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BIGHMW

Converting .cas or .atr files to .xex, .car, or .rom - is it possible or do I need to get an AVG Cart?

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The question is the same as the topic name. I currently own an Ultimate Cart but it won't work with .atr or .cas files but yet the AVG cart won't run .rom files, in which all the XEGS titles are in, but, there are tons of files she'll run, is it OK to have BOTH??? (XEGS owner posting this up)

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41 minutes ago, BIGHMW said:

The question is the same as the topic name. I currently own an Ultimate Cart but it won't work with .atr or .cas files but yet the AVG cart won't run .rom files, in which all the XEGS titles are in, but, there are tons of files she'll run, is it OK to have BOTH??? (XEGS owner posting this up)

 

I'm pretty sure The Ultimate Cart will run rom files, but I'm not sure about the AVG Cart. Either way, it isn't a good idea to run rom files anyway. Even if it works, the cart is making it's best guess as to what cartridge type the rom file is, and it may not always guess correctly. A car file is just a rom file with a few extra byte header telling the multi-cart/emulator/whatever, what type of cartridge the rom file is from and how to use it. There are plenty of places to download proper car versions of pretty much every 8-bit cart ever made. You can also easily make them yourself from your rom files using a simple html tool. You select what cartridge type the rom file is from a list and then it adds the correct header information and saves is as a car file. I'd have to look for that utility to tell you where to get it, as I don't recall now where I got it.

 

Honestly though, your best bet is to just download Mr Robots Cartridge Collection from here. There may be a few rom files in there, but if there are, there are very few. Almost all of these are proper car files, and that's really what you should be using with an Ultimate Cart or an AVG Cart.

 

As far as converting atr or cas files to xex, I'm not sure. I think it can be done, but I'm not sure how. I'm fairly certain you can't make a rom or car file out of them because they didn't come from a cartridge. I've seen some pretty wild things on here though, so I could be wrong about that.

 

Good luck Ray.

 

Edited by bfollowell
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It's possible to convert some (not ALL) .CAS and .ATR files into .CAR format, but it takes programming to do it, and it's a lot of work, and it's not always possible.

 

I'm unaware of ANY "utility" to do this, and I doubt that one exists.

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1 hour ago, BIGHMW said:

is it OK to have BOTH???

 

I missed that last comment. Is it OK to have both? Sure, but to be completely honest, it's a complete waste of money. The AVG cart can do everything that the Ultimate Cart can do, and much more. There is absolutely nothing that the Ultimate Cart can do that the AVG Cart can't. And this is coming from a proud Ultimate Cart owner. I love mine. When I bought it almost three years ago, it was, hands down, the best multi-cart out there. It emulated more cartridge types than any other multi-cart and was much better in that respect than the AVG Cart, which came out a year or so after I bought my UC. Step forward 2+ years though and there has been almost zero development or improvement with the UC and almost non-stop development with the AVG Cart. It has by far surpassed the Ultimate Cart in terms of features and the number of cartridge types that it will emulate. My UC still does exactly what I need to it to do, and with @flashjazzcat's menu system, I love it, but if I were going to buy a multi-cart anytime from about a year ago on, there's no way I would've considered anything other than the AVG Cart. It's cheaper to boot. In my opinion, the only thing the UC has over the AVG is a much nicer, better looking menu system, but that's more aesthetics than actual function.

 

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The ultimate cart will run rom files but it has to try and make intelligent guesses about what cart type the rom is for. 
 

if you visit https://atari8bit.net/dl you can download a zip file that has all the rom files you have, converted to car files which the ultimate cart prefers and the avgcart requires. 
 

 

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3 hours ago, Mr Robot said:

The ultimate cart will run rom files but it has to try and make intelligent guesses about what cart type the rom is for. 
 

if you visit https://atari8bit.net/dl you can download a zip file that has all the rom files you have, converted to car files which the ultimate cart prefers and the avgcart requires. 
 

 

I ran into some trouble with the 5200-sourced car files on Ultimate Cart, I get - "ERROR: unsupported cartridge type", any way to correct this?

Edited by BIGHMW

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You can’t run 5200 roms from a UC it only supports A8 roms. 
 

if you go to the url I posted there is also a collection of ports including all the 5200 games ported to the A8 in xex format. 

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Here: https://avgcart.tmp.sk is the list of capabilities. AVGCART is quite capable, but needs the SIO cable to provide full functionality.

 

As for the conversion between .atr .cas .xex and .rom. - for the average user, it is best to forget it.

Most of the gaming software is available as .xex, and most of the .xex files (not all of them, of course) work with the universal cartridges.

ROM and .cart files are obvious. As for the .atr files, just get the extra SIO cable and it should be fine. 

 

Games released specifically with XEGS is best to get as cartridge images.

A lot of them have been converted to .xex files, but these .xex files require 256 KB -320 KB of RAM to load.

