VG8000 and VG8010 problems - new to MSX

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Door gehtjanx

Supporter (5)

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23-05-2017, 02:04


I am new here sorry for coming with Problems Wink

I dont have any experience with MSX for now. I got a VG8000 cheap with 16k RAM and I always thought it works but now I found out something that bothers me. Few weeks before I got a VG8010 but it not works. So now I have 2 Problems/questions:

#1: VG8000
I start it up normally (original PSU) and it says only 12K free. Also it Features 4x4416 Chips on the board only 16K work. I saw a Video on YouTube and now I found out that it should have around 28K free (Startup message) - at least in the Video it says so. So now I am worried if my machine is broken because my Commodore 16 has 2x 4416 Chips and has 16K so when I have 4 Chips I should have 32K but it has only 16K.

I got a 16K RAM cartridge with it. So now my question is: Was it maybe delivered like that with 16K working only plus 16K extra to get 32K or is there something fishy with my Computer ? I tried other RAM Chips and other stuff, nothing did Change. Always 16K only (12k Free). 32K (~28K free) only Shows on my Startup Screen with the extra 16K RAM cart in the Slot but in my understanding, it should have 32K always, even with no extra RAM added to it.

Strange Thing is it seems to Need 4 RAM Chips or it does not really work. But on the other side, it does not use all the RAM Chips it has.

#2: VG8010
I found that on a flea market but all it does is a black Screen and White Flash on reset. I tested all the big socketed Chips in my VG8000 and all working. I then found out when I pll out 2 of the 4 RAMs on my VG8000 I also get black Screen with the White Flash. So I suspect a TTL or RAM error on the VG8010.

But all is soldered in and there is a strange extra RAM board with some logic Chips on it. I did not solder anything yet as I dont know what is broken often on those machines.

When I put 2 RAM Chips in the sockets instead of the board, nothing changes. Nothing changes with the 16K extra RAM in either Slot. The machine never starts up. I cleaned all the contacts and stuff but did not help.

NOTE/EDIT: The LEDs of CAPS and CODE do NOT work on the VG8010 at any time. Power LED works but seems the computer does not start up at all so no LEDs when I press the corresponding keys.

I wonder if the VG8010 is a "hack" of the VG8000. There are some extra cables and stuff. Maybe are there some cutted traces on the Mainboard? I just wonder if I could test it with 4x 4416 and make it a VG8000 to see if that is working at least or if there is something different then the RAM a Problem.

I tested with both PSUs, 8000 and 8010. Both PSU work on my VG8000. No Change on the 8010. Only black Screen with Flash on reset.

I am not sure what I can do now Sad Nothing seems to work 100% and I have no other MSX Hardware or game so I cannot tell you anything other then what I have. I would like to get a game called "Road Fighter" but not sure how to get it and if it even works on my broken machines.



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Van Wlcracks

Champion (470)

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23-05-2017, 09:10


Both are made in france and poorly build. I guess thats why later Philips MSX are build excellent by Sanyo Made in Japan.

The 8000 and 8010 have no arrays or engine in it, thats why the are fun and "easy" to repair!

16k ram cart wouldn do the trick. you need a 64kram cart. I would recommend and SCC+SDMEGAbla cart, works great on 8000.

The 8000 and 8010 have a lot of problems but what you talk about is, it has 16k vram and 16k main ram. Vram is not reported, this is always 16k vram on every msx1. Install openmsx if you like to verify an 8000 or 8010.

8010 is indeed a hack of a 8000, it has a small board on in the 16k sockets as seen in the Service Manual.

Not sure what you mean with flash on reset. could be normal. if you can make a video.

Caps could be, the cable from keyboard to board, a buffer ic IC676 or the PPI IC654.
Code could be, the cable from keyboard to board, , buffer ic IC676 or PSG IC655.
Because both are broken, i guess the cable maybe gnd. PSG and PPI are in sockets and easy to exchange.
Scoop will do the job.

Study this:
very informative to learn about msx.

Good luck and enjoy!

