DivMMC Enjoy - I'm not enjoying it!

edited February 2015 in Hardware
My DivMMC Enjoy arrived today. Excitedly I rushed home to plug it into my +2a. I have quite a few SD card/CF solutions for my computers so I know what a difference they make to using them. Everything from the superb 1541 Ultimate on the C64 (the benchmark for all devices), an HxC and even a SD card inside my BBC Master.

Set the box up as per the instructions (setting the DIP switches as per manual), plugged it in and loaded up a game. Didn't work. No matter try again.... Nope.

Now the manual says 128k SNA and Z80 files won't work on Amstrad machines and that's fine. But I'm having issues with TAP as well no matter if loading via the interface or via BASIC.

Examples include Zub hanging when you try to leave the intro sequence. Rainbow Islands crashing on the loading screen, Chase HQ doing nothing at all, Navy Seals crashing after 10 seconds of gameplay and more.

Am I doing something wrong? I've tried multiple game images, read and re-read the manual. The Speccy passes all its self test procedure and loads and plays 128k games from tape fine.

The issue does seem to be 128k games. The 48k games I've tried so far have been fine. The manual says it runs 128k games and some games are fine (e.g CJ's Elephant Antics).

Also tried it on my +3. Navy Seals now works but other games still refuse to load (Chase HQ and Rainbow Islands being 2).

I've also cleaned the edge connector on the +2a twice just to be sure and also tried it with the Kempston interface switch turned off. There is nothing else attached to the machine.

Any idea? There doesn't appear to be a support website like the 1541 Ultimate has so I guess the best place to ask is on here.

Thanks.
Post edited by chinnyhill10 on
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCifcRlP9KST8T0irCHyykrA ChinnyVision, Youtube reviews of games using the original hardware
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Comments

  • edited January 2015
    Update on this. Loaded both Navy Seals (which crashed) and Uridium (which had graphics glitches) in from the same images via a car cassette adaptor and both play perfectly.

    I assume that rules out any problems with the +2 itself in that the RAM and other hardware must be working fine. The games only have issues when loaded in via the DivMMC.
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCifcRlP9KST8T0irCHyykrA ChinnyVision, Youtube reviews of games using the original hardware
  • edited January 2015
    All the games you mention work fine on my +2A and DivMMC EnJoy combo, so I'd imagine, if the Spectrums have been ruled out, that it must be the interface at fault.

    I'd drop Ben an email via his website or via here (his nick is bverstee), I've found him to be very helpful.

    Do try a quick clean of the edge connectors both on the machines and on the interface first though :)

    B
    The Spectrum Resuscitation Thread - bringing dead Spectrums back to life
    zx-diagnostics - Fixing ZX Spectrums in the 21st Century (wiki)
    Sinclair FAQ Wiki
  • edited January 2015
    balford wrote: »
    Do try a quick clean of the edge connectors both on the machines and on the interface first though :)

    On the principle of "third time lucky"? ;)
    My rubbish website including the redrawn Amstrad schematics and the new home of the Sinclair FAQ wiki.
  • edited January 2015
    Yep :D
    The Spectrum Resuscitation Thread - bringing dead Spectrums back to life
    zx-diagnostics - Fixing ZX Spectrums in the 21st Century (wiki)
    Sinclair FAQ Wiki
  • edited January 2015
    I've dropped him an email via his site for any suggestions.

    Some stuff works fine, but many games crash the same way in a repeated fashion.

    I'd understand it if it was just one machine or the TAP files were corrupt. Yes the +2a is playing up the most but the +3 also has issues as well.

    Haven't tried my 48k yet. Don't really want to get it out tonight as I currently have Spectrum stuff everywhere!
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCifcRlP9KST8T0irCHyykrA ChinnyVision, Youtube reviews of games using the original hardware
  • edited January 2015
    Have you tried another SD card, or tried another SD card reader on the PC?
    I am from that generation, when Pluto was still a planet, and the Earth is round.

    Bomb Munchies on WOS thread
    Bomb Munchies Ver1930 17th Nov 2017 (look for the blue download box ) If you get a time-out message and live in the UK then try after 9pm-3am.
    Send me a PM and I can email it to you too. Kent, UK
  • edited January 2015
    MatGubbins wrote: »
    Have you tried another SD card, or tried another SD card reader on the PC?

    Could try. Was using the SD card supplied with it which is, oddly a miniature one in a full size adaptor (guess the seller got a cheap deal on them).
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCifcRlP9KST8T0irCHyykrA ChinnyVision, Youtube reviews of games using the original hardware
  • edited January 2015
    Could try. Was using the SD card supplied with it which is, oddly a miniature one in a full size adaptor (guess the seller got a cheap deal on them).

