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7800 Expansion Module (XM) hardware & game details - 7/8/2016

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Can 2600 games access the save RAM? Since the SaveKey isn't sold anymore it'd be interesting if I could access XM save RAM from batariBASIC.

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Can 2600 games access the save RAM? Since the SaveKey isn't sold anymore it'd be interesting if I could access XM save RAM from batariBASIC.

 

Its possible but it will need extra work on your part to remain compatible: 7800 games only access the HSC RAM via HSC BIOS calls so they don't access it with direct reads/writes. To be compatible with the BIOS you'd have to reverse engineer the data structures in the HSC RAM. You need to bypass the BIOS because it contains 7800 hardware specific code (I reverse engineered the code for the HSC BIOS a couple of years ago if you look in the 7800 programmers section, but I didn't get very far with commenting it). The HSC RAM occupies a 2K block and is located at 0x1000. That address corresponds to the normal 2600's SARA base address. The HSC RAM is not SARA compatible because it doesn't support the SARA memory access modes.

 

The SaveKey is easier to get going with in my opinion. There is already some example source code to work with it out on the forums. You need to speak to Richard H about allocating a page or two for your project so that you don't clash with other people. Drop CPUWIZ a PM if you are after one. I'm pretty sure he'll be able to sort you out.

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I'm very interested in this project. but I have some questions about some features described in page 1:

 

- Hiscore support: I belived this feature was built in the module, while says 'Hiscore cart' I have my doubt now. Is it built-in or includes a separate HS Cart?

- Hiscore support (again): newer games could use HS support for PAL systems, or HSC doesn't work at all in PAL systems?

- (maybe a bit stupid question but I need to confirm it): no aditional power supply is needed to use this module, is right?

- XM games could use Pokey and Yamaha chips at once?

- XM would have his own Bios?

 

Regards,

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I'm very interested in this project. but I have some questions about some features described in page 1:

 

If you decide to purchase an XM there are still some available in the first batch of units at the Legacy Engineer store here :-

 

http://www.legacyeng...com/storefront/

 

- Hiscore support: I belived this feature was built in the module, while says 'Hiscore cart' I have my doubt now. Is it built-in or includes a separate HS Cart?

 

The HSC capability is completely built into the XM so there is no separate cart. If the XM BIOS detects a CC2, H2 or HSC cart plugged in, it disables its built in HSC to avoid bus/data conflicts.

 

- Hiscore support (again): newer games could use HS support for PAL systems, or HSC doesn't work at all in PAL systems?

 

I did some experiments a while ago and found that many of the PAL versions of the NTSC games that support the HSC crashed or have on screen junk when trying to display HSC information. The original HSC BIOS is not PAL compatible and I have no plans to make it so. If the XM detects a PAL console the XM's built in HSC is always disabled. However, it It can be re-enabled from a BIOS menu option for any homebrew games that work with the HSC in PAL.

 

- (maybe a bit stupid question but I need to confirm it): no aditional power supply is needed to use this module, is right?

 

Correct! No additional power supply is required.

 

- XM games could use Pokey and Yamaha chips at once?

 

Correct! And TIA can be used too.

 

- XM would have his own Bios?

 

Correct! The BIOS does some housekeeping and also has built in self tests that can be activated by the user to make sure that the XM hardware is functioning fine.

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I'm very interested in this project. but I have some questions about some features described in page 1:

 

If you decide to purchase an XM there are still some available in the first batch of units at the Legacy Engineer store here :-

 

http://www.legacyeng...com/storefront/

 

 

 

Are these shipping? I thought they were still working out the bugs...

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Are these shipping? I thought they were still working out the bugs...

 

Not shipping yet. By "they" I assume you mean Curt and I? ;) All I can suggest is that you keep an eye on the XM status thread here.

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Hi

All answered, thanks.

Also thanks for the link, about HSC, for I understand the problem is from original code I guess, but anyway I'm thinking in get it one!

 

Good luck, you're working hard.

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Still a little confused.

 

I gather this is still being worked on. That's fine.

 

What I'm not sure about are the availability of games that would make use of this hardware. What's their status?

