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Al_Nafuur

PlusCart (an inexpensive DIY WiFi multicart)

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4 hours ago, Al_Nafuur said:

can you post some hiRes pictures of your PlusCart?

 

My soldering skills have a ways to go 🙈

CC913CB9-7A26-4E88-ACE7-3B43EA65D16B.jpeg

CA2463FB-2889-4282-9360-57CAAB644167.jpeg

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3 minutes ago, Jigz said:

My soldering skills have a ways to go 🙈

 

 

Haha. Yes.

Well, a quick look at the images - too low-resolution to really judge - but where I can see the pads on the board, still, that's a big no-no in my soldering bible.  I want to see the solder flow onto the pads and wrap around the pin. You seem to have a lot of pins with solder on the top, but pads still visible.  I'd be putting the soldering iron on high heat, smallish tip, and hold against each pin/pad and "re-flow" the solder on each pin so that it melts down onto the pad. You'd be looking at maybe 5-10 seconds MAX held against each pin, and spread your work around the pins randomly so no one section gets too hot.  But yeah, looking at the pictures the pin soldering would be my very first port of call for fixing/diagnosing your problem.

 

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These also do not look good.

 

image.png.c64bec459291fe461a5bafa992559751.png

 

 

Does your soldering iron have a good pointy tip on the end?  Or is the end of your soldering iron a big fat end?

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4 hours ago, Andrew Davie said:

Haha. Yes.

Well, a quick look at the images - too low-resolution to really judge - but where I can see the pads on the board, still, that's a big no-no in my soldering bible.  I want to see the solder flow onto the pads and wrap around the pin. You seem to have a lot of pins with solder on the top, but pads still visible.  I'd be putting the soldering iron on high heat, smallish tip, and hold against each pin/pad and "re-flow" the solder on each pin so that it melts down onto the pad. You'd be looking at maybe 5-10 seconds MAX held against each pin, and spread your work around the pins randomly so no one section gets too hot.  But yeah, looking at the pictures the pin soldering would be my very first port of call for fixing/diagnosing your problem.

 

Thanks for the tips on duration and spreading the work around, very helpful. 
My tip was pretty beat up and I was having issues getting to solder to flow. I ordered some new tips and will give it another go. 

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3 hours ago, fdr4prez said:

These also do not look good.

 

image.png.c64bec459291fe461a5bafa992559751.png

 

 

Does your soldering iron have a good pointy tip on the end?  Or is the end of your soldering iron a big fat end?

 

Agreed. I'm pretty sure BOTH of those should be bridged after programming the board.  That is, the middle one should be cross-connected like the upper one.  That's probably the fix that will get it working for you.

 

 

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59 minutes ago, Andrew Davie said:

 

Agreed. I'm pretty sure BOTH of those should be bridged after programming the board.  That is, the middle one should be cross-connected like the upper one.  That's probably the fix that will get it working for you.

 

 

looks like it is (was?) bridged from the other side?

grafik.thumb.png.f760f776ab74dc14b83120976e7f5921.png

 

@Jigz you better use a a jumper here

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I finally tried my Plus cart and it connected to my Wifi no problem.  I then created an account and received the email.  I clicked on the verification link for the email and everything seemed to work but the Plus cart is not showing up in the 'Your Plus carts' section and my cart does not change to the solid person icon indicating connected.  What am I missing?

 

Thanks!

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29 minutes ago, eebuckeye said:

I finally tried my Plus cart and it connected to my Wifi no problem.  I then created an account and received the email.  I clicked on the verification link for the email and everything seemed to work but the Plus cart is not showing up in the 'Your Plus carts' section and my cart does not change to the solid person icon indicating connected.  What am I missing?

 

Thanks!

 

Have you connected to the store via the setup menu?

 

 

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Thank you all for the help. Re-soldered the connections and started right up!

62FE2F73-CF92-4FF7-9469-6290004313DF.jpeg

Edited by Jigz
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Today I dispatched the last 2 PlusCarts from the current production run.

 

I already received some of the parts for the new production run (DIY Kit is already available).

 

Due to the increase in hardware prices in recent months, I am unfortunately forced to also increase the prices of products that contain the affected components.

