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Brad_from_the_80s

Flashback 9 Gold CFW to load roms and boxart from SD

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"Use the following steps to convert your USB drive to MBR and format it on a Windows PC."

 

So this is an optional step in the Atari FBX update process. Can someone explain to me what the benefits of doing this is?

Isnt this just to create partitions on the USB Drive?

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On 12/6/2019 at 2:29 PM, Draxxon said:

"Use the following steps to convert your USB drive to MBR and format it on a Windows PC."

 

So this is an optional step in the Atari FBX update process. Can someone explain to me what the benefits of doing this is?

Isnt this just to create partitions on the USB Drive?

i flashed my fbx... could i use this custom fb9 cfw?

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I havent tried flashing the 9 onto the 10. I think Brad is working on a similar CFW for the X, so I would just be patient and wait for that. When its released, the rom packs I built will work on it also, and I will continue adding games to the main UI. (next I'll be adding all the 1st party Atari games.)

Edited by Draxxon

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15 minutes ago, Draxxon said:

I havent tried flashing the 9 onto the 10.

Hmm I may try it. Would love to have boxart to with that wonderful looking 2600 mini replica. 

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I wonder if flashing it back to a 9 will break paddle support tho.

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15 hours ago, Draxxon said:

I wonder if flashing it back to a 9 will break paddle support tho.

FB9’s problem with paddles was a hardware issue. The voltages across the pots are compared to the wrong reference, due to 1KOhm resistors, not 510KOhm ones that would be needed for original or compatible paddles. It’s a quick if fiddly fix with a soldering iron, but putting different firmware on it won’t fix it, or break the 10; at least not handling of paddles, anyway. YMMV

Edited by DoctorMikeReddy
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This custom firmware is pretty cool.  Makes me seriously consider picking up one of these babies now.  I like the idea of having a separate mini for each of the classic systems.  Each devoted to their respective manufacturer.  Although it would be nice to be able to update the version of Stella on this and possibly even use other Atari based retroarch emulators.  :D

 

 

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Based on provided by Draxxon.
Added new games totaling 420.
Revised .ini file, fixed input errors that prevented the correct display of information on screen. Arranged by alphabetical. Homebrew, Hack, Prototype, XXX moved to bottom of list.
Some redone covers for their respective manufacturers.

Checked Roms for Stella Flashback Version.

Removed games that do not work.

 

Let me know if any errors are found.

 

Sorry, English is not my language.

rom.zip

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500 games with artwork and .ini file.

(I decided to continue because I'm thinking this will be interchangeable with the AFBX if/when its hacked.)

 

Added the 20 games that mamebr added.

Added revised games that were previously in prototype.

Carried over his official box art swaps from his update.

I Removed unworking games.

I utilized the favorites tab for the Imagic titles. (This can of course be changed to whatever you want.)

Added 80 games and box art. (Atari, 20th Century Fox, Spectravision, etc.)

Added the rest of the Sesame Street titles. (R.I.P. Big Bird)

I continued to tweak, touch up, up grade, and custom create a lot of box art with higher quality images.

 

 

rom.rar

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On 10/2/2019 at 12:25 AM, Brad_from_the_80s said:

Alright folks, here it is!

 

Attached are 2 custom firmwares, one for the Atari Flashback 9 Gold model 3650, and the other for the regular Atari Flashback 9 HD model 3050.  Choose the one that matches your FB9 model.  What happens if you choose the wrong one?  I don't know.  Probably nothing, except your menu now looks like the wrong model.  Or it could mess something up, I'm not really sure.  Remember one of these supports BT wireless controllers and the other doesn't.  But I think if you go wrong you could probably just apply the correct firmware and you should be good.  Hopefully.

 

This firmware assumes that you have already applied one of the earlier firmware updates to enable the SD card option in your FB9 menu.  I have not tested on an unflashed unit.  I think it would still work, but i don't know.  The SD Card menu option is basically driven by a simple INI file in the data partition, and the unit ship with the INI file set to disable.  The earlier firmware updates were wiping out this INI file in order to effectively "enable" or display the SD card option.

 

Anyway, basic steps:

 

1. Extract the file atari_update.img to a working blank/empty SD card.  Insert card into FB9 and turn on.  A firmware update prompt appears and you push joystick controller 1 stick to the left to go through the flashing process.  Console reboots, sees the firmware update file and prompts you to flash again.  This second time you push the joystick to the right to bypass.  Power off the console and remove the SD card after confirming that the unit started up successfully.

    You might also reference this thread for the procedure, as the process is the same:

    https://atariage.com/forums/topic/284357-atari-flashback-9-firmware-for-adding-games-to-sd-card/#comments

 

2.  Delete the atari_update.img file from your SD card.  Extract the mount_sd.ini control file from the ControlFile zip attached here.  Or just create a blank control file called mount_sd.ini in the root of your SD card.

