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Concerto firmware thread

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54 minutes ago, DrVenkman said:

IMG_5968.JPG

That corruption can occur with original retail carts too.  Depending on the console/cart combination, some work perfect with the resistor (150 ohms) present, some with it absent. Others work fine with any version of the PCB.

 

See these threads (among others):

https://atariage.com/forums/topic/55943-help/

https://atariage.com/forums/topic/171421-choplifter-glitch/

https://atariage.com/forums/topic/118045-choplifter-graphical-glitch/

 

Choplifter haunted the Anniversary Multi-Carts too, with some systems producing the same corruption captured above.

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5 hours ago, Trebor said:

For giggles and as suggested by Mitch, here are the overdumps. 

Adding to my last post: these over-dumps all load and seem to play perfectly on my A1 system. None of the retail releases get past the loading screen, so these are good to have handy. Thanks, Trebor!

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3 minutes ago, Trebor said:

That corruption can occur with original retail carts too.

I don't doubt you at all; however, my retail copy plays perfectly on the same console. Ah, the "joy" of 7800 compatibility issues! I really do feel for Fred and whomever might be helping/testing/suggesting stuff back-channel. I know it has got to be maddening at times.

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5 hours ago, DrVenkman said:

Adding to my last post: these over-dumps all load and seem to play perfectly on my A1 system. None of the retail releases get past the loading screen, so these are good to have handy. Thanks, Trebor!

Can you actually play a game of Tower Toppler too?  It goes to title screen, but once you start the game, I get the status display at the top and then crashes on my A3.  The AT84 won't even load it; though that's the same deal for most ROMs with the Concerto on that console.

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18 minutes ago, Trebor said:

Can you actually play a game of Tower Toppler too?  It goes to title screen, but once you start the game, I get the status display at the top and then crashes on my A1.  The AT84 won't even load it.

It does play, and seems to play just fine. Although I have a retail copy, I never bothered to actually figure out how to play. 😛 But yeah, it seems to work fine on the A1. I'll test these new dumps on the AT-84 too, both retail and your overdump. It'll take me a minute - I only have one 7800 PSU so I have to swap stuff around. 

 

EDIT: Yep, your overdump of Tower Toppler seems to load and play fine (and ironically looks loads better on RF because S-video screws up the artifact colors). I checked the other three overdumps too, and they work great. This console also has the same issues with loading the retail originals of these titles as does my A1 system.

 

Further fun stuff: after testing these on the AT-84, I went back to my A1 system and just for giggles tried Choplifter again - this time it was perfect. Jeez ... 

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Interesting find on the a1 models struggling to load roms. Is there any similarities with these models to the x models most of us Europeans have? I have an x938 PAL model which in the serial number thread seems quite common with the pal models. 

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5 hours ago, Trebor said:

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).a78 128.13 kB · 3 downloads Tower Toppler (NTSC) (Atari) (1988) (Overdump Hack).a78 128.13 kB · 3 downloads Tank Command (NTSC) (Froggo) (1988) (Overdump Hack).a78 128.13 kB · 3 downloads RealSports Baseball (NTSC) (Atari) (1988) (Overdump Hack).a78 128.13 kB · 3 downloads

 

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 128.13 kB · 2 downloads

I tried all of these on my PAL X938 machine, and they all loaded*, which is more than what their commercial rom (Ok, only Tower Toppler I have a PAL copy of) equivalents did!

 

Hopefully this helps to debug the current issues, hopefully if A1 models can be sorted, it might patch the problems PAL users is also facing.

 

* They all froze and were unplayable, but most got to the title screen.

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Sorry, folks...I neglected to add [email protected] flag for Tank Command and Water Ski previously.  RealSports Baseball isn't configured that way and Tower Toppler has RAM instead.  Here's the "Overdump 78SG Hack" set renamed and grouped accordingly for convenience:

 

Water Ski (NTSC) (Overdump 78SG Hack) (20210124).a78Tower Toppler (NTSC) (Overdump 78SG Hack) (20210124).a78Tank Command (NTSC) (Overdump 78SG Hack) (20210124).a78RealSports Baseball (NTSC) (Overdump 78SG Hack) (20210124).a78

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44 minutes ago, Trebor said:

Here's the "Overdump 78SG Hack" set renamed and grouped accordingly for convenience:

Tried all four and they all load and seem to play as expected. BUT I need to add some info re RealSports Baseball that I think also applied to the prior version - after loading, the game immediately starts. There's just the briefest flash of the title screen but that's it. After noticing this, I tried pressing SELECT - doing so causes an flash of the title screen but the game starts again immediately. Next I tried selecting the game from the Concerto menu and then disconnecting my controller during load to see if the code was reading some spurious controller input or something but it made little difference. It was around this time that I realized that when I tried your first version, the same thing had happened (immediate game start after load). So better in that the game will load and can be played but not 100% correct behavior for sure. 

