TNI informs us that PSQTOOLS, the toolset for the PlaySoniq module has been updated! Three new tools have been released: PSQSAVE and PSQLOAD, to save and load PlaySoniq module settings and SMSLOAD, a tool to load and run Sega Master System ROM images. SMSLOAD also supports Sega SC-3000 and SG-1000 rom files, when the correct extension (e.g. name.sg) is given at the command line. Grab them at the TNI site: www.tni.nl
Getting the modulon slot expander ready for ordering took us more time than we originally anticipated.
The whole idea of creating a compact slot expander emerged based on two assumptions: there is demand for a slot expander and we had some old MT telecom modem casings lying around which we wanted to give a new destination.
The design, testing and building the first batch of pcb’s was already one year ago. We obtained some more MT telecom casings, adjusted these for the slot expander and actually sold a few to testers and at last years MSX Nijmegen fair.
Then as demand rose we had two problems: obtaining enough casings which we had to buy from collectors and laser cutting the top of those casings to fit the cartridges in. Our last batch that we wanted to laser cut failed, because the company in question made some errors in programming the laser cutter. We left with a failed batch, but still had to pay for the use of the laser cutter.
Then we tried new companies to help us out with custom cutting the casings, but unfortunately any option we tried failed because of operational costs of the adjustments, lack of time on the side of those companies, or simply commercially not interesting for those companies because of the low production amount.
So back to the drawing board. We decided to develop a 3d model of the casing and found a company who could help us out developing this model and then 3D print the prototypes, test them, update the 3d model, etc. until we were satisfied with the result. This took us about six months.
We are happy to say this journey is now completed. We have a finished model and with this model we can 3D print your casing after ordering, on demand. Our latest model even has cartridge covers on top (spring operated) for dust prevention.
The modulon can be ordered in the following colors:
You can check these colors at: http://colorfabb.com/pla-pha
Our stackable slot expander, with it’s own clock, adjustable volume controls for all slots, fully MSX compliant with Busdir support, Playsoniq compatible and on/off switches for the top slots and 3D printed in the color you like is 100 euros plus shipping.
Please note that it will take one to two weeks after receiving your money before we can ship out. We need to place your order for printing the casing, collect it, mount it and then we can post your package. Because of holiday we will not ship out between 22 december and 22 january but you can still place your order, we will read our e-mail so we can continue to place orders at the 3D printing company during our holiday.
To avoid confusion we have to provide you with the following information about our inventory:
The MSX Audio expander for Philips Music Modules is currently sold out. We are waiting for a new design from our Brazilian friends before we can restart the production. This might take a while.
The Playsoniq is currently out of stock too. We are waiting for new Sega VDP processors to finalize production. This might take a few weeks.
You can still order these products from our order page, but please be advised that we will only contact you when these products are available again.
The Franky card is out of stock too and will not be produced again. Instead we will use the pcb’s left to build ColecoVision sound chip compatible audio expanders.
We will update this message when more information becomes available.
Thank you for your support!
Update: The playsoniq is back in stock.
Already announced last year on http://www.msx.org is the new Playsoniq tool made by BiFi of TNI, called PSQTOOLS.
These are support tools for the PlaySoniq module. As more tools are released, the archive is updated. Currently the list of tools is:
- Show the MSX screen on both the MSX VDP and Sega VDP in the PlaySoniq module
- Configure every setting in the PlaySoniq module:
- Memory layout
- SCC(+) emulation
- Frequency selections:
- VBlank frequency
- Composite output signal
- SID frequency
- Base I/O port configurations
- Special features:
- SCC join PSG
- Sega pad overlay
- Sega OPLL
- Show current settings
BiFi also updated the MSX rom loader ROMLOAD (imho the best romloader around) with support for the DAC of the Playsoniq.
Please download his tools from the TNI website:
Thank you again BiFi!
It’s has been quiet here for the last months, but behind the screens we are still busy with developing new products.
Our latest creation is “Modulon”, a four slot expander for MSX1 and higher computers.
Modulon has the following features:
- It works with the PlaySoniq *1
- Has it own 3.57 Mhz crystal (clock) to support (audio)cartridges in overclocked systems *2
- Can be stacked with additional Modulons for extra slots. The second expander (and up) will configure itself into a I/O expander.
- Will fit in- and have a modified MT-Telecom cartridge enclosure (factory modifications are currently being tested)
- Supports an external AC Adapter
- Uses standard components for future modifications or repairs
- The three top slots are on/off switchable
- Compact design
- Gold plated contacts
- Like multi-chip music? Modulon has separate volume adjusters for all four slots.
The price is set to 100 euros. Currently we are looking for ten test-users that can field-test the expander (with the clock). You will get Modulon for a 25% discount. Test users will get support during testing and repairs if needed. Interested? Please mail info at supersoniqs.com to apply and please include information about your current setup (old MSX computers/ Playsoniq users would be needful) ;-)
We need more MT-Telecom casings. Please mail us if you want to trade-in yours or get a discount when ordering Modulon.
*1: with a maximum of 4 MB memory config; all other functionality supported without limitations. *2:the separate 3.57 MHz crystal option does not work with older DRAM based memory modules. Future versions will have the option to order Modulon with the crystal, without it, or with partial support (f.i. last slot MSX clock and the three slots on top connected to the crystal).