 

 

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As said, the AVG with cable would be a very good bet as there's no need to convert the cas or ATR files as almost everyone will run happily from the cart (obviously at CAS speeds for CAS files). As for a utility to convert other types to cart, there's no such all in one tool, taking ATR files and converting it to cart reads in a tiresome complicated process, things that load in one take are easier, but things like Goonies etc have to have someone patch every SIO read (and write, if the cart supports it) and that's a one-person long project (depending on the complexity). Certainly beyond many of us, including me (no shocker there, I know the idea of it but have never done it).

 

So if you want the easy way then an AVG and SIO cable, it would solve most of the issues, sadly money does not grow on tree's...

 

Paul..

Edited by Mclaneinc

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6 hours ago, Mr Robot said:

You can’t run 5200 roms from a UC it only supports A8 roms. 
 

if you go to the url I posted there is also a collection of ports including all the 5200 games ported to the A8 in xex format. 

Not all of them, here are the .car files converted from the 5200 to the 8-bit that I am receiving these "ERROR - unsupported cartridge type" messages (all of them, not just those included, but the whole folder noted as "5200", I don't know how to "zip" files yet, so I can't really include all the .car files, as I'm not THAT savvy on computers) on. BUMMER, I was thinking they were already fully converted and working, apparently not. I really was loking forward to playing Tempest (the prototype, hopefully Albert will get the AtariAge fully-finished version and also Xari Arena - AtariAge version not the prototype, for XEGS users soon.) and Castle Blast and a few others on my XEGS last night when I loaded those to my Ultimate Cart but that's where I got those "ERROR" messages.

Castle Blast (2002)(Demo).car Meteorites (1983).car Tempest (1983)(Proto).car Yellow Submarine Demo (1982)(Proto).car

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None of these will run because they need a 5200 or a 5200 emulator like Altirra..

 

Although it's an Atari 8 bit its a console rather than the computer, as other said, there's been stuff converted to the Atari computer but not those games

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27 minutes ago, Mclaneinc said:

None of these will run because they need a 5200 or a 5200 emulator like Altirra..

 

Although it's an Atari 8 bit its a console rather than the computer, as other said, there's been stuff converted to the Atari computer but not those games

I already have "Big Sexy" in my lineup (and have since 1983) but don't you (and I'm sure everybody here will agree) wish that every 5200 title would've been converted? This BS about "developer rights" is crippling the A8/XL/XE/XEGS 8-bit community as many homebrew games were/are available only on the 5200 but they (for some reason) are not available on A8/XL/XE/XEGS despite the fact that both machines are 8-bit 6502/ANTIC/GTIA/POKEY based, with the ONLY difference being the OS on each. Basically the 5200 is nothing more than a souped-up version of the 400 computer, I have a list full of titles that are only on Big Sexy that very easily could be converted over except for this BS over the rights to them. XEGS users deserve to get THEIR hands on the 5-6 titles that (the now-defunct) Mean Hamster Software put out years ago, same thing also with Tempest and Xari Arena (the fully finished AtariAge 5200 versions not the 1983 prototypes although those should be made available too), and many others too. Basically all we want is for Albert to make these games available too for A8 users too.

 

Here is that list:

 

Asteroids (Paul Lay fixed A8-to-5200 port with improved defense response)

Castle Blast (2002)

Combat 2: Advanced

Haunted House II 3-D

Gauntlet

Klax

Atari Tris

Irata's Quest

Super Breakout (5200 version from 1982, in which many here say is way better than the OG 1979 A8 port)

Tempest (AtariAge 2012 finished version not the 1983 prototype)

Xari Arena (AtariAge finished version not the 1983 prototype)

Hangly-Man

Pac-Man Plus

Edited by BIGHMW

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It would be nice to have these items converted, the OS's are almost exactly the same bar the code for the analogue stuff which needs converting to digital but although it can be done it does not mean it will be done, as you say, there are developer rights which we must respect.

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14 minutes ago, Mclaneinc said:

 

It would be nice to have these items converted, the OS's are almost exactly the same bar the code for the analogue stuff which needs converting to digital but although it can be done it does not mean it will be done, as you say, there are developer rights which we must respect.

....and, many of the 5200 versions are souped-up and are also superior to the OG 8-bit ports. Here is a list of those differences between the 5200 ports and the OG A8 ports from BITD.

 

http://www.atariprotos.com/other/gamediff/gamediff.htm

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Sadly some are things that can't be ported, where the analogue ramp of the controller is used to give more subtle control, that simply has to be stripped out for the computer. In the end we have to thank Glenn the 5200 man for his sterling work on porting them, but unless someone wants to take his place then these games will remain 5200 only..

Edited by Mclaneinc

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I thought with most of those remaining 5200 titles they are not done as A8 ports because the authors have asked it to remain that way.

