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Atari Flashback 9 FIRMWARE for adding games to SD card

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Mark,

Download the firmware again from the link at the beginning of this thread. After unzipping the file, let it sit for 1 minute before moving or writing to the SD card. Install the firmware upgrade from the SD card again.

 

I've seen antivirus software delay unzipping a file for 45 seconds until it scans for viruses.

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Forrest--

 

I hadn't considered that possibility, so thanks for the tip. Unfortunately, it did not fix the problem. (I put the SD card back in the portable, just to check, and could still play the games as before).

 

During my attempt to install the firmware update again, some commands appeared on the screen. I took a picture because they were only on the screen briefly, and unfortunately the first couple of characters in each line were cut off due to the size of my TV screen, but I have transcribed the lines as follows (bold are the characters I am guessing, because they were cut off at the edges of the screen):

 

Stopping Avahi mDNS/DNS-SD Daemon: avahi-daemon

…fail!

Stopping system message bus: dbus.

? :lock: can’t open ‘ /dev/misc/rtc’: No such file or directory

Stopping syslogd/klogd: no syslogd found; none killed

Server disabled

Stopping rpcbind daemon…

? : running.

Configuring network interfaces… ifdown: interface eth0 not configured

Done.

Loading all processes the TERM signal…

Loading all processes the KILL signal…

Mounting remote filesystems…

?ndom stop: failed.

Activating swap…

Mounting local filesystems…

Rebooting… _

 

 

Not sure if this means anything to anyone, or if it will help pinpoint the problem. I may just take the system back to the retailer and try with another one, but since it seemed to work just fine before the attempt at installing new firmware, I'm thinking it is not a hardware problem so another unit will experience the same issues. Maybe...

 

Thanks,

 

Mark

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Text is normal, or at least I think so since it happened to me when first starting the update process. So that might not yield a lead.

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Those messages are from the Linux OS. AtGames did not clean up a few of the checks after removing unnecessary drivers in the Linux OS.

avahi-daemon is for DNS which without a network is not needed

lock: can’t open ‘ /dev/misc/rtc’: No such file or directory -- haha no real time clock in the hardware

syslogd/klogd: no syslogd found .. logging was not enabled

interface eth0 not configured -- yep no network so ethernet is not needed

......

.....

 

Anyway I could comment on each line but it's just not dotting the i and crossing the t in logging comments. This is usually the case normal for cheap, quick to market products. When I did embedded controllers many years ago we HAD to comment out such checks or remove the corresponding code. I worked on many Software Development Kits which we made "clean" so product release engineers , for example like those at ATGames would have a clean log to start their development.

Edited by thetick1
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Okay, I solved the problem and thought I would mention it here in case someone else has the same issue in the future.

 

First, I ended up purchasing a second FB9 Gold, before I took the original one back, to see what would happen. When I hooked it up, without a firmware update, I had the same issue--no games would play. I did notice that there was no background music, however, which I thought was odd because the first one had background music when I first set it up (before I turned it off in the settings). Then I realized that, after updating the firmware of the first console, I never bothered to turn off the background music, and yet there was no sound. Hmmm...

 

Something I forgot to mention when first describing my issue--the Flashback was hooked up to the TV via an HDMI switchbox (along with an NES classic, SNES classic, and PSX classic). Since the sound was not getting through, I wondered if the issue might have to do with that...even though I was seeing the menus on the TV. So, I unplugged the FB9 from the switchbox and instead plugged it directly into the TV. Voila! Now I have sound and the games on the SD card work! I'm still not sure why this is the case, as when I hooked it up before the firmware update I was able to see and play games even though I was using the switchbox. And, if it was the firmware update that had an effect on using an HDMI switchbox, then the second unit I just bought would have worked fine because I didn't update the firmware. Oh well...best not to think too hard about it...

 

Thanks to those who responded.

 

TL:DR= Don't use an HDMI switchbox with the Flashback 9 Gold...

