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rj1307

"Dragonfly" my version of the Atari 7800 SD cartridge

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Thank you @- ^ CrossBow ^ - for your commitment to this topic.
I do not fully understand how these consoles are modified and why elements are removed from them. I have two consoles, one PAL, the other NTSC, I have installed a UAV module in both. The sound is connected to resistors R5 and R6, which are soldered on one side from the PCB and shorted together, i.e. the sum of two audio paths - TIA and audio_in from the cartridge. Everything works fine. 

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5 minutes ago, rj1307 said:

I do not fully understand how these consoles are modified and why elements are removed from them.

A lot of these consoles have been modified with cheap transistor–resistor composite boards. There have been various versions of instructions floating around the Internet for such mods for the past 10 or 15 years, many of which advise removing components from the board. That seems to be the source of these various audio problems some users are reporting. Personally, I have a UAV in my own daily driver 7800 console and my audio levels are perfect. I used Jesse‘s instructions when I did my mod.

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14 minutes ago, rj1307 said:

Thank you @- ^ CrossBow ^ - for your commitment to this topic.
I do not fully understand how these consoles are modified and why elements are removed from them. I have two consoles, one PAL, the other NTSC, I have installed a UAV module in both. The sound is connected to resistors R5 and R6, which are soldered on one side from the PCB and shorted together, i.e. the sum of two audio paths - TIA and audio_in from the cartridge. Everything works fine. 

I've reached out to three of the members here as they are in the US and offered to look into this and redo their audio sections for the cost of shipping if they are willing. It only requires a few parts to be put back in place and I've plenty of them on hand currently. I just want those interested in getting one to know that there isn't an issue with the DF carts causing this. Is it most likely due to the way the audio is being handled from the mod/upgrade they have in place currently and it should be possible to correct it pretty easily.

 

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Okay, I can now confirm that the wiring be using on the standard composite mod instructions doesn't work with the DF at all. I'm not completely sure why but when I restored the missing ceramic cap back at C10 and installed a new 6K8 resistor back at R5, and then tied the north legs of R5 and R6 together with a cap back to the audio out, everything is working fine.

 

And yes it is exactly as they say. Normal carts will produce TIA audio just fine and the pokey will work. But through the DF the TIA sound is completely missing and only the YM and Pokey was working until I restored the removed components and redid it per my UAV instructions. If I were to hazard a guess, I'm thinking that somehow the TIA audio is cut off in the process that doesn't effect normal carts but the DF doesn't like it or at least the roms loaded from it do NOT like it.

 

Audio was fine through a Mateos however. 

 

So yeah, what I've stated in this thread for those that have the simple composite mod wired up in a similar fashion, if you are able, take it apart and redo it per the audio wiring in the UAV instructions and as I've stated in this thread.

 

 

UAV_Audio_Cap.png

20210315_201631.jpg

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And or those curious... this is what you get when you buy an HDMI modded 7800 or 2600 system.. 

 

Stick with a UAV to get better quality composite and excellent s-video and then if you have to do, get a better quality composite & S-video to HDMI converter/scaler. They do exist and they do work okay as long as you are okay with the extra lag they introduce and the slightly stretched image you get in the process but getting one of these with a cheap composite to HDMI shoved into the 7800 shell and splicing the power from the 7800 main power rails is asking for trouble.

 

 

 

20210315_173912.jpg

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Hey folks. 

 

I recently received my cartridge, and I can't get some of the ROMs that came on the included SDcard to work; specifically the ones in the 2Pokey folder and the Yamaha folder.  The splash screen with the Atari logo displays, and then the screen just goes black. 

 

I have an NTSC console - are these ROMs PAL?  If so are there NTSC versions?  

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Some of the roms are PAL but I believe most of the Pokey ones are NTSC and I the included Yamaha files should be working as well.

 

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...Hmm. They aren't. Im not sure why.. all the regular 7800 games I've thrown at it work. I've checked the settings, I didn't see anything out of the ordinary. 

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What about the standard Pokey games BallBlazer (Pokey audio only) and Commando (TIA and Pokey)?

 

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Ballblazer works fine. As does Commando. 

 

The offending roms must be PAL.  I'll see if I can source replacements. And maybe get some others. It'll be nice to be able to use my 7800 again. 

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I'm not sure if a separate thread is now needed on this or not in regards to people with modded systems not getting TIA audio from the DF cart. But after having looked at one of these myself and providing the details to Rafał, it is pretty clear what is happening on these consoles. Basically the way the audio has been done to mix in the TIA and Pokey isn't actually mixing in the audio signals properly and as a result, the DF cart's is over driving the audio output. To restore this, requires putting at least the R5 6K8 resistor back into circuit and then running the audio output from the tied ends of R5 and R6 combined. C10 isn't really needed and a simple jumper wire can be placed to restore that trace patch since the DF cart itself isn't putting out any additional DC on the external audio. But it doesn't hurt to put a .1µf cap back in so that it will continue to filter out any unwanted initial DC from the external audio when using normal cartridges in it.

 

To be clear, this is NOT a fault of the DF cart at all. Rafał designed it around the factory schematics of operation for NTSC and PAL consoles so he and the DF cannot be blamed for not being 100% compatible with all mods that are out there.