3.  Insert SD card again and turn on your Atari Flashback 9.  There will be a slight pause as the firmware dumps all the system roms to your SD card the first time it see the control file and then begins using the SD card for roms and box art.  If you boot the Flashback without the SD card inserted it will simply use the built-in roms from NAND.  You will now find a /rom folder on the SD card.  In the roms folder there is a file call all-games.ini.  This is the file you will need to edit to add games to the menu. 

4.  When adding new roms to the /rom folder the file naming conventions are the same as for the existing SD card firmware: file names can't have spaces and extension must be .a26

5.  Putting a /GAME folder on your SD card and dropping .a26 rom files there to load from the "SD Card" menu item still works as before.

 

A typical all-games.ini entry looks like this:

 

[Air Raiders]
File=/rom/AirRaiders.a26
Platform=M Network
Sort=Air Raiders
Year=1982
Genre=Action
Description=Air Raiders is an action game released for the Atari 2600 by Mattel in 1982. It received mixed reviews from critics. \
 \
   The player has the view of an airstrip as seen from the cockpit of a jet fighter. In order to start the launch, it is required that the player presses the fire button. When the player pulls back on the joystick, the jet fighter becomes airborne. A feature of the game includes a horizontal tilt that happens when the jet fighter turns to the left or the right for realistic simulation. The goal is to fire at enemy aircraft. The player also has to worry about not making a quick dive after an enemy craft that would lead to a crash landing. There is also a bar that is located on the width of the screen that allows the player to keep track of the horizontal position. It is important to stay out of heavy gunfire zones because it can lead to a nosedive crash. It is possible to pull out of a nosedive, but it would be a better idea for the player to avoid flak.
Note= \
Player Mode: Single-player game \
 \
1. SELECT button. \
SELECT button info. \
 \
2. Use joystick controller. \
Joystick controller info. \
 \
3. Difficulty switches. \
Difficulty switches info. \
 \
4. Instructions. \
Instructions go here.

The backslashes (\) are basically to create newlines within the large Description block, if you want to go into a lot of detail there.  The "Sort" field is basically used alphabetically I think, but gives you the opportunity to order the games however you want.  Remove or hide roms by removing or commenting (;) out their entries in the INI file, although I think I still had to remove the square brackets ([]) from the section headings when doing so.

 

As to box art, you need to add two files for each custom rom using a simple naming convention.  For example, if you added a rom call "AirRaiders.a26" then you would need a large box art file called "AirRaiders.a26.png" with a resolution of 211x290 and a smaller thumbnail version called "AirRaiders.a26.s.png" with a resolution of 122x168.  You'll see this convention used everywhere in the /rom folder, and I have not tested ignoring it or using different image sizes.  Both files are 24-bit color (8-bit RGB) PNG files, easy to export from GIMP or something. 

 

If you have a regular (non-Gold) FB9 HD, you will find that it actually has the exact same 132 rom and box art files as the Gold version, including the 10 additional Gold roms and the 12 hidden M Network roms that I discovered.  They're just missing from the menu because they have no INI file entries.  Maybe soon I can post an all-games.ini file that just includes all the roms present in the system. 

 

Lastly, the disclaimer.  Use at your own risk.  No warranty or guarantees, lol.  I have tested both of these firmware with real devices and they work fine for me, but if things go wrong I or somebody else may or may not be able to help you. 

 

Soon I will post how to run a custom script or export and run the emulator from the SD card.  Then you can customize UI graphics and music if you want to.

 

Good luck, and have fun!

Atari_FB9HD_Gold_3650_CFW_Hack.zip 7.61 MB · 50 downloads Atari_FB9HD_3050_CFW_Hack.zip 5.31 MB · 57 downloads Atari_FB9_CFW_ControlFile.zip 204 B · 57 downloads

Hello! Need help! I liked very much the idea. But I installed this firmware (3650 hack) to my Atari Flashback 9 Gold after the actualization to use the slotcard (firmware 2.1.1 - atgames) and now I perceived that the games frozen after a while.
It would be interesting to restore to factory default to try again. I installed the original firmware (2.1.1) and the freezing persist. Someone have an idea to understand what happened or a suggestion of solution. 

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1 hour ago, River Phoenix said:

Hello! Need help! I liked very much the idea. But I installed this firmware (3650 hack) to my Atari Flashback 9 Gold after the actualization to use the slotcard (firmware 2.1.1 - atgames) and now I perceived that the games frozen after a while.
It would be interesting to restore to factory default to try again. I installed the original firmware (2.1.1) and the freezing persist. Someone have an idea to understand what happened or a suggestion of solution. 

