Jump to content
IGNORED

Atarimax Ultimate SD Multi-Cart Question


Atari Nut

Recommended Posts

I would love to see some schematics on this thing.

Mine blew out a couple years back before the "pandemic" and Steve emailed me back at the end of 21 and said I could return it despite it being out there for a few years.   I never returned for replacement and I really don't want to insult the guy by it just showing up after I have fiddled with it.

 

I put this under my microscope and there are solder blobs everywhere and one of the main chips is not centered.  Maybe I have an early model.  The date says 2011, Steven J Tucker.  I also found two legs on a different main chip with a blob binding them which could be on purpose to lock writing or a soldering mistake.

 

I removed some of the blobs, I think 1 resister is burned out but I have the worst multi meter in town, at least the worst leads.
So, I will screw with it some more to find where the burn out is.  It just does not power up, no LED.  The reset works.
I plugged it in one day to test a game I was working on, it ran for a minute and then went pop.

And audible snap but I see nothing that can be confirmed as yet as being burned except for a couple of resisters that I suspect that might be.

Also, having a coating over everything prevents testing so even that has to be scraped to get to metal.

 

I will probably throw it on the oscilloscope at some point but I have way to many other projects going on at the moment.

Edited by Captain Cozmos
Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, Captain Cozmos said:

I would love to see some schematics on this thing.

Mine blew out a couple years back before the "pandemic" and Steve emailed me back at the end of 21 and said I could return it despite it being out there for a few years.   I never returned for replacement and I really don't want to insult the guy by it just showing up after I have fiddled with it.

 

I put this under my microscope and there are solder blobs everywhere and one of the main chips is not centered.  Maybe I have an early model.  The date says 2011, Steven J Tucker.  I also found two legs on a different main chip with a blob binding them which could be on purpose to lock writing or a soldering mistake.

 

I removed some of the blobs, I think 1 resister is burned out but I have the worst multi meter in town, at least the worst leads.
So, I will screw with it some more to find where the burn out is.  It just does not power up, no LED.  The reset works.
I plugged it in one day to test a game I was working on, it ran for a minute and then went pop.

And audible snap but I see nothing that can be confirmed as yet as being burned except for a couple of resisters that I suspect that might be.

Also, having a coating over everything prevents testing so even that has to be scraped to get to metal.

 

I will probably throw it on the oscilloscope at some point but I have way to many other projects going on at the moment.

In the time that it took you to type that up… you could have returned it to Steve and he would have repaired it and sent it back. 😜😜

  • Like 2
  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
  • 7 months later...

I just received a new one today but it is red.
Which one came first, the red or the black.

 

My old one 20231121_182656.thumb.jpg.a92bd4e449afb6f2cc4332a7bfb8cc67.jpg

 

 


New 20231121_171811.thumb.jpg.4cc5c60170498141b62cb5d4251b662b.jpg

 

I would like to think that I am getting the latest version of these things so is the red, the latest version?
Personally, I like the red case but I also picked up the 5200 so I can dabble in 6502 assembly.

Edited by Captain Cozmos
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

48 minutes ago, Captain Cozmos said:

I just received a new one today but it is red. Which one came first, the red or the black.

When Steve first announced and starting selling them, as far as I know and saw, they came in a black cartridge shell and I only started to see the red cartridge shell years later. I don't think there have been any revisions to the hardware, just numerous firmware updates over the years.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Tempest said:

Is there a good place to get the latest firmware?  Or can someone tell me what the latest one is (maybe I already have it?)

This was what was on the card that I received today.  Dated October 2022 I am hoping that it's the latest version being that this was bought 3 weeks ago.  Nov 2023.
I can only guess that this has been perfected being it hasn't been updated in a year.

ColecoSD_20221020_HW01811043.zip

Edited by Captain Cozmos
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Steve has never been real forthcoming with firmware updates.  The last firmware he published was a beta firmware from June of 2019.  And to get it, you had to email him.  Except he is notorious for not responding to emails.  Because of that, I believe someone posted the files here after they manged to get them for everyone else.  That was the version on my cart.  The boot and menu files in yours seem to match the same dates as the 2019 beta.  But the firmware and hardware files are 2022.