Van hamlet

Scribe (4106)

afbeelding van hamlet

23-05-2017, 10:58

Welcome gehtjanx,
the 8010 should give you 28815 bytes free in BASIC, otherwise you may find broken RAM chips. It got 32kB build in, plus 16 kB V-Ram. That´s why is written 48kB RAM on it. The VG8000 have indeed only 16kB of RAM available, so everything is ok with this machine. But as Wlcracks wrote, a MegaFlashrom512 will make you happy. It keeps the Memory in one slot, a 16kB extension will split the memory in two.
I like the design of this machine very much, but writting on it is terrible. And the cursor key have a awful layout, we used to hold the whole computer diagonal when we played games on it.
And of course it wouldn´t be me, if I did´nt attached a pic:

Van RetroTechie

Paragon (1563)

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23-05-2017, 12:10

Welcome gehtjanx,

2 of the 4416 chips form 16 KB which is Video RAM. Remaining 2 4416's in the VG8000 make 16 KB main RAM (~12K free in BASIC), which is all there is. So this machine works normal as hamlet wrote. A 16KB RAM cartridge adds the 16 KB you need to get 32KB main RAM (~28K free).

For the VG8010, there's also 16 KB Video RAM. But the main RAM consists of 4x 4416 chips (so 32KB main RAM, plus the VRAM = 48 KB total) which seems to come on an add-in circuit board. You could say this works the same as a VG8000 with 16KB cartridge inserted.

Since you tested the main IC's & power supply, I'd also suspect that add-in circuit board with the main RAM on it. One way to test would be to insert a 64KB RAM cartridge.

Software on cartridge (like Roadfighter) will work fine with 16K main RAM. But much software from cassette needs 64 KB main RAM so won't work if there's only 16 or 32 KB available. A combined RAM + SD card reader cartridge is the most convenient solution. A plain 64K RAM cartridge (or memory mapper) would help, but still limit you to loading software from tape (or MP3 player, phone or whatever).

Van Manuel

Ascended (18844)

afbeelding van Manuel

23-05-2017, 22:24

What we recently had with an 8000 and an 8010: no image at all. But when we left it on for about 10 minutes, the image started to appear and in the end we had a fully working image. It's as if the caps needed a bit of a boost.

Anyway, I think all your questions are answered. If not, please make a new list Smile

Van gehtjanx

Supporter (5)

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24-05-2017, 04:21


Thanks a lot.

#1: VG8000:
It was my fault, in the Video there was VG8010 that Displays 28K. I seem to have mixed it up, still with the VRAM etc. it explains why it has 32 K Built in but only Shows 16 (12K Free) on boot up. So that is okay.

#2: VG8010:
Seems to have a RAM Problem on the main RAM which is the Adapter board. Okay I will try to do some solder Magic and see what happens and get back here.

Nice System, yes, cool design. Love it. Well I am more a Commodore collector myself but as I have nearly all the Commodore stuff (except Printers, Business Computers + their drives etc.) I start with other things, too.

You can check out my page at:
or MSX page at:

@ RetroTechie:
Thanks. I searched some of the SD Card Adapters before but I have no clue about them. One offered me one for 70 Euros with RAM and SD and all stuff but could not tell me if it Comes with a menu. I hear a lot of stuff that freightens me like layer1 Software, layer2 Software, some strange type in commands and stuff. Not sure why they do not make a normal menu but I will look at that in another thread to discuss how that works and what product fits my Needs. I want to Show the MSX maybe in Vienna City hall end of the year therefor I Need a Software solution but Problem is the game read fighter is so expansive like 30-40 Euro for just a game and the SD Card I was unsure of.

Okay, I know about that but I tested with 2 PSU and also let it run longer but did not help. As I said before, it is (now) all black and when I press reset (on the back button) it makes a short White Flash and goes back to black. The same happens when I take out the RAM of the (working) VG8000 so I suspect that the RAM Problem breaks the machine. It's really exact same fault and appearence when I take out the RAMs on the VG8000 as the VG8010 makes. Now as I know that this is the main RAM and probably not have to mess with the VRAM I can go from that.

Thanks will write back ASAP. Thanks again. Awesome hope I can bring it back to life and Show it on our Event in the City hall.

Van gehtjanx

Supporter (5)

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24-05-2017, 04:27

just what is strange:
on broken vg8010 now: when I add the 16K main RAM in the sockets instead of the RAM Adapter and I leave out the RAM Adapter board completly (still with the cables on but unattacked to the sockets), still no boot. Should be a VG8000 then or did they do further changes on the main board to prevent booting a VG8010 with the main RAM Chips direct in socket instead of the adapter?!?

I expected it to work with total of 4 RAMs installed, too.

Van Wlcracks

Champion (470)

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24-05-2017, 09:02

Page 20 of the SM pdf shows a jumper on IC668. Maybe this could help? Did you exchange the rom too?

EDIT: I think the power supply caps are shot after 35 years. I had a desk power supply on my vg8000 when repairing and the picture quality was excellent. The picture with the original Philips power supply is very crappy and contains hum and hf noise. The frequency of the noise on the picture drifts. Gonna recap soon, when i have the time. Just saying keep the voltages in mind too.

EDIT EDIT: And please watch the flatcable to the video board, this will brake!. The keyboard cable will have limited insert/remove counts too.

Van hamlet

Scribe (4106)

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24-05-2017, 11:21

The 8000 is a very remarkable machine. It was developed by Philips in mind to build a own computer standard. That time Philips was developing a lot of new ideas, like the Video2000 system and the CD. After Philips join the MSX federation they kept on using the VG brand and made a MSX out of the 8000 design. I wonder what the poor 8000 had been without MSX, maybe dead and buried like the VG5000 . The 8000 could be count to the first MSX computer released. Of course it was way to expensive and had a lack of the centronics but later was sold very well besides the 8020 as a low entry model. A friend of mine got one in 1985 and I presented him a 8010 to his last birthday. Well, we´d gaming a lot the following weekend. Repair-Bas enlightened me on the last fair, that the cover of the cartridge slot is mentioned as remove able in the original manual.
Surely a pretty display item for your computer museum. Gimme a message, if you need support for the comming vienna retro fair.

Van gehtjanx

Supporter (5)

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24-05-2017, 20:33

okay, thanks, I will have a look for the Jumper and power.

Ist not a dedicated Retro gamer Event but it is a (free entrance) gaming Event in Vienna City Hall where we have a small Retro area that People can paly with. We try to have different Computers and so I try to get the MSX somehow up and running so we can Show it. Some picutres here:

I found the Game Road Fighter for Nintendo NES and as I dont know much MSX games, I thought it would be a cool game and also easy to use for the People so I tried to find it. It's still some month (in October) but I Need to start getting the things up and running and have a backup machine if possible, in case anythign breaks (it is 3 days Long, has to run all day Long).


Van gehtjanx

Supporter (5)

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14-06-2017, 04:15

I desoldered all the RAM and found one broken. I added the RAM to the System RAM of my working VG8000 and the broken RAM chip made the same error as on the VG8010: No Picture, no CAPS LED etc. I thought it is good that I found the Problem.

I tried to add 4 RAMs to the VG8010 and also removed the cutted trace on the back so it matches the VG8000 specification. Still I only get black Screen with White Flash on reset and sometimes a bit of a "grid" (black Screen with slightly Brown-ish grid graphics or so).

Does not matter if I have no RAM, or 2 RAM or 4 RAM Chips etc. ALWAYS THE SAME CRAP.

I DON'T KNOW it's just STUPID.

Thhink it makes no sense soldering back in the RAM Chips when it does not work anyways. Nobody knows anything normally you have Problem and get a list of this this this to check and what Fails most often but seems in MSX it's working or shit - no repair Information is available or anything. It's bad for the future of this machine when nobody can care about the original machines. On C64 there are lists of what chip makes what symptom and how often it Fails etc. and here is nothing. No Information. I mean Philips was a Major brand and I guess it is wide spreaded so why is it possible that someone Comes up here and nobody ever saw what I am talking about?

Frustrating. Really. Should have saved the time and threw it. At least I have some replacement RAMs for my Commodore16 now LOL. No I mean I dont know. You do hours of repair and Thing and nothing works ist not a nice Feeling okay. Just angry.

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