AgonLight (MSX core)

By Matej

Expert (73)

Matej's picture

20-01-2023, 12:30

There is new opensource 8bit RaspberryPI like SBC computer based on real fast eZ80 (128 flash, 8kb sram) 20MHz, 512kb Ram and powerful GPU (32bit risc mcu) - 640 x 480 / 64 colors and sprites, scrolling. And BBC basic + build in dos. And there is expansion slot too Gpio and Uext. And use cheap ps/2 mechanical keyboard. There is also CP/M ported to it.
Price is 50usd/euro simple version(AgonLight2) and 100usd/euro for first version.

Maybe there can be way to:
1.) emulate in esp32 gdp co-processor - V9958 or V9990
2.) do AgonLight MSX-BUS (2x or 4x MSX cartridge for sound, gfx etc) or fm(fmpac/opl4, ay-psg) soundcard with 2x cannon 9 for sega gamepads/joysticks.
3.) implement MSX-Basic + DOS
And to have MSX2 core on it.

Or when even not this maybe do new games, demos, apps MSX -> AgonLight conversions etc. Its very cheap and fast nice little Z80 computer.
It is not so good as beautiful new MSX3 but really nice too!

Here is homepage:


European Manufacturer(50euro version):



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By aoineko

Paladin (1002)

aoineko's picture

20-01-2023, 13:20

Waoh! I hope I don't start a controversy, but this is exactly what I had hoped for when Nishi started talking about a new MSX.
A boosted z80, a new VDP and above all no overlay that would deprive us of the direct access to the hardware that makes (from my point of view) all the interest to continue programming on MSX.

I'm a noob in electronics, and I don't know how complicated it would be to change the Agon to be MSX compatible, but it seems to be the closest thing to what I would like to be a new MSX.

By Matej

Expert (73)

Matej's picture

20-01-2023, 14:26

@Aoineko - Actually it is open source so can be even redesign motherboard to have cartridge ports and soundchips joysticks and "all in keyboard" design as Omega MSX. It is opensource so can be done! Also mATX board using PC case for example.
Olimex have UEXT soundcard -
With VS1053 soundchip

So maybe have driver in firmware to convert FM music to VS1053 wavetable(there is allready similar cartridge on MSX translating FM to MIDI).

Here is how VS1053 sounds:
Youtube - VS1053 Wavetable - Doom

By Accumulator

Champion (334)

Accumulator's picture

21-01-2023, 13:51

Would it be an option to run ZEAL 8bit OS as well? Zeal 8bit OS
What about Zeal 8bit computer?

By Matej

Expert (73)

Matej's picture

23-01-2023, 15:47

By pseen

Resident (61)

pseen's picture

06-03-2023, 12:26

All of a sudden I feel an urge to learn BBC Basic. Face


Expert (118)

SKiLLa's picture

06-03-2023, 13:58

I have one and it is indeed blazingly fast; the 18MHz eZ80 CPU equals a classic Z80 at ~55MHz and it's the fastest fantasy 8-bit retro; according to the website itself even twice as fast as (the way more expensive) 8-bit guy's X16 Commander.

The initiative itself (design, firmware development, ports) is also mainly lead by Dutch people too; CP/M 3.3 is already ported and since some other guy recently already ported the MSX1 BIOS to the Nebu recently; doing this for the Agon Light sounds relatively easy too.

Accurate MSX2/MSX2+ emulation might be more tricky, given things like the line-interrupts concept currently doesn't exist (it only has VSYNC support), etc, but otherwise there is tons of capacity in the ESP to do cool stuff.

PS: Too bad the ESP32 used doesn't have the WIFI module built-in Wink

By rootboy

Supporter (4)

rootboy's picture

11-03-2023, 23:21


So what keyboard did you use? I failed to notice the oddball keyboard when I ordered my AgonLight2. I've got PS/2 keyboards out the wazoo, but none with a USB connector (maybe I do, but how would I know without testing each one?).

If push comes to shove I'll order a couple from Olimex and take the hit on shipping.



By sleepyhead

Supporter (1)

sleepyhead's picture

13-03-2023, 18:48

Dean created issue 14 to support terminal input as well as PS/2

I don't have a PS/2 keyboard or USB keyboard that can switch to native PS/2. I enabled in Agon-VDP the experimental terminal by setting SERIALKB=1 and the baudrate to 115200. Then I compiled and uploaded the VDP to the the ESP32 and now text is displayed on my VGA monitor and I can type text through a terminal connection to the serial port. Not ideal, but at least it works.
#define SERIALKB 1
line DBGSerial.begin(115200, SERIAL_8N1, 3, 1);


Expert (118)

SKiLLa's picture

28-03-2023, 13:47

@sleepyhead: Awesome ! I'll give it a try next time I have some time to play with it.

@rootboy: Sorry for the late reply, but I just use a real PS/2 keyboard with a very specific basic USB dongle / converter; the type that doesn't require drivers, does not is a 2-in-1 (mouse + keyboard), but just 'connects the pins'; this one on works for me:

You can even get them for less than 5 euro's, but that's usually without additional shipping costs.