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A New Challenger Approaches! - A7800 BackBit Pro Adapter has arrived at the ITC!



Received my BBPro 7800 adapter today and we have some really good things and some not so good that I'm hoping can be worked out in time.

- First the good, is that the menu of course is easy to navigate working in the same manner
- This might be the fastest loading flash cart for the 7800 with the exception of the older Mateos cart
- Plays the many of the original released games without issues including both Commando and BallBlazer with properly balanced and proper sounding Pokey audio! Nice!

Now for the issues I've encountered...
- None of the 2600 roms I've tied to load up will work. What happens is that the 7800 resets after selecting the game and then essentially crashes. Now, I actually have a modified BIOS installed into my 7800 that was developed by Pac-Man Plus (Bob D.) and RevEng that plays the Kiloparsec build in 7800 game when it doesn't detect a cartridge installed. However, in the case of the BBPro, whenever I try to load up any 2600 game or some of the more recent 7800 home brew releases, it will default to the Kiloparsec built in game.
- Some of the more recent 7800 home brews that I've been testing, will load up, but the audio isn't quite right on their POKEY sounds and the graphics glitch quite a bit with horizontal flickery lines.
- One of the home brew games I have is E.X.O. in its full ready to be released form. It is a 512kb game but it doesn't load and causes the 7800 to load up the Kiloparsec built in game in my console again.
- Doesn't seem to support Pokey at $450 or $800 which are somewhat newer implementations of Pokey addressing. So it seems it only supports Pokey at $4000and $8000 is my guess?

Here is the list of original released titles I've had trouble getting to load up. These were all taken using Trebor's rom pack"
- Ace of Aces will load up but no audio and corrupted graphics
- Basketbrawl just gives a black screen and seems to lock up the BBPro since the button won't respond and requires a power cycle of the console
- Choplifter works but has minor graphic glitching with horizonal lines across the top of the image. Seems to play normal otherwise
- Double Dragon doesn't load up
- F-18 Loads up but with corrupted graphics on title screen and then locks up after selecting a mission
- Fatal Run starts up but then locks up to black screen when the demo starts or when trying to start a game
- Fight Night stars up but the menus have corrupted text and game play graphics
- Ikari Warriors starts up but with game play graphics corruption
- Mat Mania Challenge will start but player sprites are corrupted
- Mean 18 has corrupted game graphics and not really playable
- Meltdown will give a black screen when trying to load
- Midnight Mutants gives a black screen when trying to load just like Meltdown
- Moto Psycho starts but player graphics are corrupted
- Ninja Golf starts up but main player graphics are missing in the middle of the game play field and graphics corruptions in the map in the lower left
- Planet Smashers - starts up but sprite graphics are corrupted
- Rampage won't start, black screen
- Scrapyard Dog doesn't start, black screen
- Summer Games is playable but has flickery white lines on the screen only during the opening ceremonies
- Touchdown Football will start up but then black screen when pressing reset to start the game
- Winter Games works but has the same glitching horizontal flickering lines during the opening ceremony
- Xenophobe, doesn't start, black screen

So that is currently how my testing went last night with the new adapter. One of the main issues I see mainstream with the adapter, is the requirement of an additional reset wire that has to be installed using a clip off pin 13 of the 4013 IC inside the console, and then routed back out so you can plug it into the cartridge adapter. Many of Evie's adapters use and require this so it isn't new or unique to the 7800 adapter. But, I also don't see many folks willing to open up their consoles and remove the RF shielding to attach the wire and then figure out how to route it externally. Nor would they be okay with a wire dangling from their console in order to the use the BBPro. If you never planned to remove it it wouldn't be that big a deal, but then that kills the multi system aspect of having it in the first place. Evie is going to look more into trying to find ways to not require this wire, but in its current state, the adapter and the BBPro won't even load up without it attached.

So, work to be done with it still for sure and this adapter appears to be a bit more wip still compared to the others I've gotten. But, Evie has always shown strong commitment to supporting her products and in likely short time, she will have quite a few of these issues resolved. I'll be sure to update as she updates the adapter.


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There has been several updates to the BBPro adapter since that post and quite a bit has been fixed in places. Here is the current summary of how things are. Some of this I'm unable to confirm as it appears the BBPro doesn't like consoles with modified BIOS in them like all three of mine do and the other two I'm currently servicing here now... sign.

