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UnoCart-2600 : a DIY SD multi-cart for the 2600

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Would pokey really be required? As far as I know there are only 2 games that use it (plus several homebrew). Would still be incredible to finally have something for the 7800. Missing out on ballblazer and commando is a small price to pay.

Thank you for this project, I plan to build one for fun.

 

 

Ah, but the "several homebrew" include Beef Drop, Donkey Kong PK, Super Circus Atari, Bentley Bear's Crystal Quest, Froggie, and no doubt Bob D.'s upcoming Baby Pac-Man ...

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Ah, but the "several homebrew" include Beef Drop, Donkey Kong PK, Super Circus Atari, Bentley Bear's Crystal Quest, Froggie, and no doubt Bob D.'s upcoming Baby Pac-Man ...

No POKEY on Baby Pac-Man

 

 

Hi Guys.

 

Thank you for the kind words.

I have no plans to use Pokey for the sound on this one. Both the game sounds and pinball sounds are pretty primitive, I don't think there is a need for it.

That being said, I'm not crazy about the dot eating sound that I am currently using, so I'm most likely going to be working on the sound last.

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Folks,

I had labels professionally printed and they look very very nice. I opted for paper labels instead of plastic to match the old styling as much as possible. You can see them here:
http://tinyurl.com/ycers26q

I have included only one picture in this post just to avoid the clutter. If you want to see more, they are also on ebay eBay Auction -- Item Number: 2829929656421?ff3=2&pub=5574883395&toolid=10001&campid=5336500554&customid=&item=282992965642&mpt=[CACHEBUSTER].

 

 

post-16779-0-69645300-1529417678_thumb.jpg

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Yes this would be cool, or also the ability to use the project discovery board and solder to a donor cart of ballblazer directly. Still having the ability to use one without the pokey and run non pokey games.

I myself would still be extremely grateful with support for the 7800 at all even with no possibility of pokey. The 7800 has been in need in this department for a long time. Anything for it, especially a low cost DIY project like this would be incredible.

 

 

@electrotrains: How about an MCU version with an empty socket where one can plug in a donor-pokey?

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I have extended the firmware to support 3E carts with 32k RAM and up to 512k ROM (firmware image attached). With this firmware, the Bad Apple demo can be run on real hardware for the first time :)

 

attachicon.giffirmware.zip

 

Do we upgrade the firmware by just running the .bin from the cart? or does it require the connectors and cabling to hook it up via USB to a PC? I wasn't aware of the FW update prior to ordering mine or else I would have requested it to be done prior to shipping.

 

Very nice product BTW! I like how quickly it seems to load up stuff and so simple to use. Just created a folder to categorize the roms on the root of the SD and then dumped the .bin etc files into the appropriate folders. Folder show right up and I just browse into them..etc. Harmony basically works the same way of course but for the price, this cart will be tough to beat!

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Do we upgrade the firmware by just running the .bin from the cart? or does it require the connectors and cabling to hook it up via USB to a PC? I wasn't aware of the FW update prior to ordering mine or else I would have requested it to be done prior to shipping.

 

Very nice product BTW! I like how quickly it seems to load up stuff and so simple to use. Just created a folder to categorize the roms on the root of the SD and then dumped the .bin etc files into the appropriate folders. Folder show right up and I just browse into them..etc. Harmony basically works the same way of course but for the price, this cart will be tough to beat!

 

 

 

You have to use a STM programmer. Fairly inexpensive and you need to have the software to program it. If you do not feel comfortable doing this (or want to do it) you can send it back to me and I will program it for $5 plus shipping. That goes for ANYONE who wants their cart reprogramed after purchase.

 

-M

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I recently added support for running custom arm programs to my fork of the firmware. Eventually either myself or someone else will create an firmware updater. So if anyone is planning on shipping their cart back for programming they may want to hold off until that's implemented.

 

In theory if you order a cart with firmware that supports the ACE file format it will be able to self update via SD card whenever it gets implemented, but that's very much a beta version of the firmware at this point.

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@MacRory, I just ordered one of these up, can't wait to try it out.

Payment received. It will ship out on Monday. Thanks!!

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I have extended the firmware to support 3E carts with 32k RAM and up to 512k ROM (firmware image attached). With this firmware, the Bad Apple demo can be run on real hardware for the first time :)

 

attachicon.giffirmware.zip

So, a couple of questions on this. I have flashed (and reflashed) the cart with this firmware and the Apple Demo does not want to load. The cart boots without a problem, plays Pitfall II (my test ROM) and passes all other checks, but if I try to load the Bad Apple Demo and it tries top load and just comes back with “Bad ROM” error message at the bottom. Tried re-flashing just to make sure and no go.