 

The affected components are mainly the STM32F407VGT breakout board (increased by € 5) and the 3D printed shells (increased by € 3) and the used cartridges which have increased by € 1.

 

Cleaning, modifying and labeling the standard cartridges takes a lot of time. So far I have charged 1 € for this, but I have now decided to charge more for this as well.

 

https://pluscart.onlineweb.shop/

 

 

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Although the 3D shells I have printed for @Al_Nafuur meet my high expectations, and are gorgeous - it's really not that practical to keep up a constant supply, so they will be severely limited. Consequently, I have posted the latest design of the shell at https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4904006 for those who might like to have a go at printing your own.  A bit easier to print now, as the logo part can be printed separately rather than futzing about with two-colour printing. The labels are also printable in single-colour, but the two-colour looks heaps beter.

 

The latest batch from the store has a textured surface/print, which does look lovely. I highly recommend purchasing one from the store. Get them while they're hot, in other words.

 

 

 

Since Thingiverse has a bug and hasn't included my modified instructions/text, here it is...

 

An easier-to-print shell for the Atari 2600 PlusCart
------------------------------------------------------------------

This new shell replaces the V5 version at https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4584227

It incorporates a few size adjustments and features making it much more "secure" than earlier versions.

Tips:

Basic usage: print the PINS, LABEL, LETTERS, FRONT and BACK.

I've included a PADS part, which is designed to be printed at the same time (at the same offsets) as each of the shells. It provides extra "anchorage" to stop the corners lifting of your bed, if you have that problem. The pads peel off easily after printing, and the very small area of adhesion can be cleaned up with a scraper or even just a fingernail. Optional.

When printing the PINS, you may find that they easily come off the bed. To avoid this (and elephant's foot caused by making the bed closer to the nozzle), I tend to slice this part with a skirt - 10 lines and a distance of 0.2 mm.  This allows all the pins to remain together as a single unit until you want to assemble a cart shell. The skirt peels off easily.

To attach the logo into the front shell, a light dab with a soldering iron or similar around the inside edge of the logo will weld/fuse the edges of the logo to the shell. It has been reliable for me.

The label comes in several variants; either as a two-colour version, where you first print the label (blank) and then leaving on the bed over-print with the text (0.4 mm z).  Or, you can just print it all in one colour.

 

 

 

Edited by Andrew Davie
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Anyone else having a problem with many games working?  I'm connected to the Plusstore and Frogger HSC works but I tried Bowling, Flappy Bird, Pac Man 4k and others which will not work.  The rom seems to start loading but I end up with a brown-ish screen and the system locks up.  STM firmware 2.1.1 and WiFi firmware 1.7.4.0

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2 hours ago, eebuckeye said:

Anyone else having a problem with many games working?  I'm connected to the Plusstore and Frogger HSC works but I tried Bowling, Flappy Bird, Pac Man 4k and others which will not work.  The rom seems to start loading but I end up with a brown-ish screen and the system locks up.  STM firmware 2.1.1 and WiFi firmware 1.7.4.0

Most games should run, with the exception of those using DPC and CDFJ variant bankswitching.

So, there's a problem with your cart, or your '2600, or your internet connection.

I would try the connection first - setup a hotspot on a mobile phone and connect through that.

If the problem persists then it's not the connection. Next I'd try a different power supply on the '2600.

Finally, I'd try on a different '2600.

If the problem persists, time for a replacement/new PlusCart.

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, eebuckeye said:

Anyone else having a problem with many games working?  I'm connected to the Plusstore and Frogger HSC works but I tried Bowling, Flappy Bird, Pac Man 4k and others which will not work.  The rom seems to start loading but I end up with a brown-ish screen and the system locks up.  STM firmware 2.1.1 and WiFi firmware 1.7.4.0

As far as I can see in the log files you have tried 6 different ROMs since 2021-07-05 04:42:55 (CET):

