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To be perfectly honest, I only took a crack at it because I couldn't think of anything else that I was in the mood to work on on MAME at the time. Work was done as a direct result of me being bored as hell dovetailing nicely with an incredibly well-researched and comprehensive MT bug report.

If and when BallyAlley does decide to pay up, the only thing I intend to do with the bounty is use it to fund more LCD handheld purchases, it's certainly not going into my pocket.

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indeed, and that is what sets MAME aside from the rest.

even for the CPS3 thing, I was already looking at it as part of something bigger

obviously I hope BallyAlley decides to send something your way because it'll cover a decent portion of the cost of seeing one of the Game & Watch titles preserved for future generations, a task that requires money to purchase the physical item for processing and something that is going to play a significant role in the long term preservation and accessibility of our culture.

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Which is fine. I just would like some better way for people to attract bored devs without opening up a license to be annoying about it smile

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Question for BallyAlley, to what pin(s) on the 9-pin controller port is the 300 baud cassette interface connected?

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I seem to be having some trouble getting tapes to load using the 300-baud interface. It would appear that the interface should supply a bit stream to the least-significant bit of the relevant controller port, but I'm not having any success in getting tapes to load, regardless of the polarity that I use.

For reference, I'm using the corrected Grandfather Clock demo from this page: http://www.ballyalley.com/program_downloads/300_baud_programs/Barry_Ellerson/Barry_Ellerson.html

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Wow. I'm not following this thread that I started yesterday-- I guess I have to figure-out how to get an email sent to me when someone posts to this thread. I checked-in on the thread just now and there is already a patch for 2000-baud tape support for MAME? That's crazy. I have to try it. Now, where do I download a work-in-progress?

Someone commented that a bounty can send the wrong idea to the community. I think I understand exactly where you're coming from. I guess if bounty's became the only reason that people worked on MAME then the whole project would be stalled. Yet, people in the Astrocade community have asked, on and off, for tape support in MAME since around 2001. The astrocade was never released out side the U.S. and it barely made a blip, so it wasn't high on anyone's priority list. I figured a bounty might help get the ball rolling.

Oh, and certainly I'll pay the $100 bounty that I offered after I try out the emulation. Even if it's not perfect, then it's possible that just a start is enough to get others interested in getting it to work 100%. There are other posts in this thread that I plan to answer, if I have time, before the weekend is over.

I really can't believe a bounty got anyone's attention at all. Thanks!

Adam

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Heya BallyAlley. I'm assuming you're running a 64-bit version of Windows. If that's the case, I've compiled a single-driver version of MAME and uploaded it here:
http://polygonal-moogle.com/mame/astrocade/astro64.zip

You'll also need to update astrocde.xml in the "hash" subdirectory. You can find the updated version here:
http://polygonal-moogle.com/mame/astrocade/astrocde.xml

If you're running 32-bit Windows, let me know and I'll spin up a 32-bit build for you. Please refer to my post earlier in the thread for the proper syntax on how to run AstroBASIC from the software list. For reference, the ROM image contained in the relevant .ZIP file should have a CRC32 of 70514687 (in hex).

Lastly, the version that I uploaded contains some of my current work in progress, which is properly slot-ified controller ports, rather than emulating the Astrocade as always having four controllers plugged in. This is something that will be necessary in order to emulate the 300-baud tape interface. By default a joystick is connected to controller port 1, and to plug in additional controllers you can specify "-ctrl2 joy", "-ctrl3 joy", or "-ctrl4 joy" to plug a joystick into the relevant ports.

Once the 300-baud tape interface emulation is functional, you will be able to plug it in using "-ctrl3 cassette". If you use the "-listslots" option, you will note that that attachment is already available, but it is currently non-functional for unknown reasons.

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I have now added support for saving and loading via the 2000-baud tape interface found on the Blue RAM expansion boards.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Simply plug in the necessary 4K, 16K, or 32K Blue RAM expansion board as normal (-exp blue_ram_4k, etc.) and you will be able to mount a tape in WAV format for loading, or create a new WAV for saving.

I have uploaded an updated single-driver 64-bit Windows build of MAME containing these changes here:
http://polygonal-moogle.com/mame/astrocade/astro64_190317.zip

Once you have evaluated the progress so far, kindly send me a private message on these forums and I will respond with the e-mail address associated with my PayPal account.

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Just posting this here for the benefit of those who, like myself, are unfamiliar with the Bally Astrocade.

Here is a page with photos and scans of the keypad itself and all the overlays.

And here is a video demonstration of the Astrocade on what looks like a period correct Zenith TV set. Pretty cool.

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Originally Posted by Sune
Just posting this here for the benefit of those who, like myself, are unfamiliar with the Bally Astrocade.


The Astrocade also uses the same Nutting ASICS that the Midway games (Gorf, etc.) used, in lower resolution mode.
There have been hardware hacks built to give the Astrocade the same resolution video as the arcade.

There is some Astrocade source (ex. BASIC) in the Fenton scans I uploaded to bitsavers under pdf/nuttingAssoc, along with some cassette source.

Last edited by Al Kossow; 03/17/19 06:01 PM.
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