 

I tried it with a .bin extension and even .3E extension. Thanks!

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So, a couple of questions on this. I have flashed (and reflashed) the cart with this firmware and the Apple Demo does not want to load. The cart boots without a problem, plays Pitfall II (my test ROM) and passes all other checks, but if I try to load the Bad Apple Demo and it tries top load and just comes back with “Bad ROM” error message at the bottom. Tried re-flashing just to make sure and no go.

 

I tried it with a .bin extension and even .3E extension. Thanks!

 

 

That's weird. I just re-flashed the firmware .bin I uploaded (MD5 60c33c9d2086b8c679e3c1f3c8da0f09) and retried, Bad Apple works fine for me (at least with the .3E extension, didn't try autodetect). Are you trying on a 1MB or 512k SOC? Both should work, but I only have a 1MB SOC to test at the moment. I have a report of success with the 512k version, though, too.

 

post-47984-0-50874100-1529703594_thumb.jpg

post-47984-0-33626900-1529703665_thumb.jpg

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Hmm, will try it again when I get back, but i flashed it twice. It is on a 512, large footprint PCB. I will also try the small footprint 1m I have.

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Actually, reading up a bit more on the 7800, it seems I'd need to emulate pokey for it to be a decent multi-cart.

 

The probably means I'd want to use an FPGA, rather than a MCU, so I'd probably base a 7800 multi-cart on my Ultimate Cart design, rather than the UnoCart.

I've already tried using foft's VHDL pokey in the Ultimate Cart, and it works very well - see:

https://atariage.com/forums/topic/250996-easter-holiday-project-dual-pokeys-on-an-ultimate-cart/

 

But FPGA carts are a lot of work - the Ultimate Cart took over my life for several months, so I think I'll probably leave this one for someone else (though happy to help out along the way).

 

Robin

Actually .... if I may there could be a way without requiring that upfront.

 

Phase 1) 7800 cart with no Pokey support at all (supports all std 7800 banking [Activision is a little tricky but santosp finalized the reverse engineering couple of years ago but never shared the results, I am sure by now the emulators code have enough to reveal its gory details] and obviously all current 2600 banking)

Phase 2) 7800 cart with socket for "Bring Your Own" Pokey (as above but will allow some of us to sacrifice Ballblazer for a good cause)

Phase 3) like 2 but see if foft can get only the required (aka audio) Pokey VHDL/Verilog to run on a minimal FPGA (maybe one of the Lattice family) and put that onto a PCB the size of the Pokey (a foft-Hokey of sorts) to mount on the socket of Phase 2 (so the ones of us that did kill Ballblazer can revive it at a the cost of a "foft-Hokey" ... keep in mind that for the 7800 afaik only sound is required out of Pokey at least for the 2 official games that did support it so likely a lot can be cut out)

Phase 4) all in one with an FPGA only solution of the Phase 3 results embedded in (not sure this is required as if Phase 3 works the extra savings may not be worth another development marathon)

 

 

Something tells me that already at Phase 1 you'll find a lot of support, likely you can figure out very quickly how to allow an empty Pokey socket on the same design (but it can wait if you have no time). With the design of Phase 2 a "foft-Hokey" based on foft VHDL/Verilog should not be too hard (cost may be higher that actual Pokey but it's up to the buyer at that point), once Phase 3 exists integrate it as part of Phase 4 is just a matter of opportunity (Phase 3 can work indefinitely with the cart + "foft-Hokey" socket board optional).

 

 

I am holding off onto my order for the Uno2600 until self flashing firmware is available ... but I'd rather buy the Uno7800 if you decide it's worth a shot even if just at the Phase 1 level. I made my own dip-switch based multicarts for the whole original library of the 7800 by butchering original Atari 7800 cart pcbs but I'd rather have a flash based solution (I have no time to program fancy menus etc... and in recent time I just have no time) .. note I do have an original BallBlazer, a santosp Commando reproduction (yet another Pokey) and the F18 cart (as I didn't want to figure out how to make it work on one of the Atari or Activision PCB)

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That's weird. I just re-flashed the firmware .bin I uploaded (MD5 60c33c9d2086b8c679e3c1f3c8da0f09) and retried, Bad Apple works fine for me (at least with the .3E extension, didn't try autodetect). Are you trying on a 1MB or 512k SOC? Both should work, but I only have a 1MB SOC to test at the moment. I have a report of success with the 512k version, though, too.