 

I tried flashing the files you provided using the "normal" process, and would up with a result code of 8 flashes.  Which indicates a hardware programming failure.  Not sure I want to try using the "failsafe" option.  As I'm wondering if he had to alter the firmware due to component shortages and changes in the HW design.  And possibly the new version of firmware isn't compatible with older carts (I think I got mine in like 2016 or 17ish).  I'd be curious if anyone with an older cart is able to flash up to the 2022 version.  Of course someone could try reaching out to Steve, but it's usually a black hole.  But maybe I'll try for giggles.

 

As a side note, your older/original card with the "wafer drive" label was a rebranding done by a user here.  He presumably worked out a deal with Steve to rebrand and resell (at a mark up as I recall) the carts as "wafer drives".  AFAIK they were the same inside, just a branding change.

Edited by nick3092
Link to comment
Share on other sites

38 minutes ago, nick3092 said:

I tried flashing the files you provided using the "normal" process, and would up with a result code of 8 flashes.  Which indicates a hardware programming failure.  Not sure I want to try using the "failsafe" option.  As I'm wondering if he had to alter the firmware due to component shortages and changes in the HW design.  And possibly the new version of firmware isn't compatible with older carts (I think I got mine in like 2016 or 17ish).  I'd be curious if anyone with an older cart is able to flash up to the 2022 version.  Of course someone could try reaching out to Steve, but it's usually a black hole.  But maybe I'll try for giggles.

Never thought of that.  My unit works just fine so maybe I'll stick with what I have.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

58 minutes ago, nick3092 said:

Steve has never been real forthcoming with firmware updates.  The last firmware he published was a beta firmware from June of 2019.  And to get it, you had to email him.  Except he is notorious for not responding to emails.  Because of that, I believe someone posted the files here after they manged to get them for everyone else.  That was the version on my cart.  The boot and menu files in yours seem to match the same dates as the 2019 beta.  But the firmware and hardware files are 2022.

 

I tried flashing the files you provided using the "normal" process, and would up with a result code of 8 flashes.  Which indicates a hardware programming failure.  Not sure I want to try using the "failsafe" option.  As I'm wondering if he had to alter the firmware due to component shortages and changes in the HW design.  And possibly the new version of firmware isn't compatible with older carts (I think I got mine in like 2016 or 17ish).  I'd be curious if anyone with an older cart is able to flash up to the 2022 version.  Of course someone could try reaching out to Steve, but it's usually a black hole.  But maybe I'll try for giggles.

 

As a side note, your older/original card with the "wafer drive" label was a rebranding done by a user here.  He presumably worked out a deal with Steve to rebrand and resell (at a mark up as I recall) the carts as "wafer drives".  AFAIK they were the same inside, just a branding change.

This is a copy of my older, black shell, AtariMax
It worked fine until the card went bad. I don't know what version it is.
What I do know is I went through hell to get it.

How simple is it to put a 170k file on your website for download.
His forums tell you nothing and you have to register or some deal to see or download.

I am not trashing the product or the man, just his methods.
 

Old BU.zip

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I emailed Steve, see if I can get an answer about the Coleco firmware.

 

Slightly OT, but I'd be curious what your 5200 cart shipped with. I haven't fired mine up in a very long time, I'm not even sure what version is on mine. I also asked him what the current version is for that.

 

I guess now I just wait and see. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, nick3092 said:

I emailed Steve, see if I can get an answer about the Coleco firmware.

 

Slightly OT, but I'd be curious what your 5200 cart shipped with. I haven't fired mine up in a very long time, I'm not even sure what version is on mine. I also asked him what the current version is for that.

 

I guess now I just wait and see. 

I'd be interested in that as well.  I had to replace the SD card in mine so I only have the original system file that came with it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Captain Cozmos said:

Here is what was on my 5200 version.

