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Concerto firmware thread

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1 hour ago, Trebor said:

I reversed POKEY chip orientation and received the same result.

 

Urgh, did that POKEY survive?

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2 hours ago, CPUWIZ said:

Urgh, did that POKEY survive?

I have no way of testing it on anything else without opening a cart that I know has a socket.

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2 hours ago, zezba9000 said:

Any suggestion on where / what POKEY chip to get / use?

I got mine from Best Electronics. $20, 1 per customer.

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6 minutes ago, CPUWIZ said:

A8bit or 5200?

No, sir...It's blasphemy...

but I was a ColecoVision man. 

 

A2600, ColecoVision, A7800 is my console ownership order.  First computer was a Vic20, my cousin had the C64, school had the Apple II.  My next computer was an IBM Compatible XT.

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1 hour ago, Trebor said:

Thanks @batari, I did that first.  However, it resulted in a 'frying' console looking screen. 

Thinking it was perhaps mounted incorrectly, I reversed POKEY chip orientation and received the same result.

I then removed the POKEY chip completed; however the Concerto is still producing a 'fried' console looking screen when powered on across all my systems.

 

Any recommendation for what I should do as next/best steps to restore the Concerto?

 

*EDIT:  I went ahead and from the firmware update post, followed the directions provided.

 

Despite keeping and running an up to date version of Windows...

 

Edition: Windows 10 Home (x64) 
Version: 20H2 
OS Build: 19042.685

 

...I still needed the Windows driver from the driver post for the Harmony Software to recognize my cart.  Without it, Windows recognized the cart as a "USB Serial" device when attached, but the Harmony software did not see it. 

 

After the driver install, the recognition of the cart, as well as a successfully 100% downloaded eeloader_ntsc.bin file, went smoothly.

 

I placed the 'hbios_concerto_0.95_SDcardfix.bin' file to the root of the SD Card.  Power on the console, but still see a 'fried' screen (sometimes a blank screen - similar randomness when "frying").  Tried without the SD card inserted, and a different SD card.  Same results.

 

Any other suggestions or guidance is appreciated.

First, I would try the Concerto without a POKEY in another console. If you get the same results, it could be a bad POKEY chip, and it may have fried the Concerto too. You can send both to me and I can evaluate to see exactly what got fried and if the POKEY is any good, and in the meantime I'll get a replacement Concerto to you.

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1 minute ago, Karl G said:

I got mine from Best Electronics. $20, 1 per customer.

Do you have a picture? Wonder what the quality is vs the PokeyONE on Ebay.

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1 minute ago, zezba9000 said:

Do you have a picture? Wonder what the quality is vs the PokeyONE on Ebay.

Best sells OEM POKEY chips. Not sure if they are NOS or not, but I also have purchased one from Best and it works fine.

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1 minute ago, batari said:

First, I would try the Concerto without a POKEY in another console. If you get the same results, it could be a bad POKEY chip, and it may have fried the Concerto too. You can send both to me and I can evaluate to see exactly what got fried and if the POKEY is any good, and in the meantime I'll get a replacement Concerto to you.

Unfortunately, same results under all my consoles without the POKEY chip.  I'll PM you. 

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1 minute ago, Trebor said:

Here is the log file if it helps.  Besides enabling log, I enabled verification, just to be sure:

 

image.thumb.png.7e3f44fd4f6b0dc8e6e9a5918535a739.png

The download was successful. When you boot Concerto at this point, it will boot into 2600 mode and you should be seeing a Harmony cart Yin-Yang spinner, then a confirmation screen that the BIOS was loaded successfully.

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6 minutes ago, zezba9000 said:

Do you have a picture? Wonder what the quality is vs the PokeyONE on Ebay.

 

It's an original POKEY, pulled from an otherwise non-salvageable machine or common cartridge.

 

The PokeyONE is a modern reimplementation of the POKEY, but does not support all of the original POKEY's features; it's intended for use in arcade games, not the home computers.  PokeyONE FAQ.

Edited by x=usr(1536)

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1 minute ago, batari said:

The download was successful. When you boot Concerto at this point, it will boot into 2600 mode and you should be seeing a Harmony cart Yin-Yang spinner, then a confirmation screen that the BIOS was loaded successfully.