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As @Mclaneinc has correctly pointed out, those are all Atari 5200 titles. Not converted to A8

 

1601790727_ScreenShot2021-10-22at11_08_49.thumb.png.339c1927a14cd7a53c8482a45edbdebe.png

A CAR file isn't anything special, it's just the same faile as the ROM or BIN file you see with a 14 byte header added to the top of it to tell emulators and multicarts what type of cart it is. remove the header and you get the original ROM/BIN again. 

 

Here is a full list of every cart type https://github.com/atari800/atari800/blob/master/DOC/cart.txt

 

Ultimate cart supports a lot of those, avgcart and side3 support more of them. None of the atari 8-bit multicarts support atari 5200 carts but all atari emulators do. 

 

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1 minute ago, Wrathchild said:

I thought with most of those remaining 5200 titles they are not done as A8 ports because the authors have asked it to remain that way.

Yes. Someone isn't taking no for an answer and I mentioned that in another thread, I thought this was about something else but it turns out he's still banging on about porting unavailable homebrews :/

 

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5 minutes ago, Mr Robot said:

As @Mclaneinc has correctly pointed out, those are all Atari 5200 titles. Not converted to A8

 

1601790727_ScreenShot2021-10-22at11_08_49.thumb.png.339c1927a14cd7a53c8482a45edbdebe.png

A CAR file isn't anything special, it's just the same faile as the ROM or BIN file you see with a 14 byte header added to the top of it to tell emulators and multicarts what type of cart it is. remove the header and you get the original ROM/BIN again. 

 

Here is a full list of every cart type https://github.com/atari800/atari800/blob/master/DOC/cart.txt

 

Ultimate cart supports a lot of those, avgcart and side3 support more of them. None of the atari 8-bit multicarts support atari 5200 carts but all atari emulators do. 

 

It's nice to hear that all of my 5200 AND 8-bit ports will work on one unit, but I don't want to be tied to a PC just to play them, is there a console that is an emulator that does both, and, can I also use my existing controllers with it, for the authentic feel without having to own all of those consoles I currently do? An emulator hooked up to my HDTV would be great, if, it can support BOTH 5200 AND 8-bit titles.

Edited by BIGHMW

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1 hour ago, BIGHMW said:

I already have "Big Sexy" in my lineup (and have since 1983) but don't you (and I'm sure everybody here will agree) wish that every 5200 title would've been converted? This BS about "developer rights" is crippling the A8/XL/XE/XEGS 8-bit community as many homebrew games were/are available only on the 5200 but they (for some reason) are not available on A8/XL/XE/XEGS despite the fact that both machines are 8-bit 6502/ANTIC/GTIA/POKEY based, with the ONLY difference being the OS on each. Basically the 5200 is nothing more than a souped-up version of the 400 computer, I have a list full of titles that are only on Big Sexy that very easily could be converted over except for this BS over the rights to them. XEGS users deserve to get THEIR hands on the 5-6 titles that (the now-defunct) Mean Hamster Software put out years ago, same thing also with Tempest and Xari Arena (the fully finished AtariAge 5200 versions not the 1983 prototypes although those should be made available too), and many others too. Basically all we want is for Albert to make these games available too for A8 users too.

 

If you don't respect the rights of your developers, they won't develop for you any more. 

 

There are reasons only demo versions of these things exist and they are only on one platform or another, it's because the devs want it that way and we respect that. 

 

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8 minutes ago, BIGHMW said:

It's nice to hear that all of my 5200 AND 8-bit ports will work on one unit, but I don't want to be tied to a PC just to play them, is there a console that is an emulator that does both, and, can I also use my existing controllers with it, for the authentic feel without having to own all of those consoles I currently do? An emulator hooked up to my HDTV would be great, if, it can support BOTH 5200 AND 8-bit titles.

Yes, google for "Mister FPGA". You will also need controller to USB adapters. 

 

There are cheaper options (Retropie is the most common) but the 5200 emulation is lacking around the controller support. Altirra is the best 5200 emulator, it's not available for anything but windows so you would need a windows pc instead of a cheap linux console.

 

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As an occasional developer I can say that porting even my own games (that means I do have my own source code and I understand it) from Atari 800 to Atari 5200 was nothing else than pain in the ass.

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17 hours ago, BIGHMW said:

the AVG cart won't run .rom files

AVG Cart should run .rom files... But it is better to "convert" them to .CAR anyway.

As others have pointed out, it is really not a conversion involved, just adding a header identifying the type of cartridge, so the UNO/Ultimate/AVG/etc.. cart does not need to guess which kind of cartridge to emulate.

One way to do that for the no obvious types (most 8/16KB old cartridge ROMs fall into the obvious category) is using Altirra: drag&drop the rom file to the Altirra window, then select the type of cartridge, if it work, go to File->Save firmware->Save Cartridge

If it does not work, try again and select another cartridge type until you get the correct type.

 

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