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Please test: FG99 firmware for both non-QI and QI

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After a 10-month quest full of rabbit holes and red herrings see attached updated FinalGrom99 firmware to make it run on the QI as well as on the non-QI.

 

At this stage it has been tested by a couple of members with mostly positive results; one member was unable to get the update to run on either console. I suspect this could be a problem with the SD card, FG99 is quite finicky with these (Ralph mentions this on his website as well). Another member had the same problem initially but after switching to another SD all is well.

 

Anyway, if you can please test this firmware on either a QI, non-QI or (even better) on both and report back the results. FG99 is an awesome cartridge, the QI is a great console so the two should be finally able to meet 🙂 

 

Instructions:

 

- make sure SD card is either FAT or FAT32 formatted
- save update CPLD file as UPDATE.PLD file in / of the SD card
- stick SD card in FG99 and press reload button
- LED lights up for a while
- after LED turns off remove SD card
- delete UPDATE.PLD file
- reset FG99
- save update AVR file as UPDATE.AVR file in / of the SD card
- stick SD card in FG99 and press reload button
- LED lights up shortly
- after LED turns off remove SD card
- delete UPDATE.AVR file
- stick SD card back in FG99
- reset FG99

 

Cheers and thanks!

 

Jochen

JB_update.avr JB_UPDATE.PLD FG99ORG_update.avr ORG13_UPDATE.PLD

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I am retiring in two weeks and hope to set up a retro computer room at home. I have a couple of qi and several original 4a's that I can test in then.  This was a fantastic effort on your part. Thank you for your hard work! 

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On 5/10/2022 at 6:03 PM, JJB said:

FAT or FAT32 formatted

 

Is one fs type preferred over the other?

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Posted (edited)

FAT(FAT16) limitations are 2GB SD cards and smaller.  Any size larger (4-32GB) you should use FAT32.

You can still format smaller cards with FAT32.

 

 I'm currently using an older 1GB Kodak SD card formated with FAT32 in my FinalGROM99.  Snagged a bunch of them many years ago when my Wal-Mart cleared them out at $2 each.

Edited by Torrax
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Clarifications needed.

 

Here is a picture of the FinalGrom from the WEB (C).

 

image.thumb.png.d2710f2b5db441ce7cf4ce82111568e0.png

 

The left button is labeled FG Reset, the other is TI Reset.

 

1. Make sure SD card is either FAT or FAT32 formatted
2. Save update CPLD file as UPDATE.PLD file in / of the SD card
3. Stick SD card in FG99 and press reload button
   - LED lights up for a while
4. After LED turns off remove SD card
5. Delete UPDATE.PLD file
6. Reset FG99
7. Save update AVR file as UPDATE.AVR file in / of the SD card
8. Stick SD card in FG99 and press reload button
    - LED lights up shortly
9. After LED turns off remove SD card
10. Delete UPDATE.AVR file
11. Stick SD card back in FG99
12. Reset FG99

 

Which button should be used for steps 3, 6, 8 and 12?

 

Thanks

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16 hours ago, dhe said:

Clarifications needed.

 

Here is a picture of the FinalGrom from the WEB (C).

 

image.thumb.png.d2710f2b5db441ce7cf4ce82111568e0.png

 

The left button is labeled FG Reset, the other is TI Reset.

 

1. Make sure SD card is either FAT or FAT32 formatted
2. Save update CPLD file as UPDATE.PLD file in / of the SD card
3. Stick SD card in FG99 and press reload button
   - LED lights up for a while
4. After LED turns off remove SD card
5. Delete UPDATE.PLD file
6. Reset FG99
7. Save update AVR file as UPDATE.AVR file in / of the SD card
8. Stick SD card in FG99 and press reload button
    - LED lights up shortly
9. After LED turns off remove SD card
10. Delete UPDATE.AVR file
11. Stick SD card back in FG99
12. Reset FG99

 

Which button should be used for steps 3, 6, 8 and 12?

 

Thanks

logically the fg reset the ti reset would just restart the console. 

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@JJB

If the update is successful what version number is displayed on the first FinalGrom menu screen? Before the update it"s 1.3.

 

Thanks, 

Mark

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I think these instructions only partially worked for me...

 

1. Make sure SD card is either FAT or FAT32 formatted

    Worked.


2. Save update CPLD file as UPDATE.PLD file in / of the SD card

      Worked.


3. Stick SD card in FG99 and press reload button
   - LED lights up for a while

         Worked.


4. After LED turns off remove SD card

     Done.


5. Delete UPDATE.PLD file

       Done.

 

>> Question - it wasn't mentioned, but I went back and a put the blank SD card in place before moving on to step 6.


6. Reset FG99

      Done.

 

 


7. Save update AVR file as UPDATE.AVR file in / of the SD card

      Done.

 

image.thumb.png.af55d4d85dd7e708206e9804bbfacfa9.png


8. Stick SD card in FG99 and press reload button
    - LED lights up shortly

     After I pressed the reload button - the LED just blinked on and off {repeat} - I left in for six minutes, no change in status.


9. After LED turns off remove SD card

        Followed steps 9,10,11


10. Delete UPDATE.AVR file


11. Stick SD card back in FG99

12. Reset FG99


I renamed all the files to all upcase (I don't know if that would make a difference).

image.thumb.png.1bcdd299cac03cc1df7ce0b4f55b5256.png

The final condition of the final grom:

Seems to still work ok with a regular console.

