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Wanted: SuperChip-based Atari 2600 Carts


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#1 Albert OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 24, 2009 3:55 PM

Note: For the time being I have as many SuperChip carts as I need. Thanks to everyone who sent some in!!

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In an effort to get the homebrew game Cave-In published, I need to acquire a slew of SuperChip-based Atari 2600 carts so we can reuse the SuperChip contained within. What is the SuperChip (also known as SARA)? It's an additional chip that some later Atari 2600 games have that contains an additional 128 byte of RAM, effectively doubling the memory available to Atari 2600 programmers.

Here is a list of all the SuperChip based games:

Crystal Castles
Dark Chambers
Defender II
Desert Falcon
Dig Dug
Fatal Run
Jr. Pac-Man
KLAX
Millipede
Off the Wall
Radar Lock
Secret Quest
Sprintmaster
Stargate
Super Football

I don't expect anyone to send me copies of Off the Wall, of course, but several of those games are relatively common (such as Dig Dug, Crystal Castles, and Jr. Pac-Man). If you have some number of these carts you can sell to me, please send me a PM.

Thanks!

..Al

#2 CPUWIZ OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 24, 2009 4:03 PM

Here is a picture for people who have hoards of loose boards laying around. :)

Attached Thumbnails

  • SARAProductionPCB.jpg


#3 Albert OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 24, 2009 4:05 PM

Here is a picture for people who have hoards of loose boards laying around. :)

Thanks. :)

..Al

#4 CPUWIZ OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 24, 2009 6:57 PM

You're welcome. :)

Future Cave In parts:

Attached Thumbnails

  • SARAStack.jpg


#5 flammingcowz OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 25, 2009 3:24 PM

Do those red carts have everything the superchip carts need? They're a lot slimmer.

Edited by flammingcowz, Sun Jan 25, 2009 3:24 PM.


#6 Albert OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 25, 2009 3:27 PM

Do those red carts have everything the superchip carts need? They're a lot slimmer.

Depends on the game. Many of the games in the list above are red label carts, such as Super Football and Jr. Pac-Man. But not all red label carts will have the superchip.

..Al

#7 CPUWIZ OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 25, 2009 3:28 PM

Do those red carts have everything the superchip carts need? They're a lot slimmer.


Are you referring to the picture of the PCB's I posted?

#8 Lendorien OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:47 PM

In an effort to get the homebrew game Cave-In published, I need to acquire a slew of SuperChip-based Atari 2600 carts so we can reuse the SuperChip contained within. What is the SuperChip (also known as SARA)? It's an additional chip that some later Atari 2600 games have that contains an additional 128 byte of RAM, effectively doubling the memory available to Atari 2600 programmers.


Well this is good news! Cave in is a great game.

Can't help with your search though.

#9 flammingcowz OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 25, 2009 5:51 PM

Do those red carts have everything the superchip carts need? They're a lot slimmer.


Are you referring to the picture of the PCB's I posted?


Yeah

#10 CPUWIZ OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 25, 2009 5:56 PM

Do those red carts have everything the superchip carts need? They're a lot slimmer.


Are you referring to the picture of the PCB's I posted?


Yeah


Those are just my boards, which is why Al needs donor carts, so he can extract the SuperChip (SARA) from them and use them on these boards.

Here is a comparison shot between Atari's board and mine:

Attached Thumbnails

  • SARAandSARA.jpg


#11 Shawn OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 25, 2009 5:56 PM

...

Edited by Shawn Sr., Sun Jan 25, 2009 6:08 PM.


#12 tremoloman2006 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 25, 2009 7:41 PM

Al,

May I make a suggestion?

How about offering the cart for sale with a lower price for those who send in their own donor superchip cart for the title? I think this would make things easier on you and put the burden on the potential buyer to save a few bucks for those who wish to.

I'll look and see if I can scrape some together for you in the meantime.

#13 lapetino OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 25, 2009 9:01 PM

How about offering the cart for sale with a lower price for those who send in their own donor superchip cart for the title? I think this would make things easier on you and put the burden on the potential buyer to save a few bucks for those who wish to.


I like that idea too. Though it would elongate the time between ordering and receiving the game, right? That being said, I have a Crystal Castles that can be used. Are you interested in single carts like that, or just people who have multiples?

