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jrhodes

Navarone cartridge expander

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Thinking of getting a NOS Navarone expander from ebay.

Will it "play nice" with a finalgrom99?

Are any carts known to have issues when used with this device?

Edited by jrhodes

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Thinking of getting a NOS Navarone expander from ebay.

Will it "play nice" with a finalgrom99?

Are any carts known to have issues when used with this device?

 

I do not know about the FG99, but I know that Tony’s XB 2.7 cartridge does not play nice with other cartridges on the expander. I forgot the reason, but I am sure there are other cartridges, as well.

 

...lee

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...a clunky "peripheral" if ever there was one. Had one for years (in the collection) and never cared to use it. Especially these days with a FinalGROM or FlashROM, really don't see the point. A brick of cartridges standing vertically, creating a "wall" to the right of the keyboard... fugly! :lol:

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I use mine for cartridge testing all the time, but that is pretty much the only current use I have for it. It is also a perfect device to use when you need to read out the contents of a cartridge to get a clean dump. . .

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...a clunky "peripheral" if ever there was one. Had one for years (in the collection) and never cared to use it. Especially these days with a FinalGROM or FlashROM, really don't see the point. A brick of cartridges standing vertically, creating a "wall" to the right of the keyboard... fugly! :lol:

 

I've not used mine in quite some time, in fact after the Beyond Video Chess BIN was made for the FG99 I never used it again. It seems kind of superfluous for an average user.

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My observations on use of the Cartridge Expander with "special case" carts:

 

XB 2.7 Cart - Results in all other carts and position of Expander switch being ignored

Dragon's Lair - Same as XB 2.7

FinalGROM - Initial menu presents FinalGROM menu regardless of cart. But menu option selection results in switch-selected cart being used.

FlashROM99 - Operates as intended.

 

What I recall reading at some point was that UberGROM boards aren't compatible with it. But probably someone more technically knowledgeable could expand on that.

 

For me, this makes the use of the device very limited. Since in a perfect world, Terminal Emulator II, XB 2.7 and FinalGROM would be my three selected carts.

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Okay, so there's definitely some weirder behaviour that can go on with FinalGROM + original era carts, in use with the Expander. Hopefully someone more knowledgeable than I can theorise on why this would be.

 

The essence of my broader observation is:

 

  • *All* of my tested 1987 to 1989 Databiotics and Triton carts produce a behaviour wherein FinalGROM is listed as option 2, then the game is listed as option 3 in the opening menu (where it would normally be option 2), if the game is switch-selected at start. Furthermore, the games play successfully. Selecting FinalGROM from the menu when it is not switch-selected restarts the machine. Selecting FinalGROM with the switch in the correct position (even if moved from the startup menu) succeeds.
  • *All* of my tested older carts and first party carts are dysfunctional when switch-selected to greatly varying extents. Option 2 always appears as "For FinalGROM 99" regardless of switch position, though selecting this option selects the switch-selected cart.

 

For example, with the following carts in another slot and selected (and roughly in order of "did it work?"):

 

Barrage: Appears as menu option 3 instead of menu option 2. Completely normal.

Black Hole: Appears as menu option 3 instead of menu option 2. Completely normal.

Midnite Mason: Appears as menu option 3 instead of menu option 2. Completely normal.

Qmaze: Appears as menu option 3 instead of menu option 2. Completely normal.

The Great Word Race: Appears as menu option 3 instead of menu option 2. Completely normal.

Super Demon Attack: Almost completely normal (a few bad characters)

Return to Pirate's Isle: Appears as menu option 3 instead of menu option 2. Some garbled text and graphics.

BurgerTime: Garbled graphics

Buck Rogers: Garbled graphics, but only once normal gameplay starts

Slymoids: Garbled graphics

Star Trek: Garbled graphics

Tombstone City: Garbled Graphics and gameplay seems to freeze.

Parsec: Garbled Graphics and gameplay seems to freeze.

Munchman: Fails to start

Tunnels of Doom: Fails to start

TI Invaders: Fails to start

Alpiner: Alpiner language options other than English appear for options 3 to 8 (in addition to FinalGROM option 2, where English should be). Selecting any of them restarts the machine.

Edited by pixelpedant
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I seem to recall the widget (old name) only switched ONLY the grom +5v power line, and was particular about what modules you plugged into what position, and wasn't happy with some combinations- which seemed to be the combinations I wanted, and it fell out of use here. Not sure that three rom-only modules worked too well... too long time ago.

 

Extended Basic HAD to be in the top slot (FG99 probably also). Anyone got a better memory... I can't find a mention in Micropendium.

 

Something about the way the switch works and the way the console looks for modules.

 

There was also an issue with the sliding switch contacts wearing out rather quickly.

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If anyone want's one of those worthless things (my opinion), send me a PM, and for $20.00 via PayPal (shipping included) I'll be happy to get rid of that dust catcher and send it in a USPS flat rate box.

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