The changes in my firmware were fairly minor, just a modified launch script which wouldn't affect emulator or rom behavior or performance.  In theory you cannot brick these devices, as they will always try to load a correctly named new firmware from SD card.  Are you sure you used the correct 2.1.1 version for your model number (3650 vs 3050, Gold wireless vs standard)?  Although I'm not aware that this would cause the issue you describe.  it could also just be a hardware issue, there are no doubt a few defective units that slip through.  You might also try a different SD card, as these are sometimes defective or have performance issues.

Edited by Brad_from_the_80s

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10 hours ago, Brad_from_the_80s said:

The changes in my firmware were fairly minor, just a modified launch script which wouldn't affect emulator or rom behavior or performance.  In theory you cannot brick these devices, as they will always try to load a correctly named new firmware from SD card.  Are you sure you used the correct 2.1.1 version for your model number (3650 vs 3050, Gold wireless vs standard)?  Although I'm not aware that this would cause the issue you describe.  it could also just be a hardware issue, there are no doubt a few defective units that slip through.  You might also try a different SD card, as these are sometimes defective or have performance issues.

It`s 9 Gold 3650 wireless Tectoy/Atgames.The first time I downloaded the firmware 2.1.1 here: http://blogtectoy.com.br/firmware-update-confira-como-atualizar-o-atari-flashback-9-gold/ But, the firmware looks the same (62.4 mb) of the atgames. The games freezing with or not card. I try unpack both, I observed atari_20190121.version (in 2.1.1) and atari_20190930.version (your). I will try another SD card. Thanks!  

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600+ rom folder pack

 

Added the rest of the games that were in the thumbnails pack I started with for this project.

Added a few title entries to the Paddle Section.

Edited/Updated/Swapped out some box art.

rom v4.rar

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650 rom folder pack

 

Added Quality Homebrew titles.

Added Quality Hacks. ("Plus", "Black" and "Arcade" versions)

Touched up dozens of poorly scanned box art.

Swapped out several thumbnails for official box art.

Created many custom box art thumbnails.

 

If you guys have any requests, let me know.

rom v5.rar

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There were some issues with v4. There are always issues. The game list is getting larger and harder for me to catch everything. Like this time I have Dig Dug and Dig Dug Arcade with the same box art.

 

I hope you guys can tell a difference in the box art quality over time. At some point I'll work on the info for the games that goes in the .ini file entries. I got a little faster at my work flow for resizing the images, but I've ran out of easily available box art packs and have to google each title for the remaining games. Also, a lot of the remaining games have either HTF, poor quality or no box art images at all.

 

I plan on doing this for the long haul. And for the record, I'm no Atari expert. I had one growing up. River Raid, Adventure, Kaboom and Warlords were my favs. What I'm getting at is I know very little about the Hacks and Homebrews. If there is something you guys wanted added to a pack that is something not on my radar, let me know, please. Hopefully this can all be ported over to the Atari FB X. Anyone that wants to help, or use this as a base for their own custom Gamelist, feel free.

 

Thanks Guys!

Tom "Draxx"

Edited by Draxxon

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You are doing a fine job with the arts. In my opinion a lot is being added without criteria. Games that do not work in the emulator, titles that were released by different companies just changing the name, prototypes that did not pass the initial phase, video tests ... Flashback has no easy navigation, the experience is becoming frustrating.

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Full disclaimer, I've tested no games and have zero knowledge of what this version of stella can run.

Right now all I'm focusing on is the art portion. I'm just adding everything I've got available to the list.

 

It deff needs a lot of work still and your feedback helps. Games that won't work in this emulator surely need removed. I'm not sure about clones. For me, its all about the box art, so I'm happy to add all the changed name clones if they have unique box art. But, I can deff see how someone wouldn't want that in a final list. Good thing here is we can have multiple verions of the list. Sorted however you want. Or remove whatever version of the clone you don't prefer. I would like this to be a generic base, so someone could edit it however they wanted.

 

It could be as simple as having multiple, custom .ini files. one with clones and protos ommitted, or one with hacks and hombrews with new sort names that can put them at the end of the list. 

 

Also, It seems redundant to have two versions of the same box art. I wish there were scans of the back of the boxes to use for the lager thumbnail on the info screen.

Edited by Draxxon

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Well the full VCS library of official releases is massive.  There's no reason to do duplicates, like some games had a Sears and Atari release, Silver and Red box, etc.  Homebrew and Prototype are very handy because many of those have roms available.  Nor would I worry about what runs on Stella version either.  I myself am waiting for the FBX to be fully cracked, as I prefer that form factor to the FB9.

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So I'm understanding correctly, if I just update the Flashback X to the latest official firmware (currently 0.1.18), I won't be able to use these collections of cover images in here? If I install 0.1.18 to allow OTG/USB support, what would I then need to do to have the box art appear for each game on my USB drive?

 

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757 games + box art.
Fixed more errors in the .ini file causing a crash.
Fixed file name mismatch errors.
Defective Roms Replaced.

 

Added manufacturer, year and rating in the description of all games.

rom.zip

Edited by mamebr
Add info
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