Yamaha UPA-01 Playcard card reader alternative

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By Manuel

Ascended (17296)

Manuel's picture

13-01-2021, 16:38

ah, that explains.

Emulators emulate a graphical screen, so all visual elements are simply emulated pixels as output by the video chip of the MSX.

I guess it would be possible to hack something that all text printed on the text screen modes of the MSX get output on standard out... That could be done by hooking into the BIOS routine that prints text. But I'm not sure that will help enough.

By NYYRIKKI

Enlighted (5667)

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13-01-2021, 23:47

jaybird110127:
There is suitable MSX emulator for you too called BlueMSX nano. It is quite limited and runs only MSX1 programs, but since MSX2 was all about graphics improvements, it would make quite little sense to support it in pure text only emulator. The emulator is available for MS-DOS, Windows and Linux.

Please click here to enter Sourceforge project page.

By jaybird110127

Supporter (7)

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15-01-2021, 14:16

Thanks. However, given the description, it indicates it emulates enough hardware to run BASIC. Does this emulate sound? If not, the UPA-01 would be pretty useless even if I could somehow get the playcard data to it. Thanks.

By gw0udm

Supporter (8)

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15-01-2021, 21:14

Wow - thanks for all the info!

I'll definitely check out that utility, I'd not come across that before and looks of great interest. All my MSX and other stuff is put away at the moment but I'm trying to find some space to get it all out again. My guess is that I can just pipe the audio straight into the UPA although it may be that there is some logic and the UPA is expecting a square wave.

I'll look into all of this and report back on progress.

By st1mpy

Hero (604)

st1mpy's picture

15-01-2021, 21:52

By NYYRIKKI

Enlighted (5667)

NYYRIKKI's picture

16-01-2021, 10:59

jaybird110127 wrote:

Thanks. However, given the description, it indicates it emulates enough hardware to run BASIC. Does this emulate sound? If not, the UPA-01 would be pretty useless even if I could somehow get the playcard data to it. Thanks.

Ah, indeed... This is probably too limited then.
I investigated this a bit and it seems there is a way how you can use openMSX:
In Windows open command prompt and copy/paste this next line to it:
echo text_echo > %userprofile%\Documents\openMSX\share\scripts\myscript.tcl
Now when you start openMSX all text from MSX will be send to console window where you started the openMSX. In case you use Catapult, the texts will be sent to "Status Info" tab on Catapult GUI. This way you should be able to use at least MSX-BASIC and MSX-DOS.

Unfortunately usage of openMSX is not very easy even for people with perfect vision, but once you have machine specific system ROMs downloaded you can ie. start Spectravideo MSX1 with command:
openmsx -machine Spectravideo_SVI-728
By default openMSX starts with opensource C-BIOS that will not work with this trick, but with real MSX configurations you should be fine. There is packet floating on internet that includes all possible ROMs that you will ever need, but unfortunately I can't link to it here.

By gw0udm

Supporter (8)

gw0udm's picture

17-01-2021, 15:26

Good spot! Unfortunately I was too late... by the time I saw your message it had sold. Seemed pretty cheap too really.

If anyone does know of one for sale I would be very interested

James

By jaybird110127

Supporter (7)

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19-01-2021, 17:15

This doesn't have anything to do with the UPA-01, but if anyone owns a Yamaha PCS-30 Playcard keyboard, this keyboard, according to Warranty Void, seems to have a Z80 processor and a separate ROM, so someone might be able to use that information to reverse engineer the Playcard data format. I do know that if a playcard is playing, if you swipe another card, the whole keyboard locks up while the card is being read, nothing works until the read is either successful or the keyboard doesn't like something about the read, which leads me to believe the main CPU is reading/decoding the playcard data, rather than a separate chip. Just my $0.02 worth.

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