HappyCart BSW2000

The 2K/4K/8K/12K/16K Bankswitching ROM Cartridge Emulator (aka RAMCart) for the Atari 2600 VCS

[FAQ] [Hardware] [Software] [Compatibility] [History]

History of the HappyCart

[no image available] Revision 1.0

November, 1998

Hastily hand-wired using cheap prototyping boards, 74LS373's and ribbon cable. Total piece of junk, never completed, never debugged. Immediately thrown away.
[rev 2 photo] Revision 2.0

November, 1998

Hand-wired prototype built on a large perfboard. Cartridge connection accomplished via modified Atari cartridge and short ribbon cable. Supported 2K and 4K games. This prototype generated too much radio frequency interference, so it was completely wrapped in aluminum foil. Mike dubbed this prototype, "the only Atari 2600 cartridge emulator that runs on a tuna fish sandwich." Simple command-line DOS software was written and used to download data to the cartridge emulator. Only one prototype exists.

[Full Size JPEG 124K] [Full Size Rear of PC Board JPEG 68K]

[rev 3 photo] Revision 3.0

December, 1998

Revision 3 was the first version that fit inside of a cartridge. Fitted into a gutted Activision type cartridge, it provided a very compact means of emulating cartridges. RFI was also significantly reduced due to the shorter leads going to the cartridge port. Functionally identical to revision 2, and as such only supported 2K/4K games. Simple command-line DOS software was written and used to download data to the cartridge emulator. Only one prototype exists.

[Full Size Inside JPEG 77K] [Full Size Front JPEG 79K] [Full Size Back JPEG 85K] [Cartridge Artwork JPEG 17K]

[rev 4 photo] Revision 4.0

December, 1999

Revision 4 is the first version to use a real PC board. Like revision 3, it is meant to fit inside of a modified Activision cartridge (note the similar shape to the revision 3 board). It is also the first version to support bankswitching (2K, 4K, 8K, 12K, 16K) as well as SuperChip and RamPlus emulation. The architecture is fully programmable via Xilinx CPLDs, and thus new bankswitching types may be implemented in the future. Like previous units, it connects to a parallel port of a PC, but it is not compatible with the protocol from earlier revisions. Windows 95/98 software provides a MAME-like game browser interface with a unique documentation/cartridge image browser feature. The software, called HappyExplorer, can download ROM images to the HappyCart attached to the PC or launch an emulator.

[Full Color JPEG 74K] [Unstuffed PC Board JPEG 88K] [Cartridge Artwork JPEG 43K] [Software Screenshot JPEG 37K]

[Back to HappyCart Home]

NOTE: "Atari," "2600," "Asteroids", the Yar's dude, and "Happy Drive" are most likely trademarks of somebody. I don't know who owns what anymore, but I certainly don't claim to own those trademarks. I'm merely paying homage to my formative years, here. Activision is definitely not defunct, and I give them every bit of credit they deserve for producing amazing products then and now. "Mike" and "Steve" are trademarks of their respective parents - all rights reserved.

HappyCart, HappyCart BSW2000, and HappyExplorer are Copyright © 1998-2000 Stephen S. Richardson and Michael J. Andrews (FLEX Cybernetics/Hackerware).