#14 Albert OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 25, 2009 9:21 PM

How about offering the cart for sale with a lower price for those who send in their own donor superchip cart for the title? I think this would make things easier on you and put the burden on the potential buyer to save a few bucks for those who wish to.


I like that idea too. Though it would elongate the time between ordering and receiving the game, right? That being said, I have a Crystal Castles that can be used. Are you interested in single carts like that, or just people who have multiples?

Right now it's a bit expensive to ship just a single or small number of carts. I'm looking to acquire a number of these carts so they can be worked on all at once, instead of in small spurts. And this will just be for the initial batch of Cave-In carts. Ultimately I'll end up using a new board that will make things a bit easier. :)

..Al

#15 Deteacher OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 25, 2009 9:22 PM

Al,

I, too, have 1 duplicate Crystal Castles. In fact, I've already stripped the board out of the shell (and removed the label) so I'll throw that in along with the carts I'm going to send to you.

#16 Drewman21 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 25, 2009 10:25 PM

Will Cave In and I guess by default Superchip games work in a Flashback 2? Its my only machine right now and it does have the cart slot mod. Thanks for any info! I'm thinking about getting the game as it does look sweet!

#17 Hornpipe2 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 25, 2009 11:04 PM

Will Cave In and I guess by default Superchip games work in a Flashback 2? Its my only machine right now and it does have the cart slot mod. Thanks for any info! I'm thinking about getting the game as it does look sweet!

http://kennedy.greg..../fb2compat.html

Unfortunately all of the Superchip games Al listed above are shown on this list as "not working". Too bad as I only have the hacked FB2 and was planning a Superchip multicart... ah well, saves me the trouble of building the darn thing!

#18 FujiSkunk OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 25, 2009 11:40 PM

Forgive me for asking a stupid question, but is Solaris not a Superchip game? I kind of thought it was.

The reason I ask is I have a dead Solaris cartridge I could contribute to the cause, if there was a chance it could be stripped for parts.

#19 Shawn OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:29 AM

Forgive me for asking a stupid question, but is Solaris not a Superchip game? I kind of thought it was.

The reason I ask is I have a dead Solaris cartridge I could contribute to the cause, if there was a chance it could be stripped for parts.


nope its not.

#20 FujiSkunk OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:37 AM

Forgive me for asking a stupid question, but is Solaris not a Superchip game? I kind of thought it was.


nope its not.


Oh well. Makes its accomplishments all the more impressive.

#21 san-d-2000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 26, 2009 2:49 AM

Why not sell the chip and stickers as a set for a lower price,
so people can put their own cartridge together at home.

#22 crunchysuperman OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 26, 2009 4:43 AM

I should have a bunch. I'll dig around when I get home.

#23 Mayhem OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 26, 2009 7:40 AM

Those are just my boards, which is why Al needs donor carts, so he can extract the SuperChip (SARA) from them and use them on these boards.

Here is a comparison shot between Atari's board and mine:


Okay, daft question time here perhaps, but why not just remove the game chip from the old boards and solder the newly burnt homebrew to them instead? Rather than extract the SARA, solder it to the new board AND then solder the homebrew chip to the new board.

Edited by Mayhem, Mon Jan 26, 2009 7:40 AM.


#24 save2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:13 AM

Those are just my boards, which is why Al needs donor carts, so he can extract the SuperChip (SARA) from them and use them on these boards.

Here is a comparison shot between Atari's board and mine:


Okay, daft question time here perhaps, but why not just remove the game chip from the old boards and solder the newly burnt homebrew to them instead? Rather than extract the SARA, solder it to the new board AND then solder the homebrew chip to the new board.


I don't think that's totally daft, but I'd venture to guess that reusing old boards may present somewhat of a quality control issue (assuming the various circuit boards are 100% compatible with Cave-In). And in this day and age of flakey buyers and their whining, you'd want to keep your liability to an absolute minimum.

NOT heating SARA up twice though to remove and re-install her would reduce the risk of accidentally overheating the poor gal. But I'm sure their soldering skills are tip top :-)

#25 Deteacher OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:36 AM

If I were given the choice, I'd want everything soldered onto a nice minty fresh board with fresh solder, rather than a new game chip soldered onto a 30ish year old brittle board. ;)




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