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rj1307

"Dragonfly" my version of the Atari 7800 SD cartridge

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I say remove the back shading off the letters to just make them a single orange like color and see how that looks?

 

 

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Here's something interesting. I was trying to diagnose another of my PAL 7800s that has absolutely screwed TIA sound. It's had a composite mod, same board as my other one. Now, as part of testing that, I swapped over the MARIAs (just to confirm that was working in the second machine), and early tests (it could change with warm-up etc.) show that Pole Position II plays with no crashes, and no graphics artefacts. 

 

Originally, the one that was in place when crashes occurred was this one:

8922BV  V8861
VF2085A

 

And the one that I replaced it with, which seems to work, is this one:

9221BV  228841
VF2085B

 

Strangely, though, in the second machine, Pole Position II also seems to run OK, so there's definitely combinations that do or don't work with Dragonfly.

7800_01.jpeg

7800_02.jpeg

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Got a French 7800 with the lid off here at moment with a VF2085B and it crashes in Ballblazer with Dragonfly.

9134AV Date code.  Made less than a year before you second one, nearly two years after the first.

196903 ??? no idea

VF2085B part no.

 

I'll check the others later today and post the codes, maybe we can see a pattern.  We are making a big assumption that its the Maria that causes the issues, when theres logic chips and a CPU to contend with also.  

 

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Software update!
Changes: 

* Possibility to turn off the LCD backlight in "Forced Power Supply". 
* Added header bit support for Double Pokey and Yamaha. Now setting these bits is necessary to get the sound. As a reminder, the current Cart Type settings are as follows: 

 

  bit 0    = pokey at $4000
  bit 1    = supergame bank switched
  bit 2    = supergame ram at $4000
  bit 3    = rom at $4000
  bit 4    = bank 6 at $4000
  bit 5    = supergame banked ram
  bit 6    = pokey at $450
  bit 7    = mirror ram at $4000
  bit 8    = activision banking
  bit 9    = absolute banking
  bit 10   = pokey at $440
  bit 11   = ym2151 at $460/$461
  bit 12   = souper
  bit 13-15 = special

 

* Fixed bug that did not allow to go back to a higher directory when changing the game. 
* Added an adjustable delay for restarting the console. The loading time of some games is so short that it did not allow the capacitors in the power supply of the console to discharge, causing it to reconnect itself. 
* Added adjustable delay for scrolling files up / down. 
* The "Force RAM" option has been removed from the Menu, the latest PMC_XM already has Yamaha detection.
* Changed options displayed after loading the game. 
* Automatic IRQ inclusion for games using Pokey has been added. For this to work, the Pokey @4000 or @0450 bit must be set in the header and the Pokey IRQ set to "Yes" in the Menu. When this option is set to "No", the IRQ will always remain off. 

 

In the attachment: the latest firmware, current manual, YM and Dual Pokey files with modified headers. 

v1.06.zip Manual.pdf Corrected files .zip

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After updating, I suggest you turn on the IRQ for Pokey in the Menu settings. 

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10 hours ago, rj1307 said:

After updating, I suggest you turn on the IRQ for Pokey in the Menu settings. 

What is funny is that I already had the IRQ setting set to ON on both the Pokey and YM2151 settings originally. Once updated I believe I only had that option for the Pokey but turned it on all the same as I knew it worked for me in the past.

 

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I am having trouble loading some games now. I select a version, but enter does nothing.

 

Is that because the header indicates PAL, and I have NTSC? I notice it's only certain games, and it's consistent.

 

Also, the newly included Pac-Man XM (40th) doesn't seem to activate the Yamaha sound. I had it before.

 

I have POKEY, YAMAHA, IRQ, & RAM all enabled.

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The update only affects files that use Dual Pokey, YM and Covox, it has no effect on others. The Pal / Ntsc version header information is only informational and does not affect the operation of the files. If they are actually versions of Pal, you won't run them on Ntsc. 

I attach the PMC file, check if it works. Does Zanac work? 

PMC_XM.A78

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Got my 7800 back from Crossbow (thank you again!!!) and with his repair work on my already-modded system, it now seems to functions fine with the Dragonfly cart. I only had sporadic issues but they all seem gone.

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I tweaked my console so it would turn itself on when Dragonfly finishes loading the game.
 

 

The operation of the system is very simple: when Dragonfly finishes loading the game and gives power to the console, the presented system waits 500ms, gives the low state to pin 3 of the CD4013 chip and after 200ms it goes into a high impedance state. The console will turn on. I use the Brown-Out Detection (BOD) feature of Attiny13A to detect the shutdown of the power supply. When the voltage drops below 4.3V, the AVR will be reset and the program will restart. 

 

Attiny.thumb.png.448d0be295aa4f2c729f6cda01ea63dd.png

 

The assembly is non-invasive, you can return to the original at any time. 

