Jump to content
Random Terrain

Are you going to buy a Harmony cart for the Atari 2600?

The Harmony Cartridge  

261 members have voted

  1. 1. Are you going to buy a Harmony cart?

    • Yes!
      185
    • No.
      11
    • Maybe, if it doesn
      65


Recommended Posts

Are you ready for the Harmony cartridge? Just drop your favorite Atari 2600 game files on an SD card and go! Bankswitch type is auto-detected! People who are still making games for the Atari 2600 can attach a USB cable to the Harmony cartridge and test their works in progress an a real Atari 2600 without needing to constantly plug or unplug anything. The Harmony cartridge is going to make working on games a lot more fun.

Below are quoted posts with more information about the Harmony cartridge. If you want to go to the actual post that is quoted, just left click on the little arrow icon at the top left of a quoted post.


[size="5"][b][color="#DD0032"]Update: Harmony Cart Preorder List[/color][/b][/size] (added September 23, 2009)

[url="http://www.atariage.com/forums/topic/151025-harmony-cart-preorder-list/"]Click here for the Harmony cart preorder list![/url]


[size="5"][b]Features for you to drool over.[/b][/size]

[quote name='cd-w' date='Tue May 26, 2009 5:45 PM' timestamp='1243374322' post='1758126'][color="#000000"]I don't want to hype the Harmony too much, but it is a very nice piece of kit, with several advantages over the CC2 (excluding 7800 support):

[list]
[*]SD and SDHC card support
[*]No menu files required
[*]Support for Pitfall2 and Supercharger multiloads
[*]Very simple design that should be possible to produce at low cost
[/list][/color][/quote]
[quote name='cd-w' date='Fri Jul 10, 2009 5:44 PM' timestamp='1247262275' post='1790648'][color="#000000"]. . . it should support every cart up to 32K in size, including carts such as Pitfall II (with music), and supercharger games.[/color][/quote]
[quote name='batari' date='Sat Jul 25, 2009 9:19 PM' timestamp='1248571149' post='1801195'][color="#000000"]The board fits into a standard Atari shell (with slots dremeled out for the SD card and USB of course).

[b]Features:[/b] Plays all legacy 2600 games up to 32k. USB programmable, SD card slot: FAT12/16/32 compatible, supports SD and SDHC, menu: supports directories, no limit on number of files, auto-detection of bankswitch type. Windows/Mac/Linux programming software. There is much more, but that's the gist of it.[/color][/quote]
[quote name='batari' date='Thu Apr 30, 2009 1:56 AM' timestamp='1241071002' post='1739383'][color="#000000"]Right now, the Harmony is supporting 2k, 4k, F4/F6/F8 with or without Superchip RAM, FA (CBS RAM+), 3F, FE, E0, E7, DPC (Pitfall II), Commavid, UA, 0840, and 3E (up to 32k ROM/8k RAM). That is, all legacy bankswitching schemes up to 32k.

We also have the SD card driver up, and it's reading files from a normal FAT-formatted SD card, so you can drop the files on a card with a PC. Any quality SD and SDHC card should work, and it was tested with a wide variety of them. MMC cards will not be supported, however.[/color][/quote]



[size="5"][b]Video of the menu and related info.[/b][/size]

[quote name='batari' date='Sat May 23, 2009 7:10 PM' timestamp='1243120225' post='1755947'][color="#000000"]This is a video of the Harmony in action. I've loaded the SD card with approximately 3,000 binaries. Note that unlike the KC, the binaries may be of mixed type, and unlike the CC2, you don't need a configuration file - the bankswitch type is auto-detected. Just drop the files on the SD and go! You can also force a particular bankswitch type by changing the file extension.

This video is taken with an older capture card. It looks better on a real television.

The video is an .avi file, but AA won't let me upload it, so I changed the extension to .mpg. If you have trouble, download and change the extension.[/color][/quote]
[quote name='Hornpipe2' date='Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:27 AM' timestamp='1247236032' post='1790361'][color="#000000"]For those who don't want to download anything I stuck the video on YouTube:[/color]

[url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nl-kNqF2f4g"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nl-kNqF2f4g[/url]
[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nl-kNqF2f4g[/media][/quote]
[quote name='cd-w' date='Fri Jul 10, 2009 5:07 PM' timestamp='1247260073' post='1790620'][quote name='mos6507' post='1790391' date='Fri Jul 10, 2009 4:15 PM']I'm assuming the menu display looks weird because the capture card won't deal with the flicker? I love the yin/yang standby icon. Who did the menu engine?[/quote]
[color="#000000"]The menu engine is a joint effort between myself (text kernel), Fred Quimby (yin/yang stalling code), and Thomas Jentzch (optimisation and paddle/dc controls). The flicker is barely noticeable on a real TV and looks much better than the screen capture.[/color][/quote]
[quote name='batari' date='Fri Jul 10, 2009 7:04 PM' timestamp='1247267093' post='1790699'][quote name='Greg2600' post='1790659' date='Fri Jul 10, 2009 4:56 PM']I don't think anyone announced pricing, but given all the other Flash Carts are well over $100, I'd be really surprised by $50. Anything $75 or under I will get one for certain, but more than that I'll have to think about it.