Honestly, I have yet to fire up my 5200, it's in my storage room and I plan on toying around with it after Christmas.
 

I'm like that.
I bought a 5200 joystick adapter for the PC around 2 years ago and it's still in the packaging it came in.

5200.zip 41.17 kB · 0 downloads

Thanks I'll take a look.

 

we're all like that at some point in our collecting/gaming lives.  I think I spend more time setting up and decking out systems than I do playing with them. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Well, two months later and several follow up/reminder emails to Steve, and I have some answers.  And since no one should have to go through this to get firmware, I have firmware for the masses.

 

For starters, ColecoSD.  So I was right in my earlier post that at some point Steve most likely switched up the hardware.  Which is why when I tried to flash the firmware posted earlier, it failed (but didn't brick my cart, which was nice - plus based on the readme, I think these carts are more or less brickproof - just a theory).  He originally sent me what I think was the exact same file posted earlier in the thread.  Once I told him it failed and the ID in the file name didn't match what was displayed in the menu (you can see the hardware ID in your menu above the firmware version dates), he sent me a different firmware.  Based on that ID, you'll want to flash one of these two files to update (I witnessed no bricking when the wrong file was used, but use at your own risk):

 

ColecoSD_20221020_HW01811043.zip

ColecoSD_20221020_HW1756E157.zip

 

Once that was sorted out, I asked Steve about Atari 5200 firmware (technically off topic, but since @Tempest and I were discussing it, seems like as good as any place to post it).  He asked me if my cart had a rest button on it or not (apparently this cart has gone through a functional revision), I replied it did not and eventually got another file from him.  It failed on my cart.  A few days later he sent me two more files.  In the current 5200 firmware, the hardware ID is not shown in the menu the way it is for Coleco.  So he modified the firmware to now include the ID.  But that means you'll have to play a guessing game to see which hardware revision you have currently.  Like with the ColecoSD, I had failed firmware flashes with the 5200SD, and it didn't seem to brick the cart.  So I don't think there is any harm in using the wrong one.  But again, use at your own risk.  As a frame of reference, mine is reset-less and purchased early/mid 2017 and mine used the 1756E157 version).  Interestingly, the hardware ID's match the Coleco IDs.

 

Atari5200SD_20240130_HW1756E157.zip

Atari5200SD_20240130_HW01811043.zip

 

Edited by nick3092
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In this instance I can only assume that the version that I posted for the Colecovision was the latest only because I just bought the thing within the last 6 months I think.
As far as the Atari 5200 one would think the exact same thing.  However, you are posting 2024 so again, I am assuming that yours is the latest so I will try it out.

You would think that Steve has a #1 superior product on the market that he would just have a link on his website to the latest version.
If his stuff worked mediocre I would never buy from him due to lack of support and I like the guy no BS.  But you have to support your customers bottom line.

Edited by Captain Cozmos
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It does look like the one you posted does match one of the two I uploaded. It's just for the newer hardware. At least now both the new and old hardware firmware is in one place.

 

The 2024 dates on the 5200 are because he just tweaked the firmware two days ago to add the hardware ID, which the 5200 menu lacked. I suspect considering all my firmware dates were 2011 prior to this there was probably some updates between then and now. But since he doesn't do change logs either, your guess is as good as mine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well honk my hooters.....
Then does anyone know how to check the hardware ID or just try until it works.
One thing I learned in the military is the old quote "if it ain't broke then don't fix it"
 

I don't want to screw anything up but at the same time I really would like the best version that has the most functionality.
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, going forward if you flash the 2024 version, you'll know. Otherwise it's a guessing game.

 

I honestly don't think it bricks anything if you use the wrong file. When Steve sent me an incompatible 5200 version, the flash just failed with a 6 blink code (3 blinks means it's good). Once I deleted the files off the SD, the cart booted normally, just with my old 2011 firmware.

 

Same thing happened with ColecoSD when I tried to flash the one you posted back in Nov. Too many blinks, deleted the files, back to my old version. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...