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Brad_from_the_80s

Atari Flashback X Custom Firmware for USB roms and boxart

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I actually bought approximately half the controllers for a cab I eventually wanted to build, but I have no wood skills, and the friend I was hoping would work with me to build a cabinet for each of us ... my research and planning, his woodworking skills ... never had the time to do any work on it. (So I've got a box with 5 joysticks, a spinner, a wheel to fit over the spinner, and something like 32 arcade buttons, among other things, still sitting around somewhere.) But what I was looking to design was pretty much the Legend, but with only one spinner, and adding on a dedicated 4 way joystick and Tron joystick. So what the ultimate Legend offers to me is like a dream come true for the price.

 

Throw in a pi game machine for anything that the Legend can't handle, itself, like one person did in that thread, and you have a pretty great over-all system ... as long as it's not too difficult to put together a collection for it. (And if it is, again, throw in a pi system, as well, and get around all the hassles!)

 

If I had unlimited money and room, yes, I'd put together an entire game room with 7 or 8 different machines to provide a multitude of perfect play experiences ... but at this point I can *maybe* afford one cabinet, and have room for only one. But if I win the lottery, I'll have a perfect Tron replica that will play only Tron, an X-Men 4 player machine (set up to play all similar games), a Q-Bert machine for diagonal games, a basic 4-way joystick and 1 or 2 button game for all that style of games, and so on. But the Legend cab could do -almost- everything pretty darn well, it looks like.

 

(And while I can understand why some people hate to see a real cab 'diluted' to be not real ... to me it is still a case of more, rather than less.)

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I tried putting the walmart pads in pair mode and pairing it with the legends core. the core didnt even see it.

Capture.PNG

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Good luck with all the paddle experiments.  I will be very interested to hear if someone gets paddles going on the AFBX and what works best.  Velvis was asking about mame mapping menus and paddles.  I know with mice in mame you have to persist using it much longer than you might think to have it recognized.  Probably they have code to try to prevent picking up random jitter from those devices.

 

Once in a while I go back to Stella 6.1 and try some hacking, but I'm out of my league on that code, and really have no idea why it is so slow.  One thing that was progress kind of - when I commented out the callback which passes the sound buffer out to the front-end/retroplayer the player's missile from Battlezone became visible.  (and of course I had no sound) So, I do think there is a problem with the sound between the Stella part and the front-end.  Maybe Stella is just filling/passing a buffer too large for retroplayer to handle?  It wasn't any faster though.  I think I will try to figure out how to disable sound processing completely next.  I really doubt I will get that newer Stella going by just fiddling with it for an hour here and there.  

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does anyone have a list of 1-button atari arcade games for mame? i would like to knock all those out.

here is a list of ALL atari arcades:

List of Atari arcade games - Wikipedia

 

there is nothing wrong with the legends ultimate, its fine, but to the trained eye, that isnt tmolding, that plexi goes under the buttons, where is the coin slot, those sticks arent suzo-happs, thats not a crt, those buttons arent sanwa, its emulation not jamma, etc.

 

thats why I just grabbed the core. what the legends DOES have going for it is the online aspect. A connected arcade cabinet is cool.

Edited by Draxxon

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Just got my X. The box claims it is a Flashback X Deluxe. The unit itself only says Flashback X. Firmware is AR3060s_v0.1.7. Has the pinhole for reset on the bottom.

 

Probably won't get the splitter to be able to hook up a thumb drive until tomorrow (but would be nice if it arrived today), and will get the paddles to try out either today or tomorrow.

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3 hours ago, Draxxon said:

does anyone have a list of 1-button atari arcade games for mame?

 

I think you don't have Tubin' in the Atari section, but it is in that Wikipedia list, and the game you included does say Atari on the title or intro screen.

 

I have been going through mame games on another device looking for one-button games.  I just went through O/P/Q, and found 20+ more to try, but have not tested them on the AFBX yet.  I will probably have a dozen or so more called out by the weekend. 

 

Pole position, I was surprised some of the versions at least you accelerate by pulling back on the stick, which can be awkward but probably not bad with an Atari Stick. 

