View Full Version : MSX problem!

03-13-2010, 02:22 PM
hey guys,

a couple of months ago I finally decided to buy an MSX computer because I want to play the exclusive Konami shooters on the original hardware! I succeeded getting a Sony MSX2+ F1XV in flawless condition and got it yesterday by seamail from Japan. :D
But here's the issue. I can't get the video signal straight, it keeps flickering or scrolling. When I connect it to my Philips CM8802 monitor (50/60Hz RGB), the picture is just "scrolling" really fast. I attached a picture of it:


I decided to try connecting the MSX with my rgb TV and it looks much better, but the picture still "scrolls" about once a second and certain areas are "wobbling".


I tried to capture that effect on the last picture with the blue screen and text. The text is wobbling back and forth and not just bent to the right as you can see on the picture.
My guess is that it is caused by the cable because the MSX itself boots and plays cartridges perfectly fine, but the video signal i.e. gets worse when I reconnect the cable: The image shifts when reconnected whilst the MSX is switched on, like the bottom of the picture is right in the middle.

My RGB-cable is an 8-pole DIN->Scart RGB, selfmade by a guy from the Netherlands. The people I've contacted to far don't have a clue, so you guys are basically my last hope.

03-13-2010, 04:54 PM
I don't know if that will help you or not, but I remember when I had a tv turned into an rgb monitor that there was a dial nob inside just to adjust the syncronism. Without that fine tunning adjustment I had similar problems with the image scrolling like crazy and the wobling in certain areas. Your cable could be faulty as well, I know there at least one pin just for the syncronism as well, you might want to check the solder joints on that.

blue lander
03-13-2010, 08:07 PM
If it's scrolling really fast that usually means either it isn't getting a vertical sync signal ( maybe the monitor needs composite sync and your MSX is outputting seperate HV sync or vice versa), or the computer is trying to sync the screen at a frequency the monitor doesn't support.

AB Positive
03-13-2010, 11:09 PM
Well just a note, just so things are more difficult - Japan and Europe have different SCART pinouts. If you are using a European scart cable, that's probably why it's scrolling.

03-14-2010, 12:41 AM
Did you buy the cable from Bas? (bas-ditta.info)?

If so, give him an email directly. He is *very* knowledgeable about MSX hardware. He's given me straight solutions to my problems in the past, often with quick replies also :)

If you DIDN'T buy from Bas, give him an email anyways and explain things to him.

How does the computer work if you use composite instead of the RGB, or do you live in PAL land where that is not an option? It should still be a "kind of" option. You can hook up composite and get a B&W video signal I believe, and at least see if the screen rolls that way.

If it works composite-style, and not RGB style, that means you either have a bad cable, or a bad RGB port on the MSX itself.

also, the MSX din outputs a composite sync signal on .... pin 4 IIRC. So its possible the cable you have is not the right one.

Which cable did you buy exactly?

http://bas-ditta.info/verkoopenlinks/kabels%20engels.htm one from here??

EDIT: also, how is the FDD in it? They usually come complete with broken belts that require replacement!

The belts are cheap to replace (from Bas!), and simple as hell to replace as well. If you happen to have to do that, feel free to PM me. I've done it like 4 times

03-14-2010, 08:07 AM
I live in PAL-land (Germany) and my TV/monitor supports NTSC, 60Hz and RGB input. I've tested them with several other devices such as JP Sega Saturn, GameCube, PS2, Mega Drive...

@ab positive
Mh, I bought that cable from Bas in the Netherlands, so it's probably made for any MSX with 8-pole din out. Didn't knew there were difficulties with jap and pal RGB cables?! I use European RGB cables for all my jp. consoles and had no problems what so ever.

Yes, as mentioned on top, I bought the cable from Bas. I'm in contact with him and he offers me to sent a new cable.

I've also tested the MSX with a simple cinch cable (they call it RCA jack in the states?! I mean the yellow/red/white one...) and it delivers a flawless composite picture. So the source of my pain is the RGB cable, I can be sure about that, right?

I bought a cable from the website you referred to, the forth counting from the top:
Scart ---> 8-pin DIN (1,5 m) Sony, Turbo-R 12€

The FDD should be fine but I don't have a game to test it. According to the seller he replaced the belt just a couple of weeks before the sale.

AB Positive
03-14-2010, 08:43 AM
No, I messed up - there is a difference but only in the cable. If you have an EU scart cable it'd work regardless of machine. I'm a fool, no one pay attention to me :D

03-14-2010, 10:49 PM
yeah we call those RCA cables here, :).

Well if Bas is the one you got it from, you should have a solution real soon.

It IS possible however that the problem isn't the cable (which btw, that cable is the right cable)..so, It COULD be the DIN itself on the computer has a dodgy connection. The only way to do that would be to open the computer and look and see if a pin is off the board.

It isn't hard at all to open one of those. You just take all the screws out of the bottom and carefully lift the top off. Carefully because, the LEDs / turbo & rensha sliders on the top piece are connected via wires to the board on the bottom piece.

You could just hold the top off, and look down and see the DIN. or you can disconnect the wires. Placing them back in is simple. There are 3 different sized jacks, and the wires only fit one way, so its a matter of matching the size + direction of the bumpy part. Very painless.

