MSXPI:Specs:EN

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MSXPi


MSXPi 0.7 Rev.4 is provided in a kit. To start using MSXPi, you will need:


  1. MSXPi kit
  2. Raspberry Pi (any model, preferably with wifi built in)
  3. SD Card for Raspberry Pi (8Gb)
  4. MSX (any model)


Please consult the README files and documentation on github for setup details:

https://github.com/costarc/MSXPi


Documentation and List of Commands available (in Portuguese):


For support and to exchange information with other MSXPi users, join the Facebook group and the mailing list:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/258165507967883

Mailing list: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/msxpi


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The project specifications are:

  • PCB MSX Patola standard (if it can be considered a standard that is it).
  • CPLD EPM3064ALC44-10N PLCC 44 Pin, socketed. Approximately 70% of the CPLD logic is used.
  • JTAG for onboard CPLD reprogramming
  • EPROM 27C256 DIP 28, socketed. 16KB used to store MSX-DOS and CALL commands. 16KB free for the user.
  • CPLD, EPROM and Raspberry Pi powered by MSX.
  • 3.3v voltage regulator to power the CPLD logic, making the circuit compatible with the Raspberry Pi.
  • Raspberry Pi connected by 5 GPIO, 1 VCC and 1 GND pins. Interface compatible with all Pi models. Pi Zero can be attached directly to the interface, making it fully compact and portable.
  • MSX-DOS 1.03 stored in the EPROM, providing access to disk images (dsk) stored on Raspberry Pi SD card.
  • Interface can operate without the EPROM. In this scenario, it can work along other SD / CF card interface (MegaFlashRom/ATA-IDE, etc) and use .com commands from DOS1, DOS2, Nextor.
  • Jumpers to assign EPROM CS signal to any of MSX CS1/CS2/CS12
  • Jumper to enable BUSDIR
  • Jumper to switch A14/A15 in the EPROM


Please refer the the following videos to understand how the interface can be used and its capabilities.

Copying files from the Internet to a MSX disk. This command works on all DOS versions (including Nextor).


Boot into MSX-DOS using MSXPi only. Then some commands are demonstrated: pdir, psetdisk, loadrom to load a megarom game.


Setting MSX-DOS date and time at boot, from Raspberry Pi.


A longer demonstration, yet on a previous version of the software, showing access to http, nfs, ftp and windows shares.

And finally, a proof of concept of a new capability under development , the NFS (Nestor File System), a project in partnership with Nestor Soriano (Nextor). This resource will allow access to Raspbery Pi by means of a virtual drive (G: in the video).


FAQ:

1. Is it possible to redirect MSX video to HDMI?

R: No. And probably it will never be on this hardware.


2. is there a TCPIP stack available?

R: Not now, but this is in the wish list, and possible.


3. Can I use USB and Mouse with MSX?

R: Not now, but this is in the wish list, and possible.


4. Which Raspberry Pi model do I need?

R: The project is compatible with any model. But you will benefit (performance) from a newer, faster model.


5. Can I use EXECROM, LOADROM, SOFARUN to run games?

R: When booting into MSX-DOS using MSXPi, yes, you can. Also, in the future when we have NFS available, you can boot from any other device and still use such commands to access a virtual drive on Pi (which in fact could not only be Pi SD card, but also a network resource).


6. Can I use a case to accommodate the interface?

R: Not in this version, as it is socketed and won't fit in a case. Besides that, closing the Pi Zero in a small box may not be a good ideia, as that device usually heats a lot and will need some ventilation.


7. How is the development cycle, how often are there new commands and other programs?

R: This is a single-man project, so far, and I am been very busy developing the resources currently available. But I need help. I am trying to gather a community around the project, to start using and developing new applications. All sources are published under open source licenses, and anyone who wish to contribute are welcome. Please find the project on https://github.com/costarc/MSXPi


8. Why MSX-DOS 1 instead of MSX-DOS 2 or Nextor ?

R. The reason is to have the simplest project possible. My background is software, not hardware, and I had to learn as much as possible to design this interface. This was the best I could do with my current knowledge. To support MSX-DOS 2 and Nextor, the interface would need a bigger EPROM and include RAM, The CPLD also would need more capacity to have the memory mapper implemented. This would also add up to a higher price, which I avoided.


Attention: When connecting MSXPi to Raspberry Pi, do not connect the MSXPi 5V pin to any Raspberry Pi GPIO. The MSXPi 5V pin is there to provide power to Raspberry Pi Zero only, since its power consumption is well within MSX specifications. Raspberry Pi 2/3 should be powered by an external power supply.

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