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. It can be thought of as a cartridge ripper and flasher, but its main intended purpose is to give homebrew developers and easy way to produce games on cartridge with ease.
This board can read any cartridge that an Atari Lynx model 1 can read. The software is able to detect cartridge block size and output a dump of its content. The board can also write special programmable cartridges. All in all you can...
- Read/dump Atari Lynx cartridges, including official, and homebrew cartridges
- Read/dump certain cartridges that require SWVCC to operate (Luchs Soft cartridges)
- Write ROMs to flashable cartridges
- Erase flashable cartridges
- Onboard LEDs for status/error codes
Note: Flashable cartridges must be based on the SST39SF010A / SST39SF020A / SST39SF040 CMOS Multi-Purpose Flash chip. Some homebrew cartridge PCBs are too thick to fit the slot connector and will not work (original Alpine Games for example).
Compatibility and 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. To help in choosing the model, see this article - Testing the Atari Lynx Cartridge Reader/Writer with Different RaspberryPi Models. Below are some links to where you can purchase a Raspberry Pi from:
If you're using a Raspberry Pi 2, 3 or 4 with this board, Atari Gamer designed a custom case you can use, get it from Thingiverse here - Atari Lynx PiHat Cartridge Reader/Writer Case. We also offer an option to print this for you with your order for a small charge.^
To see what software is available to use with this board, head on over to Atari Lynx Cartridge Reader/Writer Board Software.^
For installation instructions please refer to this page: Installing the Atari Lynx cartridge reader/writer board onto your Raspberry Pi.^
How to Buy
This board is now discontinued but some pre-assembled boards may be available at the K-Retro store. It is recommended to use the BennVenn JoeyLynx for the purpose of reading/writing ROMs from/to flash cartridges as that's a much faster device.
Fully assembled flashable Lynx cartridge PCBs can be bought from the K-Retro store.^
We've uploaded a video of some of the construction of this board, check it out - SMD Heat Gun Soldering MCP23S17 I/O Expander for the Atari Lynx Cartridge Reader/Writer Board.^
There were older versions of this board made. Please see the following pages for reference - Lynx Cart Programmer Pi-Hat (Pre-Production Board).^