IMGP8801.thumb.jpg.a8da494f2c626a162076d71e656d60ee.jpg

 

IMGP8803.thumb.jpg.d8e6e0fcbe0a29ee3227b6e7151629f3.jpg

 

In the attachment I include everything that is needed to make such a modification. :)  

 

mod_autostart.zip

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45 minutes ago, rj1307 said:

I tweaked my console so it would turn itself on when Dragonfly finishes loading the game.
 

 

The operation of the system is very simple: when Dragonfly finishes loading the game and gives power to the console, the presented system waits 500ms, gives the low state to pin 3 of the CD4013 chip and after 200ms it goes into a high impedance state. The console will turn on. I use the Brown-Out Detection (BOD) feature of Attiny13A to detect the shutdown of the power supply. When the voltage drops below 4.3V, the AVR will be reset and the program will restart. 

 

Attiny.thumb.png.448d0be295aa4f2c729f6cda01ea63dd.png

 

The assembly is non-invasive, you can return to the original at any time. 

IMGP8801.thumb.jpg.a8da494f2c626a162076d71e656d60ee.jpg

 

IMGP8803.thumb.jpg.d8e6e0fcbe0a29ee3227b6e7151629f3.jpg

 

In the attachment I include everything that is needed to make such a modification. :)  

 

mod_autostart.zip 17.3 MB · 2 downloads

How about when not using the DF and using the standard 7800 power? I frequently have to swap because I will want to use one of my 2600 flash carts and obviously have to remove the DF cart and power setup to do this. It would seem that with this in place, as soon as the ATTiny sees incoming voltage, it will try and turn the console on when you plug in the standard power cord?

 

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12 minutes ago, marauder666 said:

i’ve no experience of programming an attiny, how do i go about doing it?

You have to have a programmer or find someone nearby to program and the programs are available for free. The screenshot is from BascomAVR. 

 

2 minutes ago, -^CrossBow^- said:

How about when not using the DF and using the standard 7800 power? I frequently have to swap because I will want to use one of my 2600 flash carts and obviously have to remove the DF cart and power setup to do this. It would seem that with this in place, as soon as the ATTiny sees incoming voltage, it will try and turn the console on when you plug in the standard power cord?

 

It will turn on but only once when plugging in the power adapter. After that, the console works normally with the POWER button. You don't disconnect the power supply when changing the cartridge, do you?
If you have an AV mod, you can use the rear "Channel" switch to disconnect the signal from Attina. 

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9 minutes ago, rj1307 said:

You have to have a programmer or find someone nearby to program and the programs are available for free. The screenshot is from BascomAVR. 

 

It will turn on but only once when plugging in the power adapter. After that, the console works normally with the POWER button. You don't disconnect the power supply when changing the cartridge, do you?
If you have an AV mod, you can use the rear "Channel" switch to disconnect the signal from Attina. 

Yes because I don't use the DFs power passthrough mode at all because then it is just sitting there off the side. I keep both the original and DF supplies next to each other and physically unplug the DF power slave cable from the back of the 7800 and pop the original cable back in.

 

You are also assuming that those with AV mods all remove the RF modulator? I do not unless it is requested or required which thankfully the UAV, doesn't require removing it. So the channel switch wouldn't be a good fit for those that still have the RF in place and might want to use it. Although I guess you could hardwire your RF to only work from one channel at all times and then use the switch that way?

 

Meant to ask @rj1307 how much current does DF actually take up? With a DC-DC switcher in the 7800, the 7800's usual draw of just over 700mA is reduced to about 320mA. So I've wondered if the DF needs more than 500mA to operate? If not, then it would be possible to actually power the DF with the default PSU or reverse things around and have the DF powered by the 7800s input instead? 

 

Again, this is assuming the DF cart only draws about 500mA but I've not tried to power it off my bench supply to test this as yet.

 

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On 3/29/2021 at 12:37 PM, juansolo said:

We've had a few PAL machines pass through our hands since we got our DragonFlys and have noticed that some of them have a little bit of an issue with ROMs from the DF, but not with original carts. Only two so far, but the symptoms are identical. @ultrasteve fire up the BallBlazer ROM, sometimes that one will crash after a few seconds.

 

This is something we had a poke at the other day when we saw @-^CrossBow^-'s video about having issues with early revision Pole Position II carts on the NTSC machine. Thought it'd nailed it when we added the cap he used to fix it on that and it worked flawlessly. However it was just one of those fluke times when it worked... Let it cool down again and the problem came back. It does odd things with homebrew sometimes also, if I put in my Pac-Man collection cart it flashes on-screen corruption for a bit before it warms up and it goes away...

