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VicViper

Any MSX love?

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I picked up a Panasonic FS-A1 MSX2 computer and wish I could find a rom replacement to skip the Pannasonic specific stuff. I have heard it has been done but can't find anyone who sells it. I would really like to get one!

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I picked up a Panasonic FS-A1 MSX2 computer and wish I could find a rom replacement to skip the Pannasonic specific stuff. I have heard it has been done but can't find anyone who sells it. I would really like to get one!

Dust off your Japanese icon_smile.gif ?? When I first received my A1FX it booted to a Panasonic DESKPAC as well. Luckily my daughters studied Japanese in high school so I just sent them photos, and asked, what's it saying? The A1FX has a switch. A quick search and there is a design here to add a switch:

 

http://hirospage.web.fc2.com/archive/pc/x/modify/inv-soft/a1-inv-soft.html

 

-M@

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BR8BIT: Looked at it many times, and it does look fun, but I'm the kind of person who wants to do the whole thing myself instead of using a kit. ;-) Nothing against the GR8BIT, I think it is cool, I just like doing things the hard way and reinventing the wheel every chance I get.

 

As for the MSX (the thread topic), I like the system a lot and I really wish it had made it to the U.S. like it did in Japan, Europe, and seemingly everywhere else. I would have loved having that system, although it was just a little late to be in the "home computer" era IMO. If only it had been around between 1979 and 1982 and available in the U.S. Ah well.

 

I did not even know about the MSX until 2001 or 2002, and I managed to get a nice Toshiba HX-10 64K on Ebay. It is a really nice unit with a good feeling keyboard and nice layout. The main-board is really nicely designed too, very clean. The MSX has a great BASIC with full control over the VDP and VRAM, all graphics modes accessible, and the ability to access machine language from BASIC. Very powerful, would have been great fun BITD. A lot of the games are also very impressive and really show off the capabilities of the system and the 9918A VDP (unlike the crappy "blocky" software TI was pushing out on the 99/4A).

 

I also really like seeing all the different styles of computers that manufacturers came up with. Having some many different computers, yet totally software compatible, is pretty neat. And the expandability of the system is pretty impressive.

 

The MSX2 is also nice, and I think there are even more types of that system than the MSX1. They are harder to get though (at least that has been my experience on Ebay), and just picking a model to try and get can itself be a daunting task. I managed to get a Sony HitBit (can't remember the model), but it is a PAL system so I have not been able to mess with it yet. I think I need to make an F38 soon. :-)

 

I agree. They could have made quite the dent if they'd arrived in North America early on. I seem to recall something about Jack Tremiel consciously trying to shut out Japanese computers from the U.S. market.

 

In my case, I also got a Sony HitBit MSX2. My problem now is finding cartridges for an affordable price. Not easy...

 

Anyone know if plugging that machine into a U.S. power outlet is bad for it? It works, but I'm not sure if I should be leaving it powered on like that for extended periods.

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It seems to depend on whom you ask. Some say there is a distinct difference between 100V and 115V, some say the PSUs most certainly are dimensioned to handle that amount of over voltage. I would think it is more problematic with much earlier Japanese systems, that once you got to 1986+ they probably had improved their power supplies to have more tolerance. But that is just speculation, by no means an assertive answer.

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Dust off your Japanese icon_smile.gif ?? When I first received my A1FX it booted to a Panasonic DESKPAC as well. Luckily my daughters studied Japanese in high school so I just sent them photos, and asked, what's it saying? The A1FX has a switch. A quick search and there is a design here to add a switch:

 

http://hirospage.web.fc2.com/archive/pc/x/modify/inv-soft/a1-inv-soft.html

 

-M@

 

That is cool if I knew someone to do it. :-) I heard there was also a drop in rom which would be really easy.

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I really find this thread interesting as I finally decided to take the leap and buy my first MSX computer, I decided to go entry level with a Casio MX-10. But may step up from there.

 

I see a lot of talk about the SD Cart with 512k of onboard ram. Seems to be beneficial to any MSX. But the website doesn't seem to elaborate on any of the technical specs (I'm assuming a lot of that is so that they're not ripped off by someone wanting to sell clones). But being basically dumb to the MSX standard, I'd like to find more information on exactly what features this offers. Anyone have any place they can point to?