2021-07-10 04:59:44	bytes=0-8191	Popular ROMs/Spider Fighter HSC NTSC.bin
2021-07-10 04:41:57	bytes=0-8191	My Recently Played ROMs/Frogger HSC NTSC.bin
2021-07-10 04:41:13	bytes=0-4095	Popular ROMs/Amoeba Jump HSC NTSC.bin
2021-07-10 04:39:45	bytes=0-4095	My Recently Played ROMs/Flappy Bird HSC NTSC.bin
2021-07-10 04:38:35	bytes=0-4095	Search ROM/FLAPPY/Enter/Flappy Bird HSC NTSC.bin
2021-07-10 04:35:31	bytes=0-4095	Public ROMs/Homebrew/NTSC/E-L/flappy.bin
2021-07-05 06:26:41	bytes=0-8191	Popular ROMs/Frogger HSC NTSC.bin
2021-07-05 04:44:42	bytes=0-8191	Popular ROMs/Frogger HSC NTSC.bin
2021-07-05 04:43:15	bytes=8448-16895	Public ROMs/PlusCart Exclusives/KC OS/KC_OS_12_RC4.bin
2021-07-05 04:43:06	bytes=0-8447	Public ROMs/PlusCart Exclusives/KC OS/KC_OS_12_RC4.bin
2021-07-05 04:42:58	bytes=25093-25093	Public ROMs/PlusCart Exclusives/KC OS/KC_OS_12_RC4.bin
2021-07-05 04:42:57	bytes=16645-16645	Public ROMs/PlusCart Exclusives/KC OS/KC_OS_12_RC4.bin
2021-07-05 04:42:55	bytes=8197-8197	Public ROMs/PlusCart Exclusives/KC OS/KC_OS_12_RC4.bin

four of the ROMs are HSC ROMs, but only one (Frogger) has sent scores to the HSC backend:

Date			Game	Score	Player	Game Variation
2021-07-10 04:50:08	Frogger	9	eebuckeye	6
2021-07-10 04:49:42	Frogger	1876	eebuckeye	6
2021-07-05 06:35:07	Frogger	1782	eebuckeye	6
2021-07-05 04:55:27	Frogger	1372	unknown PlusCart user 137	7

 

I supposed KC_OS_12_RC4.bin did also worked on your setup, because it is a Supercharger game, and there have been subsequent loads.

 

Most games that didn't worked on your setup have been 4K games (except "Spider Fighter HSC NTSC.bin")🤔

 

5 hours ago, Andrew Davie said:

So, there's a problem with your cart, or your '2600, or your internet connection.

 

As long as it is not a problem with the spacetime continuum, it must be one of these three.😄

My guess is the internet/WiFi connection

 

 

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Hm... Never had a problem with my internet and play all kinds of wireless online games too.  Spider fighter and Frogger were the only two that have worked... Very odd...  I can load those multiple times without problems and the others give the same problem each time.  The games work fine on my Harmony Encore.

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12 minutes ago, eebuckeye said:

Hm... Never had a problem with my internet and play all kinds of wireless online games too.  Spider fighter and Frogger were the only two that have worked... Very odd...  I can load those multiple times without problems and the others give the same problem each time.  The games work fine on my Harmony Encore.

You seemed to be asking for help. Our advice is to try a few things, like a different internet connection (e.g., a mobile hotspot from your phone). You won't find problems without doing these tests. We're agreed it's not the games themselves.

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Well, yes since it isn't working.  I do not have other internet to try but I would be surprised if that is the problem you never know.  Guess I'll wait for future code updates hoping it helps.  Never had any issue with any games on the 2600 or Harmony Encore.  Maybe it doesn't like my Orbi which is about 10 ft away.

 

Could be an odd conflict with my 2600 too... never know but I thought it was odd the same games work and do not work consistently.  If it was internet I would expect all the games to be intermittent. 

Edited by eebuckeye

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13 hours ago, eebuckeye said:

Well, yes since it isn't working.  I do not have other internet to try but I would be surprised if that is the problem you never know.  Guess I'll wait for future code updates hoping it helps.  Never had any issue with any games on the 2600 or Harmony Encore.  Maybe it doesn't like my Orbi which is about 10 ft away.

 

Could be an odd conflict with my 2600 too... never know but I thought it was odd the same games work and do not work consistently.  If it was internet I would expect all the games to be intermittent. 

