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Concerto firmware thread


batari

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12 hours ago, Lord_of_Sipan said:

My Mac is an M1 Mac mini.

You didn't mention if you were using version 1.3 or 2.0-beta of the flasher, but on Monterey or above you probably want to be using 2.0-beta:

 

Also, I ran into a problem a while back with the flasher that was solved by installing Qt6 out of Homebrew.  No idea if that could be affecting M* Macs since I'm on Intel, but it conceivably may.

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I was using 2.0 beta. Like I said, last winter I had it working with 1.3 I think. I am still kind of thinking the KEX component of the driver to recognize the concerto isn’t working. I booted into recovery to give the system permission to allow me to edit/add kernel extensions but I’m still unconvinced that did the trick as if I check the usb devices by port nothing shows up that way so I don’t think the problem with not detecting the cartridge necessarily has anything to do with the harmony software.

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On 5/25/2023 at 3:15 PM, Lord_of_Sipan said:

I was using 2.0 beta. Like I said, last winter I had it working with 1.3 I think. I am still kind of thinking the KEX component of the driver to recognize the concerto isn’t working. I booted into recovery to give the system permission to allow me to edit/add kernel extensions but I’m still unconvinced that did the trick as if I check the usb devices by port nothing shows up that way so I don’t think the problem with not detecting the cartridge necessarily has anything to do with the harmony software.

It's a good thing that this part of the discussion cropped up - I reinstalled this machine from scratch about a month ago, and it's helping to get the 10,000,000 standalone tools that I use reinstalled ;-)

 

Here's what I've found.  Note that this is under macOS 13.3.1 (Ventura) on Intel.

 

Installing the 2.0-beta version of the Harmony software worked right out of the box - it saw the Harmony Encore and likely would have flashed it successfully.  I didn't try that because it's current so there's no reason to do it, but it was at least seen.

 

To get it to recognise the Concerto, the CH34x drivers had to be installed.  I realise that this is a tangent, but figured I'd kill two birds with one stone.

 

One thing I will mention is that neither the Harmony nor the Concerto are recognised if I plug them in to the USB-C hub that also provides Ethernet, connectivity for the second monitor, SD cards, etc.  Connecting both directly to the USB port via a USB-C adapter worked fine.

 

I'm wondering if it's not an M* issue, but that's beyond my pay grade right now.  Someone with one of those machines who has done this would need to answer that.

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Hello. I’m fairly new to Atari collecting and picked up a production Concerto recently with a soldered Hokey. It had the most recent firmware (30723). First game I tried was the Popeye RC demo and it sounded way off. I read through part of this thread and saw that 30323 may be better for Hokey so I downgraded, and it improved the audio but it’s still wrong. So what I’m wondering is, is this just how it is, or did I get a bad Concerto? Is this just a known bug? It seems normal on Commando and Ballblazer. Is there specific test software I could use to test it? 

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21 hours ago, x=usr(1536) said:

 

 

One thing I will mention is that neither the Harmony nor the Concerto are recognised if I plug them in to the USB-C hub that also provides Ethernet, connectivity for the second monitor, SD cards, etc.  Connecting both directly to the USB port via a USB-C adapter worked fine.

 

I have noticed the same thing. I have a thunderbolt hub I usually use for most peripherals but the concerto hasn't ever been detected through that. Sometimes I have noticed my Mac has trouble detecting drives in general when they are connected via a hub rather than directly into the Mac. It isn't a power issue since I have a high end powered hub with a huge power brick and massive output to run music production related stuff like audio interfaces. I currently have a thunderbolt SSD that works fine connected to the hub and a regular spinning platter western digital drive that my Mac usually only can see connected directly to the computer. Also my keyboard works fine connected to the hub but not my mouse so I have no idea anymore about apple stuff.

 

I grew up using Macs as my dad has used them since the Apple II and never touched a windows computer until I was in middle school in the early 2000s. I used to feel that I was a higher end user with Mac OS than windows particularly in the terminal but now the terminal uses a different shell by default and half of the operating system and first party software just seems deliberately broken to try to railroad what people can do with the machines. I'm selling out and buying a windows computer after this mini. The bluetooth transmitter and wifi adapter doesn't work properly because of unshielded interference inside the case and apple refuses to/can't do anything about it since it is a design flaw. I thought apple would have learned their lesson about shielding components 45 years ago with the Apple II situation lol.

