Diagnostic Cartridge

Diagnostic Cartridge
Company: Atari
Model #:
Robert Kowolik
Year: 1982-1983
Diagnostic carts were also known as SALT carts (Stand ALone Tests)


Diagnostic carts are really an oddity.  They're not really prototypes (although they do contain EPROMs), yet they weren't available to the general public (usually only to Atari hardware techs and Atari service centers).  Almost every system from the 2600 on up has a diagnostic cart, and the 5200 is no exception.  There are no less than five different revisions of the PAM Diagnostic Cart (PAM being the code name for the 5200), but each version only differs slightly in the number and kind of tests they offer.  Most gamers have little interest and even less use for diagnostic carts, but given the 5200 joystick's propensity to breakdown, the 5200 diagnostic cart can be a useful tool for helping recalibrate wayward sticks.


Like most diagnostic carts, the 5200 diagnostic cart is fairly useless without a service manual or deep understanding of the inner workings of the system. Therefore I won't go into too much detail on the various tests, but rather point out the differences between the various versions.


Version Cart Text Description
1.0   Version 1.0
1.1 SALT 1.1 PAM Version 1.1
1.2   Version 1.2
1.3 Atati PAM Stand Alone System Test Rev. 1.3 Version 1.3
2.0   Version 2.0
2.3   Version 2.3


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