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Super Turbo utility cartridge

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I didn't see this on Atarimania. Definitely weird. Happy to have it dumped. Not sure of it's functionality, but seems to be a fast loader. Didn't have a tape or disk drive handy to mess with it.

 

post-800-0-74759900-1482173029_thumb.jpg

 

post-800-0-31597600-1482173050_thumb.jpg

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The contents of the cartridge was developed by RICO (predecessor of JRC) in Czechoslovakia to support data recorders with the Turbo 2000 upgrade. This upgrade was popular there in late 1980s. Increases transfer speed from 600 bps to 2270 bps with increased reliability.

 

In Texas, the cartridge can be somehow misplaced, because I would guess that there aren't any data recorders with the Turbo 2000 upgrade. And I don't know if the Rambit Turbo Tape (based on similar principle as Turbo 2000) was popular in the US.

Edited by baktra
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I did import it! And no cassette drive was included. Just the cart.

 

I do not have dumping capability. Would need to give it to someone to dump.

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w1k has this cartridge extracted to a binary load file here: http://atari.turiecfoto.sk/soft/super-turbo.zip

 

This cartridge has the typical hardware for the place and era.

  • Small and relatively affordable EPROM from the Soviet Union (2K)
  • 7400 circuit from TESLA Rožnov (local manufacturer of the semiconductor parts). The logical circuitry allows the cartridge to disconnect itself (this ability was necessary to prevent the loader from occupying 8KB of the address space).
  • A button that allows for cold start of the computer without switching it off and on.
Edited by baktra
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Does that mean it's dumped already and there is no need to dump the EPROM? It sounds like it's other functionalities are related to hardware on the board.

 

Thanks!

 

 

w1k has this cartridge extracted to a binary load file here: http://atari.turiecfoto.sk/soft/super-turbo.zip

 

This cartridge has the typical hardware for the place and era.

  • Small and relatively affordable EPROM from the Soviet Union (2K)
  • 7400 circuit from TESLA Rožnov (local manufacturer of the semiconductor parts). The logical circuitry allows the cartridge to disconnect itself (this ability was necessary to prevent the loader from occupying 8KB of the address space).
  • A button that allows for cold start of the computer without switching it off and on.

 

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Does that mean it's dumped already and there is no need to dump the EPROM? It sounds like it's other functionalities are related to hardware on the board.

 

Thanks!

 

That is right. The cartridge was dumped to a ROM image and its contents extracted to a binary load file. The ROM image is gone, but can be reconstructed from the binary load file if needed.

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@baktra, what was the deal with the turbo cassette, was it that disk drives were very very expensive in that part of the world or did you also have problems getting hold of them hence the very creative hack of a tape player?

 

Or both?

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@baktra, what was the deal with the turbo cassette, was it that disk drives were very very expensive in that part of the world or did you also have problems getting hold of them hence the very creative hack of a tape player?

 

Or both?

 

Yes, it was the high price of the disk drives that were imported to Czechoslovakia.

  • Atari Computer - 6000 CSK
  • Disk drive - 15000 CSK. Oops!
  • Atari XC 12 - 1200 CSK

Given the circumstances, upgrade of the data recorder (400-500 CSK, this price includes cartridge with a loader) was a logical choice.

The value of the upgrade was in its practicality (for given place and time) rather than innovation (it is just cloning ZX spectrum cassette loading/saving system).

  • Upgrade keeps 100% compatibility with the old "standard" system
  • No interference with disk drive operation
  • Inexpensive (the simplest variant is just two transistors and a piece of wire, still enough to get 4000 bps)
  • No need to import parts from non-COMECON countries. Very important at the time.
  • Increased reliability and transfer speed (2270-6411 bps)

There were few disadvantages too

  • No DMA during the data transfer, therefore only loading bars and PMG displayed without DMA
  • The first file format was too simple to load and run binary load files (remedied later with new file formats)
Edited by baktra
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Thanks for the breakdown, I knew pretty much that the price was a part, wasn't sure about availability...

 

I'd still say it was innovation regardless of it was cloning another system, it wasn't on the Atari, it beat the cost of the drive, I'd say that's its own innovation.

