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New Atari 2600 +


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2 hours ago, batari said:

I'm aware of this issue, so I am working on a solution that allows you to update firmware through the USB cable without needing a console. When I get something working, I will post it to the Harmony forum (and other places.)

Wasn't @DirtyHairy working on something similar? You should join forces.

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9 hours ago, Thomas Jentzsch said:

Wasn't @DirtyHairy working on something similar? You should join forces.

If he has worked on something, I am not aware of it.

 

However, my version currently works, and I am just hammering out a few bugs (works on Harmony, but not Concerto yet, and it's probably pretty minor.) As soon as I have it functioning on Concerto I will post something.

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On 1/30/2024 at 8:22 PM, odyssey said:

OK I've read through much of these threads. I've been playing around with my new 2600+ after the most recent beta update. So far all my 7800 carts work as well as my 2600 ones. I finally got my recently ordered concerto to load up a single rom with the updated arm file. I tried a simple game like pitfall that I got from a rom pack on this site and it works flawlessly.

 

Although with all this success I have seemed to overlook one thing. Since I flashed the rom in dev mode now I'm under the impression that overrites the original multicart firmware. Well I guess that's no big deal since I'm using it in single cart mode but as I have no way to reverting back to multicart mode as it seems you need an original console to boot up the firmware menu. I guess I'm stuck with it in single cart mode since this can't be done with a 2600+. Im guessing I would need to get an original console to do this. I'm just wondering if my thinking is right unless there is another method to update the firmware without an original console Im unaware of. I'm am concerned about future updates for my concerto now with my current dilemma.

As it turns out, firmware updates actually do work on a 2600+ the same way as on a real 7800. That is, send the eeloader file to the cart with the USB cable, then put the cart in the console with an SD card containing the new firmware file, and power up in the console. The 2600+ will boot and the Concerto will update the BIOS (provided no errors occur.)

 

So, the only difference right now is that the 2600+ currently cannot properly display the BIOS updater's status screen. So if there is an error, you won't know what it is until this is fixed. A bit of rewriting of the eeloader will be needed to properly display the BIOS updater status screen on the 2600+, so stay tuned for that.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/7/2023 at 11:22 AM, alex_79 said:

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.

 

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.

As i use a chromebook i can't use the harmony software to flash my harmony encore (or is there any way?), so i tried to put a rom in the root directory of the 4 GB FAT32 SD card and named it AUTORUN.bin and AUTOROM.bin (tried both, as i can't check on the 2600+ which firmware is installed (or can i?), but it's not working. There is no spinning "ying yang" logo and game loading failed. Any ideas about what i did wrong? I don't need to flash the cartridge in single mode when using the AUTORUN/AUTOROM method?

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4 hours ago, civokram said:

As i use a chromebook i can't use the harmony software to flash my harmony encore (or is there any way?), so i tried to put a rom in the root directory of the 4 GB FAT32 SD card and named it AUTORUN.bin and AUTOROM.bin (tried both, as i can't check on the 2600+ which firmware is installed (or can i?), but it's not working. There is no spinning "ying yang" logo and game loading failed. Any ideas about what i did wrong? I don't need to flash the cartridge in single mode when using the AUTORUN/AUTOROM method?

Autorom won’t work with a cart dumper (i.e 2600+), as mentioned in the post you quoted.  For now you’ll need to find a way to flash a ROM.

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Confirming Robot Tank (for the game competition :)) is working with F8 arm from the first page of this topic. Nice!

 

The default FE (8K Decatlon) loads something, but I only saw a flickering message from the game 'switching to reserve tank'.

Edited by Jim Hopper
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On 1/20/2024 at 5:32 PM, Lewis2907 said:

Does anyone know if someone made a """Simple Video""" on how to get the Harmony Cart to work on the 2600+?

Yes, I finally just did:

 

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On 11/30/2023 at 3:58 PM, 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.

Now that the new experimental firmware and dumper updates support Pitfall II on the 2600+, I was wondering if it would be possible for you to modify your "DPC.arm" file (similar to what you did for the F4, F6 & F8 files) so we can get Pitfall II running on the Harmony cartridge.  Thanks!

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If you have tried Pitfall II and it isn't working, then yes, I will need to modify the DPC.arm file. I will look into that.

 

I thought I would also note that there have been changes to the 2600+ firmware such that the special .arm files are generally no longer needed for the 2600+. Also, additional mappers may work now that didn't before.

 

In addition, you should be able to install the regular multicart firmware on Harmony, then you can play a game from the SD card on the Harmony cart using the 2600+. To do this, put a single game on an SD card, and call it "autorom.bin" and the Harmony cart will boot to this game. Generally, there should no longer be a need to use a USB cable to download a game directly to the Harmony cart to use it on the 2600+.

 

If Pitfall II doesn't work in developer mode, it probably doesn't work in multicart/autorom mode either. So in either case I will try things out and see what I can figure out.

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6 hours ago, batari said:

If you have tried Pitfall II and it isn't working, then yes, I will need to modify the DPC.arm file. I will look into that.

