Konami Sound Cartridge
This page was last modified 00:39, 20 August 2021 by Mars2000you. Based on work by Gdx.

Contents

Description

The Sound Cartridge is a MegaRAM with a extra sound chip that was sold in Japan by Konami with the games Snatcher and SD Snatcher in the 90s. This cartridge uses the Konami 052539 chip, an improved version of the Konami 051649 chip. It works in classic SCC mode by default.

The Ram is 64kB only and can be expanded to 128kB to enjoy many extra software, however the case is difficult to open without damaging it a bit. Only the version for Snatcher or an expanded version is usable to load Roms inside.

To expand the RAM to 128kB you will need to solder two RAM of 64 x 4 bits (41464 or 81464, 120ns).

There are two PCB versions for Snatcher Sound Cartridge: an older version with a wire on the back and a newer version PCB without it. Probably because the SCC+ could not address 128kB with the older PCB.

More information about the SCC+ can be found here: http://bifi.msxnet.org/msxnet/tech/soundcartridge.html

Gallery

Cartridge for SD Snatcher
SD Snatcher expanded with two RAM HM50464-12
Snatcher Sound Cartridge RA-004
Snatcher PCB expanded to 128kB
Snatcher older PCB back side
Snatcher newer PCB back side
Snatcher original PCB with 64kB
Sound Cartridge for Snatcher opened
Sound Cartridge for SD Snatcher opened
Difference between SD Snatcher and Snatcher on the PCB

Specifications

  • 5 channels
  • Frequency (12-bit) and amplitude (4-bit) parameters are compatible with the PSG (AY-3-8910) from MSXs.
  • 11-bit DAC (D/A) labeled as Konami 051650 (parallel resistors in series)
  • The waveform of the chanels 4 and 5 are independent. (They are common on SCC)
  • Compatibility mode with the SCC chip. (default)
  • Waveform definable on 32 bytes for each channel
  • No envelope (automatic attenuation of volume)
  • The audio is output through the mixer on the main unit side via the audio input of the cartridge slot.
  • MegaRAM of 64kB handled with a 8K mapper (which can be expanded to 128kB)

Both sound cartridges contain 64kB of RAM and use the same mapper but the cartridge that comes with Snatcher is not compatible with the one that comes with SD-Snatcher because the RAM banks are on a different locations. With the memory upgraded to 128kB they become compatible, such that the Snatcher Sound Cartridge can be used with SD Snatcher and vice versa. (see also the gallery above)

Do not press the Pause key when using software that use the MegaRam of the Sound Cartridge. Pause causes the loss of data.

Software

Konami Games for the Sound Cartridge

Here is the complete list of Konami games which include the Sound Cartridge:

Product Generation Released Description Media Region
RA 004 MSX2 1988 Snatcher - Cyberpunk Adventure 3×720kB disk and Sound Cartridge JP
RA 011 MSX2 1990 Super Deform Snatcher 3×720kB disk and Sound Cartridge JP


In addition, Konami released a selection of Game Collection disks, which are optionally able to use the Sound Cartridge from Snatcher for enhanced sound. To use these games with the Sound Cartridge from SD Snatcher, you have to upgraded it to 128kB or use a unofficial patch.

Product Generation Released Description Media Region
RA 006 MSX1 1988 Konami Game Collection 1 2x720kB disk JP
RA 007 MSX1 1988 Konami Game Collection 2 1x720kB disk JP
RA 008 MSX1 1988 Konami Game Collection 3 1x720kB disk JP
RA 009 MSX1 1988 Konami Game Collection 4 1x720kB disk JP
RA 010 MSX1/2 1989 Konami Game Collection Special 1x720kB disk JP


Do not press the Pause key when using software with the Sound Cartridge.

Scene software for the Sound Cartridge

There are various (old) disk magazines/demo/music disks, games and even sound composer programs that can use the SCC+ chip.

Here are some of them:

Demos

Games

Music Disks

Utilities

(*) It works with the Sound Cartridge expanded to 128kB RAM only.

Extra

Sound cartridge can also be used in extra to another SCC device to add voices in few Konami's games enhanced by patches below.

Scene Hardware

Below is a list of devices made to replace the Konami Sound Cartridge become relatively rare nowadays.

Links