Task: Purchase a SIDE3 Cartridge for Atari 8-Bit Computers
Needed: Web browser, Atari 8-bit computer
Time: 10-15 mins
The ability to load files on an SD card and boot them on original Atari 8-bit computer hardware is very desirable and I have covered several of these devices including the Atarimax Maxflash and SDrive-Max. Each of these devices are a little different. For example, the Maxflash is cartridge-based and allows you to select and boot ROM-based software while the SDrive-Max plugs into the SIO port emulating a floppy drive allowing you to select and boot ATR disk images.
The SIDE3 is the latest in the SIDE line from Lotharek. This device is similar to the Maxflash in that it is a cartridge with an SD card allowing you to boot ROMs. It does have limited ATR support with full ATR support when combined with the Ultimate 1MB mod to the motherboard. I will cover the Ultimate 1MB upgrade in a future post.
Here are the feature of the SIDE3 as listed on Lotharek’s web page:
heavy duty Hirose SD CARD SLOT
Real time clock based on MCP79520
Use of inexpensive, easily sourced SD cards instead of CF cards
Emulation of a wide range of cartridge types, up to 1MB in size
Real time clock with battery-backed NVRAM
A massive 8MB of flash ROM and 2MB of fast SRAM
Versatile ROM/RAM access with DMA engine
Dual mode (SDX/Loader) operation, controlled by switch
Menu button (doubles as ATR swap button when used with U1MB)
Excellent build quality with stylish case design
In addition to these features, a key advantage of the SIDE3 is the SIDE Loader software which comes with tons of flexible options.
You can purchase the SIDE3 directly from Lotharek for about $110. If you are outside Europe you will need to pay a good amount of shipping from Poland.
These are also available from The Brewing Academy for a few dollars cheaper. You might also save on shipping, especially if you are in the U.S.
Here is a Youtube video with an overview of the SIDE3 when used alone.
A very nice device if you can afford to drop $100+ on it. I look forward to trying it with the Ultimate 1MB mod to provide full ATR support.