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[LYNX] Rewritable Multigame Cartridge

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I'm using Windows 7, not Windows 8.1 and I got exactly the same problem. I found that if I switched to position 1 and above in 256k mode it worked OK. Position 0 works fine in 512k mode.

 

I can live with not using position 0 in 256k mode.

 

So a thumbs up from me! :-)

 

I've finally been able to see the Boing, Boing2 and NoGame demos on real hardware. Boing2 is awesome!

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I got mine over the weekend but unfortunately am having the same problems as marioweezer.

 

I'm using OSX and when I plug the device in it shows up for a bit. It then randomly disconnects and I get a notification that I haven't ejected it safely. If I get chance to drop a file onto it before the disconnect it just says preparing for copy but then disconnects.

 

Any pointers as to what I can do?

 

Thanks

Dear boomah,

 

Please, could you try the system on a Windows PC... this could help me to troubleshoot your issue.

 

The burner should't disconnect itself unlees your computer is trying to write hidden folders/files on it.

 

The cards are designed to accept only one file (you have to delete the current file in order to be able to store a new one); if the compurter tries to store several hidden files/folder, the burner will not work and may cause random disconnects. This was a common problem with Windows 8.1 as stated by marioweezer, but no user had reported it with OSX. Nevertheles, a few days ago another OSX user reported a similar issue, so I am trying to investigate it (unfortunately I don't own a Mac so it is a bit difficult).

 

Till now, the only problem with Mac OS were the resources that it includes in every file (icon...), and the workaround was:

 

 

Is MVBD compatible with Mac OS?

Yes. Neverthless, Mac OS file system includes additional information (i.e. icon bitmap) in every file, even the VECTREX rom files stored in your computer. This additional information could be transferred to the rewritable cartridge when you copy the file using the Finder and, as the VECTREX console cannot understand it, the ROM will not work.

To copy only the data of the rom file, without the additional resource information included by Mac OS, you can use the following ditto sintax in the terminal:

ditto --norsrc --noextattr --noacl src_file dst_file

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I'm using Windows 7, not Windows 8.1 and I got exactly the same problem. I found that if I switched to position 1 and above in 256k mode it worked OK. Position 0 works fine in 512k mode.

 

I can live with not using position 0 in 256k mode.

 

So a thumbs up from me! :-)

 

I've finally been able to see the Boing, Boing2 and NoGame demos on real hardware. Boing2 is awesome!

Dear aminor00,

 

I cannot imagine a reasonable cause for slot 0 working in 512kb mode but not in 256kb mode.

 

Do the other slots work in 512kb mode?

 

A few general tips to use the burner and troubleshoot problems:

  • All the cards are shipped with four roms on them: two 512kb games on slots 0-8 and 1-9, and two 256 games on slots 2 and 3. Please try the card in your Lynx before burning new roms to make sure that the card is working... this way, if a problem arises, it will be easier to know who is the responsible: the burner or the card.
  • Connect the burner directly to a USB port in your PC (not through a usb hub).
  • Don´t place it near your PC speakers or other strong magnetic fields.
  • If you are using Windows, make sure your system is updated with the last service pack. For example, Windows 8.1 had a problem with its driver: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/usbcoreblog/archive/2013/11/01/help-after-installing-windows-8-1-my-usb-drive-disappears-or-file-transfers-stop-unexpectedly-r-a-post-title.aspx
  • If you are using Windows 8.1, use the following information:
Is MVBD compatible with Windows 8.1?

Version I of MVBD´s printed circuit board is not directly compatible with Windows 8.1, although there is a workaround that is explained below. Version II is compatible because you can delete the folder that Windows 8.1 automatically creates in each drive.

Windows 8.1 automatically saves a system folder in every USB storage device, included the MVRMC cartridges, and this folder confuses the MVBD burner disturbing its proper functioning.

There is a workaround explained in this thread of a Microsoft forum: http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows8_1-hardware/how-do-i-prevent-system-volume-information-files/815b0046-d631-4419-a43e-44083a3733f5?page=2
  • If you are using Mac OS, use the following information:
Is MVBD compatible with Mac OS?

