MSX SD Mapper 512k cartridge

By BananaPie

Resident (59)

BananaPie's picture

24-04-2021, 13:02

MSX Mapper cart is acting like a regular floppy under MS-DOS, but with up to 4GB capacity
Most of available games are in cartridge binary format and you are executing it via SofaRun loader software
Saving will be possible in Basic and file based games only

What is this SofaRun? WIll the SD that behaves like a floppy keep games in memory, or like a floppy erase them each time?
Will I be able to use the extra 512K RAM?
DO I save my BASIC programs as If I was saving to a floppy?
Thank you for your help.

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By BananaPie

Resident (59)

BananaPie's picture

18-05-2021, 12:28

I've searched the forum and I found many posts about this, but it would really help me If someone knows If this can expand the RAM of my HX-10 from 64K? Can I use it to run ROMS?
Most importantly, as it's not very clear which DOS is used, can I save my own programs to the SD card?

By Grauw

Ascended (10681)

Grauw's picture

18-05-2021, 13:23

SofaRun is a game launching program.

The SD card can be used as mass storage for MSX, and you can put games on it from your PC just like you normally would use an SD card on PC, with directories etc. You can save BASIC programs as if you’re saving to a really big floppy.

As for memory, there are two types of memory: RAM memory mapper, and MegaROM / MegaRAM game mappers. The memory mapper is general purpose, the MegaROM type is especially for running ROM games. The memory mapper works on MSX1 only if it has special MSX1 support (but all SD cartridges do).

The SD Mapper 512 has a limitation where the 512K can only be used for one of those RAM mapper types at a time (there is a physical switch). Because you need at least 128K to run MSX-DOS2 with subdirectory support (which you want to), you can not use it in MegaRAM mode. Running games in the memory mapper RAM is something that SofaRun support, however compatibility is relatively low.

I recommend strongly to get a MegaFlashROM SCC+ SD with 512K RAM, or Carnivore2 cartridge. These have dedicated MegaROM flash memory, and are more capable in general. The SD Mapper 512 is too limited for MSX computers which do not have at least 128K of RAM, especially for novice users.

All of these use Nextor DOS which is based on MSX-DOS2 and has subdirectory and FAT16 support. If you don’t have at least 128K memory, Nextor will boot in DOS1 mode which does not support subdirectories and has a limit of 100 or so files, and only supports FAT12.

By alexito

Paladin (760)

alexito's picture

18-05-2021, 13:39

Hi, BananaPie.

I will recommend start the MSX experience step by step if you get a Basic MSX 1 Computer with 64KB RAM then your next addition would be a FDD and after you test it with assorted software then try MAPPER/SCC+ RAM Expansion Cards and test it with the Software doesn't work at first and so.....until you buy the all in one solution --> MFRSCC+SD

I did that and I was amazed to notice MSX Add-ons Hardware is not 100% guaranteed to work correctly so at the end I bought several MSX Computer and several add-ons Hardware because some work better than others.

By BananaPie

Resident (59)

BananaPie's picture

18-05-2021, 13:35

Thank you both for the explanations, it's of tremendous help for me. I did not know you can still buy FDD for MSX machines!
I just need something that I can save my programs on SD and have some games on it. But the FDD in the link seems good