Mu-pack
This page was last modified 01:32, 7 March 2018 by Mars2000you. Based on work by Gdx and Retrofan and others.

The Bit² μ·PACK BM-117 (Mu-Pack) is an external version of the build-in MSX-MIDI interface of the Panasonic FS-A1GT and is completely compatible with it. It was only sold in Japan and a few were imported to Europe. It's very rare nowadays.

This cartridge is intended to upgrade the older Panasonic FS-A1ST to the latest specification of the Turbo-R. Nice detail: you now can have the RF and composite video and audio plugs available on the ST (which were removed from the GT due to limited space at the back of the computer) combined with the MIDI-IN and MIDI-OUT connectors of the μ.Pack.

Note also that although you get 512kB memory in total when connecting to A1ST, only limited number of software can use 2 different memory mappers at the same time. These software are mostly done for MSX-DOS2 or MSX-DOS1 with MemMan. However, this can be changed by expanding the internal memory of the A1ST to 512kB and having the 256kB additional memory available when using the μ.Pack. This way also the internal memory mapper will be the same as in the A1GT.

The cartridge contains:

  • MIDI-IN and MIDI-OUT connectors
  • 16kB MIDI-ROM (type CALL MUSIC to activate MIDI-ROM -> PLAY#1)
  • 256kB memory mapper in subslot 1

And comes with the music program:

  • μ·PACK (Mu-Sios)

Although the μ.Pack was initially designed for upgrading the FS-A1ST to the FS-A1GT, it's confirmed this extension also should work on MSX2/2+* as a video shows over here

[ * only memory mapper and MIDI-interface do work on MSX2/2+ (MIDI-BASIC gives "Illegal function call" with CALL MUSIC on original ROM as it searches for MSX turbo R.) ]

Technical documentation

Gallery

Bit² μ·PACK front
Bit² μ·PACK PCB
Bit² μ·PACK box
Bit² μ·PACK contents box