Now that I have an Atari XEGS, I have started looking for multicart/flashcart options and I discovered this cart for sale, the Ultimate Atari Cart
. It is a very practical solution as it uses an SD card for the games. Ultimate Cartridge for Atari 8-bit Computers
The Ultimate Cart is a multi-cart for Atari 400/800/XL/XE computers. Basic Usage
Insert an SD card (either full size, or MicroSD in an adapter) into the slot. The card does not require any special preparation, since the Ultimate cartridge can read FAT (including FAT32) file systems. Long file names are supported.
When the Atari is powered on, a list of any ROM & CAR files and directories on the SD card should be shown on the Atari’s screen. Keyboard commands are shown at the bottom of the screen. A newer version of the firmware also supports XEX files – this may be installed on your cartridge.
It is best to organize your files in directories since the cartridge will load and sort the files in the directory before display. If you have to many files in any one directory, this may cause a noticeable pause before display.
You can disable the cartridge (using the X key) if you want to boot normally (e.g. to disk) and leave the cartridge plugged in (to avoid wear and tear).SD Cards
Higher speed SD cards are recommended. SDHC (High capacity) cards are supported. On a high-speed card, a 1 megabyte ROM file (e.g. AtariMax) takes about 3 seconds to be loaded into the cartridge when selected. Slower cards may take longer.Status LED Reset Button
Press the reset button (next to the SD card slot) to reset the cartridge firmware. This will generally cause the Atari to crash, and the reset button on the Atari can then be pressed to return to the cartridge menu.
Supported Cartridge Types (CAR files) Converting to CAR format
Utilities are available to convert ROM/BIN files into the CAR file format. The ROM2CAR utility available on the project website provides an easy drag and drop interface to do this.
With the most common 8k and 16k Atari ROMs, there is no need to convert these first to CAR format since these cartridge types will simply be assumed from the size of the ROM file (see below).
Plain ROM files are supported, but since these files are raw cartridge dumps, the Ultimate Cart will decide what type of cartridge they come from based on the file size only. The table below shows what types will be used.XEX Files
The latest version of the firmware adds a new menu, with joystick control. It also supports loading XEX files (in addition to cartridge files). Note that the XEX loader is copied to location $700 in the Atari’s RAM. This should be compatible with most software in XEX form.Problem Files
You may come across files with a .BIN extension. These are often just .ROM files and can be renamed.
You may also find ROM files where the Ultimate Cart menu gives the error “Bad ROM/CAR file”. This happens when the ROM file is not an exact multiple of 1,024 bytes. In this case, the ROM dump may have already been converted to a CAR file (with a 16 byte header) but has been wrongly named. In this case you can simply rename the file from .ROM to .CAR.