    It's a MicroSD card in a SD card adapter. Pretty standard fare. Don't see the combo as cheaper. It's more or less the same price as a equivalent SD card from the same manufacturer. But MicroSD is a more common card standard for modern hardware.

    /Pedro
  • edited January 2015
    Tried it on my 48k. Uridium, Alien 8 and Zub work fine. Chase HQ, Rainbow Islands and a few other games still hang before starting.

    So there seems to be rump of games that don't work at all, and a large proportion that might work depending on what Speccy you have.

    So far all a bit unsatisfactory. Pick a game and then try and guess which machine it will actually work on. Plan had been to be to leave it plugged into my +2a.

    Experiments continue!
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCifcRlP9KST8T0irCHyykrA ChinnyVision, Youtube reviews of games using the original hardware
  • edited January 2015
    My DivMMC Enjoy arrived today. Excitedly I rushed home to plug it into my +2a. I have quite a few SD card/CF solutions for my computers so I know what a difference they make to using them. Everything from the superb 1541 Ultimate on the C64 (the benchmark for all devices), an HxC and even a SD card inside my BBC Master.

    Set the box up as per the instructions (setting the DIP switches as per manual), plugged it in and loaded up a game. Didn't work. No matter try again.... Nope.

    Now the manual says 128k SNA and Z80 files won't work on Amstrad machines and that's fine. But I'm having issues with TAP as well no matter if loading via the interface or via BASIC.

    Examples include Zub hanging when you try to leave the intro sequence. Rainbow Islands crashing on the loading screen, Chase HQ doing nothing at all, Navy Seals crashing after 10 seconds of gameplay and more.

    Am I doing something wrong? I've tried multiple game images, read and re-read the manual. The Speccy passes all its self test procedure and loads and plays 128k games from tape fine.

    The issue does seem to be 128k games. The 48k games I've tried so far have been fine. The manual says it runs 128k games and some games are fine (e.g CJ's Elephant Antics).

    Also tried it on my +3. Navy Seals now works but other games still refuse to load (Chase HQ and Rainbow Islands being 2).

    I've also cleaned the edge connector on the +2a twice just to be sure and also tried it with the Kempston interface switch turned off. There is nothing else attached to the machine.

    Any idea? There doesn't appear to be a support website like the 1541 Ultimate has so I guess the best place to ask is on here.

    Thanks.

    I have a +2a too and my DivMMC works fine on it too.

    There are some games I've found that you need to load in 48K mode using the esxdos .snapload command, e.g.:
    .snapload -l gamename.sna
    

    The commands in esxdos will be in the BIN folder of your SD card. Just type them if you want to know what they do.
  • edited January 2015
    Bad tap files?
  • edited January 2015
    beanz wrote: »
    Bad tap files?

    As I said the files load fine if loaded via the cassette deck. And some are fine on other machines.
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCifcRlP9KST8T0irCHyykrA ChinnyVision, Youtube reviews of games using the original hardware
  • edited January 2015
    saberman wrote: »
    I have a +2a too and my DivMMC works fine on it too.

    There are some games I've found that you need to load in 48K mode using the esxdos .snapload command, e.g.:
    .snapload -l gamename.sna
    

    The commands in esxdos will be in the BIN folder of your SD card. Just type them if you want to know what they do.

    That's interesting. Will try that later. The manual doesn't seem to make that clear. I had assumed the machine was already in 48k mode due to the lack of the 128k loader.
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCifcRlP9KST8T0irCHyykrA ChinnyVision, Youtube reviews of games using the original hardware
  • Ox.Ox.
    edited January 2015
    Drop Ben a pm on here, I suspect the problem is with the DivMMC unit as others have already pointed out they are not getting these problems with there units.
  • edited January 2015
    Agreed, I've had no trouble with mine and I've run it on everything from an issue 1 Spectrum to a +3 with no problems.

    Only slight niggle for me (and it's not really related to the device itself) is the lack of long file name support, but that's coming according to esxdos.org :)

    B
    The Spectrum Resuscitation Thread - bringing dead Spectrums back to life
    zx-diagnostics - Fixing ZX Spectrums in the 21st Century (wiki)
    Sinclair FAQ Wiki
  • edited January 2015
    Ox. wrote: »
    Drop Ben a pm on here, I suspect the problem is with the DivMMC unit as others have already pointed out they are not getting these problems with there units.

    It's perfectly possible I'm doing something wrong. I will try that other method of loading later.

