Cheap FDD emulator in Philips NMS8245 MSX2

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By CX5Mer

Champion (322)

CX5Mer's picture

09-02-2017, 13:56

I forgot all about this! I've just found this thread again after searching Google to see if it could be done.

I must admit I have been using one of these Gotek devices with my Amiga A1200. The Amiga is nothing to do with the C64, except that Commodore just bought the company. Of course, that version has had special firmware installed. What's the latest news on using Gotek with MSX computers?

I now own a Philips VG-8235, as well as two Yamaha CX5M computers, although I'm still waiting for one of the two CX5Ms to arrive. I don't know if it's fully working because it comes without a PSU. I bought the VG-8235 just over two years ago from eBay Netherlands and tried to copy DSK images onto floppy disks from USB floppy drive, as well as a PC from the year 2000 AD, but neither of these methods worked. I managed to copy some text files from the PC hard drive onto floppies in its internal floppy drive which could then be read on the VG-8235 and the MSX-DOS command TYPE was able to display them, but that was all. Later on, that PC broke down after I replaced the CMOS battery, reset the BIOS, reinstalled Windows, then went to bed. After a good night's sleep, I tried turning it on three times, which made three capacitors blow out, causing the circuit breaker in my flat to turn all the electricity off each time. One of you might be able to guess why this happened, but I'm afraid I don't know. One theory is that an insect crawled into the tower during the night, after I left the case open instead of screwing the side back on.

At MSX 2017 in Nijmegen, I had a conversation with Ray of MVM, because it was an MVM member on eBay who I bought it from. I told him more or less that I'd never managed to copy and run any DSK images on it. He said he thought the solution was to buy a MegaflashROM SCC, as well as to use MSX Disk Manager. Unfortunately, I don't think I can afford a MegaflashROM SCC. I've just checked that the cheapest version is €99 plus 5% if paid for using Paypal. I've got other expenses, such as travelling to various cities looking for a new place to live. Perhaps someone has a second hand one they'd like to sell me. AFAIK I was using MSX Disk Manager when I tried to do these DSK file transfers anyway.

I hope someone on here can tell me more. In the near future I hope to save some music I'm going to compose on a CX5M onto a DSK or IMG file, as well as run some more software on my VG-8235. I'd also need a firmware upgrade for one of my CX5M computers, as well as the later versions of the Yamaha software.

One of the main problems with this Gotek device now seems to be getting it to read 720K DSK files. All of these Gotek devices on eBay are for 1.44Mb files. How do I overcome that?

By Wolverine_nl

Paragon (1159)

Wolverine_nl's picture

09-02-2017, 15:15

Here is a cheaper alternative for the Megaflashrom SCC+SD. it does not have SCC though, but it has 512k.
or for a floppy emulator with sd cards check here

By marcoo

Expert (110)

marcoo's picture

09-02-2017, 19:47

there are 720 kb versions of the gotek drive, only more expensive then the 1.44 version (€32)
I have one in a NMS 8250 but doesnt work great .
because you have to load a image file (you must rename every *.DSK file into a *.IMG) in the gotek's memory to play it.
after a resetting your computer it loads the image but the image stays in the memory of the gotek,
so you never lose the *.img file after reset and every time it start over and over until you load a new *.img file
Its not like the AMIGA version (I own that too) because that loads the ADF file directly from the stick
Maybe someone can write that kind of firmware from the gotek for the MSX

second your VG 8235 has a single sided floppy rom so the gotek 720kb version won't work with it unless you change the diskrom from your 8235 to double sided
so I think a megaflashrom or the sd-512 is a better choice for you

By CX5Mer

Champion (322)

CX5Mer's picture

10-02-2017, 03:01

Wolverine_nl wrote:

Here is a cheaper alternative for the Megaflashrom SCC+SD. it does not have SCC though, but it has 512k.
or for a floppy emulator with sd cards check here

That cheaper alternative isn't all that much cheaper at €69.99. What exactly does SCC mean? I either never knew or have forgotten. The floppy emulators by Lotharek all seem too expensive for me.