 

But restoring R5 and at least putting in a jumper wire in place of where C10 was removed on these composite modded consoles and then attaching the audio output from the 'north' ends of R5 and R6 should get the audio going properly again. I've already corrected one NTSC console sent to me as described and it is working properly for all audio from the DF and normal cartridges.

 

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So I finally ran into an incompatibility with a retail release on my Dragonfly - to be honest, I haven't meticulously tested every single retail .A78 but so far everything else has just worked: Tank Command (NTSC) doesn't want to work. It will load on the cart and when I power the console, I get the Atari BIOS screen, but the game title page only partly displays and then freezes. Oddly, Water Ski, from the same publisher, works fine. 

 

So I did a little investigating - the version of Water Ski included in the microSD card from Rafal is a 128K .A78, while the "official" retail release from Trebor's ProPack is 64K. Tank Command, from the same publisher, is a 64K .A78 in both Trebor's ProPack and on my card from Rafal.

 

I ran into similar compatibility issues when I was testing my Concerto cart and someone (I think @Trebor?) prepared some over-dumped 128K versions of both games, which do both work on my Concerto with the same console. So I replaced the 64K version of NTSC Tank Command on my Dragonfly card with the same one that works on my Concerto, and now it too works on my Dragonfly.

 

I'm curious if anyone else has had a problem with the 64K file on their Dragonfly? If so, this file will hopefully help.

 

 

 

 

Tank Command (NTSC) (Froggo) (Overdump 78SG Hack) (20210124).a78

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Interesting, do you have issues with the other 64k games as well?

 

Mitch

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21 minutes ago, Mitch said:

Interesting, do you have issues with the other 64k games as well?

 

On my Concerto, I have trouble with most of them. Looking at the contents of my NTSC folder from Trebor's collection, I see the following 64K files:

  • F-18 Hornet
  • RealSports Baseball
  • Tank Command
  • Tower Toppler
  • Water Ski

On my Concerto, of these, only F-18 Hornet loads and runs properly on my Concerto. On the Dragonfly, they all seem to load and run except Tank Command, BUT - and this is the important caveat - the file Rafal included on my microSD card for Water Ski which does work is doubled to 128K, but the Tank Command file was not. I replaced the file he provided with the doubled version above, and that version of Tank Command works fine. I guess for the sake of completeness, I wonder if I should put the 64K version of Water Ski on the card and try that. Maybe later. :) 

 

However, the other files listed above are 64K files. The only one doubled to 128K on Rafal's card was Water Ski. The other 64K files (F-18, RS Baseball, and Tower Toppler) work fine (just confirmed). 

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On 3/16/2021 at 5:07 PM, DrVenkman said:

On my Concerto, I have trouble with most of them. Looking at the contents of my NTSC folder from Trebor's collection, I see the following 64K files:

  • F-18 Hornet
  • RealSports Baseball
  • Tank Command
  • Tower Toppler
  • Water Ski

On my Concerto, of these, only F-18 Hornet loads and runs properly on my Concerto. On the Dragonfly, they all seem to load and run except Tank Command, BUT - and this is the important caveat - the file Rafal included on my microSD card for Water Ski which does work is doubled to 128K, but the Tank Command file was not. I replaced the file he provided with the doubled version above, and that version of Tank Command works fine. I guess for the sake of completeness, I wonder if I should put the 64K version of Water Ski on the card and try that. Maybe later. :) 

 

However, the other files listed above are 64K files. The only one doubled to 128K on Rafal's card was Water Ski. The other 64K files (F-18, RS Baseball, and Tower Toppler) work fine (just confirmed). 

I've not tried the new padded file you provided, but I can confirm in my testing this last night, that the Tank Command 64k image that is included with the DF cart will give you the rainbow screen and then I get a screen that shows the score information along the top and a solid tan background. The 7800 doesn't respond at that point and I have to power cycle it. I have the latest FW that @rj1307 released.

 

However, I do know that at least on an earlier revision FW, I was able to play this because I remember testing it out when I first got the DF cart and it did load up and work. I know this because I don't own the actual cart and I do NOT have it on my Maetos cart. So at least with an earlier FW revision the 64k version did appear to work at one time.

 

I've also noticed that with this new revision, I actually have a more difficult time of selecting my folders and files because if you hold those buttons down for even a second, it causes the cart to 'scroll' through the files crazy quick! Another issue I've noticed is that on the previous FW, when I was done playing a game, I would simply use the home or back button on the cart to go back to the rom selection for the directory or folder I was in and could navigate normally to select a different game. Now however, when I try and do this, the home button doesn't respond at all and I have to first press either the next file or previous file buttons in the middle to cause the rom image in the folder I'm in to change to the next one and then the home button will start to work and I can then go back to a previous folder. Again it used to work as I described until this latest FW release I've noticed.

 

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7 minutes ago, -^CrossBow^- said:

I've not tried the new padded file you provided, but I can confirm in my testing this last night, that the Tank Command 64k image that is included with the DF cart will give you the rainbow screen and then I get a screen that shows the score information along the top and a solid tan background. The 7800 doesn't respond at that point and I have to power cycle it.

