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On 9/11/2020 at 3:29 AM, Thomas Jentzsch said:

But then, in this thread Alex_79 writes:

So exchanging the TIA might not help. Which would leave the question if the RGB mod is causing the problem or the console.

Honestly, I've suspected these types of warm-up issues weren't related to the chip itself for a while. They never really seem to cleanly 100% manifest with the TIA type, and we sometimes see similar warm-up race-condition effects with some 7800 consoles and Maria chips. (e.g. the Choplifter horizon will be positioned slightly differently on some consoles, depending on the warm-up it's had) My pet theory is that one or more console signals are slightly out of spec, and they might be cleaned up with a schmitt trigger or whatnot, but without a scope to diagnose this sort of thing, it would involve an awful lot of trial and error modification that may not even help in the end.

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SHORT HIATUS FOR RENOVATIONS

 

The renovations have begun! It was ahead of schedule and unexpected but the renovations to our house have begun so there will be a short hiatus until they are over.

 

BUT! If there's a way we can figure out how to broadcast the show while we're resituated in the other part of our house we may be able to do a show or two from there. I can't promise anything at the moment but I'm thinking we should be able to do it. 🙂  Hang tight!

 

- James

899264170_20200916-UnderConstruction.thumb.png.c550e61a13c58f32bf54ce89c6eea4dc.png

Edited by ZeroPage Homebrew
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On 9/13/2020 at 6:55 AM, RevEng said:

Honestly, I've suspected these types of warm-up issues weren't related to the chip itself for a while. They never really seem to cleanly 100% manifest with the TIA type, and we sometimes see similar warm-up race-condition effects with some 7800 consoles and Maria chips. (e.g. the Choplifter horizon will be positioned slightly differently on some consoles, depending on the warm-up it's had) My pet theory is that one or more console signals are slightly out of spec, and they might be cleaned up with a schmitt trigger or whatnot, but without a scope to diagnose this sort of thing, it would involve an awful lot of trial and error modification that may not even help in the end.

Yes, I wonder if there might be something else going on, as this console also has issues with some Harmony cart games (particularly, 64k+ games) but worked fine with other games and other carts.

 

I was sent another console from Zeropage (it's Albert's console) that also showed issues with these same games. I was able to confirm the issues. I spent a few days fiddling with the firmware code on Harmony to see if anything made a difference, but nothing did. I also went a step further and created an integrity tester to ensure the data was being loaded correctly and it was.

 

While I found it to be more reliable with a Harmony cart with a different memory chip, I thought the issue might lie with the console itself, so I started to do probing. On my scope, the address lines all looked good, as did the PHI2 and R/W lines. I swapped the TIA, RIOT and 6507 but it made no difference. I scoped many lines and replaced the big filter cap and the fat green cap to no avail. Also, all of the chips tested good in another console so I know they are all fine.

 

That was when I looked at the cart slot and found one of the pins inside was badly damaged, and some of the brass connector on A7 was broken off and resting at the bottom, possibly shorting out other pins. I also saw bits of cotton and what looks like cloth, and cotton fibers all over inside the cart slot, as if this problem existed for a while and the cart slot was cleaned repeatedly to make it work better. I will replace the cart slot once I can find one (Best has them, but I don't need enough stuff to hit the minimum order threshold yet.)

 

 

From the new Harmony cart I built just to test this console, it is clear that the cart port was broken before I even started. See the markings on the cart fingers show that one side never went as far down as the other, indicating the debris was in the cart slot before I started. Also note the poor contact pattern on A7 (just below the "13" mark).

 

image.thumb.png.94ccd43c9a23d62b608352690c52d0b9.png

 

I don't know if this is the problem with Zeropage's console, but it is worth a look to see if any of the pins are making poor contact and are damaged/dirty?

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44 minutes ago, batari said:

I don't know if this is the problem with Zeropage's console, but it is worth a look to see if any of the pins are making poor contact and are damaged/dirty?

The cartridge slot is the one thing I didn't go over on that console. :roll: 

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57 minutes ago, batari said:

I was sent another console from Zeropage (it's Albert's console) that also showed issues with these same games. I was able to confirm the issues. I spent a few days fiddling with the firmware code on Harmony to see if anything made a difference, but nothing did.

That's REALLY interesting! This points away from the RGB mod as Albert's console had a svideo mod in it.

 

Quote

From the new Harmony cart I built just to test this console, it is clear that the cart port was broken before I even started. See the markings on the cart fingers show that one side never went as far down as the other, indicating the debris was in the cart slot before I started. Also note the poor contact pattern on A7 (just below the "13" mark).

 

image.thumb.png.94ccd43c9a23d62b608352690c52d0b9.png

 

I don't know if this is the problem with Zeropage's console, but it is worth a look to see if any of the pins are making poor contact and are damaged/dirty?

 

Things are in disarray at the moment at ZPH studios but when everything goes back to normal I will take a look at my console.

 

Thank you so much @batari for looking into all of this!!

 

- James

Edited by ZeroPage Homebrew

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26 minutes ago, D Train said:

looking forward to that t-shirt as well...

Hm... No idea yet.

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12 minutes ago, ZeroPage Homebrew said:

I found these handy instructions on this website that might point me in the right direction!

 

- James

 

very handy instructions with resounding success:

Quote

my NES wasn't working right and now it doesn't work at all.

🤣

Edited by Al_Nafuur
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On 9/14/2020 at 10:38 AM, ZeroPage Homebrew said:

SHORT HIATUS FOR RENOVATIONS

 

The renovations have begun! It was ahead of schedule and unexpected but the renovations to our house have begun so there will be a short hiatus until they are over.

 

BUT! If there's a way we can figure out how to broadcast the show while we're resituated in the other part of our house we may be able to do a show or two from there. I can't promise anything at the moment but I'm thinking we should be able to do it. 🙂  Hang tight!

 

Waiting for the Cooking with Stella Episode... The big reveal is what is in the fridge? Is it Skip the Dishes Boxes or Crème de la Crème? I'm getting hungry just thinking about it. Play some Chaotic Grill!!!

 

 

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23 hours ago, Omegamatrix said:

Waiting for the Cooking with Stella Episode... The big reveal is what is in the fridge? Is it Skip the Dishes Boxes or Crème de la Crème? I'm getting hungry just thinking about it. Play some Chaotic Grill!!!

It's pretty much like that around here, I'm typing this about 2 feet from the fridge. It looks like a hoarders house with how many boxes are piled up in the living room. I doubt we'll be doing a broadcast from this mess so I'll start putting in the free time into the upcoming 3rd Annual Atari Homebrew Awards!

 

- James

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On 9/19/2020 at 1:23 AM, D Train said:

@ZeroPage Homebrew you guys should make some burgers while talking to @splendidnut about chaotic grill!

 

how's that going, 'nut?

Work on ChaoticGrill has been dragging this year... partially because I've gotten distracted working on other interesting projects.

 

I was playing around with tweaking the Chef's speed, but that caused all the rare burger dropping bugs to be easily exposed, so I ended up completely rewriting the burger logic code.  Hopefully doing that killed all the bugs in that area.   Now I just need to sit down again and fix the line-count issues before I put another build out.  :)

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18 hours ago, ZeroPage Homebrew said:

It looks like a hoarders house with how many boxes are piled up in the living room.

Tower of Rubble then...

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17 minutes ago, Omegamatrix said:

Tower of Rubble then...

Perfect, just need to add in some vertical and horizontal lasers. I'll get out the cat toy laser pointers....

 

- James

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