I can absolutely guarantee you that "future code updates" will not solve this problem.

Do you have a mobile phone?  If so, then it possibly has hotspot capability. Look into that.

The fact that you have not had issues with Harmony suggests that the '2600 itself is OK.

However, it could still be a power supply issue, or a fault in the PlusCart. But the internet connection is the most likely candidate.

 

@Al_Nafuur is the person to listen to on this issue. I'm just guessing :P

 

 

Edited by Andrew Davie

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On 7/10/2021 at 12:56 PM, Al_Nafuur said:

 

My guess is the internet/WiFi connection

 

After thinking about it a bit, I revoke my statement and claim the complete opposite.

 

The PlusCart doesn't start any emulation until the exact amount of bytes have been received via the WiFi module. It looks like the 4 KiB emulation has an issue.

 

@eebuckeye can you test some other (none 4 KiB) ROMs:

DPC:
Public ROMs/Classic Roms/NTSC/BY ALPHABET/H-R/Pitfall II - Lost Caverns.bin
128 KiB 
Public ROMs/WIP/H-Q/Penult/penult-demo-19-NTSC.bin
128 KiB SB:
Public ROMs/Homebrew/Author Spotlight/GFVH/Prince of Indiana 3/Prince 3.bin
16 KiB:
Public ROMs/Classic Roms/NTSC/BY ALPHABET/A-G/Commando.bin

 

the 128 KiB ROMs will take a few seconds to load.

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On 7/8/2021 at 5:27 PM, Al_Nafuur said:

Today I dispatched the last 2 PlusCarts from the current production run.

 

I already received some of the parts for the new production run (DIY Kit is already available).

 

Due to the increase in hardware prices in recent months, I am unfortunately forced to also increase the prices of products that contain the affected components.

 

The affected components are mainly the STM32F407VGT breakout board (increased by € 5) and the 3D printed shells (increased by € 3) and the used cartridges which have increased by € 1.

 

Cleaning, modifying and labeling the standard cartridges takes a lot of time. So far I have charged 1 € for this, but I have now decided to charge more for this as well.

 

https://pluscart.onlineweb.shop/

 

 

Assembled PCBs and standard cartridges are back in store. The 3D printed shells are made by the brilliant inventor @Andrew Davie himself, and are still on their way from Australia to Germany.

 

I will go on vacation at the end of the month and therefore will not process orders for about 2 weeks. The last shipping date will be 26th. All orders received by the 24th will be shipped. All other orders will not be processed until the 13th of August.

 

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On 7/11/2021 at 10:02 AM, Al_Nafuur said:

After thinking about it a bit, I revoke my statement and claim the complete opposite.

 

The PlusCart doesn't start any emulation until the exact amount of bytes have been received via the WiFi module. It looks like the 4 KiB emulation has an issue.

 

@eebuckeye can you test some other (none 4 KiB) ROMs:

DPC:
Public ROMs/Classic Roms/NTSC/BY ALPHABET/H-R/Pitfall II - Lost Caverns.bin
128 KiB 
Public ROMs/WIP/H-Q/Penult/penult-demo-19-NTSC.bin
128 KiB SB:
Public ROMs/Homebrew/Author Spotlight/GFVH/Prince of Indiana 3/Prince 3.bin
16 KiB:
Public ROMs/Classic Roms/NTSC/BY ALPHABET/A-G/Commando.bin

 

the 128 KiB ROMs will take a few seconds to load.

Pitfall II - works

Penult-demo-19-NSTC - works

Prince 3 - works

Commando - works

 

I tried Amoeba Jump again but brown-ish screen and game will not start.

 

Hope that helps. thanks!

 

 

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21 minutes ago, eebuckeye said:

Pitfall II - works

Penult-demo-19-NSTC - works

Prince 3 - works

Commando - works

 

I tried Amoeba Jump again but brown-ish screen and game will not start.

 

Hope that helps. thanks!

 

 

I have uploaded a new test firmware for your PlusCart. Can you select "** WiFi Firmware Update **" on the main menu and then retest a 4K game ?

 

 

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