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Latest Harmony Cart software

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2 hours ago, Bamse said:

Thanks. I think my issue is the same and I'm sure I read somewhere else pressing on the sd slot helped. I think I'll give it a try but I don't want to risk taking the cart out again as it took me so long to get it in lol

Oh I can do it in seconds so I don't have an issue with it at all. Now that I think about it, my Harmony might fit better on some 2600s vs others. But I mainly use it in my 7800 and that is where the play in the PCB is most noticed.

 

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23 minutes ago, -^CrossBow^- said:

Oh I can do it in seconds so I don't have an issue with it at all. Now that I think about it, my Harmony might fit better on some 2600s vs others. But I mainly use it in my 7800 and that is where the play in the PCB is most noticed.

 

Well, I took it out to check if I could get it in again easier with your technique, but when I did I noticed the dust cover was stuck open. I think the PCB is off centre enough  that the dust cover is jammed against it now. Not ideal but it means I can insert the cartridge a lot easier now as the pins of the PCB are exposed

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On 4/20/2020 at 9:33 AM, -^CrossBow^- said:

Not sure if it is the same issue or not. I have an original released Harmony from when it was released back in 2010. Mine never seats right on its own. I have to use my finger to move the SD card slot up or down as I try to insert it to get it to seat in. Basically there is room for the pcb to move up and down on the back end of the cart and that causes the opposite effect on the PCB end that prevents it from matching up sometimes. No big deal and I've been using mine for 10 years in this manner without any issues from it.

 

The original run of Harmony carts used a two-board design, with SD slot on the second board. It was difficult to get the two boards lined up perfectly, and inserting a SD card tended to misalign the main board in the shell as the second board was offset from the first.


Since 2011 or so, a single board design was used and this problem was virtually eliminated.

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On 4/20/2020 at 1:08 PM, Bamse said:

Well, I took it out to check if I could get it in again easier with your technique, but when I did I noticed the dust cover was stuck open. I think the PCB is off centre enough  that the dust cover is jammed against it now. Not ideal but it means I can insert the cartridge a lot easier now as the pins of the PCB are exposed

The problem is more likely to be the dust door itself than the PCB being off center. Some of these old Atari shells didn't have great tolerance in their parts, and some dust doors fit better than others. Also over time in these recycled casings, the dust door tends to wear grooves into the inside of the cart and it doesn't move as smoothly as it once did. To help with these issues I usually mix and match casings and dust doors to find good matches that move smoothly and don't get hung up in the shell due to being too small or too large for the shell it's in.

 

I don't know what is happening in your case without having your cart and console in front of me but I suspect that it has to do with a shell that isn't quite perfect. I can send you a new shell with a label and screw that will probably fit just fine, let me know.

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4 hours ago, batari said:

The problem is more likely to be the dust door itself than the PCB being off center. Some of these old Atari shells didn't have great tolerance in their parts, and some dust doors fit better than others. Also over time in these recycled casings, the dust door tends to wear grooves into the inside of the cart and it doesn't move as smoothly as it once did. To help with these issues I usually mix and match casings and dust doors to find good matches that move smoothly and don't get hung up in the shell due to being too small or too large for the shell it's in.

 

I don't know what is happening in your case without having your cart and console in front of me but I suspect that it has to do with a shell that isn't quite perfect. I can send you a new shell with a label and screw that will probably fit just fine, let me know.

Yes I think you are spot on. It definitely seems like the dust door. I don't have much experience with the 2600  being an intellivision guy so am not familiar with 2600 cart design but after googling and YouTubeing it, it does seem its down to the dust door.

Thanks for the offer of a new case, that's very kind. I've messaged you. :)

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@batari Hello. I have a Harmony Encore (firmware 1.06) and I'm unable to run the following ROMs (The End 2600 and Stratovox). I used to run The End 2600 (on my older Harmony Encore, which I gave away). -Thanks.

 

<Edit> Never mind. Re-flashed the bios and all is good again.👍

 

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Hi,

 

I tried to use my harmony cart for the first time since 2012 (maybe even 2011, can't really remember). It used to work great (thanks for making it btw!), but this time, all I see is the spinning logo. The manual says this is due to an incorrectly-formatted SD card so I reformatted the card and tried again; no luck.

 

I found this thread and noticed there are firmware updates. My cart is an older two-board design and I figured maybe I should upgrade. I tried the tool on both a mac and a windows box and was unable to detect the cart from either system. I verified that the FT232R was detected and indeed the correct COM port is available and I can connect to it from software. I looked at the source and noticed it would print to command line, so on the windows box, I ran again, and this time I can see that there's no response to `?`. To be cheeky I even tried connecting via putty (at 9600 baud as is used in the source) and sent a '?' myself but sure enough, no answer.

 

I opened the cart (this is how I know it's a two-board model) and with a multimeter tested connections between both boards and they all seemed OK. I didn't do any further poking/prodding. I find it strange that the spinning logo comes up, but it's unresponsive from USB and can't read the SD card.

 

Any ideas what might cause this/how I can debug further? I have basic electronics tools/know-how but no oscilloscope or anything so I'm somewhat limited.

