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Sero64

Brand new Harmony Encore boots up only once in 20 times!!

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I absolutely don't know what to do with this new Harmony encore that I've received today after two weeks of not knowing where it is. After carefully reading the manual 10 plus times it turned out the info was slightly outdated. I went to the support section of the Harmony web page and it lead me to AtariAge. I had to spend so much time reading through Atari forums trying to troubleshoot this absolutely user unfriendly flash cart! Turns out i had to install bunch of specific tools and drivers on my computer so that the eeprom could be seen by the software. I still don't know if this 1.3v software is the most relevant to use. Okay. Then it appeared that the mini usb cable had to be very specific. Only after my 3rd cable it was readable by the software. After everything was installed it was time to boot it up on a console. I use light sixer 2600 so console update was also a success. Later i added a folder full of games and the Harmony loaded them fine untill the 3rd reboot. Harmony didn't seem to boot up for 2 minutes. Then it loaded like normal for once. What happened after - reminds me some sort of a lottery game: i've tried to reprogram the eeprom, tried different sd carts, cleaned the contacts despite my normal atari cartridges loading up just fine. Nothing seemed to help. I've tried to boot up Harmony sooo many times that i have actually noticed a pattern that it boots up once every 20 times. I'm terribly sorry, but what the heck is this supposed to be? Does every user goes through the same procedure when booting up Harmony on Atari 2600? I actually fell so hopeless. It's not like i've never used a computer. I can manage to do some elementary modding. But this time there is nothing but trouble and frustration. I'm just a guy who wants his atari to have a magnificent flashcard full of exciting 2600 games. I'm not a hacker nor a programmer. I somewhat appreciate this product but why can't this be more userfriendly like everdrive... I really wish i could get out of this situation.

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I can't be much help, as I've never heard of this problem before. I've had my Encore for years and never had any problems at all. Sometimes the problems I've heard of were caused by issues with the console, such as the voltage regulator or a faulty power supply. Have you recapped the board in your console? If not, that might be the place to start. When those components get out of spec, it can cause issues. The harmony requires more power than the average cartridge, so a faulty voltage regulator or power supply will cause it to misbehave. The capacitors and stuff have a limited life span, so I'm sure your console is due for a once over and some new components, if that hasn't  already been done. The power supply can also wear out over time, so that's something else to look into.

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Harmony carts are very user friendly and work out of the box.

 

This is more for future people reading this thread: there is no need to go through the many steps the OP went through before you can use a new Harmony cart. 
 

That said, booting 5% of the time is almost certainly an issue with the console itself. Harmony works with consoles that are running properly. A console with a flaw may work most of the time with other carts but Harmony is more stringent in its use of the console’s hardware than a typical cart so any shortcomings in the console or PSU are more likely to be exploited.

 

A couple of years ago someone else reported a similar issue booting occasionally like that. He didn’t want to try another console or try to repair his (I suspect it had to do with aging components on the reset circuit) so I sent him a specially-modified Harmony cart that would boot up more quickly. I assume it worked as I never heard back. If you want the same feel free to PM me. 

 


 

 

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4 hours ago, RamrodHare said:

I can't be much help, as I've never heard of this problem before. I've had my Encore for years and never had any problems at all. Sometimes the problems I've heard of were caused by issues with the console, such as the voltage regulator or a faulty power supply. Have you recapped the board in your console? If not, that might be the place to start. When those components get out of spec, it can cause issues. The harmony requires more power than the average cartridge, so a faulty voltage regulator or power supply will cause it to misbehave. The capacitors and stuff have a limited life span, so I'm sure your console is due for a once over and some new components, if that hasn't  already been done. The power supply can also wear out over time, so that's something else to look into.

I see. I'm pretty new to Atari 2600 and judging by the regular cartridges loading up with no issue - i thought my console doesn't need renovation of it's components. The original power plug came damaged, so I ordered this one from Amazon and it seems to work fine:

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N34QN7G

 

If You think that one is bad, maybe I have to get this one?:

 

https://console5.com/store/power-supply-adapter-for-atari-2600-and-atari-dedicated-systems.html

 

I certainly did opened the console to clean the motherboard and other internals with alcohol and reassured that every contact on the board was intact.

