ROM/RAM Cartridge

From NEC Retro

ROMRAMCartridge PC6001.jpg
ROM/RAM Cartridge
Made for: PC-6001
Manufacturer: NEC
Release Date RRP Code
¥ PC-6006

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The ROM/RAM Cartridge (ROM/RAMカートリッジ) (PC-6006) is an accessory for the PC-6001.


As the name suggests, the ROM/RAM Cartridge serves two functions; to increase the PC-6001's RAM to 32KB (over the standard 16KB) and allow for two custom ROMs to be loaded, which can in theory expand the computer's functionality. The latter invovles physically inserting microchips onto a board, revealed by removing a cover at the top of the cartridge.

The ROM/RAM Cartridge is a requirement for many commercial PC-6001 games; those which utilise 32KB of RAM. Attempting to load and run a 32KB game in a 16KB system will almost certainly fail, however software written for the stock 16KB RAM should still function with the ROM/RAM Cartridge plugged in (although this is not always guaranteed). No other official methods of expanding the system's memory exist, so if another cartridge was required, the user would need to purchase an Expansion Unit.

The ROM capabilities of the cartridge typically found use when a PC-6001 was to be used to fulfil specific tasks. The computer checks the cartridge port before booting up BASIC, so if the computer was required to do something prior to this happening (such as to interface with an external piece of equipment), having custom ROMs installed would be a clean solution. It is not thought to have been utilised for games; software was typically released on compact cassette or floppy disk to reduce production costs, and while just supplying the ROMs would be cheaper than a full cartridge, it would still be comparatively expensive to other options.

The ROM/RAM Cartridge is less useful in the successor machines, starting with the PC-6001 mkII. The mkII ships with 64KB of RAM by default and cannot utilise the extra 16KB RAM offered by this cartridge; only the ROM features work, and only in BASIC mode 1 (which emulates a stock 16KB PC-6001). BASIC mode 2 emulates a 32KB PC-6001, so from a gaming perspective, the cartridge is not needed in this system.

Compatible games

Physical scans

PC-6001, JP
ROMRAMCartridge PC6001 JP Box Front.jpg


PC-6000 series hardware
PC-6001 (NEC TREK) (1981) | PC-6001 mkII (1983) | PC-6001 mkII SR (1984)
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