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Concerto SD-card multicart ordering info

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For those who aren't aware, Concerto is an advanced microcontroller-based SD-card flashcart with an onscreen menu, that is designed to support all of the original Atari 7800 titles and all original Atari 2600 titles, plus most of the modern homebrew titles and demos. It supports POKEY sound (POKEY chip not included) and other sound sources are on the drawing board (see below). Concerto is reverse-compatible with Harmony Encore so it plays all 2600 games that work on Encore, including the newer DPC+, CDFJ and other ARM-based games, and you can even load the Harmony Encore firmware on it and it will function exactly like one.

 

The Concerto has a total of 520k of RAM, 32k of parallel flash and 2MB of serial flash. Currently games up to 144k are supported, and work is being done to support the larger games.

 

SD cards can be FAT or FAT32 formatted, up to 32GB in size. Setting up the Concerto is easy: just put your A78 files or Atari 2600 games on the SD card, plug into the Concerto and go.

 

The onscreen menu display is 40 characters wide, but can display long filenames up to 240 characters as well. There is no hard limit to how many levels deep you can go with subdirectories. It supports up to 10,000 entries in a directory, and though currently the files aren't sorted, I am working on automatic sorting alphabetically.

 

The firmware is still in development, so you are expected to keep up on firmware updates for the latest features and bug fixes.

 

How to order Concerto:

 

Until now, I have been putting up small batches but they have been selling out quickly, to the chagrin of many.


I don't like preorder lists, but also don't want full payment up front. Lists are not a meaningful indicator of how many carts I would need to build as people sign up for lists then never follow through. And, full payment up front comes with higher expectations. So I think a better answer is to create a reservation system.

 

I will still release carts with the current lottery system, but if you miss out, don't fret. I am going to allow people to reserve a Concerto with a deposit. The $10 deposit is 100% refundable for any reason, and at any time, just ask. If you go on to purchase a Concerto through the reservation system, the $10 is also a down payment and will be used toward the cost.

 

There are a limited number of reservation slots. I will only allow as many reservations as I feel I can accommodate in about 30 days. I won't publicly display who made a reservation, but if you do make a reservation, I will let you know what your place in line is, and try to make an educated guess of how long it will be until you are invited to buy.

 

The $10 also does two more things:

 

1. It also locks in the sale price of $89, even if the regular price goes back up to $99, as I intend to return to the regular price once the preproduction carts are sold out and Concerto goes into general production.

 

2. An additional benefit from being a reservation holder is you will get the first shot at two new products I am working on:

 

One, a power adapter for the 7800. This allows you to use a bog-standard 12v PSU, *either* tip polarity, or even AC output. There will be 2.5mm and 2.1mm versions available, or with both plugs in one. Plug your PSU into the adapter, and the adapter into the 7800 with the included pigtail. The adapter itself is small: it is roughly the length of an SD card, but about half the width. It is designed to provide up to 1.5A of clean, filtered 9V power to your 7800, with quality brand-name components, so you don't have to worry about poor regulation, overvoltage or anything else you might find by using the direct output from a questionable PSU. Although it's designed for the common 12v power supplies, it should work with around 10v-24v, so you can use an adapter you probably already have. The expected price of this board will be $10 to Concerto owners. (This adapter is ready to order, actually, but I just need to find a source for the Atari 7800 connector housing. The ones I have found do not fit snugly enough, so I am still searching.)

 

Two, HOKEY! HOKEY is a POKEY replacement chip, if you aren't aware. Unlike other POKEY replacements, HOKEY is microcontroller-based, which allows for flexibility that is hard to match with a standard hardware approach. So, HOKEY will not necessarily just be a POKEY chip.

 

Once the basic POKEY is validated on the new design, I will begin work on an enhanced HOKEY and attempt to tackle Bupchip, plus an emulator author wants to adapt HOKEY to emulate the YM2151 chip and digital sample playback with PCM output once the basic driver is working, so that homebrew boards will have a reliable source of high quality sound chips without having to locate old chips or use expensive replacements. HOKEY is expected to start at $10. Although HOKEY is being designed specifically with the Atari 7800 homebrew market in mind, you can also use one on a Concerto.

 

The reservation system should go live shortly, and another batch of Concertos will be released for sale as well!

 

* The order page is here: https://erstwhile-technologies-7800.square.site/

 

If Concerto is sold out, there is a link on the product page to reserve a Concerto from an upcoming batch.

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Well I've got one of your Concerto coming soon, but I'd like to reserve this HOKEY thing, sounds (full force of the pun) quite cool!

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5 minutes ago, Greg2600 said:

Well I've got one of your Concerto coming soon, but I'd like to reserve this HOKEY thing, sounds (full force of the pun) quite cool!

No worries, if you recently bought a Concerto, you will get an email along with the reservation holders about HOKEY when it is ready!

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5 minutes ago, cjherr said:

Will there be a way to reserve the HOKEY?

Those on the reservation list for Concerto, or those who have bought a Concerto will have first crack at HOKEY. However, I expect to be able to produce HOKEY far more quickly so nobody will be waiting that long once it is released.

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After all of these years of waiting...I finally got one! Thank you for seeing this project through!

 

(Now, if anyone has an AV modded 7800 they’d like to sell me...)

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5 hours ago, batari said:

One, a power adapter for the 7800.

 

5 hours ago, batari said:

Two, HOKEY!

Awesomesauce! Things are starting to look better for 2020.👍

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I have done a reservation for one cart.  By the way, I have a POKEY chip that I could get installed on this!

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Gotta wait 'til I get my next paycheck on Wednesday, but this is certainly great news so I don't have to take a day off from work anymore, thanks @batari.

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Thanks for setting up this reservation system.

I keep missing the batch releases by like 30 minutes every time.

And now I can unsubscribe from the "sd cartridge for 7800?" thread.

No more 10-30 daily email dumps to read. ;)

So, for real, Thank you.

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49 minutes ago, moshe vazana said:

How to pay the 10$

Go to the shop link in post #5, click the picture for the product page and then reserve at the end of the description. 

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Has anyone been able to test a Pokey One yet to see if it fits inside the Concerto case?  And please forgive my ignorance on the subject, but will a pokey or pokey one merely plug into the socket Fred has provided, or will soldering be necessary?   

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25 minutes ago, JVersh said:

Has anyone been able to test a Pokey One yet to see if it fits inside the Concerto case?

If no one checks before then, I can test that out once my Concerto arrives; I’ve got a PokeyOne currently sitting inside my 1088XLD as the right-channel/stereo POKEY. FWIW, I recorded a bunch of demos last year by recording both stereo tracks and some that used dual-mono (same tracks played through Left and Right POKEYs), and the left/right waveforms were indistinguishable to the ear or eye. However, there are some advanced POKEY techniques that guys like @Synthpopalooza have developed that will probably choke on PokeyOne. I don’t think any CURRENT homebrews use these but some future ones might.

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