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Concerto firmware thread

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4 hours ago, panamajoe said:

That´s pretty much how Concerto works on my PAL (non-RGB) console, too. Seems like it´s NTSC only at the moment...

What @JihemB describes is similar, if not exact, to my experience with my NTSC AT84 serial machine, and two other NTSC consoles I own under firmware 0.95.  However, a NTSC A3 serial machine, and another two NTSC consoles have much better results with the same firmware.

 

In time, I'm sure it will all work out.  Considering the way my consoles are grouping, I have similar thinking to @Mikebloke regarding fixing one will fix the rest, at least the majority of systems and games.

 

Some items that are being worked on, including on consoles where the Concerto overall performs better: 78S4 cartridge types not working, some timing issues with Choplifter (Which even the original retail release can have issues depending on PCB version and console combination), graphical corruption with Jinks, button/controller issue for some games, larger size ROMs (128K and greater) that contain RAM (and even no RAM, as there is graphical issues with Commando and that does not contain RAM).  Overall support for ROMs >144K.

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So I got Ballblazer to work - got the jazzy music so I assume my Pokey is working?

 

It seems maybe my cart connector is a little loose?  I moved my cart a tad and was able to get a few things going.

 

I ran the 7800 Test programs and one said No Pokey or no HSC found - this normal?

 

 

IMG_9428.jpg

IMG_9429.jpg

IMG_9430.jpg

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2 hours ago, Goochman said:

I ran the 7800 Test programs and one said No Pokey or no HSC found - this normal?

 

 

IMG_9428.jpg

 

I get the exact same result if I run the Utility Cart on my machine.  POKEY works fine in the games that support it, though, so this likely appears to be something to do with how the Utility Cart does its detection.

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It's normal. The utility cart tries to initialise and read information from the pokey to detect it. Concerto doesn't support reading from pokey at the homebrew-typical $450 location, only writing.

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Commando and Beef Drop (RIP Ken) also worked - but my cart connector is flaky.  I was 3 levels into Beef Drop when it locked up on me :( - any reasonable fix for this?  If the cart isnt just right in the slot then it wont load or may lock up while playing.  A slight jiggle and best guess straightening of cart usually fixes it.

 

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12 hours ago, Goochman said:

Commando and Beef Drop (RIP Ken) also worked - but my cart connector is flaky.  I was 3 levels into Beef Drop when it locked up on me :( - any reasonable fix for this?  If the cart isnt just right in the slot then it wont load or may lock up while playing.  A slight jiggle and best guess straightening of cart usually fixes it.

 

The first step of course is a solid cleaning with a good-quality electronics cleaner. Isopropyl is good, but Deoxit is better. Spray some liberally into the connector and then insert/remove a 7800 cart vigorously 6-8 times. Then remove the cart and let the connector dry for a few minutes. Be sure to use a 7800 cart rather than a 2600 cart because 7800 PCBs have additional pins along the edges as compared to 2600 carts.

 

If that’s not enough, you can try disassembling the system to gain close access to the connector. Use something about the size of a toothpick and gently bend the metal connector wipes on the 7800 toward one another. Be very careful with this procedure and don’t break pins or bend them so much that they touch. Inserting a cart will separate them again but if they’re touching, 2600 carts don’t use the outer two pins on either side of the connector and those signals will short one another and screw up the 7800. 

 

If all that isn’t enough to help, you may need to either replace the connector or the system. I don’t know if the 7800 cartridge connector is a standard edge connector part that can be bought new but I don’t think so. I’d be happy to be wrong on this.  

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Posted (edited)

I have trouble with stability with my cart/cart connector/ or maybe SD card - wish there was a way to narrow it down.

 

Anyhow - it seems 32k ROMs(picture roms, music demos) fail pretty much 100% for me - anyone else see this?  Again could be any of the above from my first sentence.

Edited by Goochman

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2 hours ago, Goochman said:

I have trouble with stability with my cart/cart connector/ or maybe SD card - wish there was a way to narrow it down.

 

Anyhow - it seems 32k ROMs(picture roms, music demos) fail pretty much 100% for me - anyone else see this?  Again could be any of the above from my first sentence.

I don't think that's the cart connector, so much as the roms just aren't compatible with the firmware yet. He built it to be compatible primarily with all the commercial game roms, and secondarily with homebrew roms that both have a proper a78 header and conform to standard rom size and banking methods. Most of those music and picture demos are random, non-standard stuff

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2 hours ago, killersquirel said:

I just received my Concerto cartridge and was wondering what files were necessary to have on the SD card?

