Panasonic FS-A1WX
This page was last modified 15:50, 4 July 2021 by Grauw. Based on work by Mars2000you and Gdx and others.

Contents

Description

Computer

The FS-A1WX is a computer released on the Japanese market by Panasonic. It is almost the same as the FS-A1FX but with MSX-MUSIC and a Japanese Word processor as extra, which explains why the "取消" (Cancel) and "実行" (Execute) keys have been added to the keyboard.

The Ren-Sha Turbo feature provides auto-fire mode while playing games. The repetition speed can be adjusted with a slider.

This model was available in black.

It was also sold

  • in a set with 20 floppy disks containing 85 lessons, created by the Com Intex (= Computer Communication Inter Exchange) company, previously available in a monstruous educational box with the MSX2 National FS-4600F and Sanyo PHC-77 computers
  • in a special bundle (FS-A1WXH) containing the computer, the thermal printer FS-PA1 and three games: Galaxian, Hydlide 3 and Snatcher.
Brand Panasonic
Type FS-A1WX
Year 1988-10-21
Region Japan
Original price ¥69.800
RAM 64kB in slot 3-0 + 16kB SRAM
VRAM 128kB
Media 720kB 3,5" floppy disk drive
Video Yamaha V9958
Audio PSG, MSX-MUSIC
Chipset Toshiba T9769 model A or B
Keyboard layout QWERTY/JIS
Extras CPU Turbo mode, 720kB 3,5" floppy disk drive, firmware switch, pause button, Ren-Sha Turbo slider (autofire), Kanji-ROM level 1 & 2, Kanji BASIC, MSX-MUSIC BASIC, firmware (A1 Cockpit, Word Processor, MSX-JE), system disk for option 3 of firmware, utility disk with MSX-DOS 1 and tools
Emulation ROMs dumped and emulated. The firmware switch is emulated in the OFF position, such that the machine will not by default boot to the integrated firmware application. This can be changed in openMSX with the "set firmwareswitch on" command.

Firmware

The firmware is launched automatically when you boot the machine. Bypassing this software on startup requires the user to press the DEL key during boot until a Beep sound or to change the position of the front switch before booting the computer.

By comparison with the version available on the F1S-A1FX, the built-in Cockpit software has been completely revised to integrate the Word Processor with the MSX-JE input system for the kana-kanji conversion.

The options to change the screen colors or adjust the screen have been removed and three other options have been transferred as full independent programs on a floppy disk.

The firmware menu includes 9 options:

  • 1 - Japanese Word Processor
  • 2 - Beginner Word Processor
  • 3 - Word Processor Lessons (requires the System disk)
  • 4 - Address Book
  • 5 - Business Card
  • 6 - AV Labels (Video - Cassette - Diskette)
  • 7 - Mouse and Printer Settings
  • 8 - Accessories (Calculator, Calendar and Clock Settings)
  • 9 - MSX-BASIC

From MSX-BASIC, you can go to the firmware menu with CALL MENU or _MENU.

Floppy disks

Two floppy disks were provided with this computer:

  • the first disk is a System disk, required to use option 3 of the firmware
  • the second disk is an Utility disk that contains MSX-DOS 1 and has its own menu:
    • 1 - Disk Utility
    • 2 - Video Graphics (in screen 8)
    • 3 - Picture Gallery (in screen 12)
    • 4 - MSX-BASIC

The Video Graphics application in screen 8 is a version without superimposing and digitizing support, but there's an icon for using the FS-RS500 scanner.

When you close one of these applications, you go back to the MSX-DOS command line. You can then enter TOOL to relaunch the menu of the Utility disk.

To run MSX-DOS, choose option 4 in the menu to go to BASIC, then enter CALL SYSTEM. You can also press CTRL+STOP when booting with the disk in drive A, this to avoid the launching of the Tools menu.

Pictures

Computer

Panasonic FS-A1WX
Panasonic FS-A1WX box
Panasonic FS-A1WX
FS-A1WX left side
Panasonic FS-A1WX back
Panasonic FS-A1WX right side
Panasonic FS-A1WX manuals
Panasonic FS-A1WX label
FS-A1WX floppy disks
Panasonic FS-A1WX box and content
Panasonic FS-A1WX PCB
Panasonic FS-A1WX PCB underside
Panasonic FS-A1WX FM chips
Panasonic FS-A1WX drive
FS-A1WX - Com Intex floppy disks
]
Panasonic FS-A1WXH box
FS-A1WXH box and content

Firmware

Cockpit menu
Cockpit Japanese Word Processor
Cockpit Beginner Word Processor
Cockpit Word Processor Lessons
Cockpit Address Book
Cockpit Business Card
Cockpit AV Labels sub-menu
Cockpit AV Labels - Video
Cockpit AV Labels - Cassette
Cockpit AV Labels - Diskette
Cockpit Mouse and Printer Settings
Cockpit Accessories sub-menu
Cockpit Accessories - Calculator
Cockpit Accessories - Calendar
Cockpit Accessories - Clock Settings

Utility disk

Cockpit - Utility disk - menu
Cockpit Disk Utility
Cockpit Video Graphics
Cockpit Picture Gallery

Specifications

The FS-A1WX is a MSX2+ with 2 cartridge slots (one at the top, one at the back) and a Z80A integrated in MSX-Engine T9769(A or B) from Toshiba. This Z80A can be switched from to 3.58 MHz to 5.37 MHz via I/O ports. The floppy disk controller is the Toshiba TC8566AF.

There is a front switch to disable the firmware execution on startup.

Main RAM can be natively expanded to 256kB internally. (See below)

Floppy Disk Belt specifications:

Type: Rubber Belt
Thickness: 0.3mm
Diameter: 58mm
Width: 3mm

Slot Map

Slot Slot
0-0 0-1 0-2 0-3 Slot 1 Slot 2 3-0 3-1 3-2 3-3
Page C000h~FFFFh Cartridge
Slot 1
Cartridge
Slot 2
64kB
Memory
Mapper
Panasonic
mapper
Page 8000h~BFFFh Kanji
driver
Page 4000h~7FFFh Main-ROM MSX-Music Disk ROM
Page 0000h~3FFFh Sub-ROM
  • Slot 3-3 is divided into 8kB Pages using the Panasonic mapper. Each can contain internal RAM, ROM or SRAM. A1 Cockpit runs in this slot.
  • Slot 0-2 has also disable possibility that can be activated by setting bit 0 to some byte between #7FF0-#7FFF on that slot.

Connections

CPU Turbo mode

Contrary to Sony and Sanyo MSX2+ systems which run only at 3.58 MHz, the Panasonic systems are capable of running at 5.37 MHz. In Basic this can be achieved with the following commands:

Activating the 5.37 MHz Mode

Switching to Turbo 5.37 MHz mode can be activated with this command:

OUT 64,8: OUT 65,0

Prefer to use the following line in your program:

IF PEEK(&H2D)=2 THEN OUT 64,8:IF INP(64)=247 THEN IF (INP(65) AND 4)=0 THEN OUT 65,0

Deactivating the 5.37 MHz Mode

Switching back to 3.58 MHz is done with this command:

OUT 64,8: OUT 65,1

Prefer to use the following line in your program:

IF PEEK(&H2D)=2 THEN OUT 64,8:IF INP(64)=247 THEN IF (INP(65) AND 4)=0 THEN OUT 65,1

Maintenance / Repair / Upgrades

Recommended batteries: Lithium batteries or Eneloop (white or cyan).
Batteries advised against: Alkaline batteries because they leak one day or another.

Links