 

/rant over

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On 5/27/2023 at 1:19 PM, Phylax said:

Hello. I’m fairly new to Atari collecting and picked up a production Concerto recently with a soldered Hokey. It had the most recent firmware (30723). First game I tried was the Popeye RC demo and it sounded way off. I read through part of this thread and saw that 30323 may be better for Hokey so I downgraded, and it improved the audio but it’s still wrong. So what I’m wondering is, is this just how it is, or did I get a bad Concerto? Is this just a known bug? It seems normal on Commando and Ballblazer. Is there specific test software I could use to test it? 

It's a known bug. On Commando and Ballblazer (and other games designed for a POKEY at $4000), there are no issues. For homebrew games such as this, the POKEY address is moved to $0450 and this requires more of Concerto's resources to manage.

 

However, there are solutions. First, the CEM devices (as described here) give back resources to your Concerto. One of the things these devices do is free up enough resources to fully fix sound issues with certain homebrew games.

 

The "free" version of CEM, the CEM #0, is nearly ready to go. These are totally free for 7800 game developers, and others only need to send $5 my way to help defray shipping costs (in the USA.) The CEM #0 and the other CEM devices all fix the sound issues you are experiencing.

 

There are also plans to address the issue in firmware without CEM support. If anyone wants a technical explanation - With the POKEY at alternate locations like $0450, there is some jitter in the timing and a POKEY and HOKEY respond a little differently to this jitter, so the firmware has tried to find a middle ground to balance POKEY and HOKEY support. Once the autodetection is in place, firmware may be optimized separately for each device and the sound should be improved for each.

 

The CEM removes the jitter completely, so it works equally well with either device.

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On 5/30/2023 at 7:36 PM, batari said:

It's a known bug. On Commando and Ballblazer (and other games designed for a POKEY at $4000), there are no issues. For homebrew games such as this, the POKEY address is moved to $0450 and this requires more of Concerto's resources to manage.

 

However, there are solutions. First, the CEM devices (as described here) give back resources to your Concerto. One of the things these devices do is free up enough resources to fully fix sound issues with certain homebrew games.

 

The "free" version of CEM, the CEM #0, is nearly ready to go. These are totally free for 7800 game developers, and others only need to send $5 my way to help defray shipping costs (in the USA.) The CEM #0 and the other CEM devices all fix the sound issues you are experiencing.

 

There are also plans to address the issue in firmware without CEM support. If anyone wants a technical explanation - With the POKEY at alternate locations like $0450, there is some jitter in the timing and a POKEY and HOKEY respond a little differently to this jitter, so the firmware has tried to find a middle ground to balance POKEY and HOKEY support. Once the autodetection is in place, firmware may be optimized separately for each device and the sound should be improved for each.

 

The CEM removes the jitter completely, so it works equally well with either device.

Thanks for the reply and clearing it all up! I’m enjoying the Concerto as is and look forward to new firmware updates. Interesting idea with the CEM as well. Definitely interested! (I mean, who could say no to CEM 0 at least?) Sounds like the 7800’s version of a Genesis 32X! 

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  • 5 months later...

I have had my Concerto for some time now and I can't get it to work reliably.

 

Symptoms
When I use the Concerto the menu sometimes starts, perhaps 1 in 12 times?

When it does start it's usually the very first start for the day... and after that it will hardly start.

When it doesn't, there is usually a little flicker at the very start but it's super quick and I can't see.

There is no Atari logo. Then it sits at the black screen.

What I've tried

Two different NTSC Atari 7800s; both can play regular carts just fine first time, every time.
One of these has an S-Video mod and new caps all round the other is vanilla.

I've tried various of the firmware files, from latest to the earlier ones.

I've tried it with and without a POKEY installed.

I've tried various SD cards ranging from older 512MB all the way to 32GB, all formatted either FAT or FAT32 depending on their size.

I'm using the latest EELOADER.BIN

 

What I haven't tried

I have a PAL Atari 7800 so could try that

 

I'm a bit disappointed about the lack of reliability and I'm thinking no one else card is behaving like this?

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  • 2 weeks later...

@batari Was wondering if there was a later version of the firmware than 0.95? I tried to play Combat and Asteroids from the 2600 images and both failed, however I can play other 2600 games like Demon Attack and Pac-Man just fine. I need to go find my Harmony Cart either way, but I want to make sure I am getting the best from my 7800.

 

Thanks!

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3 minutes ago, ChrisKewl said:

@batari Was wondering if there was a later version of the firmware than 0.95? I tried to play Combat and Asteroids from the 2600 images and both failed, however I can play other 2600 games like Demon Attack and Pac-Man just fine. I need to go find my Harmony Cart either way, but I want to make sure I am getting the best from my 7800.

