What is the Harmony Cartridge?

The time-saving, space-saving, hassle-free way to play.

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Harmony Cartridge
Try batari Basic


You can put your games in folders on the SD card so you can have different categories. For example, you could separate your games by company name, game genres, or put all paddle games in one folder if you want.



Remember that you don't just have to play classic games the way they were created. There are a lot of hacks at AtariAge that you can try. Some are great, some are horrible, and the rest are somewhere in the middle. Below are some related links:

Atari 2600 Hacks

Atari 2600 Hacks Forum

Pitfall II invincibility

Solaris Trainer (Invincibility)

River Raid with 4 Rivers

Random River Raid (Turbo & More)

Randomized H.E.R.O.

Arcade Asteroids

Missile Command TB

Defender Arcade

Pac-Man with Black Background

Multicolor Ms. Pac-Man

Ms. Pac-Man with Black Background

Yahtzee Display Fix

Beamrider (No Flashing Hack)

About This Page

This page is based on a post by atarigal at AtariAge.


This page is also based on the official Harmony cartridge PDF manual at AtariAge.


Development Tab

Here is my (Duane Alan Hahn's) first experience with the Development Tab.


ROM File was self-explanatory.


ARM Dir was a mystery until I found this post by batari:

"It is located wherever the software is installed. On Windows, that will probably be:

c:\Program Files\HarmonyCart\arm"


After setting up those two things, I could click the Download button to send a work in progress to the Harmony cart. After I tried a few works in progress, I wanted to use the SD card to play classic games, but I didn't know how to make the Harmony cart switch over to the SD card. I went searching the AtariAge Harmony cart forum and found this post by batari:

"If you program a single image to Harmony, it replaces the firmware with the game, so you need to reprogram firmware to get back to multicart mode."


After downloading and unzipping it, I downloaded eeloader_104e_NTSC.bin to the Harmony cart, but there was an error and the menu wouldn't come up. Based on what I read in the Harmony Cart Software thread, I renamed eeloader_104e_NTSC.bin to eeloader.bin then downloaded that to the Harmony cartridge and it worked.


So that means I can download a work in progress to the Harmony cartridge and when I want to use the SD card again to play games from the menu, all I have to do is download eeloader.bin to the cartridge. Now I can easily flip back and forth any time I want between my works in progress and multicart mode (with the SD card).


Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention the Quick Pick buttons. They are useful if the file name isn't going to change. Right click a Quick Pick button to select a .bin file, then any time you left click that button in the future, the information for that .bin file will be displayed and you can left click the Download button to download the file to your Harmony cart.


To save me a little time and energy, I put eeloader.bin in the bottom right Quick Pick button so I can quickly download it to the Harmony cart whenever I want to go back to multicart mode.

The Harmony cartridge is a simple, affordable, time-saving, space-saving, hassle-free way to play hundreds of games on your Atari 2600 console. Emulators are handy, but computers have other things running in the background, so games can slow down at times and that can ruin the experience. Now thanks to the Harmony cartridge, you can have the convenience of an emulator with the rock-solid quality of a real console.


Instead of dragging out all of your favorite cartridges, you can keep them safely stored away. Your cartridges will also be protected from the possible damage, grease, and grime of rowdy guests or unruly children.


Using a Harmony cartridge is easy. Put your favorite game ROMs on an SD card, pop it into the Harmony cartridge, then insert the Harmony cartridge into your console slot the same way you would with any ordinary Atari game cartridge and you're ready to go. Turn on the console, select the game you want to play from the list and enjoy the magic of Atari in a brand-new way.


Order a Harmony cartridge right now and make life a little more fun.






Harmony Cartridge HTML Manual
(Adapted by Duane Alan Hahn)

This Harmony Cartridge HTML Manual is based on the official Harmony cartridge PDF manual at AtariAge. It was created for people who are allergic to PDF files.







The Harmony cartridge is a programmable add-on for the Atari 2600 console that allows you to load an entire library of games into a single cartridge and then select which title you want to play from a friendly, on-screen menu interface. It features an SD card interface, making it simple to access the large library of Atari 2600 software. The Harmony cartridge supports almost all of the titles that have been produced for the Atari 2600. It can also be used to run your own Atari 2600 game creations on a real console. The Harmony cartridge is flash-upgradeable, and will be updated to support future Atari 2600 developments.