Watched that YouTube video. Is it capable of doing file directories? I don't want to scroll through 500 ROMs to get to those starting with T![/quote]
[color="#000000"]Yes, it does directories.

However, I tried an SD card with 7500 entries in the root directory, and traversing them wasn't that bad (you may skip 10 pages, or 100 files, at a time by holding down the button.)

Pricing hasn't been officially announced, just suggested (and subject to change.)[/color]


[quote name='mos6507']I'm assuming the menu display looks weird because the capture card won't deal with the flicker?[/quote]
[color="#000000"]My capture card only captures every other frame so you're only seeing half of the flicker-blinds.[/color][/quote]
[quote name='cd-w' date='Sun May 24, 2009 2:06 PM' timestamp='1243188369' post='1756436'][color="#000000"]The little animation is shown when the Harmony cart is busy, e.g. accessing the SD card, or writing to Flash memory. It is useful to show that the cart hasn't locked up, as some operations can take several seconds to complete. The animation code is executed from the Atari RAM, so that the Harmony cart can do other things without serving requests from the Atari for the duration.

I've been working with batari to write the SD card driver. The driver supports FAT12/16/32 file-systems with long filenames (but only the root directory). The filenames are loaded 10-at-a-time into SRAM, and the first 24 characters are displayed in the menu. There is a limited character set, so all symbols and special characters are shown as dots.[/color][/quote]
[quote name='batari' date='Sun May 24, 2009 2:12 PM' timestamp='1243188749' post='1756440'][color="#000000"]Yes, the spinner is displayed when the microcontroller is busy. The filenames are read with a FAT driver, then the menu binary is dynamically built on the fly. The FAT driver and menu code are just some of the impressive work of cd-w.[/color][/quote]



[size="5"][b]More info about the USB port and SD cards.[/b][/size]

[quote name='batari' date='Thu Jun 4, 2009 5:49 PM' timestamp='1244152174' post='1765120'][quote name='keilbaca' post='1765089' date='Thu Jun 4, 2009 3:56 PM']Does the Harmony cart have an option, if only one game is loaded, that it'll boot like a normal cartridge?[/quote]
[color="#000000"]The multicart BIOS allows you to put one game on the SD card, and it will automatically boot that game. It won't boot quite like a normal cartridge as you'll see the spinner for a second or two while the game is loading from SD.

You can make it operate like a normal cartridge if you program the game directly to the board through the USB port. This option does not require an SD card at all. This is the avenue that developers will probably take, as it's a little easier than swapping the SD card, and you can leave the cart plugged into your console and USB cable plugged into the cart.[/color][/quote]
[quote name='batari' date='Fri Jun 5, 2009 4:20 PM' timestamp='1244233223' post='1765824'][quote name='accousticguitar' post='1765785' date='Fri Jun 5, 2009 2:26 PM']Can you program a multicart image directly to the board without using the SD card at all (like on the Kroc cart)?[/quote][color="#000000"]
It's not yet possible to program the 4 MB onboard EEPROM through USB, which is where you'd put multiple games. You can program the 32k onboard flash with single games via USB, but currently you program the 4 MB EEPROM by placing a file on the SD card as it is significantly faster.

The board has a USB-to-serial chip so it is actually programming at serial port speed like the Kroko cart. Programming the 32k flash at serial port speed is fast enough, but programming 4 MB would be kind of slow (note that 4 MB is 8x the space of the Kroko cart, so multiply programming times by 8 to get a feel for the speed, provided you can program at the same speed, 115200 bps.)[/color][/quote]
[quote name='batari' date='Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:51 AM' timestamp='1253717485' post='1844461'][color="#000000"]You can use an SD or SDHC card up to 32 GB. I have an 8 GB in one of mine.[/color][/quote]



[size="5"][b]When Can I buy? Can I preorder? [color="#DD0032"](Updated September 23, 2009)[/color][/b][/size]

[quote name='batari' date='Wed Sep 23, 2009 12:05 PM' timestamp='1253721940' post='1844511'][color="#000000"]The preorder list for the full production version has begun. Details here:

http://www.atariage.com/forums/topic/151025-harmony-cart-preorder-list/[/color][/quote]

[quote name='batari' date='Tue Jul 28, 2009 2:45 PM' timestamp='1248806708' post='1803249'][color="#000000"]There is no need to limit Harmony sales after it goes into production. Currently we are talking about what I originally thought were absurd quantities. There should be enough so everyone can have one, or two or three (though I would probably discourage orders of 5 or more unless there was a legitimate purpose, like a college course where they teach 2600 programming...)

