Sakhr AX-170
This page was last modified 21:36, 25 January 2022 by Mars2000you. Based on work by Rderooy and Gdx and others.

Contents

Description

Computer

Sakhr Computers was a Kuwaiti company (Al Alamiah co.) that was selling MSX computers imported from Japan in all of the Arab world. These MSX were localized by Al Alamiah and rebranded for the Arabic market.

The Sakhr AX-170 seems to be the Sanyo MPC-2 localised for Arabic countries. The PCB and components are not the same and a RGB output has been added on some versions. There are also exemplars with the RGB output that is blocked.

This model was the most popular in the Arabic countries. It has an Arabic QWERTY keyboard, but is also available in an Arabic/French version AX-170F (with AZERTY keyboard), where the English Word Processor is replaced by a French Word Processor.

After booting without pressing the CTRL key, the computer will be in Arabic mode. In this mode:

  • the combination of the GRAPH key with an alphabetic key will display an MSX-BASIC instruction on the screen
  • the extra STAR key (probably not available on the AX-170F) can be used in a similar way to the GRAPH key
  • some combinations can produce accented characters instead of MSX-BASIC instructions
Brand Sakhr (Manufacturer: Sanyo)
Model AX-170 / AX-170F
Year 1986
Region Middle East
Launch price
RAM 64kB in slot 3-0
VRAM 16kB
Media MSX cartridges
Video Toshiba T6950 Texas Instruments TMS9918 compatible (Integrated in MSX-Engine T7937)
Audio PSG-sound chip General Instrument AY-3-8910 compatible (Integrated in MSX-Engine T7937)
Chipset Toshiba T7937
Keyboard layout (AX-170) QWERTY/Arabic - (AX-170F) AZERTY/Arabic
Extras reset button, Arabic BASIC, firmware (Calendar, Graphics, Arabic Writer, English or French Writer)
Emulation ROMs dumped and emulated for the QWERTY version. For the AZERTY version ROM dump is needed. See this thread for details

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 hear a first beep. By doing that, the machine will be in International mode and the Arabic characters will not be available. If a software (even in cartridge) doesn't work, try it in this mode.

Note: If you continue to press CTRL until a second beep, you will get only one drive (the A: drive) if you have added external diskdrives.

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

  • Calendar - by comparison with version 1.0, it has been completely modified, as you can now also use it partially in English
  • Graphics, a graphic tool in screen 2
  • Arabic Writer (Word Processor)
  • English (or French) Writer (Word Processor)

These options remain unchanged on all Sakhr/Al Alamiah MSX1 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-170
Sakhr AX-170 box (English side)
Sakhr AX-170 box (Arabic side)
Sakhr AX-170 label
Sakhr AX-170 left side
Sakhr AX-170 right side
Sakhr AX-170 PCB
Sakhr AX-170 PCB underside
Sakhr AX-170 with manuals
AX-170 back without RGB output
AX-170 back with RGB output
AX-170 back with RGB output
AX-170 back - RGB output blocked

Firmware

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

Specifications

The AX-170 is a MSX1. The Z80A, the VDP and the PSG are integrated in MSX-Engine T7937.

The integrated VDP is the Toshiba T6950, which does not support some undocumented features of the Texas Instruments TMS9918, TMS9928 and TMS9929 VDP's.

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
64kB
RAM
Cartridge
Slot 2
Page 8000h~BFFFh Arabic ROM
Page 4000h~7FFFh Main-ROM
Page 0000h~3FFFh

Connections

Fixes and Repair

External Links