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Ultimate Cart (SD multicart) - preorders thread

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A partner in the USA producing boards would be very welcome indeed. In fact, since everything is open-sourced, anyone with the right tools can just go ahead. They don't need my permission (though I'd be happy to provide any advice as required).

 

Joey Z announced (earlier in the thread) that he was going to look to do a run based in the USA and at a lower price. But I haven't heard any more...

 

Edit - Greg - the board does fit in a standard XL cart case (the ones with the plastic post, rather than the screw). That's where I've mounted mine. You just need to break off the central post. Sadly there was no way to accomodate a hole in the PCB alongside the rather large fpga.

It's nice that it will fit in the ridged XE case. I can't wait for you to get around to shipping to the USA or someone making them here so I can get the two I requested in this pre-order. I still wish the design could be modified to fit in an Atari brown case with metal back.

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Hi All,

 

Its been a couple of weeks, so probably time for an update on this project.

 

I'm somewhat amazed by the response to this thread - the demand has exceeded my expectations (and probably my ability to cope!).

 

So far, I've made a small number of cartridges, and I have contacted everyone in the thread who lives in the UK to offer them a cartridge (As I explained in my first post, I'm keen to keep the initial batch in the UK, in case there are any problems/bugs discovered). Unfortunately, I've still got 3 waiting to be posted, since those people have not replied to my PMs. If they don't reply soon, I'll offer them to those in Europe instead.

 

Its still taking me several hours to make each board, largely due to problems finding then fixing bridged pins on the fpga. These are often too small to see even with a magnifying glass, and take ages of painful continuity testing. I've ordered a stencil which should make applying the paste more accurate. When it arrives, I'm hoping I can make the boards more rapidly.

 

Robin

 

i'm in the uk, on the list but got no pm :(

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Another update:

 

I'm getting a bit better at making these carts quickly - a solder paste stencil arrived yesterday and I've managed to make 3 more boards much more quickly than the previous ones. Best of all, using the stencil has resulted in perfect joints with no solder bridges between pins and therefore no rework required! Working my way through this thread of orders now looks do-able instead of impossible.

 

These ones will be going out to the remaining UK orders, and then I'll start working through the thread in order (possibly prioritising those that expressed in interest in doing their own run).

 

post-41252-0-37263300-1443021925_thumb.jpg

 

The green one was an experiment using a much cheaper PCB (from DirtyPCBs rather than OSH park). They are only about £1 each, rather than £7 for the OSH park ones, but they are HASL finish rather than Gold, so probably wont last as long if they are in and out of the cartridge slot again and again. I think The!Cart may use HASL finish boards - and I'm guessing there haven't been any problems with the cartridge pads wearing out? In which case, I may offer these as a cheaper alternative for those willing to live with the cheaper finish.

 

Robin

 

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Pardon me if you've answered this already, but am I correct in thinknig these can be made to work with NTSC systems? If so, I'm interested in getting one.

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Hi All,

 

The Ultimate Cart is an SD-card based multicart for the Atari 8-bit, which I've been developing for the last few months. It allows you to browse the SD card on the atari and launch cartridge images from ROM and CAR files from the menu. The PCB is designed to fit in a standard grey cartridge case (after a bit of modification with some clippers and a file).

 

attachicon.gifP1140125.jpg

 

It supports most ROMs up to 1 megabyte in size, including standard 8k and 16k cartridges, XEGS, AtariMax 1 & 8mbit ROMs, SIC! Cart, Bounty Bob, OSS, SDX & Williams. ROM dumps can be easily converted into CAR format with my conversion utility.

 

To learn more about the hardware and development, the original thread is here.

The project is open source. PCB files, programming files and source files will be available on github shortly, and I'll open a technical thread for discussion when this has been done. The hardware includes an FPGA and could be used for a lot more than a multicart - co-processor & SD-card based hard disk are two possible future avenues for development. There is a JTAG header to allow the cartridge firmware to be reprogrammed in the future.

 

attachicon.gifP1140132.jpgattachicon.gifP1140108.jpgattachicon.gifP1140109.jpg

 

Now that I've assembled and tested the second board I think its probably time to open a pre-orders thread so I can get some idea of interest.

 

The price will be £70 (+postage) for the cartridge board (ready to use, but uncased).

 

If you are interested in one, please reply to this thread.

 

At the moment, this is only to give me some idea of numbers and to reserve your place in the queue. It is not a commitment to buy or for me to supply one. I'm not sure how many of these I'm prepared to make, and it may take me some time, so I will contact people as I make the boards, and check they are still interested.

 

Since its open source, I'm hoping some others may make the boards too, and might be able to charge less than me.

 

Initially, I've got 3 more PCBs on the way, and I will prioritise any UK or European orders, since it will be easier to post/return if there are any unexpected teething problems. Beyond that I'll see how much interest there is.

 

Robin

 

I would like 2 of them please!

Stephen J. Carden

http://www.RealDos.net

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Hi, will this also work in an ATARI 400 48k computer?

 

Thank you :)

 

I don't have either a 400 or an 800 (just an XE and an XL), so I've only tested on these machines.

 

I know flashjazzcat has tested his one on an Atari 800 (with incognito) and reported it worked. I'm not sure if anyone has tested on an unmodified Atari 400.

The only issue that is likely to be a problem is the Phi2 signal, which I believe is different on these ataris.

 

Perhaps someone can test and let the forum know?

 

Robin

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Pardon me if you've answered this already, but am I correct in thinknig these can be made to work with NTSC systems? If so, I'm interested in getting one.

 

They should work on NTSC machines (though I haven't tested). The menu has been designed to fit on an NTSC screen, and flashjazzcat is also taking that into account in his updated version of the menu.

 

I'll hopefully be shipping one or two to North America in the next couple of weeks, so we'll find out pretty quickly if there's a problem!

 

Robin

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As I recall, cartridges which don't work on an 800 tend not to suddenly start working thanks to the presence of an Incognito board, so by that logic I would at least optimistically hope that the cartridge should work equally well on an unmodified machine. Software compatibility can easily be tested in Colleen mode, meanwhile.

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Menu appears to sit well on an NTSC display:

 

post-21964-0-58460700-1443213169_thumb.jpg

 

(Note: menu is actually colourful, but this 800XL hasn't had chroma hooked up yet).

 

 

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