Panasonic FS-A1GT
This page was last modified 16:32, 5 January 2017 by Rderooy. Based on work by Mars2000you and Gdx and others.
Brand Panasonic
Type FS-A1GT
Year 1992
RAM 512kB, 32kB SRAM
VRAM 128kB
Media 720kB 3,5" floppy disk drive
Video Yamaha V9958
Audio PSG (AY-3-8910 compatible), MSX-MUSIC, PCM, MSX-MIDI
Chipset Toshiba T9769C and NEC S1990 bus controller
Extras Microphone, MSX-JE, Kanji-ROM level 1 & 2, Pause key, Ren-Sha Turbo (autofire), MSX-DOS2 and MSX-View with some software, Kanji BASIC
Panasonic FS-A1GT
MSX turbo R logo

Contents

Description

The Panasonic FS-A1GT MSX turbo R is the last MSX computer produced and it follows the latest standard for the MSX line. The FS-A1GT was preceded by the FS-A1ST. Compared to the FS-A1ST, the FS-A1GT has double the amount of RAM (512kB). It also features a MIDI-IN and MIDI-OUT connector. The FS-A1ST can also be upgraded to the FS-A1GT using the μ.Pack. MIDI can also be accessed through MSX-BASIC (PLAY#1).

Note: there's a bug in the MSX-MUSIC implementation of a Panasonic FS-A1GT. This problem only occurs when a CALL MUSIC is done without any OPLL channel, e.g. CALL MUSIC(0,0) and then a tempo MCL issued (e.g. PLAY"T120") OR when a program is stopped by CTRL-STOP. In these cases, a crash occurs. The problem can be avoided by doing a CALL MUSIC(0,0,1). This problem doesn't occur on the Panasonic FS-A1ST MSX turbo R.

Due to some minor hardware bugs that were discovered, the mainboard is a bit different: e.g. the MSX-MUSIC part is redesigned to decrease influence of the noise from other digital parts, although it's confirmed this was also corrected in the last batch of the A1ST.

Specifications

The FS-A1GT is a MSX of intermediary generation with 2 CPU (Z80A & R800) and many options included. A single CPU may be used at a time by switching. The R800 has two operating modes (Mode RAM & Mode ROM).

Detailed Specifications

  • CPU R800 (DAR800-X0G), with 28.63630 MHz external clock and 16-bit ALU. (Can be accelerated to 40MHz by changing the crystal.) Note: the CPU clock is 7.15909MHz (external clock divided by 4) and the bus frequency is 3.579545MHz, however, an instruction on the R800 that takes 1 bus clock cycle, often takes 4 clock cycles on the Z80, so one can indeed say that the R800 runs roughly like a 28.6 MHz Z80.
  • CPU Z80A 3.579545MHz compatible (included in the MSX-Engine)
  • 512kB of main RAM
  • 32kB SRAM for backup (used internally or by MSX-View as SRAM disk) (holding ESC during boot will erase settings, FS-A1ST will keep settings ^^)
  • 32kB BASIC/BIOS ROM and 32kB subROM (MSX-BASIC V4.1, with extra command _PAUSE to make delays in BASIC independent of the current CPU, extra commands for the PCM device (_PCMPLAY, _PCMREC)) and MSX-MIDI, 16kB DISK ROM, 48KB MSX-DOS2.30 Kernel, 16kB FM-BASIC ROM, 16kB KANJI BASIC.)
  • TC8566AF disk controller
  • 3.5" double sided double density (720kB) disk drive
  • S1990 MSX Bus-controller
  • T9769C MSX-ENGINE (also contains Z80A & AY-3-8910)
  • MSX-JE (a simple Kanji input interface)
  • Kanji-ROM with approx. 32000 characters
  • MSX-Music (Yamaha YM-2413 OPLL)
  • PCM synthesizer 8-bit (sample rate 16kHz)
  • Internal microphone for the PCM unit
  • MSX-MIDI interface built-in (not compatible with MIDI-Saurus!) Includes 8251 (UART) and 8254 (timer) with 16kB MIDI-BASIC ROM and MIDI-IN / MIDI-OUT connectors. Also available as a cartridge for FS-A1ST.
  • MSX-VIEW ('MSX-Windows') developed by ASCII & HAL. Software as Page Edit, PageView, Page Link, VShell, VTed, VPaint and VDraw) on 512kB ROM DISK (C: drive). Also available as a cartridge for FS-A1ST. Internal software can be accessed from BASIC with command CALL MWP
  • Pause key (software in R800-mode, hardware in Z80-mode)
  • Reset button
  • 6 LEDs (power, caps-lock, kana-lock, pause, CPU mode, FDD in use)

Connections

  • 2 cartridge ports
  • 2 general connectors (joysticks, mouse, etc)
  • RGB output
  • S-video (aka Y/C) output
  • MIDI output
  • MIDI input
  • Centronics compatible Parallel port for a printer
  • External microphone connector (input, mono)
  • 100V +/-10% 50/60Hz main power
  • No cassette connector

Note: ASCII paddle controllers are no longer supported by the MSX Turbo R BIOS.

Included software disks

  • Sound editor, spoken samples for the word processor and a drawing tool
  • Software for MSX-View (ViewTed, ViewDraw, ViewPaint, printer drivers, etc)
  • MSX-DOS v2.31 with tools

Gallery

FS-A1GT front side
FS-A1GT back side
FS-A1GT box
FS-A1GT manuals and disks
FS-A1GT PCB
FS-A1GT official flyer

Repair

Replacing the old FDD belt of Panasonic MSX2+ and turbo R. (sold on ebay, model Panasonic DFWV75C0009).

Original 24-pin FDD flatcable: Sumitomo-Y AWM 2896 80C VW-1 (100mm, 1.25mm pitch)

Alternative 24-pin FDD flatcable: AWM 20624 80C 60V VW-1 (100-200mm 1.25mm pitch)

Links