Ideas for expanding flashROM storage

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By siddy6581

Master (175)

Аватар пользователя siddy6581

25-08-2021, 22:41

This might be an odd idea, but recently I've come across quite many ROMs that are either larger than 720k* or need to flashed with Carnivore2 to work correctly (SofaROM don't like them for various reasons). This kind of ties me up in a situation where the 8mb of flashROM on Carnivore2 simply isn't enough if I would like to have all my games ready for boot up.

So, is there any good solutions for this? How would you recommend "expanding" the flashROM? Should I get a second carnivore2 (seems a bit expensive and overkill, but it's an aswome cartridge and I can get more use of the SCC+ with two)? Or is there any recommended flashROM cart I can use in tandem with my Canrivore2 somehow?

*About the two ROMs above 720K, they are Aleste 2 and Los Amores de Brunilda, so technically I could flash a 3mb ROM to Carnivore for SofaROM to use for flashing, but this gives me little extra flashROM space.

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By sdsnatcher73

Prophet (2222)

Аватар пользователя sdsnatcher73

26-08-2021, 05:26

Well personally I flash the 4MB file for use with SofaRun and don’t flash any games directly with c2man. Most games run from RAM and the occasional bigger ROM uses that reserved flash.

By siddy6581

Master (175)

Аватар пользователя siddy6581

26-08-2021, 22:52

Yeah, I usually settle with the 3mb flash on Sofarun. I can't think of any rom larger than 3mb.
The ROMs that need the Carinvore2-flash are:

Alien Attack
AshGuine Story III (English translation version)
Highway Hunter
Kiki KaiKai
Life on Mars
Metal Gear 2 Solid Snake
Ninja Savior
Penguin Kun Wars 2
Pennant Race 2
The Sorrow of Gadhlan' Thur

Funny thing. I kind of found a solution today. I have a old Carnivore2 from Pablibiris which stoped functionen a while ago - It suddenly became impossible to flash anything to it. Today I decided to open the cartridge and take a close look at it. I could see there was a loot of dirt on the board, but it mostly looked like flux left overs or similar. Anyway I gave it a proper IPA-bath and scrubbed it a bit and put som extra polish on the slot connecter (it looks like HASL-connector btw, so that could also be a reason for malfunction). Anyhow, after my clean up the cartridge mysteriously started to work again. I could flash anything I wanted again. The only silly malfunction is that it refuse to boot the Def settings from the menu. I can only boot DEF (RAM+FM+SCC+IDE) with ESC-command for some reason. So with two working Carnivore2 I flashed all the games above on my old cartridge and now whenever I feel like playing those games I just pop it into slot 2 and boot my primary Carnivore with RAM+FM+SCC (otherwise C2-cart in slot 2 will take over the sound, i use the 3,5 jacket on the C2-cart for all sound output). The only downside is that I will need to remove the C2-cart from slot 2 whenever I want to use the IDE (with Sofarom for example) on C2-cart in slot 1. I wonder if there's any function on Carnivore2 which can boot with slot 2 (20) "closed"... I also realize I won't be able to add OPL3 in any satidfying way with this particual setup, without flipping around the carridges of course.

By Pencioner

Scribe (1460)

Аватар пользователя Pencioner

27-08-2021, 01:06

from the list of your ROMs which don't work with SofaRun - at least some of them need proper individual settings. i think if you search forum for "SofaRun Carnivore " you have good chances to find a solution. no promise, maybe i have false memories though, but worth trying...

By siddy6581

Master (175)

Аватар пользователя siddy6581

27-08-2021, 12:22

Thanks for the recommendation Pencioner. You remember correctyly. I have previously discussed most of these ROMs in the Sofarun-forums and tried out different proposed solution, but with no success. It might be that the solutions don't run as expected on a Philips NMS 8250, I'm not quite sure.

By Alexey

Guardian (3200)

Аватар пользователя Alexey

28-08-2021, 11:46

The RBSC never authorized Pablibiris to produce Carnivore2 commercially. So, I presume that was a batch for friends? At those times only 8bits4ever were officially authorized to make Carnivore2, so there could have been cartridges made by a third party not according to our standards. Luckily, this problem is now gone. We have 4 authorized suppliers and more are coming. The competition will help to bring the prices down. And our supplier from Taiwan made great cases for Carnivore2.

Siddy, could you please post a picture of the cartridge and the box? I remember that Pablibiris made a nice-looking label and package...

By siddy6581

Master (175)

Аватар пользователя siddy6581

27-08-2021, 22:08

Lets try this with links instead

Pic1

Pic2

Pic3

Pic4

By siddy6581

Master (175)

Аватар пользователя siddy6581

27-08-2021, 22:18

Yes, the box was quite neat. I bought it from Pablibiris "privately" over email conversation. At the time there were no cartridges for sale at 8bits4ever (temporarilt out of stock). Pablibiris aslo added the 3,5 jacket which at the time was yet to become a standard on the Carnivore2.

About the malfunctions, I've sent mails to him about it, but never got any respons. I don't hold any grudge against him or anything like that, the cartridge did last a few years before any problems occured (I think I bought it in 2018 if I remember correctly).

By siddy6581

Master (175)

Аватар пользователя siddy6581

27-08-2021, 22:34

Speaking of Carnivore2 standards. I'm not an expert on the subject but looking at 8bits4ever's cartridge, it does not looked beveled. Is this something you have considered or maybe it's not much of a subject within MSX scene. It was recently discussed in length by RetroRGB when he discovered that some releases of Demons of Asteborg (Sega Genesis/Mega Drive) came with a semi-beveled cartridge:

Link with time stamp at 14:36

By Grauw

Ascended (10055)

Аватар пользователя Grauw

28-08-2021, 00:07

Honestly, it sounds to me like another thing for people to nag on (which RetroRGB is great at btw Wink), similar to the discussion about gold plating that rears its head everytime someone dares to post a picture of a prototype board that doesn’t have it for development cost saving, or uses a type of gold plating whose colour is harder to distinguish. Product gets instantly disqualified, or at least they make it sound like it. I feel some people can get too obsessed about it, even when they have no intention of buying it in the first place.

Beveled edges does sound like a good idea to me, but it shouldn’t be blown out of proportion. Anyway, on this forum this is the first mention I’ve heard of it. I have no idea whether that’s something that’s commonly done or not. I’d have to look at a few carts. Also no idea if and by how much it affects production cost.

Anyway despite that little rant, thanks for the link Smile, it is an interesting topic and I’ll give it a more thorough watch later.

By siddy6581

Master (175)

Аватар пользователя siddy6581

28-08-2021, 06:39

Yes, Bobby makes some good point about, especially in cases of new products with higher cost. I believe it's probably good for the pins in the long run, but I'm also a bit curious abot exactly how much it tears on the slots and how it differs between consoles or computers. Side slots like on the NES Frontloader and on several MSX computers has always been brought up as not as good as toploaders, but as long as the cartridges are properly clean, I've never hade any real issus with slots that need to go to the pin dentist. Among the games I found at home with non-beveled connector were mostly repros for Sega consoles and NES/Famicom as well as different adapter-cartridges.

I was also new to this issue. Apparently RetroRGB posted about this as early as September 2019:
RetroRGB - Determining the Build Quality of a Game Cartridge

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