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The Lynx Cart Programmer Pi-Hat is an add-on board for a Raspberry Pi 2 (and later) that lets you read and write your own Atari Lynx cartridges.



How to Buy

At the moment the Pi-Hat can be ordered on this thread over at AtariAge forums (or just contact us). The cost is €60 + postage. The Pi-Hat comes fully assembled with mounting hardware and an empty Lynx Cartridge shell that can be used with flashable Lynx cartridge PCBs from the White Lynx Store. If you need additional cartridge shells, Atari Gamer can supply these at €4 each or 10x for €36.

Requirements

To use this board you need a Raspberry Pi with a 40 pin GPIO connector. This includes Model 3 A+, Model 3 B+, Model 3 B, Model 2 B, Model 1 B+, Model 1 A+, Zero, Zero W.

Software-wise you need a Linux distribution with developer tools installed and to have SPI enabled. You will also need to have Wiring Pi installed.

Features

This board can read any cartridge that an Atari Lynx can read. The software should be able to detect cartridge block size in most cases and output a dump of the cartridge. The board can also write special programmable cartridges.

Building the Software

The programmer board software source code is available from https://bitbucket.org/atarilynx/lynx. The software is currently in rapid development in the programmer-enhancements branch. No binary distribution is yet available, but building it is easy...

git clone -b programmer-enhancements https://[email protected]/atarilynx/lynx.git
cd lynx/contrib/blankcart/programmer
make all

This should build the readcart and programcart commands. These are explained further below.

Reading Cartridges

To read a cartridge, use the readcart command. It's usage is...

Usage: readcart [-a|-bN] [-nohdr] [-swvcc] [-turbo] [-v|-vv] <romfile>
-a Automatically determine block size
-bN Manually set block size to N, valid values: 512, 1024, 1024x2
-h Show this summary and exit
-nohdr Do not write the LNX file header to romfile
-swvcc Enable SWVCC to allow reading certain cart types
-turbo Use turbo mode, may produce corrupt dumps
-v Set verbose mode
-vv Set verbose debug mode

Example: ./readcart -b1024 -swvcc -turbo -v mycart.lnx

Writing a ROM to a Blank Cartridge

An LNX format ROM can be written to a special programmable cartridge. The programcart command is used for this purpose. This command will check that a compatible flash cart is inserted into the board before trying to write any data. It's usage is:

Usage: programcart <romfile>

Example: ./programcart mycart.lnx




Additional PhotosHistory

There were older versions of this board made. Please see the following pages for reference - Lynx Cart Programmer Pi-Hat (Pre-Production Board).

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