By CX5Mer

Champion (322)

CX5Mer's picture

10-02-2017, 03:21

marcoo wrote:

there are 720 kb versions of the gotek drive, only more expensive then the 1.44 version (€32)
I have one in a NMS 8250 but doesnt work great .
because you have to load a image file (you must rename every *.DSK file into a *.IMG) in the gotek's memory to play it.
after a resetting your computer it loads the image but the image stays in the memory of the gotek,
so you never lose the *.img file after reset and every time it start over and over until you load a new *.img file
Its not like the AMIGA version (I own that too) because that loads the ADF file directly from the stick
Maybe someone can write that kind of firmware from the gotek for the MSX

second your VG 8235 has a single sided floppy rom so the gotek 720kb version won't work with it unless you change the diskrom from your 8235 to double sided
so I think a megaflashrom or the sd-512 is a better choice for you

OK, so where are these 720K Gotek devices? I can't see any. Do you mean they cost €32? That's OK. My VG-8235 has had some upgrades made to it before I bought it from an MVM member on eBay. I'm not sure how much RAM it has. The disk drive is a replacement, and I'm sure it's been reading 720K disks, so that means the disk ROM must also have been replaced. Will I be able to save onto disk image files with this device, as well as just loading them?

I've just found the CF-640 http://www.8bits4ever.net/product-page/a541364a-cd34-8e83-1f... which seems to provide floppy disk emulation on a CF card. That's all I need. Can I just plug this into my VG-8235 without needing anything else to go with it?

By CX5Mer

Champion (322)

CX5Mer's picture

22-02-2017, 15:53

Still waiting for any advice on my last message. I haven't run all that much software on my VG-8235 since getting it 26 months ago. There's just the software that came with it (several games, MSX-DOS, Philips Video Graphics) whatever I've typed in and an Assembler I actually managed to download and copy, but that's all. I wonder if the CF-640 would also work on my two CX5M computers? I have no cartridge adapter for the rear edge connectors, so I'd like to know what I can do about that.

By Wolverine_nl

Paragon (1159)

Wolverine_nl's picture

22-02-2017, 16:49

CX5Mer wrote:
Wolverine_nl wrote:

Here is a cheaper alternative for the Megaflashrom SCC+SD. it does not have SCC though, but it has 512k.
or for a floppy emulator with sd cards check here

That cheaper alternative isn't all that much cheaper at €69.99. What exactly does SCC mean? I either never knew or have forgotten. The floppy emulators by Lotharek all seem too expensive for me.

The cheapest Mgeaflashrom SCC with 1 SD slot is € 99,- it is about € 30,- cheaper, it is not like 2 euro's cheaper. oO
SCC is the soundchip that Konami uses in some games like Nemesis 2 etc.
Otherwise you might consider a Compact flashcard cartridge it is 12 euro's cheaper than the SD cartridge.

By Wolverine_nl

Paragon (1159)

Wolverine_nl's picture

22-02-2017, 16:56

CX5Mer wrote:

Still waiting for any advice on my last message. I haven't run all that much software on my VG-8235 since getting it 26 months ago. There's just the software that came with it (several games, MSX-DOS, Philips Video Graphics) whatever I've typed in and an Assembler I actually managed to download and copy, but that's all. I wonder if the CF-640 would also work on my two CX5M computers? I have no cartridge adapter for the rear edge connectors, so I'd like to know what I can do about that.

Ah, you already checked that cartridge, missed that Wink
That cartridge uses or MSX-DOS2 or Nextor, I remember it already being pre-installed in the cartridges flashrom.
On MSX 1 you need extra memory to run MSXDOS2 or nextor, so it probably will go into MSXDOS1 (please correct me if i am not 100% correct), that is a universal thing with DOS2 and higher.
So your CX5M would run with it, but only in MSXDOS1 mode, so you can use the CF card, but with limitations that go along with DOS1.
This is the reason why the Megaflashrom has the option for 512k RAM extra, to run DOS2 and higher on MSX1 machines.

By Manuel

Ascended (18233)

Manuel's picture

22-02-2017, 22:16

A standard CX5M only has 32kB so it cannot run MSX-DOS at all.

By CX5Mer

Champion (322)

CX5Mer's picture

22-02-2017, 23:28

Manuel wrote:

A standard CX5M only has 32kB so it cannot run MSX-DOS at all.

I know the CX5M can't run MSX-DOS without extra RAM. Does this extra RAM have to be on the motherboard, or could it be in one of these cartridges mentioned above? Could they also store and run some Yamaha cartridge software such as FM Music Composer or FM Voicing Program, as well as save the data from that software onto the cartridge, SD card, CF card?

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