A seriously confused MSX newcomer asking for help

By Captain Past

Rookie (18)

Captain Past's picture

16-02-2016, 13:16

Hey guys,
my name is Jan. I'm a big fan of 8bit gaming. Last year I finally got myself a Philips VG 8235/02. I don't really like playing games on emulators, so I really wanted a real MSX computer. But since the MSX world is a little more complicated compared to other 8bit computers there is still a lot that I don't understand, even though I already annoyed the hell out of Repro Factory's Eric, Kai Magazine's Oscar and the guy who sold me a 720k disk drive and disk rom on ebay with all kinds of questions Big smile
So far I've treated myself with a MegaRAM 512k, an FM Blaster, an FM Paq, a Konami game cart for SCC sound and bought a few homebrew games (love homebrew). Now that my wallet is empty Tongue I thought I had everything to enjoy MSX games in the best quality (besides MSX2+ and Turbo-R stuff). MSX1 games seem to pretty much all work. I use ExecROM a lot to load games from disk. I do have some trouble with some MSX2 games though.
The first thing I wanted to ask is about the build in RAM of the Philips VG 8235/02. I thought it has 128k RAM and 128k VRAM, but running testram I found out I was wrong. It has only 64k. Even though all information I checked on several websites state it has 128k RAM and it says 256k RAM on the computer itself (where are the missing 64k??) it only has 64k? I don't get it. But it explains why some (Moonsound) games crash.
Is it possible to expand the RAM internally to 128k?
The other problem that I have is that I can't play some games that start from Basic. With games that work fine on an emulator I get error messages like 'direct statement in file' when booting on the real machine, and I can't load binary files with 'bload"game.bin",r' either. Do I need a newer Basic ROM?
I'm sure I will have more questions, but these two are the most important right now. Thanks!

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By Pencioner

Paladin (931)

Pencioner's picture

16-02-2016, 13:51

May happen that your computer have some IC broken (either memory IC or the mapper IC) and that's why you have less RAM

By Manuel

Ascended (15686)

Manuel's picture

16-02-2016, 14:13

1. It is supposed to have 128kB RAM, but there was quite a number of 8235 with a production issue which made the mapper not work correctly, see the last page of http://msx.hansotten.com/uploads/msxdocs/vg8235sm00.pdf

Quote:

Easy to fix by placing a 1 nF capacitor between pin 7-U23 and 8-23 (GND).

2. Nothing wrong with your basic ROM. looks like something went wrong when transferring the file or so. Please describe in detail what you tried.

By Captain Past

Rookie (18)

Captain Past's picture

16-02-2016, 15:58

Manuel wrote:

1. It is supposed to have 128kB RAM, but there was quite a number of 8235 with a production issue which made the mapper not work correctly, see the last page of http://msx.hansotten.com/uploads/msxdocs/vg8235sm00.pdf

Quote:

Easy to fix by placing a 1 nF capacitor between pin 7-U23 and 8-23 (GND).

That was indead an easy fix. Testram still says I have 64k Base RAM, but the games seem to be working now. Will do some more testing.

Manuel wrote:

2. Nothing wrong with your basic ROM. looks like something went wrong when transferring the file or so. Please describe in detail what you tried.

I need to check for details. Generally speaking I just download disk images and copy them onto a MSX formatted disk with Disk-Manager on my Windows PC. I know Aleste is one of the games that doesn't load. The Autoexec.bas seems to try to run loader.bin the bload command (it's not in english).

By Meits

Scribe (5484)

Meits's picture

16-02-2016, 16:28

Aleste 1 disk version requires 256kB of RAM. You don't have that Wink

By Jipe

Paragon (1366)

Jipe's picture

16-02-2016, 17:36

TestRam say always 64K Base RAM with 128k and upper
look at Mapper for the plain memory
8235/02 is a QWERTZ Keyboard 128K RAM and 128 VRAM , Philips added RAM +VRAM on description
the FDD is A 360K and it is the only bad way for majority of MSX DSK required 720K

By Captain Past

Rookie (18)

Captain Past's picture

16-02-2016, 20:15

Meits wrote:

Aleste 1 disk version requires 256kB of RAM. You don't have that Wink

Ooooh, that explains that Wink

Thanks for your answers, guys. I will be back with more soon Cool

By l_oliveira

Hero (526)

l_oliveira's picture

21-02-2016, 14:40

How about use the .ROM file of ALESTE with the MEGA RAM thing you bought?

MEGA RAM is a MEGA ROM emulator, like a Super Nintendo "Super Magicom", a cartridge copying device.

By Captain Past

Rookie (18)

Captain Past's picture

22-02-2016, 08:37

Yes, I have the MegaRAM. I just didn't realize Aleste was originally released on cartridge since Aleste 2 and Aleste Gaiden are disk games.
Talking about the MegaRAM - is there a way of getting Goonies r good enough and Lotus F3 to play sound on a SCC cart in Slot 2 when loaded into a MegaRAM? These games can't be purchased anymore, right? (was Lotus F3 even availlable as cart?)? Would it be possible to patch these games to play SCC sound on different configurations? And if it's possible, who do I have to bribe to do that? Tongue

By Daemos

Paragon (1670)

Daemos's picture

22-02-2016, 12:37

You have not been introduced to the megaflashrom SCC + SD yet?

It will cost you some but it will be the ultimate relief. No more fiddling around with RAM this RAM that SCC here SCC there.

By Captain Past

Rookie (18)

Captain Past's picture

22-02-2016, 13:25

The Megaflashrom SCC + SD is cool for sure. But a do like using disks (and carts) for computer oldies. Having a physical medium to load each game is kind of part of the experience for me. For SCC sound it's only those two games that don't work for me. So I thought I'd ask if it's possible to patch them.