    Just noticed I have a reply in my Hotmail junk (thanks Microsoft!) so I'll see what he has to say.
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCifcRlP9KST8T0irCHyykrA ChinnyVision, Youtube reviews of games using the original hardware
  • edited January 2015
    balford wrote: »
    Agreed, I've had no trouble with mine and I've run it on everything from an issue 1 Spectrum to a +3 with no problems.

    Only slight niggle for me (and it's not really related to the device itself) is the lack of long file name support, but that's coming according to esxdos.org :)

    B

    I had noticed the long file names. Makes it a game in itself to find the right games sometimes. :-D

    Have replied to Ben. I think it's going to have to go back for testing although I'd hate it for the problem to have been this +2. But if games run fine via the cassette deck using the same images then either it's the interface or something on the +2's I/O. Can't be memory or stuff like that as surely once a game is loaded in via either method it will fill the 128k in exactly the same way.

    My head hurts! :p
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCifcRlP9KST8T0irCHyykrA ChinnyVision, Youtube reviews of games using the original hardware
  • edited January 2015
    balford wrote: »
    Agreed, I've had no trouble with mine and I've run it on everything from an issue 1 Spectrum to a +3 with no problems.

    Only slight niggle for me (and it's not really related to the device itself) is the lack of long file name support, but that's coming according to esxdos.org :)

    B

    I agree long file name support will be great.
  • edited January 2015
    Have you tried with more than one spectrum?
  • edited January 2015
    These interfaces put the spectrum in USR 0 mode which leaves you at 48k basic but the machine still has access to the 128 hardware +3 floppy not included though.Might i suggest before returning it you experiment with the DIP settings from experience 4 of my 6 +2a`s will only work reliably in +128k setting and 3 of my 7 +128`s in 48k setting 2 48k machines need +2b/+3 :p now work that out :grin:
  • edited February 2015
    These interfaces put the spectrum in USR 0 mode which leaves you at 48k basic but the machine still has access to the 128 hardware +3 floppy not included though.Might i suggest before returning it you experiment with the DIP settings from experience 4 of my 6 +2a`s will only work reliably in +128k setting and 3 of my 7 +128`s in 48k setting 2 48k machines need +2b/+3 :p now work that out :grin:

    Just to revive this thread.

    My card has been back to Ben who has tested it and also replaced the main board (just in case) and has also sent me a memory tester by Balford (which the machine passes).

    As things stood TAPS that loaded fine if played in via the tape deck would corrupt if loaded in direct from the card. Work that one out.

    Got the replacement back and it's doing exactly the same on that +2. Same games either crash or go wrong/glitch (e.g. the bubble sprites in Pang corrupt on the +2 but not on my +3 or if loaded in via the tape deck on the +2).

    I hadn't tried alternative DIP settings for my +2a as I assumed having the wrong setting could cause damage. However if you think it won't do any harm I will try that in the morning.

    Ben has been super helpful so I want to try and get to the bottom of this. We'd tried everything apart from alternate DIP settings. I'll give this a go tomorrow night.
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCifcRlP9KST8T0irCHyykrA ChinnyVision, Youtube reviews of games using the original hardware
  • edited February 2015
    If I remember well, Rainbow Islands gave me some issues while trying to load it from a TAP file in a 128K machine using a standard DivIDE with FATware. I had to load it into a 128K emulator, generate a .Z80 snapshot and then load it from the DivIDE without problems.

    I will try the DivMMC implementation I've written for the ZX-Uno and will see if there is any issues with it.

    EDIT: the Erbe Software version ( RainbowIslands(ErbeSoftwareS.A.).tap.zip ) does work for me. Just choose it from the NMI menu and let it load. The loading screen will show up and then the machine pauses. Press ENTER and the screen will go black and the border will turn green and black several times until all blocks are loaded and the main credit screen is showed.

    Also, a 128K Z80 snapshot made using the origrinal version works for me too.
  • fogfog
    edited February 2015
    I do remember someone else posting about RI and the amstrad machines. pretty sure it was the +3, as they were after the disk version. I'd assumed it would have been tested on the +3 also.. does any of the loader code conflict ? or it's the actual machine (it's been tested on others?)
  • edited February 2015
    fog wrote: »
    I do remember someone else posting about RI and the amstrad machines. pretty sure it was the +3, as they were after the disk version. I'd assumed it would have been tested on the +3 also.. does any of the loader code conflict ? or it's the actual machine (it's been tested on others?)

    As an example, if you load Navy Seals into my +2 it crashes after about 15 seconds of gameplay. On my +3 it's fine.

    Load the same Navy Seals image into the +2 via the tape deck and it's quite happy.

    Likewise Pang has corrupted sprites on the +2 but is fine on the +3. Again if you load it into the +2 via the tape deck it is fine.

    Uridium also does the same thing.

