Category:Sony HB-501
This page was last modified 16:16, 15 October 2017 by Grauw. Based on work by Rderooy and HansO and others.



The HB-501 is the combination of the HB-201 with a data recorder, which looks quite similar to the separate SDC-500 Bitcorder. It has been released only in Europe. The following models exist:

  • HB-501F: model for France with AZERTY keyboard layout, available only in black
  • HB-501P: model for other European countries with QWERTY international keyboard layout including a £ key, available only in black

The machine comes with a Personal Databank with saving on cassette tape or the HBI-55 data cartridge. It's the same software as on HB-101P and HB-201P, it's not built-in but provided on tape.

The place to store the power cable underneath and the retractable carrying handle have been removed, as this machine is bigger with the addition of the data recorder.

As option, a retractable stick can be added in the middle of the cursor keys, which can be used as joystick. The back of the case has a location to store the stick during transport.

Introduction price: ƒ 999.

Brand Sony
Type HB-501F / HB-501P
Year 1984
RAM 64kB in slot 3
Media Cartridges, cassette tapes
Video Texas Instrument TMS9129NL (HB-501F) or Toshiba T6950 (HB-501P)
Audio PSG (YM2149 integrated in MSX-Engine S3527)
Chipset Yamaha S3527
Extras Personal Databank (on tape), reset button, pause button, built-in data recorder, optional built-in joystick


Check also the pages about the different models!

Sony HB-501F mainboard
Sony HB-501P
Sony HB-501F
Sony HB-501P back
Sony HB-501F back


The HB-501 has two cartridge slots at the top of the computer, a Z80 from NEC (D780C-1) and a MSX-Engine from Yamaha (S-3527). The PAUSE button halts the CPU.

The used VDP in the HB-501P is the Toshiba T6950, which does not support some undocumented features of the Texas Instruments TMS9918, TMS9928 and TMS9929 VDP's.


  • RF output (only on HB-501P)
  • Monitor connector with sound and composite video outputs (6-pin DIN) on HB-501P
  • RGB output (SCART-PERITEL) on HB-501F
  • Tape data recorder connector (only on HB-501P)
  • Centronics compatible Parallel port for a printer
  • 2 general connectors (Joysticks, Mouse, Graphic pad, Paddle controlers, etc)
  • 2 cartridge slots


As it is conceived, this computer is compatible with the addition of a disk drive, contrary to the HB-55 and HB-75 machines. Some options are modified to take in account the disk drive. The insertion of the HBI-55 cartridge in a free slot does not disable the disk drive.


Built-in Bitcorder is actuated by three Rubber belts (not easy to replace for everyone).

       Approximate specifications:
        Belt 1 : D = 47mm, W = 1.2mm (square belt for the counter)
        Belt 2 : D = 46mm, W = 1.2mm (square belt for the motor)
        Belt 3 : D = 36mm, W = 1.2mm (square belt for the motor)

       Tutorial (in French)


Pages in category "Sony HB-501"

The following 2 pages are in this category, out of 2 total.