Also, try this: Plug the cable in and go to the prompt where you have a rolling image.


VDP(10)=2 and see what happens. That changes the signal of the VDP to 50hz

For the time being you should just enjoy your MSX with composite connection until you get the RGB straightened out.

03-21-2010, 09:13 AM

Bas sent me a new cable and it arrived yesterday. I'm quite sure, however, that the cable is not the problem: the problem comes up with both of his RGB cables and they look very tidily soldered.

I then proceeded by opening the MSX as you suggested @Arkhan.
It's indeed not that hard to open, at least not as tricky as accessing the mainboard of a GameCube console (;_;). I had to remove the FDD and could take a look at the RGB DIN-in, here's a photo :


Can you infer something from that picture?

Also, try this: Plug the cable in and go to the prompt where you have a rolling image.


VDP(10)=2 and see what happens. That changes the signal of the VDP to 50hz

Yeah, someone on msx.org told me to do that as well but it didn't work out. I'm also 100% certain that my TV is capable of anything necessary (NTSC/RGB/60Hz). I've yet to connect a gaming system that wouldn't work... as said, I've never had any issues with my jpn RGB 60Hz consoles on that TV, such as GC, MD, Saturn, DC, PS2, ...

For the time being you should just enjoy your MSX with composite connection until you get the RGB straightened out.
That's what I do... but that can't be it, can it? There must be a way. :-|

03-22-2010, 09:21 AM

I gained access to the bottom of the mainboard pcb, here's a shot of the DIN connector solderings:


Do you think that's the problem? I can't spot any loose solder joints.

03-23-2010, 03:24 PM
dang. the din looks solid to me. I am not sure what you can do at this point. Have you described your problem in detail to bas? Hes a pretty knowledgeable hardware dude, and might know a trick, or a reason for what is happening.

03-24-2010, 08:55 AM
Bas wrote me the following:

broken ground gives no signal

solder all point of the connector in the computer.
It is not to see if there is a little crack.

I'll resolder it during the next days, when I have access to my tools. Hopefully that will help.

But anyway, I got quite a lot advice on msx.org, such as measuring all the DIN connectors separately with a voltmeter, but I'm lacking one so that's not really an alternative right now :/

That's the thread on msx.org:

03-24-2010, 03:25 PM
Ahh, I see. Well good luck with the soldering.

not to get into it (the misleading msx.org drama) toooo much, but take MSX.org information with a grain of salt. Sometimes youll get some pretty stupid suggestions that you'd swear were cooked up while on meth.

Looks like you got pretty lucky and got normal responses. You're better off asking Bas directly for help with any problems. :)

good luck and keep us posted

04-06-2010, 10:09 AM
I've resoldered the joints today. Added a little solder here and there, but unfortunately nothing has changed :( Just the same as before, the picture is showing up but flickers as much as it did before!

Here are two pictures of the resoldered DIN out:


I'm beginning to think I'd maybe just better use it with with a simple rca cable. Or maybe sell it to someone outside of Europe where missing RGB isn't so much of a setback :/

04-06-2010, 07:11 PM
well, id never turn down buying another sony msx.... :)

but ah, did you ask bas about that monitor? A few monitors Ive tried in the past, all of the Commodore variety, turned out to be randomly incompatible, so maybe confirm your monitor with him.

04-10-2010, 02:55 PM
I asked him but it's the right one. The Philips monitors are frequently used for older RGB devices such as home computers or Mega Drive, PC-Engine et cetera. He even sells the exact same model as MSX accessory.

However, I've found a weird solution for the actual RGB problem:


I resoldered joints #1 & #2 near C34 how Jipe (msx.org) suggested, but it didn't help. I hooked it up via RCA prior to RGB and didn't remove the RCA cable when I tried it with RGB. Miraculously I was confronted a PERFECT RGB IMAGE all of a sudden!!


When I remove the RCA cable from either the monitor or the MSX, the image starts flickering again. With both cables connected, however, the picture is stable and is not disturbed even when I touch or move the DIN plug around a bit.

I am no electronics freak but that seems to me like a grounding problem of the Video area. Or maybe the MSX takes the V-synch from the cinch cable b/c it doesn't work on the RGB out? I've no idea, but at least it works after all!

Cheers! :D

04-13-2010, 02:08 AM
Oh, thats a solution I have used in the past to ghetto-rig cables, lol.

That probably means the monitor itself has a dodgy connector and the sync isn't strong, or isn't syncing at all!.

I advise using this RCA for sync solution. Don't open the monitor. Blowing your self up over it isnt worth it.

I made a cable one time that is both the RGB and RCA in one cable so its a bit neater. You can mimic that with a few zip ties or some tape. :D

blue lander
04-14-2010, 10:03 AM
I've used a lm1881 (http://gamesx.com/wiki/doku.php?id=av:lm1881) in the past when a computer was outputting a weak or screwy sync signal. It's normally used for splitting a sync signal, but it'll generate its own sync pulses if the input sync is too weak.

04-17-2010, 07:05 AM
yes, the lm1881 is the preferred method of fixing CSYNC problems

but its also a PITA if you're not good at that sorta thing.

nothing beats jamming an RCA cable into a hole and being good to go!