Mattel Aquarius

aqrslogo.gif (1328 octets)

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 ...

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You will appreciate FAQuarius for many more details.

For the french HTML version : FAQ Aquarius

Mattel Aquarius

First acquisition: August 1999
Cool donor:
 Guillaume Deleurence
Maker : Radofin for Mattel
Modèle: Aquarius
Year: 1984

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.


Aquarius is primitive

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 #)) :

Games :

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 I

Aquarius Tech Info.

The Aquarius emulator AqEmu and Another Aquarius FAQ maintained by Gil Parish,