 

As for the downsides, maybe but it got around the mega expensive drives, hell even with staff discount my 810 cost me an arm and a leg in the UK and we were an Atari dealer so I too started with the humble 410 and HATED it :)

 

Mind you it was better than the non specific matching of a random tape player with my ZX80 and ZX81, so hit and miss :)

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We

 

The contents of the cartridge was developed by RICO (predecessor of JRC) in Czechoslovakia to support data recorders with the Turbo 2000 upgrade. This upgrade was popular there in late 1980s. Increases transfer speed from 600 bps to 2270 bps with increased reliability.

 

In Texas, the cartridge can be somehow misplaced, because I would guess that there aren't any data recorders with the Turbo 2000 upgrade. And I don't know if the Rambit Turbo Tape (based on similar principle as Turbo 2000) was popular in the US.

Well, I lived in Texas until just over a year ago, but now I'm in Oklahoma. In any case, I am in the middle of a project that adds Rambit and Turbo 2000 to my 1010 as well as some other bells and whistles...why? Because I can, hacking hardware is for the sake of hacking is one of my favorite pastimes. We Americans moved to disks so soon (I got my 130XE in '85 with an aftermarket tape drive, but within 6 months had moved onto a 1050) we missed out on stuff like turbo loaders. A good thing, but I want to experience the nostalgia of tapes and my 1010 without 20 min, load times!

Edited by Gunstar
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If we'd had those, I'd probably have stayed with tape longer. Waiting for that 410 to load the program was agonizing.

 

Although the worst was when the program you'd CSAVEd couldn't be CLOADed! Since this turbo loader increased reliability as well as speed, it's something I would have loved to have back in 1982.

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If anyone has one of these to sell with or without a modified player or a CHAOS cartridge please PM me. I can dump the cart for you if you want.

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If anyone has one of these to sell with or without a modified player or a CHAOS cartridge please PM me. I can dump the cart for you if you want.

By CHAOS cartridge, do you mean this?

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Yes do you have this setup to sell? If 'yes' please PM me.

I do not. I am wondering how many users or data recorders with this upgrade exist.

 

I know only one active user - Mq from this thread at atarionline.pl That is why I developed the Turbo 6000 plugin for Turgen System.

But as this system appears to come from the former GDR, perhaps you can take your chances at ABBUC forum.

Edited by baktra

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@Gunstar, that's the Atari spirit, if you like me moved on to a disk drive asap then its nice to go back and mod stuff just to see what it was like, you will probably get bored after a short time but its having that ability to do the mod and experience that system even after its long stopped being made, that for me is part of the magic as well.

 

Good on you!

 

Paul.

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"Suchen" at ABBUC forum reveals that there are two more cartridge images (Blizzard cart 16K) for the Chaos Turbo 6000, and also a schematic of its implementation using a universal PCB. Google translate will help to translate from German if needed.

Edited by baktra
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Well,

 

in Poland "Atariki" is your friend, in Germany "Atari Wiki" is your friend:

https://atariwiki.org/wiki/Wiki.jsp?page=Atari%20Datasette%20XC12%20Turbo%206000%20Baud%20Interface

 

Think thats what you are searching for. The Turbo 6000 interface was pretty much the standard in the former GDR, almost every Atarian had it (since disk-drives were very expensive and only available with west-german currency DM/Deutsche Mark through "Intershops" or through ancestors living in western Germany)...

 

Attached is some Turbo 6000 software (untested, since I never had a turbo tape)...

 

Turbo6000.zip

Edited by CharlieChaplin
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I see that there is some documentation too, in the disk images. It will be an interesting reading.

 

I am wondering, disassembly of the CHAOS LOADER indicates that loading of fully-blown binary load files (Lots of segments, overlapping, multiple INIT vectors) is not possible. Was it a usual practice to re-structure (hack) the binary files to conform to the limitations of the file format and loader? Were there other "official" file formats (for example to use the turbo upgrade through extra CIO device (T:, B:) and loaders to circumvent that limitation?

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Think thats what you are searching for. The Turbo 6000 interface was pretty much the standard in the former GDR, almost every Atarian had it (since disk-drives were very expensive and only available with west-german currency DM/Deutsche Mark through "Intershops" or through ancestors living in western Germany)...

 

 

The floppy disks were very expensive, too.

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