As of update 1.9.0 the following is supposed to be fixed that are major:

- Reset wire isn't supposed to be needed anymore (However, I still can't get this working on any of the ones I have here as they all have modified BIOS in them)
- Pokey Support for games has been improved 
- 2600 games are now working again (Again, I can't verify as the modified BIOS detection routines appear incompatible with BBpro thus 2600 games not working still for me)

Here is the list of original released titles I've had trouble getting to load up. These were all taken using Trebor's v3 ROM pack:
- Ace of Aces will loads up with audio but has corrupted text in the menus and will lock to a black screen when trying to start a mission
- Basketbrawl goes to a black screen after the 7800 logo loader
- Fatal Run starts but then within seconds will try to load the demo mode and locks. Trying to quickly start a game will also black screen lock
- Fight Night menus have corrupted text and player graphics are corrupted along with all score info on the top of the screen
- Ikari Warriors title screen looks correct but game play sprites are corrupted including all enemy bullets, grenades, and power up items.
- Mat Mania Challenge has all player sprites corrupted
- Mean 18 has corrupted game graphics throughout but does try and play
- Meltdown fails to load with black screen after 7800 logo loader
- Midnight Mutants fails to load with black screen after 7800 logo loader
- Moto Psycho starts but lower half of game play graphics are corrupted
- Ninja Golf loads up but center portion has missing/corrupted player graphics along with corrupted graphics in map in the lower left. On the green with the dragon fights the lower half of the screen is full of corrupted graphics
- Planet Smashers loads but entire game play screen is full of corrupted graphics
- Scrapyard Dog fails to load with black screen after 7800 logo loader
- Summer Games is playable but has flickery white lines on the screen only during the opening ceremonies
- Touchdown Football will start up but then black screen when pressing reset to start the game
- Tower Toppler fails to load with black screen after 7800 logo loader
- Winter Games works but has the same glitching horizontal flickering lines during the opening ceremony
- Xenophobe, doesn't start, black screen

So there are still issues with many of the official games however, you may have noticed that the Activision titles are not listed anymore? That is because the versions of those games with the AB bank method in them do work and play normally. So it is only the original dumps using the original bank switching method that don't.

Also the Pokey audio has been corrected for Popeye and Keystone Koppers, but Keystone Koppers like quite a few other home brew games, will have thin flickering white horizontal lines across the screen while the game is running. As many home brews share this and it is the same effect seen in both Winter and Summer games, I suspect it has something to do with whatever graphical mode is being used and can likely be corrected in time. 

I will update this blog as Evie releases major change updates.


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Evie released v1.91 yesterday for the BBPro and it has fixed a ton of stuff in the process and continues to impress me with her quick and continued support of her products.


As of version 1.91 all original released games are now confirmed working with my setup with a few small exceptions that I will mention below:

- Fatal Run still seems to auto start within a sec or two of the title screen coming up. Difference now is that it doesn't lock up the console and you can at least play the game. It also seems to auto skip the cutscene between levels that shows folks living and enjoying life, or turning into gravestones. But the shop works properly and it doesn't have any graphical glitches and is playable now.
- Summer Games is playable but has flickery white lines on the screen only during the opening ceremonies still but actual game events look correct and the game is completely playable.

- Tower Toppler now loads up and works! But similar to many homebrews and both Summer/Winter Games, it has little flickery white horizontal thin lines scattered about the screen throughout the game.

- Winter Games like Summer Games has the same white flickery lines that appear during the opening ceremony. But again, actual game events look correct and the game is fully playable.


And that is really it! If you don't see a game listed, then assume that game is now playing and working as it should. So again all of the original released games are now fully playable with just a few showing some odd graphical anomalies during their game play as noted above. 

Some other issues that appear to possible be unique to my test 7800s here, is that the Reset wire I mentioned is supposed to NO LONGER be needed. This is awesome news for everyone, but it seems that 7800s with custom BIOS in them like mine will still require this added reset wire for the time being. Not sure what the differences are but both the Kiloparsec BIOS that still isn't available publicly and the much more common Asteroids built in BIOS sold by Best and The Brewing Academy are the same and require the reset wire.