 

There appears to be no distinguishing feature on the machines with the problems. But the problem definitely follows the machines and not the Dragonfly. It's very odd. If it wasn't for us leaving the EU and buggering up sending things to/from the mainland, I'd send it over for you to have a poke at it. As it is, if you have any suggestions I'm happy to poke around, take photos, and what have you.

Always warm your 7800 before running flashcarts. This will save 99% of the issues. 

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On 3/29/2021 at 1:37 PM, juansolo said:

We've had a few PAL machines pass through our hands since we got our DragonFlys and have noticed that some of them have a little bit of an issue with ROMs from the DF, but not with original carts. Only two so far, but the symptoms are identical. @ultrasteve fire up the BallBlazer ROM, sometimes that one will crash after a few seconds.

 

This is something we had a poke at the other day when we saw @-^CrossBow^-'s video about having issues with early revision Pole Position II carts on the NTSC machine. Thought it'd nailed it when we added the cap he used to fix it on that and it worked flawlessly. However it was just one of those fluke times when it worked... Let it cool down again and the problem came back. It does odd things with homebrew sometimes also, if I put in my Pac-Man collection cart it flashes on-screen corruption for a bit before it warms up and it goes away...

 

There appears to be no distinguishing feature on the machines with the problems. But the problem definitely follows the machines and not the Dragonfly. It's very odd. If it wasn't for us leaving the EU and buggering up sending things to/from the mainland, I'd send it over for you to have a poke at it. As it is, if you have any suggestions I'm happy to poke around, take photos, and what have you.

I think a new thread might be needed to discuss some of this so as to not derail the DF cart stuff. I say this because I actually have something odd I encountered this weekend about this very thing.

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10 hours ago, -^CrossBow^- said:

I think a new thread might be needed to discuss some of this so as to not derail the DF cart stuff. I say this because I actually have something odd I encountered this weekend about this very thing.

Go for it dude. We certainly don't have a definitive answer to it other than it's definitely a console side issue as the problem follows the console not the DF.

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5 hours ago, juansolo said:

Go for it dude. We certainly don't have a definitive answer to it other than it's definitely a console side issue as the problem follows the console not the DF.

Check my latest blog entry I made yesterday. But basically I had an NTSC 7800 sent to me for the simple composite mod. I know...I know...UAVs only right? Well I couldn't get this client to budge. Anyway, I ran into some immediate odd graphical issues with this 7800 and documented what I did in my blog.

 

I'm more looking for some insight on what I experienced and why what I did appeared to work as it honestly doesn't make a lot of sense, but just another one of those odd things to add to the list of 7800 troubleshooting I suppose.

 

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20 hours ago, -^CrossBow^- said:

Meant to ask @rj1307 how much current does DF actually take up?

Dragonfly with LCD backlight on - 220mA
Dragonfly with LCD backlight off - 200mA
Dragonfly + console - 840-890mA
Console + original cartridge - 640-680mA
Console + built-in Asteroids game - 570mA 

 

9.00V power supply from a laboratory power supply. 

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Excellent! Thanks for the information.

 

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16 hours ago, Hasan Coskun said:

Is the Dragonfly still available to purchase?

 

Yes, we order in this thread: 

 

 

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I've wondered if it would be best for my 7800 to use its original PSU. Or does the cart turn off the power to prevent damage to the cart while flashing, meaning I could mess that up if powering them separately? I'm always hesitant about power that isn't the spec asked for in the console, but it doesn't sound like it's caused any issues.

 

As noted earlier, when picking a new ROM, my doesn't even work correctly, it powers the system off, then the system turns itself back on in a crashed state. It doesn't leave it off long enough before supplying power again. So I'm already manually turning off my console to change games. I just wouldn't want to create a scenario where it would be easier to damage something.

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1 hour ago, Hastor said:

As noted earlier, when picking a new ROM, my doesn't even work correctly, it powers the system off, then the system turns itself back on in a crashed state

This is what I introduced the extra delay in the latest firmware for, you can adjust it in the Menu 

 

1 hour ago, Hastor said:

Or does the cart turn off the power to prevent damage to the cart while flashing, meaning I could mess that up if powering them separately?

No, you won't break the cartridge like this. 

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2 hours ago, Hastor said:

I've wondered if it would be best for my 7800 to use its original PSU. Or does the cart turn off the power to prevent damage to the cart while flashing, meaning I could mess that up if powering them separately? I'm always hesitant about power that isn't the spec asked for in the console, but it doesn't sound like it's caused any issues.

 

As noted earlier, when picking a new ROM, my doesn't even work correctly, it powers the system off, then the system turns itself back on in a crashed state. It doesn't leave it off long enough before supplying power again. So I'm already manually turning off my console to change games. I just wouldn't want to create a scenario where it would be easier to damage something.

Can you try something for me on this?

 

Take the DF cart out of the mix. Unplug the power from the back of the console. Put in a game and then plug the power back in. Does it turn on automatically?

 

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