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[AQUARIUS] Aquaricart: The Aquarius Album Cartridge

mattel radofin aquarius multi-cart cartridge homebrew

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#1 jaybird3rd OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:00 AM

After about eighteen months of development, I am pleased to announce the availability of the Aquaricart, the first and only multi-cart for the Aquarius Home Computer System!

aqcboard.jpg aqcbrochure.jpg

For those who are unfamiliar with it, the Aquaricart is a collection of ALL of the original cartridge software ever released for the Aquarius, along with several unreleased, prototype, and enhanced titles. It also includes the original instruction manuals and overlays, exclusive historical information and trivia, and Quick Reference guides ... all in electronic format, so they can be printed with the Aquarius Thermal Printer or viewed on-screen!

aqc_ss02.png aqc_ss04.png

aqc_ss03.png aqc_ss01.png

Here is a complete list of the cartridge titles in the Aquaricart collection:

  • AD&D Treasure of Tarmin
  • Astrosmash
  • Biorhythms
  • BurgerTime
  • Chess
  • Demonstration Cartridge
  • Extended BASIC
  • FileForm
  • FinForm
  • Logo
  • Melody Chase
  • Mini Expander Diagnostic (an unreleased Radofin diagnostic tool)
  • Night Stalker
  • Shark! (an incomplete prototype of Intellivision Shark! Shark!)
  • Snafu
  • Space Speller
  • TRON Deadly Discs
  • Utopia
  • X10 Command Console (the software for the unreleased Aquarius X10 home automation system)
  • Zero In

Plus, as a bonus:

  • The 1541 OS ROM (an enhanced version of Extended BASIC)
  • The Demonstration Cassette (the six mini-games originally included with the Aquarius on cassette tape—Stalactites, Macho-Man, Torment, Cute Cubes, Alien Quest, and Mad Mould—converted to cartridge format for instantaneous loading)
  • "BurgerTime Plus" (an enhanced BurgerTime which increases the maximum number of peppers and lives and removes the extra characters from the screen border)

aqcmenu.png

Each of these cartridges, along with the manual pages and other extra content, can be accessed through an easy-to-use menu interface that you can control from the keyboard or the hand controllers. Or, if you prefer to skip the menu, you can use the "Quick Boot" feature to jump immediately to the cartridge of your choice on startup. The Aquaricart is fully compatible with a stock Aquarius computer console, so no Mini Expander or extra RAM are required (although some of the cartridges in the collection recommend or require extra RAM).

I'm offering the Aquaricart in two configurations. The first is a $65 "upgrade kit", consisting of an assembled and tested cartridge board that you can install inside one of your own cartridge shells. While supplies last, I am also offering a fully assembled cartridge inside an Aquarius Night Stalker box for $77. Both options include full-color cartridge labels and a printed manual.

(For those Aquarius owners who have any extra cartridge(s) on hand at all, I would highly recommend choosing the upgrade kit. My supply of cartridge shells is very limited, and as much as possible, I would like to reserve them for Aquarius users who do not presently own any cartridges.)

aqc.jpg

If you're interested in adding the Aquaricart to your collection, contact me via PM—or, if you're not an AtariAge member, click on my profile and use the e-mail link to contact me that way—and let me know which of the two options you would prefer. Be sure to include your shipping address so I can calculate the postage and give you a final total. If I have an Aquaricart cartridge ready to send, we will exchange information and complete the transaction; otherwise, I will provide an estimate of when it will be available (usually within two weeks). I won't accept any payments until I have a tested product that is ready for immediate shipment, so you won't be kept waiting for your order any longer than necessary.

I'm in the process of putting together a web site for the Aquaricart, which will offer complete scans of the original instruction manuals and other useful Aquarius resources. In the meantime, if you're interested, you can follow the eighteen-month development history of the Aquaricart in the original project thread, which includes testimonials from fellow Aquarius owners.

Thanks for your interest and support!

 

EDIT: The original form factor of the Aquaricart (which used repurposed Night Stalker cartridges) has been unavailable for some time.  I have switched to a new form factor based on the Intellivision cartridge design; see here for pictures.  With this new design, I was also able to reduce the price to $60 each (not including shipping).  PM me if you're interested!



#2 Chuck D. Head OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:09 AM

PM dispatched with extreme prejudice!! Green Jello is setting up nicely. WooooooHooooo!!!

#3 psquare75 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 15, 2011 7:49 AM

As an owner of this, and a longtime 'casual fan' of the Aquarius, since I was a child... If you have an Aquarius, you need this.