Back Edge of Harmony Cart


This guide tells you how to make the most of your Harmony cartridge. It should be read thoroughly before the cartridge is used for the first time. Your Harmony cartridge will provide you with many years of Atari 2600 enjoyment. The following equipment is required to use the Harmony cartridge:

  1. An Atari 2600, Atari 7800 or other Atari 2600-compatible console.
  2. A Windows, Macintosh or Linux-based computer to transfer data onto the SD card.
  3. An SD card adapter for your computer.
  4. An SD or SDHC card up to 32GB capacity.
  5. A Mini-B USB cable (only required for updating the Harmony firmware).






Getting Started with Harmony

This section is a quick guide to using your Harmony cartridge. By following the steps below, you can use your Harmony cartridge to enjoy thousands of titles in the Atari 2600 software library:

    SD Card
  1. Connect an SD card to your computer. This will normally require an SD card reader or adapter. Only SD (and SDHC) cards up to 32GB are supported. Older MMC cards and micro-SD cards (with an SD adapter) may not work reliably. A 1GB SD card is sufficient to hold every Atari 2600 title ever produced.
  2. Ensure that the SD card is FAT formatted (FAT32 is best, but FAT16 or FAT12 will work). SD cards are normally supplied FAT formatted, but some new SD cards contain unnecessary files that may interfere with normal operation of Harmony, so it is best to start with a blank, freshly-formatted card. If you purchased a Deluxe Harmony cartridge, there is no need to format the included SD card as it is FAT32 formatted and ready to use.
  3. Locate the files that you want to copy onto the SD card. These files should be raw Atari 2600 binary (.bin) files. Other file types (e.g. Supercharger .wav files) will need to be converted before they can be used. Binary files larger than 32KB, Supercharger multi-load files larger than 33KB, and Atari 5200 and 7800 files, will not work with the Harmony cartridge.
  4. Copy the Atari 2600 files that you want onto the SD card. The Harmony cartridge supports file directories, so it is usually best to copy these files to your SD card in newly- created directories. The order the files are copied onto the SD card will be the order that they are displayed in the Harmony menu. On the Mac, it is necessary to copy and paste the files onto the SD card (rather than drag and drop) to preserve the file ordering. The Harmony menu will only display the first 24 characters of the filename (including the file extension). If the filename is longer, the full filename can still be displayed (see step 7) but will normally be truncated to 23 characters.
  5. SD Card Insert
  6. The SD card can now be ejected from the computer system and placed into the Harmony cartridge. This should be done before the Harmony cartridge is inserted into the console, or before the power is switched on. Note that the SD card slot on the Harmony is a push-push designsimply push gently and release to eject. Never pull the SD card out of the Harmony cartridge without first pushing it in to eject it.
  7. The Harmony cartridge with SD card inserted can now be inserted into the console, and the console powered on. If everything is working, then you will see the menu system displayed on the screen after a few seconds. If weird patterns (garbage) appears on the screen, switch the console off, and then on again after a few seconds. If it fails to work after several attempts, try cleaning the cartridge edge connection.
  8. Firmware
  9. Navigate the menu system using a joystick in the left controller port. Holding up or down on the joystick will move between menu entries, and holding left or right on the joystick will move between menu pages. Use the fire button to open a directory (enclosed by [ ]), and to select a menu entry to be loaded. You can page faster by holding the fire button while moving the joystick left/rightthis will skip forwards or backwards through the menu 10 pages at a time. You can display the full filename for a menu entry by holding down the fire button for more than a half second. The menu system can also be navigated with a paddle controller or driving controller in the left port. Sega Genesis controllers also work but are detected as paddles, but this detection may be circumvented by holding down button B. A similar method may also work for Sega Master System or Coleco Gemini controllers.
  10. Select an entry from the menu and it will be loaded and should start after a few seconds. The Harmony cart will automatically detect the type of the file. If weird patterns (garbage) appears on the screen, this normally means that the Harmony could not detect the file type. It can also indicate a corrupt or invalid file. It is possible to tell the Harmony what type of file is used by changing the file extension (the valid file extensions are listed in a section at the end of this document). Once you are done, the console can be powered off and then on to return to the Harmony menu. There is no way to return to the menu from a game without cycling power on the console.
  11. The console should not be switched off while the Harmony cartridge is loading a file. Under certain circumstances, this could corrupt the Harmony firmware (requiring it to be reprogrammed). Also, the SD card should not be ejected from the Harmony cartridge while the console is powered, or the contents of the card may become corrupted. It is safe to switch off the console when it is displaying the menu screen, or after a file has loaded. It is only safe to remove the Harmony cartridge from the console when it has been powered off.





