Changing a PAC battery

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By Louthrax

Prophet (2417)

Louthrax's picture

28-10-2015, 16:16

o.geerdink wrote:

I don't think the slot should matter.

I already noticed on several MSX machines that the "top" or main slot is not in as good condition as 2nd (back) one, just because people were mainly using this one. Re-soldering the connections on the PCB and cleaning the slot often solves the problem.

By wyrdwad

Paladin (931)

wyrdwad's picture

30-10-2015, 07:10

Louthrax wrote:
o.geerdink wrote:

I don't think the slot should matter.

I already noticed on several MSX machines that the "top" or main slot is not in as good condition as 2nd (back) one, just because people were mainly using this one. Re-soldering the connections on the PCB and cleaning the slot often solves the problem.

I don't think that's the reason, honestly! I own a crap-ton of cartridge games at this point (roughly 20 or so), and all but four of them work perfectly in either slot on the first try, every time. The four that don't are:

  • Vifam. Cartridge actually locks up my system every time I try to load it. This happens regardless of which cartridge slot I use.
  • Young Sherlock: The Legacy of Doyle. Cartridge is simply not recognized as even being inserted -- when I power on the system with it in, I just go straight to MSX-BASIC. I can tell the cartridge isn't being recognized at all, in fact, because my FDD light goes on for a split second moments after I power on -- something that doesn't happen when I have a valid cartridge inserted. This problem occurs regardless of which cartridge slot I use.
  • Ashguine II. This one is finicky. About 80% of the time, my MSX won't recognize that a cartridge is inserted at all (same effect as described above with Young Sherlock). The other 20% of the time, it'll boot like normal. This, too, occurs just as frequently regardless of which cartridge slot I use.
  • The PAC in question. This one is not finicky at all: I've tested it numerous times now, and it works 100% of the time in my second cartridge slot, and 0% of the time in my first. I can't explain why this is, but it's very consistent, leading me to believe that either (A) the PAC is designed to only function in the secondary cartridge slot for some reason, or (B) my system is just weird. Wink

-Tom

By Manuel

Ascended (18855)

Manuel's picture

30-10-2015, 08:54

It may also depend on the game using the PAC. Perhaps the game you are using it with just expects it in slot 2. Try with other games!

By wyrdwad

Paladin (931)

wyrdwad's picture

30-10-2015, 09:11

Manuel wrote:

It may also depend on the game using the PAC. Perhaps the game you are using it with just expects it in slot 2. Try with other games!

Oh yeah! I didn't even think of that.

I mostly bought the PAC for Fire Hawk (and because it was cheap!), so I haven't really tested it with anything else. But I do have a few other games that support PAC saving, so I'll have to play around a bit and see what happens. Wink

-Tom

By Louthrax

Prophet (2417)

Louthrax's picture

30-10-2015, 10:46

I made a little tool some time ago, maybe you can try it: SRAM Manager

SRAMM : PAC SRAM Manager 1.0 - March 2013, coded by Louthrax
============================================================

Usage:
sramm l
    List the contents of all SRAM cartridges detected on your MSX.
sramm c (source) (target)
    Copy one or all pages from an SRAM cartridge to another one or to a file.
sramm z (sram_target)
    Zero (erase) one or all SRAM pages.
sramm
    Display this help.

(...) parameters can be a file name ("xak.pac") or an SRAM page
with the following format: #(page_number)[cartridge_number]
    (page_number):
        "1" to "8" means an SRAM page.
        "a" means all the pages on the cartridge.
    [cartridge_number] is an optional parameter to target a specific
        SRAM cartridge if you have several ones. If omitted, first
		cartridge is used.

Examples:
sramm c #a all.pac
    Copy the whole content of default SRAM cartridge to file "all.pac".
sramm c #11 xak.pac
    Copy page 1 of SRAM cardtridge #1 to file "xak.pac".
sramm c xak.pac #11
    Copy file "xak.pac" to page 1 of SRAM cardtridge #1.
sramm c #1 #2
    Copy default SRAM cartridge page 1 to page 2.
sramm c #a1 #a2
    Copy the whole content of SRAM cartridge #1 to SRAM cardtridge #2.
sramm z #a2
    Erases the whole content of SRAM cartridge #2.

Limitations:
    - This utility only works with Panasoft PAC compatible cartridges.
    - Due to the command syntax, you can't create or read filenames beginning
      with the "#" character.

By Louthrax

Prophet (2417)

Louthrax's picture

30-10-2015, 10:49

The "sramm l" command should allow you to check if your PAC is detected. If you want to do more check, you should try to write a little (8KB) file to your PAC, read it back and compare the read file with the original one (realize I could have made a "t" command for test).

By raymond

Hero (606)

raymond's picture

31-10-2015, 20:23

Never to late to build it in Wink

By raymond

Hero (606)

raymond's picture

01-11-2015, 11:29

Did you manage to get the battery replaced in your PAC? As I also have a PAC, and considering for replacing the battery.

By wyrdwad

Paladin (931)

wyrdwad's picture

01-11-2015, 12:04

raymond wrote:

Did you manage to get the battery replaced in your PAC? As I also have a PAC, and considering for replacing the battery.

Haven't taken it in yet. I, uh, couldn't resist playing Fire Hawk when I tested it out, and got far enough that I'm unwilling to lose my progress, so I plan on beating the game (or having the battery die on me and take my save data with it!) before taking the PAC in for a change. Wink

I like to live on the edge! Heheheh...

-Tom

By raymond

Hero (606)

raymond's picture

01-11-2015, 14:16

Ok, do you know if this battery charges itself when plugged in in the MSX? Of is it a standard not rechardgeable battery?

Furthermore, are there any code examples (Turbo Pascal and BASIC) on how to detect and read/write to the SRAM from the (FM-)PAC?

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