A QI Console can now see the final grom - but any attempts to access software on the SD card results in lock ups.

 

Any help or feedback appreciated.

 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, dhe said:

After I pressed the reload button - the LED just blinked on and off {repeat} - I left in for six minutes, no change in status.

 

Only takes a second for an update to start. The light stays on steady for several seconds, than goes out.

You probably had a failed connection upon inserting the card, or the cart.

Just need to try again until the .avr, file is read.

The button pushing thing ...tends to disturb the connections(mine has no case).

I'd just reinsert as necessary, and power cycle the TI, until the light stays on for a few seconds.

I doubt there was any need to update the AVR's BOOT LOADER, so it shouldn't matter in which order you apply the updates.

 

WHAT IS IMPORTANT is that for no reason should the power be interrupted while the light is on steadily. Especially during the .AVR update!

So, if you do use the consoles power switch to start an update ...be sure you can trust it not to behave intermittently.

:)

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Posted (edited)

Sounds odd ...I would try the .PLD file again, can't hurt. If one works, so should the other. I don't think you can brick the FG99 by having a failed PLD update.

 

But a partially loaded AVR, might be able to overwrite the BOOT LOADER potion of the memory, than all you will get is the flashing light(requiring a reprogrammer).

 

If you can still load the .PLD, file... than the BOOT LOADER is still there.

Edited by HOME AUTOMATION
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I have two Final Grom carts and tried four times on each. My results were exactly as @dhe explained. Since there is no visual clue if the AVR update worked I cannot tell. I tried doing the AVR update first with no change. The two fg cartridges continue to work in all my non-qi consoles. I do not henge a qi console to try.

 

Mark

 

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What color are the boards? 

On zoom Greg mentioned different color boards have different chips and so this may be the issue!

 

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20 hours ago, RXB said:

What color are the boards? 

On zoom Greg mentioned different color boards have different chips and so this may be the issue!

 

That conversation didn't apply to the FinalGROM99. On the FinalGROM99 the bank select latch is in the CPLD, and consequently defined in the PLD file that this thread is testing.

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Updated my FG99 and it works great now on my QI (non-2.2), menus and all.  Sorry I don't have a non-QI to test with.

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I have attached an AVR update file that shows version 1.Q: image.png.c16a5920e62ea5a0912e8f543e3e58ab.png

 

Please use this version for testing purposes only; I had a chat to Ralph about adopting my changes in his releases but until that has happened I don't want to interfere with FG99 versioning in any way.

update.avr

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On 5/30/2022 at 1:06 PM, mvancopp said:

I have two Final Grom carts and tried four times on each. My results were exactly as @dhe explained. Since there is no visual clue if the AVR update worked I cannot tell. I tried doing the AVR update first with no change. The two fg cartridges continue to work in all my non-qi consoles. I do not henge a qi console to try.

 

Mark

 

Try if you will the my AVR update above to see if the version # changes to 1.Q

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This morning I put in my Finalgrom cart in my Black and Silver TI and it didn't show up on the menu. I swapped SD cards with same concern.

I haven't used it in about 4-5 months. After trying everything I could think of, I switched consoles(with another B & S console)and it worked flawlessly.

The first console I have been using for the last 4-5 months and all carts work except the FG99. It would only show up and work with one program installed

on the SD card. If I put ANY folders or a program with a 'G' file on it, it would fail. I disassembled the unit and checked the cart port and everything was ok.

From what I see this is not a QI, it is one with no badge on the front, date of 'LTA1783'. I have 3 consoles I swap out every few months to test different things with.

Apparently I never tested the FG99 in this one. I updated with JJB's avr & pld files and it now works in this console and with no issues. Thanks JJB!

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7 hours ago, Fritz442 said:

This morning I put in my Finalgrom cart in my Black and Silver TI and it didn't show up on the menu. I swapped SD cards with same concern.

I haven't used it in about 4-5 months. After trying everything I could think of, I switched consoles(with another B & S console)and it worked flawlessly.

The first console I have been using for the last 4-5 months and all carts work except the FG99. It would only show up and work with one program installed

on the SD card. If I put ANY folders or a program with a 'G' file on it, it would fail. I disassembled the unit and checked the cart port and everything was ok.

From what I see this is not a QI, it is one with no badge on the front, date of 'LTA1783'. I have 3 consoles I swap out every few months to test different things with.

Apparently I never tested the FG99 in this one. I updated with JJB's avr & pld files and it now works in this console and with no issues. Thanks JJB!

Cleaning the cart port might be something to try 

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No I did all that: "I disassembled the unit and checked the cart port and everything was ok." All other carts

worked fine except for the FG99. It was the Finalgrom, I updated it with JJB updates and it works great in all 3 consoles.

Edited by Fritz442
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What may be the case is that due to parts tolerances, aging etc the timing of certain signals in that console may be marginal. My update to the CPLD includes a more strict definition of GROM R/W states so differences in timing of individual signals will be less of an issue. Just speculating here BTW. 

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On 6/16/2022 at 4:26 AM, JJB said:

Try if you will the my AVR update above to see if the version # changes to 1.Q

The version number in the title area does not change when using the new update, it remains 1.3.

 

Mark

 

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