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TL:DR= Don't use an HDMI switchbox with the Flashback 9 Gold...

Nor connect it through a soundbar. I read that on this forum, and I find my FB9 Gold either has sound or none when my Vizio 5.1 surround is turned on (which is attached to my HDTV ARC). If the sound bar is on and the FB9 sound does play, random sfx and music are missing. So now I turn off the soundbar when its game time.

 

Very finicky.

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I often have to power the system off when I first fire it up and restart it to get audio.

 

Along with addressing questionable build quality of the player #1 joystick and hopefully including the latest build of Stella, I hope they do a thorough investigation of audio issues with their HDMI products for 2019.

 

Not sure what went wrong with the joysticks. Ignoring line of sight annoyances native to IR controllers in the several iterations that had those (Which was easily avoided with wired joysticks), I never had complaints about the joysticks. But the player #1 joystick, which I'm now on my 2nd of since my fire button failed on my first, just stinks.

 

Joystick #2 feels fine and plays well, much like what I remember from the early AtGames Atari systems before the IR versions were rolled out. And I didn't have problems with the wireless joysticks on my Flashback 8. But joystick #1 on the FB9 with the extra system buttons just stinks. Unreliable button presses and even the joystick mechanism itself feels sloppy and imprecise compared to the standard joystick included with the system.

 

One would think the only differences should be the extra buttons on the base of the stick, but I don't think so.

Edited by Atariboy

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Just for fun I tried hooking up all the controllers I could find--the paddles, the steering controllers (Indy 500), the keypad controllers...even a trakball. None of them worked. Still haven't tried the Star Raiders pad or the Track and Field controller, but I'm not optimistic...

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@radiohead

 

....and, of course, all other readers. It seems there is a new firmware available for FB9 Gold Hd consoles. Atgames also updated their website and under firmware there is now Fb9 Gold listed and an own firmware abailable for it. it is also possible to register your machines (with id starting at 3650) now.

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@radiohead

 

....and, of course, all other readers. It seems there is a new firmware available for FB9 Gold Hd consoles. Atgames also updated their website and under firmware there is now Fb9 Gold listed and an own firmware available for it. it is also possible to register your machines (with id starting at 3650) now.

 

Anyone know what this is all about?

If you flash using the new firmware is the ability to use the sd card for games still there?

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@radiohead

 

....and, of course, all other readers. It seems there is a new firmware available for FB9 Gold Hd consoles. Atgames also updated their website and under firmware there is now Fb9 Gold listed and an own firmware abailable for it. it is also possible to register your machines (with id starting at 3650) now.

 

@Lohe

 

Thanks for the heads up. I was (finally) able to register my FB9 Gold and downloaded the specific firmware (v.0225.img) but I haven't installed it yet. Truthfully, I'm kinda of scared to do so since everything is working so well at the moment. I can confirm that it's a bigger firmware file size. The Atariage firmware is 35,985Kb, while this new one for FB9 Gold is 63,365Kb.

 

Anybody braver than I care to try this out first?

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@Lohe

 

Thanks for the heads up. I was (finally) able to register my FB9 Gold and downloaded the specific firmware (v.0225.img) but I haven't installed it yet. Truthfully, I'm kinda of scared to do so since everything is working so well at the moment. I can confirm that it's a bigger firmware file size. The Atariage firmware is 35,985Kb, while this new one for FB9 Gold is 63,365Kb.

 

Anybody braver than I care to try this out first?

Working great on my Gold unit. Some of the lag that I noticed previously is now gone. Don't notice too much else.

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Working great on my Gold unit. Some of the lag that I noticed previously is now gone. Don't notice too much else.

Great.

 

What about games running from the SD card?

 

Thanks

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I have updated the system. Can confirm a working sd card function. It seems the scanline filter is more appealing to my eyes now. The spaces between the lines are tinier. Also, the lag in the game selection screen was in focus of their work. A small other minor changes (about section, selecting the difficulty (easy, hard) is shown in one of the edges of your tv) I noticed also.

