Hardware Howto Multimedia Cartridges Music

FM-Pac English translation built-in

In the 90’s I used to have a FM-Pac, to add great sound to my MSX. The built-in menu was Japanese, and since there was no Google Translate, it was pretty useless to me.

FMPAC Japanese Menu








Thanks to MSX Translations there is a patch available to patch the ROM to English. This patch can be applied at runtime, but I used it to patch the original ROM and burn the patched ROM on a new Eprom and place it inside the original FM-Pac.

To accomplish this I removed IC2 from the original FM-Pac and replaced it with a 27C512 Eprom (150nS), with the English Patched Rom.

FMPAC PCB with Original ROM
FMPAC PCB with Patched ROM













I have dumped the original ROM and patched it with the English patch, they are available as download on


FM Pana Amusement Cartridge ROMs (Japanese - English) 49.78 KB 111 downloads

This archive contains the original Japanese ROM and the translated English ROM Japanese...


After replacing the ROM, this is the result:

FMPAC with English Menu
Hardware Howto Music

Philips Music Module Upgrade and Capacitor Replacement

Last MSX Fair in Tilburg I’ve bought the MSX Audio Extension Expander from Bas Kornalijnslijper.

This extension comes with an online build-in instruction that can be downloaded from Supersoniqs Website
The instruction starts with a little background:

Back in 2005 Brazilian MSX users Fábio Ricardo Schmidlin (FRS) and Luciano Sturaro
(MSXPró) released an expander PCB for the Philips Music Module. This board came with
and adjusted Panasonic MSX Audio ROM and with 256KB sample memory. A while ago
FRS published his schematics so other MSX users could recreate his upgrade PCB.
Because nobody took this challenge while there was still demand SuperSoniqs jumped in.
It took us some months to gather all the necessary parts, order the PCB’s and then find a
partner to assemble the upgrade boards. After some setbacks we finally succeeded. We
would like to thank FRS and MSXPró for their great work. They can be reached through Please check our site for news and information about our products.
Our place on the web can be found at We hope you have great fun with
this upgrade!

The upgrade can be done in some easy steps, but since I had to open up my Music Module I decided to also replace all electrolytic capacitors with high-grade audio electrolytic capacitors.
So I started to identify all capacitor values to order them. The following electrolytic capacitors ar used in the Music Module: Value Volt
C41 0.47uF 50V
C13 100uF 16V
C16 100uF 16V
C29 100uF 16V
C30 100uF 16V
C25 10uF 16V
C38 10uF 16V
C39 10uF 16V
C40 10uF 16V
C21 1uF 50V
C33 1uF 50V

I removed all electrolytic capacitors by cutting them out and then cleaned all holes using a desoldering pump.

Then I’ve put all new electrolytic capacitors.

After replacing all electrolytic capacitors I’ve tested the music module to see if it’s still functioning and to listen to the result. The result was not stunning, but the sound was somehow more ‘bright’.



I also replaced R41 with a 20KΩ potentiometer, so the sound output to the slotconnector can be adjusted.

After these modifications I started to build in the MSX Audio Extension Expander using the guide supplied by Supersoniqs.


The result:











Because I have multiple Music Modules with different ROM’s I have dumped them all using my Wellon VP-280 Eprom programmer and added them to the downloads section:

Emulation Games Howto OpenMSX

Install OpenMSX on Retropie with XBOX360 or PICADE Controller

This howto describes how to install OpenMSX on a default Retropie configuration.
I’ve build and tested it on a Raspberry 3B

This post is based on my original post at :

Step 1. : Download Retropie from the Retropie website.
I’ve used Retropie 4.1
Follow the installation instruction from the Retropie website.

