I'm looking for a Carnivore2 or Megaflashroom

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Por Meits

Scribe (6446)

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05-05-2021, 17:57

andallaco wrote:

Thanks for the reply, I was alarmed because I was told that the Carnivore2 has more problems than the cartridge shop MFR.

For me, and I guess for a lot, it's a bit subjective. If you're used to one, you could like the other (a bit) less.
I've had a MegaflashromSCC+SD2 from the first batch and had some trouble liking it in the beginning as I was used to Sunrise CF interface which was a bit more straight forward. But all the extras this MFR introduced made me accept it and learned to live with it.
Years later I got a Carnivore doing somewhat the same (in big lines) as the MFR but with a different philosophy. I'm used to flash and run a rom with opfxsd which turns the MFR into a "copy of the game cartridge/disk(s)". That's not how a C2 works. You flash a bunch of games to it which you can choose in the bootmenu. Personally I do no like this boot menu at all, but others love it. I got a rom collection from a friend's C2 which I flashed and the first thing that happened was that I bricked the C2. Might be me, might be the rom collection, might be C2, might be my C2. It took me a while to unbrick the thing. But the tone was set. I put it away and went on with my trusty MFR.
If my experience was normal, everybody would complain, so that's not the case. It's just that a lot of people prefer one over the other for several reasons.
Both are great cartridges which are important to the MSX scene. So pick any of them and learn how to work with it. There's loads of info in our forums and there are always people willing to help. The developers of both cartridges are active msx.org visitors so they'll find your questions and will help you, unless someone else was earlier Wink

Por bsittler

Master (245)

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05-05-2021, 18:13

I should also mention: you can configure C2 to bypass the menu by default and auto-start a configuration you choose, which makes it similar to MFR experience-wise. You use c2man instead of opfxsd to switch the flashed ROM (s) in this case. It's not the same experience but it's close. I had one machine where failing keyboard membrane made it impossible to access some of MFR config menu options and C2 used this way is a fine substitute.

Conversely with MFR you can get a quite usable menu experience, you can flash a whole list of ROMs and then easily pick your preferred one at boot time. It's not as flexible/powerful as the C2 menu but still quite handy

Por Pencioner

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05-05-2021, 18:33

Meits wrote:

I got a rom collection from a friend's C2 which I flashed and the first thing that happened was that I bricked the C2. Might be me, might be the rom collection, might be C2, might be my C2.

If you just flashed 8Mb image from other C2 you have overwritten the BIOS of your one with version from other cartridge which was probably different - BIOS version should match FPGA firmware version, if they don't - you know... I bricked once GR8NET similar way, flashed wrong BIOS and had to follow the whole complicated unbrick procedure

Por andallaco

Master (136)

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05-05-2021, 19:27

thanks bsittler for your experience, I was just looking for experience of someone who has used both! As already written, I like the Carnivore2 for the greater hardware features (Ram + FM Pack) to be used in my MSX2 Philips NMS8280, but I was worried about what other users wrote that the C2 has problems with some ROMs, games and software, so I don't do you find all this ?? thank you

Por bsittler

Master (245)

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05-05-2021, 19:56

Neither cartridge is currently compatible with 100% of ROM images or disk images but both are compatible with most software. As others mentioned, compatibility also tends to improve with frequent updates to the firmware. Also sometimes a ROM that can't work when flashed can still be run via the cartridge RAM using SofaROM which has impressively large compatibility and frequent updates of its own

For disk software it's a bit more complex, especially as many of the original softwares relied on copy protections and need patching, but this is even the case using physical floppies on vintage MSX computers — sometimes a copy protection only actually worked in some models/with certain drives, and otherwise even with original media gave spurious messages falsely implying it was unauthorized

Por andallaco

Master (136)

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05-05-2021, 20:16

ok, I did not know that the C2 does not function as the MFR which simulates the original ROM card .. How does the C2 work?

Por Briqunullus

Champion (408)

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05-05-2021, 20:50

The C2 has 8MB of flash rom that can hold multiple games at once. In the boot menu you can select which game you want to run.

Or, and that's the way I use it, there is also 720kB of pseudo mega ram. You can use Sofarun to browse your flash drive and load games into this ram and run them. Of course, when you reboot your MSX this ram is lost and you have to reload the game.

Por bsittler

Master (245)

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05-05-2021, 22:55

Once you choose a configuration from the menu, or if you use auto-start with a default configuration, C2 does indeed function like the original ROM cartridge, more or less the same as MFR does. Biggest difference is you can have multiple different ROM images and switch to a different one the next time without reflashing. In a way it's like the opfxsd option to build a multirom collection with a menu, just the MSX-DOS tools used to prepare it differ slightly and the C2 has additional features relating to audio, slot/sub-slot assignments, and autostart. It also lets the Nextor/MSX-DOS booting exist as a menu item, whereas with MFR you have to choose in advance with a key combo either to bypass flashed ROM and use Nextor/MSX-DOS or to use the flashed ROM/ROM collection+menu

Also neither C2 nor MFR are a completely accurate simulator for just "custom megarom", instead they both have additional features and complexity that greatly improve the compatibility and ease of use, and for example simulate or include some audio hardware otherwise found in specific cartridges (FM and SCC in C2, SCC in MFR) and supply flexible RAM.

If you need actual custom megarom with nothing else, but with less flexibility and a bit trickier to use, you might look at http://www.msxcalamar.com/catalog/index.php?id_product=33&controller=product which is an implementation of https://github.com/RBSC/MultiMapperCartridge and can pretend to be one of several common mapper configurations but has no Nextor, no SD slot, no RAM, and no audio chip or simulation thereof. To change the contents you need to power off the machine, remove and open the cartridge, reconfigure the jumpers, then run a special program to write new contents (so you'll want MSX-DOS another way for this, eg MFR or C2 in a separate slot), them repeat the process (power down, remove shell, reconfigure jumpers to match the mapper of the software you flashed, then reassemble) and you have a playable cartridge quite similar to the original hardware though without SCC audio. Multi mapper is also a straightforward solution when you need to run the s software from a sub-slot of an expanded slot and can't use a multi-function cartridge like C2 or MFR that itself expands a primary slot

However for ease of use and "one stop satisfaction" I think C2, MFR, or any OCM-based MSX is a far easier to use solution. Multi mapper is great for testing under-development homebrew if you're contemplating physical cartridge production later and just want to ensure the software works correctly "stand-alone"

Edit: edited to fix some typos, re-add accidentally deleted first paragraph, and fix a broken link. Apologies, was typing on the phone before and apparently did an awful job of it

Por Grauw

Ascended (10063)

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05-05-2021, 23:55

andallaco wrote:

ok, I did not know that the C2 does not function as the MFR which simulates the original ROM card .. How does the C2 work?

The C2 functions just like the MFR and simulates the original ROM cartridge mapper.

There are some differences in the exact implementations and user interface of the functionalities, but in the end they are similarly capable.

For the record: I own both, though I use the MFR most because I have it the longest and am used to it.

Por andallaco

Master (136)

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06-05-2021, 15:34

thank you all for the very helpful answers! before choosing i would like to understand better the management of files and roms in both cartridges. thank you

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