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Atari 800XL and/or XEGS Disk Conversion Cartridges


Supergun
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I have some questions regarding Atari XL/XE home-made eprom cartridges.

 

Several years ago there was a HUGE website with literally dozens & dozens of cartridges for sale, with pictures of the carts themselves as well as screenshots, etc. of Atari disk exclusive games having been "diskette converted" onto cartridges for quick & easy non loading fast play on the Atari 800XL and/or Atari XEGS game system.

 

They had an amazing selection of games which really expanded the library of carts one could play on one of these systems.

 

Then it was like they disappeared and despite hours of searching, I cannot seem to find any trace of that website anymore.

 

Anyhow, I've been knocking myself for years for not having bought a bunch of them when I had the chance, even though my hesitation was mainly caused by the fact that they used generic cases for all of them, regardless of what would have been the proper casing had the original manufactured released the game on cartridge.

 

There were a few that I managed to figure out how to build on my own, but some of them still elude me; especially done correctly.

 

Does anyone here know and remember which website I'm talking about and/or what ever happened to it?

And more importantly, does anyone here know where on the internet one could find a "repository" of "diskette-converted-to-cartridge" games that I could simply download and burn onto an eprom cartridge myself and assemble as such:

 

post-17556-0-75787700-1445653146_thumb.jpg

 

Any help is appreciated.

Many thanks.

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I don't know if this is the site you were thinking of, but Video 61 has a library of cartridges, some of which were originally marketed as disk or cassette titles, such as Tapper, Hard Hat Mack and Dropzone.

 

http://members.tcq.net/video61/compnew.html

 

Video 61 is still going, and bringing some amazing new titles to market such as Tempest Xtreme and I think, Space Harrier. Also several repositories exist where you can pretty much download every title ever released for the 8-bits and play them on original hardware using an SIO2PC, or an SIO2SD, or a MyIDE II, or an Atarimax Flash Cartridge or one of the many other options that hardware geniuses have been delivering for our machines since Nick Kennedy first connected his Atari to his IBM PC.

Edited by oracle_jedi
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Thanks for the replies so far. I appreciate it.

Video 61 is not the company or the website I spoke of. Granted, I have purchased many things over the years from Video61, B&C Computer Visions, and Best Electronics. And they do have many items that are unique and great. But none of those 3 are the place.

 

With regards to the flash cart:

 

I own about 130+ original carts for the Atari Computer line (400/800/1200/XL/XE). And I am totally open to eventually getting a multi cart of some kind, as I have done for many other systems. (2600, 5200, NES, Genny, SNES, etc.)

 

However, I have yet to find a "normal" one for the Atari Computer systems? They seem to work differently? They don't have a removable SD card where you can have every game ever made on one cart. They look like they have to be "programmed"?

 

Well, that's a problem for me because I own an 800XL & XEGS and I have always only treated them as "game systems". (I like the mixture of superior 5200 graphics with the superior 2600 controls)

 

So, I don't have a disk drive, tape cassette drive, PC cable connection or whatever. I don't use the keyboard, I just use these as video game systems. So those flash carts are worthless to me because I don't have the peripherals or accessories or the knowledge of how to use them. (nor the interest as it sounds complicated)

 

So when someone finally makes a normal SD cart for the XE system, then I will be happy to buy one. Until then, I just want to buy or build myself, a handful of EPROM cartridges.

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It might have been KJMann's site. He used to sell a lot of carts like that, but he left doing business, partly due to some health problems.

 

The difference between systems like a 2600, 7800, 5200 and an 8-bit computer system is simple. Those other systems use a single format for games, which is carts. The 8-bits use disks, cassettes, binary files, and carts. So it's more difficult to cater to all those needs in a single multi-function piece hardware. But there are plenty of nice and easy to work with solutions available, that will give just as much satisfaction as using similar solutions on these other game/console systems. The only difference is there is no ONE SINGLE solution that will give you everything. Pick one that suits what matters to you most first, and then you can add to that later if necessary.

 

Probably the easiest ones to start with will be either a "SIDE II" or "MyIDE II", since you mention SD. These two are actually not SD though, but rather CF. They work just about the same, and there is no "programming" as you say, necessary. You just put various types of files that they work with (yes, there are some restrictions), and put the cart in your machine, turn it on and play.

 

There are also some nice SD devices available including: SIO2SD, SDrive, and Ultimate SD Cart.

 

And here's the newbie thread if you want some information about most of them: Newbie Thread

Edited by MrFish
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So those flash carts are worthless to me because I don't have the peripherals or accessories or the knowledge of how to use them. (nor the interest as it sounds complicated)

 

So when someone finally makes a normal SD cart for the XE system, then I will be happy to buy one. Until then, I just want to buy or build myself, a handful of EPROM cartridges.

Not as useless as you are thinking. You can always pop the eeprom out of one, program it with your PC using a $40 universal USB programmer, pop it back in and play away. Is that useless?

 

Form factor is just different from a SD card - big deal.

 

B&C sells eprom carts at the bottom of page linked, so you can do it that way too, just another form factor difference. And you'll need the universal USB programmer on the PC here too.

http://www.myatari.com/atarixlh.txt

 

You are right, Atari never made 'normal' carts for sale direct to the public, you generally won't find one in hundreds of purchases of same then.