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Not too surprising that the doubled up ROMs work. It is pretty clear that the 64K games that use the Atari banking method are broken in the current firmware.

It looks like there are a few different issues in the current firmware.

1. Bank-switching issues; 64K games, 128K +RAM games, some 2600 games.

2. Controller issues when starting some games.

3. Console compatibility issue. A lot of PAL consoles and some NTSC consoles.

 

But I am sure Batari is aware of and working on all of these issues.

 

Mitch

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I recall that doubling the 64k froggo games ended up making them behave like 7+1 128k bankswitching method. Dunno if that info is of any use. I'm just remembering this from working with tank command building carts of the various hacks years ago. Perhaps this is useless info, but here it is.

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Similar to the Serial A3 test post with the 0.95 Firmware for the Retail line, here is a test of many Homebrews under the same Serial A3 console.  Granted, all homebrews are not covered, and certainly anything >144KB is not going to be tested yet:

 

image.thumb.png.e17b9198ac19281c7c1772af2ab974db.png

 

image.thumb.png.082a62a5343c56522acbde521014b2ef.png

 

What I found interesting here is Astro Fighter experiencing the same issue as Hat Trick and Fatal Run with button presses not being recognized/registered (Astro Blaster is fine though). 

 

Also, Serpentine, V-Blank, and Wizard's Dungeon, display a white background instead of black.  All three of various ROM sizes (128K, 48K, and 32K respectively).

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6 hours ago, DrVenkman said:

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

@DrVenkman are you able to get back inside your 7800? I'm curious is you can open it back up and see if you have what looks like a resistor attached off a pin from the CPU to ground on the bottom of the PCB? If not..let us know.

 

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35 minutes ago, Trebor said:

Also, Serpentine, V-Blank, and Wizard's Dungeon, display a white background instead of black.  All three of various ROM sizes (128K, 48K, and 32K respectively).

Coincidentally I just posted in the Serpentine thread about the white background on that game when played through the Concerto. Knight Guy on Board previously had the same issue with the title screen as you can see below, but it was fixed in the build you used for your testing. It stems from the fact that the background colour is not explicitly set to black and it inherits the colour of the Concerto menu (see RevEng's comments in the chat in the video).

 

- James

 

 

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43 minutes ago, -^CrossBow^- said:

@DrVenkman are you able to get back inside your 7800? I'm curious is you can open it back up and see if you have what looks like a resistor attached off a pin from the CPU to ground on the bottom of the PCB? If not..let us know.

 

Not easily, unfortunately. At least not to the bottom of the board. I installed an S-video jack on my daily driver finally one evening last week, only to find out that the spot I picked (repurposing the cutout for the RF modulator), left about 1/16" too little clearance for the nut to fit onto the back of the jack. I mean, I could fit the nut, but then the PCB wouldn't go back into the case. D'oh! Since I simply wanted to get back to playing, I put the board back in and hot-snotted the jack instead of using the nut until I make time to relocate the S-video jack. But as a result I can't remove the board from the case currently. Hacky but it works for now. Won't make that mistake in the future but I'm stuck with it on this machine. 

 

I did find some disassembly pics from when I picked this one up about 3-1/2 years ago but none of the entire back surface of the PCB. I have one or two showing board revision markings and such but none of them clearly show all 40 pins of SALLY. 

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1 hour ago, Trebor said:

Similar to the Serial A3 test post with the 0.95 Firmware for the Retail line, here is a test of many Homebrews under the same Serial A3 console. 

I tested a number of these over the last couple weeks and tonight specifically checked a few of titles Trebor shows as troublesome. My results are substantially similar on my A1 machine except that the Arkanoid (ChunkyPixel Demo) does play perfectly, complete with sound effects but no AtariAge jingle at the beginning and no musical cues during game intro or the start of each ball in play.

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25 minutes ago, ZeroPage Homebrew said:

Coincidentally I just posted in the Serpentine thread about the white background on that game when played through the Concerto. Knight Guy on Board previously had the same issue with the title screen as you can see below, but it was fixed in the build you used for your testing. It stems from the fact that the background colour is not explicitly set to black and it inherits the colour of the Concerto menu (see RevEng's comments in the chat in the video).

