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Buil a cartridge: time, costs,...

José Pereira

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Is seems Nosty with GR.8 are out of business and that Sal has it own team and only intends to sell cart only with a comercial view.


Now the question(s):

1.)- Will there be anyone interested in build the carts with time that it can build 1, 10, 20,... acording to how many people buy?

2.)- Build the cart and assemble it would takes how much time?

3)- For a 256KBs cart what would be the cost price?

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There's various options around including Atarimax, SIC.


Pricing - I suppose around $15 or a little less is a starting point. Of course more numbers will usually = lower price.

Type of cart will have a bearing, e.g. Eprom or Flash and what capacity.

256K IMO is probably the lowest size worth bothering with. 128K will fit on an ED disk and much less than 128K can be Ram-resident on a 128K machine.

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I think that 256KBs is enough and to work with at least 64KBs of RAM machines.

But I would need to find someone to build the cart with a nice package.

The number of carts depend depends of how many orders.

I don't know much of Electronic and maybe like all other things if buying more circuits sure gets a better cost price.

Maybe a first some weeks pre-order helps with the costs and the planning?

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Bulk buy will mean savings. Check candle's threads for the various things he's built for sale.

You'll see in the pictures, generally he makes things like VBXE, carts and the like fabricated on large boards with them joined up in an array of 4x5 or more.


Pre-order is a bit of a must. Consider the cost of doing 50 of just about anything. Nobody wants to invest like $500 or more of their own money then take a year to recoup that and make maybe a small profit.


A well written program should only need 64K Ram if running from ROM. Consider a couple of screens and the working storage, or a depacked level for a scroller. OK, maybe 128K in an extreme case.


Back to pre-order. No point asking anyone to commit to something until it's very close to a finished product. Take Space Harrier as an example, although of course it was made freely available. You can't really ask people for money when until you know for certain that it's only going to be a couple of months before you can ship the product.

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I contact Nosty at GR8 but I really think that he's out of business because lack of time.

I had to talk with Xuel because I had the idea and right 'shot' into here.

We are working hard to get X:8 finish with all those ideas we hadn't time to complete and together with two 'official testers' :) we are we are having lots of new ideas.

The idea is, like from the begining, have the game in a free download version. But this Night I had the idea that with a cart only version we could have a nice tittle screen, some more and one per level music, one or two goodies and a nice moving game end trailer for people that would get the cart with a nice package.

Not really about money but more to preserve and remember, thinking that we are in 'the good old days' of a XE Game System.


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You could ask for opinion staff of RGCD:

They haven't done anything for Atari yet, but there is always the first time ;)

ps. Based on my many decades c64 experience and limited knowledge about Atari cartridges after few minutes of reading this " How to make ramcart ", I think it wouldn't be too hard to adjust c64 cartridge production to A8 needs ;)

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You could ask for opinion staff of RGCD:



They haven't done anything for Atari yet, but there is always the first time ;)

Some of the groundwork has been done and Callisto was to be the first release, but the job of actually making the cartridges was to be farmed out and so far there's no working version; i have a prototype version here which was used to work out if RGCD's foam insets and cardboard cartons would fit, but it's got serious issues and is nowhere near sellable.

Edited by TMR
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What you are talking about offering is ~better~ than in the good old days!

I am saying that of course that we will offer the game to all as a file to download.

And of course that anyone could get the file and put it on a cart.

But because after so many tries it's finally my first game finished. So for nostalgic reasons I really wanted to see it really released on Market. Yes, I know it's a very small one but it will makes me happy and dream if I had learn things on the past and with better Tools maybe I could got lots of good things onto A8.

Put a really production cart to the public is a joy and much different than pay to someone build me one just for me to show to friends.


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I think very ultracheap cartridge will be best.

Using cheap ARM MCU with build in flash .


  • 50 MHz
  • 32KB Flash
  • 8KB SRAM
  • SPI
  • I2C
  • 10-bit ADC
  • 1×16-bit timer
  • 2×32-bit timers

32KB with CODE PACKER will be enough for game data.


Maybe not only as DATA storage but as CPU-COPROCESSOR

something like TOMEK-8 by NOSTY for more sprites or even more colors...


TOMEK-8 Bubble Bobble demo.


TOMEK-8 Huge Sprites demo.


Always remember this:

1. keep it SUPERCHEAP

2. keep it SIMPLE

3. keep it MODERN



You need sale 500 carts to make small profits to be able

make another better carts...

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Thanks but I want to put the game like if it was in the past on a real A8 cart and that can run on a stock XL/XE Machine.

No modern things but only a larger memory cart that we also could had on those days like Nintendo or Sega had but our small Market and higher prices 'killed it'.

Edited by José Pereira
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There is an option - my catrtidge works well; it gives 64-256 kB of memory and is mappable at a000-bfff.

I have projected it and used for Ridiculous Reality batch of 50 cartridges; I do have pcbs and eproms, unfortunately 128 kb. but, when the compression is used, this is enough to hold 256kB od uncompressed data.


The cartridge is cheap - I price it for 10Euro/piece in batch of 50.

Edited by jhusak
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José and what about 10Euro http://raster.infos.cz/atari/hw/ramcart/ramcart.htm

but it use battery not ROM or EEPROM. So after few years DATA will be lost...

Anyways it is supercheap. Gots menu and PC app. And it is simple you can

build it by yourself. With Z7 cartridge shell (made in poland) you will have

nice cart...

Edited by Matej
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For small runs these might be suitable http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2-16K-EPROM-Proto-Cart-PCB-3rd-Par-Atari-800-XL-XE-New-/140954304566?pt=US_Vintage_Computers_Mainframes&hash=item20d1880036


Still need case, eproms etc


Edit: http://www.myatari.com/atarixlh.txt lists brown cartridge cases and eprom boards with sockets so presumably would just need a eprom programmer and eproms?

Edited by barnieg
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I don't have ways to assemble a cart nor design or a build the package.

What I need is really a todays Software House like. Something like GR8 or Atlantis on A8 or Psytronic on C64 that wants to build all the package.

It maybe a good idea to contact Albert here at AA because I still hadn't any answer from Nosty/GR8 but it will only be on the end, when we have all the things and we decide if it really worth to have it on a special edition cart version.

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Atarimax carts are the exact same plastics as OSS carts from the Solakian Mold Co. 1849 No. Helm Ave. Fresno, CA, 93727, USA Tel: 209-251-8784.


Now, we just need a supply of those OSS cart boards. I could kick myself in the ass for not salvaging a few cases of those boards when we (FTe) went under. I feel bad every day of my life about all the great stuff we let go... :(


The OSS carts are orange, and Atarimax are black, but identical in every other way. SpectraView I and II carts also use the same black plastics as Atarimax.



Edited by Kyle22
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Or Atarimax 8Mb carts are $20 USD each (plus shipping if outside the USA) if you order 5.

The free shipping offer isn't restricted to the US, I bought 5 cartridges last year and the shipping to Canada was free as well.


PS: The following is from the webpage for the Maxflash cartridges:

Worldwide & Domestic Orders - Prices Include Shipping by Air Mail to ALL DESTINATIONS

Edited by BillC
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