I will say that for the pre-production runs, it is a good idea to limit sales of those because most of you won't get a Harmony until production.[/color][/quote]

[url="http://www.atariage.com/forums/topic/144469-are-you-going-to-buy-a-harmony-cart-for-the-atari-2600/page__view__findpost__p__1801049"]Click here for a teaser pic (Posted Sat Jul 25, 2009 5:14 PM).[/url]



Are your eyes filled with tears of joy? Have you pooped your pants? If you answered [b]yes[/b] to the first question, you don't just want a Harmony cartridge, you [b]need[/b] one. If you answered [b]yes[/b] to the second question, you don't just need a Harmony cartridge, you also need adult diapers. Now clean yourself up and start saving some money because the Harmony cartridge will be here before you know it. Edited by Random Terrain

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='Richard H.' post='1755776' date='Sat May 23, 2009 6:38 PM']BTW can it do most of the stuff the CC2 can ?[/quote]

It won't support 7800 games, but it will support most 2600 bankswitching schemes (up to 32K) and loading from SD card via an on-screen menu.

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This is a video of the Harmony in action. I've loaded the SD card with approximately 3,000 binaries. Note that unlike the KC, the binaries may be of mixed type, and unlike the CC2, you don't need a configuration file - the bankswitch type is auto-detected. Just drop the files on the SD and go! You can also force a particular bankswitch type by changing the file extension.

This video is taken with an older capture card. It looks better on a real television.

The video is an .avi file, but AA won't let me upload it, so I changed the extension to .mpg. If you have trouble, download and change the extension.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='batari' post='1755947' date='Sat May 23, 2009 6:10 PM']This is a video of the Harmony in action. I've loaded the SD card with approximately 3,000 binaries. Note that unlike the KC, the binaries may be of mixed type, and unlike the CC2, you don't need a configuration file - the bankswitch type is auto-detected. Just drop the files on the SD and go! You can also force a particular bankswitch type by changing the file extension.

This video is taken with an older capture card. It looks better on a real television.

The video is an .avi file, but AA won't let me upload it, so I changed the extension to .mpg. If you have trouble, download and change the extension.[/quote]
looks cool I most likely will prob buy one depending the price.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='Dan Iacovelli' post='1755956' date='Sat May 23, 2009 6:33 PM'][quote name='batari' post='1755947' date='Sat May 23, 2009 6:10 PM']This is a video of the Harmony in action. I've loaded the SD card with approximately 3,000 binaries. Note that unlike the KC, the binaries may be of mixed type, and unlike the CC2, you don't need a configuration file - the bankswitch type is auto-detected. Just drop the files on the SD and go! You can also force a particular bankswitch type by changing the file extension.

This video is taken with an older capture card. It looks better on a real television.

The video is an .avi file, but AA won't let me upload it, so I changed the extension to .mpg. If you have trouble, download and change the extension.[/quote]
looks cool I most likely will prob buy one depending the price.
[/quote]$50 has been suggested in the past, when parts can be ordered in quantity. It may debut a little higher if we make a limited version before official unlimited release.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='batari' post='1755947' date='Sat May 23, 2009 6:10 PM']I've loaded the SD card with approximately 3,000 binaries. Note that unlike the KC, the binaries may be of mixed type, and unlike the CC2, you don't need a configuration file - the bankswitch type is auto-detected. Just drop the files on the SD and go! You can also force a particular bankswitch type by changing the file extension.[/quote]
:lust: Very cool. I'll buy one at the beginning, when I get the money, and another one or two when they get cheaper. It seems Google AdSense is almost back to normal, so I should start getting paid again in the following months.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='batari' post='1755947' date='Sat May 23, 2009 6:10 PM']This is a video of the Harmony in action. I've loaded the SD card with approximately 3,000 binaries. Note that unlike the KC, the binaries may be of mixed type, and unlike the CC2, you don't need a configuration file - the bankswitch type is auto-detected. Just drop the files on the SD and go! You can also force a particular bankswitch type by changing the file extension.

This video is taken with an older capture card. It looks better on a real television.

