Hi all,

You know these questions that start with “What if?”. Here at SuperSoniqs it is all about making our own “What if’s” possible. One of those was of course the lack of stereo sound in any MSX.  A while ago we stumbled upon an Ay-3-8930 soundprocessor. It was designed by General Instruments as an successor of the AY-3-8930 and sold to Microchip Taiwan together with their other chip designs. Microchip actually released it, implementations were made for PC (the infamous Sound Master) and the design was also used in a few arcade systems. The fun thing about the AY-3-8930 is that it has two different operating modes, one is AY-3-8910 compatible, and the other one is the enhanced mode. The enhanced mode of the AY-3-8930 adds separate envelopes for the three channels (as opposed to one shared envelope in the AY-3-8910), variable duty-cycles, more bits of precision for note frequency, volume, and envelope frequency, and a much better configurable noise generator.

darky

 

But of course the main fact that it was backwards compatible with our MSX PSG made us thinking why not release a cartridge with this soundchip? And why not a cartridge with two new ePSG’s? Since these chips have separate outputs for each PSG-channel (even our MSX PSG has, but few MSX’s actually make use of this), we thought it would be nice to put each channel into a stereo mixer, so that each seperate channel can be mixed and placed into the stereo dept field (stereo panning). Also, the channel mixers used have some more functionality like treble, bass, equalizing and 3d stereo spatializing.

But that’s not all. The audio end result of the mixed channels is fed into a SPIN FX-1 Effect processor, which has fixed effects such as echo, reverb, flange, chorus, etc. and 8 programmable effects. For this a EEprom is also part of the PCB design.

In default mode our new cartridge will start in the MSX PSG compatible mode, with the second PSG on a different clockspeed to create a pseudo stereo effect, usable with all existing MSX software. Registers are being made to access all PSG’s in MSX or ePSG enhanced mode, and to control the mixers and effect processor. An Atmel processor and Philips CLPD are used to control all hardware on this PCB.

The ePSG stereo card has two stereo mini-jack outputs, one line-out and the other one is an amplified headphone output.

Programming and testing this pcb will take some time. We hope to be able to release this card later this year.

Posted by: supersoniqs | February 2, 2016

Franky Cartridge Enclosure .STL files

Dear all,

Due to populair demand we hereby publish the .stl files of the Franky cartridge enclosure too. Some people had problems converting the Sketch-up files. With these .STL files you can 3d-print a compatible casing for your Franky project. Most professional 3d printer companies also accept these .stl files. Have fun with it.

Link to zip file containing the stl files

 

Posted by: supersoniqs | December 30, 2015

Build your own Sega VDP cartridge

Franky DIY PCBThanks to Brazilian MSX developers FRS and MSXPró, we can now publish a do it yourself guide for building your Sega own Audio and Video cartridge named “Franky”.

 

FRS took over some bare-boned pcb’s and worked out a instruction manual together with MSXPró. MSXpró improved the original design with better audio, audio and CVBS connectors and support for real vga monitors (that can handle 15KHz signals).

Because the cartridge enclosure needed for the board is hard to come by, we developed a 3D model of the  cartridge enclosure needed together with Dutch 3D- model company D-byte, which we offer as a free download to use in your own personal projects. This model is compatible with Philips NMS 1250 and Sunrise Moonsound type casings. The model is in the Sketchup format (plug-ins exist to export to .stl and other formats your 3D printer accepts)

D-byte Franky casing. Casing for DIY Franky project. Side view.

3D Printer Franky casing, free download.

Price for one Franky PCB board is 15 euro. That includes worldwide shipping (unregistered by letter mail). Please note that this only contains the pcb. You will have to acquire the necessary parts yourself (the part list is in the manual).

Link to the Franky DIY manual (.pdf): DIY Franky manual

Link to the cartridge enclosure file for 3D printing (.skp): Franky Cartridge Casing 3D model

 

Thank you for your support and happy holidays!

P.S. The order page and form is now updated, you can order one or multiple pcb’s. Please note that multiple pcb’s will be only send registered, so you need to order 6 pcb’s or more to make it cheaper for worldwide shipping.

