CF-640 by 8bits4ever

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By Alexey

Guardian (3126)

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11-07-2016, 19:09

Bastiaan wrote:

Wow Alexey, that looks like the ultimate expansion cartridge for msx! Serious competition for the mfrsc+sd! I love the fm option. Running Naked in a Field of Flowers
Is it scc or scc+?
Can the ram be configured to also emulate the fm-pac sram?

There will be a 64kb block of flash ROM to hold the contents of FMPAC's SRAM. At least according to the original idea.

By Alexey

Guardian (3126)

Alexey's picture

11-07-2016, 18:53

mfeingol wrote:

@Alexey: not to nitpick what looks like a wonderful product (and I expect I'll buy one!), but why CF instead of SD?

We already have the proper implementation of the IDE in Altera. So why not? The SD requires additional work and possibly more components.

By meckert

Rookie (18)

meckert's picture

11-07-2016, 21:07

http://www.8bits4ever.com/sd-512.html SD 512 should soon be available, so I think I'll wait for that. One question though, how can I practically utilize the ram expansion on my MSX? I mean I want to watch scene demos and play classic games like Space Manbow etc, without the need to use floppys as my fdd's are becoming unreliable.

By mfeingol

Champion (290)

mfeingol's picture

11-07-2016, 21:31

Quote:

The SD requires additional work and possibly more components.

Hard to argue with that. :-)

All other things being equal, I think the case for SD over CF is that most people have an SD reader of some kind, even if it's in their phone. Almost nobody has a CF reader anymore.

By Wild_Penguin

Hero (638)

Wild_Penguin's picture

12-07-2016, 10:15

meckert wrote:

One question though, how can I practically utilize the ram expansion on my MSX? I mean I want to watch scene demos and play classic games like Space Manbow etc, without the need to use floppys as my fdd's are becoming unreliable.

I think for gaming there is only a little use; don't remember from the top of my head, but some rare disk games, especially scene (game/demo) releases, require > 128kb, but commercial releases and especially cartridges=ROMs will work fine with 64kb. (For gaming > 128 or at least > 256kb is totally worthless?)

The use becomes more apparent if you start to make music with a tracker, play around with SymbOS or something else, besides just gaming.

A large amount of RAM can be used to load ROM files too (though that will cause slowdowns in some situations, but I think a configurable expansion means it can be in regular RAM mode or some mapper mode, which will remove slowdowns and improve compatibility).

EDIT: The RAM expansion is a must have for 64kb machines though - you can not run DOS 2 with just 64kb, and with DOS2 working / playing around with large FAT partitions is much easier, even if games would work with just 64kb.

By gdx

Enlighted (4498)

gdx's picture

12-07-2016, 10:54

You are unbelievable guys. I will never buy an interface with so little information available and especially if the contacts are tin-plated.

By meckert

Rookie (18)

meckert's picture

12-07-2016, 11:01

Wild-Penguin, thanks for reply. I think I'll go for sd512 when it becomes available. I understand that ram expansion can be used for mounting rom images ?

By Alexey

Guardian (3126)

Alexey's picture

12-07-2016, 15:06

gdx wrote:

You are unbelievable guys. I will never buy an interface with so little information available and especially if the contacts are tin-plated.

We are not selling any interfaces. All our projects are non-commercial and we share the CAD sources, firmware, parts list and Gerber files in our public repository. As for the tin-plated pins - there's no point ordering gold plating for a prototype board, is there? We only sell the rest of the boards to somewhat cover the production costs.

By Wild_Penguin

Hero (638)

Wild_Penguin's picture

12-07-2016, 15:20

meckert wrote:

Wild-Penguin, thanks for reply. I think I'll go for sd512 when it becomes available. I understand that ram expansion can be used for mounting rom images ?

It can not be "mounted" per se, but there are several tools that can patch the ROM and load it into regular RAM. It is not running as a native ROM on that case, and the patched instructions might cause some slowdowns (since it will be slower than the original ROM mapper was), though usually this effect is quite subtle. Some ROMs might not work at all (from RAM!). Now there's some confusion in that there exists some non-system RAM (such as MegaRAM) are already in some ROM-like mapped mode. Those require different tools, but (I believe) are more compatible and cause no slowdowns. Those will lose the ROM after power down, of course. Flash carts are most usable, I think.

So there are a lot of options, and which tool (program) to load the ROM with, depends on your HW.

By meckert

Rookie (18)

meckert's picture

12-07-2016, 17:31

Ok It`s a bit confusing, but I'll do some further reading before I decide.

When using a card like Sd512 or Cf640 will I be able to use sd/cf like a normal disk in MSX-DOS? Will disk games work, just by copying files to folders ?

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