Gamebank MSX Dumper V2 the PC MSX cartridge interface

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By Takamichi

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17-07-2020, 11:41

Amazon Developer website
The description of this recently released product says it dumps MSX cartridge to PC via USB, and enables the emulators to play the cartridge realtime.
It looks very similar to Game Reader though fewer PCB parts. Anyone tried?

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By gdx

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17-07-2020, 12:21

There is a few info here:
https://www.msx.org/wiki/Tengu_MSX_Dumper

Interest seems very limited.

By Takamichi

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18-07-2020, 03:33

While a post from the developer's website forum says anything >32KB can't be dumped, another buyer told me he dumped 512KB MG2. I read the forum again and noticed there was a firmware update to dump megaroms.

By gdx

Prophet (3684)

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18-07-2020, 15:03

A simple slot extender with only a few switches and resistors on slot select signals is enough to copy any ROM faster. This costs less than 20 euro to make.

A device compatible Game Reader for USB 3 would have been much more interesting.

By Sebbeug

Champion (274)

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18-07-2020, 17:17

You're right GDX but this dumper is made for Windows, not a simply slot extender with interrupt. Wink

By Takamichi

Champion (369)

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20-07-2020, 15:09

gdx wrote:

A simple slot extender with only a few switches and resistors on slot select signals is enough to copy any ROM faster. This costs less than 20 euro to make.

A device compatible Game Reader for USB 3 would have been much more interesting.

1) You need a 200+ euro MSX beside the 20 euro expander. 2) If you have 1), the expander isn't necessary. And you compared apple to orange, if you get what I mean. Be sensible.

I talked with my friend who bought the MSX Dumper. Nevertheless, its cartridge sucking capability is very limited, at least for now. PAC failed. And no emu has been able to play the cartridge realtime. He estimates MSX PLAYer that comes with MSX Magazine Revival Vol. 2 that supports Game Reader * might * run the MSX Dumper, but MSX PLAYer is too outdated to install on modern Windows so he can't test. I better get the MSX Dumper myself.

By gdx

Prophet (3684)

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20-07-2020, 16:38

Most MSX users have already a MSX. Otherwise the Game Player can work on Windows 10 using VirtualBox with XP and blueMSX installed. These 2 solutions allow you to copy any ROMs.
MSX Dumper might be interesting later on, but not now.

By psxdev

Resident (38)

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21-07-2020, 01:33

Well i can show dumper v2 on PlayStation 4 with my bluensx port msxorbis and Metal Gear 2 Solid Snake

https://twitter.com/psxdev/status/1285294599376908288?s=19

https://twitter.com/psxdev/status/1285277726950203392?s=19

Device is based on smt32, the rom is dumped and it is available on a mass storage device with MSX.ROM file name

Main problem with gamereader is hard to find, it is very old and expensive in second hand market. I released sources to manage gamereader with libusb to try give a new life to it but how many can be on good condition? Litlle units were made in ascii version and sunrise version. Do you know if original source from sunrise is available?

Our msx machines have more than 30 years now. A full open solution would be nice to have for preservation purposes and to give support to different platforms and emulators

By gdx

Prophet (3684)

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21-07-2020, 10:09

I just know that Game Reader is based on the H8S/2215 (Renesas).
https://pdf1.alldatasheet.jp/datasheet-pdf/view/395930/RENES...
The operation seems similar. It's a shame because USB2 is too slow for this kind of device.

By Takamichi

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26-07-2020, 08:00

I got the MSX Dumper. Pics and screenshots Its firmware was already updated. In case yours isn't, download the latest one from here.
It's small and light. W88D54H20 mm, 34 grams. Be careful not to harm your hand with the the pins opposite to the slot.
As soon as you plug the dumper to the PC, it's recognized as a USB memory and a folder opens accordingly.
There are 2 ways of dumping;
1. Automatic. If the dumper knows your cartridge, "msx.rom" appears in the folder instantly.Otherwise msx.rom doesn't appear. Note msx.rom appears even without the cartridge and it's full of FFs in that case.
Hot-swapping the cartridge does NOT automatically overwrite the msx.rom. You have to unplug then plug the USB to redetect.
2. Manual. Download the Multidumper Client here. Execute it directly, it's not an installer. Choose MSX button. MMC TYPE is mapper and the choices are: standard (no mapper), msx-dos 2, konami5 with SCC, konami4 without SCC, Ascii/8kb, Ascii/16kb, Game Master 2 with SRAM, Ascii/8kb with 8kb SRAM, and Ascii/16kb with 2kb SRAM.
ROM SIZEs are 8/16/32/64/128/256/512/1024 Kbytes. Pushing Info button displays the cartridge information like this sets the values the dumper recommends if it knows the cartridge. Otherwise, it says Can not auto detect cartridge information. Push Dump and save the rom, sucking takes longer than auto dumping. Flash, Read SRAM and Write SRAM buttons don't do anything, not that you can dump SRAM contents with them... :(

I tested Pasocalc (thank you @sebbeug), Senjyo, Hydlide 3, Metal Gear 2, Game Master 2 and FM-PAC. Results;
Pasocalc 16 KB Auto; unrecognized and fails Multidumper; success
Senjyo 16 KB* Auto; success
Hydlide 3 512 KB Auto; success
Metal Gear 2 512 KB Auto; success
Game Master 2 64 KB Auto; rom is dumped but SRAM content isn't
FM-PAC 64 KB Auto; fails with msx.rom filled with FFs and 00s Multidumper; konami5 with scc, Ascii/8kb with 8kb SRAM and Ascii 16kb with 2kb SRAM MMC type almost succeed but fail
* Senjyo has same 16 KB rom in all 0000/4000/8000/C000H pages.
Pasocalc is very rare. I estimated the dumper doesn't know modern homebrew cartridges and tried Yokai No Atsuki Tatakai. Bingo, the dumper didn't know one. Knit Designer of course failed, it failed with real MSX ;)

The behavior suggests the dumper looks into a "database" to auto dump, which means it can't auto dump something never dumped before therefore it's not suitable for someone who didn't know msx but obtained a rare cartridge. I also wish for more mapper types. I hope all these info opens your insight.

By Takamichi

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07-08-2020, 16:30

Since the August 3 update MSX Dumper supports;
Mapper types: standard (no mapper), msx-dos 2, konami5 with SCC, konami4 without SCC, Ascii/8kb, Ascii/16kb, Game Master 2 with SRAM, Ascii/8kb with 8kb SRAM, Ascii/16kb with SRAM, R-type, Konami mah-jong 2, Panasonic fm-pac, Super Load Runner, Konami Synthesizer, Cross Blaim, Disk ROM (Philips/Sony)M, Korean 80-in-1, Korean 126-in-1
Rom sizes: 8 Kbytes, 16 Kbytes, 32 Kbytes, 64 Kbytes, 128 Kbytes, 256 Kbytes, 512 Kbytes, 1024 Kbytes, 2048 Kbytes
* "Super Load Runner" seems to be Super Lode Runner.
FM-PAC was successful this time. If MSX Dumper can really dump 2048KB cartridges and infamous Cross Blaim it is very practical. If you are lucky enough to own the Konami Synthesizer and the MSX Dumper, please try ._,

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