SX|2 Available again!

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By BignellaMSX

Resident (42)

BignellaMSX's picture

11-05-2021, 09:48

https://www.8bits4ever.net/product-page/sx2-msx-fpga

Obviously ordered one before posting this :D

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By AxelStone

Prophet (3058)

AxelStone's picture

11-05-2021, 10:01

Great news, sure to sell out very soon!

By sdsnatcher73

Prophet (2369)

sdsnatcher73's picture

11-05-2021, 11:38

Very enjoyable machine and very future proof as a FPGA MSX!

By AxelStone

Prophet (3058)

AxelStone's picture

11-05-2021, 14:16

Already sold! It's incredible LOL!

By Metalion

Paragon (1451)

Metalion's picture

11-05-2021, 17:39

One question : is the grey/white case part of the SX|2 ?
Or do you just buy the naked board ?

By Sylvester

Hero (539)

Sylvester's picture

11-05-2021, 17:42

The tech-specs listed on that page say: Fully assembled in a 3D printed case Cool

By Warchild

Paragon (1287)

Warchild's picture

11-05-2021, 19:13

I’ve been lucky and arrived in time to get one unit Big smile Big smile Big smile

But I’m totally new to this and I need some help. I don’t have any ps2 keyboard / mouse. Can I use USB to PS2 adapters with it? Or is it better to find straight ps2 keyboard and mouse?

Just for curiosity, what’s the reason of using this old connector type? I’ve seen other Fpga based machines and you can use USB keyboard and some wireless too. I recently bought a SIDI Fpga but due to my health problems I’ve been not able to use it as I’m in hospital now. I think is a cheap option to play with other 8 bit systems (and my first Fpga, so I didn’t wanted to spend too much). Of course it doesn’t have MSX cartridge connectors, but USB is there.

And another question, does the SX2 come with a SD card ready to use?

By hamlet

Scribe (3746)

hamlet's picture

11-05-2021, 20:03

@Metallion It comes with a 3D printed case, you even can choose between different colours.

I decided to get this white one

@Warchild

  • Only some of the USB keyboards (mainly older ones) use the PS/2 protocol. Even not all PS/2 keyboards are working. I did't get my ancient class M to work, as it seems to need more amperes than the SX-2 can provide.
  • If you want to use modern USB keyboards, you have to buy an active USB-PS/2 adapter, I got mine from Adder. It is not cheap but works without any problems.
  • The reason for not implementing USB might in the size of the Cyclone IV: Well, in computer business nothing is big enough.
  • The SX-2 doesn't come with a SD card neither a PSU or anything else.

By ducasp

Champion (467)

ducasp's picture

11-05-2021, 22:00

hamlet wrote:

@Metallion It comes with a 3D printed case, you even can choose between different colours.

I decided to get this white one

@Warchild

  • Only some of the USB keyboards (mainly older ones) use the PS/2 protocol. Even not all PS/2 keyboards are working. I did't get my ancient class M to work, as it seems to need more amperes than the SX-2 can provide.
  • If you want to use modern USB keyboards, you have to buy an active USB-PS/2 adapter, I got mine from Adder. It is not cheap but works without any problems.
  • The reason for not implementing USB might in the size of the Cyclone IV: Well, in computer business nothing is big enough.
  • The SX-2 doesn't come with a SD card neither a PSU or anything else.

USB host using just a Cyclone IV FPGA is really not pratical, it would either require extra hardware / microcontroller raising the costs, or, you can implement a barebones 1.1 USB controller that will depend a lot on the CPU (in our case, a z80 that is not really powerful)... More recent FPGAs (and also, way more expensive) have dedicated hardware for USB host controller and IP blocks that work really well, as well you could add a cheap microcontroller with USB functionality and make it just deliver joystick and keyboard scaning to the fpga, but this also means more hardware, redesign, costs on implementing it, etc...

I really think that whoever does the next evolution of MSX on a FPGA will have a better option to support USB hardware, like MiSTer does thanks to DE10 nano built-in ARM and USB host on the HPS of its Cyclone V FPGA, simple to use, lots of things already done for it so it is easier to pick-up working examples and adapt for your needs without having to start from scratch... Once those Cyclone V prices go lower, we are going to see a lot of custom FPGA projects with USB keyboard, joystick and mass storage support. (DE10 nano doesn't count as the whole board is sold at a lower price than the FPGA it has, it is sold at loss to get developers and students working with it, but I don't think it is an option for custom system builders like Victor Trucco or 8bits4ever, just a DE10 nano is the price of what they charge for the whole SM-X/SX systems and they still would have to build a lot of extras around it to have cartrige slots, controller ports, etc That is, if DE10-nano has enough pins available for msx slots, not sure about that)... So, until Cyclone V's prices go lower, I think those kinds of projects are either keep using PS2 keyboards or have a higher price that would be hard to sell enough to justify the project costs.

By Warchild

Paragon (1287)

Warchild's picture

11-05-2021, 22:27

Thank you hamlet for your answers. I've done a little search for the Adder and found it too expensive for me. Found some cheap PS/2 keyboard at Amazon, I'll try one (Genius KB-110X). Maybe it will work. No need for a PS/2 mouse, I have two or three MSX mice that sure will work. The SX2 will arrive in a month so I have time to search and learn about it.

@ducasp, nice explanation about the USB matter, thanks a lot. I'm just a plain user, don't know about all this tech. Sure when this hardware become cheaper we'll be able to have more features. For now I'm happy with what I get for the money, if I have to choose I prefer cartridge slots rather than USB ports. I'm sure I'll enjoy the SX2

Smile

By bsittler

Master (246)

bsittler's picture

12-05-2021, 03:45

It should work fine I think. You will be glad to have Scroll Lock, Print Screen, all 12 function keys, Pause key, etc. most likely, since these are used for accessing special features of the FPGA core at runtime (for instance slot reconfiguration)

Later you might decide to save for Adder + logi MX Keys or something for ultimate convenience

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