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Atari Flashback Portable FAQ and Compatibility List

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Hello, thinking about an Intellivision/Atari 5200/ColecoVision flashback portable.... i think the problem is "too many buttons"!

I've got an idea. With the same hardware of Atari Flashback portable is possible solve it.

Yes, with a virtual keyboard in a Row. If we put a virtual keyboard in the last row of the screen ad set three button (Keyb + Keyb - and Keyb "enter") we solve the problem. The actual buttons on the right of the FBP will be.

Virtual keyboard LEFT

Virtual Keyboard Right

Virtual Keyboard Enter

Fire 1

Fire 2

Fire 3

And, on the screen, the last line display

[*][0][1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][Ent]

With the left/right button you navigate on the last screen row an with the button Keyboard "Enter" you select the key.

By this way no more hardware costs (the case is the same of AFP).

Bye.

Gianluca

 

 

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Just got my flashback 9 and trying to flash it with custom firmware. No success yet and i didn't realize the SD card needed to be 8GB or less. Im trying with a 60GB scandisk card and trying to run the firmware it crashes the system. Same thing happens if i just try adding the Game folder the system crashes when selecting the SD reader option. Probably the SD card so i will need to hunt down an 8GB, hopefully that will work. Also im a bit bumbed about the AV quality on my TV, it looks as bad as RF...

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So after ripping out an old 16GB SD card from a phone i had laying around i still couldn't update the firmware. It would just crash the system, however using the games pack that Nate uploaded it just loads the ROMs anyway. However i did hear these systems play DPC+ ROMs with no issue although when i placed my DPC+ Homebrew ROMs in the folder it automatically crashes the system when trying to search the SD card. Finding it a bit strange that i don't even get to view the ROMs it just crashes because those DPC+ ROMs are in the folder.

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"My Atari Flashback Portable doesn't recognize the card! What can I do to fix it?

Make sure it's formatted properly. Many AtariAge members have found that the SD Association's Card Formatter utility produces better results than the built-in utilities in Windows or Mac OS."

 

That program only offers FAT16 formatting and I understand that it needs to be FAT32.  Also it didn't work anyway when I formatted it.  There are no options in that program.

 

I've tried FAT32 formatting on my own on both Win and Mac and the 2GB sandisk card is still not recognized on my FB9 3050 model.  

Edited by DeltaWalker

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I guess we can't edit our posts a second time?  I found another Win box and used a different formatting tool and at least it now sees the firmware file and the flash worked to enable the SD card option.  Moving along to another flash for gold and then some ROMs.  

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10 hours ago, DeltaWalker said:

I guess we can't edit our posts a second time?

New members cannot. The longer the member the more perks and even more again for subscribers.

 

As for the Firmware, personally i was going to go through the steps. However as a developer i thought it would be a nice substitute system to test my games. Now i have played around with it, i would rather just stick to emulation TBH. The flashback is all packed up and sitting on a shelf in my games room now.

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18 hours ago, TwentySixHundred said:

New members cannot. The longer the member the more perks and even more again for subscribers.

I've been here a long time, and I still have a pretty short time limit on edit privileges.

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7 hours ago, Asaki said:

I've been here a long time, and I still have a pretty short time limit on edit privileges.

Yeah basically because that's what makes subscription more desirable having extra perks. However us longer term members have more privileges then new members. Also us homebrew developers have the ability to edit our original posts in homebrew topics. Having said that i had to ask for permissions for that ability as we are always updating original posts during development stages. Either way New Members have very little privileges for obvious reasons

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13 hours ago, TwentySixHundred said:

Having said that i had to ask for permissions for that ability as we are always updating original posts during development stages.

Yeah, I've seen that thread. Haven't needed to do that yet...it's usually just typos, and I usually catch those before it's too late.