The video is an .avi file, but AA won't let me upload it, so I changed the extension to .mpg. If you have trouble, download and change the extension.[/quote]

I can't seem to get your video to work, do you think you can upload a zipped version?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='Wickeycolumbus' post='1756031' date='Sat May 23, 2009 8:41 PM'][quote name='batari' post='1755947' date='Sat May 23, 2009 6:10 PM']This is a video of the Harmony in action. I've loaded the SD card with approximately 3,000 binaries. Note that unlike the KC, the binaries may be of mixed type, and unlike the CC2, you don't need a configuration file - the bankswitch type is auto-detected. Just drop the files on the SD and go! You can also force a particular bankswitch type by changing the file extension.

This video is taken with an older capture card. It looks better on a real television.

The video is an .avi file, but AA won't let me upload it, so I changed the extension to .mpg. If you have trouble, download and change the extension.[/quote]

I can't seem to get your video to work, do you think you can upload a zipped version?
[/quote]Here is a zip file with proper avi extension.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='batari' post='1755962' date='Sat May 23, 2009 6:43 PM']$50 has been suggested in the past, when parts can be ordered in quantity. It may debut a little higher if we make a limited version before official unlimited release.[/quote]

That's a good price. Glad to see this is happening with a micro controller. The FPGAs are always so expensive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I definately would, I remember other "on actual hardware" devices, but often they simply cost more than I'd be willing to put up. If it happens for $50 to $100 though, I'm definately in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='batari' post='1756037' date='Sat May 23, 2009 9:45 PM'][quote name='Wickeycolumbus' post='1756031' date='Sat May 23, 2009 8:41 PM'][quote name='batari' post='1755947' date='Sat May 23, 2009 6:10 PM']This is a video of the Harmony in action. I've loaded the SD card with approximately 3,000 binaries. Note that unlike the KC, the binaries may be of mixed type, and unlike the CC2, you don't need a configuration file - the bankswitch type is auto-detected. Just drop the files on the SD and go! You can also force a particular bankswitch type by changing the file extension.

This video is taken with an older capture card. It looks better on a real television.

The video is an .avi file, but AA won't let me upload it, so I changed the extension to .mpg. If you have trouble, download and change the extension.[/quote]

I can't seem to get your video to work, do you think you can upload a zipped version?
[/quote]Here is a zip file with proper avi extension.
[/quote]

Thanks, looks awesome! I NEED one :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This is the first I have heard of a Harmony cart. Cool!, I am in! and will buy at least one if possible. :) Too bad about the Chimera but this will ease my pain! :P I don't want to see any problems with this idea as all I have is a modded SC. Looking forward to this.

Any other info on this please link. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote]This is a video of the Harmony in action[/quote]
Looks nice :thumbsup:

I assume the little animation is when the card is being read ?

BTW how are you getting the file titles off the card into the 2600 menu program ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='Richard H.' post='1756194' date='Sun May 24, 2009 10:34 AM']Looks nice :thumbsup:
I assume the little animation is when the card is being read ?
BTW how are you getting the file titles off the card into the 2600 menu program ?[/quote]
The little animation is shown when the Harmony cart is busy, e.g. accessing the SD card, or writing to Flash memory. It is useful to show that the cart hasn't locked up, as some operations can take several seconds to complete. The animation code is executed from the Atari RAM, so that the Harmony cart can do other things without serving requests from the Atari for the duration.

I've been working with batari to write the SD card driver. The driver supports FAT12/16/32 file-systems with long filenames (but only the root directory). The filenames are loaded 10-at-a-time into SRAM, and the first 24 characters are displayed in the menu. There is a limited character set, so all symbols and special characters are shown as dots.

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='Richard H.' post='1756194' date='Sun May 24, 2009 4:34 AM'][quote]This is a video of the Harmony in action[/quote]
Looks nice :thumbsup:

I assume the little animation is when the card is being read ?

BTW how are you getting the file titles off the card into the 2600 menu program ?
[/quote]
Yes, the spinner is displayed when the microcontroller is busy. The filenames are read with a FAT driver, then the menu binary is dynamically built on the fly. The FAT driver and menu code are just some of the impressive work of cd-w.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 say yes so far. I wonder how high the number will go? 100? 500? 10,000?

After the Harmony cartridge is available, I hope somebody starts working on an Atari 2600 clone that uses cartridges. I'd love to buy 4 or more new Atari 2600 clones where the parts inside aren't ancient and the sound won't die on you a month after you buy it. I hope it will come with modern hookups and they find a way to let you have all joysticks and paddles plugged in at the same time. Maybe it could have a switch that you can flick that lets you switch between joysticks and paddles (two ports for joysticks and two ports for paddles with no plugging and unplugging necessary unless you need to plug in a special controller for certain games).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='batari' post='1756037' date='Sat May 23, 2009 5:45 PM']Here is a zip file with proper avi extension.[/quote]

Do you have an idea as to which codec is used, I can't seem to get this video to play at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...