG

 

The other carts behave the same as they did before.

Attached File  testSC_1_F_inv_RIOT.bin   4KB   67 downloads
 




#4172722 Stella getting into details - Help wanted!

Posted by alex_79 on Sat Dec 8, 2018 8:19 AM

I did some tests with real superchip carts and the results are NOT what I would have expected.

I hacked the test rom posted by Thomas so that it now runs from the RIOT ram and the test only starts after the console RESET switch is pressed. This allows to remove the cart containing the test rom (the Harmony in my case) and plug in the actual cartridge to test while the console is powered (WARNING! HOT SWAPPING CARTS CAN POTENTIALLY DAMAGE THE CONSOLE OR THE CARTS THEMSELVES. DO IT AT YOUR OWN RISK!)

I tested 9 different superchip carts and in all cases the value read from the write port doesn't seem to be affected by the last value on the data bus.

These are the results for two different "Dig Dug" cartridges. The pattern is almost stationary, with the exception of a few pixels flickering. I let it run a few minutes and didn't notice any change in behaviour.
IMG_0234.JPG IMG_0235.JPG

Super Football:
$FF everywhere, stationary
IMG_0237.JPG

Secret Quest:
$FF almost everywhere, initially stationary, then the black pixels start to flicker and finally it becomes all $FF (after 2-3 minutes)
IMG_0236.JPG

Dark Chambers:
All $FF

Desert Falcon, Crystal Castles, Stargate, Millipede:

All $00 (black screen)
IMG_0238.JPG

 

 

Here is the hacked testrom:

It will display a series of coloured horizontal lines. You can then unplug the cart with the testrom, and plug the one that needs to be tested. If the horizontal lines are still there, the console didn't crash and you can press RESET to start the actual test. (It seems that plugging in the cart sligthly slanted, so that the right part of the edge connector, where the ground pis are, makes contact first, helps reducing the chance of crashing. As I said,  if you want to try this, you do it at your own risk!)
testSC_ram.png testSC_ram_1.png
Attached File  testSC_RIOT.bin   4KB   71 downloads

Finally, here are a few dumps of the Stargate cart:


reading from 1000-10ff: eveything gets zeroed like with the test rom. The result is always the same after each power-cycle.

1000-10ff

0000:  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 
0010:  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 
0020:  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 
0030:  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 
0040:  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 
0050:  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 
0060:  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 
0070:  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 
0080:  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 
0090:  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 
00A0:  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 
00B0:  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 
00C0:  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 
00D0:  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 
00E0:  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 
00F0:  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 

Same as before, but using mirrors 5000-50ff. The result doesn't change, the last value on the bus doesn't cause a different behaviour. The result is the same after each power-cycle.
 

0000:  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 
0010:  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 
0020:  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 
0030:  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 
0040:  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 
0050:  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 
0060:  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 
0070:  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 
0080:  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 
0090:  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 
00A0:  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 
00B0:  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 
00C0:  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 
00D0:  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 
00E0:  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 
00F0:  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 

only dumping the read port (1080-10ff) results in random values. These are different each time the console is power-cycled.

1080-10ff 

0000:  86 D0 F0 E6 87 A5 87 C9 F8 D0 E8 A9 F0 85 87 A5 
0010:  82 C9 03 10 04 E6 82 D0 DA A2 F9 D0 02 86 9B BD 
0020:  E7 1F AD 00 F0 85 80 20 E8 00 E6 8B D0 EB E6 8C 
0030:  A5 8C C9 F8 D0 E3 A9 F0 85 8C A5 82 10 04 E6 82 
0040:  D0 D7 AD 20 02 AD 00 F0 85 80 20 E8 00 E6 85 D0 
0050:  F1 E6 86 D0 ED A9 F0 85 86 A5 82 C9 40 10 06 A9 
0060:  40 85 82 D0 DD C9 FF AD FF FF AD FF FF 85 80 20 
0070:  E8 00 A5 87 C9 FF D0 06 A5 88 C9 FF F0 09 E6 87 

finally I dumped skipping the first half of the write port, from 1040 to 10ff. The last 64 bytes of ram gets always zeroed, the first half is random and changing at each power-cycle
 

1040-10ff 


0000:  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 
0010:  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 
0020:  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 
0030:  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 
0040:  26 FD D0 E3 30 8D FA DD 91 A3 CC 75 D9 6A 71 EA 
0050:  1F 7C 93 C9 CA 0F 1C C2 1D A8 4B 71 10 1F 84 ED 
0060:  7A E0 F3 51 11 61 9A 4A F1 92 F0 D1 72 80 D9 5C 
0070:  63 2F 39 AD 3B 75 0E 6A 7B AF 0A 66 94 6F 17 7F 
0080:  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 
0090:  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 
00A0:  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 
00B0:  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 

All tests and dumps are made using a non modified PAL 2600jr. All carts are PAL.

 

EDIT:

Updated the testrom. The one I originally attached wasn't the latest version.