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Trebor

A7800 - the Atari 7800 Emulator

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It's my eventual desire to have the A78 header automatically set the controllers. That said, for now you can set default controllers by editing your a7800.ini file, and adding lines like:

 

joy1 proline_joystick
joy2 driving_wheel

 

You can get a list of possible devices with "7800 a7800 -listslots", but I've listed them here for convenience...

SYSTEM           SLOT NAME        SLOT OPTIONS     SLOT DEVICE NAME
---------------- ---------------- ---------------- ----------------------------
a7800            joy1             amiga_mouse      Amiga mouse
                                  cx22_trakball    Atari CX22 Trackball
                                  driving_wheel    Atari Driving Wheel
                                  keypad           Atari / CBM Keypad
                                  lightgun         Atari Light Gun
                                  paddle           Atari paddles
                                  proline_joystick Atari 7800 Proline joystick
                                  st_mouse         Atari ST mouse
                                  vcs_joystick     Atari / CBM Digital joystick

                 joy2             amiga_mouse      Amiga mouse
                                  cx22_trakball    Atari CX22 Trackball
                                  driving_wheel    Atari Driving Wheel
                                  keypad           Atari / CBM Keypad
                                  lightgun         Atari Light Gun
                                  paddle           Atari paddles
                                  proline_joystick Atari 7800 Proline joystick
                                  st_mouse         Atari ST mouse
                                  vcs_joystick     Atari / CBM Digital joystick

 

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Setting up A7800 in Ubuntu 19.10 required the following libraries to be installed:

sudo apt-get install libSDL2-2.0
sudo apt-get install qt5-default
sudo apt-get install libsdl2-ttf-2.0

 

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***UPDATE***

 

A7800 v4.0

 

What's new?

  • POKEY audio emulation improvements.
  • SALLY (CPU) and MARIA (Graphics chip) performance adjustments.
  • Framerate updated to even 50Hz/60Hz.
  • Additional display options and enhancements.
  • Corrected ST and Amiga mouse button behavior.
  • Implementation of XM control registers updated.
  • Audio indication of no ROM loaded silenced.
  • 7800 BIOS files made optional (with warning when absent).

Quick and easy portable install for Windows:
(For OS X and Linux ports see the A7800 Emulator Home Page)

1. Download A7800, unzip to a new/clean preferred location [I.E. C:\A7800].
2. Download A7800_Optional_Files_20200609, unzip to same location as A7800.

 

Starting Console:

 

1. Double click A7800.exe.

2. Choose a console (Double click with mouse pointer or highlight with arrow keys and press 'Enter'), either NTSC or PAL with desired console/palette temperature: Cold, Hot, or Warm.

3. Select a console configuration (Double click with mouse pointer or highlight with arrow keys and press 'Enter'): Standard Console, High Score Cartridge, XM Expansion Module.


Selecting ROM:

 

1. After a system is started, press the ‘Tab’ key.

2. Highlight the option "Load ROM file" with arrow keys and press 'Enter', or double click with mouse pointer.

3. Perform the same respecting the available "cartridge (cart)" slot that appears.

4. Choose a ROM from the displayed "roms" subfolder on the screen; otherwise, navigate to the location of where the ROMs are stored. ROMs should have headers in proper *.a78 format.


Default Mappings:

 

1. Console: Pause = O; Select = E; Reset = T.

2. Player 1: Up, Down, Left, Right = Arrow Keys; Button 1 = Z; Button 2 = C.

3. Player 2: Up, Down, Left, Right = I, K, J, L; Button 1 = A; Button 2 = D.

 


Changing Controllers:

 

1. After a system is started, press the ‘Tab’ key.

2. Highlight the option "Controller Selection" with arrow keys and press 'Enter', or double click with mouse pointer.

3. Change a controller by highlighting it and then press either the left or right arrow key.

4. After a controller is changed, reset the emulator by selecting “Reset”.

 

 

***See the included illustrative manual in the download archive for more details and options***

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Improved POKEY ...

 

I can finally delete ProSystem?  lol

 

Seriously tho ... cant wait to try it out.

Edited by Synthpopalooza
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Awesome! Thanks Robert and Mike 👏👏👏

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Yes .. listened to the SKCTLS demos I did using $Ax distortion.  There is an improvement.  They are not yet 100% to real hardware, but they at least no longer sound horridly out of tune.  This is progress!  😁  Keep it up ...

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Great work on the emulator guys. When looking at the error log window, what causes the undefined MARIA and TIA reads? I assume they are generally nothing to worry about as I do see them in a lot of games?

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On 6/10/2020 at 9:11 PM, Trebor said:

3. Select a console configuration (Double click with mouse pointer or highlight with arrow keys and press 'Enter'): Standard Console, High Score Cartridge, XM Expansion Module.

I do not get these choices is there something I am missing

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7 hours ago, playsoft said:

Great work on the emulator guys. When looking at the error log window, what causes the undefined MARIA and TIA reads? I assume they are generally nothing to worry about as I do see them in a lot of games?

Yeah, don't sweat it. It's some internal access in the emulator tripping them, which I need to track down at some point, but harmless from an emulation standpoint.

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5 hours ago, HatNJ said:

I do not get these choices is there something I am missing

Can you explain your steps in detail? 

 

If I download A7800 from its homepage and place it in a folder...

 

image.png.9b46e12ec4ab9121e80f3634104058cb.png

 

...Decompress/Unzip the archive and double click on a7800.exe (or it may just appear as a7800 if you have 'hide file extensions' enabled)...