Yes. Neverthless, Mac OS file system includes additional information (i.e. icon bitmap) in every file, even the VECTREX rom files stored in your computer. This additional information could be transferred to the rewritable cartridge when you copy the file using the Finder and, as the VECTREX console cannot understand it, the ROM will not work.

To copy only the data of the rom file, without the additional resource information included by Mac OS, you can use the following ditto sintax in the terminal:

ditto --norsrc --noextattr --noacl src_file dst_file
  • Some antivirus could cause malfuntioning when they try to explore the drive; please, try the burner disabling your antivirus.
  • Of course, some virus that propagate through usb drives will cause malfuntioning as they store hidden files in the drive or its fat; please, try the burner with other PCs known to be clean.
  • There is a small gap between the card and the burner connector. Please, make sure that the connectors are properly aligned and that the card is not slanted (it should be vertical).
  • When the burner is very new, the pins of its socket could be a bit tight; please try not to insert the card fully inside the socket (keep it 1mm from the full in position).
  • The lynx card is very thin (1mm); please handle it with care. If the pcb is bent, the pins of the memory could unsolder.

Please, don't hesitate to contact me if you face any poblem... I will try to do my best to solve it.

Edited by jfmateos
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  • Some antivirus could cause malfuntioning when they try to explore the drive; please, try the burner disabling your antivirus.

Please, don't hesitate to contact me if you face any poblem... I will try to do my best to solve it.

 

Hi jfmateos,

 

Yesterday, it did not matter what I did, if I set the card to 256k/Position 0 then it would not work, it took a long time to be recognised by Windows, there was no Windows prompt on insertion to "Browse Files", the drive would eventually appear in Explorer but if I tried to copy a .LYX file to it Windows would tell me that the card was no longer inserted. I tried rebooting after the driver install, I tried inserting the card multiple times in different USB ports, even in my keyboard which has a USB 1.1 hub, but it did not help. However 256k/1...2...3 worked fine which I also cannot explain.

 

This morning I set my anti-virus to "Prompt to scan USB drive when inserted". When I inserted the USB cable from the programmer I did not get a prompt but now everything works fine. I can copy converted LYX files to the cart in 256k/0...1...2...3 etc with no problem at all. I have just tried Gordo 106 on 256k/0 and it loaded and played with no problems.

 

Without doing any further debugging, I suspect that the anti-virus was interfering with the correct operation.

 

Thank you for your advice, all is working now :)

 

regards

 

Andy

Edited by aminor00
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Big thanks to jfmateos for helping me get this working. If you're using Windows 8.1 try the following:

 

  1. Press the Start menu button and do a search for gpedit.msc
  2. Once you've done this follow the instructions at http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows8_1-hardware/how-do-i-prevent-system-volume-information-files/815b0046-d631-4419-a43e-44083a3733f5?page=2
  3. ...

 

 

From above cited Microsoft webpage:

 

This is not a bug. It's a new Windows 8.1 feature. :-D :-D :-D

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I am having the Mac OS X problem. When I do an ls -al on the Drive Name folder, I get these:

 

drwxrwxrwx 1 trew staff 512 14 Jul 10:34 .Trashes

-rwxrwxrwx 1 trew staff 4096 14 Jul 10:34 ._.Trashes

drwxrwxrwx 1 trew staff 512 14 Jul 10:34 .fseventsd

Are these hidden/system folders likely causing any problems?

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This cartridge is excellent thank you jfmateos, I can burn 256Kb roms, I am struggling a little with 512Kb though, I managed it once so its definately me.

 

Just for confirmation, using GadgetUKs handy header remover, I need to select "remove header 64bytes" and "512Kb -> 512Kb (Mateos Flash Card)"? Then I move the switch to 512K on the cartridge and copy, do I need to select slot zero or slot 8 or doesnt it matter?

 

Thanks all

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Dear Tosser, It´s prefereable to move the switch to de 512kb position, then insert the card into the burner, and then plug the burner to the usb port of the computer.

