Jump to content
6BQ5

What do you use your cartridge port for?

Recommended Posts

Think of this as a little survey. :)

 

I'm curious to know what people have plugged in their cartridge ports. Anything cool? Maybe you have a sound sampler or a Spectre kit all put togther? I would love to use it for storage space but I think nothing like a hard drive adapter or RAM disk exist.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Atari ST cartridge port is made mostly in diagnostic purpose. It is read only, and small capacity. And despite it, plenty of different adapters appeared on market, and hobbysts made interesting add ons.

There was even video capture device.

I designed/made myself EPROM/FlashEPROM programmer: http://atari.8bitchip.info/eprprg.htm

 

There was IDE hard disk adapter named Paskud, but it is not available in last decade, or more. Was not much fast, but usage is simple. Probably main reason is that SD cards are now much cheaper than CF cards and/or hard disks, so people using rather diverse Satans :)

I don't see much sense of RAMdisk on cartridge port - it will be always slower than normal RAM in machine.

 

Possible near future projects: very fast IDE adapter, what I called CATA. I talked with Lotharek about integrating it with NetUsBee (LAN + USB adapter for cart. port), but that needs some free time to make proper HW design, hopefully SW will need only minimal changes) . That could be interesting even in SD care era, because should work well with now cheap and enough fast IDE-SD afapters. I tested mine, and it can some 10 MB/sec with faster SD cards.

 

And some special usage: games on cartridge. I already adapted some for it. Of course, only shorter games fit on 128 KB space. Packing is needed in most cases.

Even more special is something I just tried: TOS 2.06 in ST machines, without soldering. OK, not entirely 'in', since cartridge is outside :) Normally you can not upgrade some ST, Mega ST to TOS 2.06 because it needs more space than ST memory map gives to TOS (256 KB needed, 192 KB available). So, some HW logic add on is needed - that's often combined with IDE adapter. http://atari.8bitchip.info/aidesch.htm

But if we use cartridge port with it's 128 KB we have total 320 KB space - and then 2.06 fits. Need only to relocate it to new address space and doing couple changes in TOS header.

If someone wants it, I will post here image files of cart ROM and TOS ROM content. And I think that now really need to order some quantity of cartridge PCBs and put there programmed EPROMs with games and whatever people want.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There were some carts for replaying enhanced sound in some games :

 

Also, for quite an opposite use, several sampling carts existed.

I mostly used sampling carts ("ST Replay" cart, don't remember which version exactly) : http://atariage.com/forums/topic/9107-cart-port/?p=1714090

 

I also listened to the demo tunes coming with the sequencer used with "FM Melody Maker" cart (sweet PC like OPL FM synth) :

Edited by dma

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back in the day I mainly used if for attaching a hand scanner, with occasional switches to the MV16 above, Spectre and sound samplers. My main problem with it is its position on the computer and how easy it was to knock the cartridge (particularly the bigger ones) out by accident if you moved the machine. Not so good with an unbuffered port.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well... here's a small list, which I don't think covers everything made for the ST cartridge port...

 

Apart from all dongles used for copyprotection of programs like Notator, Cubase etc there was atleast 2 midi expanders that provided extra midi ports.

 

There was an RC simulator with a cartridge that hooked up an RC remote

 

and a "robokit", that used the cartridge port to interface with a robot

 

Happy Computers discovery cartridge that allowed you to copy more or less any disk

 

A couple of different realtime clocks

 

There were also a few utilities cartridges, such as Atari's VT100 terminal, and another one with calendar (deskcart), Fastbasic and a few other

 

a homebrew development system for the jaguar, called jagserv, also used the cartridge port to communicate with the jaguar.

 

atleast 3 different "hacker" cartridges were written to aid in cracking games, ripping music and graphics.Ultimate ripper, multiface st

 

Supermon debugger

 

a few eprom programmers, atleast one gal/pal programmer

 

Spectre GCR used the cartridge port to house the necessary Mac roms for emulating mac, as did magic sac

 

several sound samplers

 

atleast one cartridge (mentioned in previous post above) with an extra soundchip

 

several scanner/digitizers, Vidi-ST, handyscanner

 

A 3D solution with shutter goggles connected to the cartridge port

 

Diagnostic cartridges

 

IDE interface (Paskud)

 

Various network adapters, ethernec adapers etc

 

Emutos got a variant that works in cartridge, there supposedly also were atleast one other alternative OS on cartridge.