 

Also Qwak! is a one-button game.  The rom I tried says prototype.  I barely tried it, but seems to be only a one button game.

 

Destroyer is a really old B&W game which is one button, but I could not find a version to work with either FBA or mame2000.

 

Pong - if you get the paddles going!

 

There is an Atari licensed version of Dig-Dug.  Not sure if you are willing to call that an Atari game, but on the title screen they drag out a nice Atari logo across the top.

Edited by rocketfan
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1 hour ago, Batchman said:

Just got my X. The box claims it is a Flashback X Deluxe. The unit itself only says Flashback X. Firmware is AR3060s_v0.1.7. Has the pinhole for reset on the bottom.

 

Probably won't get the splitter to be able to hook up a thumb drive until tomorrow (but would be nice if it arrived today), and will get the paddles to try out either today or tomorrow.

it is a deluxe AR3060 -> s <- _v.0.1.7    s=special edition?

check your number of built in games. Should be 10 extra.

 

make sure you use a high speed USB 3.0 flash drive.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Just curious. Has anyone tried swapping the AFBX internal files with those from the AFB9 to see if performance improves yet? I have not, myself.
It seems to me that atari 800, mame, fba, etc all run relatively well, but atari 2600 on the AFBX seems "choppy". It's not that way on the AFB9. We should probably try to figure that out.

Edited by Draxxon

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1 hour ago, ZuluGula said:

I got regular X from Menards, is there any reason to get Deluxe?

No reason at all considering you can flash the regular version with the Deluxe update file and have the Deluxe after that.

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OK, I now officially strongly dislike AtGames. Got a set of Atari paddles, and they barely work on the X at all, and every half second a warning flashes up on screen (blocking the gameplay),  explaining that the wireless joysticks do not work when paddles are plugged in, so the paddles should not be plugged in except while playing paddle games ... while playing a paddle game!

Looks like, to play the paddle games I have to either buy the Legend, or buy an actual Atari.

 

Wonder if anybody makes a multi-cart that is just the paddle games?

 

My splitter cable is running late, so I can't try the actual arcade games on it yet, either. Sigh.

 

And as long as I am taking time to complain about things here, they go to all the trouble to make a tiny Atari console that looks like a shrunk down version of the original, then only throw five switches on it, instead of the 6, which means it can't be used to play Activision's Space Shuttle, since that actually made use of the color/B&W switch to control some of the game play.

 

OK, I can't whine too much about a switch that only affected a single game, but with the whole paddle debacle, I'm gonna complain, anyway!

Edited by Batchman

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Well, here at my kitchen table, I've discovered that kaboom and the ranger paddles are playable on a Retron77, but good luck on earning 3000pt patches. 

 

I still don't have paddles for the 9 or the X, but from the videos I've seen, I'm guessing hyperkin beats atgames in the paddle department. the rangers are cool but I'm steering with my left hand not my right. It's not all its cracked up to be, but it is fun and playable to point. you can reverse the pad, but its super akward. Warlords is fun. I'm still looking into paddle and stick options for the 9 and X tho.

 

Side note, the AFB9 made it's way back. Atari Pi and a set of trooper 2s should be here tomorrow, or ugh... Monday. So I should be now set to test the X vs the others in various categories.

 

 

1615514096021-378652860.jpg

1615514296200-378652860.jpg

Edited by Draxxon

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Here is a new list of working games:

 

FBA:

 

thepit.zip
ponpoko.zip
piranha.zip
pickin.zip
phozon.zip
pballoon.zip
pacnpal.zip
pacnchmp.zip
pacgal.zip
ozmawars.zip
orbitron.zip

 

mame2000:


qwakprot.zim  (Atari prototype - difficult, IMO)
quarth.zim
pulsar.zim
prehisle.zim  (good shmup)
popbounc.zim
polepos.zim  (Atari - this Can be played well on the device by mapping shift to joystick up, brake/peddle 2 to joystick down, accelerate/peddle 1 to fire button.)
plotting.zim
parodius.zim (good shmup)
panicbom.zim
overtop.zim
olibochu.zim
ohmygod.zim
offtwall.zim  (This is an Atari game - kind of wants a paddle, but playable with a joystick)

 

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A little interesting news on the Stella 6.1 front.  I recently dug out my Legends Flashback 2018 unit.  A lot of the tricks from the AFBX are now running on there, including the ability to run more emulators.  I have now run Draxxon's awesome ColecoVision pack as well as Atari 2600 games on my LFB2018.  One other thing that became apparent: the range of mame games you can run is better on that unit speed-wise (also you have a lot more buttons to work with).  I verified that games that are "just out of reach" in terms of performance on the AFBX run just fine on the LFB2018.

