Initially, Brad and I wanted to make a PCB that could do some very ambitious things, requiring either a very capable processor, or an FPGA device. We began down this path, but soon realized that we were biting off much more than we could chew for something we had never done before. So, we decided to take a step back, and make a smaller project to verify the foundations of our design. Our final design goals were: *Be programmable via USB *Be able to play NROM format games *Feature nonvolatile storage (no battery required) *Be as cheap and easy to manufacture as possible
The Atari 5200 is a vintage gaming system from the early 1980s. At the time I owned a 2600, but I always wanted a 5200. Well, in 2018 I finally decided to find one on eBay and buy it. I learned that the first thing you want to do after attaining a new gaming console is to get your hands on every available game cartridge for it, so I made this multi-ROM cartridge.
A multi-ROM cartridge, or “MultiCart” is a cartridge that contains more than one ROM image. There are multiple ways to go about this from selector switches to pick the cartridge you want, to built-in in game menu systems. I decided to go the route of using a Raspberry Pi for the user interface, making a WEB UI available to pick which cartridge is used.
The goal is not simply to play retro games on modern hardware — there’s any number of emulation solutions for that. The goal is to play retro games on retro hardware, but use a modern system to load the game image into the console.
I have been a Patron of Robin Baumgarten for a while. He makes experimental hardware for games. His Line Wobbler one dimensional dungeon crawler is my favorite and I have always wanted to play it. It uses a door stop spring as the controller. An accelerometer in the knob allows it to work like a joystick and also detect the wobble used to attack the enemies.
Recently I acquired a SNES. But it only came with a bootleg Mortal Kombat cartridge. Searching for games I found a lot of repro cartridges (Cartridges with the ROM swapped) being sold at local second hand selling websites. The problem is that they are sold usually at prices comparing to those of original untouched cartridges. People should not overprice something they are stealing anyway.
So what? I made this post to prove anyone with an Arduino Mega and some spare components can burn a EPROM for cheap.