Yamaha CR-01
This page was last modified 16:33, 16 December 2021 by Mars2000you. Based on work by Rderooy.




The CR-01 is a card reader released by Yamaha. It must be used with one of these cartridges:

The card reader needs to be connected to the cartridge, it can read data stored on a magnetic stripe along the edge of a large (a little smaller than A4-sized) card.

This card system was used by Yamaha to store music and graphic data. Two sets were available:

  • ZGA-01 - Graphic Card Set = CR-01 + UGA-01/02 - Launch price: ¥19,800
  • ZPA-01 - Play Card Set = CR-01 + UPA-01 - Launch price: ¥12,800

They can be used on any MSX system. However, it is recommended to use the Play Card Set on a MSX computer equipped with the SFG module.

An MSX with 16kB RAM can store two tunes at once, while a 32kB RAM model can store 16 additional 16 tunes, so a total of 18 tunes can be stored. This suggests that each Play Card holds up to 1kB of data. It is probably also the case for the Graphic Cards.


Graphic Card Program

You can use a set of 12 Graphic Cards containing a variety of graphic patterns to draw pictures on the screen.

The program has several features to make your work easy:

  • 15 colors with block filling option
  • Use of cursor or joystick to draw lines, circles, squares
  • Reproduceable drawing steps and option to create an animation
  • Saving of picture and drawing steps on tape

Play Card Program

Each Play Card contains a tune that you can play on your system:

  • without SFG module, the MSX PSG chip is used to play the Play Card music, offering only the melody, obbligato and bass channels
  • when a SFG module is present, you get a fully-orchestrated 5-channel performance, similar to that given by a keyboard

It is possible to add the YK-01 music keyboard to the system, which enables the usual set of Play Card training modes, exactly as found on stand-alone music keyboards, and also turns the MSX system into a full-featured manual keyboard, complete with auto accompaniment.

As the system allows a number of Play Cards to be scanned and stored in RAM, you can play them sequentially as a kind of Play Card Jukebox - something that is not possible with stand-alone music keyboards.



Yamaha CR-01
Yamaha CR-01 with UPA-01
Yamaha CR-01 with Play Card
Yamaha CR-01 back
Yamaha CR-01 box and manual
CR-01 + UPA-01 + Play Card 1
Yamaha Play Cards
CR-01 + UGA-01 + Graphic Card
Yamaha UGA-02 box
Yamaha Play Card boxes
Yamaha UGA-02 cartridge
Yamaha UPA-01 cartridge (back)


Graphic Card Program

Graphic Card Program
Graphic Card Program

Play Card Program

Play Card Program
Play Card Program

External links