Jump to content

Photo

[AQUARIUS] New Product: Aquarius 32K RAM Module

mattel radofin aquarius memory upgrade

144 replies to this topic

#26 JasonlikesINTV OFFLINE  

JasonlikesINTV

    Quadrunner

  • 9,190 posts
  • Location:Midwest

Posted Tue May 13, 2014 11:29 AM

You had me at "same price" :)

#27 Chuck D. Head OFFLINE  

Chuck D. Head

    River Patroller

  • 3,496 posts
  • Facilitator of the Infinite
  • Location:Woodland, WA

Posted Tue May 13, 2014 11:35 AM

I'm in. And I am always up for pretty lights (I'm thinking blue on this one). I don't have any original RAM modules, so this is perfect for me so I can play the cassette games I haven't been able to try yet. Jay, am I imagining things, or had you been thinking of doing a cart with ram expansion on one bank and cassette games on the other? Sign me up.



#28 jaybird3rd OFFLINE  

jaybird3rd

    Quadrunner

  • Topic Starter
  • 8,999 posts
  • "Excuse me, sir? I have a question ..."
  • Location:806.4616.0110

Posted Tue May 13, 2014 11:38 AM

I more drool over features than blinky lights, personally.  Unless, of course, you could manually switch between banks of RAM and a series of LEDs indicated which bank you were on :)

Bankswitched RAM is certainly a possibility someday.  Even 32K of RAM is more than most Aquarius users have ever had, and I suspect that it will be enough for the applications that the Aquarius will foreseeably be used for, which is why I'm proceeding with the design of this module (remember that we can already have up to a megabyte of bankswitched cartridge ROM; RAM is only needed for read/write storage if the program is in ROM).  But we'll certainly have the means to add more RAM if there ever proves to be a need for it.

 

As I said earlier, bankswitched RAM wouldn't be usable by any existing Aquarius software, so it would need the support of new software with integrated memory management.  Different software uses RAM in different ways, however, and it's difficult to predict how a bankswitched RAM upgrade would best be designed until someone actually finds a use for the Aquarius which would require more than 32K of RAM.  That seems unlikely to me, but I'd love to be proven wrong about that.

 

One of my next hardware projects will be a development cartridge: a bankswitched, battery-backed RAM module for testing new cartridge software, uploaded to the Aquarius from a PC.  It wouldn't be difficult to allow some of the memory in this cartridge to be used as extra RAM if desired, so that's one alternative that programmers will have.



#29 jaybird3rd OFFLINE  

jaybird3rd

    Quadrunner

  • Topic Starter
  • 8,999 posts
  • "Excuse me, sir? I have a question ..."
  • Location:806.4616.0110

Posted Tue May 13, 2014 12:45 PM

Jay, am I imagining things, or had you been thinking of doing a cart with ram expansion on one bank and cassette games on the other? Sign me up.

You're referring to the Aquaricart Volume 2, a collection of cassette games that will be loadable from the cartridge.  That will be a separate cartridge from the RAM module; I'll probably begin working on it later this summer.

 

My original intention for Volume 2 was to modify each of the cassette games (most of which required expanded RAM) so that they could run entirely from inside the cartridge, without any need of a RAM upgrade.  I'm still vacillating on that idea to an extent, but the major mark against it is that it will require an enormous amount of effort to fully rework and playtest every game in this new configuration.  Having an inexpensive 32K RAM module available will make it much easier to simply load the unmodified games into RAM, just as if they had been loaded from the cassette, so that's probably the direction I'll take with it.



#30 Chuck D. Head OFFLINE  

Chuck D. Head

    River Patroller

  • 3,496 posts
  • Facilitator of the Infinite
  • Location:Woodland, WA

Posted Tue May 13, 2014 12:52 PM

  Having an inexpensive 32K RAM module available will make it much easier to simply load the unmodified games into RAM, just as if they had been loaded from the cassette, so that's probably the direction I'll take with it.

 

Sounds like a great plan to me!! Excited to hear new movement on the Aquarius front; I think it's high time I pulled the system out again and enjoy some Aquaricart action.



#31 OutlawTorn71 OFFLINE  

OutlawTorn71

    Dragonstomper

  • 572 posts
  • Location:Indiana

Posted Tue May 13, 2014 4:13 PM

Put me down for one!

