KimoHachi on sale

KimoHachi on sale

by PAC on 01-10-2018, 18:09
Topic: Hardware
Tags: KimoHachi
Languages:

Probably you remember that few months ago we reported about the project KimoHachi by user Kimoan, a modular MSX computer made with original parts. Some people asked about its availability and now we can confirm that Kimoan decided to release it as a finished product, instead of a DIY kit, due to the high amount of different parts needed. Currently there are 3 basic sets, 2 MSX2+ boards and 2 SCC boards available. The cartridge board is under construction. We have a wiki article about the KimoHachi that can be updated by and for the MSX community as more details become available.

The product is on sale through the Booth website but unfortunately they don't sell outside Japan. But even so, if you want to get one of these great products contact Kimoan directly.

Relevant link: Kimoan's website
Relevant link: Kimoan on Twitter

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Comments (36)

By Pablibiris

Paragon (1677)

Pablibiris's picture

01-10-2018, 19:00

If this product is not sold outside of Japan, why make a news from it? Really,Meits? ^^

By Giangiacomo Zaffini 2

Expert (73)

Giangiacomo Zaffini 2's picture

01-10-2018, 19:10

I already knew it, but I didn't checked for it since a while, now it is a truly masterpiece, IMHO.
But it is not a single board computer,
rather it has separate Mapped RAM module, PSG module, VDP module, etc.

By Grauw

Enlighted (7409)

Grauw's picture

03-10-2018, 16:21

Pablibiris wrote:

If this product is not sold outside of Japan, why make a news from it? Really,Meits? ^^

“If you want to get one of these great products contact Kimoan directly.”

That stack of boards looks pretty awesome Smile.

By erpirao

Paladin (790)

erpirao's picture

01-10-2018, 20:46

long time ago... MMSX Padial
and more recent ..

I marvel at what people dare

By zett

Champion (442)

zett's picture

01-10-2018, 21:40

this thing looks nice to. padial one was nice to. nicce small

By OeiOeiVogeltje

Paragon (1199)

OeiOeiVogeltje's picture

01-10-2018, 23:04

377 euro ex shippnig according to money conversion site

By gdx

Prophet (2268)

gdx's picture

02-10-2018, 10:45

KimoHachi just like the GR8BIT is not cheap because only conventional chips are used and them spread over several boards.

I create wiki page for the curious.
https://www.msx.org/wiki/Kimoan_KimoHachi

By Fabf

Master (218)

Fabf's picture

02-10-2018, 13:07

Using 128Kb RAM instead 512Kb does not make saving monney.
Am I wrong, I don't find ROM on boards ?

By luppie

Paladin (842)

luppie's picture

02-10-2018, 14:05

Fabf wrote:

Using 128Kb RAM instead 512Kb does not make saving monney.
Am I wrong, I don't find ROM on boards ?

It has 1024Kb RAM, and it uses SRAM as ROM.

By gdx

Prophet (2268)

gdx's picture

02-10-2018, 14:56

Yes, it uses SRAM as ROM with a super capacity to keep the data. I think SRAM is writed with a PC via the USB port.

By FiXato

Scribe (1500)

FiXato's picture

02-10-2018, 15:09

gdx wrote:

KimoHachi just like the GR8BIT is not cheap because only conventional chips are used and them spread over several boards.

I create wiki page for the curious.
https://www.msx.org/wiki/Kimoan_KimoHachi

Thanks :) I've updated the article with a link to it.