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3 hours ago, yupferris said:

Hi,

 

I tried to use my harmony cart for the first time since 2012 (maybe even 2011, can't really remember). It used to work great (thanks for making it btw!), but this time, all I see is the spinning logo. The manual says this is due to an incorrectly-formatted SD card so I reformatted the card and tried again; no luck.

 

I found this thread and noticed there are firmware updates. My cart is an older two-board design and I figured maybe I should upgrade. I tried the tool on both a mac and a windows box and was unable to detect the cart from either system. I verified that the FT232R was detected and indeed the correct COM port is available and I can connect to it from software. I looked at the source and noticed it would print to command line, so on the windows box, I ran again, and this time I can see that there's no response to `?`. To be cheeky I even tried connecting via putty (at 9600 baud as is used in the source) and sent a '?' myself but sure enough, no answer.

 

I opened the cart (this is how I know it's a two-board model) and with a multimeter tested connections between both boards and they all seemed OK. I didn't do any further poking/prodding. I find it strange that the spinning logo comes up, but it's unresponsive from USB and can't read the SD card.

 

Any ideas what might cause this/how I can debug further? I have basic electronics tools/know-how but no oscilloscope or anything so I'm somewhat limited.

There are actually several possible causes for the spinning logo. One is a dirty cart connector, another is dirty/poor contacts on the SD card. I'd clean both with some isopropyl alcohol. Cleaning the console too wouldn't hurt.

 

So were you able to successfully connect to the cart from the programming software? If so you should be able to flash the eeloader.

 

Connecting from Putty or other terminal programs generally won't work, as Harmony uses the flow control signals to reset the cart and boot to the in-system programming ROM, and most terminal programs aren't able to use these signals in the exact way Harmony needs them to.

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Thanks for the quick response!

 

Quote

There are actually several possible causes for the spinning logo. One is a dirty cart connector, another is dirty/poor contacts on the SD card. I'd clean both with some isopropyl alcohol. Cleaning the console too wouldn't hurt.

OK, good to know! I will try this.

 

Quote

So were you able to successfully connect to the cart from the programming software? If so you should be able to flash the eeloader.

Apologies if it wasn't clear - I was not able to connect to the cart from the programming software. The FT232R chip appears to be working to some degree seeing as I can see the virtual COM port on my machine(s), but the cart is otherwise unresponsive, and the programming software says "failure to detect" while printing that there's no response to '?'.

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I've tried cleaning the SD card contacts, the SD card connector contacts, the cart contacts, and the cart slot contacts with isopropyl alcohol and elbow grease. Nothing has improved/changed the situation. I still only see the spinning logo. Anything else I might be able to try?

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I would like to do a new release of the HarmonyCart software.  There hasn't been a new release since 2013 (!!), and there are some significant updates since then.  Perhaps they will even fix issues reported here.  The code is at https://github.com/sa666666/harmonycart.  However, I'd like to get the various Harmony pages updated to point to this link.  @batari, please respond if you see this.  I would like to get the next release done soon.

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1 hour ago, yupferris said:

I've tried cleaning the SD card contacts, the SD card connector contacts, the cart contacts, and the cart slot contacts with isopropyl alcohol and elbow grease. Nothing has improved/changed the situation. I still only see the spinning logo. Anything else I might be able to try?

You can always send it back to me for a free repair. PM for details.

 

Or, if you have basic soldering skills, since you said this is an older cart with the two-board design, there is a chance that the two boards aren't communicating properly with each other. The two boards are connected with a 12-pin header, and it's a 0.1" through-hole which you can usually solder with basic tools.

 

If you have already opened up the cart, and want to try, you can see if reflowing the solder on the pins of this header on both sides, and that may bring it back to life.

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1 hour ago, stephena said:

I would like to do a new release of the HarmonyCart software.  There hasn't been a new release since 2013 (!!), and there are some significant updates since then.  Perhaps they will even fix issues reported here.  The code is at https://github.com/sa666666/harmonycart.  However, I'd like to get the various Harmony pages updated to point to this link.  @batari, please respond if you see this.  I would like to get the next release done soon.

That would be awesome to get a new release done.

 

I am not able to build Windows binaries at the moment, so if you can build one I will test it out and we can get this released before too long.

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7 hours ago, batari said:

You can always send it back to me for a free repair. PM for details.

  Thanks for offering, you're a hero! :)

 

7 hours ago, batari said:

Or, if you have basic soldering skills, since you said this is an older cart with the two-board design, there is a chance that the two boards aren't communicating properly with each other. The two boards are connected with a 12-pin header, and it's a 0.1" through-hole which you can usually solder with basic tools.

 

If you have already opened up the cart, and want to try, you can see if reflowing the solder on the pins of this header on both sides, and that may bring it back to life.

Indeed I went ahead and tried this and - it worked! Took a few tries though; I noticed after doing it the first time it worked, until I put it in the shell (which took some pressure), and it broke again. It seems the screw post didn't quite align with the hole in the upper board and was putting a lot of strain on the connector. So, I took a dremel and wore down the side of the post so it wasn't pulling on it anymore, sucked out all the old solder as much as I could and applied fresh stuff. It seems it's now quite robust, and I'm very happy to see it working again! Thanks! :)

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