Which multicart for my new FS-A1?

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By zadokallen

Rookie (22)

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09-11-2021, 12:19

Hi folks, a recent convert to MSX cause & first time poster here Wink

I've had an MSX1 Philips for some time now, but couldn't help myself and go up a notch on the hardware ladder, so I've just bought a Panasonic FS-A1 (thanks, sdsnatcher73!). I also have the Mapper Megaram 512kb multicart.

I know there are quite a few threads discussing various carts, but tbh they get a bit too much in-depth for my poor senile brain. I would just want to know which one should I get to be able to play maximum amount of games for the lowest cost. The MM cart I have now was ok for starters, but many games do not work, which I suppose is because of both my machines' low RAM (64kb) as well as the cart's limitations.

So far I considered:
-RookieDrive NX - which as I understand allows to play all the .dsk games. At 50E it's quite cheap, but probably has other limitations?
-MegaFlashROM SCC+ SD version - this one costs 99E. Would it be possible to combine it with my MM cart as en extra memory? Also, not quite sure what the SCC+ thing is...I know it's something to do with music in games, but how does it work in practice?
-Carnivore 2: around 120E...hmmm. Would it be a complete solution thou?

My budget is pretty tight, at around ~100E (less than that would be even better Smile. Any advice is most appreciated.

PS: Is it possible to search the wiki itself? i can't seem to find the various multicart page (think I'd seen it before?).

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By hamlet

Scribe (3837)

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09-11-2021, 12:39

Welcome to the MSX community!

Four things will happen next:
Someone will recommend the MFRSCCSD512 to you, then someone else will promote the Carnivore2 as the ultimate weapon until one of the Enlightened Beings' Club demands the GR8Net as a minimum. Oh yes, a lucky guy with personal relationships will brag with his FlashJacks.
We have a wonderful thread that should answer the first questions, certainly availability is also a factor.

And now, let me be the first:
The Megaflashrom MFRSCCsd512 will be THE choice. It's available, not too expensive, includes an SCC and a second PSG and is easy to use.
Who wants to be next?

By Grauw

Ascended (10304)

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09-11-2021, 13:30

Yes you can use the Mapper Megaram as extra memory with the MegaFlashROM SCC+ SD so that it can run Nextor DOS2 on your 64K MSX. Of course it will use one extra slot, so I would still recommend the 512K RAM option for the MegaFlashROM SCC+ SD and selling the Mapper Megaram. Carnivore2 is also a good choice.

You will want a cart with SCC to have nice music in many of the Konami games.

By Moniz

Champion (388)

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09-11-2021, 13:32

I have to agree with Hamlet, and that version has extra ram so everything should work fine!
You could sell your MM and then try to get a FM-pac or other YM2413 clone-card because thats something the MFR doesnt have..

By gdx

Enlighted (5011)

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09-11-2021, 15:06

What is the Mapper Megaram 512kb multicard?
Is that it?
https://www.msx.org/wiki/Fractal2000_SD_Mapper/Megaram_512KB

By zadokallen

Rookie (22)

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09-11-2021, 17:56

Thanks for the replies!

The thing is, I reallyam on a budget (shouldnt've been buying that FS-A1 to start with Big smile) so even a silly-looking 20E makes a difference. Otherwise, I do realise that top MFR SCC+ RAM is the best option, but it does cost 150E (+delivery).

Grauw wrote:

Yes you can use the Mapper Megaram as extra memory with the MegaFlashROM SCC+ SD so that it can run Nextor DOS2 on your 64K MSX. Of course it will use one extra slot

Ok, but I don't plan on using any other carts (original games or otherwise) so would that be a problem?

Are there any major differences between Carnivore and MFR regarding game use/compatibility?

That SCC+ music capability - is anything else besides the multicart needed to enable it (and does Carnivore have it?)

No love for the RookieDrive? It's so tempting, 60E delivered...

Sorry for the very basic questions, but I'm new to this and MSX world really is quite complicated. I read that thread @hamlet linked to but it's written by experienced users, and for a ignoramus like me most of the terms and comparisons used there mean very little Wink Meaning I don't know how they translate to real world use.

@gdx: yes, that's the Mapper Megaram I have, my unit is from Zaxon (Polish builder). I suppose I could consider selling it and spending more on MFC or some such...but here in Poland MSX is not that popular, plus he's still selling them so it might take a while to get rid of...

