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Concerto firmware thread

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11 minutes ago, darryl1970 said:

I have a newer batch of carts, and I still have Pokey issues. It has gotten a lot better though.

The main thing with the earlier batch was needing to remove the POKEY in order for the update to take. I had that problem with my cart and it sounds like others may have too. I decided to leave the POKEY out until this is resolved via future update. It’s hard (even with my IC extractor) to pull that chip out, and I didn’t want to mess it up with repeated removals. 
 

Btw, I’m still happy with my cart.👍

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Any ETA on a new firmware batari? I’m getting jealous of those with working cart/console combinations.

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Ok one more question, a little off topic but bear with me.  Before I go destroying my 'Prototype', can someone tell me how many FREE 7800 games use the Pokey?  I know only Ballblazer and Commando used it of the commercially released games, and that the rest of the games using it are homebrews.  I don't buy homebrews because I honestly just don't have the time to play them, but I will occasionally check out one if the rom is freely available somewhere.  How many 7800 games would fall into this category?

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42 minutes ago, sramirez2008 said:

The main thing with the earlier batch was needing to remove the POKEY in order for the update to take.

So you have the purple PCB?

So people with green PCBs and POKEY installed haven't had firmware upgrade issues?

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1 hour ago, Tempest said:

Ok one more question, a little off topic but bear with me.  Before I go destroying my 'Prototype', can someone tell me how many FREE 7800 games use the Pokey?  I know only Ballblazer and Commando used it of the commercially released games, and that the rest of the games using it are homebrews.  I don't buy homebrews because I honestly just don't have the time to play them, but I will occasionally check out one if the rom is freely available somewhere.  How many 7800 games would fall into this category?

8-10 at this point.

Galaxian (WIP)

Pac-Man Collection

Pac-Man Collection 40th Anniversary

Beef Drop

Bentley Bear's Crystal Quest

DK XM/PK

BabyPAc

Froggie

Popeye

Arkanoid

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8 minutes ago, John Stamos Mullet said:

8-10 at this point.

Galaxian (WIP)

Pac-Man Collection

Pac-Man Collection 40th Anniversary

Beef Drop

Bentley Bear's Crystal Quest

DK XM/PK

BabyPAc

Froggie

Popeye

Arkanoid

Those are free roms?  Wow, then it is worth it.

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That list is not quite accurate (Baby Pac-Man is TIA, Pac-Man Collection 40th Anniversary is either TIA or YM, there is no POKEY option), and a few titles are missing.  Here's a current list:

 

Implemented:

Arkanoid*¹ | Jan 03, 2021 | Development
Millie & Molly*¹ | Dec 06, 2020 | Done
Popeye*¹ | Jan 16, 2020 | Development
Beef Drop*¹ | [Source Code] | Aug 19, 2007 | Done
Danger Zone¹ | Dec 31, 2020 | Done
Bentley Bear's Crystal Quest¹ | Dec 20, 2015 | Done
Galaxian*¹ | Jan 19, 2021 | Development
Ms. Pac-Man 320*¹ | Aug 08, 2011 | Done
Pac-Man 320*¹ | Aug 10, 2011 | Done
Pac-Man Collection*¹ | Updated Monsters | May 31, 2015 | Done
Pac-Man Plus 320¹ | Jun 25, 2019 | Done
Super Circus AtariAge*¹ (POKEY 0450) / (POKEY 4000) | Jun 11, 2017 | Done
Serpentine*¹  | Oct 29, 2016 | Done
Froggie*¹ | Sep 20, 2018 | Done
Donkey Kong PK*¹ / Donkey Kong XM (XM Only)*¹ | Sep 05, 2013 | Done
Pokey Kong (Hack)¹ | Oct 17, 2012 | Done

 

Planned:
E.X.O. | Dec 31, 2020 | Development

 

Plus, undoubtedly (much) more to come.  The 7800 homebrew scene is on fire.

