Carnivore2 : First impressions and bugs...

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By Grauw

Enlighted (7794)

Grauw's picture

13-07-2018, 13:37

Type “memory test” or “ram test” in the search box at the top of this page Wink.

By Alexey

Guardian (1878)

Alexey's picture

26-08-2018, 18:33

We made an effort to investigate why on some MSX machines the Carnivore2's boot block doesn't start immediately after power on and requires a soft reset to show. On some other MSXs the cartridge doesn't enable FMPAC, RAM or/and IDE devices when you press ESC in the boot block after power on. On all those machines a reset with a button or with a "defusr=0" call solves the problem, but so far it was unclear why this problem occurs.

We possibly found the reason. It appears that a few MSX machines have a very short period of time after power on and reset signal going high (the machine is ready to boot). For example on FS-A1 MK2 this time is around 100ms, while on most of other MSXs this takes more than 200ms. The Carnivore2 cartridge also needs some time to upload the firmware into the Altera chip from the EPCS4 device and to fully initialize. This takes roughly 190ms. So on some machines the full functinality of the Carnivore2 after power on is hard to achieve with the current board design and firmware.

We tried to install a faster EPCS4 chip onto the board, but we only gained 30-40ms with that - not enough. And we got some firmware instability issues too. So we decided to abandon this approach and try to make the fix in the firmware. As we can't control the reset signal from the cartridge slot, we are trying to make the cartridge initialize faster. I hope that at some point we will be able to solve this issue...

By Grauw

Enlighted (7794)

Grauw's picture

26-08-2018, 19:26

The MegaFlashROM SCC+ SD has a similar “issue”, in that on the turboR the RAM count on the boot screen doesn’t reflect the correct total memory amount on a hard reset. However it does initialise in time for DOS2 to recognise it, and after a soft reset the count is also correct.

By Alexey

Guardian (1878)

Alexey's picture

23-09-2018, 14:17

Yet another change in boot block, that was wished by the community:

https://www.msx.org/forum/msx-talk/hardware/carnivore2-annou...

Please post your wishes here, we will try to get them fulfilled if it's technically possible. :)

By MiCv2

Rookie (31)

MiCv2's picture

24-09-2018, 13:51

Hello Alexey,

hm, pseudo stereo not possible for SCC? Wink

Could in the future RBSC develop a FPGA- module that all MSX2 computers
Makes MSX2 + compatible? Cool

MiC

By MiCv2

Rookie (31)

MiCv2's picture

24-09-2018, 16:48

..have a question

I found SD-Snatcher (English, 3 disks). But who I start the game,
the error message "Insert Sound Cartridge" comes.
Is there a version with SCC sound support?

MiC

By Alexey

Guardian (1878)

Alexey's picture

24-09-2018, 18:39

Unfortunately we don't have free resources in Altera chip for pseudo stereo. Hardware-wise we reached the limit. We barely made the fix for the incomplete initialization of the cartridge on some MSX computers. I doubt that we can add anything complex into the firmware without sacrificing existing features.

No, we are not planning to create a module for upgrading MSX2 into MSX2+. Such project was being developed by another MSX developer, but there were some licensing issues, so the project was canceled and transformed into something else.

With SD Snatcher you need to use SCC+ mode, if I remember correctly. Because of the design limitations Carnivore can either run the game or work as SCC+ cartridge. So if you have 2 Carnivore cartridges, you should be able to run both game and sound. With one cartridge you can only run the game if you configure Carnivore as SCC+ and run the game from another media (floppy, flash cartridge, etc.). I've never done that myself, but I heard a few people found the way to run that game with proper sound.

By MiCv2

Rookie (31)

MiCv2's picture

24-09-2018, 18:57

Everything very interesting, thank you Alexey Cool

MiC

By MiCv2

Rookie (31)

MiCv2's picture

24-10-2018, 13:51

Hello Alexey,
is it possible to sort the menu entries alphabetically?
So my games A-Z..

MiC

By Alexey

Guardian (1878)

Alexey's picture

24-10-2018, 14:54

It may be quite problematic to do it on-the-fly in the boot block due to lack of RAM. But it may be possible with the C2Man utilities. I'll see what I can do.

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