Atari 2600 games are also working again but similar to above, the custom BIOS seems to interfere with how this is supposed to work and so I have to work around the issue in my case on these test 7800s. In a nutshell the reset wire in my 7800s here is required, but also causes the 7800 to only reset into 7800 mode. As a result the 2600 game roms won't load up normally. However, if I disconnect the reset wire from the cartridge just before selecting a 2600 game, then the 2600 game will load up immediately and play without issue.

So there is a way I can at least get them to load up, but it is a PITA as it currently is for me and my 7800s here. In addition, after I've played said 2600 game and want to switch to something else, I have to reconnect the reset wire again in order to start up the BBpro adapter. I've made Evie aware of these issues but as she doesn't seem to have access to any 7800s with custom BIOS installed, it makes it difficult to figure out the problems.

This weekend, if I have time, I do plan to try and revert the Kiloparsec BIOS in my lab 7800 back to the stock BIOS setup and see if it behaves in the proper manner. My guess is that it will and would mean that for any with modified BIOS in their 7800, they might be better off to steer clear of the BBpro 7800 adapter until those issues are figured out and corrected. Which is sad because aside from this, the BBpro 7800 adapter is shaping up to be an excellent option for those looking for an easy to use flash cart for their 7800 and possibly other systems that the BBpro can support.


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16 minutes ago, RickR said:

This is getting really good, and I appreciate your testing posts very much! 


NP and I'm glad I'm in a position to do so. I own more flash carts for the 7800 now than any other system I own in the collection as most of then only need one or two to do what I want. But as I service and work on so many 7800s (More than any other console by far), I feel I kinda need to have everything on hand so I can test as many configurations and options as I can for myself and my clients who might have the same hardware.

What I might have to do, is remove the Kiloparsec BIOS from my test 7800 and revert it back to stock BIOS. And then with Bob's permission, send Evie the Kiloparsec BIOS I've been using for her to install and test further.

Because I see the same behavior in both the Kiloparsec BIOS and the NTSC modified ones that have built in Asteroids... I will guess they both are similar designed and the reasons for the BBpro 7800 adapter not working as expected is for the same reasons in each BIOS type.


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On 3/14/2023 at 1:24 PM, peteym5 said:

Will there be any documentation to help programmers develop software for this BackBit Pro device?


It is just a flash cartridge similar to the Concerto or upcoming 7800GD. The main cartridge doesn't really do anything on its own without an adapter to interface it to the computer or console you want to use it with. From there it just provides an easy to use menu of your games. Select the game you want to play and it resets the system and starts up under the game you chose.

So it doesn't add anything to the console feature wise. Just a flash cartridge with built in pokey emulation. 


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I guess this is as good a place as any to add my notes on the HOKEY chip.  I initially got one that sounded terrible with a game whose soundtrack I'm very familiar with (Ballblazer).  Fred sent me a replacement, and that one sounds just right.  It still has the volume issue (POKEY sound isn't as loud as it should be), but at least it sounds correct.

I'm leaving the new HOKEY in my Concerto cart and will keep that POKEY I was using as a backup or maybe even sell it. 

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The HOKEY in my concerto was sounding pretty bad in most stuff as well. Until his new .96 update. Once I updated to that, then Bently's Quest now sounds much closer to what it should. Although final roms of many of the recent homebrews still produce the wrong audio or no audio at all on my concerto setup. I'm not even using my concerto as I've been using the Backbit adapter in the lab and stick with my DragonFly for everything else for the time being.


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I know I've gone on and on about this cartridge in the past but it really is quite amazing given all the systems is can support. At this time, all of the 7800 original released titles minus Choplifter will play properly. Choplifter exhibits a timing issue through the cartridge that actually happens with actual carts on actual hardware as well. But here the BBPro seems to make it show up on all consoles vs just a few that have been encountered in the field.

Additionally, the adapter and firmware updates have also gotten quite a few more homebrews working as well. Many of Muddyvision's earlier releases work properly now without graphical glitching and with proper Pokey emulation as well. Some of the more exotic stuff using complex combos of RAM + Bankswitching+ Pokey..etc are still not working but perhaps in time those too will be possible.


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