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Retron77 Compatibility List

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Does R77 have enough grunt to power Stella 5.x and later?

What's the CPU? Is it that AllWinner crap?

 

 

It runs a quad-core Alwinner H3 at 1GHz (but that‘s throttled; the CPU scales up to 1.2GHz) wit 128MB RAM. The included Stella 3.7.5 uses between 9% (ordinary games) and 25% (ARM emulation) of a single core, so there is more than enough headroom for Stella 5. The main obstacle for whoever wants to update the system to Stella 5 is not the CPU, but getting SDL2 and hardware acceleration running without X11 (or build a full X11 userland).

 

The firmware that ships with the device contains only SDL1 which does not require hardware acceleration and runs on top of the linux framebuffer — I guess this is why they stuck with Stella 3. SDL2 is a different beast and requires 3d acceleration. The H3 has an ARM Mali GPU, so the feat is at least possible.

Edited by DirtyHairy
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Either way I'm definitely waiting for the bugs to get ironed out before I buy one. I'm still hopeful but as it is I'm going to wait it out. If it doesn't fixed satisfactorily then a rumored flashback 9 with sd cart support might be the better way to go.

Agreed

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Hm... Without access to code I can only speculate. But it might be, that the hardware used is slightly different so that maybe the working version have a different startup bank than the non-working ones.

 

If you haven't done already, you should test the non-working ones several times. The more banks the more tries, at least 2 or 3 times the number of banks to be quite sure

 

Just did more testing along these lines, 8+ times each for the always-working carts just to make sure they were always-working, 12-15 times each for the trouble carts. Results:

 

- Atari Inc. Crystal Castles loaded every time.

- Atari Corp. Crystal Castles loaded 50% of the time. When it didn't load, it crashed out to the Retron GUI.

 

- Atari Inc. Mario Bros. loaded every time.

- Atari Corp. Mario Bros loaded just under 50% of the time. When it didn't load, it sometimes crashed out to the Retron GUI, other times displayed a black screen (sometimes with a typical single-tone sound).

 

- Atari Inc. Dig Dug loaded 50% of the time. When it didn't load, it sometimes crashed out to the Retron GUI, other times displayed a black screen (sometimes with a typical single-tone sound).

- Atari Corp. Dig Dug loaded every time.

 

I also got my Stargate variants to load (not sure what I was doing the other night) in similar fashion:

 

- Atari Inc. Stargate loaded every time.

- Atari Corp. Stargate loaded just under 50% of the time. When it didn't load, it usually crashed out to the Retron GUI, but a few other times it displayed a rapidly rolling title screen.

 

It'd be cool to see someone else run tests like these to help determine if some carts are simply less conducive to connecting/dumping properly (very possible/probable), or if there's something else more interesting going on here. I suppose if I get super desperate to learn more, I can crack open the Crystal Castles and/or Dig Dug carts to compare them...

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So it looks like my theory might be right.

  • The versions which always load, start up always in a certain, fixed bank. And for those the dumper probably is able to either detect the bankswitching or use a checksum.
  • The versions which do not always load, seem to startup in random banks. For some banks the dumping works and for some not.

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Weve talked a lot about game comparability on here, and rightfully so, but what about controllers. There are so many joysticks for the Atari. Ive been told the wico controllers work. Anyone have a competition pro?

 

Also a couple guys make custom joysticks online with real arcade hardware. That would be cool, but its a lot of money to spend if it ends up being incompatable. Is there a running list of which controllers are working?

Edited by ajlenahan

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Weve talked a lot about game comparability on here, and rightfully so, but what about controllers. There are so many joysticks for the Atari. Ive been told the wico controllers work. Anyone have a competition pro?

 

Also a couple guys make custom joysticks online with real arcade hardware. That would be cool, but its a lot of money to spend if it ends up being incompatable. Is there a running list of which controllers are working?

 

 

My Epix controller works.

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Is that the 500xj? Look interesting, is it a good controller?

