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The TI-99/4A "Super Cart"... it was one of those MUST HAVE cartridges. (Updated 09/15/2016)

Posted by --- Ω ---, 10 September 2014 · 2,126 views

TI-99/4A DOS Classic Computers Retro
The TI-99/4A "Super Cart"... it was one of those MUST HAVE cartridges.  (Updated 09/15/2016)

The TI-99/4A Super Cart  was one of those things Texas Instruments 'SHOULD' have made back in the day, but didn't.  So what exactly is a Super Cart and why did we all want one?  Read on!
 
 
The Super Cartridge is basically an Editor/Assembler cartridge with an additional 8K of RAM that gave us some additional utility, flexibility and ease of use.  Some examples:
 
1) With the ability to store a configurable menu system (like Quikload). We no longer needed to load one program just to load another program.  It was a great time saver as it was always right in memory ready to go.  If you got a new program, you just updated the menu.  :thumbsup: 
 
2) (My favorite) was the ability to run 4A DOS:lust:
     Interestingly, with the advent of the new FlashROM 99, 4A DOS is starting to make a bit of a
     resurgence. 
  

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There are multiple methods for building a Super Cart.

 

THE 'OLD SKOOL METHOD'

Instructions on the old way to build an 8K Super Cart are at the Mainbyte site:  << HERE 

>>

 

There is also a 4 bank version (which I never had) : << HERE >>
 
NOTE: You'll also need a double sided 'donor cartridge' like a TI-Invaders or

               Munchman
 
If you are unable to make one yourself, keep an eye out on eBay, they've been known to show up from time to time.  Better yet, ask in the TI section here on Atari Age, someone may be willing to build one for you.

 

THE NEW METHOD

  Better in my opinion

 

By clicking << HERE >> you can buy a new, modern and ready to go PCB .  Of course you'll still need to acquire an old Editor/Assembler module to get the required GROM chip.

 

 

Posted Image
 

 

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One of the most useful programs for the Super Cart (IMHO) was 4A/DOS, which is available
for download below.  The ZIP contains copies the documentaion, the cover, and is in the following formats:  FIAD, FR99,HFE, DSK & NanoPEB.
I recommend downloading this program and looking at the included PDF of the user's manual.  You might find that for a user with only disk drives or a floppy emulator, that this is truly the way to go.  You'll be able to swap disks or images on the fly and keep using DOS.  4A/DOS is also compatible with the 80 column mode on the F18A!
 
EDIT:  Attached is a SuperCart resident MENU LOADER called "QUIKLOAD".  This program is, in my opinion, the BEST menu loader available for the SuperCart.
 
UPDATE:  A lot has happened in the TI community since this entry was first posted.  One of the biggest changes to come down the pike was the "Extended BASIC 2.7 suite" cartridge developed by the late Anthony (Gazoo) Kneer.  Since that time, and the advent of the 'BOOT' and '9640 Menu System' loaders, those not using a FlashROM 99 have gravitated to the XB2.7s cartridge.
 
NOTE:  If you are interested in 4A DOS and downloaded the program from the old link above, please download the new "REV-02" version of my manual below.
 
 
 
 
 

 

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Neato :) my soldering skills are non existing lol so ill be posting looking for one :) I even got an extra invaders cart I was looking to get rid of but this looks like a much better use :D
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:)  I've always wondered how many TI-Invaders cartridges have been recycled in the past 30 years for Super Cart use.   Then there are always the pitiful remains left over by the GROM-less Editor/Assembler board. 

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Great stuff. Maybe I´ll try to make one of those some day.

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Updated - 09/15/2016 (It was time)

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