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Atarivox + high score save problem


Phylax

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Hello. Last year I bought an AtariVox and had used it with my 2600 without apparent issue. On my 7800 it was not saving high scores but I attributed it to a defective 7800. However, I now have a perfectly functional 7800 and the AtariVox is still not saving high scores on any compatible 7800 game. It appears to be saving just fine on 2600 games (even when those are played through the 7800). Has anyone else encountered this issue? 

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That's weird.  Which 7800 titles have you been testing with, and can you get speech from it in 7800 games?

 

FWIW, the AtariVox+ only uses six of the nine pins on the joystick port.  More 7800-specific details can be found here, but I/O for the 32K of NVRAM that holds the high scores is on joystick port pins 3 & 4.  Those pins also happen to correspond to joystick left and right - so if a 7800 game doesn't respond when a joystick plugged into that port is moved left or right, then the problem (probably) isn't unique to the Atarivox.

 

Why it would work in 2600 mode and not 7800 mode isn't entirely clear to me since both modes use the TIA for joystick port I/O.  If it works in one it should work in the other.

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Does first-time HSC functionality has to be initialized on the Atarivox? If so, I think Darryl may have hit the nail on the head in the Popeye thread. I think any of the 7800 launch titles should suffice, many of which are quite common: Pole Position, Ms. Pac-Man, Asteroids, etc. 

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38 minutes ago, DrVenkman said:

Does first-time HSC functionality has to be initialized on the Atarivox? If so, I think Darryl may have hit the nail on the head in the Popeye thread. I think any of the 7800 launch titles should suffice, many of which are quite common: Pole Position, Ms. Pac-Man, Asteroids, etc. 

Pole Position II is actually a title that does not contain HSC saving code. 

 

This is the complete list of original retail titles that support HSC saving:

 

-Asteroids
-Centipede

-Dig Dug

-Food Fight
-Galaga
-Joust
-Ms. Pac Man

-Robotron 2084
-Xevious

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On 4/22/2024 at 8:26 PM, DrVenkman said:

Does first-time HSC functionality has to be initialized on the Atarivox? If so, I think Darryl may have hit the nail on the head in the Popeye thread. I think any of the 7800 launch titles should suffice, many of which are quite common: Pole Position, Ms. Pac-Man, Asteroids, etc. 

 

This would make sense if the AtariVox had HSC compatilbility, but it only supports the SaveKey.  No preinitialisation should be necessary - at least, it wasn't on either of mine.

 

@Phylax: One thing not mentioned earlier was the interference between the 7800's case and the Avox' case.  This causes it to not sit completely flush against the joystick port, and at a downward angle potentially causing contact issues with the pins.  There are a couple of things to try to see if maybe it's going out of alignment:

  • Use a joystick extension cable (6' or less recommended) to place it away from the 7800
  • Place the 7800 on a book or similar, and let the Avox rest at a downward angle without touching the surface the book is on
  • Remove the Avox' case (its two halves are held together with tabs that can be pressed in with a small flathead screwdriver) and see if that helps when it's plugged directly in

 

Are you completely powering down the system when switching between 2600 and 7800 games, and is the Avox plugged in when this happens?  Just as a general rule, it's better to have the Avox plugged in at powerup rather than after, and it may need a second or two between power cycles in order to come back up correctly.

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