By Meits

Scribe (5113)

Meits's picture

02-10-2018, 16:50

Pablibiris wrote:

If this product is not sold outside of Japan, why make a news from it? Really,Meits? ^^

Got nothing to do with this, nor the post. But it seems a bit more legit to post about this than about making hardware for friends Wink

By Pablibiris

Paragon (1677)

Pablibiris's picture

03-10-2018, 21:41

Meits wrote:
Pablibiris wrote:

If this product is not sold outside of Japan, why make a news from it? Really,Meits? ^^

Got nothing to do with this, nor the post. But it seems a bit more legit to post about this than about making hardware for friends Wink

This cartridge that you are talking for, is being sold to unknown people ... not friends Wink
But let's Talk about the KimoHachi.
It seems a good product and my dream was always to have a "new" MSX made with real components ...But this is expensive for me Sad

By gdx

Prophet (2268)

gdx's picture

04-10-2018, 02:33

The problem for me is not only the price but no cartridge slot (and only one seems planned for the next floor), a single joystick port and a flash Rom would be better to put the system. I would have preferred a floor with 2 or 4 cartridge slots instead of the SCC board (luckily optional). In addition, it's a tall tower but with very little connectivity. Fortunately the rest seems very well designed.

Even if this product is not sold outside of Japan, a new is appreciable, at least for Japanese users who visit MRC and curious people like me.

By Grauw

Enlighted (7409)

Grauw's picture

04-10-2018, 08:53

But it doesn't say anywhere that it isn't sold outside of Japan? Just the website doesn't, but it says you can get one by contacting the maker directly?

By PAC

Guardian (4862)

PAC's picture

04-10-2018, 13:07

You are right Grauw, anyone interested in purchasing KimoHachi should contact Kimoan. I made a little change in the sentence, I hope more clear now.

By PAC

Guardian (4862)

PAC's picture

04-10-2018, 21:01

gdx, we should make a correction in the wiki according a clarification from Kimoan. I write his comment below to avoid confusion:

引用:

The basic set of KimoHachi is MSX1, not MSX2. Because
it does not have RTC. Probably MSX2's BIOS will not work.

The MSX software may work, but the MSX2's BIOS does not
start. In the initialization part of SUBROM, the BIOS initializes
the RTC, but because RTC is not installed, the acquired value is
judged to be invalid, it will try to initialize indefinitely. As
a result, it will deadlock. For this reason, RTC is
indispensable for starting as MSX2.

I hope he will take part in the reactions soon to clarify any doubt.

By erpirao

Paladin (790)

erpirao's picture

04-10-2018, 21:28

In my humble opinion, gr8net, even being a DIY project, is a better solution, especially when comparing prices.
also Eugeny has an excellent support (that's talking about the gr8net)
but if I see an interesting project

By mars2000you

Enlighted (5372)

mars2000you's picture

04-10-2018, 22:12

PAC wrote:

gdx, we should make a correction in the wiki according a clarification from Kimoan. I write his comment below to avoid confusion:

引用:

The basic set of KimoHachi is MSX1, not MSX2. Because
it does not have RTC. Probably MSX2's BIOS will not work.

The MSX software may work, but the MSX2's BIOS does not
start. In the initialization part of SUBROM, the BIOS initializes
the RTC, but because RTC is not installed, the acquired value is
judged to be invalid, it will try to initialize indefinitely. As
a result, it will deadlock. For this reason, RTC is
indispensable for starting as MSX2.

I hope he will take part in the reactions soon to clarify any doubt.

Ehmm ... If I good understand, it is a MSX1 with a MSX2+ VDP, but the MSX2/2+ BIOS and software will work only with the addition of the 2PLUS board. It implies that the upgrade with this board goes directly from MSX1 to MSX2+, without intermediary step, at least if the MSX1 unique ROM is replaced by the two MSX2+ ROMS (Main and Sub) after addition of the board.

Edit: I've just modified the Wiki page.

By PAC

Guardian (4862)

PAC's picture

04-10-2018, 22:19

Quote:

In my humble opinion, gr8net, even being a DIY project, is a better solution, especially when comparing prices.
also Eugeny has an excellent support (that's talking about the gr8net)
but if I see an interesting project

Did you mean GR8BIT right? Tongue I think we should avoid to judge those things now when most of us have never seen any of them working nor a real comparison. I mean it seems we are only focussing in negative aspects like price or things still unknown like support, instead of its potential or quality product. Besides it's not finished yet so more expansions are comming. A new MSX with genuine parts! Isn't that great enough? BTW I can assure that Kimoan is a nice person as well.

