MSX newbie looking for a storage solution for Spectravideo 728

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By tezza

Supporter (5)

tezza's picture

16-04-2014, 03:17

Hi,

This is a real newbie question. Forgive my ignorance, but I'm not familiar at all with the MSX scene.

I'm a computer collector who is currently looking for modern storage solutions for my varied range of models. One of the units is a Spectravideo 728. See:
http://www.classic-computers.org.nz/collection/spectravideo-...

At the moment I get software on this machine by loading cassette images through the soundcard. This works but is very slow. Basically what I want to do is to hook some kind of available-to-buy SD or CF device to this machine so I can run ROMS or disk images off the SD or CF card. Alternatively, plug such a device into the cartridge slot where the SD or CF card might contain ROMS so the machine thinks a cartridge is in there. I'd like to be able to plug the storage cards into a PC to copy images onto it for easy use on the Spectravideo. Something quite similar to the SD2IEC for the Commodore machine. Something like this:
http://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/2014-03-29-2sd21ec-...

I also have an HxC device which I used for my TRS-80
http://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/2014-04-06-HxC-flop...
...but perhaps could be used with a Spectravideo with extra hardware? I'm not sure.

Anyway, I have googled around a bit and looked at the resources on this website. Some things seem to exist but I'm not familiar enough with MSX lore to understand if they are really want I want.

I'd appreciate any tips, links or thoughts. Is there any device available which does what I've described above and would be suitable for the Spectravideo 728?

Many thanks!

tezza

P.S. I also have a Spectravideo 318 but it's not quite MSX is it. :)
http://www.classic-computers.org.nz/collection/spectravideo.htm

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By Maggoo

Paragon (1195)

Maggoo's picture

16-04-2014, 04:08

Hi Tezza,

You have a number of options but one of the most versatile is the MegaFlashROM SCC+ SD. It allows you to use a Micro SD card to transfer files to your MSX and offers other neat features like SCC sound chip, Memory Mapper and the ability to play .ROM files easily. It can be ordered at http://www.msxcartridgeshop.com/

Padial also has a few model of SD/MMC card readers. I did not get a chance to try this one on a MSX1 but I believe it should also work. http://msx.deneb.nl/

Another option is the Nowind interface. It allows you to connect your MSX to your PC through USB and use any disk image on your PC hard drive. Not sure what is the availability of this one. It can be ordered on the Sunrise website, but beware that they are not the most responsive and make sure you contact them before any order.

There are many others, including some DIY. You can find an overview of the existing options in the presentation we did for last year VCFSE at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8V8HHgPfbTc

Hope this helps.

PS: Really liked your youtube video on the SVI728

By tezza

Supporter (5)

tezza's picture

16-04-2014, 04:34

Hi Maggoo,

Thanks, that's really helpful. I thought the MegaFlashROM SCC+ SD might be an option although it could be overkill for what I want. Anyway, I will explore those links and digest what's there.

>PS: Really liked your youtube video on the SVI728
You're welcome. I like the design and would really like to use/show off the machine more. Having some kind of fast storage will certainly help with that.

I'm assuming these options won't work on the Spectravideo 318...or will they? Anyone know?

Cheers

Tez

By Maggoo

Paragon (1195)

Maggoo's picture

16-04-2014, 04:37

Nope, won't work on the 318. That one isn't MSX compatible and does not even use the same Cartridge slot. I'm not aware of any modern storage solution for the 318/328.

By SeaBirdDK

Rookie (29)

SeaBirdDK's picture

16-04-2014, 07:25

Another option is IDE controller for MSX.
http://tecnobytescc.blogspot.com/p/ide-mapper-512kb.html

By st1mpy

Champion (496)

st1mpy's picture

16-04-2014, 09:23

You might want to check whether the solution you choose is read only or capable of writing (saving files from msx).

By tezza

Supporter (5)

tezza's picture

16-04-2014, 12:05

Good point St1mpy. from what I've read the MegaFlashROM SCC+ SD seems to be read only, but a firmware update later MAY fix this. Writing from msx is not critical for me. I just want to load programs in the easiest way possible.

On that point the MegaFlashROM SCC+SD doesn't look that easy to use on a 64k MSX1 machine but that just might be my complete ignorance of how disk-based MXS machines operate. Some sort of learning curve is in order I think Smile

Tez

By Guillian

Prophet (3230)

Guillian's picture

16-04-2014, 12:52

Who says that MegaFlashROM SCC+ SD is read only? That's not true.
You can read and write files without problem and use it as massive storage device.

What you can't do is to flash a DSK and write in it.
But with Nextor 2.1 you can mount a DSK and read/write files in it.

Also, if you choose the 512K RAM model you can use folders, up to 4GB partitions and FAT16 file system.

By tezza

Supporter (5)

tezza's picture

16-04-2014, 23:13

Yes, sorry. That was my poor choice of words. I was referring to DSK images being read-only rather than the device itself. From what you've written it seems that you can read/write files to these images using Nextor 2.1 but not while you are playing a game (say if you wanted to save your place in a game).

Again, a newbie question as I consider whether 512 RAM is worth it. The folders and 4GB partitions I understand but what is the advantage over a FAT16 file system versus FAT12? Also, even with 512 RAM my Spectravideo would still be an MSX1 machine so I'll still have to operate it in that mode, yes?

By Guillian

Prophet (3230)

Guillian's picture

17-04-2014, 00:37

Yes, the 512K RAM will not convert your MSX1 in a MSX2.

In short:
- 128K RAM or more -> DOS2/Nextor, FAT16 (up to 4GB partitions), folders = easy use.
- 64K RAM -> DOS1, FAT12 (up to 16MB partitions), no folders = not so easy use since you need to mount/change partitions in order to access the whole SD card and all files are in the root directory.

By Wolverine_nl

Paragon (1025)

Wolverine_nl's picture

17-04-2014, 11:46

That would be an idea, an upgrade cartridge Smile Hannibal

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