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Harmony Cartridge/Everdrive for the 7800

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Apologies for my ignorance, but does such a thing exist? I'm familiar with 2600, Lynx and Jag, but not 5200 or 7800!

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The short answer is no. The long answer is experimental prototypes you can't get ahold of or a used cuttle cart 2 which rarely comes up for sale and when it does its probably for $300+

 

There is the Mateos multicart but I have been unable to get ahold of the creator for the last 6+ months.

Edited by john_q_atari
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Apologies for my ignorance, but does such a thing exist? I'm familiar with 2600, Lynx and Jag, but not 5200 or 7800!

 

5200 is the Atarimax 5200 Cart available on Atarimax.com. I have one and it works great. Well worth the money. Steve, the guy that makes them is a very busy person, and does not always respond to emails, but you will get your product in a timely manner. If you search AtariAge for AtariMax you will see what I mean. Steve is a class act.

 

The Concerto cart for the 7800 is in beta, and has been for a long time. Fred, the guy making it has been pretty quiet. I hope he does get this thing out, as this is one of the most anticipated home brew devices in a very long time.

Edited by scotty

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Yeah, I hope all is okay with Fred. Asked about Concerto a while ago and received a reply. Said he had the parts to make a few more, but then never got back to me. :(

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20 minutes ago, atari2600land said:

I don't understand why you can't use a 2600 Harmony cart for 7800 games.

The Harmony cart doesn't have the extra connections for 7800 carts nor does have it the extra hardware needed for some 7800 games to work.

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31 minutes ago, atari2600land said:

What are connections?

ApolloBoy's referring to the pins on the bottom of the cartridge as 7800 cartridges have an extra 8 compared to 2600 cartridges that connect to the CPU for various things.

 

Simply put there are a few physical differences between cartridges designed for the 2600 and for the 7800 that means it would make more sense to have a 7800 cartridge that can also run 2600 games rather than vice versa (though I don't know practical that would really be).

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On 3/8/2019 at 4:45 PM, save2600 said:

Yeah, I hope all is okay with Fred. Asked about Concerto a while ago and received a reply. Said he had the parts to make a few more, but then never got back to me. :(

I do still have the parts to make about a dozen more Concertos, but haven't made any more in years because I wasn't sure the hardware would not change. For a while I was taking a new direction with Concerto and the firmware would not have been compatible. I did not want to sell any more knowing that things may change. I had already promised existing Concerto owners that they could upgrade when the new version comes out. (though, this promise only makes sense if the hardware does actually change.)


However, now I am planning to try to breathe new life into the existing Concerto design by revisiting the firmware. If I can get the firmware to be reliable, then those existing Concerto boards I have would be salable again and existing Concerto could update their firmware to the new version, and new Concertos could be based on the existing hardware (the specs would be unchanged, but current Concerto is not very production-friendly the IC count could be reduced.)

 

As for the new direction I was taking (but it's not working out as I planned): This is a more basic 7800 flashcart, a low-cost design, one that doesn't play all 7800 games, but should handle a decent percentage of the library. I mentioned this in another thread, and I might have said this is the new Concerto. But, the architecture is different enough that this shouldn't be called a Concerto. (thinking of "Concertino" which is a diminutive version of a concerto.)

 

Good news about "Concertino" is it could be ready for release by mid-summer. The unfortunate part is I have run into supply constraints and would have to release in limited runs. Would anyone be interested in a low-cost, limited run flashcart or would you rather wait for Concerto or other flashcarts being developed right now?

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Can't speak for everyone, but I'd rather have a higher quality/more compatible SD cart than a cost reduced flashcart with compromises.
 

Thanks for keeping the dream of a 7800 flashcart alive!  :thumbsup:

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24 minutes ago, batari said:

Good news about "Concertino" is it could be ready for release by mid-summer. The unfortunate part is I have run into supply constraints and would have to release in limited runs. Would anyone be interested in a low-cost, limited run flashcart or would you rather wait for Concerto or other flashcarts being developed right now?

 

As a consumer, definitely wait for higher compatibility.

 

As a developer who is currently working on a game without any way to test on actual hardware, I want to know what specifically Concertino can’t do.

 

Concertino seems like the right name for what you described.

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I'm interested in a SD cart even if it can't play every single game, but I'm also wanting to know the specifics. Having some kind of working SD cart available would be a great thing for those of us who don't have them. 

