Jump to content
Skyfox

Ballblazer on 600XL?

Recommended Posts

I have a stock (16k) 600XL with Unocart and no tape or disk drive.  It plays all my favorite games except for Ballblazer, since that requires 48k.  However, I see that a 5200 version exists and it only has 16k ram.  Is is possible to convert the 5200 rom to an A8 rom to run on my 600XL?

 

I know the memory can be upgraded with some chips, but my soldering skills weren't that good 20 years ago when I last held an iron.  And, I had perfect eyesight back then!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Skyfox said:

I have a stock (16k) 600XL with Unocart and no tape or disk drive.  It plays all my favorite games except for Ballblazer, since that requires 48k.  However, I see that a 5200 version exists and it only has 16k ram.  Is is possible to convert the 5200 rom to an A8 rom to run on my 600XL?

 

I know the memory can be upgraded with some chips, but my soldering skills weren't that good 20 years ago when I last held an iron.  And, I had perfect eyesight back then!

Ballblazer on the 5200 is a cartridge based game that mostly runs from ROM. If you got a cartridge based loading device, an A8 cartridge based Ballblazer should run as well.

 

See, e.g.: http://www.atarimania.com/game-atari-400-800-xl-xe-ballblazer_476.html

Edited by DrVenkman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, DrVenkman said:

Ballblazer on the 5200 is a cartridge based game that mostly runs from ROM. If you got a cartridge based loading device, an A8 cartridge based Ballblazer should run as well.

Anybody have the coding skills to convert the rom?  I'd love to hear the Song of the Grid playing on POKEY!  I have only ever heard the SID version before.

Share this post


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

I know the memory can be upgraded with some chips, but my soldering skills weren't that good 20 years ago when I last held an iron.  And, I had perfect eyesight back then!

I thought the 600XL could be upgraded to 64K by plugging a 1064 or equivalent into the PBI in the back?   No soldering required?

Share this post


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

Anybody have the coding skills to convert the rom?  I'd love to hear the Song of the Grid playing on POKEY!  I have only ever heard the SID version before.

See my post above. A physical Ballblazer cart will work on your machine as would a .car file loaded from something like n AVG Cart, SIDE3, Ultimate Cart, etc. Converting any ROM based title generally requires more RAM because the system RAM is used for storing game variables, memory for the screen display, etc. So to run Ballblazer on your 600XL either get a copy on cart, get a cart loading device, or expand your 600XL to 64K, which takes only 2 chips and 3 wires. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, zzip said:

I thought the 600XL could be upgraded to 64K by plugging a 1064 or equivalent into the PBI in the back?   No soldering required?

In theory, but I'm not sure the 1064 actually exists in the USA.  I have never seen a listing on Ebay for one here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, DrVenkman said:

See my post above. A physical Ballblazer cart will work on your machine as would a .car file loaded from something like n AVG Cart, SIDE3, Ultimate Cart, etc. Converting any ROM based title generally requires more RAM because the system RAM is used for storing game variables, memory for the screen display, etc. So to run Ballblazer on your 600XL either get a copy on cart, get a cart loading device, or expand your 600XL to 64K, which takes only 2 chips and 3 wires. 

I have a cart loading device, a Unocart.  I tried the XEGS rom available on the site you linked, but that's a 64k rom for 64k ram system.  The 5200 version is a 32k rom for a 16k ram system (like the 600XL), so it must be different somehow.  Hardware wise, it seems like it should work.  Software wise, I think the I/O registers are mapped differently between 5200 and A8.  Does anybody know more about this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Skyfox said:

I have a cart loading device, a Unocart.  I tried the XEGS rom available on the site you linked, but that's a 64k rom for 64k ram system.  The 5200 version is a 32k rom for a 16k ram system (like the 600XL), so it must be different somehow.  Hardware wise, it seems like it should work.  Software wise, I think the I/O registers are mapped differently between 5200 and A8.  Does anybody know more about this?

The Ballblazer cart box says it will work on all XE and XL systems. ROM size doesn’t indicate required RAM. Could be a bad or incorrect .CAR file if you can’t load it on your 600XL. But you’re missing a bigger point - converting the 5200 version won’t result in a smaller file. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But in the end, I think it would be better if you could find someone and pay them to instal internal 64k for you. It's not very complicated.

  • Like 1

Share this post


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

The Ballblazer cart box says it will work on all XE and XL systems. ROM size doesn’t indicate required RAM. Could be a bad or incorrect .CAR file if you can’t load it on your 600XL. But you’re missing a bigger point - converting the 5200 version won’t result in a smaller file. 

