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

The board has a USB-to-serial chip

FT232R ?

 

 

but programming 4 MB would be kind of slow

Couldn't you up the serial to something like 921600 baud ?

 

AAMOI why does it need the 4Mbyte EEPROM ?, I thought you were transfering files one at a time from the card to a small amount of SRAM.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The board has a USB-to-serial chip

FT232R ?

 

 

but programming 4 MB would be kind of slow

Couldn't you up the serial to something like 921600 baud ?

 

AAMOI why does it need the 4Mbyte EEPROM ?, I thought you were transfering files one at a time from the card to a small amount of SRAM.

It is the FT232RL.

 

The serial EEPROM is needed to hold the FAT driver, spinner code, menu code, and bankswitch code. The internal flash has been kept as small as possible to allow for 32k games without reflashing. Currently the BIOS on the flash is 768 bytes, which is just barely enough to get things rolling while leaving enough space for 32k games as the last 1k is loaded into RAM.

 

A 4MB EEPROM may be overkill for our purposes but the 4MB device was not any more expensive than smaller devices.

 

As for the speed, that remains to be seen. The datasheet claims 230400 is possible for general UART use, which is still on the slow side.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One clarification: 230400 is the hard limit for internal 32k flash programming. We have not managed to program at that speed, however.

 

A separate UART driver for the EEPROM could theoretically run at 921600. But since we haven't got 230400 working, I don't know if we'll get 4x that speed...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This looks pretty awesome. Now if only they can incorporate this into a Flashback 2. Imagine that, just have an SD card slot on the Flashback!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This looks pretty awesome. Now if only they can incorporate this into a Flashback 2. Imagine that, just have an SD card slot on the Flashback!

I just tried the Harmony on my FB2, and it works better than I expected, and by that I mean I expected that it wouldn't work at all :) Some games do work, but some do not - it basically follows the compatibility list, that is, if the original cart doesn't work, it probably won't work on the Harmony either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This looks pretty awesome. Now if only they can incorporate this into a Flashback 2. Imagine that, just have an SD card slot on the Flashback!

I just tried the Harmony on my FB2, and it works better than I expected, and by that I mean I expected that it wouldn't work at all :) Some games do work, but some do not - it basically follows the compatibility list, that is, if the original cart doesn't work, it probably won't work on the Harmony either.

 

That makes sense, I'd never read that list before though. It's a pretty good average, but there are a number of my favs on the NO list (HERO, Galaxian) I think it's interesting that Millipede seems to have problems given that it's one of the included games.

 

Still, I think there would be a HUGE market for a internal Harmony modded FB2. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This looks pretty awesome. Now if only they can incorporate this into a Flashback 2. Imagine that, just have an SD card slot on the Flashback!

I just tried the Harmony on my FB2, and it works better than I expected, and by that I mean I expected that it wouldn't work at all :) Some games do work, but some do not - it basically follows the compatibility list, that is, if the original cart doesn't work, it probably won't work on the Harmony either.

 

That makes sense, I'd never read that list before though. It's a pretty good average, but there are a number of my favs on the NO list (HERO, Galaxian) I think it's interesting that Millipede seems to have problems given that it's one of the included games.

 

Still, I think there would be a HUGE market for a internal Harmony modded FB2. :)

The problem with games like Millipede (and Fatal Run, and others) is they require extra RAM. Normally this RAM is on the cart and the timing requirements are strict.

 

With the case of the FB2, there is no need for stringent timing since the RAM is built-in, and there was (apparently) no need to match the timing of the 6507 closely.

 

Edit: it should theoretically be possible to match the timing of the FB2 but that's a little low on the priority list.

Edited by batari

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Will the firmware for harmony be upgradeable, and if so, will there be source code available?

 

It would be neat if you could use harmony to proto new cart extensions, via spare gpios or what have you.

