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jaybird3rd

[AQUARIUS] Aquaricart: The Aquarius Album Cartridge

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After about eighteen months of development, I am pleased to announce the availability of the Aquaricart, the first and only multi-cart for the Aquarius Home Computer System!

aqcboard.jpgaqcbrochure.jpg

NOTE: The original Aquaricart shown above—which was built using repurposed Night Stalker cartridges—has been unavailable for some time. I have since switched to a new form factor based on the Intellivision cartridge design; see here for pictures. In addition to making the cartridges smaller, and easier to ship and store, this new design allowed me to reduce the price to $60 per cartridge (postage extra). Send me a PM, or e-mail me at [email protected], if you're interested!

For those who are unfamiliar with it, the Aquaricart is a collection of ALL of the original cartridge software ever released for the Aquarius, along with several unreleased, prototype, and enhanced titles. It also includes the original instruction manuals and overlays, exclusive historical information and trivia, and Quick Reference guides ... all in electronic format, so they can be printed with the Aquarius Thermal Printer or viewed on-screen!

aqc_ss02.png aqc_ss04.png

aqc_ss03.png aqc_ss01.png

Here is a complete list of the cartridge titles in the Aquaricart collection:

  • AD&D Treasure of Tarmin
  • Astrosmash
  • Biorhythms
  • BurgerTime
  • Chess
  • Demonstration Cartridge
  • Extended BASIC
  • FileForm
  • FinForm
  • Logo
  • Melody Chase
  • Mini Expander Diagnostic (an unreleased Radofin diagnostic tool)
  • Night Stalker
  • Shark! (an incomplete prototype of Intellivision Shark! Shark!)
  • Snafu
  • Space Speller
  • TRON Deadly Discs
  • Utopia
  • X10 Command Console (the software for the unreleased Aquarius X10 home automation system)
  • Zero In

Plus, as a bonus:

  • The 1541 OS ROM (an enhanced version of Extended BASIC)
  • The Demonstration Cassette (the six mini-games originally included with the Aquarius on cassette tape—Stalactites, Macho-Man, Torment, Cute Cubes, Alien Quest, and Mad Mould—converted to cartridge format for instantaneous loading)
  • "BurgerTime Plus" (an slightly enhanced BurgerTime which fixes two issues with the original that have always annoyed me: it increases the maximum number of peppers and lives from 9 to 99, and it removes the extra "junk" characters from the screen border)

 

aqcmenu.png

Each of these cartridges, along with the instruction manual text and other extra content, can be accessed through an easy-to-use menu interface that you can control from the keyboard or the hand controllers. Or, if you prefer to skip the menu, you can use the "Quick Boot" feature to jump immediately to the cartridge of your choice on startup. The Aquaricart is fully compatible with a stock Aquarius computer console, so no Mini Expander or extra RAM are required (although some of the cartridges in the collection recommend or require extra RAM).

Here is a video by The Immortal John Hancock which demonstrates the Aquarius and the Aquaricart in action:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HbjOnC-JSE

I'm offering fully assembled Aquaricart cartridges for $60 each. They include a color cartridge label and a printed manual. Here is the current design:

 

aquaricart_and_manual.jpg

If you're interested in adding the Aquaricart to your collection, contact me via PM—or, if you're not an AtariAge member, click on my profile and use the e-mail link. Be sure to include your shipping address so I can calculate the postage and give you a final total. If I have an Aquaricart cartridge ready to send, we will exchange information and complete the transaction; otherwise, I will provide an estimate of when it will be available (usually within one week). I won't accept payment unless I have a tested product that is ready for shipment, so you won't be kept waiting for your order any longer than necessary.

I'm in the process of putting together a web site for the Aquaricart, which will offer complete scans of the original instruction manuals and other useful Aquarius resources. In the meantime, if you're interested, you can follow the eighteen-month development history of the Aquaricart in the original project thread, which includes testimonials from fellow Aquarius owners.

Thanks for your interest and support!

