Category:Sony HB-501
This page was last modified 01:53, 18 January 2021 by Mars2000you. Based on work by Rderooy and Gdx 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. It was only available in black. The following models exist:

Product Region Keyboard Video and audio out
Sony HB-501P Europe QWERTY with £ key RF, Composite V+A DIN

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

Unlike the HB-201, there is no place to store the power cable underneath, and the retractable carrying handle has also been removed.

As an option, a removable 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
Model HB-501F / HB-501P
Year 1984
Region Europe
Launch price NL: ƒ999
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
Keyboard layout (HB-501F) AZERTY - (HB-501P) QWERTY with a "£" key
Extras Personal Databank (on tape), reset button, pause button, built-in data recorder, optional built-in joystick
Emulation ROM dumped and emulated for the HB-501P version. ROM dump needed for the HB-501F version. See this thread for details


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 VDP used 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 which can cause some compatibility issues.

Slot Map

Slot 0 Slot 1 Slot 2 Slot 3
Page C000h~FFFFh Cartridge
Slot 1
Slot 2
64kB RAM
Page 8000h~BFFFh
Page 4000h~7FFFh Main-ROM
Page 0000h~3FFFh



As designed, this computer is compatible with the addition of a disk drive, contrary to the HB-55 and HB-75 machines. Some modifications have been made to allow the addition of a disk drive. The insertion of the HBI-55 cartridge in a free slot does not disable the disk drive.


The 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.