Turbo Chameleon V2

Available for immediate delivery

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A new picture of the V2 version will be added soon. Pictures still show the old version.

Caution: The firmware for this product is still in beta status. We are working continuously on bug fixes and make them available as free downloads. We have published all known bugs in our Wiki. Further, we have summarized the differences between the two hardware versions in a Wiki article.

Turbo Chameleon 64 is a very user-friendly multipurpose cartridge that can be used without opening the computer. It is just plugged to the expansion port of the C64. Everything a C64 user would expect from a multipurpose cartridge is there - plus a lot more; read on!

This cartridge can also be used in stand-alone mode without a C64. Effectively, it's an FPGA-based computer like the C-One or the Minimig are. However, it comes with more memory, more FPGA power and more interfaces than the two mentioned models, and there's more cores available: The prime use case for the Chameleon is surely C64 expansion/emulation. However, the strong FPGA and high amount of high-speed memory also allow running a fully-featured Minimig core, emulating an OCS/ECS Amiga with lots of memory and harddisk. Further, a Spectrum core is available that lets you use Sinclair Spectrum software. The Commodore line is extended with the VIC-20 core, and fans of the Atari 800XL can also run all software for this computer on the Chameleon. Please note that some of these cores have not yet been ported to the V2 version of the hardware. This will happen in the first weeks of 2019.

When connected to a C64, the Chameleon gets it's power from the computer. When operated in stand-alone mode, it's powered from a USB port, such as a USB power supply, a USB-enabled TV/DVD/computer, or a self-powered USB hub. For operation in stand-alone mode, we recommend to use the Docking Station, which is available separately.

The following technical data applies to the highly-expanded C64 core of the cartridge. Please note that the other cores (Minimig, Spectrum, Atari XL) are community-projects, and they are not included in the official product support of the Chameleon. Support questions and bug fixes are only given for the C64 core. Here's the most important features:

  • In cartridge mode the C64 core can be used with a european (PAL-G) or the "new" american 65-cycle (NTSC-M) C64. The "old" american 64-Cycle C64 and the argentinian "Drean" (PAL-N) C64 can not be used.
  • In standalone mode both a PAL-G or NTSC-M C64 can be emulated
  • VGA-output with 60 Hz refresh rate or more. If your VGA screen supports it, you can go down to 50Hz and have flicker-free smooth animations.
  • Turbo function with full 6510 processor compatibility (this includes all illegal opcodes!). For the first time, a C64 accelerator does not use a 16-bit processor, but an accelerated 6510. The "Synthmark" benchmark shows that the TC64 is even faster than the former champion, the SuperCPU (TC64 scores factor 9.78, the SCPU scores 5.48). Especially applications like Geos or Pagefox gain a lot of improved usability from this speed increase.
  • 16MByte REU (memory expansion) for GEOS and Nuvie-Demos like BlueREU
  • 4MByte GeoRAM memory expansion (can be enabled at the same time with REU)
  • MMC/SD card slot with MMC64 compatibility and full 1541-emulation. The TC64 floppy emulation goes far beyond what other flash-based mass storage solutions like the uIEC can offer; it supports speed-loaders and custom trackloaders, and if one floppy is not enough, you can switch on a second emulated drive.
  • connectors for PS2 keyboard and PS2 mice. For mouse support, a Commodore 1351 proportional mouse is emulated, and for wheel support, the Micromys wheel support has been added.
  • vast freezer support: Whatever your favourite freezer is, Chameleon emulates it: Action Replay, Retro Repaly, KCS Power cartridge, Final Cartridge 3, Expert Cartridge, SuperSnapshot 5, Capture
  • vast cartridge emulations available: 8 or 16 KByte (EP)ROM cartridges, Simons' Basic, Ocean type 1, FunPlay, Super Games, Epyx Fastload, Westermann Learning, C64 Game System (system 3), Warpspeed, Dinamic, Zaxxon, Magic Desk, Comal-80, Ross, Mikro Assembler, StarDos, EasyFlash, Prophet-64, Mach-5, PageFox, Business Basic (S'More).
  • Battery-backed up realtime clock (CR1220 battery is not included)
  • Infrared receiver for CDTV remote control (available separately).
  • internal connector for RR-Net2 or RR-Net MK3 networking cards (available separately)
  • USB connection to a PC for easy updates, cross-debugging and data transfer.

The Turbo Chameleon 64 comes in a bright yellow cartridge case. After all, Chameleons are bright yellow, didn't you know ;-)?

Please note that this product is under constant development. Since it is a re-configurable platform, hardware updates can be installed by updating the flash of the cartridge with files that you can download from our Wiki pages. This does not require expert knowledge, and it doesn't even require opening the cartridge. All you need is an internet-enabled PC (running Linux or Windows) with a USB port. This lets you perform the update via a USB connection. Another alternative for updating is to put the respective files on an SD-card and run the update process without a connection to a PC.

The Turbo Chameleon 64 offers even more - the description of all those details would go beyond the scope of this shop description. Please visit our Wiki for more details.

The package includes:

  • Turbo Chameleon 64 V2
  • short "getting started" instructions

To operate the Chameleon in cartridge-mode, you need to have in addition:

  1. a monitor with analogue VGA input (optional)
  2. a C64 with power supply

To operate the Chameleon in standalone mode, you need to have in addition:

  1. a monitor with analogue VGA input
  2. a USB power supply
  3. a mini-USB cable
  4. a PS2 keyboard
  5. the Chameleon Docking station (optional)

We highly recommend to get the CDTV remote control for wireless gaming fun. For connection of additional IEC devices, the mini-IEC cable is available separately.

Please note that included documentation, including user manual and the built-in help screens, is only available in English. A German translation of the user manual is available in our Wiki.

For detailed specifications and related downloads please look at our wiki. Operating the Chameleon on a C128 or C128D is not possible. An attempt to do so anyway may result in damage to both, the C128 and the Chameleon. Just like with all other C64 accelerators, the Datasette port can't be used when the Chameleon is connected.

Pictures may vary. Pictures show the old version of the product. The new version does have the same colour, but a slightly different appearance due to more mini-DIN connectors and different-coloured buttons.