Just some games to play.

Start with these 

 

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After reading through this forum, I’m still not clear what files need to be in the root of the cart. 
 

harmony 1.3 software loaded the eeloader and copied the .95 hbios I got here in the forums. 
 

my games are in folders

 

i get an sd card initializing error. 
 

also the graphics and text seem like they have scanlines. 
 

regular carts and the Dragonfly work fine. 

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1 hour ago, CharChar2001 said:

After reading through this forum, I’m still not clear what files need to be in the root of the cart. 
 

harmony 1.3 software loaded the eeloader and copied the .95 hbios I got here in the forums. 
 

my games are in folders

 

i get an sd card initializing error. 
 

also the graphics and text seem like they have scanlines. 
 

regular carts and the Dragonfly work fine. 

Is your SD card formatted as FAT32?

 

Mitch

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On 2/5/2021 at 8:09 PM, DrVenkman said:

As noted awhile back, the game seems to load but the animated green alien hand appears but never completes its title screen routine on either my AT84 or my A1 daily driver machines. Hopefully Fred will be able to get to the bottom of things like this eventually. 

 

Same issue with Alien Brigade (the hand thing).

 

Can someone remind me if Pitfall II is supposed to work?  I'm on 95 firmware but Pitfall II (2600) isn't working.  I have a few other issues, too, as others have mentioned in this thread.  Is this (are these) a known, to-be-fixed, issue?

 

Thanks!

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6 hours ago, KylJoy said:

Can someone remind me if Pitfall II is supposed to work?  I'm on 95 firmware but Pitfall II (2600) isn't working.

I haven’t tried it, but I don’t believe Pitfall II works for anyone. It requires the ARM processor inside the Concerto to emulate the DPC chip inside Pitfall II, which the current firmware doesn’t do yet. The Harmony can do it with ease, so it‘s safe to say it’ll get added eventually. 

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23 hours ago, Mitch said:

Is your SD card formatted as FAT32?

 

Mitch

Yes, 32GB FAT32 formatted card.  

 

used the Harmony software to load the files.  

 

Can you just copy the bios file to the root of the drive?  and if so, what does the name have to be?  
 

After turning on I just get these 2 green bars. 

4F4BCC53-B4AB-4459-BBA5-66DFE2B37813.jpeg

Edited by CharChar2001

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40 minutes ago, CharChar2001 said:

Yes, 32GB FAT32 formatted card.  

 

used the Harmony software to load the files.  

 

Can you just copy the bios file to the root of the drive?  and if so, what does the name have to be?  
 

After turning on I just get these 2 green bars. 

 

The cart already has the latest Concerto firmware. The only thing you should have to put on your SD card are .a78 7800 format cartridge roms, and you don’t need to use any special software to do that. Remove the card and see what the system dispalys on power up. 

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54 minutes ago, DrVenkman said:

Remove the card and see what the system dispalys on power up.

This.  It will be very helpful for diagnosis.

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5 hours ago, CharChar2001 said:

I get the same green lines. 

Are you sure the PCB is not being inserted reversed? 

 

The populated/chip side should be facing away from you/towards where the power and video output exist, having the bottom/back of the PCB facing towards you/the controller ports.

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15 hours ago, CharChar2001 said:

I get the same green lines. 
 

 

Oooo...  That does not look good...

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17 hours ago, x=usr(1536) said:

This.  It will be very helpful for diagnosis.

I get the same green bars, or a blue screen.

10 hours ago, Trebor said:

Are you sure the PCB is not being inserted reversed? 

 

The populated/chip side should be facing away from you/towards where the power and video output exist, having the bottom/back of the PCB facing towards you/the controller ports.

Yes, I'm sure it's inserted correctly.  It only fits in one way too. 

After around 50 different insertions it finally came up and said the bios was updated successfully, then had a spinning disc forever.  I gave it 15 min. and finally powered off and on and still the green lines. 

Not sure what else to try here.  My Dragonfly cart is fine, and all original 7800 carts I have work fine too.

I'm using hbios .94, copied over the Harmony software, which seem to rename it to hbios.bin 

 

Anyone have any thoughts? Do I need to open the cart and maybe remove a chip and reinsert it? 

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