By PAC

Guardian (4862)

PAC's picture

04-10-2018, 22:22

mars2000you][quote=PAC wrote:

Ehmm ... If I good understand, it is a MSX1 with a MSX2+ VDP, but the MSX2/2+ BIOS and software will work only with the addition of the 2PLUS board. It implies that the upgrade with this board goes directly from MSX1 to MSX2+, without intermediary step, at least if the MSX1 unique ROM is replaced by the two MSX2+ ROMS (Main and Sub) after addition of the board.

Edit: I've just modified the Wiki page.

Yes, this is what I understand as well. Let me contact him again to confirm text modification.

By Grauw

Enlighted (7409)

Grauw's picture

04-10-2018, 23:01

I wonder if Kimoan is aware of the existence of modified MSX2 ROMs which skip the RTC initialisation?

(Although I wouldn’t know where to find those, I guess it’s a matter of asking the right person on this forum, I’ve seen some threads mention it in the past…)

By erpirao

Paladin (790)

erpirao's picture

04-10-2018, 23:40

PAC wrote:
Quote:

In my humble opinion, gr8net, even being a DIY project, is a better solution, especially when comparing prices.
also Eugeny has an excellent support (that's talking about the gr8net)
but if I see an interesting project

Did you mean GR8BIT right? Tongue I think we should avoid to judge those things now when most of us have never seen any of them working nor a real comparison. I mean it seems we are only focussing in negative aspects like price or things still unknown like support, instead of its potential or quality product. Besides it's not finished yet so more expansions are comming. A new MSX with genuine parts! Isn't that great enough? BTW I can assure that Kimoan is a nice person as well.

hi, if you're right in what is the gr8bit, (it's what having the gr8net in sight)
I absolutely do not want to speak badly about this project, so I say that for me, right now, the gr8bit is a better solution, for other users it may be the kimoHachi.
In any case, the gr8bit has the official licenses of the msx association, and also has the original components (VDP, Z80, RTC).
gr8bit specifications
In the end it is a subject of tastes, costs and proximity, in costs and proximity I see the gr8bit closest to my interests, in tastes, as my father says, for tastes, colors.
it's as if I want to mount a new MSX based on Leonardo Padial's MMSX architecture (on the Evolution Expander), the more options, the better for everyone.
but if I plan to follow this project with interest (as I follow the nc8 + of metalgear2, the MSXVR of Nerlaska, and many others)

By gdx

Prophet (2268)

gdx's picture

05-10-2018, 03:53

I think we can considerate the KimoHachi as MSX2 even without RTC because this computer seems made especially for developpers and experienced users and it is not yet completely finished.
For example, Bios requires patch for used keyboard. A LED system is implemented to manually define the matrix. MSX1 Bios must probably be also patched for the Memory Mapper, etc.
Setup software is available HERE but no bios included. Kimoan indicates that (all) C-BIOS are supported but only C-BIOS MSX1 has been confirmed. He seems busy with the hardware and probably did not have time for the software yet. Project is recent.

KimoHachi seems to have been designed to transfer our programs directly with a PC via USB. GR8BIT is designed for electronics enthusiasts.

By kimoan

Supporter (6)

kimoan's picture

05-10-2018, 07:14

Hello everyone.

The reason I tried to make KimoHachi is that I wanted to do "source code debugging" with a real MSX, not an emulator. (I am a software engineer, not a hardware engineer.)

At first, I thought about making such a cartridge, but since MSX cartridge bus did not have "BUSRQ" and "BUSAK", I tried to make the whole MSX.
So, I thought that cartridge slots were not needed so much from the beginning.
For this reason, rather, KimoHachi may be for developers, isn't it?

