Cool little 8-bits that did not had too much success. Mattel tought of the need of a replacement for the Intellivision with its computer module. They choose a project from their hong-Kong manufacturer Radofin who had a small home Z80 machine ready The Mini Expander was a way to enhance this machine and make it compatible with some more gaming standards !
Anyway, the graphical capabilities were still poor for an 1983 machine. The Aquarius II should have been a good evolution but Mattel retired in 1984. Radofin tried to go on with it, but with no success ...
You will appreciate FAQuarius for many more details.
For the french HTML version : FAQ Aquarius
Cool donor: Guillaume Deleurence
Maker : Radofin for Mattel
CPU: Z80A ( NEC D780C compatible Z80) à 4 MHz
RAM/ROM: 4K max. 20K even 52K / 10K (8K of a light Microsoft BASIC variant and 2K for video matrix )
Graphic: 80x72 semi-graphic text : 40x24x16 colours
Mass Memory: cartridge port (bus), cassette, video UHF NTSC or PAL, printer
Périphériques: Mini Expander (2 more voices, 2 joysticks, 2 cartridge ports ), printer, datacassette, modem 300 baud (via cartridge port ) and floppy drive.
RAM : 4K with 1781 bytes for user, 2K of video RAM are divided in 1 for the matrix and 1 for colors
Video : Graphical modes are ugly. You have to access video RAM directly as long as there is no video processor ... Quite primitive for 1982/83
Audio : a sound chip is located in the Mini Expander (AY-3-8914). Sound and cassette use the same chip.
Mini Expander :
Some peripherals (Name (catalogue #)) :
RAM extension is like a game cartridge...
... the proof :
Some cool boxes :
Some links :
The Blue Sky Rangers, the great reference
Martin V. d. Steenoven site with many customs.
Aquarius Tech Info.
The Aquarius emulator AqEmu and Another Aquarius FAQ maintained by Gil Parish,