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New 7800 BIOS Available soon!


CrossBow
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For some of you that might not frequent the AtariAge forums and even if you do, you could have easily missed this. But sometime back Mike (RevEng) created two demo screens for the 7800. One is an on screen chart that shows the safe boundaries to program game elements within to be sure they will appear inside overscan areas on different display types. The other was a graphical 7800 logo screen that is pretty cool to see in action. 

Long story short, Bob (PacManPlus) wanted to get that new graphic loader onto a new BIOS to replace the original. After working with Mike to get that done, Bob decided he would take it a step further and make it work like the PAL 7800 BIOS. In that this new BIOS would not look for the encryption key in games and allow the use of PAL and unsigned 7800 games to operate. It would have the new graphic logo loader screen with the ability to bypass it and go straight to the game if wanted and...

He decided to program a new game to be built into the BIOS that would come up in the same way that Asteroids Deluxe comes up on the PAL BIOS. Only this game titled as Kiloparsec would be exclusive to the 7800 and only available through this new BIOS. Other changes to the BIOS were made to improve compatibility with some 2600 homebrews that apparently have issues with the current PAL BIOS upgrades that exist.

This new BIOS will be available soon and hopefully offered in not only a DIY kit but also with a kit + Install services option as well. It will be offered through the AA store when it is all finalized. In the meantime, I do have 10 of these new programmed BIOS chips and the rest of the kit parts available for client installs. Here is a very short video showing the new BIOS in action on my personal 7800 for testing. Notice there isn't a game in the cartridge slot.
 

Here is a link to the original thread where this all came to be. Again, you would be forgiven for having missed this since the thread title this was all discussed in doesn't say anything about a new BIOS being worked on. It just kinda happened shortly after Mike released these demos.

https://atariage.com/forums/topic/318624-a-non-interactive-title-screen-is-a-safe-screen

Just wanted to bring knowledge of this project to you guys. 

 

Edited by CrossBow

See what I'm up to over at the Ivory Tower Collections: http://www.youtube.com/ivorytowercollections

 

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What are you looking to have done on the H6er's? I've only got 3 UAVs for 7800 use and TBA has closed their store until October I think? So I've gotta ration them UAVs LOL!

If you just want the BIOS installed then that is doable for sure. But I do need to discuss the current logistics in PM until things are finalized on this.

 

See what I'm up to over at the Ivory Tower Collections: http://www.youtube.com/ivorytowercollections

 

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On 8/2/2021 at 12:33 PM, socrates63 said:

Just some TLC for the heavy sixers--no mods. I know one of the switches is a little loose on one. My 7800 already has UAV mod done to it so just need the BIOS upgrade.

I'm just now seeing this reply and I'm heartbroken?! You didn't have me do the UAV in your 7800? 🙂

 

See what I'm up to over at the Ivory Tower Collections: http://www.youtube.com/ivorytowercollections

 

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17 hours ago, CrossBow said:

I'm just now seeing this reply and I'm heartbroken?! You didn't have me do the UAV in your 7800? 🙂

I bought it a few years ago from someone on ebay who was modding 2600 and 7800. It was my first Atari console when I got back into Atari gaming and before I knew anyone 😆 The death grip and homebrew incompatibilities led me to get a 2600.

I still need to schedule with you work on my two heavy 6ers.

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Just now, socrates63 said:

I bought it a few years ago from someone on ebay who was modding 2600 and 7800. It was my first Atari console when I got back into Atari gaming and before I knew anyone 😆 The death grip and homebrew incompatibilities led me to get a 2600.

I still need to schedule with you work on my two heavy 6ers.

Which compatibility issues specifically? Because...um.. I have a cheap easy fix for most of that and I can take care of that cartridge sleeve too.

 

See what I'm up to over at the Ivory Tower Collections: http://www.youtube.com/ivorytowercollections

 

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1 minute ago, CrossBow said:

Which compatibility issues specifically? Because...um.. I have a cheap easy fix for most of that and I can take care of that cartridge sleeve too.

IIRC it was one of Darrell Spice's games. I think it was Space Rocks and it the screen was flickering(?). I read that the incompatibility differed among the 7800 variants. For the cartridge grip problem, I ended up buying an adapter (Lock-On 2600 or something like that) by someone on AA forum, and it works well.

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Okay, I hadn't heard of Space rocks having any issues on the 7800? I'm only aware of the Activision carts that use the FE bankswitching scheme that aren't compatible with the extra timing circuit that was added to the 87' to mid '88 7800 systems. A single capacitor can be clipped to take it out of circuit to disable that extra timing circuit. Doing so will then render 2 2600 games non functional, but restores the compatiblity to all of those activision titles. 

Those two games that will no longer work are the 2600 version of Dark Chambers (And any of the hacks that use that kernal engine), and the 2600 version of Kung Fu Master. 

However, I have disabled that circuit on at least 2 7800s now where Dark Chambers continued to work afterwards but Kung Fu Master only gives a black screen. But it can easily be argued that the 7800 versions of those two games are better anyway so it isn't much of a loss. I only have Space Rocks in rom format and don't own the actual cart. So I wonder if the earlier build I have of the game on rom isn't affected and that is why I've not known about it?

 

See what I'm up to over at the Ivory Tower Collections: http://www.youtube.com/ivorytowercollections

 

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