KimoHachi has a simple gdb stub code, which can do "source code debugging" using the GNU Debugger (gdb) ported to Z80. It can load executable files, read and write memory, set breakpoints, step running.

Someday I would like to introduce these in my blog.

By gdx

Prophet (2268)

gdx's picture

05-10-2018, 11:51

Hello Kimoan,
Thanks for this confirmation. About RTC, the MSX2 upgrade MA-20 does not have it either but if you can move it to CPU board or Interface board in the future, that would be better.

Also MSX1 VDP board is missing to complete your project because MSX1 VDP has some differences (acces times, mirrors, etc). For example, the games "MayQ - Slayer" and "The Cure".

https://www.msx.org/forum/msx-talk/general-discussion/new-ja...
https://www.msx.org/forum/msx-talk/software/graphics-corrupt...

The opposite problem also exists. For example with Rock'n Bolt, Zaxxon that does not work on MSX2~.
https://www.msx.org/wiki/MSX_compatibility_problems#Rock.27n...

Last question: Can we use a part of the SRAM from CPU board as RAM? It would be useful for a MSX1 VDP board or even actualy with the Mapper board removed.

By lintweaker

Expert (77)

lintweaker's picture

05-10-2018, 12:57

Grauw wrote:

I wonder if Kimoan is aware of the existence of modified MSX2 ROMs which skip the RTC initialisation?

(Although I wouldn’t know where to find those, I guess it’s a matter of asking the right person on this forum, I’ve seen some threads mention it in the past…)

I had to make MSX2 and MSX2+ modified ROMs to bypass RTC init for my DIY MSX board. It is quite a bit of work but doable. Not sure if there are any pre-made on the net.
Without the bypass the MSX will hang in a loop trying to init the RTC. The keyboard mapping also needs to be done.

By Giangiacomo Zaffini 2

Expert (73)

Giangiacomo Zaffini 2's picture

05-10-2018, 14:49

This thread is amazing. Cool

By kimoan

Supporter (6)

kimoan's picture

06-10-2018, 02:22

Grauw wrote:

I wonder if Kimoan is aware of the existence of modified MSX2 ROMs which skip the RTC initialisation?

(Although I wouldn’t know where to find those, I guess it’s a matter of asking the right person on this forum, I’ve seen some threads mention it in the past…)

Of course, before I made the MSX2+ expansion board, the BIOS locked with the RTC check, so I patched the BIOS and avoided it. If we can pass this check, we can make it work as MSX2+. Big smile
https://blog.kimoan.com/z80/z80system_5/

By kimoan

Supporter (6)

kimoan's picture

06-10-2018, 03:29

gdx wrote:

Hello Kimoan,
Thanks for this confirmation. About RTC, the MSX2 upgrade MA-20 does not have it either but if you can move it to CPU board or Interface board in the future, that would be better.

Also MSX1 VDP board is missing to complete your project because MSX1 VDP has some differences (acces times, mirrors, etc). For example, the games "MayQ - Slayer" and "The Cure".

https://www.msx.org/forum/msx-talk/general-discussion/new-ja...
https://www.msx.org/forum/msx-talk/software/graphics-corrupt...

The opposite problem also exists. For example with Rock'n Bolt, Zaxxon that does not work on MSX2~.
https://www.msx.org/wiki/MSX_compatibility_problems#Rock.27n...

Last question: Can we use a part of the SRAM from CPU board as RAM? It would be useful for a MSX1 VDP board or even actualy with the Mapper board removed.

Thank you, gdx. If I make KimoHachi as MSX2+, I should not separate it as an expansion board and I should have all the boards together.

Actually, the prototype of KimoHachi implemented TMS 9918 instead of V9958. It might be interesting to try making a VDP board for KimoHachi that implements TMS 9918.


Also, the SRAM of the CPU board has an extra part, it seems that it can be used as RAM. However, it is necessary to change the circuit. It is a future task.

