Sakhr AX-150
This page was last modified 22:27, 24 April 2019 by Grauw. Based on work by Piter Punk and Rderooy and others.

Contents

Description

Computer

Sakhr Computers was a Kuwaiti company that was selling MSX computers imported from Japan in Egypt and the Persian Gulf States. These MSX were localized by Al Alamiah (the parent company at that time) and rebranded for the Arabic market.

The AX-150 is a rare machine released to correct some bugs in the firmware provided with the AX-100 and AX-200 machines. Contrary to these machines, it does not have a Yamaha module slot.

This computer has 64kB RAM, it comes with an MSX1 compatible VDP, the Yamaha YM2220, and 2 cartridge slots. The keyboard is Arabic. The power supply is built-in.

Brand Sakhr (Manufacturer: Yamaha)
Type AX-150
Year 1986
Region Middle East
Original price
RAM 64kB split between slots 0-0 and 0-2
VRAM 16kB
Media MSX cartridges
Video Yamaha YM2220 (Texas Instruments TMS9918 compatible)
Audio PSG (YM2149 integrated in MSX-Engine S3527)
Chipset Yamaha S3527
Extras Arabic BASIC, Firmware (Calendar, Graphics, Arabic Writer, English Writer)

Firmware

This machine comes with version 1.01 of Arabic firmware, present on all Sakhr/Al Alamiah computers. The firmware can be skipped by pressing CTRL key while booting and until you come on the MSX-BASIC screen. By doing that, the machine will be in International mode, the Arabic characters will not be available and also you get only one drive (the A: drive) if you have added external diskdrives.

This firmware adds Arabic characters, new MSX-BASIC commands (see Arabic BASIC) and 4 applications. You can choose them in the menu with the keys 1 to 4.

By comparison with version 1.0, only the Calendar has been completely modified, as you can now also use it partially in English. Other options are Graphics, a graphic tool in screen 2, and two Word Processors, Arabic Writer and English Writer. These options remain unchanged on all MSX1 Sakhr/Al Alamiah computers.

If you press key 5 when you are in the menu, you will go to MSX-BASIC. Going back to the menu is possible with CALL MENU or _MENU (don't use it if you are in International mode !).

Pictures

Computer

Sakhr AX-150
Sakhr AX-150 underside
Sakhr AX-150 label
Sakhr AX-150 box and computer
Sakhr AX-150 right side
Sakhr AX-150 back

Firmware

Arabic firmware version 1.01
Arabic firmware 1.01 menu
Arabic firmware 1.01 Arabic Calendar
Arabic firmware Graphics
Arabic firmware Arabic Writer
Arabic firmware English Writer
Arabic firmware 1.01 English Calendar

Specifications

The AX-150 is a MSX1 with a Z80A from Sharp (LH0080A) as CPU and a specific VDP, the Yamaha YM2220, clocked at 10,6Mhz.

The 64kB RAM is split in half between the slots 0-0 and 0-2, a configuration that can cause poorly written software to crash. Also, with this layout, the POKE-1,(15-PEEK(-1)\16)*17 trick to workaround buggy software that does not handle subslots properly will not work on this machine.

Slot Map

Slot 0-0 Slot 0-1 Slot 0-2 Slot 0-3 Slot 1 Slot 2 Slot 3
Page C000h~FFFFh Upper
32kB RAM
Cartridge
Slot 1
Cartridge
Slot 2
Page 8000h~BFFFh Arabic ROM
Page 4000h~7FFFh Main-ROM Lower
32kB RAM
Page 0000h~3FFFh

Connections