Step 2 : Connect to your Raspberry Pi using SSH
(This step is not mandatory, but it gives the possibility to cut&past commands so you don’t have to type all commands)

Step 3 : Cut & Past the following commands:

sudo su
cd /home/pi/RetroPie-Setup/tmp/build
tar -xzvf openmsx-0.13.0.tar.gz
cd /etc/apt/
rm -f sources.list
apt-get -y update
apt-get -y build-dep openmsx
cd /home/pi/RetroPie-Setup/tmp/build/openmsx-0.13.0/build/
rm -f
cd /home/pi/RetroPie-Setup/tmp/build/openmsx-0.13.0
make install
cd ..
mkdir -p /opt/retropie/emulators/openmsx/share/systemroms/
unzip -d /opt/retropie/emulators/openmsx/share/systemroms/
cd /opt/retropie/configs/msx/
rm -f emulators.cfg
cd /home/pi/RetroPie-Setup/tmp/build
unzip -d /opt/retropie/emulators/openmsx/share/machines/
mkdir /home/pi/.openMSX/share/ -p
cd /home/pi/.openMSX/share/

Step 4 : Rename the settings file according your configuration.

There are 2 setting files, one to use with the Picade cabinet, named settings.pic






mv settings.pic settings.xml

Note : The PICADE controller is configured as a keyboard in OpenMSX.

And one settings file for a XBOX360 Controller, named settings.360:






mv settings.360 settings.xml

Note : The XBOX360 controller is configured as a Joystick in OpenMSX, with the D-pad also configured.

The following bindings are used for these controllers, making it possible to play for example Metal Gear 1/2, Maze of Galious, etc. without needing a keyboard.
Using the XBOX360 controller, you can use the XBOX button to open the OpenMSX On Screen Display Menu to quit OpenMSX en return to Retropie.

This is how the Picade looks like running OpenMSX on Retropie:



Panasonic Diskdrive cable connector V2 (prototype)

I’m working on a new prototype to connect a PC Diskdrive on the existing  24 pin flatcable.

This will work on all Panasonic MSX2+ & Turbo-R machines.

My first version looked like this an was very bulky due to the use of a 34 pin flatcable:
2013-06-09 22.13.31

The new V2 version, only has 2 connectors and can be directly plugged into a PC Drive.

Turbo-R Drive Adapter 2Turbo-R Drive Adapter 3


This is how it looks like in a Panasonic FSA1ST

Turbo-R Drive Adapter

As this is just the prototype, it has a lot of wires, this will be replaced by a nice PCB.


Making a NEC FD1231H Diskdrive MSX Compatible

Here’s a howto for making a NEC FD1231H (Manufacturing Date 2006) Diskdrive compatible with the MSX Turbo-R (and other models)

First cut the traces of Pin 2, Pin 12 & Pin 34

Setting the drive to DS0:
Solder a wire from pin 10 of the floppy connector to pin 19 of the FDN305 controller


Put Disk Change on pin 2 (Not necessary for some Philips Models)
Solder a wire from pin6 of the controller IC to the bottem solderpad of R1

Put READY on pin 34:
Solder a wire from the TP15 to Pin 34 of the connector




Panasonic FS-A1ST add 256kb RAM

This howto describes how to add an extra 256kb Ram to a Panasonic FS-A1ST to get 512kb Ram.


  • 2x 44C256 (IC31 / IC33) (I used OKI M514256B)
  • 2x SMD Capacitor 100 nF (C138 / C140)
  • 2x SMD Resistor 100 Ω (R55 /R229)
  • 1x Resistor 10 KΩ (R41)
  • (A lot of experience soldering SMD components)


First remove the mainboard from the FS-A1ST.

When removed, clear the solderpoints of IC31, IC33 and R41.

Solder Removed

Solder the SMD Capacitors on the empty spots C138 / C140 (Topside, just above the memory IC’s)

Solder the memory IC’s on the empty spots IC31 / IC33

Solder the SMD Resistor on the empty spot R55 (Top Side, left from the memory IC’s)

Memory Resistor and Capacitors

Solder the SMD Resistor on the empty spot R229

Resistor R229

Solder the Resistor on the empty spot R41

Resistor R41

Assemble the FS-A1ST and the bootscreen will show 512Kb Ram

Bootscreen FS-A1ST 512kb