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New Atari 2600 +


Fab10

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8 hours ago, Fab10 said:

I heard rumores that the coming 2600+ won't support the Harmony like carts. Anyone has any certain info? Also I am new here, does the Concerto, (the specific cart for A7800) normally work wit A2600 games on the A7800? Thanks in advance! 

There are already several threads on this. It's a cart dumper like the Retron, so there's no way for a multi-cart or menu-driven device to work. That's why the included multi-cart has dip switches, so it works like individual cartridges. It needs to dump the cart's contents into memory. That's also why many homebrews with additional chips won't work. The 2600+ is primarily for those who want to play *most* original cartridges from back in the day. Everyone else will be disappointed in the limitations.

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Couldn't you make the harmony cart appear as a normal cart if a particular file is found on the filesystem, such as default.4k or something would put the cart into 4k mode and appear only as the cart specified with no menu. You could then load at least a single cart into the emulator. You might even be able to build a single cart image that has multiple games, you would be limited to just one cart mode however. I think this is how the KROCKODILE cart works to generate a multicart.

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17 hours ago, James45 said:

Couldn't you make the harmony cart appear as a normal cart if a particular file is found on the filesystem, such as default.4k or something would put the cart into 4k mode and appear only as the cart specified with no menu. You could then load at least a single cart into the emulator.

The Harmony can already do that.

There are two ways:

  • Put a rom in the root directory of the SD card named AUTORUN.bin (firmware up to 1.05) or AUTOROM.bin (firmware 1.06). Then the cart will load automatically that rom when you power on the console. Anyway, loading the rom happens after the 2600 is powered on, and you'll see the spinning "ying yang" logo animation while loading. That won't work with a cart dumper.
  • Use the Harmony software and flash the cartridge in single image mode through usb, which overwrites the normal firmware. In this case the cart behaves like a standalone one and, as long as the cart type is among those supported by the dumper, it could work with it (timing differences compared to a real console might be an issue, though). I used that method to test my 2600 cart dumper with bankswitching types for which I don't own any physical cart. And it worked.

 

17 hours ago, James45 said:

You might even be able to build a single cart image that has multiple games, you would be limited to just one cart mode however. I think this is how the KROCKODILE cart works to generate a multicart.

The dumper must be coded to recognize and dump that type of multicart, which is difficult. And the emulator must be coded to then emulate that too. Consider that such multicart should likely lock the bankswitch once a game is loaded, to avoid that the game code itself triggers an hotspot of the multicart bankswitch scheme. So the dumper's hardware would have to be designed so that it can power cycle the cartridge. And autodetection would be even more difficult and slow in that case.

Edited by alex_79
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On 8/30/2023 at 11:01 AM, Fab10 said:

I heard rumores that the coming 2600+ won't support the Harmony like carts. Anyone has any certain info? Also I am new here, does the Concerto, (the specific cart for A7800) normally work wit A2600 games on the A7800? Thanks in advance! 

Uh, I just ordered the Harmony Encore and I thought I could run it on the new Atari 2600+. But I understand the limitation here. Is there any (newer) hardware out in the market that would work with the Harmony Encore - or should I buy an original A2600. And if, where to find? I am in Germany (and so far I only used software solutions and raspberry pi's)...

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I expect that Harmony should work on the 2600+ if using developer mode. As mentioned, developer mode is a function of the Harmony software where you download a single game directly to the memory of the Harmony cart, bypassing the menu. You'd be limited to a single game at a time.

 

Of course, the Harmony is designed as a multicart and it would be nice if Atari could figure out a way to make the 2600+ compatible with the menu. Right now, of course, this doesn't work, but I would never say never on this. It is certainly possible that Atari may be able to update their firmware with either an interactive dumper (rather than dumping once at boot) or they could make it communicate with the cartridge in real time if they put in more effort, which could support the Harmony and other carts.

 

There is currently a community effort to build a similar device that interfaces with the cartridge interactively, so with any hope, Atari may be able to do the same and someday the 2600+ will work with the Harmony cart.