 

It seems to depend on whom you ask. Some say there is a distinct difference between 100V and 115V, some say the PSUs most certainly are dimensioned to handle that amount of over voltage. I would think it is more problematic with much earlier Japanese systems, that once you got to 1986+ they probably had improved their power supplies to have more tolerance. But that is just speculation, by no means an assertive answer.

 

From the perspective of someone who works with electronics quite a bit, I am going to say it really just depends on the particular design. Internally, it is going to go through a transformer which is going to lower the voltage from 110v or 100v down probably something in the range of 24v A/C (if 100v) or 26v-ish A/C (if 110v). These transformers step down by a ratio, and have their own limitations. But assuming they planned for the potential for +12v and -12v DC, at this point it would (most likely) go through a bridge rectifier which would convert to DC voltages. Either +24v, or +12v and -12v. From those voltages it would be regulated down to the required voltages. Assuming +5v (virtually all components work at 5v, but later on would go to 3.3/3.6 and now days down to 1.6v...), there would be at least a LM7805 (most common in that era). So the question really just depends. In most cases, I would say that the biggest problem would come from the voltage regulators which would have to dissipate more heat from the increased voltage. Most of the time this isn't going to be a problem. But over time heat helps to break older components. So my concern would be what was the initial voltage fed to those regulators. Ie, are we feeding an LM7805 with 12v at the preferred 100v? If so that 13v isn't going to make a huge difference. But if we're feeding it 24v at 100v, then the 26-27v at 110v A/C may put it way over spec and cause some pretty serious heat problems resulting in magic smoke escaping....

It really comes down to opening up a particular design and seeing how it is made. Probing around, and determining for yourself what the accepted tolerances are. If you don't feel comfortable with that, its best to buy some type of step down / step up rig that can convert to the specific voltage / hertz you need.

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artrag, thanks for the link. I'll make another pot of coffee and go read. Like I said, I'm 'MSX Standard Retarded'. I've wanted to get into it for some time. And now that I've done as much z80 development as I have, I see no reason not to learn about this standard as well.

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I have 2 MSX computers. The more common Toshiba HX-10, and a Sony Hitbit HB-75B. I also have one of these

 

produto_foto1_6200252.jpg

 

But no idea how to use it since it came with no instructions. And googling the device just gives vague posts, and non-English links. There doesn't seem to be a full documentation PDF/txt anywhere.

If anyone here knows how to use one, any chance of a bit of help ?

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This interface is compatible with the Sunrise IDE Interface. There is a good amount of information about this kind of interface in the internet, here are some links to help:

 

Link about IDE configuration (in portuguese, but if you use google translate i think you can follow)

http://www.msxpro.com/ide.html

 

Link with drivers for Sunrise IDE

 

http://www.msx.ch/sunformsx/

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Thanks, flanauf.

Was not aware they were similar.

I take it, I will require a old Win/Dos PC with a 3.5" floppy drive ?

Edited by 80s_Atari_Guy

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My understanding is this is a bad idea. Should use a step down transformer.

While you can plug in a Japanese 100v device into American outlet, I would recommend a step down transformer. With the internal parts over 30+ year, old, don't take a chance. I worked for a power utility company in Japan.

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I have a nice MSX1 for sale now. With box.

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F263718367167

 

I also have lots of msx1 games for sale but not listed.

 

I'm working on a replacement power supply for Sony and Panasonic 3 pin power supply that are very hard to find.

 

I'll post my games when I next visit here.

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By the way, yesterday was the 35th birthday of MSX1, at least if you go by the date it was officially announced. The actual computers probably took a little longer before they were available to customers.

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My MSX bug, active when I was a kid (from looking at photos only though), bit again. I went and got a Philips VG 8020 and 512kb MapperMegaram. Sorely regret I didn't get an MSX2 when the prices were still normal before Covid. This one's pretty cool as well though.

 

I don't know much about using it with this Mapper device though, anybody has got any experience with these things? I'm mainly unsure how should I go about loading games, since a lot of them does not work (I mean the ones from MSX1 dedicated sets) and there's a multum of possible settings in SofaRun adn regarding the Mapper itself.

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5 hours ago, youxia said:

My MSX bug, active when I was a kid (from looking at photos only though), bit again. I went and got a Philips VG 8020 and 512kb MapperMegaram. Sorely regret I didn't get an MSX2 when the prices were still normal before Covid. This one's pretty cool as well though.