More the reason I need to find make time to watch the video posted after, if I can make the live show.  You do a great job James!  Thanks for sharing that tidbit.  It is appreciated.

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1 minute ago, Trebor said:

More the reason I need to find make time to watch the video posted after, if I can make the live show.  You do a great job James!  Thanks for sharing that tidbit.  It is appreciated.

Thanks so much Trebor, it's a lot of fun doing the show and giving back to the community! It's also great to demonstrate new hardware like the Concert Cart on the stream and now finally be able to play all the incredible Atari 7800 homebrew on an actual console instead of through emulation.

 

If you have a downloadable version of the excellent spreadsheet you made I'd love to more thoroughly test my particular 7800+Pokey+Concerto combination.

 

- James

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@ZeroPage Homebrew, @x=usr(1536), who have asked, and any others that are interested, attached is a 'blank' spreadsheet with the titles listed and separation between Retail and Homebrew ROMs to assist in testing the Concerto.  Console serial and Concerto firmware details left as X's, all results and notes are clear.

 

A few things to keep in mind, the Retail list contains the NTSC & PAL titles grouped accordingly.  The Homebrews list contains both regions mixed.  The Retail and Homebrews are separated by the 'KEY' and 'CODES' charts.  A few homebrews are updated listings of new public releases since the Jan 1, 2021 (v3_7) PROPack release.  Of course, those same homebrews may very well (and likely to) receive additional updates in the coming days and weeks.

 

Concerto Testing_Public_Blank_v20210125.xlsx

 

Discerned while testing, controller header settings appear to be irrelevant to the Concerto.  Results always came out the same, and a specific controller being utilized is not locked-out if a ROM chosen specifies a controller type that is absent.  The settings for controllers are believed to be more of a benefit to emulators; nonetheless, distinguished controller ROMs are listed individually and included for the sake of completeness.

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8 hours ago, Trebor said:

@ZeroPage Homebrew, @x=usr(1536), who have asked, and any others that are interested, attached is a 'blank' spreadsheet with the titles listed and separation between Retail and Homebrew ROMs to assist in testing the Concerto.  Console serial and Concerto firmware details left as X's, all results and notes are clear.

 

@Trebor: thank you for this.  It's going to make testing much, much more straightforward.

 

In other news, the POKEY for the Concerto arrived today.  So far, so good - no discernible problems in either POKEY or TIA games, or Concerto's menus.

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So in the last couple days I seem to have run into an issue with the excellent gem-drop puzzle homebrew Dragon's Cache. I cannot seem to determine if this is an issue with the game, my console, or the Concerto firmware. 

 

tl;dr: the game freezes at the end rather than taking me to the high score screen or allowing me to play a new game, but this is not 100% consistent, and I never ran into it at all in the prior couple weeks. 

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21 hours ago, DrVenkman said:

So in the last couple days I seem to have run into an issue with the excellent gem-drop puzzle homebrew Dragon's Cache. I cannot seem to determine if this is an issue with the game, my console, or the Concerto firmware. 

 

tl;dr: the game freezes at the end rather than taking me to the high score screen or allowing me to play a new game, but this is not 100% consistent, and I never ran into it at all in the prior couple weeks. 

Experiencing the same thing, I ran a series of additional tests back in the aforementioned provided thread link, and will leave it in the devs hands on how to interrupt the data.  It included leveraging another flash cart (MCP DevCart), as well as a SaveKey compatible device (AtariVox+).

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I just received my Concerto Cart. I have firmware .95. I have not installed a Pokey chip.

 

My 7800 was A/V modded by Osgeld. No issues with stand alone Carts.

 

I have tried the following Trebor's pack roms:

Pacman Collection Roms - No Sound

Bentleys Bear's Crystal Castle Roms - No Sound

Frenzy/Bezerk - works fine

Jr. Pacman - works fine

Super Pacnan - works fine

Baby Pacman - works fine

Commando - works fine 

Asteroids - works fine

Asteroids Deluxe- works fine 

Space Invaders Collection - Works fine

 

Do I need to update my firmware?

 

Thanks,!!

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14 minutes ago, Oldschool80skid said:

Do I need to update my firmware?

Nope, 0.95 is the most recent.

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29 minutes ago, Oldschool80skid said:

Pacman Collection Roms - No Sound

Bentleys Bear's Crystal Castle Roms - No Sound

 

No POKEY, no sound.

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