#4 Godzilla OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 15, 2011 8:49 AM

WOW! that is AWESOME. Why must SO much video game stuff all come out at this time of year? :) new Inty homebrews, new odyssey 2 homebrews, all the retail stuff (rage, gow3, skyrim, etc.) Put me down for one, it just may take me a week or so to get $$ together, but I'm good for it! ask anyone here, please hold one for me if you can. upgrade kit, I have an double of at least one cart.

#5 Rev OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 15, 2011 8:53 AM

If you sell out of these, will they ever be made available iin the future?

#6 jaybird3rd OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:31 AM

If you sell out of these, will they ever be made available in the future?

If there is enough demand for them, I'll gladly make more. Aside for the small "stockpile" that I built up to get started, I'll be making these on demand anyway. For a product with such a limited audience, I think that's a better strategy than building up a glut of inventory up front. I have no idea how many more I'll make, but I'm certain there will be plenty available for everyone who wants one.

#7 jaybird3rd OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 15, 2011 10:09 AM

WOW! that is AWESOME. Why must SO much video game stuff all come out at this time of year? :) new Inty homebrews, new odyssey 2 homebrews, all the retail stuff (rage, gow3, skyrim, etc.) Put me down for one, it just may take me a week or so to get $$ together, but I'm good for it! ask anyone here, please hold one for me if you can. upgrade kit, I have an double of at least one cart.

Thanks very much, and don't worry ... I've got plenty on hand for the time being. Let me know whenever you're ready.

#8 BassGuitari OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 16, 2011 9:44 AM

I'll have to put this one on my Christmas list for the time being, but I fully intend to get one at some point, hopefully sooner rather than later. :)

#9 Mark Wolfe OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 16, 2011 9:38 PM

I have to go out and find an Aquarius, does anyone want to sell me one?...I'll ebay if not... so put me down for one around christmas time :)

#10 jaybird3rd OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:08 PM

I have to go out and find an Aquarius, does anyone want to sell me one?...I'll ebay if not... so put me down for one around christmas time :)

Thanks! I'll set one aside for you (and for you too, BassGuitari).

Now seems to be a good time to pick up an Aquarius from eBay. There have been a few pretty good-looking units going for reasonable prices lately, including this one (not mine):

eBay Auction -- Item Number: 250912359520

AtariAge member oldjd is also offering a tested Aquarius system in the Marketplace—complete with a Mini Expander and hand controller, which is really the best way to experience the Aquarius.

#11 Intymike OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:33 AM

I wonder, were there ever NTSC Radofin Aquarius? I´m asking because from the two PAL Aquarius I own, one is by Mattel (it seems from the UK) and one by Radofin (completly german).

#12 Mark Wolfe OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 17, 2011 9:39 AM

is there any way to modify the video output of the aquarius? I assume it is RF? any way to add composit or s-video?

#13 jaybird3rd OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:49 AM

I wonder, were there ever NTSC Radofin Aquarius? I´m asking because from the two PAL Aquarius I own, one is by Mattel (it seems from the UK) and one by Radofin (completly german).

Yes! I own two NTSC Radofin machines, one which I bought NIB and the other which serves as one of my "testbed" machines.

#14 jaybird3rd OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:11 PM

is there any way to modify the video output of the aquarius? I assume it is RF? any way to add composit or s-video?

I once tried using this Intellivision composite upgrade in the Aquarius, since both machines share the same RF modulator. I got promising results, in that it worked about as well in the Aquarius as it did in the Intellivision, but there must have been a problem with the board I built: I got lots of vertical streaks/bands, in both the Aquarius and the Intellivision. I haven't had time to troubleshoot it since, but it seems that the Intellivision upgrade could serve as the basis for an Aquarius upgrade.


I wonder, were there ever NTSC Radofin Aquarius? I´m asking because from the two PAL Aquarius I own, one is by Mattel (it seems from the UK) and one by Radofin (completly german).

Yes! I own two NTSC Radofin machines, one which I bought NIB and the other which serves as one of my "testbed" machines.

#15 IntellivisionGuy97 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 17, 2011 6:16 PM

When I get an Aquarius, I am so getting one of those! I saw that Shark! Shark! prototype on ebay when it had sold.

#16 Godzilla OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:58 PM

WOW! that is AWESOME. Why must SO much video game stuff all come out at this time of year? :) new Inty homebrews, new odyssey 2 homebrews, all the retail stuff (rage, gow3, skyrim, etc.) Put me down for one, it just may take me a week or so to get $$ together, but I'm good for it! ask anyone here, please hold one for me if you can. upgrade kit, I have an double of at least one cart.

Thanks very much, and don't worry ... I've got plenty on hand for the time being. Let me know whenever you're ready.


Thank you so much! I love support for old obscure hardware platforms :-) (thinks fondly of his astrocade and vic-20 multicarts...)