 

Thanks!

From this post:

The Atari 7800 8BitDev.org page for the Concerto provides a download link for the latest firmware.

 

image.png.1c94eed67a0cc21835334006e503b7ec.png

 

The latest (30723) firmware is best for those with an OEM POKEY installed.

 

However, the next to most recent (30323) is best for those with a HOKEY.

 

Mention earlier in another post:

 

"Per Fred, the difference between the firmware posted on 30323 and 30723, is the following:

Version 30723:  "This version rolls back most the changes that helped HOKEY compatibility but hurt POKEY compatibility."

 

Therefore, in general, if a Concerto has a HOKEY installed, the 30323 file posted is likely the better choice.

If a Concerto has a POKEY installed, the 30723 file posted is likely best."

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59 minutes ago, Trebor said:

From this post:

The Atari 7800 8BitDev.org page for the Concerto provides a download link for the latest firmware.

 

image.png.1c94eed67a0cc21835334006e503b7ec.png

 

The latest (30723) firmware is best for those with an OEM POKEY installed.

 

However, the next to most recent (30323) is best for those with a HOKEY.

 

Mention earlier in another post:

 

"Per Fred, the difference between the firmware posted on 30323 and 30723, is the following:

Version 30723:  "This version rolls back most the changes that helped HOKEY compatibility but hurt POKEY compatibility."

 

Therefore, in general, if a Concerto has a HOKEY installed, the 30323 file posted is likely the better choice.

If a Concerto has a POKEY installed, the 30723 file posted is likely best."

Even with the 0.96 30723 installed I still get firmware 0.95 with Copyright 2020. Am I missing something?

 

EDIT: I reformatted the SD card, installed the latest eeloader_NTSC.bin from the install page then copied over the firmware and it seemed to work. You must do it in that order to get to v0.96.

 

Asteroids works for about a minute then the screen goes blank. Combat seems to be working fine now.

Edited by ChrisKewl
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6 hours ago, ChrisKewl said:

Even with the 0.96 30723 installed I still get firmware 0.95 with Copyright 2020. Am I missing something?

 

EDIT: I reformatted the SD card, installed the latest eeloader_NTSC.bin from the install page then copied over the firmware and it seemed to work. You must do it in that order to get to v0.96.

 

Asteroids works for about a minute then the screen goes blank. Combat seems to be working fine now.

Glad you got it working. 

 

For any others running into an issue updating the firmware, the aforementioned page states:

Firmware Upgrade process

If your Concerto is working, using firmware version 0.96 build 21423 (i.e., 2/14/23) or newer, you may be able to perform a menu-based firmware update.

Otherwise, you should use a USB cable. Concerto uses a standard micro-USB cable.

 

Step-by-step directions follows the above, including updating/ensuring latest Harmony software and drivers are being utilized, installing the latest eeloader_NTSC.bin, and the copying the firmware over.

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  • 1 month later...

The link for the firmware at 7800.8BitDev.org is not working.  Disregard:  You must be signed in to Atariage to use the link.  It works if you are signed in.

 

 

Nobios4u.png

Edited by SIO2
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  • 5 months later...

My card developed this issue where atari games do not load, they just make a noise and shows vertical bars. I tried to update to the latest (96) but I get the same thing, I'm not sure what happened, 7800 games work fine.

Edited by ulao
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48 minutes ago, ulao said:

My card developed this issue where atari games do not load, they just make a noise and shows vertical bars. I tried to update to the latest (96) but I get the same thing, I'm not sure what happened, 7800 games work fine.

Besides utilizing a Concerto cartridge, do actual 2600 cartridge currently work on your console without issue?

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Ok I had to let it warm up, I guess? but yes it does play games. At first it did a similar thing, but after letting it sit for a few seconds it works , tried 3 games. Just to be sure I will try the same games on the Concerto .

 

 

tutankham  game  plays

tutankham  rom  noise and vertical bars

 

basketball  game  plays

basketball  rom  black screen

 

 

Edited by ulao
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I gave it a few hours and tried again, everything seems ok with the console and regular carts. Not sure what I saw that first time. Though I can not find any atari games that run. They all produce bars and noise.

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9 hours ago, ulao said:

I gave it a few hours and tried again, everything seems ok with the console and regular carts. Not sure what I saw that first time. Though I can not find any atari games that run. They all produce bars and noise.

NTSC roms on a PAL 7800 will produce this effect for some games, others just will not work 

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