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I have updated the system. Can confirm a working sd card function. It seems the scanline filter is more appealing to my eyes now. The spaces between the lines are tinier. Also, the lag in the game selection screen was in focus of their work. A small other minor changes (about section, selecting the difficulty (easy, hard) is shown in one of the edges of your tv) I noticed also.

I took the plunge and updated. Yes, it works well.

 

- The menu is a "tad" more responsive (for game title/rom selection. There's still a slight lag in menu section selection, but that's probably due to screen loading. No biggie.)

- Space Invaders P2 is fixed. The game used to close out when P2 moved left. Not anymore.

- The "About" page has been updated to reflect the current AFZ firmware website. (At the QR code, previously there was a mention about an AFZ app which included the word "placeholder".)

- When a game starts, there are brief lower screen graphics that display the difficulty switch settings (Left=Easy Right=Hard, etc). Just like last years model, but the display time is a lot quicker (less than 1 sec.)

- The Scanline filter is more subtle. The lines are thinner.

 

That's all I noticed. SD card/roms still work. You will lose your Favorites/Recently Played data because of the reset, but not the game save state slots.

Edited by radiohead
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I just installed this. Everything still works OK.

 

One issue is that my ID number was only 15 digits long instead of 16. That prevented registering. I just put a zero on the end, and it accepted it.

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New firmware seems fine and I agree with comments above.

 

Space Invaders no longer crashes

Firmware version is shown on the About screen

Scan lines are very pleasant now and even desirable where prior they were terrible.

Edited by thetick1

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I just updated both the standard "Boom" model and the 9 Gold. I definitely like the scanlines better now, but sound seems to have taken a pretty big hit. I never noticed it being so off before. One of the first games I tried was California Games and the sounds really stood out as being off. I most noticed it in the Half Pipe event, but you can definitely tell they're off elsewhere. In Foot Bag, the sound seems off enough that some effects are cut off or nearly missing.

I'm wondering if the emulator build was updated in the most recent update and the hardware is struggling to keep up. I know that Rewind also makes performance take a hit. I love having Rewind available, but I think both this and the Genesis model would benefit from an option to enable or disable Rewind in the menu (like the option to enable or disable scanlines).

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I just updated both the standard "Boom" model and the 9 Gold. I definitely like the scanlines better now, but sound seems to have taken a pretty big hit. I never noticed it being so off before. One of the first games I tried was California Games and the sounds really stood out as being off. I most noticed it in the Half Pipe event, but you can definitely tell they're off elsewhere. In Foot Bag, the sound seems off enough that some effects are cut off or nearly missing.

I'm wondering if the emulator build was updated in the most recent update and the hardware is struggling to keep up. I know that Rewind also makes performance take a hit. I love having Rewind available, but I think both this and the Genesis model would benefit from an option to enable or disable Rewind in the menu (like the option to enable or disable scanlines).

Another thing I've been meaning to request (besides the option to enable/disable Rewind), is the option to use Full Screen. When using these systems on a HD TV like they're intended, the current aspect ratio is perfect, but if we use them on a CRT with a HDMI to Composite converter, the aspect gets squashed vertically. The ability to switch to Full Screen (16:9) would be perfect for these situations.

 

Sidenote: while the emulation performance of the Atari models seem to have taken a hit with the last firmware updates, the Genesis model emulation performance has greatly improved. :-)

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Can someone link the latest firmware. I bought mine from Dollar general and when I put in my UID it's invalid cause it's shorter than expected and I can't register. Thanks.

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Can someone link the latest firmware. I bought mine from Dollar general and when I put in my UID it's invalid cause it's shorter than expected and I can't register. Thanks.

I had the same issue. Putting a zero at the end of the UID worked for me.

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I had the same issue. Putting a zero at the end of the UID worked for me.

I tried putting 0's in front and in back to pad it. My Serial # is only 11-digits long.

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