Looking to do a new hardware project

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Van hamlet

Scribe (2353)

afbeelding van hamlet

10-06-2019, 19:13

Maybe a little ambitious, but I would like to bring in an idea from a neighbouring system.
On the C64 platform there is a cartridge, the TurboChameleon 64. Plugged into the computer, it functions as SD reader, discursive, turbo card, multi SID, freezer card, memory expansion or as hardcopy function. But it also works in standalone mode as a complete C64 with a PC or C64 keyboard connectable to a docking station or in emulator mode as Amiga, MiST or MSX. A fascinating piece of hardware that gives me a lot of pleasure.

Van buddha_da_great

Rookie (18)

afbeelding van buddha_da_great

10-06-2019, 21:42

hamlet wrote:

Maybe a little ambitious, but I would like to bring in an idea from a neighbouring system.
On the C64 platform there is a cartridge, the TurboChameleon 64. Plugged into the computer, it functions as SD reader, discursive, turbo card, multi SID, freezer card, memory expansion or as hardcopy function. But it also works in standalone mode as a complete C64 with a PC or C64 keyboard connectable to a docking station or in emulator mode as Amiga, MiST or MSX. A fascinating piece of hardware that gives me a lot of pleasure.

but what is the idea? replacing the MSX entirely?
I love my MSX and want it to remain the centerpiece....ONE MSX TO RULE THEM ALL ;)
and if there is no MSX then it should do nothing

Van RetroTechie

Paragon (1563)

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10-06-2019, 21:51

buddha_da_great wrote:

but what is the idea? replacing the MSX entirely?

In the case of the TurboChameleon 64: yeah. Using the C64 it's plugged into as a keyboard. LOL!

Personally I don't get the point of such setups. If you included everything & the kitchen sink already, then go all the way and make it a standalone machine. Perhaps with a custom keyboard if that retro look & feel is desired.

Van hamlet

Scribe (2353)

afbeelding van hamlet

10-06-2019, 21:59

Quote:

In the case of the TurboChameleon 64: yeah. Using the C64 it's plugged into as a keyboard. LOL!

It's not like that. The C64 uses its own CPU, the VICII and the built-in SID chip. If required, a turbo CPU or several sound processors are supported. Video and sound output is controlled by the C64 itself.
Optional the tC can also be used as a stand alone.
Well, I'm curious what you'll conjure up, buddha_da_great.

Van wolf_

Ambassador_ (9762)

afbeelding van wolf_

10-06-2019, 23:43

Buddha: Perhaps it'd be an idea to add an USB-port that would be able to receive e.g. multiple MIDI-devices. That way, the cart can be operated from outside the MSX, from some high-level language or DAW. See, the problem you'll encounter is software support. On MSX there's not much choice other than an asm coder, but on PC's any high-level language with e.g. MIDI support could prove to be enough to make the most of it. And such languages aren't out of reach of musicians either. Doesn't even have to be using the MIDI format, at long as there is a way to communicate bits of info to the MSX. Then you can store that info inside that cartridge in order to get played. So, at least there has to be a player that supports everything. But usually that's much less work than a fully operational tool.

Van Roland007

Expert (80)

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11-06-2019, 19:29

I've got a Turbo Chameleon 64. Imho, the best option: it allows to connect the C64 to a VGA monitor.

Van hamlet

Scribe (2353)

afbeelding van hamlet

11-06-2019, 19:52

Ahh, that's a point: Bring HDMI to MSX!

Van zPasi

Champion (363)

afbeelding van zPasi

11-06-2019, 21:17

wolf_ wrote:

Buddha: Perhaps it'd be an idea to add an USB-port that would be able to receive e.g. multiple MIDI-devices.

From that, it came to my mind: a connector for a "daughter" card / module would be cool! That daughter could be an Arduino, Pro Micro etc for USB, MIDI, anything.

Van Pencioner

Paladin (906)

afbeelding van Pencioner

11-06-2019, 21:59

There's a project which was called MSXPi interface by Ronivon Costa (that's not that latest MSXPi which is the MSX slots PiHat for RaspberryPi, it was kind of generic IO card for MSX). It wasn't too succesfull though, because it has some hw design inefficiencies which made programming a difficult process and added huge protocol overhead so data transfer speeds vere around 10K/s, which is not so even for 8 bit computers. I still have a prototype. I think it could have been a very cool device otherwise, if it has some simpler protocol and better transfer rates. Also, there was a NoWind which i didn't have time to explore closely, though it has some hw issue as well which avoided by the protocol quirk. It has some success. In theory (i had a look in the code) - this is more like a generic IO device as well. So, maybe the time to make something without hardware problems and easy to program for - then it could be used f.e. for transmitting MIDI messages, adding a coprocessors for better math, accessing PC keyboard or network, and much more (any resource of PC/RPi/Mac/other computer with USB port could be made accessible)
I had this kind idea from 2016 but i just zero skillled if it comes to hardware design and i'm a rookie when it comes to soldering Big smile

Van RetroTechie

Paragon (1563)

afbeelding van RetroTechie

11-06-2019, 23:57

hamlet wrote:

Ahh, that's a point: Bring HDMI to MSX!

YES! But unless you're REALLY experienced pcb designer, this should be read as "bring MSX to a HDMI equipped board". Or perhaps even better: DisplayPort.

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