MSX Bluetooth


Supporter (3) さんの画像

09-02-2023, 17:02

So.. Almost sold my MSX but when debugging issue's i figured it would be fun to fix the problems, perhaps upgrade a bit, and especially show it to my daughters. After trying a bunch of games we settled for Blade Lords as our favorite go-to game ("papa, dat spelletje met die zwaardjes vind ik leuk!") Now it would be fun to play this with two, but i just had the one keyboard.

Now i'm not a soldering / hardware / microcontroller hero. But i'm supposed to be a (software) engineer so when things are logic, they are logic. So i wired a ESP32, and some logic level converters together, dowloaded and minimally changed bluepad32 firmware/lib for the ESP32 and behold.. a working prototype for a possible MSX Bluetooth hub device?
written blogpost about it
small demo @ yt (also embedded above)


By geijoenr

Champion (392)

geijoenr さんの画像

09-02-2023, 18:59


Indeed the Joystick ports are suitable for serial communication, the only problem is that they do not provide enough power for anything substantial (WiFi). So you need to hook up the board to an external power supply and that is not cool; better use the cartridge port.

If you want to use BLE only, I wonder if there is a module that can actually be powered directly from the joystick port (I think the safe current output level is really low (50mA?)).


Supporter (3) さんの画像

09-02-2023, 21:58

What i understand from the bluepad32 guy/code/docs is that Bluetooth BLE is generally not supported by the gamepads. Thereby needing the esp32 v1 version, as later versions limit to BLE. So yeah the ESP32 probably needs the external power supply. Especially when adding more feature like wifi / configurability software, mapping buttons to keyboard buttons, screen.

I was thinking maybe there could be a switch that lets u switch between low feature bluetooth only, powered only from the (or two) +5vs, and full features when powering externally. Also external power is more justifiable if you'll get more feature's off it. And USB powered is pretty common.

Its not like u can run the MSX without mains. that extra plug isn't the end of the world