MSX2 and HXC Floppy Drive Emulator

Door StarshipUK

Supporter (7)

afbeelding van StarshipUK

06-08-2011, 01:32

I have a MSX 2 (Phillips VG-8235) and would like to use a HXC Floppy Drive Emulator SD with it. (http://hxc2001.free.fr/floppy_drive_emulator/index.html#SDCA...)

But noticed on the main page it says:
Warning : The MSX2 computers often used a non-standard floppy connector pinout.
Before plugging the HxC Floppy Emulator please check that the pinout is compatible.

Is it possible to use the HXC Floppy Emulator with the MSX2 External Floppy Port, and do I need a specially wired cable for this?

Also I am quite new to the MSX2 and have not had mine long. What command would I need to type to access and load disks using the HXC Floppy Emulator connected to the External Floppy Port?

Any help is really appreciated.

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Van jrcp_kun

Paragon (1410)

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06-08-2011, 08:56

Is connected on the internal one or if you can as second unit but always inside or you will need external power connector

Van jltursan

Prophet (2534)

afbeelding van jltursan

06-08-2011, 10:37

As for the connection, the HxC has a standard 3.5" 34 pin shugart connector; so any wiring schematicts to connect a PC drive to a 8235 will work for you.

Van frits9164

Resident (64)

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06-08-2011, 11:18

Van OeiOeiVogeltje

Paragon (1398)

afbeelding van OeiOeiVogeltje

06-08-2011, 11:48

ahum!

for changing to a PC discdrive in a 8245
better use this document;

http://www.bas-ditta.info/verkoopenlinks/doehetzelf/diskdrives/Vervangen%20diskdrive%20Philips%20NMS%208245.pdf

its WAY easier since you only need to re-arrange some wires on the original cable!!!!
(and the small MOD on the power PCB)
But that mod is nessesary anyway when putting in a PC floppy drive

only thing you need to look at is that there are switches on the floppy on which you can set

a chinon floppy drive would work (i have one of those in my 8245 myself)
see this link why;
http://www.retrosound.de/TheDSS-1.htm

Van jpgrobler

Master (154)

afbeelding van jpgrobler

06-08-2011, 14:14

HI

On ebay there is a few 3.5" USB Floppy Drive Emulators available, quite cheap. Will they work work msx?
eg http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3-5-USB-SSD-Floppy-Drive-Emulator-Roland-E100-Korg-/200628096893?pt=UK_Computing_FloppyDiskDrives_SM&hash=item2eb65dcf7d

This one looks even cooler!!
http://www.datex-dsm.com/presentation-of-the-dtx200.htm
extensive range of emulates floppy drives

I see th HxC one works with msx
http://www.torlus.com/floppy/forum/viewforum.php?f=22&sid=15192163d11777f05dbe8261e0cc36f0

Van StarshipUK

Supporter (7)

afbeelding van StarshipUK

06-08-2011, 15:06

Thank you for the information, but I would prefer to keep the original drive in the MSX and use the HCX Floppy Drive external using the external floppy connector on the MSX if that is possible.

They now sell an external version of the HXC Drive: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SD-Floppy-Emulator-Blue-Rev-C-CASED-/180692789006?pt=UK_VintageComputing_RL&hash=item2a1221270e

and it can be powered using this: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=220811202795&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT and this http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=290590216178&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT

So those two items are not issues. I just need to confirm if this will work and load games correctly (from the second drive) and useful commands to access the external HXC Floppy Drive and list a contents of a disk directory and load a game for it.

I have also read conflicting information about whether the 8235 can read larger than 360k floppies - I do not want to write to the disk images, just read them. It is a VG 8235/00.

Van Warchild

Paragon (1285)

afbeelding van Warchild

06-08-2011, 16:43

Better try the SD/MMC reader from Padial or Synfox (don't know if there are more options in this kind of hard). I can't say about the Synfox cartridge but Padial's can handle DSK emulation and you'll have a larger media for storage (I think up to 2GB). Compatible with all MSX families (1,2,2+,Turbo-R). I think it's more useful than the HXC option. You'll have no issues and don't have to change the original floppy drive nor internal roms. It can work even if the computer doesn't have a floppy drive, so there's no point to be worried about disk controller and so.

I think doing the cable change will only let you read 720KB disks but you'll not be able to format in 720KB. But AFAIK this depends of the VG8235, it will not work in all the VG8235 units (not sure but I think it will work on those marked as VG8235-16)

Price for a Padial SD Reader is cheaper than the HXC too. It can be another good reason
Hannibal

Van Manuel

Ascended (18083)

afbeelding van Manuel

06-08-2011, 17:48

FWIW: read or write doesn't matter.

Van StarshipUK

Supporter (7)

afbeelding van StarshipUK

06-08-2011, 18:32

Better try the SD/MMC reader from Padial or Synfox (don't know if there are more options in this kind of hard). I can't say about the Synfox cartridge but Padial's can handle DSK emulation and you'll have a larger media for storage (I think up to 2GB). Compatible with all MSX families (1,2,2+,Turbo-R). I think it's more useful than the HXC option. You'll have no issues and don't have to change the original floppy drive nor internal roms. It can work even if the computer doesn't have a floppy drive, so there's no point to be worried about disk controller and so.

Price for a Padial SD Reader is cheaper than the HXC too. It can be another good reason
Hannibal

That does sound more like what I am looking for Smile
Thanks for suggesting this.

I think I have found the website where they can be purchased:
http://msx.deneb.nl/pageMMC.HTM

Is LPE-MMC-V8BKP the one I would need to buy?

Also how easy is it to load from a DSK image? Is there a Menu Loader program to select and load from disks, or is it only possible by using manual commands?

I am also trying to work out why it had slots for two SD cards instead of just one?

It also mentions 5 different ways to format the SD cards. I am guessing FAT16 FORMATTING would be the best method to use?

I did quickly read through the manual, but it seems to go quite technical. I am not overly technical so need things described simply such as 1. Plug card in and switch MSX on, 2. Type xxxxxx to load game.

Van Warchild

Paragon (1285)

afbeelding van Warchild

06-08-2011, 21:59

I haven't received mine yet, so I can't talk by my experience, but I've seen other users with it and it's just some commands for mount DSK image files but nothing difficult. You can mount several of them, and change from one to another so you'll have not problem when a game ask you to change the disk. There are two models, the one you say is the basic one (it's the one I'll get). There's another one with 4MB RAM and connector for 2 expanded slots. This is a good option if your computer have low RAM but price, of course, it's higher. And AFAIK you can find some issues with the memory expansion in some MSX machines. About the second card slot, it has no use yet. It seems like the software coding for use it is not implemented (if you ask me, it's a shame that it still not made as there's no way to use this second slot that all those readers have... so why do they have two slots????).

You'll need a FAT12 partiton as the MSX needs it to boot. You can make a 32MB FAT12 partition and the rest of the card with one only FAT16 partiton, for example. You'll handle both as normal drives, just like with an IDE.

I've not been able to open the user's manual at Padial's web page as haven't the proper decompresor for it in this computer, maybe you've read the second one that is a document, as you said, for programers. But for sure, is not that difficult.