Easyflash 1cr Cartridge For Commodore 64
About the project
The EasyFlash 1CR is a cartridge for the Commodore 64 that implements the EasyFlash format. Many modern Commodore 64 titles are released in the EasyFlash format and the EasyFlash1CR allows you to build a dedicated cartridge for a game. It can be built from industry standard through-hole components.
Items used in this project
Software apps and online services
Hand tools and fabrication machines
Many modern Commodore 64 games and releases use the Easyflash format and the software is distributed as an EasyFlash .crt file. In order to play EasyFlash releases on a real Commodore 64/128, you need an Easyflash cartridge or a cartridge that can act like an EasyFlash cartridge. In some cases you want to store many games on a cartridge. In such cases solutions as the 1541 Ultimate II+, Kung Fu Flash or EasyFlash 3 are the way to go. However, in many cases you want dedicated cartridge for the game. In these cases the original EasyFlash 1 is the way to go.
The EasyFlash 1CR is a cartridge for the Commodore 64/128, that is functionally equivalent to the EasyFlash 1 by Thomas Giesel, but has been redesigned so it can be built from less components and make it compatible with more cartridge cases. Although it contains less components, no corners have been cut and the functionality is exactly identical as the original. (The reset button has been removed though.) The lower amount of components reduces the component cost, but also reduces the amount of work to build the cartridge and even the lower weight reduces the cost to ship it, making it possibly the most affordable Easyflash cartridge yet.
This cartridge is compatible with the large library of available EasyFlash releases and all of those releases are suitable to be installed on the cartridge. EasyFlash cartridges can also be used as so called "multicarts". In a multicart, multiple standard C64 cartridges, which can be either 8K, 16K or Ultimax cartridges, are combined on a single cartridge with a menu interface.
When do you need an EasyFlash 1CR?
The idea use case for an EasyFlash 1CR is when you want to build a dedicated cartridge for a game or other piece of software, that you have downloaded digitally. You build a dedicated cartridge, so that you can plug a cartridge in your Commodore 64, turn on the machine, and play.
Who needs an EasyFlash 1CR?
The EasyFlash format is so popular nowadays that any active Commodore 64 owner in 2022, needs a way to use the EasyFlash format. Allthough this doesn't necessarily have to be an EasyFlash 1CR, building a few EasyFlash 1CR cartridges for games you like, is a great and recommended experience.
Obtaining the parts
The EasyFlash 1CR consists of industry standard parts, therefore it should be very easy to obtain suitable parts at any place that sells electronic components, and you have quite a bit of freedom in the selection of parts. Please check the bill of materials above for what to order and which alternatives are suitable.
Of course, you need a PCB. You can find links to the Gerber files of the PCB below. You can upload these files at the website of a PCB manufacturer such as Eurocircuits to order the PCBs. You can use any PCB manufacturer of your choice.
Besides PCB and electronic components, you will also want a cartridge case for your EasyFlash 1CR cartridge. The EasyFlash 1CR has two mounting holes, which makes it compatible with a range of available cartridge cases. The following C64 cartridge cases are compatible:
How to build
The EasyFlash 1CR uses industry standard components that can be bought anyware. All components are through-hole and therefore the cartridge is very easy to build in an amateur environment at home. The PCB has been designed in a way that it explains itself and describes which component should be installed where.
Therefore you don't need to look at the bill of materials to build the EasyFlash 1CR, you know which part to install where by just looking at the PCB. This makes building an EasyFlash 1CR very easy, with few instructions needed.
However... instructions how to build an EasyFlash1CR are available and even in several languages: Dutch, English, German and Italian. Please look at the attachments below for the assembly instructions in PDF format.
Lastly, the following video shows how to build and program an EasyFlash 1CR cartridge:
An unique feature of EasyFlash is that you can install software into an EasyFlash cartridge on the C64 itself using the EasyProg utility. EasyFlash cartridges are 1MB in size. It is highly recommended that you have a C64 storage medium at your disposal that can handle 1MB files. Examples of such storage media are the SD2IEC and 1541 Ultimate.
Alternatively, if you have an EPROM programmer, you can also program software into the EasyFlash with that. You can use the CRT2CHIP utility to convert .crt files into .bin files that your EPROM programmer can flash into the ROMs.
Made in Europe
Semiconductor independence is a hot topic nowadays. The EasyFlash 1CR brings us into the 8-bit computer era and... the 8-bit era tells us a lot about the, unfortunately, former European computer industry. Thanks to the Eurocircuits PCB Contest we now have PCBs of the EasyFlash 1CR made in Europe. But a circuit is more than a PCB! Can we make a fully European EasyFlash 1CR?
Web page of the EasyFlash 1CR
More information can be found on the web page of the cartridge.