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Multi-Cart for 8-bit Atari computers

It is a 1MByte flash cartridge, it supports standard 8K and 16K carts.

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We made a 1MB flash multi cart for the 8-bit Ataries.

It uses a few components because it is programed by the Atari computer and it provides a menu screen. It supports standard 8K and 16K carts. The image to be written in the cart is prepared using a windows cart compilation program that also automatically generates the cart menu.

I designed the hardware and wrote programming software and Manos wrote the cart menu and the cart content compilation software. Many thanks to Akis for the 3d-printed case.

The cart has one switch and one push button. The switch is usually in the normal position and only should be changed to the write position when the cart is programmed.

The push button is used to restart the computer to menu without having to turn off with the porwer switch. Only in the Atari 400/800 the button is unreachable.

To program this cart you execute FW32.XEX from atari dos but before the cart contents and the menu must be prepared. FW32 reads 32 files 32K each named slot0.rom to slot31.rom.

These files are prepared with the special windows software that allows you to add and arrange the files as they are written in the flash and appear in the menu. Slot0.rom also always contain the cart menu program that is the boot cart the first time the computer is turned on.

The program is called LeonCart800Collection.exe. You build the cart list using drag & drop of the cart files you wish to add. There are some restrictions in that the files should be divided in 32 slots of 32K so maybe you'll need sometimes to rearrange the list for this. Then from menu Action->Create Atr  you create an .atr file and also the 32 slot rom files in the directory with name tempatrdir.

To program the cart I use a serial cable and AspeQt utility to mount the .atr file or the directory "tempatrdir" to atari. The flash of course should be empty or should have been erased. When the computer boots it enters dos menu and then using menu option L, I execute the program FW32.XEX that reads data from the serial connection to pc and does the programming. It takes several minutes.

Be sure you have a reliable connection between atari and pc. Don't interrupt the flashing procedure, some times the program makes a pause and continues after several seconds.

The cart can be erased while in the atari cart slot by pressing the SELECT key while powering on, and follow instructions or by program FE.XEX.

LeonCart.zip

STL files for the cart case by Akis.

x-zip-compressed - 11.66 kB - 08/16/2020 at 22:20

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FW32.XEX

Program to write the cart flash

xex - 751.00 bytes - 03/29/2020 at 15:23

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LeonCart800Collection.zip

Cart List-Menu creation program

x-zip-compressed - 327.98 kB - 03/31/2020 at 21:45

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a1.sch

Eagle schematic

sch - 785.64 kB - 03/29/2020 at 21:30

See BOM
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a1.brd

Eagle board

brd - 159.87 kB - 03/29/2020 at 21:30

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  • 1
    Step 1

    Be careful component pcb side is the back cart side!

    You will need a serial or usb to sio cable to program the cart. I use this one:

    You can buy one or find instruction how to build one by doing an internet search.

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Discussions

Paul Blackmore wrote 08/14/2022 at 01:52 point

Excellent project! I am definately going to build a couple of these, it is perfect for my needs. The current silicon shortage almost requires an updated PCB design to use SMD components, the 14DIL TTL chips are on 52 week lead time everywhere. I am hoping it is ok for me to go ahead and do that new PCB from your original? 

  Are you sure? yes | no

Leon wrote 08/14/2022 at 07:17 point

Hello, of course it is ok.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Chris Belcher wrote 07/05/2020 at 13:09 point

Thank you!  I did build it successfully.  I have a couple of questions though:

1) What are the values of R1 and C5?  The schematic is without values

2) Could you please publish the STL files for the case?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Leon wrote 07/05/2020 at 13:42 point

Hi, their values are not critical use 4.7K for R1 and 47uF for C5.

I must ask my friend who printed the case for the STL files and I'll upload them.

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chatzoudas wrote 04/04/2020 at 18:25 point

Υπέροχο project , υπάρχει περίπτωση για παραγγελιά;

  Are you sure? yes | no

Leon wrote 04/05/2020 at 08:54 point

Ευχαριστώ, μου έχουν περισσέψει κάποια pcb, στείλε pm.

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