#17 Mark Wolfe OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:08 PM

I am having trouble finding an Aquarius for a decent price on ebay. In the meantime, can you please list the games on the cart that require extra ram? I though the extra ram cart went in the cart slot, how can you use both at the same time? please elaborate for the aquarius newbie

#18 Intymike OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:45 PM

You have to use the mini expander:



#19 Mark Wolfe OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 22, 2011 6:02 PM

jeeez, I'm beginning to think this may be too much money to get into this computer when I already have a pretty complete Intellivision collection plus the flash cart for it and an a/v modded intellivision. what games on the aquarius cart require ram expansion?

#20 jaybird3rd OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 22, 2011 6:05 PM

I am having trouble finding an Aquarius for a decent price on ebay. In the meantime, can you please list the games on the cart that require extra ram? I though the extra ram cart went in the cart slot, how can you use both at the same time? please elaborate for the aquarius newbie

Fortunately, none of the games in the Aquaricart collection require extra RAM. The programming languages and the word processor (FileForm) can use extra RAM if you have it, but the only cartridge in the collection which requires extra RAM is FinForm, the spreadsheet.

Let me look through my spare Aquarius systems. A few of them have issues, but I might be able to find a working one in fairly decent shape that I can send you, along with a Mini Expander and a hand controller.

#21 intellicat OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 24, 2011 12:50 AM

I have to go out and find an Aquarius, does anyone want to sell me one?...I'll ebay if not... so put me down for one around christmas time :)

Thanks! I'll set one aside for you (and for you too, BassGuitari).

Now seems to be a good time to pick up an Aquarius from eBay. There have been a few pretty good-looking units going for reasonable prices lately, including this one (not mine):

eBay Auction -- Item Number: 250912359520

AtariAge member oldjd is also offering a tested Aquarius system in the Marketplace—complete with a Mini Expander and hand controller, which is really the best way to experience the Aquarius.


Amazing price on that one. 99 cents final bid.

#22 marcfrick2112 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:38 AM

I am having trouble finding an Aquarius for a decent price on ebay. In the meantime, can you please list the games on the cart that require extra ram? I though the extra ram cart went in the cart slot, how can you use both at the same time? please elaborate for the aquarius newbie

Fortunately, none of the games in the Aquaricart collection require extra RAM. The programming languages and the word processor (FileForm) can use extra RAM if you have it, but the only cartridge in the collection which requires extra RAM is FinForm, the spreadsheet.

Let me look through my spare Aquarius systems. A few of them have issues, but I might be able to find a working one in fairly decent shape that I can send you, along with a Mini Expander and a hand controller.


I can also vouch for this, both using an official FinForm cart. and Jay's Aquaricart. I remember the disclaimer saying it needed extra RAM in the Aquarius catalog(s).

I am also gonna say, anyone with any interest in the Aquarius NEEDS one of these carts! The 'extras' are really neat... and , Jay I was just thinking.... I think it was the Mini-Expander diagnostic program reporting my working 32K as 'damaged' that helped track down the one annoying bug in the pre-release ROM....
I am still regularly testing my Aquaricart, it is Totally Solid for me...
It's just sooo nice seeing some love for the poor little Aquarius....

Now, ya just need a mass storage solution, Jay!!
*hint*

#23 oldjd OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:00 AM

Thanks for the referral Jay.
To anyone interested,I still have this unit
As Jay said,I have tested it and it works fine
Pm,for specifics if needed

#24 jaybird3rd OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 24, 2011 10:01 AM

Thanks for the testimonial, Marc. You're one of the few who are fortunate enough to own an original 32K module, so your work in testing it with the Aquaricart during the pre-release phase was indeed very helpful.

I'm going through my stuff and putting together an inexpensive Aquarius bundle for anyone who might be interested in picking up an Aquarius system and the Aquaricart all at once. In the meantime, to those who already own an Aquarius, or who have just picked up the Aquaricart and want to get the most out of it ... why not stop by the Intellivision High Score Club and help to get an Aquarius High Score Contest started? The library of games may be small, but I'd love to go head to head with other Aquarius users. I'm curious to see if anybody can beat my top score on Aquarius BurgerTime! :cool:

#25 marcfrick2112 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 9, 2011 12:12 AM

Oh man, I can't take you in Burgertime, this is for sure, Jay... But, I can wipe the floor up with you in D+D!!!
*Reminds me, maybe I should play a game tonight!*

And thanks Jay... I never minded helping out with this project... I simply have always loved the poor mis-understood Aquarius....

Oh, and Jay, ya might want to mention the new sound command for all 3 channels in the 1541 'enhanced' Ext. BASIC... as this seems to me the only easy way to access all 3 voices....





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