Carnivore2 software update version 2.40

Carnivore2 software update version 2.40

by hamlet on 03-07-2020, 22:33
Topic: Hardware
Languages:

The multi-purpose MSX extension Carnivore2 from the Russian Bear Service Crew (RBSC) just got a major software update. Version 2.40 is the latest and greatest software for this cartridge at the moment. Produced by 8bits4ever, this piece of hardware gives you CompactFlash Storage, 1MB RAM Mapper, 8MB FlashROM, SCC, SCC+, FMPAC and PSG sound. Compatible with your MSX/MSX2/MSX2+/TurboR Computer.

Required updates: FPGA firmware, FMPAC BIOS, Boot Menu, all utilities.

  1. The emulation of the slave slot is now possible as one of the master's subslots in the Dual-Slot screen. This mode is automatically enabled when there's no free slots in a system. The master slot must be expanded for this feature to work. This allows to use Dual-Slot feature on computers with only one available slot and also on computers where this feature didn't work before (Sony HB-55 and HB-75).
  2. The user interface now looks 99% the same on all MSXs, so people with Arabic and Korean MSXs could use the special Boot Menu for all computers without visual differences. The cursor in the special Boot Menu is blinking like on Apple II computers — this is a fix for the previously found problem with the cursor on the Arabic and Korean MSX computers.
  3. «The Hymn to Aurora» background music was added into the main menu. The M button toggles the playback. The playback state is saved into the configuration EEPROM.
  4. The last used entry can be located by pressing the L button. This helps to navigate the directory when there are too many entries and a user wants to return to the last used entry after reboot. This setting is saved into the configuration EEPROM.
  5. The C2BACKUP utility now preserves the Boot Menu, IDE and FPMAC BIOSes. So when restoring an old backup, the up–to–date system areas will not be overwritten with the old data.
  6. The new FMPAC BIOS has been provided, now it has 100% English translation.
  7. The new firmware with a few important bugfixes has been provided — it is highly recommended to update the firmware to version 2.40 — the same as the last Boot Menu.
  8. The F1–F10 functional keys no longer affect the user interface's input in the Boot Menu.
  9. The Autostart feature is no longer using the FlashROM to store the setting. Now the entry for Autostart is stored in the configuration EEPROM. So please make sure that your cartridge has this chip installed (it's a small 8–pin chip under the CF card slot).
  10. All screen output is now done via VDP ports to improve the user interface experience — there is no more BIOS–assisted screen output.
  11. A few bugfixes were done in the Dual-Slot functionality of the Boot Menu, for example the option to use one of the master slot's subslots for the slave slot emulation has been added.
  12. The help scroller has been added, use the S key to enable/disable it. The scroller's status is saved into the configuration EEPROM.
  13. A few adjustments were made to the RD's signal timing in the firmware in order to improve compatibility with various CF cards.
  14. The SCC enabling logic has been modified for the better compatibility with the slave slot. Now all SCC games have music and sounds in all configurations.

Relevant link: Link to the repository
Relevant link: shop at 8bits4ever

Comments (25)

By OeiOeiVogeltje

Paragon (1361)

OeiOeiVogeltje's picture

04-07-2020, 10:21

THANKS!!

By Gloriou

Master (168)

Gloriou's picture

04-07-2020, 10:52

Thank you guys for the great work!

By roadfighter

Champion (400)

roadfighter's picture

04-07-2020, 12:05

Yes, great update.

By VegaVegas

Rookie (32)

VegaVegas's picture

04-07-2020, 16:52

Hey there, I updated my Carnivore2 cartridge (full update using USB blaster to update firmware to 2.40 as well as boot menu and BIOSes to 2.40). While I updated it successfully, I have a problem with CF card- it does not boot to Nextor so I cannot run any .com programs or see any files, it just boots to Nextor-basic. I cannot even run c2man! ! ! Everything worked completely fine before. What am I doing wrong?? Please for help. Thanks in advance

EDIT: I noticed this must be some sort of FPGA firmware issue. Once I downgraded the cart to 2.30, it started to work again and boots to Nextor from CF card. Files on CF card are 100% the same all the time. On a side note I noticed when I boot on 2.30 firmware it shows "Slave devide: Not found" while on 2.40 it showed "Slave device: detecting.Unknown device BF00h". Not sure whether this is relevant or not. Both of them detected CF card, however the difference in 2.40 is that Nextor does not boot at all so I can't do anything, it only boots to Nextor BASIC, so the only difference I noticed in the update is I can hear some annoying music in the background and I cannot do anything else

By Alexey

Guardian (2851)

Alexey's picture

05-07-2020, 14:01

VegaVegas wrote:

Hey there, I updated my Carnivore2 cartridge (full update using USB blaster to update firmware to 2.40 as well as boot menu and BIOSes to 2.40). While I updated it successfully, I have a problem with CF card- it does not boot to Nextor so I cannot run any .com programs or see any files, it just boots to Nextor-basic. I cannot even run c2man! ! ! Everything worked completely fine before. What am I doing wrong?? Please for help. Thanks in advance