    On my 48k the MMC seems quite happy.

    So it's quite puzzling really. If the machine was faulty why would the same images work OK if loaded in the via the tape deck?
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCifcRlP9KST8T0irCHyykrA ChinnyVision, Youtube reviews of games using the original hardware
  • edited February 2015
    The rom chips are different and ram locations are different due to Amstrad cutting corners and stopping producing plus 2 (Grey) motherboards.
    Get yourself a grey ZX 128k and it will ALL work trust me.
    Daniel Reid.

    Ps Try loading Amaurote 128k from a tape file or even a real tape.
    Trust me... It will NOT load.
    Different rom set in 128k plus 2A

    All the best Daniel Reid
  • edited February 2015
    Wizballer wrote: »
    The rom chips are different and ram locations are different due to Amstrad cutting corners and stopping producing plus 2 (Grey) motherboards.
    Get yourself a grey ZX 128k and it will ALL work trust me.
    Daniel Reid.

    Ps Try loading Amaurote 128k from a tape file or even a real tape.
    Trust me... It will NOT load.
    Different rom set in 128k plus 2A

    All the best Daniel Reid

    There is a simple solution to this problem. Just apply a patch (POKE) before launching the game, e.g. like this one, for 'Game Over 128':
    NLoad on Spectrum +2
    M  8  23386  19  0
    M  8  23387  0   0
    M  8  28344  18  0
    Z  8  28345  1   0
    Y
    

    The 'Game browser/launcher' does it automatically. Of course you would need the 'Interface 1bis' for that :lol:
    'Interface 1bis' for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum
  • edited February 2015
    Wizballer wrote: »
    The rom chips are different and ram locations are different due to Amstrad cutting corners and stopping producing plus 2 (Grey) motherboards.
    Get yourself a grey ZX 128k and it will ALL work trust me.
    Daniel Reid.

    Doesn't explain why my +3 works better with it. Eg Navy Seals doesn't crash and Pang doesn't have corrupted sprites. Both work if you load the same image in via tape deck.

    I am looking for a grey +2 but prices have gone a bit silly at the moment due that stupid joypad publicity.
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCifcRlP9KST8T0irCHyykrA ChinnyVision, Youtube reviews of games using the original hardware
  • BCHBCH
    edited February 2015
    I had some sort of similar behavior on a couple of +2a. More precisely, I was trying to load a hacked version of After Burner from an 8 bit IDE interface (with a CF card) and it would crash every time. Same game (same files) would load perfectly on the same machine from a divide (on IDE mode). The solution (suggested by mcleod on another forum) was to put a couple of faster ram chips (80ms) on IC3 and IC4. Then the game would load just fine. Notice other games will load ok with the slower (stock) ram chips (120ms)...

    Something silmilar happened on another +2a; this one had a bad ULA but once replaced with a good one, most games will crash after loading. All ram tests (from paul farrow cartdrige) will pass successfully though.
    Same solution here; faster ram chips, this time on position IC5 and IC6.

    Even though there was a solution I was wondering why this happens...
  • edited February 2015
    BCH wrote: »
    I had some sort of similar behavior on a couple of +2a. More precisely, I was trying to load a hacked version of After Burner from an 8 bit IDE interface (with a CF card) and it would crash every time. Same game (same files) would load perfectly on the same machine from a divide (on IDE mode). The solution (suggested by mcleod on another forum) was to put a couple of faster ram chips (80ms) on IC3 and IC4. Then the game would load just fine. Notice other games will load ok with the slower (stock) ram chips (120ms)...

    Something silmilar happened on another +2a; this one had a bad ULA but once replaced with a good one, most games will crash after loading. All ram tests (from paul farrow cartdrige) will pass successfully though.
    Same solution here; faster ram chips, this time on position IC5 and IC6.

    Even though there was a solution I was wondering why this happens...

    That's very interesting. Anyone else tried this?
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCifcRlP9KST8T0irCHyykrA ChinnyVision, Youtube reviews of games using the original hardware
  • edited February 2015
    BCH wrote: »
    Even though there was a solution I was wondering why this happens...

    Interesting, what were the machines and board revisions? I assume they were really +2Bs rather than +2As, but what board revision? If issue 1 were they build as designed or factory modded with jumper wires and a cap tacked on IC15? If issue 2 did they have a capacitor tacked onto the Z80?

    The reason I ask is that some have a capacitor tacked on the CPU on one of the data pins for what reason I've been unable to determine, and the arangement for clocking the Z80 changed between issue 1 and 2 but some issue 1s have the new design applied as a mod :o
    My rubbish website including the redrawn Amstrad schematics and the new home of the Sinclair FAQ wiki.
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