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Concerto firmware thread

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23 hours 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.

     This is good to know, thanks for the info.  I'm going to hold off getting one until the Concerto gets into a working state tho.  Hopefully they'll still be in stock!  :)

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38 minutes ago, schnuth said:

     This is good to know, thanks for the info.  I'm going to hold off getting one until the Concerto gets into a working state tho.  Hopefully they'll still be in stock!  :)

I email "[email protected]" (no reply yet) as I didn't see an order forum so hope to get one at some point soon & plug it in when POKEY testing is more ready.

Edited by zezba9000

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3 minutes ago, zezba9000 said:

I email "[email protected]" (no reply yet) as I didn't see an order forum so hope to get one at some point soon & plug it in when POKEY tested is more ready.

If you don't get a reply, make sure "Atari" is somewhere in the subject line, or it may get flagged as spam on his end. 

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It's worth mentioning that unlike the other POKEY replacements, HOKEY has always been designed to be the same size as an actual POKEY chip. As such it fits in a standard cart shell on a Concerto (and if used in other applications, would not have the same clearance issues reported with the other replacements in some instances.)

 

Since you can't see the HOKEY fitting in a standard shell, shown is a Concerto in a translucent case with a HOKEY to show that these fit just fine. It's an older HOKEY but newer ones are the same dimensions.

 

IMG_1845.thumb.jpg.d4bf378252a7a7ca8142f5a86bc99413.jpg

 

The translucent case is a Starwander shell. The shells aren't perfect but they seem adequate for Concerto due to the larger board size. I will see if I can get some more of these (I only have one of these shells right now.)

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2 hours ago, batari said:

It's worth mentioning that unlike the other POKEY replacements, HOKEY has always been designed to be the same size as an actual POKEY chip. As such it fits in a standard cart shell on a Concerto (and if used in other applications, would not have the same clearance issues reported with the other replacements in some instances.)

 

Since you can't see the HOKEY fitting in a standard shell, shown is a Concerto in a translucent case with a HOKEY to show that these fit just fine. It's an older HOKEY but newer ones are the same dimensions.

 

IMG_1845.thumb.jpg.d4bf378252a7a7ca8142f5a86bc99413.jpg

 

The translucent case is a Starwander shell. The shells aren't perfect but they seem adequate for Concerto due to the larger board size. I will see if I can get some more of these (I only have one of these shells right now.)

PM sent for Concerto with Hokey in Starwander shell. 😉

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39 minutes ago, sramirez2008 said:

PM sent for Concerto with Hokey in Starwander shell. 😉

Ooh! Add me to the list for that!  :P

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14 hours ago, zezba9000 said:

I email "[email protected]" (no reply yet) as I didn't see an order forum so hope to get one at some point soon & plug it in when POKEY testing is more ready.

I pasted the part # and POKEY in the subject line from his website.  I got a reply fairly quickly.  He is limiting POKEY purchases to 1 per person due to limited supply.

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15 minutes ago, cjherr said:

I called in the afternoon and got right through and he took my order.

 

Calling is key.

 

Know what you want in advance, don't try to have him ship more than about 3 items at once, and call in your order.  Also, if you're a returning customer, have your customer number handy.  Your stuff will appear a few days later.

 

Just pretend that you're ordering parts for your 1980s-era systems like you would have in the 1980s and everything will be fine.

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43 minutes ago, cjherr said:

I called in the afternoon and got right through and he took my order.

This, of course, will not stop me from getting a HOKEY as soon as they're available...

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So what is the list of games people are having trouble with? I have 2 machines

that are working well with the concerto so I'd like to try the ones that others

have had issues with. I've not played a ton of different games with it so there

is a good chance I might not have played any of the ones so far deemed problematic.

 

I know someone mentioned BonQ which I don't think I tried yet but I want to

know all of them so I can give them all a go and report back with any good or

bad news in hopes of further ironing out any compatibility issues such information

might help towards.

 

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39 minutes ago, Shawn said:

So what is the list of games people are having trouble with?

For me:

Alien Brigade - loads but title screen stutters, repeats, and you can’t start a game

RealSports Baseball - fails during load

Tank Command - fails during load

Tower Toppler - fails during load

Water Ski - fails during load

 

These are .A78’s from Trebor’s ProPack NTSC retail releases. Same problems on my A1 daily driver with a UAV and my stock AT-84 machine.

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On 1/10/2021 at 12:00 PM, 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.

I got the cart. The Concerto works, though it had corrupt firmware. I did a firmware update to 0.95, installed the POKEY and it is working properly. Just to be sure I reflowed the solder on the chips.

 

I'll get it in the mail tomorrow.