EDIT: I noticed this must be some sort of FPGA firmware issue. Once I downgraded the cart to 2.30, it started to work again and boots to Nextor from CF card. Files on CF card are 100% the same all the time. On a side note I noticed when I boot on 2.30 firmware it shows "Slave devide: Not found" while on 2.40 it showed "Slave device: detecting.Unknown device BF00h". Not sure whether this is relevant or not. Both of them detected CF card, however the difference in 2.40 is that Nextor does not boot at all so I can't do anything, it only boots to Nextor BASIC, so the only difference I noticed in the update is I can hear some annoying music in the background and I cannot do anything else

You can either keep using the firmware 2.30 or downgrade Nextor to Alpha2 and use the new firmware. The Beta2 version doesn't work well with all CF cards. I already notified Konamiman. The "annoying" music can be switched off with M key. If that is the only difference that you noticed, you should stay with version 2.30 of the firmware and the Boot Menu.

Everyone: If you experience problems, please always check the readme.txt and the user's manual first:
https://github.com/RBSC/Carnivore2/blob/master/Doc/

By VegaVegas

Rookie (32)

VegaVegas's picture

06-07-2020, 12:00

Definitely not an update for me if the update to 2.40 just disables the cart for me completely while 2.30 and anything under worked 100% fine at all times. Carnivore2 is one of the best devices ever and I can't imagine using MSX without it so I know there must be some bug here along the way. In software 2.40, CF card seems to be detected but it does not boot to Nextor in any possible way, making my Carnivore2 cart completely useless. It is Transcend 4GB by the way. I would definitely recommend to all people to stay at maximum 2.30 software and never update the cart until this bug (and all major ones) are fixed

By Alexey

Guardian (2851)

Alexey's picture

06-07-2020, 15:34

Please list ALL major bugs in the Carnivore2 software that you found. If you accuse RBSC of producing the software with major bugs and recommend people to avoid upgrading, you have to provide some proof. Otherwise you are accountable for pasting false facts.

The possible problems with certain CF cards and Nextor 2.1.0 Beta2 BIOS were mentioned in the readme.txt file and the ticket was created for Konamiman to resolve this problem.

We will check your CF card problem report on our end.

By VegaVegas

Rookie (32)

VegaVegas's picture

07-07-2020, 13:33

Is this some sort of FBI investigation?? Just take it easy. Even if I made false accusation then I would not even benefit from this. Your advice of "reading readme file" is kinda vague as every folder has "readme.txt" file but I got this advice in one of the folders now. I downgraded that IDE driver to alpha version and yes, the CF card works now and it boots to Nextor and autostarts to Sofarun as for my set up. This is software 2.40 now, however it is mixed with an old driver but at least I have a choice now. If this is the case then I would just leave the old IDE driver for the official release. This was the one major bug for me as I couldn't access the cartridge so I couldn't even find any more bugs but if I do then I will post them on the forum

By Alexey

Guardian (2851)

Alexey's picture

07-07-2020, 18:00

I am glad that the offered solution worked for you. Maybe next time, before you appeal to all users to avoid upgrading, you should first ask for help at the forum?

By VegaVegas

Rookie (32)

VegaVegas's picture

07-07-2020, 20:15

...goodness and this is exactly what I did xxxxxxxxxxxxDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

By Alexey

Guardian (2851)

Alexey's picture

07-07-2020, 20:32

You don't seem to get the point. And you don't see the difference between the forum and the news post. I give up...

By VegaVegas

Rookie (32)

VegaVegas's picture

07-07-2020, 20:50

That is because this is a forum, it counts the same way

By gdx

Prophet (3664)

gdx's picture

08-07-2020, 02:37

I have some comments about Carnivore 2.

Documentation wrote:

Carnivore2 is not guaranted in the R800 mode on Panasonic Turbo R

Turbo R can switch to Z80 mode to execute the problematic routines. Why not do it?

Documentation wrote:

Certains features of Carnivore2 may not work correctly on computers with less than 16kb of RAM

Carnivore2 has a memory extension is not it? What is the reason for this incompatibility?

By Alexey

Guardian (2851)

Alexey's picture

08-07-2020, 12:59

gdx wrote:

I have some comments about Carnivore 2.

Documentation wrote:

Carnivore2 is not guaranted in the R800 mode on Panasonic Turbo R

Turbo R can switch to Z80 mode to execute the problematic routines. Why not do it?

If you enable the R800 mode yourself in the main menu, some features may not work well. Carnivore2 doesn't disable the R800 mode by itself. So if you decided to run games and configuration entries in the R800 mode, some of them may not work as expected.

gdx wrote:
Documentation wrote:

Certains features of Carnivore2 may not work correctly on computers with less than 16kb of RAM

Carnivore2 has a memory extension is not it? What is the reason for this incompatibility?

Yes it does, but if you disable the RAM extension, you won't be able to use certain software, for example you won't be able to boot to MSX-DOS1/2 or use other software that has minimum memory requirements.

Those warnings are there because Carnivore2 allows a user to flexibly control the cartridge and the system. But some actions may lead to undesired consequences.

