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Al_Nafuur

PlusCart (an inexpensive DIY WiFi multicart)

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the Atari 2600 PlusCart ist based on Robin Edwards Unocart-2600 , and the extensions of DirtyHairy's fork. The PlusCart has no SD-Card, but an ESP8266 to connect to a local WiFi Network and the Internet. The PlusCart downloads the ROM-files from an Server in the Internet called the "PlusStore". The way this is done is similar to the way the Unocart-2600 loads ROMs from the FAT filesystem on the SD-card, while the VCS is performing a waitroutine in RAM.

Additionally the PlusCart has one more interesting feature. It offers internet access to the ROM Developers, these functions are called "PlusROM". In the first bytes of a PlusROM the path and the backend hostname or IP address has to be encoded (as strings both terminated by '\0'). Sending and receiving bytes to the host does not need a waitroutine in the VCS RAM! At the moment the PlusROM functions can be used at 2K, 4K, 3F, 3E and 3E+ cartridges and any standard bankswitching cartridge with or without 128 bytes of RAM (@ 1000 to 10FF) and a 'Standard' F4 Bankswitching (@ 1FF4 to 1FFB).

So now all kind of online ROMs (Games, Chat Clients, Mail-Clients, Web-Browser, MMOGs, etc. ) should be possible with the Atari 2600 VCS.

 

more info at: https://pluscart.firmaplus.de
Source: https://gitlab.com/firmaplus/atari-2600-pluscart

 

Edited by Al_Nafuur
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This looks wonderfully awesome! I am definitely interested to see how this progresses. I love new hardware that allows retro equipment to preform in ways that they were never even imagined for. I certainly don't *need* another multi-cart for my 2600 but I would absolutely buy something like this just to see everything that it can do.  

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18 hours ago, keithbk said:

Hey, this guy figured out a way to put WiFi on an Atari 2600!

 

Will wonders never cease?????

 

Bah, I wish I had more time, I've been working on a MagicWiFi7800 box since last year.

 

Cool project! 👍

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The Atari 2600 is on his way to the cloud.😎

 

I just uploaded the next release of the PlusCart firmware, which now connects and register at my test PlusStore (In the test PlusStore, only uploading of maximum 10 ROMs with max 32Kb each is possible).


If you do not already have build a PlusCart, you can also web-register at the PlusStore:
https://pluscart.firmaplus.de/public/admin/register.php

 

Login: https://pluscart.firmaplus.de/public/admin/#/login

 

The PlusStore is powerd by directus
 

You don't have to use the web APP to upload your ROMs, if you speak JSON and oAuth2, you can add a script or button to the build process of your favourite IDE to upload your Hombrew ROMs (or PlusROMs) with the directus API.

 

here is a blurry video with the registration and uploading a ROM-File:

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As someone point out, releasing the binary without the source code is violating the GPL, so i decided to make the project privat again, until the source code and the whole project is in a state for a proper release.

 

If someone wants to build and test his own prototype of the cart, or want's to take part in this project, feel free to contact me here at AtariAge.

 

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The PlusROM cartridge emulation routine is ported to javatari.js

the source code is in the forked project: https://github.com/Firmaplus/javatari.js

The source-code for the PlusClock ROM and the compiled ROM is in the example directory, also the source code for the Clocks Backend.

https://pluscart.firmaplus.de/javatari/index.html?ROM=../PlusClock.rom

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On 10/13/2019 at 4:44 AM, SS said:

This looks wonderfully awesome! I am definitely interested to see how this progresses. I love new hardware that allows retro equipment to preform in ways that they were never even imagined for. I certainly don't *need* another multi-cart for my 2600 but I would absolutely buy something like this just to see everything that it can do.  

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GameLine

🤨

 

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The project source code is released (even if it still needs more cleanup), also the eagle PCB layouts for the PlusCart breakout board and Gerberfiles for production (e.g. at https://jlcpcb.com) are released at: https://gitlab.com/firmaplus/atari-2600-pluscart

 

A small website with info was also launched at: https://pluscart.firmaplus.de/pico/

 

I will finish two more prototype-boards for beta tester/developer, so if you are an experienced VCS programmer, that want's to develop an PlusROM online game/App for the Atari 2600, then send me a message about your idea and your reference projects, and i will send you one of the prototypes for free.

 

For everyone else:
I have ordered some more (new version) PlusCart breakout boards at jlcpcb which should arrive in 2 weeks, so send me a message if you want to have a DIY-kit (new PlusCart breakout board, pinheaders, jumpers, STM32F407VGT6 board and a ESP8266-01) for 10 EUR plus shipping.

 

The project is still in an early beta state, so expect bugs

 

IMG_20191101_100506.jpg

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On 10/12/2019 at 10:11 PM, Al_Nafuur said:

 

the Atari 2600 PlusCart ist based on Robin Edwards Unocart-2600 (https://github.com/robinhedwards/UnoCart-2600). The PlusCart has no SD-Card, but an ESP8266 to connect to a local WiFi Network and the Internet. The PlusCart downloads the ROM-files from an Server in the Internet called the "PlusStore". The way this is done is similar to the way the Unocart-2600 loads ROMs from the FAT filesystem on the SD-card, while the VCS is performing a waitroutine in the his RAM.

Additionally the PlusCart has one more ROM emulator routine to emulate online ROMs called "PlusROM". In the first bytes of such a PlusROM the path and the backend hostname or IP address has to be encoded (as strings both terminated by '\0'). Sending and receiving bytes to the host does not need a waitroutine in the VCS RAM!

So now all kind of online ROMs (Games, Chat Clients, Mail-Clients, Web-Browser, MMOGs, etc. ) should be possible with the Atari 2600 VCS.

 

more info at: https://gitlab.com/firmaplus/atari-2600-pluscart

 

 

I cannot think of something I want less.

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4 hours ago, christo930 said:

I cannot think of something I want less.


I plan to use this for Sokoboo to allow a shared online high-score table.
Anyone playing Sokoboo on this cart will have their scores automatically entered via the internet connection.
So, there's that. I think it's pretty cool. And, don't be such a grumblebum... !

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4 hours ago, christo930 said:

I cannot think of something I want less.

 

What the hell is your problem? :?

 

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I'm super busy anymore anyway you might sell one ready to use?

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The new Version of the PCB arrived, these are with gold-plated plug contacts and a thicker PCB (1.6mm) 😊

 

But i'm out of ESP8266s 😞

 

IMG_20191114_223822.jpg

IMG_20191114_223750.jpg

PlusCart-main.jpg

PlusCart-top.jpg

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2 hours ago, Al_Nafuur said:

The new Version of the PCB arrived, these are with gold-plated plug contacts and a thicker PCB (1.6mm) 😊

 

But i'm out of ESP8266s 😞

 

I source most of my electronics stuff from AliExpress. Highly recommended.

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5 minutes ago, Andrew Davie said:

I source most of my electronics stuff from AliExpress. Highly recommended.

Just arrived this morning.. (of course from AliExpress 😊)

About 1EUR each, but they all have to be flashed with the latest AT Firmware :sad:

AT version:1.6.2.0(Apr 13 2018 11:10:59)
SDK version:2.2.1(6ab97e9)
compile time:Jun  7 2018 19:34:26
Bin version(Wroom 02):1.6.2

Have to include this into the assembly instructions for the DIY Kits..

IMG_20191115_115811.jpg

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