 

I don't know much about using it with this Mapper device though, anybody has got any experience with these things? I'm mainly unsure how should I go about loading games, since a lot of them does not work (I mean the ones from MSX1 dedicated sets) and there's a multum of possible settings in SofaRun adn regarding the Mapper itself.

Ask on www.msx.org 

You can get a lot of help there 

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35 minutes ago, artrag said:

Ask on www.msx.org 

You can get a lot of help there 

I know :) But  rather than join yet another forum I thought I'd try here first.

 

 

@Iwantgames:) I'd love to have MSX2, especially NTSC one with RGB. Gives you more games compatibility, but more importantly PAL composite has a really silly aspect ratio, it is terribly squashed. Unfortunately their prices are rather high around here in Europe now, plus couple of my local hardware repair people gave up doing that recently, so it's a bit risky to get an expensive old machine if you can't fix it yourself.

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1 hour ago, youxia said:

I know :) But  rather than join yet another forum I thought I'd try here first.

 

 

@Iwantgames:) I'd love to have MSX2, especially NTSC one with RGB. Gives you more games compatibility, but more importantly PAL composite has a really silly aspect ratio, it is terribly squashed. Unfortunately their prices are rather high around here in Europe now, plus couple of my local hardware repair people gave up doing that recently, so it's a bit risky to get an expensive old machine if you can't fix it yourself.

 

Youxia,

 

I have an SD-512, I’m I haven’t used the one that you bought, but as I understand it it breaks down like this:

 

There are two types of ‘Mega’ cartridges: MegaMapper, and MegaRAM. A MegaRAM cartridge is just auto-detects as additional system memory (which may or may not be required for running MSX-DOS). The MegaMapper is require for loading games into memory, but also requires MSX-DOS or Sofarun.

 

That said, with my limited experience on my own system, most of the stuff will configure automatically in Sofa. There are a few settings to redirect audio to the various audio standards and the like. But really you’ll just have to play with it.

 

My setup is an Omega Home Computer. So it may differ a little from your machine. As I have 512k of RAM on the main board, and use the SD-512 as a mapper.

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@jdgabbardthanks for the tip. Could be that your machine being MSX2 with a lot of RAM makes more games compatible. Still,  I'm trying only MSX 1 games, via SofaRun, and some of them just flat out refuse to work, even when trying multiple versions. Tricky machine :) Few examples: Aquapolis SOS, Bee & Flower (dsk works, not rom), Cannonball.

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I recently acquired a MultiFlashROM for MSX. I have it setup so I can flash one ROM at a time by using the command line. I'd prefer to use the MULTIROM.ODF approach where it displays a menu. Alas, I am too lazy to set up a menu. I'm hoping someone has a pre-made volume I can use to save me the hours it will take to set this up. Has anyone set up one of these with a few hundred ROMs?

 

If not, I'll just flash each game manually as I want to play it, which will surely be only occasional anyway. 

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I don’t have any experience with it. But I’m a novice when it comes to the MSX. There are probably more tricks for that system than any other minus the PC and C64.

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17 hours ago, ianoid said:

I recently acquired a MultiFlashROM for MSX. I have it setup so I can flash one ROM at a time by using the command line. I'd prefer to use the MULTIROM.ODF approach where it displays a menu. Alas, I am too lazy to set up a menu. I'm hoping someone has a pre-made volume I can use to save me the hours it will take to set this up. Has anyone set up one of these with a few hundred ROMs?

 

If not, I'll just flash each game manually as I want to play it, which will surely be only occasional anyway. 

I have been meaning to work on setting up a Multirom.odf for mine but haven’t gotten to it yet lol, I need to add more games to mine first though lol

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I recommend looking into SofaRun, which makes loading and running ROMs with any of the different flash ROM carts very easy, and eliminates the need for pre-composing a multi-rom. 

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1 hour ago, jedimatt42 said:

I recommend looking into SofaRun, which makes loading and running ROMs with any of the different flash ROM carts very easy, and eliminates the need for pre-composing a multi-rom. 

Forgive me if I’m mistaken, but he’d need either a FDD/HDD solution or one of the SD/CF Carts to run Sofarun. I’m thinking he just has a Mapper Cart.

 

 

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