 

A ramdisk cartridge existed, 512k&1mb variants

 

a serial port expander, most notably used by michtron bbs

 

Saint, maker of the sd-cart for lynx and developer of sd-cart for jaguar, is toying with some remote development tool for ST using the cartridge port.

 

and so on.... there is stil things being developed.

 

as you see... there are many, MANY uses for the cartridge port...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cubase uses the cartridge port but that's the only program I have that actually uses it

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I bought my original ST, I used the cartridge port for a Real Time Clock, I built a small circuit board ( etched) which had the clock chip on it, a few switching logic chips to enable writing to the clock for initial setup and a battery+charging circuit. I wrote a small machine code program to set the clock up and another which ran at boot time to read the clock and set the ST's time, it worked fine for many years.

 

If I remember correctly the trick to write to the cartridge was to use the upper 1/2 cartridge address to enable the logic circuit to write to the timer chip, the data was in the lower 4 bits of the address. e.g. move.byte $FB0004,#0 would set the timer chip at its first location to '4', the instruction itself is quite arbitrary, you only need the address on the bus.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let's see:

 

Computer Eyes

Vidi ST

ST Replay

Happy Discovery

DeskCart

Magic Sac

Spectre GCR

Edited by AtariGeezer
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well... here's a small list, which I don't think covers everything made for the ST cartridge port...

 

Apart from all dongles used for copyprotection of programs like Notator, Cubase etc there was atleast 2 midi expanders that provided extra midi ports.

 

There was an RC simulator with a cartridge that hooked up an RC remote

 

and a "robokit", that used the cartridge port to interface with a robot

 

Happy Computers discovery cartridge that allowed you to copy more or less any disk

 

A couple of different realtime clocks

 

There were also a few utilities cartridges, such as Atari's VT100 terminal, and another one with calendar (deskcart), Fastbasic and a few other

 

a homebrew development system for the jaguar, called jagserv, also used the cartridge port to communicate with the jaguar.

 

atleast 3 different "hacker" cartridges were written to aid in cracking games, ripping music and graphics.Ultimate ripper, multiface st

 

Supermon debugger

 

a few eprom programmers, atleast one gal/pal programmer

 

Spectre GCR used the cartridge port to house the necessary Mac roms for emulating mac, as did magic sac

 

several sound samplers

 

atleast one cartridge (mentioned in previous post above) with an extra soundchip

 

several scanner/digitizers, Vidi-ST, handyscanner

 

A 3D solution with shutter goggles connected to the cartridge port

 

Diagnostic cartridges

 

IDE interface (Paskud)

 

Various network adapters, ethernec adapers etc

 

Emutos got a variant that works in cartridge, there supposedly also were atleast one other alternative OS on cartridge.

 

A ramdisk cartridge existed, 512k&1mb variants

 

a serial port expander, most notably used by michtron bbs

 

Saint, maker of the sd-cart for lynx and developer of sd-cart for jaguar, is toying with some remote development tool for ST using the cartridge port.

 

and so on.... there is stil things being developed.

 

as you see... there are many, MANY uses for the cartridge port...

 

I have that RC simulator controller and cart interface to plug into the port (but not the software). I have no idea if it works, as it came in a lot with a Magic also. The Mega 4 they were set up to be used with has a loose chip so I just get a white screen and haven't had time to go in and re-seat it.

 

Edited by jefffulton

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My Roland CM-32L sound module came with Roland "Ten Tracks" software on floppy, but it would only work if the hardware 'key' (little cartridge) was inserted as a copy protection. Like Cubase, and I'm sure others. Was annoying I had to unplug the spectre GCR when I wanted to use it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a Digisound sound sampling device plugged into that waaayyyy back when.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let's see:

 

Computer Eyes

Vidi ST

ST Replay

Happy Discovery

DeskCart

Magic Sac

Spectre GCR

I loved that ST Replay cartridge... especially when I found I could use it to record actual sound for games I was writing in GFA Basic.

 

Actually recently found it... Might consider finishing that game.

 

Then again, more likely that life will interfere.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I loved that ST Replay cartridge... especially when I found I could use it to record actual sound for games I was writing in GFA Basic.

 

Actually recently found it... Might consider finishing that game.

 

Then again, more likely that life will interfere.

Yep, made a few recordings during the shuttle missions in the early 90's...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...