 

image.png.c27dd595b3520aa34ba3029d4a0744b0.png

...this window appears:

 

image.thumb.png.12222c9b4b33841d93bf404a3a9fd204.png

 

Select a console region and temperature pair from above, and then the below window appears containing the choices mentioned:

 

image.thumb.png.82bac76e26b67527b110396e1a73b168.png

 

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all of the above except when i select any of the consoles (NTSC) (double click) i get the scrolling bars like no ROM is loaded

 

I can hit tab and select games and it works great

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16 minutes ago, Trebor said:

Select a console region and temperature pair from above, and then the below window appears containing the choices mentioned:

 

image.thumb.png.82bac76e26b67527b110396e1a73b168.png

 

I do not get this screen when I select

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Only thing I can think of regarding your experience is perhaps A7800 was placed in a folder with a pre-existing install of A7800 or MAME(MESS) conflicting somehow.

Have you tried installing to a brand new folder/location? 

I literally just performed the steps I posted above and obtained the results posted.

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Ill give that a shot Didnt think of it installs were in different folders but could be conflicting

 

re did unzipping and all good now Thanks and great job on it

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The A7800 causes my fan to run really fast... and therefore loud.  Other 7800 emulators, such as BupSystem don't cause this effect.  Is there an option in A7800 that I can try to prevent this?

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1 hour ago, Atari Nut said:

The A7800 causes my fan to run really fast... and therefore loud.  Other 7800 emulators, such as BupSystem don't cause this effect.  Is there an option in A7800 that I can try to prevent this?

That has been my experience as well. It uses a lot of CPU, so your fan is working hard to keep your CPU cool. A7800 is based on Mame, so look for performance tips on the latter to look at how to tune it. Doing a little bit of research turned up this FAQ on Mame performance. It e.g. suggests a -nojoy option if you aren't using a joystick, and -sr 11025 to reduce the sound quality to reduce CPU usage. Skipping frames is also an option, which will work better with some games than others.

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Thanks for that info.  I think I'll stick with an emulator that I can run without dropping frames.  BupSystem is nice but development may have ended and I can't get it to launch in full screen from a command-line.

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Interesting.  Curious if it's a driver or graphics option setting the other emulators may not be leveraging or at least using differently.  Wonder if that fan is perhaps a graphics chip fan rather than the CPU one.

 

Under 7800.ini file for video, try changing the "bgfx" or "auto" setting, to "gdi", "opengl", or "d3d", to see if it makes a difference. 

 

image.png.86bc40816af7d63ab623a8be62008324.png

 

 

While Goggle Chrome is viewing the Atari Age website, running A7800 with Commando is only ~5-6% of my CPU, compared to Chrome's 13-14% usage:

 

image.thumb.png.8a24810ba7efd7f9b89e56648cb395f3.png

 

My desktop is a decade old.

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I haven't any issues either, other then it runs a little 'warmer' then say Stella but for the most part it's one the least intensive emulators i use. Like Trebor mentioned opengl or direct3D ect, if your system supports them will take some load off the CPU.

 

I do have a desktop i built in 2009 loaded with emulators in my daughters room and it runs A7800 without any intense CPU usage. My later PC's hardly know it's running, so im thinking you may want to look at what background operations you have running.

 

Having said that, accuracy does need power and some CPU's just don't handle certain emulators all that well. Especially older hardware was a bit of a hit and miss on the performance side, even if the CPU specs look good on 'paper'.

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9 hours ago, Trebor said:

Interesting.  Curious if it's a driver or graphics option setting the other emulators may not be leveraging or at least using differently.  Wonder if that fan is perhaps a graphics chip fan rather than the CPU one.

 

Under 7800.ini file for video, try changing the "bgfx" or "auto" setting, to "gdi", "opengl", or "d3d", to see if it makes a difference. 

 

image.png.86bc40816af7d63ab623a8be62008324.png

 

 

While Goggle Chrome is viewing the Atari Age website, running A7800 with Commando is only ~5-6% of my CPU, compared to Chrome's 13-14% usage:

 

image.thumb.png.8a24810ba7efd7f9b89e56648cb395f3.png

 

My desktop is a decade old.

I tried all those options but no change.  The CPU runs between 41% to 44%.  I'm using a Lenovo M90n-1... one of those micro PCs.  Thanks for the info on the video option.  Mine was set to auto but trying all the options and reducing sample rate to 22050 didn't make any change at all.  This happens even with the black and orange bars without a game loaded.

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The hardware you're using is the issue, not to be rude or anything. Very on the low end when it comes to CPU power and after reading some reviews they're basically only good for browsing, emails and light work. Many reviews have said once you runny any application the fan will spin off its dial at nearly full tilt. Which tells me that little CPU is generating some heat and the cooling isn't all that efficient. A7800 isn't the most intensive but does have decent accuracy and emulators in general rely heavily on the CPU because it's emulating a full system in software. Probably no real way around it other then an hardware upgrade.

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3 hours ago, TwentySixHundred said:

The hardware you're using is the issue, not to be rude or anything. Very on the low end when it comes to CPU power and after reading some reviews they're basically only good for browsing, emails and light work. Many reviews have said once you runny any application the fan will spin off its dial at nearly full tilt. Which tells me that little CPU is generating some heat and the cooling isn't all that efficient. A7800 isn't the most intensive but does have decent accuracy and emulators in general rely heavily on the CPU because it's emulating a full system in software. Probably no real way around it other then an hardware upgrade.

I'm sure my CPU isn't the best but it definitely does more than browsing and light work.  The other 7800 emulators run fine as does Altirra, Stella, Phoenix Project, ColEm, ColCV, etc... and that's including running ReShade injecting shaders.  A7800 is just more intensive than these others.

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