 

Pokey Kong is superseded by Donkey Kong PK.  Graphically superior looking 320 Pac series editions can be found under the 40th Anniversary Edition of Pac-Man Collection, but again that release is either TIA or YM. 

 

For the above list, either the full game is available, a limited demo (but very much playable), or/and is still a WIP if it has "Development" next to the entry as opposed to "Done". 

 

Check this thread.  Anything with a superscript 1 - ¹ - next to the title has a POKEY option or requirement.

 

Also, download this archive for convenience.

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On 1/16/2021 at 6:49 PM, DrVenkman said:

Meant to add, I tried this one as well but it doesn't work on my (NTSC) systems. After loading, the title screen is a scrambled, impossible mess of corrupted colored lines on a white background. If I press and hold a button, some of the graphical mess changes but you can't start a game let alone play. 

Up until this I've been able to replicate every one of the issues you've encountered; no more, no less.  The One on One fix works fine on my A1;  If I remember correctly the only substantive hardware differences in my console are that it has (the usually more quirky) Oki RAM and no expansion port.

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3 hours ago, zezba9000 said:

So you have the purple PCB?

So people with green PCBs and POKEY installed haven't had firmware upgrade issues?

Both have shown issues updating firmware with the POKEY installed. A capacitor installed on the purple board seemed to fix it. However the same capacitor on the green board didn't always fix it, but doubling the capacitor size did seem to. Now the green boards have a cap about 5 times the size just to be sure.

 

Regardless, the problem with the updating can also be fixed in software, as there is a version of the programming software that should work on any Concerto. I have tested it on mine and one member who asked for the latest build has reported success, but there are a few bugs that are being worked out.

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@batari

 

Hi Fred, Do you have an idea when you will be able to add POKEY support at $450 to the firmware for 48KB ROMs ?

 

Had a few folks reach out to me to tell me that Danger Zone music doesn't work (which we know about). Just wanted to check if this is on your radar :)

 

Cheers,

 

 

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Posting two reports leveraging the latest posted Firmware 0.95, testing the original retail NTSC library. 

 

The first console report is my Serial AT84.  In another post, I will place the results for one of my Serial A3 consoles. 

 

Additionally, I'm leveraging two of my A1 Serials for testing.  One of the A1's provides results like the AT84, the other provides results like the A3, so no sense in posting four reports for the time being.

 

Click on the images for better reading and full image resolution.

 

Hitting with the bad news first, here are the AT84 test results:

 

image.png.7bf9b7fad4e3cfc4a4f1838aade671d9.png

 

image.thumb.png.d4a9af1bb30948dd27d186a519206807.png

 

image.thumb.png.efaa698c119329fd70884b8d82088629.png

 

Not one game ran.  All games either crashed during or right after loading.

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Here is the second report.  One of my Serial A3 consoles.  Doing a complete 180 degree turn from the results of the AT84 Serial (And at least one of my A1 models), this is almost flawless.

 

Pictures will follow, where applicable, comparing the difference of how the game looks under the original retail cart from the Concerto.  Cartridges and images are taken from the same console.

 

image.thumb.png.83e611c4943bc121f72c20eb002d301c.png

 

image.thumb.png.bfe6d6d90061be81d5d355dd41885c98.png

 

Nearly the entire original retail ran nearly flawlessly, except a few titles with minor to major issues. 

 

However, the 78S4 cartridge types do not run properly at all:

image.png.f1cca41138dbb4a53637bc4f1a46fd91.png

 

Being 64K in size doesn't appear to be the issue though, as F18 Hornet runs perfectly:

image.png.533bf8cce964c7af4440e37a563ba06c.png

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14 minutes ago, Trebor said:

Posting two reports leveraging the latest posted Firmware 0.95, testing the original retail NTSC library. 

 

The first console report is my Serial AT84.  In another post, I will place the results for one of my Serial A1 consoles. 

 

Additionally, I'm leveraging two of my A3 Serial's for testing.  One of the A3's provides results like the AT84, the other provides results like the A1, so no sense in posting four reports for the time being.

