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ROMOX Charging station

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#1 Atari8bitCarts OFFLINE  



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Posted Fri Feb 3, 2017 5:44 PM

I thought I'd check to see if anyone on the TI side has a ROMOX Charging station (Software Center).

I've been unable to find one.

And considering that there were a few in the markets, California and Canada, and that the charging station was used for several platforms, that someone kept a unit or two :)

They were used to move games to blank ECPC cartridges.


Please PM me if you have a charging station or know where one is.



The Software Center was an off-white
colored plastic cabinet and monitor
that looked alot like a computer. It
was approximately 18" wide by 6" high
with a color monitor approximately 12"
wide by 8" high. There were ten slots
on the front panel of the cabinet for
different types of computer cartridge
connectors and a membrane covered key
pad for typing in the catalog number
of the program to burn in to ECPC's
re-programmable chip.
The user pressed any key to start the
Software Center, selected a program
from the screen or the Romox Catalog,
paid for the new program and a clerk
would activate the Software Center.
The machine would notify the user when
the new game was ready to go. That was
all there was to it.
Only 5 of the 10 slots in the Service
Center front panel were used, probably
because Romox already had the major
players in cartridge software business
covered, but they built the machine
for the possibility of new machines in
the future. I know the Spectravideo
SV-318 and the Coleco Adam both came
with a cartridge port and there might
have been a couple of others, but the
"big guns" were already on the panel.
Going from left to right while facing
the Service Center, the slots were
dedicated to:
     - Slot 1: TI-99/4A
     - Slot 2: Commodore Vic 20
     - Slot 3: Commodore 64
     - Slot 4: Atari 2600 VCS
     - Slot 5: Atari 400/800
               Atari 600/800XL
               Atari 1200XL
TI-99/4A games housed in the Service
Center were:
--------------------- --------- -----
Cave Creatures^^^^^^^^-Funware^^08185
Character Crayons^^^^^-Romox^^^^07025
DataBase Sort Utility^-Navarone^02155
Driving Demon^^^^^^^^^-Funware^^06185
Hen Pecked^^^^^^^^^^^^-Romox^^^^03025
Princess and the Frog^-Romox^^^^01025
Rabbit Trail^^^^^^^^^^-Funware^^05185
Rotor Raiders^^^^^^^^^-Romox^^^^06025
Typo II^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^-Romox^^^^04025
Video Vegas^^^^^^^^^^^-Funware^^02185
Although the TI-99/4A was first in the
front panel slot position it occupied,
it was dead last in the number of
programs available to the ECPC owner.
As you can see a total of sixteen
programs were offered for the 99/4A
owner. Compare that to:
     - Atari 2600 VCS    : 49
     - Atari (all others): 39
     - Commodore Vic 20  : 51
     - Commodore 64      : 26
     - TI-99/4A          : 16
As far as I can determine, the IUG was
the first to announce a product using
the Romox ECPC when they announced the
immediate availability of D-Station in
November 1983. The John Phillips game
was offered for $24.95 with promises
of an extensive library of other
programs to come, all available at a
reasonable $9.95. No other programs
were ever added to that "library"




Thank you.

Attached Files

Edited by Atari8bitCarts, Fri Feb 3, 2017 5:46 PM.

#2 Ksarul OFFLINE  


    River Patroller

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Posted Sun Feb 5, 2017 5:23 PM

Other than the one Kyle Crichton had, I have never seen a survivor of any type for the ROMOX stations. As to the IUG ROMOX programs, there were a few that they offered, IIRC, as I seem to rember seeing them advertizing D-Station II as well--although I have never actually encountered an IUG-programmed ECPC cartridge (of any kind) in the wild either. ISTR that a version of QUBIT from Bill Gronos (ARTIOS software) was also listed as being for sale using the ECPC cartridges at some point. . .I also found a notice from Unisource Electronics that they had the Cartridge Programmer for sale for $299 along with ECPC cartridges in the early part of 1984.

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#3 pacman000 OFFLINE  



  • 1,326 posts

Posted Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:49 PM

Sounds like they were rented to retailers. I'd imagine whoever owned them recalled them and scrapped them to recoup whatever they could from their investment when it didn't take off. :(


No reason to stop looking tho. I'm a hopeful person. :)

#4 kl99 OFFLINE  



  • 844 posts
  • Location:Vienna, Austria

Posted Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:30 PM

Here is the patent entry for the Romox Cartridge programming system:


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