Harmony Firmware Upgrading


Harmony cartridges ship with the latest firmware (internal software), but new versions of the Harmony firmware may be released to improve the compatibility of the cartridge and to fix any issues that are discovered. It is a good idea to make sure that your Harmony cartridge is always using the latest firmware release.


To check your firmware version, select the [.] entry on the first page of the Harmony menu, then visit the Harmony cartridge website at to see if a newer version of firmware is available. If the firmware is current, there is no need to upgrade the firmware unless you are having trouble with your Harmony cartridge, either due to firmware corruption or use of firmware for an incompatible television format. Harmony cartridges ship with firmware for the NTSC television format as this usually works worldwide, but sometimes it may not.


The Harmony firmware is too large to be loaded directly onto the Harmony cartridge. Therefore, a small loader program must first be downloaded onto the Harmony cartridge using a Mini-B USB cable, and then the actual firmware will be loaded from an SD card. To simplify this process, a Harmony Programming Tool has been developed for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux-based computers.


To upgrade the Harmony firmware using this tool, you should perform the following steps:

  1. Download and install the latest version of the Harmony Programming Tool from Make sure that you download the correct version for your computer (Windows, Macintosh, or Linux). [Also check since it is updated more often than the official Harmony page.]
  2. USB Cable
  3. Connect the Harmony Cartridge to your computer using a Mini-B USB cable. The Harmony cartridge should not be inserted into the Atari console at this point. Some operating systems may already have appropriate drivers to communicate with your Harmony cartridge, but if not, it may be necessary to install these drivers. These drivers may be found at
  4. Insert an SD card into the SD card reader on your computer. Ensure that the SD card is FAT formatted, and can be accessed by your computer.
  5. Start the Harmony Programming Tool. If everything is working correctly, a window should appear on the screen with a green light in the bottom right corner. If the window does not appear, or a red light is displayed, please consult the Frequently Asked Questions section at the end of this guide.
  6. Make sure that the "BIOS Update" tab is selected inside the Harmony Programming Tool. The "Development" tab is provided for Homebrew game developers and is not covered in this guide.
  7. The BIOS Update tab shows three steps that should be performed. These steps are described below.
BIOS Update

      Step 1:Select the EEPROM loader to download onto the Harmony cartridge. This is done by clicking on the EEPROM "..." button. You should select a loader that is suitable for your console (either NTSC, PAL50, or PAL60). If you are unsure, use the NTSC version (eeloader_xxx_ntsc.bin) if you are in Northern America, and the PAL50 version (eeloader_xxx_pal50.bin) otherwise, where xxx is the firmware version. Once you have selected the correct version, click on the "Download EEPROM" button. The download to the Harmony cartridge should complete after a few seconds.


      Step 2:Select the firmware image to be copied onto the SD card by clicking on the HBIOS "..." button. Your choice (NTSC, PAL50, or PAL60) should match your choice in Step 1. For example, if you used the eeloader_xxx_ntsc.bin file in Step 1, you should select the hbios_xxx_ntsc.bin image here, where xxx is the firmware version. Once you have chosen the correct image, click on the SD Card "..." button and select the root directory of your SD card. Finally, click on the "Copy HBIOS" button and the firmware image will be copied onto the SD card.


      Step 3:Close the Harmony Programming Tool and disconnect the Harmony cartridge from your computer by unplugging the USB cable. You should also safely eject the SD card from your computer (do not just pull it out of the SD card reader). Insert the SD card into the Harmony cartridge, and then insert the Harmony cartridge into your Atari console before turning on the power to the console. If everything has worked correctly you should see a spinning symbol on the screen, followed a few seconds later by a message saying that the BIOS update has been successful. If weird patterns (garbage) appear on the screen, turn off the console power for a few seconds and then back on again.