 

Click on the images for better reading and full image resolution.

 

Hitting with the bad news first, here are the AT84 test results:

 

image.png.7bf9b7fad4e3cfc4a4f1838aade671d9.png

 

image.thumb.png.d4a9af1bb30948dd27d186a519206807.png

 

image.thumb.png.efaa698c119329fd70884b8d82088629.png

 

Not one game ran.  All games either crashed during or right after loading.

 

Could this be posted as a Google Doc or similar?  It would be extremely useful for testing.

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Here are the pictures based upon the A3 Serial report.  Games with graphical issues mentioned, Commando and Choplifter, comparison picks are posted from the same console with original Retail carts (Left side) and then Concerto (Right side). 

 

The Jinks image is solo as the corruption is obvious.

 

Commando:

SMIMG_1668.png.ce46ef85085e7adec9f38f9df102a911.png    SMIMG_1671.png.6c079dff509456c0e47db7fbaccaf415.png

 

SMIMG_1669.png.446e1455fabbfd0e00efff1d6b4b239c.png   SMIMG_1672.png.2e0f5465a6c2ca621f3315a1e13e57fe.png

 

SMIMG_1670.png.9c1ab18c3a4febf55efacdc3aee8f2d8.png   SMIMG_1673.png.f0022f4a5523086002a62ec5acca1804.png

 

 

Choplifter!:

SMIMG_1680.png.86b7db7ff6dd4e7c3a8c4db3e9a2b2c1.png   SMIMG_1682.png.23e33212f54bd222c88147a0912654dc.png

 

 

Jinks:

SMIMG_1683.png.6311fc17bd110ce771ff7dff7ad0f9fa.png

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Now that @Trebor has pointed out the issues above, I can confirm that my A1 unit has the same graphical corruption for all three titles; if anything, my machine shows much, much worse results with CHOPLIFTER - the graphics for the mountains, the buildings, the tanks AND the status display at top all flip-flop between normal, correct looking elements and corrupted versions of the same. I'll try to get pics tomorrow if it would help. I will also test some more thoroughly with my AT-84 console too.

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What happens if you double up the 64k games to 128k and update the header to match?

 

Mitch

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6 hours ago, Trebor said:

Being 64K in size doesn't appear to be the issue though, as F18 Hornet runs perfectly:

image.png.533bf8cce964c7af4440e37a563ba06c.png

 

Pretty sure it's about the bankswitching, not the size.

F18 Hornet has it's own bankswitching format (78AB). It has
32K of fixed data at $8000-$ffff and 2 16K banks at $4000 -
$7fff. The two banks get mapped in by writing either $01 or
$02 to address $8000. I don't know if other addresses trigger
the bankswitching too, but I'm assuming any address above
$8000 might work. I have no idea what happens when you write
other values to the hotspot, but they probably will just be
ignored.

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Also, I don't think Waterski and Tank Command are bankswitched, been a while since I looked at them.  I am pretty sure they are flat 48K, I'll check later.  Could very well be that RSB is the same.

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5 hours ago, CPUWIZ said:

Pretty sure it's about the bankswitching, not the size.

Agreed.  As mentioned, it's the 78S4 cartridge type (with or without RAM) that's the issue.

 

6 hours ago, Mitch said:

What happens if you double up the 64k games to 128k and update the header to match?

That would technically make them 78SG types, which is already known to run and play fine albeit a small minor graphical issue with Commando (Though I'm thinking POKEY is perhaps the factor here), and a button issue with Fatal Run (That is also exhibited in another cartridge type/game 7848/Hat Trick).