Unfortunately, I do not see the Yin-Yang.  Same 'fried' looking results with each power cycle.

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4 minutes ago, batari said:

Best sells OEM POKEY chips. Not sure if they are NOS or not, but I also have purchased one from Best and it works fine.

Their supposed to be NOS and he's supposed to be running low on inventory, hence the $20 and only 1 per customer. I have one of his in my Froggy cart.

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1 minute ago, x=usr(1536) said:

The PokeyONE is a modern reimplementation of the POKEY, but does not support all of the original POKEY's features;

Ok thanks this is kind the answer I was looking for. Are there modern replacements like PokeyONE BUT support all features original did?

Sorry for the shop questions, just want to make sure what I get has best compatibility and I do like clone hardware if its 100% feature complete.

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12 minutes ago, zezba9000 said:

Ok thanks this is kind the answer I was looking for. Are there modern replacements like PokeyONE BUT support all features original did?

Sorry for the shop questions, just want to make sure what I get has best compatibility and I do like clone hardware if its 100% feature complete.

Yes, Pokey max has all the original features and more, but won't fit in a concerto.

 

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13 minutes ago, zezba9000 said:

Are there modern replacements like PokeyONE BUT support all features original did?

PokeyMax will do so but frankly, it's more expensive than a POKEY and I don't know it it would fit into the cart (same problem PokeyONE has). Keep in mind that of the original POKEY features, only sound is used in 7800 carts. The other features - keyboard reading, serial I/O and potentiometer readings ... - are entirely superfluous. 

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4 minutes ago, mimo said:

Yes, Pokey max has all the original features and more, but won't fit in a concerto

 

3 minutes ago, DrVenkman said:

and I don't know it it would fit into the cart

 

You mean wont fit in with the case on correct? Nothing different about the pins I'm guessing.

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37 minutes ago, zezba9000 said:

Wonder what the quality is vs the PokeyONE on Ebay.

 

I don't understand that question.

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7 minutes ago, CPUWIZ said:

I don't understand that question.

PokeyONE is 40$ and original (which I didn't know before asking) is 20$

 

Also like the C64 & C16 have audio/video chips that go bad sometimes the newer stuff / clones are a better choice.

So you can see my concern based on that in short.

Edited by zezba9000

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I dunno, I rather have a real diamond, than a fake one.

 

@batari Yes, the POKEY's from Brad are NOS.  I've gotten multiple ones from him, just to check if they are.

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1 minute ago, CPUWIZ said:

I dunno, I rather have a real diamond, than a fake one.

Same but if the original all have cracks in them, the fake ones that don't last longer.

Of course that doesn't sound like its the case with these I just have no frame of reference with POKEY chips to know. I did have to replace the SID chip in my C64 though. 🤷‍♂️

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43 minutes ago, zezba9000 said:

Same but if the original all have cracks in them, the fake ones that don't last longer.

 

Here's the thing: comparing a POKEY to a PokeyMAX or PokeyONE is the same as comparing apples to oranges because both the PokeyMAX and PokeyONE have extended (and/or missing) capabilities compared to the original POKEY.  Sure, they might all do basically the same things, but certainly not all of the same things, and definitely not in the same ways.

 

As far as Concerto goes, just use a regular POKEY.  Physical limitations surrounding the PokeyONE and PokeyMAX aside, it's what the Concerto was designed to use in the first place - and given that the Concerto is currently undergoing investigation into firmware issues related to POKEY installation, it makes sense to stick with a known-quantity IC for now rather than adding another custom part into the mix that may not behave in the same manner as original hardware, thus complicating testing and troubleshooting.

Edited by x=usr(1536)
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I'm about to do that thing that developers love loathe: make another feature request.

 

@batari: would it be possible to have a (textmode) screensaver kick in after a few minutes of inactivity?  My lousy memory meant that I just left the system sitting powered on for about three hours while connected to the CRT.  I'm not worried about menu burn-in over that period of time, but if we went away for a weekend to a few days it could be a potential issue.  All it really needs to is blank the screen and maybe bounce the word 'Concerto' around periodically just to show that things are still up and running, but it would definitely be a huge plus.

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10 hours ago, zezba9000 said:

 

 

You mean wont fit in with the case on correct? Nothing different about the pins I'm guessing.

correct

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