 

I thought I would also note that there have been changes to the 2600+ firmware such that the special .arm files are generally no longer needed for the 2600+. Also, additional mappers may work now that didn't before.

 

In addition, you should be able to install the regular multicart firmware on Harmony, then you can play a game from the SD card on the Harmony cart using the 2600+. To do this, put a single game on an SD card, and call it "autorom.bin" and the Harmony cart will boot to this game. Generally, there should no longer be a need to use a USB cable to download a game directly to the Harmony cart to use it on the 2600+.

 

If Pitfall II doesn't work in developer mode, it probably doesn't work in multicart/autorom mode either. So in either case I will try things out and see what I can figure out.

I tried running Pitfall II in both developer and multicart mode, and it would not execute (just a garbled screen).  However, I was able to install the multicart firmware (somewhat nerve wracking on the 2600+) and get other games to work using autorom.bin.  Thanks for the suggestion!

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On 5/24/2024 at 11:44 AM, batari said:

In addition, you should be able to install the regular multicart firmware on Harmony, then you can play a game from the SD card on the Harmony cart using the 2600+. To do this, put a single game on an SD card, and call it "autorom.bin" and the Harmony cart will boot to this game. Generally, there should no longer be a need to use a USB cable to download a game directly to the Harmony cart to use it on the 2600+.

 

I tried two games (Pac-Man and ET renamed autorom.bin) and put them in the root of SD card.

I inserted my Harmony cart (original SD version not Encore version) in 2600+.

"Loading game..." message appeared, then "No Game Detected", then "Loading game..." again, then games started but with garbage graphics and sound.

I am using latest firmware (v1.1x-r3) and dumper (x.01).

 

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On 5/25/2024 at 4:35 AM, Philsan said:

I tried two games (Pac-Man and ET renamed autorom.bin) and put them in the root of SD card.

I inserted my Harmony cart (original SD version not Encore version) in 2600+.

"Loading game..." message appeared, then "No Game Detected", then "Loading game..." again, then games started but with garbage graphics and sound.

I am using latest firmware (v1.1x-r3) and dumper (x.01).

 

Not sure if this is the issue in this case, but the autorom.bin file is for firmware 1.05 or later.

 

On older firmware (since you said you have an original SD version), the file was "autorun.bin". We changed it to autorom.bin because autorun conflicted with Windows files that some people had on their SD cards.

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2 hours ago, batari said:

Not sure if this is the issue in this case, but the autorom.bin file is for firmware 1.05 or later.

 

On older firmware (since you said you have an original SD version), the file was "autorun.bin". We changed it to autorom.bin because autorun conflicted with Windows files that some people had on their SD cards.

It worked! "Loading game..." message appeared, then "No Game Detected", then "Loading game..." again, then games started.

 

Eventually I updated the Harmony on VCS with eeloader 104 PAL50 and hbios 105 or 106 PAL50, the message "BIOS update successful - Press joystick button" appeared but now Harmony cart doesn't show games list, black screen only. Tested with two consoles.

I've succesfully made the update many times but always black screen after having pressed button.

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3 hours ago, Philsan said:

It worked! "Loading game..." message appeared, then "No Game Detected", then "Loading game..." again, then games started.

 

Eventually I updated the Harmony on VCS with eeloader 104 PAL50 and hbios 105 or 106 PAL50, the message "BIOS update successful - Press joystick button" appeared but now Harmony cart doesn't show games list, black screen only. Tested with two consoles.

I've succesfully made the update many times but always black screen after having pressed button.

Do you still have an autorom.bin file on the card? If so it may be trying to boot to that instead of the menu after you press the button, but something isn't working as expected. If it otherwise works normally after a power cycle then I wouldn't worry about it.

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19 hours ago, batari said:

Do you still have an autorom.bin file on the card? If so it may be trying to boot to that instead of the menu after you press the button, but something isn't working as expected. If it otherwise works normally after a power cycle then I wouldn't worry about it.

Black screen with or without autorom.bin file.

It's strange because I am able to update the cart, animated logo and "BIOS update successful" appear.

I will try to format SD card.

 

EDIT

After several attempts now Harmony works again (with 2600 and 2600+).

Meawhile, I tested Harmony Concerto with 2600+ too. It works with Harmony firmware.

I confirm that Pitfall II doesn't work.

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Wow, I just ran the Chiphead demo on the 2600 Plus via the Harmony Encore! It looks nice in all it's HDMI goodness. Really impressed that this works, and it's 32K. Loving the Experimental updates. Well done to all. I have also tried Stronghold and Star Gunner, both work fine too.
 

I have finally found a use for my old tiny capacity Micro SD cards, put one ROM per card and then swap them in and out of the Harmony slot, it's like having mini cartridges. Haha

I've found that you can take the SD card out and it doesn't force the 2600 Plus to reset to the OS like it does when you pull a cart out, you can carry on playing. I just swap the Micro SD and then flip on and off, slower than yanking the Harmony out but much slicker and quite fun.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/24/2024 at 2:44 AM, batari said:

If you have tried Pitfall II and it isn't working, then yes, I will need to modify the DPC.arm file. I will look into that.

