Jump to content
batari

Concerto firmware thread

Recommended Posts

[mention=15856]schnuth[/mention] did you clean the cartridge connector?  worked for the gargled issues i had.  other carts worked fine with the dirty connection but concerto had some issues

I did try cleaning my console. Just to make sure I just cleaned it again and I’m still having the same issues. Thanks for the suggestion tho!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, schnuth said:


I did try cleaning my console. Just to make sure I just cleaned it again and I’m still having the same issues. Thanks for the suggestion tho!

Someone else reported this same issue to me. The funny screen shows that some of the data gets loaded a byte behind where it should be in memory. Since the nature of the bug is known, a fix shouldn’t take too long. 

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, batari said:

  Early Concertos did, but the feature caused some games to be unstable, and I suspected that maybe the POKEY would throw spurious interrupts (not sure, though). At any rate, the feature was removed so it isn't supported at this time. Something may be supportable in a later firmware if such a feature would prove useful, but I am not sure it would be, due to the way the 7800 operates.


I assume you are asking because POKEY IRQ is a way to play digital samples on A8 or 5200, and are wondering if you can do the same on a 7800 in a similar manner. Well, unfortunately, the 7800 doesn't really work that way. The MARIA completely halts the 6502 for a portion of every frame while it is drawing the screen, maybe half the visible screen on a typical game? As playing digital samples effectively means interrupting the CPU hundreds of times per frame, you could miss 25% or more of the IRQs in a row, on every frame. If you miss that many IRQs, the digital samples would sound pretty awful if they sounded like anything at all.

 

The only exception to this is when the screen is blanked, as MARIA doesn't halt the CPU, but that is not at all useful for games. Maybe for demos?

 

Besides, the 7800 has a far better way to play sound as it has an analog output on the cart port, so you don't need to be limited to using old chips for CPU-assisted digital samples. Given the Concerto's design and upcoming HOKEY, it will be capable of digital samples that are far superior than anything a POKEY or other legacy hardware can produce anyway, and unlike the interrupt approach, it can do so during an active game. Also it takes virtually no CPU time, unlike the interrupt approach.

exactly, IRQ for playing samples.

great

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, batari said:

Someone else reported this same issue to me. The funny screen shows that some of the data gets loaded a byte behind where it should be in memory. Since the nature of the bug is known, a fix shouldn’t take too long. 

This is what I was seeing with 2600 games, after the last game loaded was a 7800 game. But only the first time. Subsequent loads were fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Someone else reported this same issue to me. The funny screen shows that some of the data gets loaded a byte behind where it should be in memory. Since the nature of the bug is known, a fix shouldn’t take too long. 

That’s good to hear, I eagerly await the fix. Thanks batari!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

more testing updates: .95 bios

 

1. One on One does not respond to button presses for player one in-game, and skips the intro music on boot.
 

2. Tower Toppler freezes when trying to start a game.

 

3. Jr. Pac-man moves too fast on first play. I think this is a difficulty switch issue. it is a difficulty switch controlled setting, never mind.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/27/2020 at 12:16 PM, John Stamos Mullet said:

more testing updates: .95 bios

 

1. One on One does not respond to button presses for player one in-game, and skips the intro music on boot.
 

2. Tower Toppler freezes when trying to start a game.

 

3. Jr. Pac-man moves too fast on first play. I think this is a difficulty switch issue. it is a difficulty switch controlled setting, never mind.

 

There were some changes to the menu joystick code that I think are causing some of this. It's in preparation for either one-button support or two-button support.

 

Right now, one button does it all, as aside from the button to start a game, holding the button down will show filenames longer than 40 characters (filenames up to 240 characters can be displayed, and this feature will eventually show other file attributes like date and size), and press-and-hold will detect the bankswitch type of a game without loading it fully.

 

Two-button support will make more sense, as one button will select the game and the second button will access these other features as the holding and especially, press-and-hold are not intuitive (maybe some didn't even know these features existed?)

 

The menu can revert to single-button joystick mode once a game is loading, which will probably solve most of the issues you see above. The next firmware will have these changes. However, some issues seem to be related to the startup state of the 7800, as some games might not properly clear RAM and other registers and rely on the state of the machine after the BIOS boots a cart. For full compatibility with these games, there will be an optional setting to reboot the BIOS first before starting the game, rather than directly starting the game. This will be a little further down the road as it will be a part of the settings (wrench) menu.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My unit finally arrived today - post from the US to Australia is never kind lately! :) I've updated the firmware to the latest (0.95) and it's working well for the most part!

 

On my PAL 7800 I've come across a few issues so far:

 

- The initial Concerto logo on power on is corrupted along with garbage at the bottom of the screen (this clears up when colours flash).

- Tower Toppler (NTSC & PAL) - loads to a solid brown screen and freezes

- Robotron (NTSC) - loads initial title screen; when you proceed into game it freezes with status shown but no game

- 2600 games generally work - however some just freeze the console and roll the screen

Edited by m0ckery
Adding firmware revision :)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, m0ckery said:

...

On my PAL 7800 I've come across a few issues so far:

...

- Robotron (NTSC) - loads initial title screen; when you proceed into game it freezes with status shown but no game

...

Robotron has never ran proper under any PAL machine in any form (Always just freezes or hangs).  It is an NTSC only release unfortunately. Making it run under a PAL machine has been tried in many ways over the last ~20 years on this forum, including a disassembly of the game.  Unless some major hacking/program rewriting is done, just placing the game on the Concerto is not going to be enough to get it to run properly from a PAL console.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Trebor said:

Robotron has never ran proper under any PAL machine in any form (Always just freezes or hangs).  It is an NTSC only release unfortunately. Making it run under a PAL machine has been tried in many ways over the last ~20 years on this forum, including a disassembly of the game.  Unless some major hacking/program rewriting is done, just placing the game on the Concerto is not going to be enough to get it to run properly from a PAL console.