 

Now the hard facts: after some digging I see that the AFBX is running at 816Mhz, while the LFB is running at 1.2Ghz.  I thought they were the same CPU, but maybe not, or is the AFBX just "under-clocked"?

 

So, I had the bright idea to try Stella 6.1 on the LFB2018, and it runs close to fine.  The battlezone "missing sprite" is back, and also the play speed is at least very near to normal.  I know from looking at the code that a couple of settings can be made to trade of speed vs. quality.  I had hardwired those and seen very minor but not meaningful improvement on the AFBX.  I bet if I put those back Stella 6.1 would be good to go on the LFB.

 

I believe this means that the build of Stella 6.1 is fine (at least what I have now), it is the AFBX performance that is an issue for it.  The older Stella just needs less horsepower to go.  It makes sense if the emulation has been improved that it would take more processing power.

 

Now if we can only figure out how to modify that max clock rate!

Edited by rocketfan
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I went back to the thread on the LFB custom FW.  Sure enough I see a post about the LFB being "under-clocked" to 816Mhz and a later post that an adjustment was made to 1.2Mhz.  BTW, 1.2Mhz is not really an overclock because the CPU can run up to 1.5Gz. It's more a question of if the device can handle the extra heat generated since probably there is not even a heat-sink on the CPU.  Since I have a custom FW on my LFB from almost day one (a LOT of gaming on that last year) I have always been running it at 1.2G and never seen any issue.

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And though I was not particularly looking for it, as another gaming possibility, since Walmart has the Gamer Pro on sale for $99, I've actually ordered one of those. I think I may have a problem with impulse buying.

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3 hours ago, Batchman said:

Walmart has the Gamer Pro on sale for $99

That seems like a bargain!  That's similar to the core gamer (also a deal) Draxxon picked up, but with a fight-stick included.  At that price I'm very tempted.  The raspberry pi with the Atari-woodgrain case Draxxon picked up also has me interested.  Too many retro-gaming options out there!

Edited by rocketfan

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Everyone is always telling me to get a pi. I felt at least this way i got a "sort of" mini atari out of the deal. Just a little cheap case but the atari branding goes a long way with me. I wanted to see how the emulation quality varies across all the modern HDMI ataris, and how it all compares to the AFBX. They all have their pros and cons. If i HAD to rank them overall (not taking into account controllers and paddles, just the units):


1. Atari Pi                              $70+         (comes with 1 PS2? pad, or 2P arcade "tank" stick, w/ or /o trackball, with no wood pi case options)

2. Legends Core Gamer           $60+        (comes with NO pads, + a lot of other options)

3. RetroN77                           $80+       (comes with 1 stick, there are controller bundle options)

4. Legends Flashback Deluxe    $60        (comes with 2 6-buttons)

5. Atari FB9                             $60+       (comes with 2 sticks, + paddles and wireless sticks options)

6. Atari FBX                             $40        (comes with 2 sticks)

Last on my list to secure before i even think about a $400 VCS is a real atari and a multi cart. I've been looking at 2600 Jr.s. I still need some paddles, it sucks that people tax for them. I can believe someone doesnt sell them. Ive seen a video where a guy made a set for his son's bday party with radioshack parts in about and hour and with an old laptop, the gameplay looked better than the flashbacks.