By gdx

Prophet (3664)

gdx's picture

08-07-2020, 14:03

I don't quite understand for the Turbo R. Do you have examples of what is not working properly in R800 mode?

Regarding the Casio PV-7, if I understand correctly, this should also be the case for 16KB MSXs and also for 32kB MSXs to a lesser extent. And this problem is easily solved by reactivating the memory extension with the configuration menu of the Carnivore2 is not it?

By Alexey

Guardian (2851)

Alexey's picture

08-07-2020, 15:21

Again, in the documentation there's a description of the possible problems if a user disables Carnivore's own RAM or enables R800 mode. In the normal circumstances these failures don't occur. But if a user starts to play around with the configuration and CPU modes, he should be ready that something won't work as expected. It's just as simple as that.

I don't remember the exact details, but when we tested Carnivore2 with Turbo-R machines in the beginning, certain ROMs and device configurations were not working with R800 mode. For example some ROMs failed to start and certain components of Carnivore2 (IDE, sound cards) did not work as expected when R800 mode was enabled.

You are right. Most of the software expects at least 32kb of RAM (which, IMO, is the minimum requirement for MSX), starting from 0x8000 when a machine is booted to MSX Basic. Some other software assumes that there's at least 16kb of RAM at 0xС000 and uses that area for its own needs. However, if there's only 8kb of RAM, the upper available RAM is at address 0xE000. This basically eliminates the possibility to run most of the software that uses RAM for its needs, including any version of DOS. To a user, the failure to boot to DOS with Carnivore2's IDE should not be a surprise if he selects a configuration without RAM. In addition, Carnivore2 itself relies on the presence of at least 16kb of RAM at 0xC000. If for some reason its own RAM is disabled or malfunctioning, the boot menu won't start on 8kb RAM machines. And with the directory sorting the minimum requirements with the disabled internal RAM is 32kb.

By Alexey

Guardian (2851)

Alexey's picture

12-07-2020, 17:38

After the discussion with Nestor (Konamiman) it starts to become clearer what happened. The Nextor BIOS consists of IDE driver and the BIOS itself. The IDE driver in the version that we released for Carnivore2 is v0.1.7. Seems that this IDE driver version may cause some incompatibility issues with certain CF cards. There's another Nextor Beta2 BIOS with the older IDE driver v0.1.5. This version should resolve the issues that VegaVegas and other people had after our July's release.

@VegaVegas, could you please try the following:

1. Download the Beta2 version with older IDE driver:
https://github.com/Konamiman/Nextor/releases/download/v2.1.0...
2. Rename it to BIDECMFC.BIN and place it into the same folder with C2MAN utility
3. Boot to MSX-DOS and write this IDE BIOS into Carnivore2, reboot
4. See if this version of the BIOS resolves compatibility issues

By lovemsxfan

Supporter (7)

lovemsxfan's picture

24-07-2020, 09:30

Hi there. I have a question.
I am using v2.40 firmware and there is a problem running XANADU rom on cannivore2. When XANADU rom file is written to cannivore2 ram with c2ramldr along with xana_ram.rcp file, the game starts but freezes immediately. Is there any way to fix this?
I don't know English very well, so I used Google Translate. Please excuse me.

By Pencioner

Scribe (1141)

Pencioner's picture

24-07-2020, 11:29

Did it work with 2.30 before firmware was updated to 2.40?

By lovemsxfan

Supporter (7)

lovemsxfan's picture

24-07-2020, 13:40

I'm not sure if XANADU worked or not when it was v2.30. Because I haven't tried XANADU with v2.30. Will it work normally if I downgrade the firmware to V2.30?

By Pencioner

Scribe (1141)

Pencioner's picture

24-07-2020, 14:29

I'm not sure, i was trying to understand if that was new firmware causing this. By the way, does it work flashed (not in RAM but written into cartridge's directory)?

By lovemsxfan

Supporter (7)

lovemsxfan's picture

24-07-2020, 14:56

Okay. I'll try it later. When XANADU is written in Carnivore2's rom, the opening screen and music appear normally, but cannot be started.

By lovemsxfan

Supporter (7)

lovemsxfan's picture

26-07-2020, 07:04

It does not work even with v2.30. Has anyone confirmed that the XANADU ROM is working properly on CARNIVORE 2?

By Alexey

Guardian (2851)

Alexey's picture

30-07-2020, 15:58

XANADU worked only when uploaded into Carnivore2's RAM using the C2RAMLDR utility. This cartridge probably has some weird hardware design that includes RAM for saving game's status, so it doesn't work when launched from ROM or protected RAM. We created the special RCP file for the RAM uploading and I remember it worked fine before. But with the latest firmware and boot menu it doesn't.

@lovemsxfan, please create the topic at the forum and ask for help from the community for adapting the game to work with Carnivore2. I will also look into this myself.

By bsittler

Resident (52)

bsittler's picture

26-08-2020, 05:26

Is there any way to use a Carnivore 2 in the second cartridge slot (which is architecturally primary slot 3) of the National CF-3000? In this MSX the two cartridge slots (though labelled 1 and 2 on the slot covers) are architecturally primary slot 2 and primary slot 3.