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MVBD version I

Burn VECTREX ROMs up to 32 kB.

Dump VECTREX ROMs.

This burner can be upgraded to version II.

   
MVBD version II

Burn VECTREX ROMs up to 64 kB.

Burn Watara ROMs up to 64 kB.

Dump VECTREX ROMs.

Burners with serial number equal or greater than 79 can be upgraded to version III

   
MVBD version III

Burn VECTREX ROMs up to 64 kB.

Burn Watara ROMs up to 64 kB.

Burn Atari Lynx ROMs up to 512 kB.

Dump VECTREX ROMs.

   
MVRMC 4in1 version I

Can store up to 4 32 kB VECTREX games.

This cartridge can be upgraded to version II.

   
MVRMC 4in1 version II

Can store up to four 32kB or two 64 kB VECTREX games.

   
MVRMC 16in1

Can store up to 16 32 kB VECTREX games, or up to 8 64 kB VECTREX games.

   
MWRMC 8in1 Can store up to 8 64 kB Watara/Supervision/Quickshot games.
   
MGRMC 8in1 Can store up to 16 32 kB Gamate games (non bank switched).
   
MALRMC 16in1 Can store up to 16 256 kB Atari Lynx games, or up to 8 512 kB Atari Lynx games.
   
MA7800RMC 16in1

Can store up to 16 128 kB Atari 7800 games, or up to 8 144 kB Atari 7800 games.

The card is compatible with POKEY games, but the POKEY IC is not included in the card (you'll have to plug your own POKEY IC in the provided socket).

How is MVBD different from a genuine USB MSD device?

A genuine USB MSD device, like a pendrive, contains several sectors dedicated to keep information relative to the files stored in the device (like the BOOT or the FAT sectors). MVBD also contains these sectors, but they are reset whenever the device is re-connected. If you plug a game cartridge to the MVBD it will generate a FAT containing a single 32 kB file named VECTREX.BIN in version I (or a 4/8/16/32/64 kB file named GAME.BIN in version II), but if you plug a MVRMC it will generate and empty FAT.

 

Can I use MVBD to dump VECTREX cartridges different from those originally developed by CGE/MB?

This question has two facets: the legal and the technical. On the legal side you should carefully review the cartridge´s license to find whether you are allowed to copy its contents. On the technical side, MVBD can only dump cartridges based on memory ICs (PROM/EPROM/EEPROM) with the same specifications of those originally used by CGE/MB. If you are planning to use MVBD to copy recent cartridges developed by homebrew programmers you should take into consideration that most of these programmers does not allow to copy their games, and that some of them use memory ICs with different specifications or anti-copy systems.

 

Can I burn ROMs bigger than 32 kB in a MVRMC?

No in version I; the maximum capacity of each slot is 32 kB. In version II you can use the slide switch to select 64 kB mode, that combines the slots two by two, allowing to burn up to two 64 kB ROMs in MVRMC 4in1, or up to eight ROMs in MVRMC 16in1.

 

Can I burn several ROMs in the same slot of a MVRMC or MWRMC?

If their combined file size is smaller than 32 kB in version I, or 64 kB in version II, or 512 kB in version III, the system will not forbid it, but the VECTREX/Watara/Atari Lynx console will only recognize the first one.

 

Why does MVBD version I always assume that the dumped cartridge´s code size is 32 kB?

Because 32 kB is the maximum addressable space of VECTREX console. Nevertheless, you can always cut the file size using and hexadecimal editor like HxD (http://mh-nexus.de/en/hxd/). Version II can automatically detect 4, 8, 16, 32 and 64 kB ROMs.
 

Can a MVRMC cartridge run any VECTREX game?

No. Some games/programs, like Animaction, use additional memory ICs that are not available in MVRMC. Please, check the list of games/programs which compatibility with MVRMC has been confirmed.

 

Is it normal that when I pause a VECTREX game the screen goes black and the system keeps on playing the same music note?

Yes. Pressing the pause button stops the main VECTREX´s microprocessor, blocking the screen refresh and the updating of the audio synthesizer.

 

What type of roms are compatible with the Atari Lyx rewritable cartridge?

The Atari Lynx rewritable cartridge requires raw roms (roms without header). As the most popular format for Lynx's roms is LNX (that includes a 64 bytes header), I have deployed a service at http://vectrex.hackermesh.org/alynxconverter/ that helps you to remove the header and make the 512 kB LNX roms compatible with my cartridge.

 

What type of roms are compatible with the Atari 7800 rewritable cartridge?

The Atari 7800 rewritable cartridge requires raw roms (roms without header). As the most popular format for Atari 7800's roms is A78 (that includes a 128 bytes header), I have deployed a service at http://vectrex.hackermesh.org/a7800converter/ that helps you to remove the header. Besides, the extension of the rom file must indicate de bank switching scheme used by the game:

  • .8K for 8kB games, like Color Selector Demo
  • .16K for 16kB games, like Centipede
  • .32K for 32kB games, like Pole Position II
  • .32P for 32kB games, that use the POKEY sound IC like Ballblazer.
  • .48K for 48kB games, like Donkey Kong
  • .SG for 128kB games that use the standard bank switching scheme of eight 16kB banks, like Xenophobe.
  • .SGR for 128kB games that use the standard bank switching scheme of eight 16kB banks and additional RAM, like Jinks.
  • .SGP for 128kB games that use the standard bank switching scheme of eight 16kB banks and POKEY sound IC, like Commando.
  • .S9 for 144kB games (remember to use the size slide switch to select 144k in step 1), like Alien Brigade.
  • .S4 for 64kB games that use the standard bank switching scheme of four 16kB banks, like Karateka (PAL).
  • .S4R for 64kB games that use the standard bank switching scheme of four 16kB banks adn additional RAM, like Tower Toppler.
  • AB for F-18 Hornet.
  • AC for Activision's games Double Dragon and Rampage.

 

Is MVBD compatible with Windows 8.1/Windows 10?

Version I of MVBD´s printed circuit board is not directly compatible with Windows 8.1/10, although there is a workaround that is explained below. Version II is compatible because you can delete the folder that Windows 8.1 automatically creates in each drive.

Windows 8.1 automatically saves a system folder in every USB storage device, included the MVRMC cartridges, and this folder confuses the MVBD burner disturbing its proper functioning.

There is a workaround explained in this thread of a Microsoft forum: http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows8_1-hardware/how-do-i-prevent-system-volume-information-files/815b0046-d631-4419-a43e-44083a3733f5?page=2

If you are using the home editions of Windows 8/10, that do not include gpedit, you can use the regedit alternative explained in the second part of this article: http://www.thewindowsclub.com/prevent-system-volume-information-folder-usb

 

Is MVBD compatible with Mac OS?

Yes. Neverthless, Mac OS file system includes additional information (i.e. icon bitmap) in every file, even the rom files stored in your computer. This additional information could be transferred to the rewritable cartridge when you copy the file using the Finder and, as the console cannot understand it, the ROM will not work.

Besides, Mac OS creates hidden folders than can also fool the burner.

To show all the hidden folders in the Finder use the following command:

defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE

To remove hidden folder use the following command:

rm - rf [and drag the folder from the Finder to the terminal window]

Once the burner drive is completely empty, copy only the data of the rom file, without the additional resource information included by Mac OS, using the following ditto sintax in the terminal:

ditto --norsrc --noextattr --noacl --noqtn src_file dst_file

For example:

ditto --norsrc --noextattr --noacl --noqtn "/Volumes/NO NAME/jimmy512.lnx" "/Volumes/Drive_Name"

 

 

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