That is the one. I like them but some people have problems with the layout and the girth of the base.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Competition Pro 5000 works. All joysticks which do not support extra buttons will work.

Edited by Thomas Jentzsch

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Freeway, Dragster and Spider Fighter are marked incompatible. Can someone retest them? They are all just 4K, so I cannot see any reason, why dumping them wouldn't work.

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Freeway, Dragster and Spider Fighter are marked incompatible. Can someone retest them? They are all just 4K, so I cannot see any reason, why dumping them wouldn't work.

I have freeway and spider fighter. Im getting mine tonight so Ill see if they work

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I am pretty sure the hit rate of the cart dumper could be improved. But as of now, we have no access to the software, so we have to hope for Hyperkin to either improve their software or release the code.

 

The Facebook post is about right. The bankswitching is the most likely the key problem here. Stella always has access to the whole ROM, it can use its build-in heuristics to check the whole ROM and it can use a checksum to correct rare wrong heuristic results. Now, the cart dumper always only sees 4K initially. For an 8K ROM this may be the first or the second 4K, he cannot know. So the heuristics initially can only work with these 4K and with checksums over 4K banks of known ROMs. Obviously, with less information available, the potential for error is much higher. And the code to reduce mistakes, has to be more complicated than what Stella is using currently. But I am pretty optimistic, that this gap can be closed almost completely. It just takes more time, testing and coding.

 

another thing to consider, games that use ram like sara will map the extra ram to a portion of the 4kb address space. the ram will initialize to a random state and if the dumper reads this garbage data, it will confuse the heuristics algorithm.

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another thing to consider, games that use ram like sara will map the extra ram to a portion of the 4kb address space. the ram will initialize to a random state and if the dumper reads this garbage data, it will confuse the heuristics algorithm.

I might confuse the algorithm, but well coded heuristics should consider this.

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As far as controllers go, last night on our Twitch livestream unboxing of the Retron 77 I tried several times to get my Sega Genesis Arcade Power Stick to work on the system. It failed both on booting while having the joysticks plugged in and also swapping while the system was already running. I also tried the trick of holding down the B button while booting that you have to do with the Harmony Cart, but that didn't work. I also found it actually doesn't allow the system to turn on if you have the controller plugged in. Maybe somebody had better success as I'd love to use this controller with it.

 

I also tried out the Track & Field controller which worked fine so you can add that to the compatibility list. We also used the Epyx 500XJ which worked fine but I think somebody already mentioned that it does.

 

Here's the archive of ZeroPage Homebrew from last night if you want to check the controllers in action or inaction icon_winking.gif

 

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Would the Retron 77 by chance have the same issues with compatibility that my copy of Recalbox does? It can't run Dig Dug or Crystal Castles either. Maybe they're running the same dated version of Stella... it would certainly explain a thing or three. (I'd also like the Recalbox people to UPDATE THE DAMN EMULATOR, but they won't. And no, I won't switch over to RetroPie... I don't like it.)

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I could not get H.E.R.O. or Montezuma's Revenge to work on my RetroN 77, sadly those are two of my all time personal favs. Anyone else able to test those by chance, or were able to get them to work? They do work in my 2600 without issues. Also could not get Riddle of the Sphinx, Beamrider, Espial, Kaboom to work. I'm seeing some of those are showing PASS on the compatibility sheet though, I'll give mine another clean and test some more.

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Would the Retron 77 by chance have the same issues with compatibility that my copy of Recalbox does? It can't run Dig Dug or Crystal Castles either. Maybe they're running the same dated version of Stella... it would certainly explain a thing or three. (I'd also like the Recalbox people to UPDATE THE DAMN EMULATOR, but they won't. And no, I won't switch over to RetroPie... I don't like it.)

 

Maybe it's the same thing, the issues with going from SDL to SDL2.

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If any of those boxes use Stella 3.x, it's very likely because of the SDL1 -> SDL2 transition (Stella 4.0 first introduced SDL2, in fact that's why I bumped the major version number).

