C64 512k Cartridge DIP

2 years ago

Open source license: CC-BY-SA 3.0

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C64 512k Cartridge

MagicDesk compatible cartridge for Commodore C64 based on the work of Marko Šolajić and Zzarko. Build your own cartridges out of multiple PRG-files!


Usable Types of (E)EPROMs

Most 512k (E)EPROMs should work. They usually have one of the following identifiers in their names: 27C040 or 28C040.

Creating your own Cartridge from PRG Files

You can create a games/software collection with a selection menu on a single cartridge using the MagicDesk Cartridge Generator software by Zzarko. You can also create a cartridge with just one game/program without a menu using the Single PRG Cartridge Generator software by Feandreu. How it works is explained on the respective website. A BIN file containing the image for the cartridge is created in each case.

Burning a BIN File to the (E)EPROM

There are numerous programming devices/EPROMers. The MiniPRO TL866 is used in these instructions. This is available for around €50 and supports almost all (E)EPROMs.

After starting the MiniPRO software, search in the IC database for the (E)EPROM used. The (E)EPROM must now be correctly inserted in the socket. A click on the "Information" button shows how this must be positioned. Pay attention to the notch and to pin 1. If an EPROM (not EEPROM) is used, the following must be observed: Make sure that the EPROM is empty. A "blank check" provides information about this. An EPROM that is not empty must first be erased. EEPROMs, on the other hand, can simply be overwritten. Open the cartridge image (you can find one in the software folder) and confirm with "OK". Now click on the "P" button and confirm with "Program". The (E)EPROM will now be burned. So that the EPROM does not lose its data, the glass pane should be sealed with an opaque adhesive tape. An EEPROM does not have this window and there is also no risk of the data being lost.

The (E)EPROM is now ready for use and can be plugged into the socket of the cartridge. Important: Pay attention to the alignment of the notch on the (E)EPROM! It must match the notch on the module PCB.

Erasing an EPROM

In contrast to EEPROMS (Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-only Memory), EPROMs cannot be overwritten with new data, but must first be erased with an EPROM eraser. This sends ultraviolet radiation into the EPROM. This erases the memory, which can then be rewritten. A cheap EPROM eraser is sufficient. Don't forget to remove any UV cover from the EPROM. The erasing process takes 10-15 minutes in most cases. The EPROM can then be written to again.

Operating Instruction

  • Switch off your C64 if you haven't already done so.
  • Insert the cartridge into the expansion slot of your C64.
  • Switch on your C64.
  • The program on the cartridge starts automatically.

References, Links and Notes

  1. Original Hardware by Marko Šolajić
  2. Original Software by Zzarko
  3. Single PRG Modification by Feandreu
  4. C64 Games


C64 512k Cartridge

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ID Name Designator Footprint Quantity
2 27C040 U1 DIP32 WIDE PACKAGE 1
3 Tact Sw RESET SW-TH_K2-1102AQ-C4CW-01 1
4 100n C1 CERAMIC-5.08 1
5 C64_Cart_Slot CART1 C64_CART_SLOT 1
6 74LS273P U3 DIP20 PACKAGE 1


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