 

attachicon.gifIMG_20180622_233207.jpg

attachicon.gifIMG_20180622_233257.jpg

 

 

I discovered the problem: it does not auto-detect. I thought I had changed the extension on the 1.0 version of the file and my computer outsmarted me and tacked on a .bin after the .3E Once I deleted the .bin so it was only filename.3E, it was fine. I can confirm it runs fine on both 512 and 1G versions. Small and large footprint PCBs.

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I discovered the problem: it does not auto-detect. I thought I had changed the extension on the 1.0 version of the file and my computer outsmarted me and tacked on a .bin after the .3E Once I deleted the .bin so it was only filename.3E, it was fine. I can confirm it runs fine on both 512 and 1G versions. Small and large footprint PCBs.

 

 

That's what I had hoped for :) Thanks for testing!

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Just received my UnoCart from MacRorie and it's great, shipped Monday and received on Friday through customs.

Pitfall II doesn't work though, it loads to the first screen but then flashes and goes black. I'm using an NTSC Light Sixer, not sure if maybe I should have specified a different firmware or if there is anything else to check.

Not a big deal if I cannot get Pitfall II working though since I have a copy of the physical game.

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That is VERY odd as that is my test ROM for the carts before I ship them out. I literally boot them, load up Pitfall II, press reset, jump, and then run to the next screen! Only after that do I put them in the box. Hmm, I could send you my ROM, maybe that's it?

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I am having trouble unfortunately.

I have built this using a stm32f407g-disc1 and running it on a light 6 switch 2600 it just comes up as junk and horrible noise.

Wondering if it would not like this system for some reason or if there is more I should be doing to the discovery board as far as moving jumpers or something.

Discovery board verifies as having the correct programming.

A0-A12 to PD0-PD12 and D0-D7 to PE8-PE15, +5 and GND verified many times with tone out from discovery pins to cart edge connector.

I dont have easy access to other systems ATM, but do have a 7800 and coleco EXP #2 to dig for, so was kinda just checking if this was something anyone had encountered yet.

 

 

 

 

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So, a couple of questions on this. I have flashed (and reflashed) the cart with this firmware and the Apple Demo does not want to load. The cart boots without a problem, plays Pitfall II (my test ROM) and passes all other checks, but if I try to load the Bad Apple Demo and it tries top load and just comes back with “Bad ROM” error message at the bottom. Tried re-flashing just to make sure and no go.

I tried it with a .bin extension and even .3E extension. Thanks!

Don’t mean to take this off topic, but is there a Bad Apple Demo ROM for the Harmony Encore?

Thanks.

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Just received my UnoCart from MacRorie and it's great, shipped Monday and received on Friday through customs.

Pitfall II doesn't work though, it loads to the first screen but then flashes and goes black. I'm using an NTSC Light Sixer, not sure if maybe I should have specified a different firmware or if there is anything else to check.

Not a big deal if I cannot get Pitfall II working though since I have a copy of the physical game.

 

 

Sure, you can send me your rom or I can some others to see.

Pitfall II - Lost Caverns (1984) (Activision) ! copy.bin

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@MacRorie same issue, loads up to initial screen and then glitches out after a second or two. Sometimes it goes to a black screen or sometimes green screen with 2 vertical bars. All the other games I have tested work fine (except for some expected homebrews).

If there is any information I can give to try and help figure this out let me know but like I said, it's not a big deal to me since I have a physical version of the game and it works without issues in my system. I even double checked my physical copy to make sure nothing had happened to my system since the last time I played it.

Could it be my power adapter ? I had to buy a replacement one a little while ago and I bought one off of Amazon but I haven't noticed any issues with it so far.

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Well, hmm. Perhaps the UNO is not fully seated into the cart slot? If I used *any* other ROM to test the carts, I would be less stumped, but this is just strange.

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@MacRorie same issue, loads up to initial screen and then glitches out after a second or two. Sometimes it goes to a black screen or sometimes green screen with 2 vertical bars. All the other games I have tested work fine (except for some expected homebrews).

If there is any information I can give to try and help figure this out let me know but like I said, it's not a big deal to me since I have a physical version of the game and it works without issues in my system. I even double checked my physical copy to make sure nothing had happened to my system since the last time I played it.

Could it be my power adapter ? I had to buy a replacement one a little while ago and I bought one off of Amazon but I haven't noticed any issues with it so far.

 

How much current does your power supply provide? I've heard of people having trouble with Harmony Carts and other Melody board-based homebrews because of current draw. A marginal power supply or possibly an aging voltage regulator in the system can cause glitches like that. The microcontroller inside the UNO Cart probably draw more than a standard 2600 ROM cart.

Edited by DrVenkman

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