By Grauw

Ascended (10304)

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09-11-2021, 18:14

zadokallen wrote:

Ok, but I don't plan on using any other carts (original games or otherwise) so would that be a problem?

Well, for example in the future you may want to plug in an MSX-MUSIC cartridge (FM-PAC or clone) for nice FM music with certain games. A benefit of those multicarts is that they are cheaper than buying individual ones and take fewer slots, just cost a little more upfront.

zadokallen wrote:

Are there any major differences between Carnivore and MFR regarding game use/compatibility?

Not really, I would say the biggest difference is that the Carnivore2 includes MSX-MUSIC support in its FPGA, so that’s another cartridge you don’t need.

zadokallen wrote:

That SCC+ music capability - is anything else besides the multicart needed to enable it (and does Carnivore have it?)

No, the multicart should be sufficient. The Carnivore2 has SCC as well, though I believe in SCC+ mode (for Snatcher & SD Snatcher) it has limited functionality so the MFR has a slight edge there, though you can play those games with the original SCC without too much issues, I did back in the days and so did many others.

zadokallen wrote:

No love for the RookieDrive? It's so tempting, 60E delivered...

I don’t have it so I’m not fully familiar with its features. But I don’t believe it has MegaROM support.

zadokallen wrote:

I suppose I could consider selling it and spending more on MFC or some such...but here in Poland MSX is not that popular, plus he's still selling them so it might take a while to get rid of...

If you’re willing to ship internationally you could post an ad here in the trading forum and see if someone’s interested.

By Pencioner

Scribe (1496)

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09-11-2021, 18:34

RookieDrive is great for playing DSK games and small roms without mapper, and for connecting floppy USB drive and use real floppies, and as generic storage with Nextor, but it doesn't have any major features like SCC, memory mapper etc etc like other all-in-one solutions. So in your case i would go with other ones, not with RD

By sdsnatcher73

Prophet (2522)

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09-11-2021, 18:58

Definitely try to sell you SD512 cart first and then get a Carnivore2. It has the most features and is cheaper than the MFR with memory expansion. When you get the new cart (even if it is an MFR Wink) get in rouch with me and I will send you an image that you can flash to a CF or SD card.

With this you can play most ROM games as well as the majority of disk games theough SofaRun. There are some games that won’t work that way. For ROMs you can then try flashing them Into the carts using their proprietary tools (C2MAN or OPFXSD) which both have a little greater compatibility level then SofaRun.

The RookieDrive with the new firmware by Konamiman gives you 100% compatibility on disk games so it is great to have as an addition but not as a start.

By gdx

Enlighted (5011)

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10-11-2021, 00:59

RookieDrive is not really interessing to you because you have already the Mapper Megaram 512kb.

Your Mapper Megaram 512kb + the Popolon's Sound Cartridge (probably still on sale) will be equivalent to a MegaFlashROM SCC+ SD + 512kB. It will cost you less and more simple to use in general. The MFR SD + 512Kb has a few advantages, however. For exemple, its golden contacts. Pay also attention to this, if you plan to take a carnivore 2. Some people sell it with tinned contacts. (Also know that the MM512 will probably not be easy to resell without discount)

Grauw wrote:

Yes you can use the Mapper Megaram as extra memory with the MegaFlashROM SCC+ SD so that it can run Nextor DOS2 on your 64K MSX.

Avoid doing this because two disk interfaces reduces free main memory.

By sdsnatcher73

Prophet (2522)

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10-11-2021, 06:27

gdx wrote:

RookieDrive is not really interessing to you because you have already the Mapper Megaram 512kb.

RookieDrive is more than Nextor, it’s FDD emulation from FAT32 USB stick is unparalleled with Konamiman’s latest firmware for it. With this it is very user friendly having a menu on your screen to select which disk to start. Only a Gotek has the same compatibility but much less user friendliness.

Quote:

Your Mapper Megaram 512kb + the Popolon's Sound Cartridge (probably still on sale) will be equivalent to a MegaFlashROM SCC+ SD + 512kB.

In theory you are right but MFR is much more versatile. It supports more mappers (ASCII types), Popolon’s cart only supports Konami mapper natively (as it implements the original SCC+ with more RAM). So running games with other mapper types involves patching (which is done automatically by SofaRun and proprietary tools) but it is not perfect (software never is)… so more games will not work with this combination than on MFR or C2.

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