Hitachi MB-H3
This page was last modified 22:40, 21 April 2019 by Rderooy. Based on work by Gdx and Mars2000you.




The MB-H3 is the first MSX2 computer released by Hitachi. The unique selling point of this computer is the built-in touchpad, that can be disabled with a switch on the left side. Its biggest disadvantage is the limitation of the VRAM to 64kB, which makes it impossible to use SCREEN 7 and 8.

Brand Hitachi
Type MB-H3
Year 1985
Region Japan
Original price ¥99,800
RAM 64kB in slot 3-2
Media MSX cartridges
Video Yamaha V9938
Audio PSG (YM2149 integrated in MSX-Engine S3527)
Chipset Yamaha S3527
Extras built-in touchpad, firmware (Sketch, Drawing Tablet, Clock, Calculator), sold with cartridge 'Illustration Word Processor'


The firmware available in this computer uses function keys F1 to F10 for selecting MSX-BASIC (F1 or F6), info or demo about the applications (F2 to F5) or running an application: Sketch (a graphic program - F7), Drawing Tablet (F8), Clock (World Time + Alarm - F9), Calculator (Mathematics Functions - F10). The firmware can be skipped if you press CTRL+STOP while booting.

If you stay on the menu, an automatic demo of the different applications will begin after a few time. When you have started an info/demo part or an application, you can go back to the menu by pressing CTRL+STOP.

From MSX-BASIC, you can launch the Drawing Tablet application with CALL TABON or _TABON (back to normal use of BASIC with CALL TABOFF or _TABOFF) or send a screendump of a text screen to a connected printer with CALL HCOPY or _HCOPY. Besides, 5 other 'COPY' commands are available, see the Hitachi BASIC.

The touchpad is required for using the graphic applications. It is also recommended for the cartridge sold with the computer: Illustration Word Processor (絵はがき用ワープロ), because the touchpad has a character recognition feature, that is very useful for the Kanji characters. Compared to previous versions of Sketch, this graphic tool uses here SCREEN 5 instead of SCREEN 2.



Hitachi MB-H3 front
Hitachi MB-H3 left side
Hitachi MB-H3 right side
Hitachi MB-H3 back
Hitachi MB-H3 touchpad
Hitachi MB-H3 label
Hitachi MB-H3 box and content
Hitachi MB-H3 manuals
Hitachi MB-H3 cables and cartridge
Hitachi MB-H3 set
+ Hitachi MPN-8002H joystick
Hitachi MB-H3 box
Hitachi MB-H3 cartridge, pen, manuals, cables


Hitachi MB-H3 firmware - Menu
Hitachi MB-H3 firmware - Sketch
Hitachi MB-H3 firmware - Drawing Tablet (info)
Hitachi MB-H3 firmware - Drawing Tablet
Hitachi MB-H3 firmware - Clock
Hitachi MB-H3 firmware - Calculator


The Hitachi MB-H3 is a MSX2 with a Z80A from Sharp (LH0080A) and an MSX-Engine S3527 from Yamaha. As the VRAM size is only 64kB, SCREEN 7 and 8 can't be used.

Slot Map

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



  • To get a full MSX2, an upgrade of the VRAM to 128kB is required. (You just need to add two RAM (MB81464-12), two capacitors (0.1uF) and a resistor (33Ω) for this upgrade.)
  • There is no problem with connecting an external disk drive, but it's recommended to press CTRL+STOP while booting to have direct access to the drive and the correct indication on the MSX-BASIC screen about the presence of Disk BASIC.