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Just Got A Harmony Cart - Some Problems


VectorGamer
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Just got a Harmony cart this week running firmware 1.05. I downloaded the ZIP files containing the ROMs from AtariAge.

 

Here are problems I have encountered so far:

 

- Horizontal screen roll in Air Raid, Double Dragon (and there were others but don't recall which ones) - I read that this can be caused by using PAL ROMs on NTSC system. So there are PAL ROMs mixed in with the NTSC ROMs in the AA ZIP files? If that's the case why weren't both versions included in the zip file?

 

- In the game of Threshold, the score which is located top left corner is cut off

 

- In Spider Fighter there's text missing in "Activision" at the bottom of the screen, text missing in what looks like is supposed to say "bonus" and the score is unreadable.

 

I'm hoping there are fixes for these issues.

 

 

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Try the problem ROMs out in Stella. I downloaded Air Raid, ran it in Stella and hit COMMAND-L (use ALT-L if you're using Linux or Windows) to see the Frame Stats in the top-left corner:

post-3056-0-90607600-1439564363_thumb.png

NTSC displays expect the scanline count to be 262, while PAL displays expect 312. Air Raid is 290, so it's not within specifications for either.

 

In the US most TVs will jitter/roll if the scanline count isn't 262 (or very close to it). The amount of tolerance depends upon the display, so you could try hooking up the Atari somewhere else - my Atari's hooked up to a C=1084S and it shows Air Raid without any problems. The C=1084S can handle NTSC and PAL display sizes, I used to play PAL games and Eurodemos all the time in the 90s on my Amiga.

post-3056-0-90137800-1439565917_thumb.jpg

 

There's nothing the Harmony Cartridge can do to fix incorrect scan line counts. Unlike other systems, scan line counts are totally controlled by the software on the 2600.

 

Threshold - 274 scan lines, same issue - the scan line count is not 262 so some displays will have a problem with it.

post-3056-0-26740300-1439565491_thumb.png

Double Dragon, Spider Fighter - I don't see the ROMs on AA (I believe all Activision ROMs were removed at their request). Try the ROM in Stella to see their scan line counts.

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Honestly since your menu and other games are working fine I am betting it is purely a ROM issue. Forget whatever roms you found here and simply get THIS package as it seems to be the overall most organized, verified and complete pack around. This is the best foundation to start with and includes Starpath and pretty much everything else you need, I would start with this and then add other roms you find elsewhere as/if needed.

 

http://www.atarimania.com/rom_collection_archive_atari_2600_roms.html

Edited by OldSchoolRetroGamer
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