 

In using the universal USB programmer then you'll have to learn how to rip burn code from files on the PC and then burn them into flash rom or eproms. A good hex editor running on the PC will come in handy here. Would be doing this to capture game images as well from atarimania source just to name one. Don't forget this site for that as well.

 

I'm thinking you might talking about the Super-Genius! guy, I don't remember what his website was called (looked it up - sunmark dot com no longer working) but he dropped out of sight a long time ago (end of 2007) and offered a lot of multiplay game carts all on flash carts IIRC. I'm thinking you are right back where you started then, but using AtariMax images, I don't think sunmark ever released his stash.

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I think the way I worded things, and the manner in which I asked my questions caused some confusion.

 

Let me start over and take it one by one.

 

1) Of all the stand alone single Atari Computer "multi-carts" out on the market, which one is most similar to the Atari 2600 Harmony cartridge?

If one even exists yet? In where all the user does is:

 

-- get a memory card (compact flash, SD, whatever)

-- load card with main program file (bios, exec, whatever)

-- load card with hundreds of rom files

-- plug card into special cartridge

-- plug special cartridge into system

-- play games until 3:00 AM

 

(no USB cables & chords, no hooking up the atari computer with some RS232 cable to a PC, no programming, etc.)

Where a PC is ONLY used to load up the memory card, and the 800XL or XEGS system is ONLY used to plug in the cartridge and play games.

 

2) Having ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the above, does anyone here know where on the internet one could find a "repository" of "diskette-converted-to-cartridge" games (or in plain english, games that were originally only available exclusively in the FLOPPY DISK format in 198X and NOT as a physical cartridge) where a user could simply download this special "conversion rom file" (as-in all the reprogramming & data modification labor has already been done by some other computer genius hacker and the file is now 100% cartridge compatible) whereby all the user has to do is download the file, burn it onto an eprom, populate it onto a donor cartridge, and then simply plug & play it on their Atari system.

 

A visual explanation...is to take this:

post-17556-0-25430700-1445801186_thumb.jpg

 

And build yourself this...

post-17556-0-31760500-1445801202_thumb.jpg

 

Thanks!

Edited by Supergun
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I think the way I worded things, and the manner in which I asked my questions caused some confusion.

 

Let me start over and take it one by one.

 

1) Of all the stand alone single Atari Computer "multi-carts" out on the market, which one is most similar to the Atari 2600 Harmony cartridge?

If one even exists yet? In where all the user does is:

 

-- get a memory card (compact flash, SD, whatever)

-- load card with main program file (bios, exec, whatever)

-- load card with hundreds of rom files

-- plug card into special cartridge

-- plug special cartridge into system

-- play games until 3:00 AM

 

I wasn't confused at all. Reread what I posted above. The two devices I talked about are just as simple as that, and several others are similarly as easy to use and work with.

Edited by MrFish
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  • 5 weeks later...

To Supergun,

 

I just bought a MyIDE II from Atarimania.com. Here is how I worked it. Atarimania also has a video.

 

*** hardware note: The MyIDE II is a Atari game cartridge. There is a slot in the top for a SD card.

 

Bought the MyIDE II and a SD card at the same time from Atarimania. Someone at Atarimania got the card setup to play on

the Atari 800XL before they mailed it to me. It came with a couple of games already installed.

 

I have a Windows 7 PC with a SD card reader/writer. I downloaded games from the web onto my hard drive and

unzipped them into a directory called, "Atari Rom". (those files are so small I don't know why anyone went to the trouble to zip them)

 

On the SD card, I used windows to make a subdirectory called 'My Favorites" and copied my favorite games into that subdirectory.

 

I put the MyIDE II cartridge into the 800XL computer and put the SD card into the MyIDE II cartridge then turn on the 800XL.

It takes the 800XL about two seconds to boot to the first menu. I select the FAT32 Loader with the joystick and press the fire button.

The 800XL reads the directory and displays it on the TV. It shows the subdirectories on the disk. I choose 'My Favorites' with the joystick.

The games in 'My Favorites' are listed in alphabetical order. Using the joystick I select which one to play.

When I am finished playing I simply turn off the 800XL.

 

There you go. No wires/cables connecting the two computers just as you requested. A cartridge with subdirectories to make searching easier.

Everything is kept in alphabetical order to make things as quick and simple as possible.

 

MyIDE II runs both cartridege images and disk images. I am new at this and so far I have only had about half the stuff load and run on the Atari.

There seems to be some really good experts on these forums that really know hardware. I've been communicating with them and reading their

postings to learn more stuff.

 

*** Note that there is a problem in the FAT 32 loader where as some games needs a patch to run. There is a forum thread on Atariage that address

this problem and a patch file with instructions are included in the thread.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have that Tapper cart, the guy who use to make all these is called Nir Dary. He hasn't posted on here for years.

Yes, that may have been the seller I remember. I have been trying to build myself one and I could use some help. Is there any chance that you could get me a picture of the inside of the cartridge; specifically of the board used and what size eprom or eproms it uses?

 

I have yet to find the rom image, but I am guessing it may be 48K in size, which would mean both a 16K (27c128) and a 32K (27c256) eprom are used to build a physical cartridge.

 

Video-61 sells a Tapper cartridge for $34.95, and I will most likely need to buy one just to get the rom image of the game, but regardless of that, I will still need to make additional modifications and changes to it in order to have the game be in a proper Sega cartridge.

 

Any help is much appreciated.

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  • 3 months later...

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