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Just got one of these and the genesis one for a song :) looking forward to seeing how they do with loading games

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Posted (edited)

This is an awesome pack.  Here's an updated rom for "Dintar's Pac-man".  Just posting it here, if people wish to play the most recent version which features 'fast cornering':

 

I used the naming convention of this rom pack:

 

Pacman26008kv8c.bin

 

Edited by KAZ
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Hello everyone,

 

So I decided to pick up a Flashback portable and test out a few of my non-ARM games (Lady Bug, Conquest of Mars, etc.):

 

  • Lady Bug: 
    • seems to work fine except the title screen doesn't show up (it's completely blank).  Interestingly enough, you can still press select or left/right to blindly change the skill level (confirmed by the different color score).  Other than that, it seems to work without issue.
  • Conquest of Mars: 
    • Title screen is messed up:  Logo appears very low down the end of the screen so you only see the top of "CONQUEST" and you don't see the skill levels, copyright, etc.
    • Gameplay:  seems to play well except for the status display where the score and fuel are messed up (looks like player registers are being updated too early, etc).  (video attached)
    • End of game screen seems to have the same issue as the title screen (content appears much lower than expected so the bottom is cut off).

I looked at the LB code and tried a few things but haven't been able to get the title screen to appear yet.

 

For CoM, I was able to fix the title screen and end of game screen issues by removing a "STA WSYNC" that was inside of the loop waiting for INTIM to go to zero.  Not sure why it fixed it but it did.  :roll: 

I looked at the score and fuel display code but didn't see anything obvious that would be causing the issue (as it works on real hardware without issue).   Both are using a standard 48-pixel sprite routine that seems to work in other parts of the code without issue.

 

I understand the portable isn't 100% compatible, but has anyone figured out what is not compatible or have any suggestions as to what might cause these issues?  Looks like it may be a problem with the VDEL registers  but perhaps something else.

 

Oh, lastly, Avalanche seems to work but it requires a paddle.  Silly question - can you play paddle games on the FBP?  I would assume that paddle games would need to be modified to support a joystick to be playable?

 

Any info is appreciated!

 

Thanks,

John

 

 

 

 

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On 9/5/2021 at 3:14 PM, johnnywc said:

I understand the portable isn't 100% compatible, but has anyone figured out what is not compatible or have any suggestions as to what might cause these issues?  Looks like it may be a problem with the VDEL registers  but perhaps something else.

 

Oh, lastly, Avalanche seems to work but it requires a paddle.  Silly question - can you play paddle games on the FBP?  I would assume that paddle games would need to be modified to support a joystick to be playable?

 

Any info is appreciated!

 

Thanks,

John

John,

FYI - 

The Lady Bug LE ROM works perfectly, even the serial number screen and title screen! As to the original Lady Bug (2006), that will not display the title screen but the gameplay does work.

Paddle games are very, very, very hard to play on the AFP.  

 

Since I'm not a programmer, I know there's issues with bB games displaying the correct numbers for the score on the AFP and other games have been altered to work on the AFP (see column K of my "List").

 

Maybe slowing down the game of Avalanche might make it playable on the AFP? Just a thought.

 

Brian

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3 hours ago, Arenafoot said:

FYI - 

The Lady Bug LE ROM works perfectly, even the serial number screen and title screen! As to the original Lady Bug (2006), that will not display the title screen but the gameplay does work.

Hi Brian,

 

Thanks for the info!  Yes, I tested the Lady Bug CE ROM and was somewhat surprised that title screen displayed (although it's completely different from the original so it kinda makes sense).  I'm sure with some debugging I can figure it out. 🤞

3 hours ago, Arenafoot said:

Paddle games are very, very, very hard to play on the AFP.  

I can imagine.  Does the AFP map the paddle to the joystick buttons?  I should load up Avalanche and give it a try.

3 hours ago, Arenafoot said:

Since I'm not a programmer, I know there's issues with bB games displaying the correct numbers for the score on the AFP and other games have been altered to work on the AFP (see column K of my "List").

Interesting.  I wonder what the technical reason is for this as that would go a long way into 'fixing' the issue (by that, I mean potentially come up with a solution that works on a real system and also overcomes the quirks of the AFP).

3 hours ago, Arenafoot said:

Maybe slowing down the game of Avalanche might make it playable on the AFP? Just a thought.

 

Possibly, but I don't plan on altering the game to have an AFP only version.  I think the only way to play Avalanche is with paddles (like Kaboom!) do probably not worth the effort.

 

Thanks for the info!

John

 

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Hey John - 

 

There is no control on the AFP for Avalanche. The game plays but the lines stay to the far left and can not be moved.

I think it has to do with their "Firecore" emu...... its not Stella.

@Nukey Shay has been able to edit alot of the ROMs to work (see the red tab at the bottom of my "List" for all the games that have been edited for the AFP)

 

Hope this helps.

Brian

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