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WOW! that is AWESOME. Why must SO much video game stuff all come out at this time of year? :) new Inty homebrews, new odyssey 2 homebrews, all the retail stuff (rage, gow3, skyrim, etc.) Put me down for one, it just may take me a week or so to get $$ together, but I'm good for it! ask anyone here, please hold one for me if you can. upgrade kit, I have an double of at least one cart.

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If you sell out of these, will they ever be made available in the future?

If there is enough demand for them, I'll gladly make more. Aside for the small "stockpile" that I built up to get started, I'll be making these on demand anyway. For a product with such a limited audience, I think that's a better strategy than building up a glut of inventory up front. I have no idea how many more I'll make, but I'm certain there will be plenty available for everyone who wants one.

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WOW! that is AWESOME. Why must SO much video game stuff all come out at this time of year? :) new Inty homebrews, new odyssey 2 homebrews, all the retail stuff (rage, gow3, skyrim, etc.) Put me down for one, it just may take me a week or so to get $$ together, but I'm good for it! ask anyone here, please hold one for me if you can. upgrade kit, I have an double of at least one cart.

Thanks very much, and don't worry ... I've got plenty on hand for the time being. Let me know whenever you're ready.

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I'll have to put this one on my Christmas list for the time being, but I fully intend to get one at some point, hopefully sooner rather than later. :)

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I have to go out and find an Aquarius, does anyone want to sell me one?...I'll ebay if not... so put me down for one around christmas time :)

Thanks! I'll set one aside for you (and for you too, BassGuitari).

 

Now seems to be a good time to pick up an Aquarius from eBay. There have been a few pretty good-looking units going for reasonable prices lately, including this one (not mine):

 

eBay Auction -- Item Number: 2509123595201?ff3=2&pub=5574883395&toolid=10001&camp

 

AtariAge member oldjd is also offering a tested Aquarius system in the Marketplace—complete with a Mini Expander and hand controller, which is really the best way to experience the Aquarius.

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I wonder, were there ever NTSC Radofin Aquarius? I´m asking because from the two PAL Aquarius I own, one is by Mattel (it seems from the UK) and one by Radofin (completly german).

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I wonder, were there ever NTSC Radofin Aquarius? I´m asking because from the two PAL Aquarius I own, one is by Mattel (it seems from the UK) and one by Radofin (completly german).

Yes! I own two NTSC Radofin machines, one which I bought NIB and the other which serves as one of my "testbed" machines.

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is there any way to modify the video output of the aquarius? I assume it is RF? any way to add composit or s-video?

I once tried using this Intellivision composite upgrade in the Aquarius, since both machines share the same RF modulator. I got promising results, in that it worked about as well in the Aquarius as it did in the Intellivision, but there must have been a problem with the board I built: I got lots of vertical streaks/bands, in both the Aquarius and the Intellivision. I haven't had time to troubleshoot it since, but it seems that the Intellivision upgrade could serve as the basis for an Aquarius upgrade.

 

 

I wonder, were there ever NTSC Radofin Aquarius? I´m asking because from the two PAL Aquarius I own, one is by Mattel (it seems from the UK) and one by Radofin (completly german).

Yes! I own two NTSC Radofin machines, one which I bought NIB and the other which serves as one of my "testbed" machines.

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WOW! that is AWESOME. Why must SO much video game stuff all come out at this time of year? :) new Inty homebrews, new odyssey 2 homebrews, all the retail stuff (rage, gow3, skyrim, etc.) Put me down for one, it just may take me a week or so to get $$ together, but I'm good for it! ask anyone here, please hold one for me if you can. upgrade kit, I have an double of at least one cart.

Thanks very much, and don't worry ... I've got plenty on hand for the time being. Let me know whenever you're ready.

 

Thank you so much! I love support for old obscure hardware platforms :-) (thinks fondly of his astrocade and vic-20 multicarts...)

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I am having trouble finding an Aquarius for a decent price on ebay. In the meantime, can you please list the games on the cart that require extra ram? I though the extra ram cart went in the cart slot, how can you use both at the same time? please elaborate for the aquarius newbie

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jeeez, I'm beginning to think this may be too much money to get into this computer when I already have a pretty complete Intellivision collection plus the flash cart for it and an a/v modded intellivision. what games on the aquarius cart require ram expansion?

