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Ultimate Cart firmware - Now with XEX loading

ultimate cart multicart xex fpga

57 replies to this topic

#51 Fingolfin OFFLINE  


    Star Raider

  • 87 posts
  • Adventurer seeking Atari 8 bit magic!
  • Location:Lakewood, CO

Posted Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:48 PM

Hello IntrepidErie,

FWIW, formatting in FAT32 also works on Macs using Disk Utility.
If you are able to you might want to try another SD card; I'm not an expert but have been using the Ultimate Atari Cart for a couple of months, and it sounds like your Ultimate Atari Cart is working.  Would you happen to have a spare SD card that could be used for a test (just temporarily)?
Question: when your SD card is inserted into the Ultimate Atari Cart and the cart's in your 800XL and the machine's on and displaying the Ultimate Atari Cart logo, is the light blinking on your Ultimate Atari Cart?
I would guess your green Ultimate Atari Cart is one of the newer ones, not an older one, and I believe that's why it doesn't match the photos online/in .pdf manual.  Mine is green and bought just over two months ago.
I know you posted this link but I just found some specific text that would seem might apply to your situation @ http://atari8.co.uk/...e-sd-multicart/
Perhaps unusually, the ROM-based menu which is actually booted when the Atari is powered on is not housed in a discreet flash ROM chip (which is conspicuously absent from the board) but in the FPGA’s internal flash memory. Because of this, any replacement boot ROM is loaded from the SD card. The firmware looks for an 8KB ROM file called “_boot.rom” and loads it on power-up, resorting to the built-in menu ROM if no such file is found.
That would seem to mean that either your SD is an issue in some way or the Ultimate Atari Cart FPGA firmware may be not be working properly.
FWIW, I looked on my SD card with hidden files visible and found no _boot.rom at all; I am fairly certain that my SD card has always been read from the start by the Ultimate Atari Cart FPGA firmware (that has the _boot.rom on it).
Attached are the Ultimate Atari Cart manual .pdf and the _boot.rom I believe you're looking for from the website https://github.com/r...ootROM/Boot.rom
I've included an html page for the .bin/.rom to .car web utility for use with the Ultimate Atari Cart as well.
I hope this helps!
MacRorie and Electrotrains, the promoter/distributor and engineer/developer, both here at AtariAge, are great guys; please give them a chance to answer and help solve your issue if nothing here is of any help.
Best Regards

Attached Files

#52 IntrepidErie OFFLINE  


    Combat Commando

  • 4 posts

Posted Sat Apr 21, 2018 10:15 AM

SOLVED: You guys are awesome. I simply tried another SD and it worked fine. I did not even need that _boot.rom file, but thanks for attaching it in case others can use it, and the manual too. I used a Sandisk Ultra 8GB class 10, did not format it (just used it as it came), put an assortment of CAR and ROM files on it at root, fired up the 800xl with the Ultimate Cart, and the menu works just fine. So the cart either does not like PNY, or it does not like 16GB, or maybe PNY does not come formatted "quite right" - in any case, the Sandisk Ultra 8GB works great. Glad I did not have to fool around with blaster cables and flashing firmware from github and all that, I would have never been able to do that correctly :-)


As an aside, the SIO2SD works great as well. I use that for ATR and XEX files, so it is like using a disk drive, and I will use the Ultimate Cart for CAR and ROM files, just like cartridges. The SIO2SD has tons of disk images and Basic programs, so I have them organized in folders. I am only going to put "best of" files on the cart, so I may just keep everything right at the root.


Thanks again.




  • 5,853 posts
  • Location:Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

Posted Sat Apr 21, 2018 1:08 PM

As an aside, the SIO2SD works great as well. I use that for ATR and XEX files, so it is like using a disk drive, and I will use the Ultimate Cart for CAR and ROM files, just like cartridges.

I am only going to put "best of" files on the cart, so I may just keep everything right at the root.

This is what I do too. I use the Ultimate for cartridge emulation and the SIO2SD for disk and executable file emulation. It just feels right that way. The only real difference is that I have put any and every ROM and/or CAR that I can possibly find onto my Ultimate Cart. I am more selective about disk image and executable files on the SIO2SD.

#54 Mathy OFFLINE  


    River Patroller

  • 2,518 posts
  • Location:Heerlen, NL

Posted Sat Apr 21, 2018 4:32 PM

Hello guys


My Ultimate Cartridge works just fine with my 16GB SD card.  IIRC after formatting it on a computer that has this OS on it that sound like the things we use to look outside.





#55 CharlieChaplin OFFLINE  


    River Patroller

  • 2,751 posts

Posted Sat Apr 21, 2018 6:11 PM

My 16GB Sandisk Ultra SD-card also works fine with my Ultimate cart. Allthough the 16GB Sandisk SD-card is a class 10 it seems not to be any faster with the Ultimate cart. than the 2GB Sandisk SD-card which is only a class 4 - meaning loading an 8MBit/1MB CAR/ROM on the Ultimate cart. takes the same time with both SD-cards (and loading XEX files up to 1MB also makes no noticable speed difference with both SD-cards)...


Think I am gonna use the 2GB SD-cards for the Ultimate cart now (since I do not have more than 2GB of ROM/CAR files) and the 16GB SD-cards for my SIO2SD devices (for all my ATR images and XEX files)...

#56 tane OFFLINE  


    Combat Commando

  • 9 posts

Posted Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:38 AM

Customizing boot menu Ultimate Cart


All required files to build a custom menu are here:




I'd like to make a custom menu with few changes, for example with an Atari logo at the top, but not sure how to start.


Ultimate Cart Logo


It will be great customize the background color, maybe to change the font, to hide the file extensions .rom, .car, so it will look more professional, and so on, simple changes of how it looks. But no idea how to compile it. Has anyone build a custom boot.rom? What are the steps?




Edited by tane, Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:41 AM.

#57 tane OFFLINE  


    Combat Commando

  • 9 posts

Posted Today, 6:13 PM



#58 tane OFFLINE  


    Combat Commando

  • 9 posts

Posted Today, 8:00 PM

Here is my first attempt of a custom menu with an Atari logo. Not tested yet in real hardware.


Installation: Copy _boot.rom to your SD card.


If rollback is required: Original boot.rom


Any better logo please post it as a BMP file 320 x 19.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Screenshot.png

Attached Files

Edited by tane, Today, 8:08 PM.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: ultimate, cart, multicart, xex, fpga

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