#32 Hyperboy OFFLINE  

Hyperboy

    River Patroller

  • 3,421 posts
  • Location:Almost Heaven

Posted Tue May 13, 2014 4:20 PM

I'm in for one please.

#33 Oscar G. OFFLINE  

Oscar G.

    Stargunner

  • 1,348 posts
  • Intellinaut
  • Location:Belgium

Posted Tue May 13, 2014 9:31 PM

Wow. This sounds very interesting. I am interested in getting one. Please write down my name.

 

Thanks and good luck with the project.



#34 retrogmr OFFLINE  

retrogmr

    Star Raider

  • 74 posts
  • Location:San Ramon, CA

Posted Tue May 13, 2014 9:46 PM

With the new board layout you're working on...  if we opted to install the board in a spare Aquarius cart we had, would it fit?

 

Oh yeah, please reserve one of the extra-special anniversary carts for me :)


Edited by retrogmr, Tue May 13, 2014 9:51 PM.


#35 cmart604 OFFLINE  

cmart604

    Intellivision Hoarder

  • 12,091 posts
  • Running out of things to buy.
  • Location:Vancouver

Posted Wed May 14, 2014 1:04 AM

Blinky blue lights version for me. :)

#36 jaybird3rd OFFLINE  

jaybird3rd

    Quadrunner

  • Topic Starter
  • 8,999 posts
  • "Excuse me, sir? I have a question ..."
  • Location:806.4616.0110

Posted Wed May 14, 2014 1:16 AM

Thanks, everybody!  I've added all of you to my preliminary "reservation pending payment" list, so once I'm ready to start shipping, I'll get right back to you via PM.  I'll have a mix of LED colors to choose from: red, white, blue, green, and yellow are colors that I probably have on hand right now, so feel free to choose from those.

 

I've just sent off the final version of the board for prototyping (just a few little tweaks, LED and resistor footprints, and some "geek ports").  Here it is:

 

32Kproto2.png



#37 jaybird3rd OFFLINE  

jaybird3rd

    Quadrunner

  • Topic Starter
  • 8,999 posts
  • "Excuse me, sir? I have a question ..."
  • Location:806.4616.0110

Posted Wed May 14, 2014 1:47 AM

With the new board layout you're working on...  if we opted to install the board in a spare Aquarius cart we had, would it fit?

Unfortunately, no.  The new shells I'm using were actually manufactured "upside-down", so I had to mirror the card edge connector.  If you were to try to mount this board inside an original Aquarius shell, the chips would stick out of the back of the cartridge, and it wouldn't fit back together.  That effectively prevented me from creating one board that could be mounted into both shell types, as I originally considered doing.



#38 Oscar G. OFFLINE  

Oscar G.

    Stargunner

  • 1,348 posts
  • Intellinaut
  • Location:Belgium

Posted Wed May 14, 2014 7:07 AM

If possible I would also prefer blue blinking light…. Aqua blue…

 

The other colours may be a tad bit xmassy :)

 

Cheers and thanks!



#39 doctorclu OFFLINE  

doctorclu

    ***Moon Patrol 5200*** *Moon Master2015* *Blue Max:Class 4*

  • 7,622 posts
  • *Star Raiders 2* **Captain -CL 2**
  • Location:*Star Raiders * *Star Commander -CL 1*

Posted Wed May 14, 2014 7:27 AM

Just wanted to say this is cool.   I am not completely sold on the Aquarius, and yet I kinda regret not buying an Aquarius when I saw it in a thrift store.   I honestly had no idea what the system was.   It said Mattel, had controllers LIKE an Intellivision, but other than that I was lost.

 

Just glad it was not the original keyboard component.  I would really really kick myself then.  :P

 

(And for the record, I'm a bit of a fan of the ECS and if this was a module for that would snap that up in a instant.)



#40 jaybird3rd OFFLINE  

jaybird3rd

    Quadrunner

  • Topic Starter
  • 8,999 posts
  • "Excuse me, sir? I have a question ..."
  • Location:806.4616.0110

Posted Wed May 14, 2014 7:46 AM

(Just to clarify: the LEDs do not blink.  They'll be ordinary 5mm LEDs which will glow steadily while the power is on.  The textured transparent cartridge shells should dissipate the light nicely; I'll experiment a bit with different levels of brightness.)