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I am having trouble finding an Aquarius for a decent price on ebay. In the meantime, can you please list the games on the cart that require extra ram? I though the extra ram cart went in the cart slot, how can you use both at the same time? please elaborate for the aquarius newbie

Fortunately, none of the games in the Aquaricart collection require extra RAM. The programming languages and the word processor (FileForm) can use extra RAM if you have it, but the only cartridge in the collection which requires extra RAM is FinForm, the spreadsheet.

 

Let me look through my spare Aquarius systems. A few of them have issues, but I might be able to find a working one in fairly decent shape that I can send you, along with a Mini Expander and a hand controller.

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I have to go out and find an Aquarius, does anyone want to sell me one?...I'll ebay if not... so put me down for one around christmas time :)

Thanks! I'll set one aside for you (and for you too, BassGuitari).

 

Now seems to be a good time to pick up an Aquarius from eBay. There have been a few pretty good-looking units going for reasonable prices lately, including this one (not mine):

 

eBay Auction -- Item Number: 2509123595201?ff3=2&pub=5574883395&toolid=10001&campid=5336500554&customid=&item=250912359520&mpt=[CACHEBUSTER]

 

AtariAge member oldjd is also offering a tested Aquarius system in the Marketplace—complete with a Mini Expander and hand controller, which is really the best way to experience the Aquarius.

 

Amazing price on that one. 99 cents final bid.

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I am having trouble finding an Aquarius for a decent price on ebay. In the meantime, can you please list the games on the cart that require extra ram? I though the extra ram cart went in the cart slot, how can you use both at the same time? please elaborate for the aquarius newbie

Fortunately, none of the games in the Aquaricart collection require extra RAM. The programming languages and the word processor (FileForm) can use extra RAM if you have it, but the only cartridge in the collection which requires extra RAM is FinForm, the spreadsheet.

 

Let me look through my spare Aquarius systems. A few of them have issues, but I might be able to find a working one in fairly decent shape that I can send you, along with a Mini Expander and a hand controller.

 

I can also vouch for this, both using an official FinForm cart. and Jay's Aquaricart. I remember the disclaimer saying it needed extra RAM in the Aquarius catalog(s).

 

I am also gonna say, anyone with any interest in the Aquarius NEEDS one of these carts! The 'extras' are really neat... and , Jay I was just thinking.... I think it was the Mini-Expander diagnostic program reporting my working 32K as 'damaged' that helped track down the one annoying bug in the pre-release ROM....

I am still regularly testing my Aquaricart, it is Totally Solid for me...

It's just sooo nice seeing some love for the poor little Aquarius....

 

Now, ya just need a mass storage solution, Jay!!

*hint*

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Thanks for the referral Jay.

To anyone interested,I still have this unit

As Jay said,I have tested it and it works fine

Pm,for specifics if needed

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Thanks for the testimonial, Marc. You're one of the few who are fortunate enough to own an original 32K module, so your work in testing it with the Aquaricart during the pre-release phase was indeed very helpful.

 

I'm going through my stuff and putting together an inexpensive Aquarius bundle for anyone who might be interested in picking up an Aquarius system and the Aquaricart all at once. In the meantime, to those who already own an Aquarius, or who have just picked up the Aquaricart and want to get the most out of it ... why not stop by the Intellivision High Score Club and help to get an Aquarius High Score Contest started? The library of games may be small, but I'd love to go head to head with other Aquarius users. I'm curious to see if anybody can beat my top score on Aquarius BurgerTime! :cool:

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Oh man, I can't take you in Burgertime, this is for sure, Jay... But, I can wipe the floor up with you in D+D!!!

*Reminds me, maybe I should play a game tonight!*

 

And thanks Jay... I never minded helping out with this project... I simply have always loved the poor mis-understood Aquarius....

 

Oh, and Jay, ya might want to mention the new sound command for all 3 channels in the 1541 'enhanced' Ext. BASIC... as this seems to me the only easy way to access all 3 voices....

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