 

I thought I would also note that there have been changes to the 2600+ firmware such that the special .arm files are generally no longer needed for the 2600+. Also, additional mappers may work now that didn't before.

 

In addition, you should be able to install the regular multicart firmware on Harmony, then you can play a game from the SD card on the Harmony cart using the 2600+. To do this, put a single game on an SD card, and call it "autorom.bin" and the Harmony cart will boot to this game. Generally, there should no longer be a need to use a USB cable to download a game directly to the Harmony cart to use it on the 2600+.

 

If Pitfall II doesn't work in developer mode, it probably doesn't work in multicart/autorom mode either. So in either case I will try things out and see what I can figure out.

I tried this with my Harmony Encore cart but I always get 'Game not found'. Using 2600+ FW v1.1x-r3 and dumper x.01. I tried both autorom.bin and autostart.bin. Also tried reflashing latest FW but still same result (and removing all files except hbios.bin and autorom.bin). Developer mode works for me (except as expected Pitfall II).

Edited by lucienEn
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On 5/24/2024 at 2:44 AM, batari said:

If you have tried Pitfall II and it isn't working, then yes, I will need to modify the DPC.arm file. I will look into that.

 

I thought I would also note that there have been changes to the 2600+ firmware such that the special .arm files are generally no longer needed for the 2600+. Also, additional mappers may work now that didn't before.

 

In addition, you should be able to install the regular multicart firmware on Harmony, then you can play a game from the SD card on the Harmony cart using the 2600+. To do this, put a single game on an SD card, and call it "autorom.bin" and the Harmony cart will boot to this game. Generally, there should no longer be a need to use a USB cable to download a game directly to the Harmony cart to use it on the 2600+.

 

If Pitfall II doesn't work in developer mode, it probably doesn't work in multicart/autorom mode either. So in either case I will try things out and see what I can figure out.

I tried this with Harmony Encore:

 

- Flashed eeloader_ntsc.bin (Download EEPROM)

- hbios_106_NTSC.bin (Copy HBIOS)

- copied game to SD card and renamed it autorom.bin

- Insert Harmony cart with SD card into 2600+ (v1.1x-r3 with dumper x.01), it says first loading then after few seconds "game not found". Any idea?

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I fixed it. Issue was I need to finish bios update on actual atari 2600, second waiting longer on 2600+ and ignore error:

 

- Flashed eeloader_ntsc.bin (Download EEPROM)

- hbios_106_NTSC.bin (Copy HBIOS)

- copied game to SD card and renamed it autorom.bin

- On Atari 2600 finish bios update (only needed once)

- Insert Harmony cart with SD card into 2600+ (v1.1x-r3 with dumper x.01), it says first loading then after few seconds "game not found".

- Now wait 2-3 seconds and you see again loading and it works.

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On 5/26/2024 at 4:33 PM, Philsan said:

It worked! "Loading game..." message appeared, then "No Game Detected", then "Loading game..." again, then games started.

 

Eventually I updated the Harmony on VCS with eeloader 104 PAL50 and hbios 105 or 106 PAL50, the message "BIOS update successful - Press joystick button" appeared but now Harmony cart doesn't show games list, black screen only. Tested with two consoles.

I've succesfully made the update many times but always black screen after having pressed button.

I've been reading this thread and wondering if the following idea will work. I own a Harmony cart but not a 2600+. So...

 

If you plugged an Android device (phone or tablet) to the Harmony, can you access the roms on the cart's SD card?

 

My thought is:

  1. Leave the phone and cart connected
  2. Have all games on the root of the SD card, named something like "autorom_Pac-Man.bin", "autorom_Space Invaders.bin", etc..
  3. Then with 2600+, go into the phone's file manager, rename existing "autorom.bin" to "autorom_Game Name.bin", then rename another file to just "autorom.bin".
  4. Turn on the 2600+

Essentially, using file renaming via an Android phone's file manager app to "change cartridges" so to speak.

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12 hours ago, WishItWas1984 said:

I've been reading this thread and wondering if the following idea will work. I own a Harmony cart but not a 2600+. So...

 

If you plugged an Android device (phone or tablet) to the Harmony, can you access the roms on the cart's SD card?

 

My thought is:

  1. Leave the phone and cart connected
  2. Have all games on the root of the SD card, named something like "autorom_Pac-Man.bin", "autorom_Space Invaders.bin", etc..
  3. Then with 2600+, go into the phone's file manager, rename existing "autorom.bin" to "autorom_Game Name.bin", then rename another file to just "autorom.bin".
  4. Turn on the 2600+

Essentially, using file renaming via an Android phone's file manager app to "change cartridges" so to speak.

The Harmony flash tool expects SD card to be mounted separately so I assume you would not be able to see it from the cart. But you can test that without 2600+. Seems very unlikely Harmony cart will be seen as a storage device. 

 

But if you have to use Android you could use SD to USB-C adapter (and if needed something like total commander but most devices should not need that). Some Android phones do have microSD slot as well (Sony Xperia) but this all seems a hassle to do quickly. 

 

Easier to just buy few cheap SD cards and swap those.

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