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Experimental 2600+ Firmware


raz0red

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IMG_9344.thumb.jpeg.5cced4554aa166259c73daf0ad418dca.jpegI recently acquired a newer HERO2 cart and I noticed that it has a green PCB whereas my older copy of HERO2 has a purple one. So there appears to be two different variations. I was delighted to find out that the green one does work on the 2600 plus!   I’m running with version 1.1.0.9, 1.1x-r1. Both carts are NTSC. 
Btw, There is a demo .bin file of this game from the publisher for those who are interested in checking it out: 
On 2/19/2024 at 9:36 PM, Ricardo Pim said:

Hey Guys, HERO 2 DEMO

 

You can play Level 1 to 4 in loop.

No extra lives.

 

Thank you

 

 

Hero2 Demo 2024.bin 8 kB · 19 downloads

 

I previously posted the debug info for the purple variation that isn’t dumping correctly in the 26+. Here is the debug info for the green version that does work, just incase this is for some reason helpful in anyway:

IMG_9340.thumb.jpeg.5895d636066dc65b0e2b58e5e7f9e960.jpeg

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3 hours ago, Trebor said:

So, the complete 2600+ configuration for this testing is Dumper 01.01.00.02 & update-021724-1.1x-r1-debug.  This is indicated on the attached spreadsheet as well.

FYI, there is a newer dumper available:  1.1.0.9

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3 hours ago, chad5200 said:

FYI, there is a newer dumper available:  1.1.0.9

3 hours ago, John Stamos Mullet said:

If you follow the link he put, he is talking about the latest dumper.

Thank you both.  Despite linking to the post, evidently I never did update to 01.01.00.09 and remained under 01.01.00.02.  The great news here is after updating the dumper to 01.01.00.09, now both standalone carts of Double Dragon and Rampage work perfectly.

 

Unfortunately, the CPS Diagnostic Cart is still a blank screen after loading, despite the update notes.  To end on a more positive note, Possible Mission has worked for me without issue under both dumper versions 01.01.00.02 and 01.01.00.09 with this experimental build.

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47 minutes ago, Trebor said:

Unfortunately, the CPS Diagnostic Cart is still a blank screen after loading, despite the update notes.  

Hey @Trebor, great work on all of the testing!

 

If you can please post the hash for your diagnostic cart, we can get it into the next build.

 

Thanks a lot,

Chris.

Edited by raz0red
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8 hours ago, Trebor said:

Carts that currently did not work for me, though I anticipate will definitely work with a future update, are the Activision games, Double Dragon and Rampage.  Would love to have Paddles working on the 7800 games that support them.

Um....

 

Both my Rampage and Double Dragon are working fine with this new experimental build. I've seen a few others state this so there has to be different revisions of the games causing this?

 

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8 minutes ago, John Stamos Mullet said:

Boot camp.

Parallels.

VirtualBox.

WINE.

 

There's no shortage of ways for you to run a windows instance for free on your Mac.

That works well on older Intel-based Macs, but not on any newer Macs made in about the last 3 years.

 

New Macs with Apple silicon only run Arm-based Windows, and the supplied drivers aren't compatible.

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18 hours ago, Trebor said:

All aboard the 2600+ train!  Here are the testing results with my 7800 cartridges.

 

Environment and miscellaneous info:

TV Model: Samsung UN50TU7000FXZA
Software Version: T-KTSU2AKUC-2501.1 (Software up to date)

 

Controllers leveraged: Proline CX24, Paddles CX30+

 

Typical experience: Power up console, white Atari logo shows, screen then goes to "Detecting Device", need to press "Return" or "Exit" on remote to see Atari logo again and/or "Loading Game..." screen.

 

Afterwards, absolutely perfect.  No tearing, stuttering, or delays.

 

I updated the dumper with the software provided from the other thread as well.   So, the complete 2600+ configuration for this testing is Dumper 01.01.00.02 & update-021724-1.1x-r1-debug.  This is indicated on the attached spreadsheet as well.

 

A few cartridges* with a loading game or blank screen issue was also tested under an original NTSC Atari 7800 console without an issue experienced.  Cartridges cleaned with 91% Isopropyl Alcohol and Q-tip, tested again under the original 7800 console, then again to the 2600+, and ran perfectly under both.

 

Overall, extremely pleased.  The cartridges which did not work were expected to not function (Multi-carts, Attack of the PETSCII Robots, Diagnostic Cart, Rikki & Vikki), and quite a few surprises of protos working, including some limited release homebrews and hacks as well.  Even the 1024k Frankie demo performed flawlessly.  TIA speech was spot on for the games that use it.  Awesome stuff!

 

Carts that currently did not work for me, though I anticipate will definitely work with a future update, are the Activision games, Double Dragon and Rampage.^

 

Would love to have Paddles working on the 7800 games that support them.  The new paddles are GREAT!  Not 7800 related, but Kaboom! hasn't brought me that much joy and excitement in a long time.  

 

Hopefully, some other surprises down the road to make PETSCII and Rikki work.  Nonetheless, quite the impressive showing.  Standing-o to @raz0red, @RevEng, and @Ben from Plaion.  Outstanding work to turn the initial firmware around, quite incredibly, for 7800 compatibility.

