Back in the 1980's shortly after the EPYX Fastload cartridge was released there was an explosion of variants released into the market.  Some cartridges were exact duplicates, others had enhancements applied to the core cartridge code.

In southern Ontario, Canada one such cartridge came into existence called the "PDQ" (stands for Pretty Damn Quick).  This cartridge soon morphed into the "Megaload", but remained captive on a PDQ board.  Recently I came upon one remaining copy of this PDQ based Megaload cartridge in my personal collection.  In an effort to bring this back to the community, I copied the PDQ board and eprom for the purpose of re-producing the cartridge.

In an effort to bring some modern day enhancements to this base cartridge and make it a bit more fun, I added a few new things to the board.

1. An activity light was added that lights when the cartridge is idle, and flickers when it's functioning.

2. A reset button was added.  Always handy to have a reset button.

3. To appeal to those interested in AVR programming, I added an ATTINY85 to the board that controls a light show across the top of the cartridge.

The AVR is isolated from the PDQ/Megaload board such that it can be programmed and re-programmed using an arduino. There are five LED's wired to the AVR, and pin headers on the board that allow you to easily and quickly connect an arduino to the AVR and upload any program you'd like.  Additionally, a momentary switch was also added that can be utilized through programming of the AVR.

The cartridge comes to you ready to accept the AVR to be programmed with a simple Larson Scanner program or any other program you desire that when installed that may begin running on the AVR as soon as you power on the Commodore computer.  For those that aren't aware, the larson scanner is basically the effect you'd have seen on the Battlestar Galactica "Cylons" or the front nose of "Kitt" on the Knight Rider television show.  

You may program anything you'd like into the AVR.  Hack away and have fun with it.

Once built, the PDQ/Megaload cartridge itself has an additional feature not found in the original EPYX Fastload.  When displaying a directory from your floppy drive, the space bar will pause the display, and resume the display.  Pressing the Run/Stop key will stop the display of the directory.

The cartridge board shown here comes to you as a bare circuit board in top quality ENIG (gold plated).  Board color may vary.

PDQ/Megaload w/AVR Bare Board - GOLD

  • Product Code: PDQ.BBenig
  • Availability: In Stock
  • $9.40

  • Ex Tax: $8.95

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