I realize it feels like we are all going off topic lately, but every once in a while I need a break and need to collect and actually play the games. I realize that testing pads and performance isnt much fun to read along and follow. So I jazz it up with comparisons. It lets everyone know where I stand on what I think is the better deal. I don't want you guys thinking that me spending all this time and effort on the X means that it is the superior system. Its just the cheapest and easiest to get, and the easiest for me to work with. And it has the nicest "shell" in my opinion. My top 6 list up there is for stock units with some added games. no crazy hacking or system spec comparisons. just the intended OOTB experience for the masses. The whole point of the flashback packs is to try and elevate those 2 FB units on this list. So it kind of is on topic to actually know where it stands and what its up against. The reason I show the X so much love is because i think that there are a good number of people who collect (and or hack) the classic mini systems and it deserves to sit next to an nes or genesis mini on a shelf, and collectors barely notice it. its bullshit.

 

Edited by Draxxon

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Well, the usual price is $219, so $99 was pretty darn good. And the shipping is free because I signed up for the free trial of Walmart+.

 

Now I'm thinking of eventually getting a Legends Ultimate for most games, and then replacing one of the joysticks on the Gamer Pro with a 4 way and the other with a Tron stick, and finding a way to add on a spinner and eventually using the Gamer Pro for Tron and 4 way games.

 

And the Legend or possibly the Gamer Pro, if I can fit a spinner on it and get it to accept it, could play those darn paddle games!

 

(And yes, sorry for getting a little off topic, but they are still video games, even if not the Flashback X ... but I mentioned the paddle problem, so, yeah.)

 

Edited by Batchman
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1 hour ago, rocketfan said:

That seems like a bargain!  That's similar to the core gamer (also a deal) Draxxon picked up, but with a fight-stick included.  At that price I'm very tempted.  The raspberry pi with the Atari-woodgrain case Draxxon picked up also has me interested.  Too many retro-gaming options out there!

Well, the 2600 was my first ever gaming system, and I have long commented on how the early game systems were a lot more fun to play with, even if the art wasn't as good at the later systems ... I still have never played with anything more advanced than the Sega Genesis ... but I'm about all systems and games, not -just- the Atari ... but I still want to play it, too!

 

And in my continuing misery, my y splitter is now two days late, so still can't do the NEXUS, yet! AAUUGGHH!!

 

Just remember the wonderful existence of the saUCE if you get one of the Gamer Pros ... it's been highly recommended to me, and I'm told it works on both the Gamer Pro and the Legend.

 

Edited by Batchman

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It's kind of funny, I went looking online for paddles and found a set for $15, plus $8 shipping, but they were located in my home town, so he waived the shipping, I paid for the paddles themselves on ebay, and we met down the block for me to pick them up. I'll still keep them for eventual use ... or if one of you brainiacs figures out a way to get them to work with the 9 or X.

Edited by Batchman

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I have so much to try, I wish I knew more about the tech side and maybe i would have a lot less testing and trying to do.

Like, why dont paddles work on the 9 but they do on the X? what is the mod for the 9? what does it change? Why do they perform so jittery? can it be fixed in the pads hardware, or fixed in the emulators software? does paddle speed? need tweaked on a per-game basis? why dont the ranger pads work on the AFBs? why wont paddles work on the LFBs? can paddles be mooded to work on the LFBs? will they still just be jittery like? will ranger paddles work in the LFBs? can ranger paddles be modded to work on an AFB? why am i too lazy to hook it back up and try? lmmfao.

 

why cant we add more controller support to the AFBX through retroarch? didnt the PSXClassic do it? is it because retroarch is stripped down here? there is no way to use usb controllers throu the otg cable or a hub? no mouse or keyboard through the otg? never will work? need the source code? i mean, i have questions, but i have no clue.

P.S> not to give out too much info, but did any of yall just see a giant ass stimulus hit your bank account just now? I might me buying a lot more shit. :)  And since I'm being so chatty cathy, you guys should know that I quit all social media a few months ago. (minus the new youtube, lmmfao) Thats why Im so active here. I have so much more free time now that im not on that goofy shit. I actually miss forums like this.

Edited by Draxxon

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Not here, not yet ... but it's good to hear they're on the way.

 

I still have to get a floor replaced before I can make some room for a Legend Ultimate, but I'm hoping to manage that with the last of the stimulus, if the floor can be done cheaply enough.

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