 

Not a deal breaker either way, just dreaming. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good question about the firmware. An another question is:

Is there any release date? At least an estimated time maybe?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Good question about the firmware. An another question is:

Is there any release date? At least an estimated time maybe?

 

When it's done. They don't even have a finalized design yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Will the firmware for harmony be upgradeable, and if so, will there be source code available?

 

It would be neat if you could use harmony to proto new cart extensions, via spare gpios or what have you.

 

Not a deal breaker either way, just dreaming. :)

Some code will be open source, such as the programming software, and some of the microcontroller code.

 

Bankswtiching source code will likely not be freely available but I plan to add a stub to most of the bankswitch code for user C code, so you can insert more complex game logic that runs natively on the microcontroller or play around with hardware or whatnot.

 

As for the GPIO, it's fully utilized, but you can use the SPI bus or repurpose some of the pins to the SPI bus if you ensure the devices currently on the bus are deselected.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The SPI bus definitely opens up possibilities, like connecting it to another microcontroller or an SPI module.

 

Its awesome that you're providing hooks to access the microcontroller. It definitely will open up a new avenue of 2600 hardware experimentation to the scene.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I knew about the Harmony for awhile now, but this thread really talks it up nicely and the video is great!

 

I can't wait for it and I'll most likely be down for two.. good to have a backup in case of you know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not holding my breath but I would love to see a 7800 adaption......

 

Since the Cuttle Cart II is dead.... there isn't much more I can look forward too.......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm not holding my breath but I would love to see a 7800 adaption......

 

Since the Cuttle Cart II is dead.... there isn't much more I can look forward too.......

What we really need is a 7800 version that will also play Super-charger games!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Harmony works just fine on a 7800.

 

I don't have any intentions of making a 7800-only cart, as there wouldn't be as much challenge in that and it would (with current technology and prices) be too expensive for standalone use.

 

However, a Harmony-5200 is feasible...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since people keep asking here and via PM, I should say that there is no preorder list yet.

 

Tentatively, preorders will begin around early fall. Preorders will be filled by the unlimited release before the holidays. The unlimited release will have the lowest price.

 

There may be a limited edition released around early fall. Prices will be higher than the unlimited release. No preorder list is planned for these.

 

I may sell 5 prototypes in about 3-4 weeks to offset some of the costs I've already incurred (which have been significant.) These are 100% hand-assembled and parts were ordered in small quantities, so the price will be higher still. No need to inquire about these - I will post when these are available.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
you already gave us a great program for making our own games with bBasic.

Agreed. I've been having fun the last week or so with bB. :D

 

I don't know why it took me so long to try it out. :ponder:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll definitely be buying one.

 

(Sold my CC2 when I was low on cash and have been using EPROM's and AA dev boards)

 

 

I've already incurred (which have been significant.)

I know what you mean. I racked up over £1k when I was doing the FlashBoy.

Even from China, all the board revisions where expensive and I had to buy another programmer (+ expensive adapter) for the memory I was using.

Edited by Richard H.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tentatively, preorders will begin around early fall. Preorders will be filled by the unlimited release before the holidays. The unlimited release will have the lowest price.

 

There may be a limited edition released around early fall. Prices will be higher than the unlimited release. No preorder list is planned for these.

I'm totally looking forward to the day when I can own a Harmony, but your pre-order plan sounds a bit counter-intuitive - People willing to plunk down their cash early have to wait longer to get one?

 

Am I not understanding correctly? or maybe you have some reason for doing this that escapes me?

 

I'd be totally willing to pay a pre-order for the higher priced unit. IMO that would be a win-win, allowing me to secure a high position in the queue. I'm sure I'm not alone in this either.

 

...just my 2 cents, in advance of a pre-order. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This thread was just a poll to see what interest there is, nothing to do with pre-order. They aren't even sure they are gong to mass produce this. They shouldn't take money until they make that commitment. Like I said earlier... they don't even have a final design yet. You can't price something until you have a final design.

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.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

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...