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5 hours ago, batari said:

I got the cart. The Concerto works, though it had corrupt firmware. I did a firmware update to 0.95, installed the POKEY and it is working properly. Just to be sure I reflowed the solder on the chips.

 

I'll get it in the mail tomorrow.

Excellent, and thank you!  Any idea of what may have caused the corrupt firmware?  Just trying to avoid it happening again in the future. 

 

It came with 0.95 installed and was working fine up until I installed the POKEY chip (Correctly oriented).  Is there anything more I could have done that would have fixed the corrupted firmware?

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Since my cart should be here shortly, I have a question about SD cards.  Is there a consensus on what the most compatible SD card is?  Do class or size matter or it just the brand?

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10 minutes ago, Tempest said:

Since my cart should be here shortly, I have a question about SD cards.  Is there a consensus on what the most compatible SD card is?  Do class or size matter or it just the brand?

 

First thing you're going to want to do is make sure that the firmware is updated to 0.95 if it doesn't arrive with it already installed.  This is going to have the biggest effect on SD card compatibility, since there were a number of issues affecting SD cards before that version was released.

 

Personally, I've been using a Sandisk Ultra 64GB card (Class 10, U1) without issue since firmware 0.95.  I've also used 8GB Kingston C10 / U1 cards, but, prior to firmware 0.95, they were problematic; since upgrading, they've been OK.

 

These are the only two cards I've been able to test with since they're what happens to be on hand, but judging from what others have said, there seems to be a reasonably wide set of compatible cards.

 

Oh, and did I mention that you should upgrade to 0.95 straight out of the box? 🤪

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64GB?  What on earth would you fill it with?  I was gong to go with the smallest one I could find, like a 2GB or 4GB card.

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10 minutes ago, Tempest said:

I was gong to go with the smallest one I could find, like a 2GB or 4GB card

Smaller cards like that are often not even available new most places.  Larger cards are just too cheap not to use them - I think I paid under $9 for the 32GB Sandisk Ultra (class 10, U1, 140 MB/sec) that I’m using. For giggles though, I also tested with the very same .A78 files copied over to an old PNY 2GB card I had in my Harmony Cart. Both cards have exactly the same issues with exactly the same files on both my 7800’s.

 

So tl;dr: I don’t think there are too many variables involving cards using firmware 0.95. 

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19 minutes ago, DrVenkman said:

So tl;dr: I don’t think there are too many variables involving cards using firmware 0.95. 

Ok good to know.

 

Is there a decent place to buy an SD card these days?  There are so many fakes out there.

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42 minutes ago, Tempest said:

Ok good to know.

 

Is there a decent place to buy an SD card these days?  There are so many fakes out there.

 

I get mine from Amazon pretty much exclusively.  Haven't received a fake yet (AFAIK), but if I do they've at least got a rock-solid return policy.

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1 hour ago, Tempest said:

64GB?  What on earth would you fill it with?  I was gong to go with the smallest one I could find, like a 2GB or 4GB card.

 

We have three devices that take full-sized SD cards: the stereo in one of the cars, my wife's camera, and the Concerto.  Everything else is Micro SD with adapters, and the 64GB card was the one unused full-sized outlier.  Didn't particularly want to order another SD card, so just went with it since it had been sitting in my pile o' cards for God-knows-how-long before I ran across it again.

 

And yep, as @DrVenkman mentioned, SD cards are cheap these days.  Less than $20 gets you 128GB.

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4 hours ago, Tempest said:

Ok good to know.

 

Is there a decent place to buy an SD card these days?  There are so many fakes out there.

Staples has Lexar 32Gb Ultras for like $11. That's what I use and it works great.

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17 hours ago, Shawn said:

So what is the list of games people are having trouble with?

 

Commando 7800 works 100%

25% of 7800 library works 10% of the time

Other 75% of 7800 library never works

100% of 2600 don't work

About 20% of 7800 homebrew works. 

 

I started on 0.94 and upgraded to 0.95, @batari is there anything I can do to try replicating how you fixed that cart you recently looked at? I have never put a pokey chip in yet. 

 

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I get mine from Amazon pretty much exclusively.  Haven't received a fake yet (AFAIK), but if I do they've at least got a rock-solid return policy.

That’s where I get mine too. Just be sure you buy one actually from Amazon and not a third party seller just to be safe.
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Trebors EU games not working on my PAL console:

 

Alien Brigade (doesn't start)

Hat Trick (fire button doesn't work)

Karateka (doesn't start)

One on One (on selection screen fire button works but not in game, I cannot shoot)

Sentinel (garbage on screen)

Super Skateboardin' (cannot start game)

Tomcat (hangs on title screen)

Tower Toppler (hangs on green screen)

 

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