Panasonic FS-A1WSX - My first MSX in 25 years

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By albs_br

Master (145)

albs_br's picture

09-10-2020, 02:06

I created this topic to centralize my doubts about this machine. I'm not sure if its the right place. {mod: wrong place indeed. this is about hardware and not about selling/buying, so it's moved to the hardware forum}

Panasonic FS-A1WSX:

First and main issue: what are my options to connect it to a LCD monitor (mine is a DELL U2410)?
It has the following connections:

- Video composite (yellow RCA)
- Video component (red, green and blue RCAs)
- HDMI
- VGA
- DVI
- Display port

It's currently connected with the WSX via composite, it works but the image is not that good (80 collumns for example is terrible).

I searched a lot and can't find a simple explanation. What are the possibilites of connectc these two guys, and what cables I will need?

Thanks a lot.

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By Meits

Scribe (5993)

Meits's picture

09-10-2020, 03:06

The WSX has several video outputs in order of worse to best:

  • RF
  • Composite
  • S-Video
  • RGB

S-Video and RGB are the connectors you want to use for 80 columns. Just be aware that S-Video will spoil the joy with jail bars. That leaves RGB.
You will need to convert this signal to digital. And since you have an HDMI input on your screen, you better pick that one.

This active converter will do a very acceptable job. They're quite generic and rebranded by multiple manufacturers, so if it looks like this, it's the same.
Then you need a cable from your MSX to the converter. They're not too hard to find if you know where to look. Here you go.

Now there might be people who do not own a WSX who may tell you that that cable will not work because the WSX needs a special cable because it shares the RGB connector with the data recorder signal. How much that might be so, this cable will work. As a matter of fact, I just put my WSX on a cable that hosted a WX last week and a Sony XV before that.

Have fun with your machine... It is far from a bad device... It could use a bit more RAM, but that's not too hard either.

By Grauw

Ascended (9334)

Grauw's picture

09-10-2020, 13:08

If you don’t mind spending a little, I recommend using the OSSC. It gives extremely good picture without introducing lag or deinterlacing artifacts. I reviewed it here with screenshots.

By albs_br

Master (145)

albs_br's picture

09-10-2020, 13:57

I used to think there was a cable to connect from RGB output to composite input directly. That is, one side 8-pin DIN 45326 connector and the other side 3 RCA connectors (red, green and blue). Is this thing available?

By Grauw

Ascended (9334)

Grauw's picture

09-10-2020, 14:02

With 3 RCA connectors, do you mean component video rather than composite video?

Although the connectors of component video are red, green and blue, they carry the signals YPbPr instead of RGB, and these are not output from the MSX. In principle RGB can be converted to YPbPr with an active adapter, but idk where you would find such an adapter.

By Haze

Expert (108)

Haze's picture

09-10-2020, 14:09

And if you're looking for a solution in between Meits' "acceptable job" suggestion and Grauw's OSSC, I can also recommend the RetroTINK 2X-MINI. Though there are other higher end RetroTINK products which give better results, at that point I feel you are getting close to the pricepoint of an OSSC that it might be worth recommending that instead. :RNFF:

The 2X-MINI just makes things easy, plug and play, feeds the signal straight to HDMI and gives acceptable results. Things to note:

  • It can only handle composite and S-Video connections and tries to make the best out of those. I think it does a very good job at it, but naturally it ain't ever gonna reach RGB signal levels of quality.
  • It is meant to be as simple as possible to use. So on the flipside you won't have many settings or options like the other solutions.
  • If you think it's something you're interested in, pay attention to where you're ordering the unit from. So you won't pay through the nose for shipping.

Overall, I think it's another good option to add to your choices! :)

Grauw wrote:

If you don’t mind spending a little, I recommend using the OSSC. It gives extremely good picture without introducing lag or deinterlacing artifacts. I reviewed it here with screenshots.

Grauw, would you mind me asking if you happened to share your OSSC settings somewhere and which cables you are using? I recently got my hands on a unit as well and though there is quite some information on the net about using it with other consoles, the MSX doesn't seem to be all that well represented. oO

By Grauw

Ascended (9334)

Grauw's picture

09-10-2020, 14:31

Hi Haze,

My setup is two RGB -> SCART cables (one I got from retrocables.es the other off eBay iirc) from my TurboR GT and CX5MII going into a “HQ” brand SCART switch box, and a regular (fat) SCART-SCART cable I used since the 90s going from the switch box into the OSSC. I don’t use special OSSC settings other than line tripling with light scanlines.

About RetroTink, I think it is designed for US audiences and therefore accepts composite and s-video. OSSC supports neither so the devices are quite complementary. Composite will never give a really good signal but still a nice option for MSX1 computers without RGB. And from what I understand s-video is pretty good and only slightly inferior to RGB.

By fernando.collazo.5682

Master (251)

fernando.collazo.5682's picture

09-10-2020, 18:14

Really nice computer Wink

By Haze

Expert (108)

Haze's picture

10-10-2020, 23:34

Thanks @Grauw for the details! I think you're right about the intention of the RetroTINK as I tend to notice a lot of the online discussions always talk about "that European SCART standard" with a bit of jealousy? It makes me feel kind of spoiled, having grown up with plenty of SCART cables and Philips MSXes with built-in ports. :-)

Hopefully OP managed to get some more ideas about which solution and cables they'll need?

By albs_br

Master (145)

albs_br's picture

18-10-2020, 00:16

Is there any way to find a Ren-Sha slider button? My machine came without it... Sad
3D print? Buy an useless very cheap WSX to be parts donor? Any other idea?

By albs_br

Master (145)

albs_br's picture

18-10-2020, 00:41

Cheaper WSX on Yahoo auctions last 4 months was sold by 13.000 yenes Shocked! It's a very expensive machine...

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