 

Selecting slot 0 or 8 produces the same result (it is irrelevant).

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Thanks, I've added the option into my utility and tested other size of ROMs. It looks like 256Kb EPYX type 'just work' without any issues. In order to get 128Kb ROMs working I use the mode in my util to convert 128Kb -> 256Kb (EPYX), then they work fine. Now has the 512Kb -> 512Kb (Mateos) option as well.

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/2auwo2drgka9bbg/ImageConvert.1.0.0.1.zip?dl=0

 

 

 

In your utility, where is the difference between:

 

 

128Kb -> 256Kb (EPYX / Mateos)

 

and

 

128Kb -> 256Kb (BLL / Mateos)

 

 

regarding Mateos Flashcart?

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In your utility, where is the difference between:

 

 

128Kb -> 256Kb (EPYX / Mateos)

 

and

 

128Kb -> 256Kb (BLL / Mateos)

 

 

regarding Mateos Flashcart?

 

OK, Mateos cart works without any changes (other than removal of 64byte header) with any 256Kb ROM from what I understand.

 

With 128Kb ROMs there are 2 formats - Epyx or BLL. When converting 128K to 256K that is important or the game won't work. Most games tend to be Epyx type, with some homebrew etc being BLL. I would try Epyx first and if that doesn't work use BLL.

 

The 128Kb to 256Kb conversion types there apply to other flashcarts / EPROM as well, not just Mateos 16 in 1 cart.

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Mine arrived as well, thanks Mateos !!

 

Okay, all seems to work (I have Win 8.1), I am testing with own homebrew software, just noticed that .lnx's are something like 6-7kb in size.

 

Any tips ? Karri ?

 

Thanks !

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OK, quick update: Win 8.1 didn't recognize the drive/r, it might be my a bit exotic Packard Bell laptop, or a bunch of waiting updates I haven't yet done. I tested older machine, Acer laptop, with Xubuntu 14.04, recognized immediately.

 

About homebrew software: I simply removed header of the file, the size is 8 kB, put the burner and pasted the file to cart, inserted to Lynx, and works. Perfectly !!

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Dear jp48, the problem with Windows 8.1 use to be the hidden system folder that windows creates in every drive.

You can manually delete it before saving the rom file o disable that windows 8.1 "feature" as described here:

 

Is MVBD compatible with Windows 8.1?

Version I of MVBD´s printed circuit board is not directly compatible with Windows 8.1, although there is a workaround that is explained below. Version II is compatible because you can delete the folder that Windows 8.1 automatically creates in each drive.

Windows 8.1 automatically saves a system folder in every USB storage device, included the MVRMC cartridges, and this folder confuses the MVBD burner disturbing its proper functioning.

There is a workaround explained in this thread of a Microsoft forum: http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows8_1-hardware/how-do-i-prevent-system-volume-information-files/815b0046-d631-4419-a43e-44083a3733f5?page=2

 

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Dear boomah,

 

Please, could you try the system on a Windows PC... this could help me to troubleshoot your issue.

 

The burner should't disconnect itself unlees your computer is trying to write hidden folders/files on it.

 

The cards are designed to accept only one file (you have to delete the current file in order to be able to store a new one); if the compurter tries to store several hidden files/folder, the burner will not work and may cause random disconnects. This was a common problem with Windows 8.1 as stated by marioweezer, but no user had reported it with OSX. Nevertheles, a few days ago another OSX user reported a similar issue, so I am trying to investigate it (unfortunately I don't own a Mac so it is a bit difficult).

 

Till now, the only problem with Mac OS were the resources that it includes in every file (icon...), and the workaround was:

 

 

Hi jfmateos. I wasn't aware of the one file rule. When using the command specified it is now working perfectly.

 

Thanks again for this. Brilliant!!

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Instead of making the end user jump through hoops to use the device, why can't they just update the firmware of the flash device to ignore any and all hidden OS files? Anything filename that starts with a ".", and anything with an "h" or "s" attribute, and any folders, hidden or not.

 

Or just ignore anything that's not the exact filename the device expects. I've had similar issues using the Retrode with Win 8.1. I can use it in Windows 7 though.

