SuperSprite FM+ 6×09 – for Dragon and CoCo Computers

£75.00£90.00

After around 18 months of development the SuperSprite FM+ board is now available to the public. This board brings the audio and visual capabilities of the MSX 2+ range of computers to the Dragon or Coco. It does not, however, allow the Dragon or Coco to run MSX software.

The latest manuals, guides and software will be maintained here.

There are more technical details about the board below. Here I want to explain the ordering options available.

I am offering the boards in several ways.

  • You can buy pre-built*, or you can build your own – with or without the SMD components being pre-soldered (though the CPLD will always be pre-programmed).
    • * Pre-built boards are currently unavailable. If you have already ordered, this is in production, and will be sent to you shortly.
  • You can buy the board with or without the V9958 included.
  • You can select between 128 KB and 192 KB of VRAM – though please note that as yet, apart from a VRAM test module, nothing has been written to use this additional memory – and to my knowledge, none of the original MSX 2+ machines had that much VRAM.
  • Please note that I will not include a printed user guide, as it is being updated regularly.
  • If you order a kit version, you will get a printed copy of the build instructions as this is simplest to work from.

All orders are subject to a 1-2 week despatch delay, as these are put together or built to order – i.e. none are sitting ‘on the shelf’ waiting to be sent.

Please note that the screenshots shown in the gallery are taken from the MAME emulation for ease of capture – but actual output from the SuperSprite is comparable depending on your display equipment. Please see this YouTube clip for an online demonstration of actual hardware on the special version of CocoTalk which was held 14th August 2021.

Clear

Description

This card delivers exciting new features to your Dragon or Tandy CoCo, bringing its audio and visual capabilities up to 8-10 years further into the future compared to the original launch of the Dragon or CoCo 1 & 2 machines. The card is designed to be as flexible as possible with respect to installation and usage.

Please note that a SCART cable is not included. This is left to the end user, as SCART cables are available in many types, to support different applications. For instance, you can get flat ribbon type SCART cables, which will fit through the gap just above the Dragon’s joystick/cassette port if the motherboard is removed first. The only stipulation is that your SCART cable needs to be fully wired – i.e. 21-pin to 21-pin, and needs to be long enough to reach your SCART-to-HDMI box or TV with SCART input.

Key Product Specifications:

  • Supports Yamaha V9958 Video Display Processor (VDP) with 128KB VRAM (expandable to 192KB).
  • Yamaha YM2149 Programmable Sound Generator (licensed variant of General Instruments’ AY-3-8910).
  • Yamaha YM2413 FM Sound Generator.
  • Supports external power supply where required – unless you have a modern power board in your Dragon or Coco, you will likely require (not supplied) a standard regulated wall adapter rated as follows:
    • 5 volts @ 1A or more.
    • Barrel Jack – 2.1mm or 2.5 mm – centre-positive.
  • Supports (where available) Dragon or Coco’s RGB or composite video inputs for automated switching between MC6847 and V9958 display.
    • If the MC6847 display is routed through the SuperSprite FM+ board, you will be able to use the YM2149 and YM2413 sound on MC6847 screens as well as on the V9958 screens.
  • Supports dual screen operation (MC6847 and V9958 on separate screens).
  • Supports two modes of port addressing:
    • FF7x – ‘native’ mode – exactly the same V9958 addressing as for the WordPak 2+.
    • FF5x – ‘MPI’ mode – fully MPI compliant.