Task: Purchase a Harmony Cartridge for the Atari 2600
Needed: Harmony Cartridge With SD or microSD Card
Time: 10-15 mins
When I was programming my Atari 2600 game “Gene Medic” I wanted to be able to test it on original hardware since there are some differences with the emulators. Indeed, I did find a piece of code that didn’t work on the real 2600. Getting new code or old games on to the original 2600 is not easy. In the old days you either needed to burn your own EPROM chip and make a cartridge or possibly get the code onto a cassette and load it with the Starpath Supercharger. Fortunately, there is the Harmony Cartridge that fits nicely into your 2600 and has a slot for an SD card that you can load game binaries onto. It comes with a menu for loading the game you want. It is super easy to use and allows you to play all those games you don’t own as cartridges. The photo below is my game running on the 2600 with the Harmony Cartridge. Note the blue SD card on the top left of the cartridge. To the right is a USB port. I provide some simple instructions below. A PDF of the instruction manual can be found online for more details.
Order the Harmony Cartridge. There are SD and microSD versions to choose from. The base price is $59. There is also a deluxe version that include a cable, and SD card, and other goodies.
Purchase or identify an SD or microSD card depending on which version you buy. Mine is a 32GB SD card but that is overkill for storing binaries. A 1GB card is enough.
Connect your SD/microSD card to your PC with an SD card reader. I had to run out to Micro Center to buy one. Make sure the SD card is FAT32 formatted.
Load the binaries you want to play onto the SD card. You can download binaries from Atari Age. You can find other sources using Google.
Insert the SD/microSD card into the Harmony Cartridge and fire it up on your 2600. You can select the game you want using the joystick. Enjoy!
I really love my Harmony Cartridge. I have had no problems with it. There is also the Uno-Cart that some people like. I don’t have one of these and don’t know how it compares. There is a thread in the Atari Age forum on this where you can find out more about it.