A downloadable menu

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This is a replacement menu for the BennVenn ElCheapoSD for Atari Lynx cartridge. 

  • Version V20221102-A, designed to work on the firmware version 0.08 (not the original firmware)
  • Listing of ROMs and folders is limited to 256 at a time, however you can have multiple folders within folders
  • 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 entries at a time
  • Scrollbar with position indicator
  • Changeable colour themes
  • ROM list is sorted alphabetically
  • Configurable settings


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 Screenshots


Various screens in the menu, from left to right, top to bottom: Loading screen with version information. Alternative theme and folders sorted to top. Settings menu. Default theme with folders not sorted to top. No files found screen. ROM loading screen.



Theme examples, from left to right, top to bottom: AtariGamer theme white, AtariGamer theme, BennVenn theme white, BennVenn theme, Grey theme white, Grey theme, Atari Lynx theme.


Menu Controls

Menu controls are simple and to the point...



You can select the next/previous entry (folder or ROM file), move to the next/previous page, open settings, start the ROM or open a folder and go back up one folder level or go back to the file list when in settings.


Installation

You will need the updated firmware (version 0.08) on your ElCheapoSD card for this Menu version to run. Please see the INSTRUCTIONS.txt file in UPDATEv008.zip. Make sure to follow those instructions precisely, we will not be responsible if you brick your ElCheapoSD.

To install the ElCheapoSD Menu V20221102-A, simply drag the BOOT.bin file from the download ZIP to the SD card that contains your Lynx ROMs. Make sure this file is in the root of the SD card i.e. it's not in any other folder.

Note: To restore the original/default ElCheapoSD menu, copy the BOOT.bin file from the UPDATEv008.zip to your SD card root.


Configuration

The updated ElCheapoSD firmware supports saving settings, so now you can open the Settings menu in the Menu and make changes. Be sure to SAVE SETTINGS TO CONFIG before you leave the Settings menu.

Sort Folders to Top

This will make sure that any folders you have on the SD card will appear at the top of the listing. The folders are sorted alphabetically as well.

Sort Length

Since sorting is done on the Lynx and it's quite slow, the Menu only looks at the first N characters of the file/folder name. The sort length is how many characters are used (the N).

This will not give you exact sorting in all cases, but is fast. You can speed up sorting by lowering the sort length. Smaller values of sort length mean less accurate sorting.

Theme Number

The theme to select on startup. See the Screenshots section above for the listing of the themes and what they look like.


Downloads

There are a number of downloads available, be sure you select the one that is correct for your version of the ElCheapoSD firmware.

  • ElCheapoSdMenu_V20221102-A.zip - Updated menu to use after upgrading ElCheapoSD firmware to version 0.08
  • UPDATEv008.zip - ElCheapoSD firmware update version 0.08
  • ElCheapoSdMenu_v2.2203.1.zip - Updated menu to use on the original ElCheapoSD firmware


Planned Features

There are still some features that we'd like to implement, these are listed below. If you have suggestions on other improvements please let us know.

  • Game screenshots
  • Boot last rom on startup option
  • Support more than 256 ROMs/Folders per listing

To get in touch, please join the Atari Gamer discord server over at - https://discord.gg/SnDrdJTkUk

Download

Download NowName your own price

Click download now to get access to the following files:

ElCheapoSdMenu_v2.2203.1.zip 1 MB
UPDATEv008.zip 1 MB
ElCheapoSdMenu_V20221102-A.zip 992 kB

Development log

Comments

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(1 edit)

Hi 

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. 

Just need a new screen next : )

We're going to have new stock of BennVenn mod kits soon, probably a couple of weeks from now 😎

Sweet!

(1 edit)

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