By gdx

Prophet (2268)

gdx's picture

06-10-2018, 10:14

Okay. So finally, Kimochi is not an MSX1 nor an MSX2 but a MSX2+ with the RTC in option. Since the beginning, it has been designed for this purpose for the developpers. This is the name of 2PLUS board and the RTC that are confusing.

Great, your prototype is impressive!

PS: Kimoan, can you try that below on your KimoHachi?

Download: VRAMCHK-BETA.ZIP

I would like to know if the 192kB of VRAM are detected.

By kimoan

Supporter (6)

kimoan's picture

08-10-2018, 09:28

gdx wrote:

PS: Kimoan, can you try that below on your KimoHachi?

Download: VRAMCHK-BETA.ZIP

I would like to know if the 192kB of VRAM are detected.

As a result of the execution, it was displayed as follows.

VRAM Checker v1.0 beta by GDX
128K VRAM detected
VRAM seems ok

Does FAFCh in the work area correctly detect 192 KB VRAM?

By gdx

Prophet (2268)

gdx's picture

08-10-2018, 10:40

Thank you for confirmation. Yes, the 192 KB detection is based on 0FAFCh. This means that the Bios does not detect VRAM to set FAFCh. The value of FAFCh is directly specified by the manufacturer. So you have to patch the BIOS so that FAFCh indicates the right value.

As for me, I'll think about another method to detect 192Kb.

By gdx

Prophet (2268)

gdx's picture

09-10-2018, 11:22

I made a few searches. In fact, that depends on Sub-ROM. The turbo R and 2+ specify directly the #FAFC bits but the Canon and Sony MSX2s perform a litle VRAM test to define bits. By cons, no MSX seems to take into account extended VRAM. This may be normal since there is none.

Panasonic FS-A1 and FS-A1WSX routines:

0392:   ld     hl,#fafc   
0395:   res    1,(hl)     
0397:   set    2,(hl)

Canon V-25 & Sony HB-700P routines:

1B6D:   call   #1c73      
1B70:   ld     c,a        
1B71:   cpl               
1B72:   call   #1c74      
1B75:   call   #1c73      
1B78:   cpl               
1B79:   cp     c          
1B7A:   ld     a,c        
1B7B:   call   #1c74      
1B7E:   ld     hl,#1c64   
1B81:   ld     c,#04      
1B83:   jr     z,#1b8a    
1B85:   ld     hl,#1c68   
1B88:   ld     c,#02      
1B8A:   push   hl         
1B8B:   ld     a,(#fafc)  
1B8E:   and    #f9        
1B90:   or     c          
1B91:   ld     (#fafc),a
.
.
.
1C73:   or     #37        
1C75:   push   af         
1C76:   ld     a,#07      
1C78:   out    (#99),a    
1C7A:   ld     a,#8e      
1C7C:   out    (#99),a    
1C7E:   ld     a,#ff      
1C80:   out    (#99),a    
1C82:   pop    af         
1C83:   push   af         
1C84:   ld     a,#7f      
1C86:   jr     c,#1c8a    
1C88:   ld     a,#3f      
1C8A:   out    (#99),a    
1C8C:   ex     (sp),hl    
1C8D:   ex     (sp),hl    
1C8E:   pop    af         
1C8F:   jr     c,#1c94    
1C91:   in     a,(#98)    
1C93:   ret               
1C94:   out    (#98),a    
1C96:   ret

By Grauw

Enlighted (7409)

Grauw's picture

09-10-2018, 11:58

kimoan wrote:

The reason I tried to make KimoHachi is that I wanted to do "source code debugging" with a real MSX, not an emulator. (I am a software engineer, not a hardware engineer.)

That’s so interesting! I would love to see a video about that kind of thing.

By Alexey

Guardian (1654)

Alexey's picture

13-10-2018, 03:19

One of Ukrainian guys made an MSX2+ similar to this project:

https://www.msx.org/node/53739

My MSX profile