 

These boxes really need to get SDL2 working, since the path forward for Stella is SDL2. I won't be backporting to a grossly obsolete version. The number of changes from 3.x to 5.1 is huge, and will get even larger once we release 5.2 (or whatever we call it).

 

SDL2 has been available for around 4 years now, so it's time to get this done. There has been some development over the past year in getting SDL2 working on these embedded systems. Hopefully that will come to fruition soon, and we can move on from Stella 3.x.

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Just got my Retron 77. My Spider Fighter played first try. I didn't clean it or anything.

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post-37734-0-40876100-1531259860_thumb.jpg

Good news folks! Retron 77 runs Atari Lamp.

 

It does not however run Shoot Shit from the cartridge produced by Neo Games. I have not tried my original rom for SS yet.

 

I did notice that if I leave Atari Lamp run - periodically, the Atari Lamp words start to dance. Kind of like a wave goes through them.

Edited by SIO2

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played my new Retron 77 today...angry with this box.

 

My favorite 3 games did NOT play: Montezuma's Revenge, Tutankham, and Beamrider. In addition, these games did NOT play either: Gyruss, Plaque Attack, Jawbreaker, & Popeye.

Then...the whole fire button (software related) stopped working!!! I tried unplugging/rebooting...nothing, the button no longer works!!!

 

very disappointed. I'll be asking for my money back.

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when registering my Retron 77 with the Hyperkin website...there was no dropdown menu to select Retron 77 ! WTF? How can you register without the correct console model available??

 

arrrrrrrrg

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Freeway, Dragster and Spider Fighter are marked incompatible. Can someone retest them? They are all just 4K, so I cannot see any reason, why dumping them wouldn't work.

Tried all three, all three worked fine for me with about the same frequency as any Activision carts, I feel like. They're not necessarily always going to work first try, or even first five tries. But I did get them all to run. :)

 

I could not get H.E.R.O. or Montezuma's Revenge to work on my RetroN 77, sadly those are two of my all time personal favs. Anyone else able to test those by chance, or were able to get them to work? They do work in my 2600 without issues. Also could not get Riddle of the Sphinx, Beamrider, Espial, Kaboom to work. I'm seeing some of those are showing PASS on the compatibility sheet though, I'll give mine another clean and test some more.

H.E.R.O. and Beamrider both worked for me like most Activision carts, which is to say: not every time. Sometimes I'd get them fine a few times in a row, other times I'd get a black screen + tone or nothing like five times in a row. Your mileage may vary. Montezuma's Revenge is an E0-bankswitched Parker Brothers cart and is therefore not expected to play with the current situation. Riddle of the Sphinx and Kaboom worked fine for me every time. Don't have Espial to test, but I believe it's an 8K Tigervision cart that uses 3F bankswitching, which means it's likely a no-go for now.

 

played my new Retron 77 today...angry with this box.

 

My favorite 3 games did NOT play: Montezuma's Revenge, Tutankham, and Beamrider. In addition, these games did NOT play either: Gyruss, Plaque Attack, Jawbreaker, & Popeye.

Then...the whole fire button (software related) stopped working!!! I tried unplugging/rebooting...nothing, the button no longer works!!!

 

very disappointed. I'll be asking for my money back.

Montezuma's Revenge, Tutankham, Gyruss, and Popeye are all E0 bankswitched games, so at least for now they're not expected to work. Beamrider, Plaque Attack, and Jawbreaker worked okay for me, though as stated above Activision carts seem to be tougher to load at times than others, as is often the case even with 2600s. I haven't had the fire button issue (yet?) but you aren't the first to report this. The good news is that it appears to be fixable (as long as the hardware itself didn't fail) via formatting/resetting of the SD card.

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I haven't had the fire button issue (yet?) but you aren't the first to report this. The good news is that it appears to be fixable (as long as the hardware itself didn't fail) via formatting/resetting of the SD card.

 

I think I know the issue with this, and I'm pretty sure I can fix it.

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