Epyx Development Kit: Part 1–Contents

Contents of the Epyx development kit

The Epyx development kit for Handy consists of a number of items ranging from hardware to reference materials and software:

Mandy and Pinky

Mandy is a slightly modified, fully functional Lynx I that has the Reset and NMI pins connected and has a special “cartridge”. The cartridge is essentially a connector to Pinky. Pinky is a custom electronics board that sits between the Commodore Amiga and Mandy to facilitate the communication and optionally hold ROM images of your Lynx programs. It has two buttons to trigger the reset and NMI signal to Mandy.

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These pictures are from my own development kit. In clockwise order starting at the top left they show

  • Pinky and Mandy with a blue parallel cable and the special cable to Mandy
  • Special cartridge in Mandy holding the cable
  • Inside of Pinky
  • Outside of Pinky with the blue parallel cable and two buttons (Reset and NMI).

You can see some additional pictures here at the Handheld Museum.

Howard and Howdy

This hardware set was more expensive than Pinky and Mandy, but offered some extra functionality. The set has two pieces of hardware called Howard and Howdy. Where Mandy is a full Lynx, Howdy has no processor and memory of its own. Instead, the guts of the Lynx exists in Howard, a PC case with a huge motherboard.

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It holds the 65SC02 processor and lots of RAM and additional logic to offer functionality for bus monitoring and tracing of your code. Howard is connected to Howdy for display, sound and input. In turn, the Amiga is connected to Howard. The last two pictures (from this thread at the AtariAge forums) show the Howdy console connected to Howard.

The Epyx kit did not include the Commodore Amiga 2000 that was needed. You could have any Amiga machine, but the 2000 model was recommended because of its harddisk and memory.

Reference manual

A binder full with hundreds of pages detailing the internals of the Handy hardware, the use of the Amiga software and Epyx SDK for developing Lynx programs. When updates to the SDK were made, addendums where issued that you could place in the binder.

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Software

The software accompanying the the development kit is provided on a set of 8 disks that contain the Amiga software, source code and samples you need to develop Lynx programs.

The SDK’s 3.5″ floppy disks restore a Quarterback backup set to the system partition. You needed to have Quarterback software to use the disk. This is the way it works for the 1.6 revision of the SDK. Older sets may have worked in a different way. The backup sets were created using QB 4.2, but version 5.0 is also capable of restoring the set. The restore would add custom files for the Workbench 1.3 operating system under C2, replace some its system files in the C folder and place the SDK tools and source code (actual sources, include files, macros and sample code) in two folders called 6502 and HANDY.

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The development software contained the compiler, sound and rom creation tools, and the source code for building Lynx programs. Additionally it had Amiga tools that made working with the Amiga as a development machine a little easier (e.g. faster fonts and a better text editor).

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4 Responses to Epyx Development Kit: Part 1–Contents

  1. Johney says:

    Sounds cool, but since the lynx 2 is moddified, it’s no longer original anymore, so it’s just more or less the same lynx system.
    I wish too see an sd or cf flash card device for the lynx WITHOUT THE NEED of modding the lynx, so far i only stumblef on a mutli rom card with dip switches and a flash card with usb wich could only store 1 game on it.
    Am mean there must be a way to get multi roms on a single card WITHOUT dip switches , there should be also a way to exceed the 512KB limmit of most games/flashcards.

    • alexthissen says:

      I am not sure why you think the Lynx 2 is modified. It is a newer board with a new 65C02 (not 65SC02) chipset. Can you explain your remark on the modding?
      As for the multi cart, check out the Atari Multi Cart thread on AtariAge.

      • Johney says:

        Well yeah i checked the atariage site with the multi cart tread,well as far i,ve seen, a multi homebrew cart like megapak 1 is possible ,so a multi cart with commercial games on it should be possible,but a fpga chip is needed to take about the different pin orders from each game, i also readed about a lynx prototype xcart wich works with micro sd carts wich uses a os menu to select your game, the 512KB rom limit can be exceeded in 2 way’s 1 by switching aufin pin to reach a limit of 1024KB and 2 by using hardware on the lynx card to reuse those adress pins with new data sothat there’s no limit in how large as you wish, regardless of the atari lynx 2 well, i do know that mandy (wich is a modded lynx 1 )can be manualy control the reset but that means that if i want to use the pinky rom module that i have to mod the lynx 2 to make it work on it.

      • Johney says:

        To your ansure, the lynx 2 is slightly different from the lynx1 in that it has ,1, stereo sound,2 it has no auto switch off but instead has a power saver by only turning off the lcd screen,but other then that it’s just the same system as the 1st model lynx.
        Also i bought a lynx sd card from the pre-order list from atari age and i am soo happy with it ,my wish became true after waiting 15 month’s.
        I definately HIGHLY recommand this sd card for you aswell.

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