BaDCaT WiFi modem for MSX

BaDCaT WiFi modem for MSX

by PAC on 14-07-2020, 16:24
Topic: Hardware

Andrés Ortiz is developing BaDCaT, a new WiFi modem to connect our MSX computers to the Internet. The main goal was to reduce Z80 CPU load as much as possible with the addition of external hardware in the same cartridge for TCP/IP processing. On the other hand to be able to work on MSX1 computers even with low RAM. All this process is carried out by an ESP8266 integrated circuit, specifically the ESP12 version with 4MB of flash memory.

The cartridge consists of an UART 16C550C which implements an RS232 port as interface between ESP12 and the MSX bus. It also provides an standard serial port to the MSX. In short, we could say that this cartridge features two working modes:

  1. MSX1: both the TCP/IP stack and telnet client run on the cartridge. The computer would only run a terminal program.
  2. MSX2 and higher: the TCP/IP stack runs on cartridge and telnet client on the MSX. To do this, the ducasp's telnet version has been modified in order to offer the same functionality with the WiFi modem and UNAPI interfaces. This telnet version is already available on ducasp's Github.

Technical specifications:

  • MSX1/MSX2 (and higher) compatible.
  • Serial port up to 115200 bps.
  • RTS/CTS flow control.
  • Fossil driver compatible (without any modification).
  • ESP12 modem based on zimodem, effective speed of 57600 bps.
  • ducasp's telnet compatible and with all its functionalities (fast ANSI decoding, files download...)
  • Possibility of running telnet client on the cartridge itself.
  • Upgradable firmware.

Relevant link: BaDCaT's website
Relevant link: video demonstration

Media browser (2)

  • BaDCaT WiFi modem for MSX
  • BaDCaT WiFi modem for MSX

Comments (16)

By x1pepe

Master (142)

x1pepe's picture

14-07-2020, 17:24

Very cool!
One for me!

By hamlet

Scribe (3234)

hamlet's picture

14-07-2020, 17:47

WiFi! Cool!

By Gloriou

Master (180)

Gloriou's picture

14-07-2020, 18:00

oh hoooooo
One for me as well Big smile

By Louthrax

Prophet (2282)

Louthrax's picture

14-07-2020, 19:25

I want one too !

I just would like to be sure that long file transfers (with FTP) show no corruption with the ESP12 chip ? That was a problem with previous interfaces using a WD5100 chip.

By ray2day

Hero (553)

ray2day's picture

14-07-2020, 23:39

Cool Cool one for me also please...

By GaliousXXI

Resident (38)

GaliousXXI's picture

15-07-2020, 10:51

Wooow! Very nice! One for me too! Smile

By o.geerdink

Hero (567)

o.geerdink's picture

15-07-2020, 11:08

yes me two

By Abi

Hero (598)

Abi's picture

15-07-2020, 12:11

Awesome! One for me too.????

By ducasp

Champion (371)

ducasp's picture

15-07-2020, 13:42

Louthrax wrote:

I want one too !

I just would like to be sure that long file transfers (with FTP) show no corruption with the ESP12 chip ? That was a problem with previous interfaces using a WD5100 chip.

Do not worry about that, SM-X built-in Wi-Fi is using ESP8266 in ESP-01 module form (1MB flash for the ESP8266 and exposes less io pins) and it works quite nice with large transfers, ESP-12 exposes extra IO pins of ESP8266 and has 4MB flash memory which allows for a more complex firmware and more features as you can have 1MB all alone just for firmware, no need to reserve part of 1MB for firmware update or file system to store data (i.e: TLS/SSL certificates)

ÀS SM-X has no trouble with large transfers, I see no reason for BadCat, which has a more advanced version of esp8266 module, to have issues with that Cool

By andresog

Supporter (13)

andresog's picture

15-07-2020, 18:27

Hi all!
Thank you for your interest in the BaDCaT wifi modem!
I am updating a web site with details on this and other projects related (but not only) to the MSX system.

Details will be released (asap) in my github ;)

More info:


Guardian (5889)

PAC's picture

15-07-2020, 21:19

Added to the news post. Wink

By norakomi

Paragon (1084)

norakomi's picture

16-07-2020, 08:30

This looks really cool !

I always had the idea to make a game the requires an internet connection.
Take for example rune master II.
Wouldn't it be great if people can play such a game together over the internet ?
Would this be possible using badcat ?
Are there already existing games that require an internet connection ?

By andresog

Supporter (13)

andresog's picture

21-07-2020, 19:34

BaDCaT is initially intended to connect to BBSs. However, it is possible to open streaming connections to other machines without external support. Moreover, it is upgradable Smile

By diogoeichert

Rookie (19)

diogoeichert's picture

02-10-2020, 18:49

Very cool, indeed! Cool

By ray2day

Hero (553)

ray2day's picture

04-10-2020, 18:43

Yesterday I received my BaDCaT wifi modem and it works perfect. What a great product! And: with the new BaDCaT's firmware (v1.3), no drivers are needed anymore. No difficult shit and frustrating moments: just plug and play on your MSX!
With help of Ducasp's TELNETF.COM -> just type in the BBS's address in the command line and go! Very very cool! Cool Like it very much. A good purchase and a good extension for my MSX hobby! Big smile

By mzoran

Expert (89)

mzoran's picture

07-10-2020, 09:58

How did you get one?