 

Discovered my Worm cart no longer works.  Blank screen for both original 7800 console hardware and the 2600+.

 

*Cartridges that needed cleaning: Ace of Aces, Asteroids Deluxe, Fight Night, RobotFindsKitten, Super Cobra, Xevious.

 

New motto: Your cartridges may be cleaned, but are they 2600+ working clean?  :-D

 

2600+ Testing by Trebor.xlsx 13.85 kB · 14 downloads

 

^EDIT: For posterity, the issues utilizing Double Dragon and Rampage completely resolved with standalone cartridges working perfectly, after updating the Dumper from version 01.01.00.02 to 01.01.00.09 from the file provided in another thread.

Posts like this give me life, its energising and brings a huge sense of relief to read such comments from yourself. Thanks a lot.

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55 minutes ago, Ben from Plaion said:

Posts like this give me life, its energising and brings a huge sense of relief to read such comments from yourself. Thanks a lot.

AFAIC the console has come a long way in a short amount of time and its been very encouraging to see your engagement with the community from day 1. Sharing the dumper and fw updates with the community has been great and I hope this type of collaboration continues and or extends to any peripherals that may come about in the future. 🙂

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2 hours ago, Sean_1970 said:

Might as well be suggesting people just buy a new 2600+ when new firmware is standard 🙄

That’s always an option. 
 

No offense intended, but if you want to be the kind of gamer who also tinkers with experimental firmware and upgrading/downgrading with test versions on devices like this, having a windows PC is kind of a necessity. Mac OS gets nearly everything last, if at all. 
 

Im not going to get into whether that is fair or not, but it was a choice you made buying a Mac. 
 

For example: I’m an iPhone user. I made the choice consciously to purchase one knowing that the options to tinker with experimental builds or plug in external storage etc, wasn’t really an option like it is with Android phones, unless I wanted to invalidate the warranty. But I was fine with that, because it’s not really that important to me. 
 

if fiddling with stuff like this is important to you, then you might want to consider getting a cheap Windows PC. 

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On 2/18/2024 at 4:56 AM, raz0red said:

The purpose of this thread is to track the progress of an experimental 2600+ firmware.

 

Instead of making this firmware the next beta release, it seemed to make more sense to create a new thread due to how significant the changes are in this version. For example, the video output portion has been rewritten to optimize its performance. Thus, it is very possible that there may be regressions. But, the hope is that this experimental firmware will evolve into an upcoming beta release. 

 

There are two versions of the firmware available, a standard version, and a debug version. When reporting issues, please capture the information displayed in the debug version (at the top, photo preferred). This provides information such as the cartridge hash, its type, and size. This information makes it relatively easy to determine if the issue is with the dumper or the firmware itself. For example, if a 32k cart is showing as 16k, it would be a dumper-related issue.

 

image.thumb.png.70fc8a0c5d928142ee8a368cb7dd012c.png

 

Changes include (1.1x-r1):

 

2600

  • Optimized video output (should fix missing sprites, etc.)
  • Code optimization (PGO and other modifications)
  • 50hz display (PAL games)
  • SaveKey disabled
  • Game-specific fixes:
    • Pick 'n Pile (PAL)
    • Moonsweeper (PAL)
    • Time Pilot (b1)
    • Tac-Scan
    • Spike's Peak

 

7800

  • Optimized video output
  • 50hz display (PAL games)
  • Updated PAL palette (thanks @Trebor!)
  • Pokey buffer size fix

 

Caveats and Disclaimers:

 

  • This is an experimental build, not an official Atari/Plaion release, so please use at your own risk.
  • This build may contain regressions, or other defects not in the official beta builds. 
  • The updated video driver means that the RetroArch UI is no longer accessible. You can still configure settings via the RA configuration file, but any video-related settings will be ignored.

 

Downloads (1.1x-r1):

 

Weird, Google Chrome is say the file is dangerous and stopping you from downloading it...

I hate Antivirus Software sometimes, alot of the time get it wrong.
image.thumb.png.296f79a35bd01402eb57d3f4f3f28731.png

Edited by Spanner
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23 minutes ago, John Stamos Mullet said:

if fiddling with stuff like this is important to you, then you might want to consider getting a cheap Windows PC. 

With Microsoft's latest Windows 11 hardware politics, used PCs should become dead cheap now.

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Just now, Thomas Jentzsch said:

With Microsoft's latest Windows 11 hardware politics, used PCs should become dead cheap now.

Windows 11 runs just fine on older PCs.

 

A 30 second google search shows results that demonstrate how to install Windows 11 on non-supported devices with relative ease. 

 

The reason they went with only “officially” supporting hardware with TPM 2.0 and up is because they want people to be smart and encrypt their drives to prevent data theft. It’s always been one of the biggest loopholes in Windows. 

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15 hours ago, Bitsized said:

Can someone experiment with making this update available to those with macs?

You could try this for the firmware upgrade https://github.com/Jerzha/RKDevelopToolGUI (which has a pre-compiled binary). But that still doesn't help with the dumper upgrade.

 

Note you will have to unpack the firmware to get the MiniLoaderAll.bin that you need to upload to the device before you can update the firmware.

Edited by jj_0
MiniLoaderAll.bin
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