I did a little research and I found this kit of replacement parts for the light sixer:

 

https://console5.com/store/atari-2600-total-refresh-tune-up-cap-kit-new-capacitors-and-more.html

 

Do you think that this kit will solve the problem or there is something else that i need?

Edited by Sero64

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That power supply you bought might be fine. I would get the refresh kit from console-5. There's a good chance that will solve your problem, if not, you will at least have a console that's ready to run another 30 years or more. Also be sure to read through batari's post above. He's the guy that makes the the Harmony carts.

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On 10/31/2021 at 2:40 AM, Sero64 said:

I absolutely don't know what to do with this new Harmony encore that I've received today after two weeks of not knowing where it is. After carefully reading the manual 10 plus times it turned out the info was slightly outdated. I went to the support section of the Harmony web page and it lead me to AtariAge. I had to spend so much time reading through Atari forums trying to troubleshoot this absolutely user unfriendly flash cart! Turns out i had to install bunch of specific tools and drivers on my computer so that the eeprom could be seen by the software. I still don't know if this 1.3v software is the most relevant to use. Okay. Then it appeared that the mini usb cable had to be very specific. Only after my 3rd cable it was readable by the software. After everything was installed it was time to boot it up on a console. I use light sixer 2600 so console update was also a success. Later i added a folder full of games and the Harmony loaded them fine untill the 3rd reboot. Harmony didn't seem to boot up for 2 minutes. Then it loaded like normal for once. What happened after - reminds me some sort of a lottery game: i've tried to reprogram the eeprom, tried different sd carts, cleaned the contacts despite my normal atari cartridges loading up just fine. Nothing seemed to help. I've tried to boot up Harmony sooo many times that i have actually noticed a pattern that it boots up once every 20 times. I'm terribly sorry, but what the heck is this supposed to be? Does every user goes through the same procedure when booting up Harmony on Atari 2600? I actually fell so hopeless. It's not like i've never used a computer. I can manage to do some elementary modding. But this time there is nothing but trouble and frustration. I'm just a guy who wants his atari to have a magnificent flashcard full of exciting 2600 games. I'm not a hacker nor a programmer. I somewhat appreciate this product but why can't this be more userfriendly like everdrive... I really wish i could get out of this situation.

You should have sent batari a private message. batari is a Rock Star on this Forum!

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5 hours ago, Yurkie said:

You should have sent batari a private message. batari is a Rock Star on this Forum!

I've tried. I absolutely have no doubt that he is, but there is some other user "Dragonstomper" seems to be responding way quicker and helping me out so much unlike the fabled batari not checking my personal message, despite being online

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On 11/3/2021 at 12:24 AM, Sero64 said:

I've tried. I absolutely have no doubt that he is, but there is some other user "Dragonstomper" seems to be responding way quicker and helping me out so much unlike the fabled batari not checking my personal message, despite being online

I replied to your PM at about the same time as this message here was posted, and I have not heard back so it could have been missed. Once you reply we can get this resolved.

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I have a problematic Harmony Encore cart (old style with miniUSB connector) that does this.

 

I simply clean it like an old vintage cart, and it always makes it work better, around 19 times out of 20 tries successfully. It seems to need it every 4-6 months or so.

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On 11/3/2021 at 3:24 AM, Sero64 said:

I've tried. I absolutely have no doubt that he is, but there is some other user "Dragonstomper" seems to be responding way quicker and helping me out so much unlike the fabled batari not checking my personal message, despite being online

Seriously? Did you even try to contact batari outside of posting here or at least give him the time or the courtesy of a follow up request for support? Your posts up to this point have comments that are unfriendly and uncalled for. 

 

I have purchased three Encore carts. One of them had an issue. I contacted batari and he resolved the issue very quickly. Maybe if you had done something like that, instead of messing around with the cart doing stuff that is obviously not needed, and then complaining about the time you spent, you would be close to a resolution by now. Since you mentioned the ease of use of the Everdrive we can ascertain that you know how a flash cart/multi-cart is supposed to work. 

 

The user Dragonstomper has a single post here and that was way back in 2011. You have a full 3 posts here as of now.

 

Are you a troll or do you genuinely need help? If you actually want help then please be polite and this community will absolutely help. 

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