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For giggles and as suggested by Mitch, here are the overdumps.  This effectively changes the 78S4 cartridge type to 78SG.  All expect Tower Toppler (Which has the same loading issue of the other games with RAM, though unlike the others, crashes upon startup of a game), work fine with the Concerto:

Water Ski (NTSC) (Froggo) (1988) (Overdump Hack).a78Tower Toppler (NTSC) (Atari) (1988) (Overdump Hack).a78Tank Command (NTSC) (Froggo) (1988) (Overdump Hack).a78RealSports Baseball (NTSC) (Atari) (1988) (Overdump Hack).a78

 

The item with Tower Toppler isn't too surprisingly as it is now 78SG+8KB RAM, the classification of Jinks, which has a very obvious issue as well.

 

What may be helpful in determining the problem is to compare Jinks and the overdumped Tower Toppler against Impossible Mission.  Impossible Mission is the only other 78SG+8KB RAM layout, and it appears to run and play without issue.

 

As suspected with Commando, when we take POKEY out of the equation (Removed from header), we lose not only the background music, but the graphic corruptions as well:

Commando (NTSC) (Atari) (1989) (No POKEY header).a78

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For those interested and helpful in testing, here's my NTSC retail reference chart, which includes grouping same types accordingly.  Sorry, my PAL friends, I have not performed the same for the aforementioned region yet.  Though I am very curious how PAL Karateka tests.  While it's a 7848 type in NTSC land, it is setup as 78S4 under PAL.  Even so, PAL Karateka is unique in itself, a "special case" layout, as mentioned in the guide.

  

I'm posting each group with running header:

 

image.png.4b4f025e6467fb3b75d9c8345ac34dbc.png

 

image.png.3d5140d24609edbfdb1c5cb17fad9a90.png

 

image.png.22a67cfa49aac1644c75fb4405616d32.png

 

image.png.2e0f93428c5064066925d3d22414207e.png

 

image.png.0458ae9c6d7099db54c0b3d0767650c1.png

 

image.png.9c227bbd1d6b77877f33f032e9cd47d6.png

 

image.png.3fea5fb8c3d97109b990fd5a31d4cf52.png

 

image.png.55f909084bc5921ac4dde8735125c985.png

 

image.png.dfe95ced2b783d8db8ca0f1db8a2fc7b.png

 

image.png.4392a5d39e2ebddca7102056a7e1210c.png

 

image.png.4212e338c3594b527f34b76ef50c07bf.png

 

image.png.5b86e790af625df6b317582803dfe30c.png

 

image.png.c7703dcb2239f8494580189d3893a186.png

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Choplifter has been denoted to provide mixed results for at least a few consoles, dependent of the cartridge hardware that was being utilized.  A capacitor was added on later revisions of the PCB board that appears to fix graphical 'glitching' issues.

 

Perhaps, somehow factoring that capacitor/timing into the code for Concerto being utilized for the 7832 types may fix Choplifter without regression consequence towards the other titles.

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Is it normal that the cartridge becames hot after a while?

 

I opened it and the POKEY chip was the hotest component. It came from a spare and working 800XL.

 

BTW, I'm still in 0.92 firmware. I haven't search for the update procedure yet. Hints on this?

 

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9 minutes ago, vitoco said:

BTW, I'm still in 0.92 firmware. I haven't search for the update procedure yet. Hints on this?

This post provides all the instructions:

 

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15 hours ago, Trebor said:

Games with graphical issues mentioned, Commando and Choplifter, comparison picks are posted from the same console

I tested my usual A1 system with these titles yesterday and, as noted in a prior post, all have corruption too. Commando and Jinks are similar in nature, but Choplifter is much, much worse. After starting a game and just sitting on the helipad, the graphics flip between normal and this kind of corruption at least every few seconds, even with no user input, no horizontal scrolling and nothing much happening game-wise.

 

My AT-84 has the same issues as Trebor's with Commando and Jinks, but perhaps interestingly, plays Choplifter perfectly (I played several games - badly! - and no issues appeared). That system is RF-only, which ironically masks the obviousness of the stray dots in the score display and when you get to the first wall arch. On my S-video modded A1 daily driver, those superfluous graphical glitches are much more obvious due to the clearer, sharper image.

IMG_5967.JPG

IMG_5968.JPG

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