The rom size isn't the problem since Unocart handles that.  It's the code expecting to find 48k ram that's breaking it since the XEGS/800XL version both require at least that much.  But, a 5200 only has 16k ram like my machine, so it seems like it could work if not for different memory maps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, ZuluGula said:

But in the end, I think it would be better if you could find someone and pay them to instal internal 64k for you. It's not very complicated.

For me, it's just not worth the expense and risk of breaking it for one single game.  I'm still hoping for a software fix instead...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1064s do come up on ebay time to time.  I sold mine there last year, (since I don't have a 600xl it didn't seem worth keeping).  I think I got around 40 bucks for it.  I do straight auctions though, when I want to move stuff out.

 

There are also other PBI expansions, RAM320XL is one.  I can't remember if it needs a base 64k in the 600xl or not though...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, Skyfox said:

In theory, but I'm not sure the 1064 actually exists in the USA.  I have never seen a listing on Ebay for one here.

They were sold in the US, and there's one on eBay right now, CIB, with a $250 opening bid and a $1500 BIN.

 

As for easy to find, no.  See my signature; I've been looking for one for some time.

 

Most expedient route: the 2-chip upgrade that @DrVenkman described.  I just hate having more desk space and an empty PBI slot, so am holding out for one to turn up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, 8bitguy1 said:

There are also other PBI expansions, RAM320XL is one.  I can't remember if it needs a base 64k in the 600xl or not though...

Yep, and I could've sworn that there was another one that cropped up recently (like, since about Christmas).  Very clearly remember seeing it, but cannot find the details for the life of me.  Want to say it was being designed by folks in Poland.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

user tf_hh makes a parallel device called "sys-check" that among other things, allows 512kb RAM:

https://atariage.com/forums/index.php?app=core&module=system&controller=redirect&url=http://www.van-radecke.de/STUFF/tfhh_HW_info.pdf&key=7abde61bdfe11b10a58d3b28faddc817a6422a6eec62cefa8702ebc1b2ad10b4&resource=

 

in reference to running a larger cart file on a 16k 600XL, the CPU is still capable of addressing 64kb so if you can find the right file type for the game, the 600XL should address/map the UNOcart directly and not use RAM

try these in the UNOcart

 

Ballblazers.zip

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, ZuluGula said:

But it's not available yet. Does Sys-Check work on 16k 600XL?

That's what I was thinking of; completely forgot that it was a U1MB.  Appreciate the memory jog.

Share this post


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

user tf_hh makes a parallel device called "sys-check" that among other things, allows 512kb RAM:

https://atariage.com/forums/index.php?app=core&module=system&controller=redirect&url=http://www.van-radecke.de/STUFF/tfhh_HW_info.pdf&key=7abde61bdfe11b10a58d3b28faddc817a6422a6eec62cefa8702ebc1b2ad10b4&resource=

 

in reference to running a larger cart file on a 16k 600XL, the CPU is still capable of addressing 64kb so if you can find the right file type for the game, the 600XL should address/map the UNOcart directly and not use RAM

try these in the UNOcart

 

Ballblazers.zip 105.12 kB · 2 downloads

Thanks for the cars, but sadly none of them worked.  For the 32k rom, Unocart said, "Error:Unsupported CAR type."  All the 64k roms just produced a black screen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, x=usr(1536) said:

As for easy to find, no.  See my signature; I've been looking for one for some time.

I wonder how hard it would be to make a 1064 replica with SRAM. I'd say, edge connector, small PCB with 64kB SRAM and minimal logic, pass through edge. Cost at quantity of 10+ probably less than $20 a piece. Note that this is an idea, and I'm not planning on making such a device ;)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Skyfox said:

none of them worked

could be a limitation of the UNOcart?

i know "Ultimate Cart" and "The!Cart" emulate cartridges specifically. i wonder if UNOcart is primarily for xex files?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, x=usr(1536) said:

They were sold in the US, and there's one on eBay right now, CIB, with a $250 opening bid and a $1500 BIN.

Holy Crap!   It's cheaper to just buy an 800XL at that rate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, xrbrevin said:

could be a limitation of the UNOcart?

i know "Ultimate Cart" and "The!Cart" emulate cartridges specifically. i wonder if UNOcart is primarily for xex files?

No, the UNO Cart can handle .car files up to 128K. It doesn’t work on 400/800 machines though and the only 16K machine I have currently in the house is a 400, which means I can’t try to replicate the OP’s problem in person. 

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.

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...