Posted by: supersoniqs | November 27, 2015

Stock information

Dear customers,

We are sorry to say but currently the stock information is as follows:

  1. Playsoniq – sold out. We have some bare pcb’s left that could be finished. However, finding the parts is difficult and we are busy with a new project. We don’t know yet when this product will be available again.
  2. Modulon – first batch is sold out. We are looking into making a new batch, but we don’t have any time table for this. Maybe we will make changes to the design and this will take more free time we don’t have at the moment.
  3. MIDI-PAC. Sold out. Worp3 is busy with a new batch. New redesign is ready, software is not. We expect this product around the end of Q1 2016 or early Q2.
  4. MSX-Audio. We might produce some new boards in cooperation with MVM. Don’t expect these before Q2 2016.

Please keep using the order form. This will tell us that there is demand for these products so we might put some little more effort to reproduce them. Also, people who are so kind to use the order form will get on the reserve list and will be contacted first when new batches arrive.

All our free time and efforts are now being redirected to finish a new product we have been working on for the last two years. We hope to tell you more early 2016.

Thank you for your support,

SuperSoniqs & Worp3

Posted by: supersoniqs | August 27, 2015

Stock information

Dear customers,

Currently our PlaySoniq and MIDI-PAC’s are sold out. The last few PlaySoniqs are now being build and we hope to reply to your orders in the next few weeks.

We’ve gotten a lot of questions about the PlaySoniq lately, we will compile a list with the questions and our answers and post it here shortly.

The MIDI-PAC has gotten a redesign and will be available again when the internal software is ready. We hope to ship out MIDI-PAC’s again around October.

Please note that you can still place orders, you will be contacted first when new stock arrives.

Thank you for your continuous support.

Posted by: supersoniqs | March 1, 2015

PlaySoniq Toolset updated, SMSSAVE released

BiFi informs us that PSQTOOLS, the toolset for the PlaySoniq module has been updated.

SMSSAVE is completely new and can savegame data for Sega Master System roms that had support for battery back-upped save states.

SMSLOAD now not only loads Sega Master System, SG-1000 and SC-3000 roms files, but also loads Sega Master System savegame data created with SMSSAVE. SMSLOAD now also supports displaying  SG-1000 and SC-3000 ROM images on the MSX VDP, because these games are TMS9918 compatible. Funny when you realise that we already had the option to use the PlaySoniq for the MSX1 screen output (with the tool DUALVDP), and can now put Sega SG and SC roms on the MSX VDP output.

BiFi uses the PlaySoniq stateful memory option to reserve one part that is then configured as SRAM and used by the loaded rom to write the savegame information. After a soft reset, the SMSSAVE tool can then be used to write that information from memory back to disk. Next time you start SMSLOAD, you can then add the savegame to the SMSLOAD command instruction, which will load the savegame back into the Playsoniq memory and then execute the rom.

In our opinion this is a very clever trick. Also, in the past we heard some users say they liked the PlaySoniq very much, but regretted that progress in games that had some sort of back-up was lost every time they had to quit playing.

This has now been solved, thanks to BiFi!

Grab it at www.tni.nl

Posted by: supersoniqs | January 31, 2015

PSQTOOLS updated and SMSLOAD for PlaySoniq released!

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

Posted by: supersoniqs | December 8, 2014

Modulon slot expander ready to order

Hi Everyone!

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.

Modulon overview

Modulon overview

Back side of the Modulon slot expander.

Back side of the Modulon slot expander.

Side of the Modulon slot expander.

Side of the Modulon slot expander.

Left side of the modulen, with the volume controls and 5 Volt input

Left side of the Modulon, with volume controls and 5V input

Slot insertion side of the Modulon slot expander.

Slot insertion side of the Modulon slot expander.

The modulon can be ordered in the following colors:

Standard White
Standard Black
Traffic Red
Signal Yellow
Leaf Green
Ultramarine Blue
Dutch Orange
Shining Silver
Fluorescent Pink
Sky Blue
Naturel

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.

Posted by: supersoniqs | September 5, 2014

Stock information

Hi everybody,

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.

Posted by: supersoniqs | February 27, 2014

Playsoniq tools

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:

DUALVDP

  • Show the MSX screen on both the MSX VDP and Sega VDP in the PlaySoniq module

PSQSET

  • 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:

PSQTOOLS

http://www.tni.nl/products/psqtools.html

ROMLOAD

http://www.tni.nl/products/romload.html

Thank you again BiFi!

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