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[AQUARIUS] Aquaricart: The Aquarius Album Cartridge

mattel radofin aquarius multi-cart cartridge homebrew

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#26 jaybird3rd OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 9, 2011 3:11 AM

Well, I certainly won't argue with you about AD&D, a game that I still haven't had time to get into very much. However, in addition to BurgerTime, I've been picking away at TRON Deadly Discs during the few free moments I've had lately, and I'm starting to figure it out. My highest score so far:

tron.jpg

The additional sound commands that Marc is referring to are in the "1541 OS ROM" version of Extended BASIC, provided as a "bonus" in the Aquaricart collection. It is actually possible to do everything these commands can do even in Regular BASIC, but this requires the use of inline assembly: see Martin's page on programming the AY-3-8910 for an example of how to use the Mini Expander's extra sound channels in BASIC. It is certainly more convenient to have these functions available as BASIC commands, though, which is why I included it in the collection.

An update for everyone who might still be interested in the Aquaricart: I have enough new cartridge shells left for only FIVE complete Aquaricart cartridges, so get them while you can! After these shells are gone, I'll only be able to offer upgrade kits, which consist of bare boards that you can insert into one of your own shells.

(You can also use the upgrade boards by themselves, of course; you just have to remember to wedge the cartridge doors open in the Mini Expander—using small pieces of stiff cardboard on both sides—so they do not touch the board while it is inserted in the slot. You also have to be sure to insert it the right way: the chips should be facing FORWARD if you use it in the Mini Expander, or UPWARD if you use it in the Aquarius console directly. Fortunately, the finished board looks really nice even without the shell! :))

#27 marcfrick2112 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 9, 2011 12:31 PM

Wow, THAT's a pretty good score Jay!! When I was 12 years younger I could get nearly that good! LOL!

Oohhh, we need a Night Stalker comp. too!

#28 jaybird3rd OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Nov 18, 2011 7:03 PM

Okay, I now have THREE complete Aquaricart cartridges left. Because the holidays are coming up, and because several people have expressed interest in picking up an Aquaricart for Christmas, I'd like to make the following offer to anyone who might still be "on the fence" about it:

For the next two weeks, while supplies last, I'm offering my remaining Aquaricart cartridges for $72 each (a $5 discount), and my Aquaricart "upgrade kits" for $50 each (a $15 discount); shipping is extra. The upgrade kits are an especially good deal at this price, for anyone who has a donor cartridge handy or who would be willing to pick one up from another source. Here, for example, is an eBay seller (not me) who is offering six NIB copies of Aquarius Logo:

eBay Auction -- Item Number: 220896603841

By picking up one of these cartridges along with my discounted upgrade kit, you can assemble your own complete Aquaricart cartridge for about the same cost as a regularly-priced upgrade kit. I provided some tips on opening the cartridge and installing the Aquaricart board in another thread.

Remember ... this offer lasts only until December 2nd, so get 'em while you can!

#29 Mirage OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Nov 18, 2011 7:45 PM

Last weekend I finally got around to messing with my AquariCart. Wow! Very polished! The detail put into it is unreal. Even after playing with it for a couple hours, I definitely didn't see everything there was to see. I'm going to enjoy spending some late nights with it, just losing myself in this little machine heretofore unfamiliar to me. Thanks for all the effort, Jay.

#30 marcfrick2112 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 19, 2011 5:09 PM

Oh Man! I am just thinking an Aquaricart would make a Fantastic Christmas present!! :)

psst, anyone want an Aquarius Snafu PCB for cheap? :grin:
*My Donor cart.... 'your sacrifice shall not be forgotten' :P

#31 jaybird3rd OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:24 PM

Just a reminder ... about two days to go, and ONE complete cartridge left!

#32 jaybird3rd OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:00 PM

Okay, I have now shipped the last of my complete Aquaricart cartridges ... for the time being! I'm always on the lookout for reasonably-priced cartridge donors, so anyone who is interested in the Aquaricart in the future should contact me to find out if I have the materials available to build another complete cartridge.

In the meantime, my "upgrade kits" will still be available on a "build-on-demand" basis, and I think I'm going to leave them at the $50 price point to make it easier for those who need to acquire their own donor cartridges.

#33 psquare75 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:06 PM

I am glad this production went well for you (and us).

#34 jaybird3rd OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:20 PM

I am glad this production went well for you (and us).

Thank you! I'm so glad to have had such great support from the community; I doubt this project would have been possible otherwise.

I'm going to be very busy next year, but to keep the momentum going with my Aquarius projects, I'm going to begin working on a "Volume 2" collection (containing cassette conversions and other goodies) in January. I think that's something I can easily put together in my spare time, thanks to the reusable assets I developed for the first Aquaricart. I'll be starting a new thread for that project when the time comes, so "stay tuned!"

#35 Rev ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:42 PM

Did you have to "convert" the cassette games into a digital Rom form?
Then could you take these Roms and port them to another system? (not just INTV, but others too?)

Forgive my lack of programming knowledge and wording.



Lets hope groovybee doesnt read this, he will rip me a new one.... :skull:

#36 jaybird3rd OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:53 PM

I'm basically using the cartridge as a "fast loader" for the cassette games. I start with an Aquarius emulator, in which I load the games in BASIC from cassette images. Then, I do a "save state" to capture a memory image of the fully-loaded game, and I condense the data within the image to a file that I can burn to a cartridge ROM. When you choose the game from the Aquaricart menu on a real Aquarius, it copies the data back from the cartridge and reconstructs it in memory, just as if it had been loaded from tape (only a lot faster). I understand that Atari did much the same thing with the disk-based games they re-released in cartridge format for the XEGS.

The games are still designed specifically for the Aquarius, so they'd have to be re-written for a different machine like the Intellivision. Most of the Aquarius cassette games are fairly simplistic anyway, so it would be easier to re-write them from scratch than it would be to translate the original game code.

#37 psquare75 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:21 PM

Aquaricart in action!

Decided to fire up the AQ to play some AD&D. Yes I'm 32 and the snack diet consists of pretzels and 'Dew.. Still.

Posted Image

The AQ cart has a permanent home in the expander (until something else equally epic is created!)

#38 jaybird3rd OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:40 PM

Excellent! After working on the Aquaricart for such a long time, I'm still totally stoked to see it out in the real world (and in such a loving home at that!).

#39 jaybird3rd OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 28, 2012 5:54 PM

Just dusting off this thread to let everyone know that I've picked up four more NIB Aquarius cartridge donors, so for anyone who missed out on the Aquaricart last year, I can now offer four more complete Aquaricart cartridges. I'll even extend the sale price mentioned earlier: $72 for a full cartridge, or $50 for an upgrade kit (shipping extra). Thanks!

#40 OutlawTorn71 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 7, 2012 11:58 AM

You have a PM sir :cool:

#41 HARMIK OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 7, 2012 7:41 PM

PM sent :)

#42 OutlawTorn71 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:24 PM

Even though I may be repeating what many on the forum already knows, I am a "newb" here but I have to give Jay the kudo's he is due ;-)

If you do not have one of his Aquaricarts, I have to say that it's a must have for any Aquarius enthusiast !! and anyone just curious like myself :D

I had never owned one until he set me up with one with the cart, and it's a blast ! I just wish I had more time to play...

#43 HARMIK OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:52 PM

Got mine thank you :)

#44 owen2471 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:50 AM

Hello
Do you still have the aquarius multi carts for sale? I would like to order an uncased one. I'm based in the uk ?

Thankyou


#45 jaybird3rd OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:36 AM

Thanks for your interest! Yes, I can still supply plenty of upgrade kits, and I just obtained enough materials for two more complete cartridges as well! These are probably the last complete cartridges I'll be producing, at least until a more reliable source of cartridge shells can be found. I'd like to offer them for sale for $65 each through the remainder of this month (shipping is extra), so if anyone reading this doesn't yet have an Aquaricart, get it while you can!

#46 pimpmaul69 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 23, 2012 12:07 AM

Thanks for your interest! Yes, I can still supply plenty of upgrade kits, and I just obtained enough materials for two more complete cartridges as well! These are probably the last complete cartridges I'll be producing, at least until a more reliable source of cartridge shells can be found. I'd like to offer them for sale for $65 each through the remainder of this month (shipping is extra), so if anyone reading this doesn't yet have an Aquaricart, get it while you can!

are you still selling the multi-cart. i just got me an aquarius and would love to get one

#47 voltron OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 23, 2012 12:14 AM

are you still selling the multi-cart. i just got me an aquarius and would love to get one


I been debating Aquarius for some time, and i could not fight it. Since its basically an intv cousin i feel as if my intv collection is incomplete with out its weird cousin.

#48 Chuck D. Head OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 23, 2012 1:42 AM

It's totally worth it Voltron! And someday we may get Aquaricart II with the cassette games!! Besides your collection was kind of stalled at "completed", so you kind of had to branch out, eh?

#49 voltron OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 23, 2012 2:19 AM

It's totally worth it Voltron! And someday we may get Aquaricart II with the cassette games!! Besides your collection was kind of stalled at "completed", so you kind of had to branch out, eh?


well not exactly complete, i have all 125 games but several of them are loose. so its technically not complete. as a result I dont qualify for Revs Platinum status on his site. Plus im missing most homebrews and test/demo carts. But yeah i think its time to make room for the weird cosuin and start collecting aquarius. I hope they do make more of those aquacarts bc i would be interested in one as well.

Holy Macaroni, as I am writting this listening to the oldies station 5th dimension is playing... Must be a sign....The Age of Aquarius.



#50 jaybird3rd OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 23, 2012 2:27 AM

are you still selling the multi-cart. i just got me an aquarius and would love to get one

I hope they do make more of those aquacarts bc i would be interested in one as well.

Thanks! A few people who expressed an intention to get one never followed through, so I do have a few Aquaricarts left, including one or two complete cartridges. PM me if you're interested!





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