 

 

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  • 1 month later...
On 9/13/2023 at 10:39 AM, rgev said:

Thank you for the reply, @batari - my order is also shipped, as far as I can see it :)

 

If anyone has a good source for an original A2600 then, or wants to sell one directly, please PM me.

If you are serious, over the next few weeks I am going to be cataloging my collection and putting some for sale. I have a BUNCH of them. You might want to look for a 7800 though, really my 2600s stay stored away and I play the 7800 since it plays both.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Just a thought... What would it entail to run a single ROM containing the entire Atari 2600 library with an integrated menu system? This would differ from systems where the flashcart's menu is part of its firmware.

 

The Harmony user interface for a game selector is already developed and, to my understanding, compatible with most of the library. We've seen similar setups in collections like "Intellivision Lives!" for the PS2, where the entire game collection and menu are within one ROM file. Considering the Atari 2600+ system's specs (Rockchip 3128 SOC microprocessor, 256MB of RAM and storage), it seems more than capable of managing a ROM likely less than 20MB in size.

 

The main question I can see  is whether the 2600+'s game dumping and emulation system can handle a complex ROM that includes thousands of game ROMs. I realize this might be a technically challenging proposition and apologize if I'm oversimplifying it. Just seems like it could be possible, right?

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1 hour ago, psiomicron said:

Just FYI the new Atari 2600+ does support the Harmony Cartridge. You just have to flash a game in single cart mode using either FE (8k Decathlon) or UA (8k UA Ltd.) bankswitching mode. You do this from the Development tab on the Harmony software

You were able to run bankswitched games using the Harmony on a 2600+?

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22 hours ago, Thomas Jentzsch said:

You were able to run bankswitched games using the Harmony on a 2600+?

Yes it does. I tested all the bankswitching, and the only two that worked was FE and UA, all others failed. Interestingly enough I tried the games that was on the failed list that Atari had and they still failed as well. So must be something with the game itself. 

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3 hours ago, psiomicron said:

Yes it does. I tested all the bankswitching, and the only two that worked was FE and UA, all others failed. Interestingly enough I tried the games that was on the failed list that Atari had and they still failed as well. So must be something with the game itself. 

Thanks for this result.

 

It appears that the 2600+ must handle dumping of a scheme with hotspots <$1000 differently.

 

Given this result, I tried modifying the F8 single-image Harmony code to see if it can be made to work on the current 2600+ firmware. Can anyone test this? If this works, I can modify other bankswitch code to match.

 

Replace the F8.arm file in the Harmony software with this one. If anyone tests this, please post the results!

 

F8.arm

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54 minutes ago, Thomas Jentzsch said:

👍 

 

Asteroids works!

Excellent!

 

I will modify more of these in the same way and post them later.

 

As for your results with FE and UA, I am guessing that since one user reported success, the timing must be right on the edge for these. I can see if I can speed these up a little.

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Because these were easy, I quickly did F6 and F4. Note that for F4, not all games will work (because the Harmony memory is 32k and the game is 32k, some compression is used to fit the game and the code, and some games are just too compact to compress adequately.)

 

Does the 2600+ support SARA games yet? If not, I won't try modifying the SARA schemes yet.

 

I also plan to post some test files for (hopefully) supporting AUTOROM games.

F6.armF4.arm

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19 hours ago, batari said:

Because these were easy, I quickly did F6 and F4. Note that for F4, not all games will work (because the Harmony memory is 32k and the game is 32k, some compression is used to fit the game and the code, and some games are just too compact to compress adequately.)

 

Does the 2600+ support SARA games yet? If not, I won't try modifying the SARA schemes yet.

 

I also plan to post some test files for (hopefully) supporting AUTOROM games.

F6.arm 424 B · 3 downloads F4.arm 672 B · 3 downloads

I noticed some Activision games like Laser Blast and H.E.R.O. do not work with F8. Couldn't get Dragon Stomper to work with F4. But Fatal Run did work with F4 but could not get it to work with F4SC. @Lisboa2k6 just confirming you used F4SC for Fatal Run?

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