#41 JasonlikesINTV OFFLINE  

JasonlikesINTV

    Quadrunner

  • 9,190 posts
  • Location:Midwest

Posted Wed May 14, 2014 8:49 AM

You had me at "same price" :)


I'd be interested in a blue lighted version if possible :)

#42 jaybird3rd OFFLINE  

jaybird3rd

    Quadrunner

  • Topic Starter
  • 8,999 posts
  • "Excuse me, sir? I have a question ..."
  • Location:806.4616.0110

Posted Wed May 14, 2014 11:58 AM

Just wanted to say this is cool.   I am not completely sold on the Aquarius, and yet I kinda regret not buying an Aquarius when I saw it in a thrift store.   I honestly had no idea what the system was.   It said Mattel, had controllers LIKE an Intellivision, but other than that I was lost.
 
Just glad it was not the original keyboard component.  I would really really kick myself then.  :P
 
(And for the record, I'm a bit of a fan of the ECS and if this was a module for that would snap that up in a instant.)

Thanks!  The Aquarius is admittedly a bit of a hard sale for those who don't already own one: it's fairly limited even compared to other 8-bit systems, but it has its own quirky charms, and hopefully more upgrades like this 32K module will remedy some of its shortcomings and allow more interesting things to be done with it.  I like working with the Aquarius because it's such a simple, open-ended design; in certain ways, it reminds me of programming and creating character art for old PC-compatible computers.
 
I like the ECS for the Intellivision, too, and I have a project or two in mind for that as well.  But one thing at a time ...

#43 slab0meat OFFLINE  

slab0meat

    Stargunner

  • 1,574 posts
  • Location:NJ

Posted Wed May 14, 2014 12:47 PM

I don't have an Aquarius, but I'd support this.  Count me in for one blue if possible.



#44 jaybird3rd OFFLINE  

jaybird3rd

    Quadrunner

  • Topic Starter
  • 8,999 posts
  • "Excuse me, sir? I have a question ..."
  • Location:806.4616.0110

Posted Wed May 14, 2014 12:53 PM

I don't have an Aquarius, but I'd support this.  Count me in for one blue if possible.

Thanks!  Looks like blue is the favorite color for this one, which is just as well since the final boards will also be blue.  I'll probably put a white LED in mine.



#45 Hyperboy OFFLINE  

Hyperboy

    River Patroller

  • 3,421 posts
  • Location:Almost Heaven

Posted Wed May 14, 2014 2:41 PM

White for me please :)

#46 atari5200dude82 OFFLINE  

atari5200dude82

    Stargunner

  • 1,318 posts
  • Location:ATLANTIS

Posted Thu May 15, 2014 10:10 AM

That's cool. About making an extra ram for the Ecs also. lol   ;-)


Edited by atari5200dude82, Thu May 15, 2014 10:15 AM.


#47 mylok OFFLINE  

mylok

    Star Raider

  • 77 posts
  • Location:Earth

Posted Sun May 18, 2014 10:36 PM

Add me to the reserve list. It's a great time to be a vintage gamer. 



#48 jaybird3rd OFFLINE  

jaybird3rd

    Quadrunner

  • Topic Starter
  • 8,999 posts
  • "Excuse me, sir? I have a question ..."
  • Location:806.4616.0110

Posted Sun May 18, 2014 10:43 PM

Add me to the reserve list. It's a great time to be a vintage gamer. 

Absolutely!  I'll keep you and everyone else posted.  At the moment, I'm still waiting impatiently for my prototype boards to arrive (it usually takes at least two weeks).



#49 doomguy OFFLINE  

doomguy

    Space Invader

  • 37 posts

Posted Sun May 18, 2014 10:48 PM

Put me down for one please!



#50 jaybird3rd OFFLINE  

jaybird3rd

    Quadrunner

  • Topic Starter
  • 8,999 posts
  • "Excuse me, sir? I have a question ..."
  • Location:806.4616.0110

Posted Sun May 18, 2014 10:55 PM

Put me down for one please!

Will do!  Thanks!







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: mattel, radofin, aquarius, memory, upgrade

0 user(s) are browsing this forum

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users