Thanks for the heads up :) that answers that one for me! I'm relatively new to using the 7800 as a.. 7800 lol - the carts are hard to come across here and generally stupidly expensive. I might look into getting a NTSC machine for the sake of it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, m0ckery said:

...

On my PAL 7800 I've come across a few issues so far:

...

- 2600 games generally work - however some just freeze the console and roll the screen

...

This may be due to running a NTSC ROM under a PAL console, or a game utilizing one of the more exotic cart formats (ARM-based 2600 games) that isn't supported yet under Concerto (But is supported under Harmony Encore).  Can you please list which 2600 games just freeze the console and roll the screen, if the aforementioned is not applicable?

 

For any original run (1977-1992) games for the 2600, it may be best to leverage this collection which is fully verified and contains properly labeled PAL specific ROMs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, m0ckery said:

- The initial Concerto logo on power on is corrupted along with garbage at the bottom of the screen (this clears up when colours flash).

This looks like the corruption you see when running an NTSC cart in a PAL machine, nothing to worry about 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Trebor said:

This may be due to running a NTSC ROM under a PAL console, or a game utilizing one of the more exotic cart formats (ARM-based 2600 games) that isn't supported yet under Concerto (But is supported under Harmony).  Can you please list which 2600 games just freeze the console and roll the screen?

 

For any original run (1977-1992) games for the 2600, it may be best to leverage this collection which is fully verified and contains properly labeled NTSC and PAL ROMs.

That is the rom set I've used :) the games work perfectly fine on my Harmony Cart in my 2600. Oddly enough Asteroids (PAL) rolls the screen straight away (both the copywrite and no copywrite versions) however the NTSC version plays fine. There were a few other 2600 games which were similar - not the end of the world at all but something to mention :)

 

The homebrew roms of Robotwar (20201004 - pal & ntsc) and Scramble (final - pal & ntsc) both briefly show the intro scene and then roll the screen and freeze up the console.

 

12 minutes ago, mimo said:

This looks like the corruption you see when running an NTSC cart in a PAL machine, nothing to worry about 

I had a feeling the cart booted into an NTSC mode by default before loading the menu code/selected roms and such so this didn't phase me at all - however on the first few boots it was displayed without error (likely RF being a pain, this machine is a little fussy with that, need to mod it)

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I turn on the console (European PAL), at the center of the screen there's a ghostly and jumping "CONCERTO 1.0" text and below there is garbage.

After two seconds the screen flashes with various colors and the "This is a work-in-progress..." text appears (that part is normal).

 

What are the differences between

- eeloader_ntsc

- eeloader_pal50

- eeloader_pal60

 

Nothing seems to change.

Should I use ntsc on pal console?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is normal behaviour

The files you listed are for the harmony cart so won't make any difference to the concerto 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@batari, when possible, please fix usb upgrade Pokey bug.

 

I broke one cartridge hook and one of Pokey's pins will break if I'll take it off again.

 

Perthaps you already noticed that not only the usb upgrade doesn't work but it makes Concerto not working.

Pokey must be removed and Concerto must be upgraded to restore it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Philsan said:

@batari, when possible, please fix usb upgrade Pokey bug.

 

I broke one cartridge hook and one of Pokey's pins will break if I'll take it off again.

 

Perthaps you already noticed that not only the usb upgrade doesn't work but it makes Concerto not working.

Pokey must be removed and Concerto must be upgraded to restore it.

I believe that the errors that the software reports are spurious and have tested this theory with sample code I built on my end. I'm trying to get a workaround built into the Harmony software so that more people will be able to update their carts easily.

  • Like 5
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

More Testing updates:

 

1. Fatal Run behaves like One on One, does not respond to button presses.

 

2. The final release version of BonQ goes to black screen. All the previous WIP versions that I tried (4 or 5) play just fine. I don't know if this intentional programming on Ken Sider's part to prevent the final from working on SD carts, or just a bug.

 

3. Armor Attack II final version also goes to black screen, but a WIP version from Trebor's ROM pack works. Again - not sure if programmed, or bug.

 

4. Choplifter shows a few lines of graphical garbage/corruption at the top of the screen. It does this across all versions, original and hacks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, John Stamos Mullet said:

3. Armor Attack II final version also goes to black screen, but a WIP version from Trebor's ROM pack works. Again - not sure if programmed, or bug.

Are you sure the latest public 'final' version posted is being utilized, or is an older version mistaken as "Final Version" being leveraged instead? 

 

The older labeled final version (April 13, 2013) has issues with the joystick detection routine that may cause problems.  It could be similar to the button/joystick recognition issue of One-On-One Basketball.

 

The latest 'final' Bob posted publicly and part of Trebors 7800 ROM PROPack is from April 16, 2013. The joystick configuration was moved from auto-detect to manual, set via difficulty switch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, John Stamos Mullet said:

4. Choplifter shows a few lines of graphical garbage/corruption at the top of the screen. It does this across all versions, original and hacks.

Does it appear similar to the below image?

 

image.png.ede68cbd16370363789cd4e8a1149616.png

 

If so, it's likely the result of the screen showing more visible scanlines than the average (CRT) would display.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, John Stamos Mullet said:

2. The final release version of BonQ goes to black screen. All the previous WIP versions that I tried (4 or 5) play just fine. I don't know if this intentional programming on Ken Sider's part to prevent the final from working on SD carts, or just a bug.

BonQ / b*nQ incompatibility problem has been brought up previously.  Unsure if it was ever fully addressed.  RevEng made mention of a possible root cause.

 

Also, for giggles, try the ROM in this post to see if it makes any difference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...