  1. At this point the firmware in your Harmony cartridge should have been successfully updated. You can continue using your Harmony cartridge as normal until the next firmware update is available. If you encountered any problems upgrading the firmware, consult the Frequently Asked Questions section.





Frequently Asked Questions

I am having a problem with my Harmony Cartridgewhere can I get help?



Why are my files all jumbled up in the Harmony menu?



My Harmony cartridge just displays a spinning logo on the screen, and nothing else happenswhat am I doing wrong?



My Harmony cartridge has stopped workingit used to work fine, but now it just shows weird patterns on the screenwhat do I do?



How do I clean the edge connector on my Harmony cartridge?



Why does my computer say that the SD card is full, even though there appears to be plenty of free space on the card?



What games do not work with the Harmony cartridge?



Why does a ROM that does not work with the Harmony cartridge, work fine with the Stella emulator?



My Supercharger multiload game crashes after the first partis there any way to make it work properly?



Why does my TV screen roll after loading certain games, or the picture appear in black and white?



Will my Harmony cartridge be "bricked" (permanently damaged) if I switch it off during loading, or if a firmware update fails?



How do I check which version of the firmware is on my Harmony cartridge?



Why can the Harmony Programming Tool not find my Harmony cartridge?



How do I use the Harmony Programming Tool with Linux?



Should I use the NTSC, PAL50, or PAL60 version of the firmware?



What if my Harmony cartridge starts acting weirdly after upgrading the firmware?



When I connect my Harmony Cartridge to my computer, why doesn't it appear as a drive letter or volume like my camera or MP3 player?



The Harmony menu is very difficult to read on my TV sethow can I fix it?





Harmony File Extensions

The Harmony cartridge supports many different types of Atari 2600 software. The type of the software is automatically detected when the file is loaded. However, this auto-detection process can sometimes fail, resulting in weird patterns (garbage) being displayed on the screen. This is completely harmless, but can often be avoided by telling the Harmony cartridge explicitly what is the type of the file. In technical terms, the type of the file is the kind of bankswitching that was originally used by the cartridge.


It is possible to tell the Harmony cartridge directly what type of file is used by renaming the file extension. Atari 2600 software normally has a binary (.bin) file extension. This extension can be changed to one of the following to tell the Harmony what kind of bankswitching to use:



Bankswitch Type


Atari 2K


Atari 4K (default)


Atari F8


Atari F8 with Superchip


Atari F6


Atari F6 with Superchip


Atari F4


Atari F4 with Superchip




Activision FE


Bankswitch Type


Tigervision 3F


3E (3F with up to 4K RAM)


Parker Brothers E0


M-Network E7




UA Limited


Arcadia Supercharger


DPC (Pitfall 2)


0840 Econobanking


Custom *


For example, to tell the Harmony cartridge to use F4 bankswitching with Superchip support, you would rename the file cavein.bin to cavein.f4s (the extension is not case-sensitive).







Harmony Technical Specifications


NXP 70MHz ARM7TDMI-S microcontroller


8KB SRAM, 32KB Flash, and 512KB EEPROM

SD Card Interface:

7MHz SPI bus controller


FTD232 serial interface

Filesystems supported:

FAT32/16/12 with Windows Long Filenames (LFN)

Bankswitching types supported:

2K, 4K, F8, F8SC, F6, F6SC, F4, F4SC, FA, FE, 3E, 3F, E0, E7, CV, UA, Supercharger, DPC, 0840, Custom








The Harmony cartridge was created by the following people on AtariAge:


Fred Quimby (batari)

Chris Walton (cd-w)

Stephen Anthony (stephena)


Thomas Jentzsch

John Payson (supercat)

Nathan Strum

Albert Yarusso





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View this page and any external web sites at your own risk. I am not responsible for any possible spiritual, emotional, physical, financial or any other damage to you, your friends, family, ancestors, or descendants in the past, present, or future, living or dead, in this dimension or any other.


Use the Harmony cart at your own risk. I am not responsible if it blows up your Atari or runs away with your wife.


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