Some users have asked us how to modify the Philips Music Module expander to support the new MSX Audio Rom 1.3 made by Brazilian MSX user FRS. This new bios has quite some new features like better MSX-Music instrument support and support for games that make use of the MSX-Music (FM-PAC) bios. A lot of ASCII MSX-Music now work! Please follow the FRS page link later on in this article for the release notes. We have tested this new rom with our expander and indeed some modifications needs to be done. Although those modifications are not complicated to do at all.
First you have to remove the yellow wires on the bottom of the expander:
Then you have to connect jumpers labeled 2 and 3 on the expander board. See below for the example (done on the bottom of the expander)
And this is all you have to do! Please note that the new MSX Audio bios from FRS does not include the original Philips software.
The latest bios from FRS can be downloaded at his homepage, in the tools section: http://frs.badcoffee.info/tools.html
You need the file msxaudio13.NMS-1205.rom from the MSX Audio Bios v1.3 zip package. Please contact Bas at www.bas-ditta.info if you need help obtaining a new flashed rom. If you own a Music Module and want better support for games and music, please note that we still have a few MSX Audio Upgrade boards left.
Inside you will find a lot of information about the MSX-DOS utilities for MIDI-PAC, the setup and configuration options.
You can download this manual from the WORP3 website, www.worp3.com (in the download section).
With the MIDI-PAC out in the open and Tjeerd already busy with making a second batch, we can’t complain. Thank you for your support! For new customers: we’ve made a new Order page were you can select the products you want to order. We will then contact you with the payment details.
Also, the PlaySoniq boxes, sponsored by Sunrise are in. If you bought your PlaySoniq without box, please use the order form to get your PlaySoniq box. The box costs nothing, you only pay shipping. Shipping will be around 10 euro for most European countries. If you know other PlaySoniq users in your neighbourhood maybe you can order together to cut down shipping costs.
MsxKun informs us that he is busy with a program to control the MSX PSG and the SID on the PlaySoniq through a MIDI keyboard. For this you need a Philips Music Module to connect your MIDI controller. This is of course very exciting news. Because using the PlaySoniq as a MIDI controllable syntheziser is one of the idea’s we had when we were designing the PlaySoniq. MsxKun also has plans to build in support for the SEGA Audio chip and the SCC of the PlaySoniq. At the moment this project has a low priority but he is willing to put more time in it, if more people are interested. So please let us or him know! Read all about it on his Spanish blog here: PaxBlog.
Also new is the instruction manual how to mount the Toshiba HX-MU900 MSX Audio expander. If you have a Toshiba Music Module lying around and want some more functionality, this expander might be for you. But you need to have quite some soldering skills to install this upgrade (or know someone who does). Check it out at the Docs section. This product can also be ordered from the Order page.
A while ago we adjusted the Commodore Basic instruction manual (sound chapters) so it would reflect the SID mounted on the PlaySoniq. It also contains the Basic listing, adjusted for use in MSX Basic. You can now download this document from the Docs page, in the PlaySoniq section.
If you read the comments on this site, you can find out how to flash your MIDI-PAC with the FM-PAC basic. Please note that afterwards, you can not use the MIDI-PAC together with a FM-PAC anymore (unless you flash the original rom back). The WORP3 website has a new configuration file for MT-32 users. If you made your own configuration file, please consider sharing them so we can add them to the website for other users. This counts for other MIDI equipment or game specific configs (like playing Aleste with only pianos). The MIDI-PAC will also have support for configuring instruments outside the general midi bank on Roland modules soon. So stay tuned.
In two weeks the MSX fair in Nijmegen (the Netherlands) will take place. Tjeerd of WORP3 has been working around the clock to get some MIDI-PAC’s ready for the upcoming fair in Nijmegen. The MIDI-PAC will convert OPLL (MSX Music/ FM-PAC) data to MIDI data on the fly. This means that you can play all your favorite games with your favorite MIDI equipment. The first tools were programmed in MSX Basic. Luckely Tjeerd decided to reprogram them all for MSX-DOS. Tools for loading custom configuration files are ready.
The first release of the new configuration tool to adjust the musical instruments and all kind of other MIDI parameters is almost finished. We would like to thank Tjeerd’s wife for her patience ;-) and Manuel Pazos for arranging the product packaging. Hopefully we will have the product packaging too before Nijmegen. Tjeerd has made some recordings available for those of you who cannot wait until the Nijmegen fair. The recordings are made with a custom build Yamaha XG module based on a DB50 expansion pcb. And although the MIDI-PAC works on most General MIDI equipment, we recommend Yahama XG MIDI Modules if you are planning to buy a module and don’t want to spend a fortune. If you don’t want to spend money on MIDI modules at all: instructions for using a PC as a MIDI module will also be provided in the manual. Anyway, listen to our latest recordings and be amazed!
Song 1 (you can compare it with an old one we posted earlier to hear the advancements: Old song 1).
Song 2 (you can compare it with an old one we posted earlier to hear the advancements: Old song 2).
Tower of Gazzle: