Need your opinion regarding GR8NET capabilities

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By Eugeny_Brychkov

Paladin (939)

Eugeny_Brychkov's picture

29-05-2015, 16:14

Hello friends, probably you saw video I published recently, but now I need your input. The device can operate in Konami memory mapper mode, and can run games like Vampire Killer and Kings Valley 2 (for example), but it is missing SCC. SCC in other slot does not work, thus if users choose to use GR8NET to play games which use SCC, SCC part of the sounds are missing.
In order to implement SCC in the board I will need to change CPLD to FPGA, and do some other hardware changes. It may substantially increase the cost of the parts.
Your opinion?

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By RetroTechie

Paragon (1420)

RetroTechie's picture

29-05-2015, 20:57

Haven't seen that video, but this is a cartridge we're talking about? If so, in terms of hardware the additional cost to implement SCC in it, should be pretty low. Low end FPGA's are like what, € 10~15 or so these days? Possibly you'd need some extra parts / IC's to deal with 3.3/5V issues, but those extra parts are the kind of things that cost pennies a piece.

So perhaps the only relevant question is whether you are willing to do such an SCC implementation (probably FPGA-based). In terms of "put in the work" - for whatever reason(s).

If the answer is no, the cost of parts is irrelevant.
If the answer is yes, the cost of parts is -mostly- irrelevant as well. Nishi

By Eugeny_Brychkov

Paladin (939)

Eugeny_Brychkov's picture

29-05-2015, 21:41

Here
I am willing to put my work, time and other stuff into something people will want to get and something adding value to them. The relevant question in which form people will want to get the device.
I am not going to make great device none will want. As well as mediocre device none will want too.
Anything else is irrelevant.

By Grauw

Enlighted (7132)

Grauw's picture

29-05-2015, 23:19

Nice job, looks “great”! Smile It’d be good to have a network card generally available again (I’d definitely like one). Built-in support for directly loading ROMs from the internet is an interesting feature. I think if the internet ROM loading feature is a primary selling point, then SCC support would probably be desirable.

Thinking about what I’d use that for, perhaps loading Synthesix ROMs directly off my Mac via WiFi? Seems handy for development. For that a built-in SCC would be handy (saves me a slot), but not essential. Can it be plugged into a slotexpander?

I can imagine someone making a nice selection UI to directly tap into a ROM collection made by someone else via the internet (e.g. imagine an MSXDev compo browser), it’d be convenient because you would not have to pre-load all the games on a flash card. If you would offer telnet-like I/O as a Basic device as well (like RS232 BIOS’s "COM:"), it’d be easy for people to make a loader program in Basic to fetch a CSV directory list via HTTP and show the choices in a menu.

I assume it can also be addressed easily from assembly and supports the Ethernet and TCP/IP UNAPI?

By Eugeny_Brychkov

Paladin (939)

Eugeny_Brychkov's picture

30-05-2015, 00:07

Grauw wrote:

I can imagine someone making a nice selection UI to directly tap into a ROM collection made by someone else via the internet (e.g. imagine an MSXDev compo browser)

I am thinking about writing very simple browser for directories presented through HTTP.

Grauw wrote:

Basic device as well

Planned, but at this time I only see read-only mode... not sure MSX will be able to store any data remotely without employing advanced protocols.

Grauw wrote:

it can also be addressed easily from assembly and supports the Ethernet and TCP/IP UNAPI

Is there any agreement on how it should look like for MSX?

By Grauw

Enlighted (7132)

Grauw's picture

30-05-2015, 01:06

Eugeny_Brychkov wrote:
Grauw wrote:

Basic device as well

Planned, but at this time I only see read-only mode... not sure MSX will be able to store any data remotely without employing advanced protocols.

I meant something like OPEN "NET:" AS #1 : PRINT #1,"GET / HTTP/1.0" : LINE INPUT #1,A$ : … Well, just an idea.

Eugeny_Brychkov wrote:
Grauw wrote:

it can also be addressed easily from assembly and supports the Ethernet and TCP/IP UNAPI

Is there any agreement on how it should look like for MSX?

See here, scroll down for the Ethernet and TCP/IP specifications, if you support that a bunch of tools will be available like internestor lite, hget, ftp, smb, twitter, etc.

By Eugeny_Brychkov

Paladin (939)

Eugeny_Brychkov's picture

30-05-2015, 01:31

Looked at Nestor's documents @sourceforge, understood nothing.
Why not just publish list of needed calls with defined inputs and outputs? Is there such standard list for me to implement?

By gdx

Paragon (2019)

gdx's picture

30-05-2015, 01:40

With a FPGA, you can integrate SCC, FM, SN76489 (#3F port) and many Rom Mappers support. Smile

By Eugeny_Brychkov

Paladin (939)

Eugeny_Brychkov's picture

30-05-2015, 01:48

I can, but is it worth/needed? Currently I have working prototype without SCC. Will you spend more as RetroTechnie said for SCC? Or even more for FM? What I do not want to do for sure is to make another OCM. For this purpose I already have GR8BUS master board - which has SCC, network, covox, mapped 32MB RAM implemented.
I am building network interface with feasible features for fun.

By gdx

Paragon (2019)

gdx's picture

30-05-2015, 02:32

The SCC is important for the function of Rom launching because the SCC chip must be in the same slot as the ROM.
The SCC needs a FPGA. The FM (and mostly the SN76489) is not indispensable but if the FPGA can emulate it, I think it is better to integrate it because it does not really increases the price and many MSX have only a single Slot.

By Piter Punk

Master (184)

Piter Punk's picture

30-05-2015, 03:28

Would be nice to have SCC. But I don't think it's a "need". All CIEL slot expanders support to "merge" two slots in one and have SCC sound (it's very common to do that with MegaRAM and a SCC game, so CIEL slot expanders have this feature). Probably this can be done with your network card too and the games will have SCC sound.

But, UNAPI support is a need. So we didn't end with many different network implementations. Developers could code for UNAPI and have network support in all interfaces (Obsonet, Denyonet, "GR8Net" (?)).

If you can spend more time polishing this network interface, I think it's better to support UNAPI than to have SCC integrated. If you have time to do both... do both. And, being sincere, I will buy at least two to have the features that you show on video, regardless if it have integrated SCC or UNAPI support.

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