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51 minutes ago, bizarrostormy said:

 

As a consumer, definitely wait for higher compatibility.

 

As a developer who is currently working on a game without any way to test on actual hardware, I want to know what specifically Concertino can’t do.

 

Concertino seems like the right name for what you described.

One thing I know it can't do are certain games with RAM on the cartridge. Specifically, if the Maria chip uses DMA to cart RAM instead of just console RAM, then the game may not function correctly. More specifically, the game may sort of "work" but with graphical glitches.

 

Not all third-party bankswitch methods have been evaluated, but I am working on that.

 

POKEY support may be limited to $4000. We'll see if other locations could be supported, but no promises on that.

 

It's highly unlikely that the Rikki and Vikki mapper will be supportable.

 

However, if your game is non-bankswitched, or bankswitched game using "normal" Atari bankswitching without cart RAM, it will likely work.

 

 

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I'd be interested in a simple cart both for development purposes and for playing some of the classics.  Seems most of the original 7800 games I'd like to use it for don't need RAM (Mean 18 Golf, Rampage, Ninja Golf, Scrapyard Dog).

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32 minutes ago, Karl G said:

I'm interested in a SD cart even if it can't play every single game, but I'm also wanting to know the specifics. Having some kind of working SD cart available would be a great thing for those of us who don't have them. 

I feel the same way, would probably need to see a game's list, though I'd prefer a more compatible model that has Pokey support built in.  In terms of playing "most of the library" I can only speak for myself, but I've collected a large portion of it loose already.  The need would fall more on homebrew, which as batari wrote, seems a bit unknown as to whether his "new" approach would handle enough of them.  Rikki/Vikki I wouldn't even be concerned with unless homebrewers suddenly start developing using Bup which I haven't seen much evidence of yet.

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2 hours ago, batari said:

Would anyone be interested in a low-cost, limited run flashcart or would you rather wait for Concerto or other flashcarts being developed right now?

As a homebrewer with no good way to test stuff on hardware myself, I’m very interested!  
 

Most of my work currently sticks with the “default” no-frills 48K ROM layout.  Something like the Concertino sounds like just what I’d need. 

Edited by Revontuli
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1 hour ago, batari said:

One thing I know it can't do are certain games with RAM on the cartridge. Specifically, if the Maria chip uses DMA to cart RAM instead of just console RAM, then the game may not function correctly. More specifically, the game may sort of "work" but with graphical glitches.

Yeah, I think overwhelmingly if a game requires cart ram, then it will be used in some fashion during DMA, whether it's for DLs themselves, or as character map space.

 

If on-cart RAM isn't going to work with the concertino design, one thing you might do is detect the presence of an XM and enable it's ram if the a78 header calls for [email protected] Same could go for [email protected]

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Thanks for the explanation, batari. For now my game is ROM only with no bankswitching. I do expect to eventually use cart RAM for graphics bitmap data, but not for DLL or DLs, if that matters.

 

So I guess I am non-committal on Concertino but definitely in for a high-compatibility flashcart, whether that be Concerto or something else. I will release a ROM at some point so hopefully somebody can try it out.

 

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5 hours ago, batari said:

Good news about "Concertino" is it could be ready for release by mid-summer. The unfortunate part is I have run into supply constraints and would have to release in limited runs. Would anyone be interested in a low-cost, limited run flashcart or would you rather wait for Concerto or other flashcarts being developed right now?

Both! I'd be interested in a "Concertino" in the near-term *AND* whatever you can pull out of your hat with a full-on Concerto down the line. :)

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48 minutes ago, bizarrostormy said:

Thanks for the explanation, batari. For now my game is ROM only with no bankswitching. I do expect to eventually use cart RAM for graphics bitmap data, but not for DLL or DLs, if that matters.

Your RAM based graphics will be part of the DMA rendering, so Maria will try to fetch them at the 7.16MHz clock speed. It would be an issue here too.

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Definitely be interested in the Concerto design here as it has the additional ram and would give developers more flexibility in design. I think the 7800 is starting to become a destination platform and we will see more coders joining. An updated Concerto would be great to aid this.

 

Very welcome regardless to see your news 😊

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I’m up for either. Anything that will allow me to save 7800 ROMs easily, would be welcome. I’d like to be able to continue to test as many games as possible. Can’t wait to see what becomes available.

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It would be great to have the Concertino 'nowish' and be able to have a SD cart that could run many of the 7800 games!

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