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atari2600land

the official Channel F thread!

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23 hours ago, atari2600land said:

I'm sorry but I won't pay $800 for a box of a game I don't have.

I haven’t gone back to verify, but I’m guessing this is the same person that bought the one copy on eBay with the extra box.  Was wondering when it be re-listed.  Not being a little greedy are we?

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20 minutes ago, Atari_Bill said:

I haven’t gone back to verify, but I’m guessing this is the same person that bought the one copy on eBay with the extra box.  Was wondering when it be re-listed.  Not being a little greedy are we?

 

   It´s the same box. Have the same marks and scruffs.

 

   I guess maybe the seller is trying to squeeze some cash from that other buyer who paid 2k2 for a loose copy?

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Went back and changed the strawberry screen. Now instead of poking it with the key, you must go around it while it follows you vertically.

I got rid of the second thing so it now looks like this:

LFSR:             ; Linear Feedback Shift Register
    ; save the return address
    

    lisu  3
    lisl  6
    
    clr
    as S
    bz    doEor
    lr    0, A        ; Save original number in r0
    sl    1        ; shift one step left
    lr    S, A
    bz    noEor

    ; Do XOR if b7 was 1, workaround for missing carry on "sl"
    lr    A, 0
    ni    %10000000
    bz    noEor

doEor:
    lr    A, S
    xi    $2b     ; Do the XOR thing
    lr    S, A
    
noEor:
    pop ; return from the subroutine

 

I moved the number altering code so it would be locally done instead of right then because this little guy is going to go randomly across the next screen and I need that random number to have him move around, along with other stuff later in the game where I'd need a random number.

yeti.gif.e7a7c25d21ff24874bd87ccb12e76859.gif

(with a possible 6x6 image size, it's the best I could do. I could make him taller, but that needs more code, and it wouldn't help his appearance anyway. So I did this.)

 

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hey everyone! soooo, i got 2 channel f's recently. tested one so far, i have to wait for an adapter to arrive to also test the second one. the first one works fine. 2 of my 4 controllers work perfectly as well, the other two have problems with some directions (up and left). also tested the multicart and it works as well, so im already very happy now!

 

did anyone here experiment with flashcarts or similar ways to easily get custom rom files onto a real gamecart? i would like to test around with that, especially because i have a lot of .bin files on my computer and would love to play them back on real hardware. if someone has experience with that stuff and could tell me some basics (or could build one for me?) that would be great, but if not i'd probably buy one or two cheap gamecarts and experiment with them myself

Edited by kleeder

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I have a solution where you hook it up to USB and then drop a bin-file on the device that pops up on the computer. 

Basically the same as Mateo's  reprogrammable carts. Programmer will be inside the cart though and preferably with a USB type B (and not some small flimsy thing). 

Left to do is... a lot. It would help a lot in development though so I might put it higher on the priority list. 

Mainly it's a question of how much that needs to be isolated from the programmer + eprom part. 

 

 

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such a thing would be super cool and helpful. whats the programmer + eprom part youre talking about?

in case youre putting it higher on the priority list and it eventually becomes a thing, i'd totally be interested in getting one

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2 hours ago, e5frog said:

I have a solution where you hook it up to USB and then drop a bin-file on the device that pops up on the computer. 

Basically the same as Mateo's  reprogrammable carts. Programmer will be inside the cart though and preferably with a USB type B (and not some small flimsy thing). 

Left to do is... a lot. It would help a lot in development though so I might put it higher on the priority list. 

Mainly it's a question of how much that needs to be isolated from the programmer + eprom part. 

 

 

I just got the multicart but I would get this too. Worth it for me! 

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4 hours ago, kleeder said:

such a thing would be super cool and helpful. whats the programmer + eprom part youre talking about?

in case youre putting it higher on the priority list and it eventually becomes a thing, i'd totally be interested in getting one

 

The System Fairchild carts are not plain eprom, when building a cart today you need extra circuitry. If then adding circuitry that needs access to the eprom, while it's still connected to the other chips, some measures must be taken to make that work without interference. Slapping a bus switch that switches everything is probably possible as a "quick fix". USB connection would open the bus switch and isolate the eprom. Then there's the other way around, how much needs to be disconnected from the AVR/PIC/whatever for it not to interfere in the other direction - if slapping bus switches on everything, there will be a lot of them.   ;-)


There's a lot of ideas and feature creep that has dragged this out for years.
I'll probably settle, initially, for a 64KiB slot and the plain "Chess RAM" to make it compatible with MESS, should work for any single software title out there at the moment. 

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More trouble.

I got the yeti in and he's animating, but he won't move.