Sounds like what I get. Here’s what I get with Tank Command every time:

 

BB25602E-8CD9-42DB-AA29-1B31F713E933.thumb.jpeg.3b827445b9527802981688cf0e0c3a60.jpeg

 

The doubled, 128K version I posted above works perfectly.

 

I see both of the other issues you mentioned too - you have to cycle up or down in the file list before backing out of a folder, and REALLY fast file scrolling. I wonder if the button delay/debounce could be increased a little bit there. 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, DrVenkman said:

Sounds like what I get. Here’s what I get with Tank Command every time:

 

BB25602E-8CD9-42DB-AA29-1B31F713E933.thumb.jpeg.3b827445b9527802981688cf0e0c3a60.jpeg

 

The doubled, 128K version I posted above works perfectly.

 

I see both of the other issues you mentioned too - you have to cycle up or down in the file list before backing out of a folder, and REALLY fast file scrolling. I wonder if the button delay/debounce could be increased a little bit there. 

 

 

That is EXACTLY what I was getting when I tested tank command last night. So yes I can confirm the same thing on mine. And the button issue is also exactly what I was trying to say. It wasn't that touchy on the fast scrolling before and I know I could use the home button on the left to change folders without having to select a different rom file in the folder first as it requires now.

 

I'm guessing the fast scroll might have been put in because if you use the SD card as it comes then the NTSC and PAL folders have everything in one folder and it can take a bit to scroll through. But I separated out my ROMs into different genres the first night I had it so I don't have as many in the folder anymore. I also deleted all the PAL stuff that I found including music demos that didn't work.

 

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I'm starting my vacation in a week and I'll have some time for corrections ;) 

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24 minutes ago, rj1307 said:

Tank Command 64k tested on my NTSC console works fine. :)  

Tank Command (USA).a78 64.13 kB · 5 downloads

Sorry but that file still fails on my console, like the original one on the card provided. There is one small difference: this file has a black bar for the fuel gauge, whereas the original file is blue. 
 

8930C240-7C24-434C-8AD5-D8B5481FFB43.jpeg

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The only differences between them is the first item in the a78 header where the original starts with 02 and RJ's begins with 01. The rest of the changes are just the title information that is displayed on the file name. But the rest of the code seems to be same on the actual game data itself.

 

Removed the header info on both and they are identical otherwise. 

 

Wonder if this another compatibility issue game? My main 7800 doesn't have the extra timing circuit on it at all so it isn't a case of it being disabled. My 7800 also has the factory repair adding in some capacitance off the 6502 to fix graphic issues with pole position, ballblazer and likely others. 

 

Although the fact that only difference is the headers, it must be something in the headers that is causing the difference between the blue and black fuel status bar.

 

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39 minutes ago, -^CrossBow^- said:

Wonder if this another compatibility issue game? My main 7800 doesn't have the extra timing circuit on it at all so it isn't a case of it being disabled. My 7800 also has the factory repair adding in some capacitance off the 6502 to fix graphic issues with pole position, ballblazer and likely others. 

 

 

The main system is an A1 serial number machine that I have personally modded with a UAV. It does not have the factory timing circuit, nor any other factory mods to my knowledge.

 

For the sake of completeness, I pulled out my other console, a factory-stock AT84 unit (with really terrible RF by the way!) and I get the same exact results with Tank Command. 

 

In both cases I powered the 7800 through the Dragonfly via a modern 9VDC 2A power supply. 

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Why most of the flash-cartridges support up to 512kB?  Why not 1MB? It's about memory price or banking scheme?

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2 hours ago, rj1307 said:

Tank Command 64k tested on my NTSC console works fine. :)  

Tank Command (USA).a78 64.13 kB · 6 downloads

The verified good dump binary (*.bin) file of Tank Command contains the following:

 

CRC32: DB91B181
CRC64: 4261B139882E9D7D
SHA1: 1D2975D754806416A25A821DB6A9FE389BF5D946
SHA256: 16CE205DCD5F23BF93B3C33F119E1F8F1D4568B2125E229C7BD001B74D1D5961

 

Any header (*.78) version of the ROM should report back the above results when stripped of its header.

 

Looking specifically at the headers, Trebors 7800 ROM PROPack provides the following:

 

image.thumb.png.a23a5c602a3919ae39a0acb3469578a2.png

 

 

The ROM provided in the above quote, oddly in the header, erroneously states the size as a 128K ROM as well as misses flagging [email protected]; less important but still inaccurate, states the second controller is possibly utilized:

 

image.thumb.png.68c7506a748b1eb2d5cf2cc167ff8310.png

 

As -^CrossBow^- already mentioned, after stripping the headers, the ROM contents between the files are identical (And were evidently built off the correct verified good dump of the game).   The header version recently provided in this thread though, contains incorrect or missing settings.

 

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4 hours ago, swapd0 said:

Why most of the flash-cartridges support up to 512kB?  Why not 1MB? It's about memory price or banking scheme?

Actually the DF cart does support a theoretical 1024kb. But there hasn't been anything programmed as yet that is actually that large to test it?

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