I just confirmed that Vipersoft BASIC will load fine using the "AstroBASIC" cartridge, but it doesn't work as I described above. Here is how I did it just a few minutes ago.
Loading ViperSoft BASIC from "Tape"
1) Plug in the Lil' White Ram into the Astrocade's 50-pin expansion port. Make sure that the RAM expansion unit is plugged into the light pen port for power.
2) Insert "AstroBASIC" cartridge into the Astrocade.
3) Turned on the Astrocade. "AstroBASIC" comes up.
4) Type :INPUT %(24576) and press GO. Press play to load the ViperSoft BASIC program using the 2000-baud built-in tape interface. I used my phone to play the file. Here is a link to the ViperSoft BASIC WAV file:
5) ViperSoft BASIC will come up with a little garbage at the top of the screen when it is done loading. This is normal.
6) At this point I thought that the switches on the RAM expansion needed to be moved, but they do not need to be touched at all. If you change either the 2k/6K or the RAM/ROM switch, then this loading method will not work.
7) Once ViperSoft BASIC loads into "AstroBASIC," then it can be started with CALL 24576. Unlike most BASIC commands, there is no BASIC keyword for CALL, so each letter must be typed individually.
8 ) Once you have entered the CALL command, ViperSoft BASIC starts up just fine.
Testing the 2000-baud AstroBASIC I/O with ViperSoft BASIC
1) I loaded the Viper Test Pattern to check if 2000-baud programs could be loaded. The program is here:
2) In ViperSoft BASIC, type LOAD and then press GO.
3) The test pattern is now in memory. Type LIST and you'll see the program in memory. Type RUN and you can watch the test pattern create video art; it randomly draws circles and other colorful patterns on the screen.
For more information about loading 300-baud and 2000-baud programs, see Lance's article called "Loading and Saving in Vipersoft BASIC:"
(Note, that this is not the same article that I linked to in a previous posting.)
This method of running ViperSoft BASIC won't allow you to use the 300-baud hack for a keyboard with the Lil' White RAM, but at least you'll be able to load and run some programs that use an expanded BASIC. Also, you can program and save your work...you'll just have to type using the 24-key keypad, which isn't really that bad at all. However, admittedly, it does take some getting used to at first.