 

For me, without games, the hardware isn't much use. Maybe other things can be done with it, but I'd just want to plug in a cartridge and play.

 

Just honest questions. No offense or ill intent intended.

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Pokey Kong is coded and ready to go, but I need to play test on hardware before I can start selling it. I have parts for about 20 carts. Carts should be available a week or two after I get my XM.

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The short of it is, games that are listed as having been released, are available either on Atariage's store, or by contacting their authors. I have links to the threads related to them on most games.

 

Games may be released int he store once the XM is released, but no guarantee.

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I really want to write music for the XM's Pokey and YM2151 FM synths, anybody crazy enough to make a tracker or something that some of us not so great programmers can write some compatible music in? I've got plenty of experience with both sound chips as far as understanding how they work. I'm good at creating instruments and sound fx with both, and writing music with certain trackers that support them. I can also provide a translated manual for the YM2151 for anyone interested here:

 

http://www.gorenfeld.net/lou/VOPM.pdf

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Has the XM been finalized enough yet to give programming information on mapping in its various features (beyond POKEY which follows XBoard, and HSC which I assume work as they do now)?

On RAM, mainly bank sizes and where they can be mapped to get an idea of its capabilities would be useful.

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Has the XM been finalized enough yet to give programming information on mapping in its various features (beyond POKEY which follows XBoard, and HSC which I assume work as they do now)?

On RAM, mainly bank sizes and where they can be mapped to get an idea of its capabilities would be useful.

is someone planning on a game? :grin:

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Status?

 

I have been wrapped up in a move from Minnesota to Alaska the past 3 months. Curious how the project is coming along. Thanks.

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Not much progress of late with the Atari book coming out. Mr Vendel has said that once that is done, he'll be workign on getting the XM built and snet out. The impression I have gotten is that the boards are pretty much finalized now. They just need to be manufactured and mailed.

Edited by Lendorien

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I've been holding off on games (even the awesome pacmanplus ones), waiting for "XM" games exclusively.

But you will get Bently Bear it will be for the XM and easily the best 7800 game made to date!!

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Hope is more than alive and well. Many may not be aware but the lead behind getting the XM to production and market, Curt Vendel, and been involved with the Atari Community well before the XM conception, during, and will continue to be in the future. For those perhaps nervous about the XM coming to fruition...It is in the home stretch now. The man has a stellar reputation with most in the community and has done a lot in both personal sacrifice and archiving for the sake of the community and the legacy of Atari systems.

 

I can vouch for both personal and professional dealings with Curt as being a stand-up guy and is not about to throw all his reputation and work away for what some may see as a considerable amount of money invested in the XM. He has more than invested that several times over than could probably be accurately recorded for the sake of the community and history of Atari in not just money, but time and other resources.

 

Here's a sampling: http://www.atarimuseum.com/about/aboutahspage.html

As well as this: http://www.atarimuseum.com/book/

Not to forget an extended thanks and appreciation from the man, Nolan Bushnell: http://www.atarimuse...rfromnolan.html

 

A few more weeks to months is not going to kill anyone, really in the grand-scheme and big picture, we are taking supporting a system +25 years old - what's another couple of months or several weeks? The love and interest in the system will still be there and it allows more time for XM titles to be produced and/or polished.

Edited by Trebor

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I have been one of Curt's most outspoken supporters in the XM forum, and I continue to do so. I just wish that the forum updates didn't get locked...an open line of communication was very nice for all of us "investors" in the XM. It kept us involved in the project, as we all are in the same boat. We love the hobby, we love the system...that's why we are supporting something as ambitious as the XM.

 

Additionally, with the legacy website down, and no communication here in the forums...this will only increase the doubts from those who are already concerned about this project finishing. For me....I am not doubting this project. It is new hardware, and new hardware takes time.

 

If you are out there Curt, and can spare a minute or two, drop us a line. We are all excited to hear from you!!! :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

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In the thread status update 7800 XM. There is a link and once or twice updated in the last month. So the comunication is there with no input back allowed due to the fights and so on due to the lack of communication.

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