SD512 - a short review

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By meckert

Rookie (18)

meckert's picture

13-12-2016, 20:39

Hi, check out a short review of SD512 from 8bits4ever on my blog :

http://tfardyretro.blogspot.com/2016/12/sd512-sd-cartd-reader-and-memory.html

Maybe you have some suggestions of getting some more roms to work ? :)

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By mfeingol

Champion (266)

mfeingol's picture

14-12-2016, 00:23

Without a flash rom cartridge of some sort, running megaroms (128kB or higher) is going to be a crapshoot. Sofarun uses loadrom, which runs smaller roms pretty well but is hit and miss with megaroms.

That said, most of those roms are also avaible in "cracked" form as dsk files. And most of those dsk files will work fine using sofarun. Some of course won't. If you read the sri.com readme at http://lhalter.free.fr/mgr/sofarunit.html you'll see some hints on what might work and what won't.

So in short, you should be able to run most things with an SD-512, but you may need to find alternate versions of the specific thing you want to run.

By Louthrax

Prophet (2071)

Louthrax's picture

14-12-2016, 01:03

mfeingol wrote:

That said, most of those roms are also avaible in "cracked" form as dsk files. And most of those dsk files will work fine using sofarun. Some of course won't. If you read the sri.com readme at http://lhalter.free.fr/mgr/sofarunit.html you'll see some hints on what might work and what won't.

Ah crap, my website is badly designed, you don't see the links on the left when a URL directs to a sub-menu, need to check my HTML code.... (must say I really prefer z80 & C languages, at least you know how that's supposed to work !).

Anyway, here's a working link to the SofaRunIt usage page.

I also definitively recommend a flash-device to run ROMs (that can be a nice Christmas present to yourself !).

By Piter Punk

Master (201)

Piter Punk's picture

14-12-2016, 13:42

meckert wrote:

Maybe you have some suggestions of getting some more roms to work ? Smile

It looks a lot like a SD-Mapper. If this is the case, change the memory type switch to "MegaRAM" and use ExecROM to load the ROMs. It works with almost all ROMs unmodified and, for the some that eventually didn't work, you can search for XPS files that fixes the ROM at loading time for you.

Be aware that, changing the 512KB RAM from Memory Mapper to MegaRAM, if your MSX have less than 128KB Memory Mapper you won't be able to load MSXDOS2 or Nextor.

In this case, you will need to boot in MSXDOS1, which doesn't have support for subdirectories. So you need to put all the ROM files and the ExecROM at root of your directory tree.

By meckert

Rookie (18)

meckert's picture

14-12-2016, 19:26

Regarding exec rom - should I use any arguments, or just use for example "execrom.com file.rom" ?

mfeingol - any links for this games in dsk ?

By tvalenca

Paladin (728)

tvalenca's picture

14-12-2016, 19:47

Piter Punk wrote:
meckert wrote:

Maybe you have some suggestions of getting some more roms to work ? Smile

It looks a lot like a SD-Mapper. If this is the case, change the memory type switch to "MegaRAM" and use ExecROM to load the ROMs. It works with almost all ROMs unmodified and, for the some that eventually didn't work, you can search for XPS files that fixes the ROM at loading time for you.

Be aware that, changing the 512KB RAM from Memory Mapper to MegaRAM, if your MSX have less than 128KB Memory Mapper you won't be able to load MSXDOS2 or Nextor.

In this case, you will need to boot in MSXDOS1, which doesn't have support for subdirectories. So you need to put all the ROM files and the ExecROM at root of your directory tree.

Piter,
This interface born as a SD-Mapper clone. The guys @ 8bit4ever asked Fabio Belavenuto about this project and he kindly provided all the needed files. The only issue is that they did not respect the License (CERN Open Hardware) so they forgot to include Fabio's copyright (already fixed now) on earlier batches, and they altered the license when they released an improved version. (If you know him ask about this, he is the kind of person who tries to solve things without making any fuss)

This improved version, AFAIK, have both MegaRAM and Memory Mapper active at the same time (I don't know if there is a 256k+256k version or just the 512k+512k version) so it's a great improvement on user's point of view, but since it is based on Fabio's design it should maintain both original license and Fabio's name.

By meckert

Rookie (18)

meckert's picture

14-12-2016, 21:29

Piter Punk wrote:
meckert wrote:

Maybe you have some suggestions of getting some more roms to work ? Smile

It looks a lot like a SD-Mapper. If this is the case, change the memory type switch to "MegaRAM" and use ExecROM to load the ROMs. It works with almost all ROMs unmodified and, for the some that eventually didn't work, you can search for XPS files that fixes the ROM at loading time for you.

Well I tried doing that, and from the couple of roms I checked the ones that worked with exec rom, are generally the same that work with loadrom. The only one that worked in megaram mode and didn't work with mapper mode is MR. Ghost. I'm still unable to run Manbow 2 and Metal Gear 2 for example.

Also in Megaram mode I cannopt run dsk files wit sofarunit.

By Louthrax

Prophet (2071)

Louthrax's picture

14-12-2016, 22:29

There are patches for Metal Gear 2 that might help here: http://ips.tni.nl/rom/fixes-other/konami/fixes/

By tvalenca

Paladin (728)

tvalenca's picture

14-12-2016, 23:14

meckert wrote:
Piter Punk wrote:
meckert wrote:

Maybe you have some suggestions of getting some more roms to work ? Smile

It looks a lot like a SD-Mapper. If this is the case, change the memory type switch to "MegaRAM" and use ExecROM to load the ROMs. It works with almost all ROMs unmodified and, for the some that eventually didn't work, you can search for XPS files that fixes the ROM at loading time for you.

Well I tried doing that, and from the couple of roms I checked the ones that worked with exec rom, are generally the same that work with loadrom. The only one that worked in megaram mode and didn't work with mapper mode is MR. Ghost. I'm still unable to run Manbow 2 and Metal Gear 2 for example.

Also in Megaram mode I cannopt run dsk files wit sofarunit.

I'm not sure about Metal Gear 2, but for Manbow 2 you should use a MegaFlashROM, either the one manufactured by Manuel Pazos, or the one you take a Konami Cartridge apart remove the maskROM and install a 512kbit AMD FlashROM.

By mfeingol

Champion (266)

mfeingol's picture

15-12-2016, 00:41

Quote:

any links for this games in dsk ?

@meckert: not to condone piracy, etc., but if you can find a TOSEC DSK archive for MSX or MSX2, almost all mainstream software released on cartridge for the platform is available in DSK format. YMMV around how well it works, since none of it is in its original form.

Quote:

This improved version, AFAIK, have both MegaRAM and Memory Mapper active at the same time

Interesting! The sad thing is that I have the older version with a single switch, and that one doesn't appear to provide MegaRAM functionality. The switch just turns off the memory expansion. I guess I'll ask the 8bits4ever folks if there's a way, but presumably there isn't.

By Piter Punk

Master (201)

Piter Punk's picture

15-12-2016, 03:32

meckert wrote:

Well I tried doing that, and from the couple of roms I checked the ones that worked with exec rom, are generally the same that work with loadrom. The only one that worked in megaram mode and didn't work with mapper mode is MR. Ghost. I'm still unable to run Manbow 2 and Metal Gear 2 for example.

You can find the XPC patches to use ExecROM to run Metal Gear 2, this one is for portuguese/english version and this other one for the japanese version.

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