Runs on default firmware (this makes it limited to a maximum of 256 ROMs and has no directories support, new firmware from BennVenn is in the works to address this)
ROM list scrolling and pagination (up/down to move through the ROM list, left/right to skip forward/back a screen full of ROMs)
Displays up to 16 ROMs at a time
Scrollbar with position indicator
Changeable colour themes
Files beginning with a . (dot) or _ (underscore) are removed from the ROM list; if you use macOS to copy files, you will not get junk displayed
ROM list is sorted alphabetically
Configurable settings (via special file names, see below)
This project is not affiliated or funded by BennVenn. It is an independent piece of work to provide a better experience for you. Please consider showing your support when downloading.
What is the ElCheapoSD for Atari Lynx
ElCheapoSD is an Atari Lynx cartridge created by BennVenn that stores ROMs on an SD card and lets you run them by selecting them from a menu. Think 'Everdrive' for Atari Lynx.
Store all your favorite games on a single SD and choose them via your Lynx when you power it on.
Supports up to 512kbyte ROM size (This includes ALL original release lynx games, and all but one homebrew release).
Supports EEPROM saving to SD (No original Lynx games used EEPROM though a handful of homebrew games do so we've supported it)
Almost instant load times - Under one second for most games, approx 1.5 seconds for the largest games made.
Firmware upgradable via the SD card. Open source Lynx-side code for custom skins and menu loaders.
Menu controls are simple and to the point...
You can select the next/previous ROM, move to the next/previous page of ROMs, cycle the colour theme and launch the ROM.
To install the ElCheapoSD Menu v2.2203.1, simply drag the BOOT.bin file from the download ZIP to the SD card that contains your Lynx ROMs.
Note: To restore the original/default ElCheapoSD menu, copy the BOOT.old file from the download ZIP to the SD card and rename it to BOOT.bin (you will need to delete any other BOOT.bin file first).
Even though the default firmware on the ElCheapoSD does not support savings settings, the ElCheapoSD Menu has a limited configuration capability:
Apply theme on start
Use quick/approximate sort
All configuration files must have a .lnx extension. These files must be present in the same directory as BOOT.bin. Contents of these files does not matter, they can even be empty - only the file name matters.
Apply Theme on Start
There are 7 different colour themes available in the menu. The default is the 'Theme #0'. If you want to have a different theme applied on start, create a file on the SD card called _tX.lnx. The X should be a number between 0 and 6, corresponding to the theme #.
When you cycle a theme in the menu, it will display the theme # at the bottom of the screen.
If you have many ROMs on your SD card and sorting these files is taking too long for your liking, you can tell the menu to do it quicker by only looking at the first X characters of the file name. To enable this feature, create a file called _aX.lnx on the SD card. The X should be a number between 3 and 9.
The lower the number, the fewer characters will be used for sorting, but accuracy of the sort will also decrease.
This is an early release of the menu so there's still work to do. If you have suggestions on improvements please let us know. The following features are planned for the future:
Bad ROM detection
Consistent display of ROM names without extension i.e. the .LNX extension will be removed, this also means the 'mangled' .LN and .L extensions will also be dealt with
Thanks for doing this and giving the menu screen a facelift. It is much appreciated. I had a lot of problems with .lnx ROM files to begin with with both the original and your boot.bin file. It turns out that a lot of my ROMs weren’t compatible. They worked in my emulator but not in my El Cheapo. The only reason I could find was files that show as 129KB worked where files showing as 128KB did not, same goes for 256/257KB. Is there information in that extra 1KB that enables the files to work?
Hello! Glad you like the improvements and thank you for your support! What you're describing sounds like LYX files to me, these are going to be slightly smaller, the LNX files are just 64 bytes larger and contain a header at the start of the ROM to provide additional information about the ROM. ElCheapoSD expect LNX files and I know there are tonnes of LYX files out there that have a .LNX extension. I'm working on an online utility that will be able to fix your LYX ROMs, will try and get it finished this week. At the moment it can convert 256K LYX files to 512K LYX files, but that won't help you in this case. The utility is here - https://atarigamer.com/lyxconverter. Check back in a few days, hopefully I've had time to update it by then.
Thanks for the reply. The files I downloaded did have the correct extension but it seems they are LYX files in disguise so now I know what to look for I won’t make the same mistake again. I found an archive with most of the commercial releases so I’m just enjoying playing Desert Strike for the first time. Happy Days.
Hi, I just install the El CheapoSD Menu on my ChepoSD and it will not load the games. It will boot and I can change the themes, the sorting files is very fast (119 ROMS) but when try to load it will get stock on LOADING ROM. It will work with the original .BIN file from BennVenn.
Hello! That's odd isn't it? ElCheapoSD Menu uses the same API but that works by sending a ROM number to launch a ROM. I am guessing something is going awry during sorting. Can you try and format your SD card and copy the menu and the ROMs back? If that doesn't work please join our Discord server for a chat - https://discord.gg/SnDrdJTkUk