mini expander v1.1.0 Rev C. - DIY Edition

<- Click here to order the Mini Expander PCB from PCBWay!


The Aquarius Mini Expander was commonly bundled with the Aquarius, along with a pair of Aquarius Control Pads. But many later collectors, particularly outside the United States find it difficult or expensive to acquire these units. The goal of this project is to open source the device so that anyone can make their own.


I took for granted the ability to acquire and use the Mini Expander when I got back in to Aquarius in late 2018, but I soon discovered that many of my peers in the UK and EU found it difficult and expensive to acquire the unit. It commonly comes with two Aquarius Control Pads, but even those are difficult to find outside the United States. If owning a Mini Expander were merely about adding joystick ports, that would be one thing, but the Mini Expander also increases the number and complexity of audio channels on the stock Aquarius, a feature that SHOULD have been included, but was not for cost-cutting reasons. Additionally, it allows the use of BOTH a RAM expansion cartridge and a program ROM cartridge at the same time... rarely an issue on the dozen or so ROM titles available for the Aquarius, but a nice feature nonetheless.

So after I reverse-engineered the PCB for the Aquarius motherboard, I decided to do the same for the Mini Expander.

BOM (Bill of materials)

There are a couple of ways you can build the Mini Expander yourself, in a range of complexities and costs:

Aquarius Mini Expander v1-1-0 Rev B - Bill of Materials

GitHub Repository Link - This is the collection of source files for the project, including original Eagle board and schematics, Gerber files (to print your own PCBs), and 3D models for the enclosure to print your own.

By using files from this link, you agree to the GNU General Public License v3.0 for this project.

Component Overview

The Aquarius Mini Expander has a number of components and sub-components to it:

1. Overview

We discuss the Mini Expander, what it does, and talk about its various components and how we will try to duplicate them.

2. soldering and testing the pcb

We go through the build process of populating the Mini Expander PCB and then test it.


Coming soon