Stranger still, if I change the value in line 2772 to 15 (instead of 11) the game will start at the snow screen (which is expected), but then past that, and the yeti WILL move. What is going on here?

quest42.zip

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was able to test my second channel f as well today. its a system 2. theres video on my tv but no sound. do all system 2 channel fs use tv speaker for audio output or are there consoles with in-built speaker as well? am i probably doing something wrong when i connect it to the tv? or is there a quick way to find out if something is broken when i take a look inside?

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Does the console match your TV system, i.e. NTSC, PAL B/G, PAL D/K, PAL I etc? Sometimes the video frequency might match, but the sound is on a different subcarrier than what the TV is expecting.

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So apparently it doesn't like me using lisu 6. I wonder why, especially since I use them earlier and had no problems then. I had a couple extra registers left ($37 and $47 were free) so I used them. And now the yeti works properly.

quest42a.zip

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On 7/31/2020 at 4:32 PM, kleeder said:

was able to test my second channel f as well today. its a system 2. theres video on my tv but no sound. do all system 2 channel fs use tv speaker for audio output or are there consoles with in-built speaker as well? am i probably doing something wrong when i connect it to the tv? or is there a quick way to find out if something is broken when i take a look inside?

What Carlsson said... but if it's labelled "Channel F System II" it's almost certainly an NTSC system, if it's an Adman Grandstand V.E.C. then it's PAL-I

 

The capacitors in the circuits that keeps the frequencies in the right spot may drift a bit in 40 years so you could try fine tuning your TV or fine tune the console. If it has drifted too far from the image carrier you'll get sound but poor picture. 

You can see some of the adjustment possibilities here:

http://channelf.se/veswiki/images/c/c6/Channel_F_II_composite_video_modification_overview.jpg

 

DO NOT use metal tools for ferrite hex holes, carve a chopstick or whatever to fit in there if you don't have any proper plastic tools.

You can adjust the metal screw with a plain screw driver but you'll need to lift it now and then to check the result as it will interfere with the setting. 

 

Don't recall which one is which at the moment (I should document that some day) so count how much you adjust or put a mark so you can restore to the original setting if you mess it up. 
I think the metal screw is to adjust the main frequency
One of the schematics probably has some hints:
http://channelf.se/veswiki/index.php?title=Schematics

 

 

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I hope 8bitworkshop dot com does a Channel F option at some stage, they seem to be starting to cover more and more devices, consoles and computers (5200 has a beta version among with a few others using MAME to run it, so perhaps some hope for Channel F too?)

 

For now though, they have also done a image converter for a number of devices, including the channel F:

 

https://8bitworkshop.com/dithertron/

 

Its not perfect as it doesn't account for black and the 'grey' colour. Some of the other devices you can load the data straight into usable code, so you never know... sometime in the future might happen for Channel F too.

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As for image converter, e5frog @Kurt_Woloch made one many years ago. I converted some pics already back in the summer of 2009, so nothing new.

Edited by carlsson

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2 hours ago, carlsson said:

As for image converter, e5frog @Kurt_Woloch made one many years ago. I converted some pics already back in the summer of 2009, so nothing new.

It's a bit quirky but works fine. I prefer drawing in a drawing program and then use my converter from bmp to gfx data (command interface). 

 

Ditherton seems nice, it corrects the aspect as well. So you'll get that for free, then edit the png before making into data. 

Dithering that large pixels is usually not very nice looking. Maybe over RF and a small TV. 

Too bad it doesn't handle all color options. 

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Yeah, I was also missing the pastel backgrounds in their converter. Of course hand drawn graphics always gives the prettiest results, but an automatic conversion might help you along the way. Kurt's converter also generates code/data which is one plus, even if it doesn't have as many options for dithering, brightness, contrast, palette etc.

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3 hours ago, carlsson said:

As for image converter, e5frog @Kurt_Woloch made one many years ago. I converted some pics already back in the summer of 2009, so nothing new.

Yes I had a go before with that, but because I still haven't done anything particularly useful for the Channel F yet I haven't had a chance to take advantage of it!

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I ordered a Channel F console in case the one I sent to KylJoy couldn't be fixed. This one works super well. I had a little trouble trying to figure out how to plug it to the TV, but the switch box just pops off, revealing your normal plug-in thing. So I plugged it into the TV, and plugged it in and everything is fine. And if KylJoy can fix my other one, then that's fine, I'll have a nice back-up console. I was anxious because the auction wasn't clear on whether I would be getting a console or not, but in the end, I did. And it works, which is a huge plus.

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e5frog e-mailed me this morning telling me the boxes for Trimerous are ready to be shipped to me. So now what's left is for me to get the boxes, print a manual out, have 25 copies made of it, disassemble 24 Channel F carts to put the new chips in, and get rid of the labels and put the new ones on. Then it will be all ready. I don't know when it will be, though. But...progress.

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:)

You don't have to do all at the same time.  ;)

As slow as things are going now-a-days you can start clearing out and clean shells, 1 or 2 per day and you might have finished all of them when the prints and circuitboards arrive. 

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