Edited by stardust4ever

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Dear stardus4ever,

 

First I want to express my sorry for the inconvenience some users are facing with this burner.

 

Unfortunately, It´s not that easy as ignoring those files/folders because every OS, sometimes even every version (and sometimes even every patch in the same version) behaves in a different way... but basically all the versions that use file indexing (this is the general name for the feature responsible of creating this hidden files/folders) not only store those files/folders but also re-read them to verify that the drive is working properly.

 

This implies that you cannot ignore them, you indeed have to store them, and this arises two problems:

  • The total available space in the card is smaller than the required by some roms.
  • The rom file must be stored at the begining of the flash device (that is the place where the console will look for it) but this place has already been taken by the hidden files/folders.

Of course, these problems could be overcome using bigger memories and more powerfull microcontrollers (two build a relational table between the FAT the computer creates and the FAT the console requires), but the price of the system would be higher.

 

Nevertheless, I am continuosly improving the burner and all previous users can upgrade their devices to the new firmware or get a new one if the upgrade requere new hardware.

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OK, Mateos cart works without any changes (other than removal of 64byte header) with any 256Kb ROM from what I understand.

 

With 128Kb ROMs there are 2 formats - Epyx or BLL. When converting 128K to 256K that is important or the game won't work. Most games tend to be Epyx type, with some homebrew etc being BLL. I would try Epyx first and if that doesn't work use BLL.

 

The 128Kb to 256Kb conversion types there apply to other flashcarts / EPROM as well, not just Mateos 16 in 1 cart.

 

Gadget, it would be great if you could implement an option to pad the ROM size to 256 KB, because some homebrew .lnx ROMs are smaller than 128KB or 256 KB (Alien and Luchs3d for example)

 

Also, an option to convert .o files to .lyx files would be great. But this is a little more complicated, I guess ;)

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Regarding Twofaces question above:

 

Is this ROM file size the reason why my "Hello World" (from LX.NETs tutorials) programs won't run?

 

They work in Handy but copying the 4k file, even when converted to an LYX, onto the car just doesn't work in a real lynx on my shiny new multi cart.

 

Sent from my HTC One_M8 using Tapatalk

Edited by aminor00

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Gadget, it would be great if you could implement an option to pad the ROM size to 256 KB, because some homebrew .lnx ROMs are smaller than 128KB or 256 KB (Alien and Luchs3d for example)

 

Also, an option to convert .o files to .lyx files would be great. But this is a little more complicated, I guess ;)

 

Or use ancient DOS COPY command to combine 2 128k file into single 256k file: COPY homemade.bin+homemade.bin homemade256k.bin. It would copy 2 of the same file into one double size file. It's what I did back when I was still making EPROMs for 2600 games. 32Kbit (4KB) were easy to find while 16Kbit (2KB) were hard to find so I just doubled up the 2k ROMs to fit 4k chip and not worry about glitching due to blank half of EPROM.

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Or use ancient DOS COPY command to combine 2 128k file into single 256k file: COPY homemade.bin+homemade.bin homemade256k.bin. It would copy 2 of the same file into one double size file. It's what I did back when I was still making EPROMs for 2600 games. 32Kbit (4KB) were easy to find while 16Kbit (2KB) were hard to find so I just doubled up the 2k ROMs to fit 4k chip and not worry about glitching due to blank half of EPROM.

 

The filesize of some homebrews is not equal to a power of 2.

 

93.4 KB for example. For those, it wouldn't work.

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The filesize of some homebrews is not equal to a power of 2.

 

93.4 KB for example. For those, it wouldn't work.

Open with a hex editor and pad the ROM with FF or 00. :P

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My cart came in today now I need to take time learn how to use it.

Yeah, it'd be nice to have a tutorial... I say this cause mine hasn't arrived yet, and all this tech talk is making my head spin haha :? :-D

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Ok, I've just got battlezone 2000 to run. :P :thumbsup: :thumbsup: Has anyone tried Befok pout on the rewritable multigame cartridge yet?

Edited by walter_J64bit

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