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Thread: Panasonic FS-A1F

  1. #1

    Default Panasonic FS-A1F

    I have the opportunity to buy a Panasonic FS-A1F in lovely red colour.

    I expect I'll have to repair the floppy drive, and I see that a 128k upgrade is possible. It has RGB out and a built in 100V PSU. Will likely need re-capping.

    Anyone got any other comments on this computer? Anything I should look out for our accessories I should try to get?

  2. #2


    It's an MSX2 (how do you say "totally awesome" in Japanese?) so it should be expandable to more RAM than you'll ever be able to use. All MSX computers are compatible, so the SD cartridge, robot arm, slot expanders (you should get at least two) will all work, no matter what brand.

  3. #3


    Thanks. I ended up getting a black one in the end, it was in slightly better condition.

    I'm planning to do the RAM upgrade and re-cap the PSU. The floppy drive probably needs attention.

    Are there any accessories you would recommend I look for?

  4. #4


    If the floppy drive uses a standard 34 pin cable (it should, but some models were odd) replace it with a usb floppy emulator, the SFR1M44-U100K model should be ideal. You'll need some basic soldering skills to attach a few header pins, which are necessary to reprogram it with software compatibility using FlashFloppy:

    I'd also recommend the OLED mod, since it's very simple and much better than the 9-segment display:

    The usb-floppy hardware shouldn't cost more than $20 from ebay or aliexpress, just make sure it matches the pictures on the github wiki.

    Other accessories I'd recommend would be for RAM, but they're always small batch and sell out quickly as far as I can tell. Modern ones are usually memory mappers so they provide either a RAM expansion (or a portion of one) and/or a space to load an MSX cartridge ROM.

    Since the modern ones are also usually open-source hardware designs, prices and sellers vary. Here's one I know of:

    I ordered my own MSX2 (Daewoo CPC-400) from a private seller in Korea last month, but it's being shipped via sea so it has yet to arrive. The forum is a good resource.

    EDIT: I did a bit of poking around, looks like the FS-A1F is one of the MSXen that uses a non-standard floppy connector. There are instructions on how to build a converter here:
    The hardware considerations for the specific floppy drive shouldn't be necessary since the usb-floppy firmware should take care of that.
    Last edited by bifo86; December 29th, 2019 at 10:14 PM.

  5. #5


    I confirm, i installed a GOTEK floppy drive emulator to my Philips NMS-8280 (MSX2) and it works perfectly. For it i just had to longer the molex cable with some soldering, the 34pin cable worked without problems.

  6. #6


    I'm planning to use a real drive. Got and test carts too.

  7. #7


    You mean adapt PC floppy drive for msx? I tried it 2 times without success. What's tricky is trying to mod tiny traces. I ruined traces and IC small pins and i had to throw away 2 PC drives
    However if you are smarter than me working with tiny electronics traces, try it

  8. #8


    I am going to check the existing drive and probably replace the belt even if it looks okay. It's a bit of a pain but not too difficult.

    I can modify a PC drive no problem. Did some for an Amiga and I've done much more difficult stuff like a PS2 Slim mod chip.

  9. #9


    Quote Originally Posted by Emily82 View Post
    I confirm, i installed a GOTEK floppy drive emulator to my Philips NMS-8280 (MSX2) and it works perfectly. For it i just had to longer the molex cable with some soldering, the 34pin cable worked without problems.
    The issue with the FS-A1F appears to be that the floppy drive uses a 26-pin connector (not the flat ribbon connector like you'd see on some GOTEK emulators, for example, but 26 pins) which isn't compatible with other floppy drives as far as I know. I was told by the seller and a few other people that the CPC-400 floppy, and most other MSX floppies which use a 34-pin connector, can be replaced by most standard PC floppy drives, which I've discovered I'll need to do. In order to replace the FS-A1F drive, there are instructions here for building an interface board for a specific Samsung drive:

    Overall, replacing the belts definitely seems like the best idea if Kuro wants to keep the real drive. The only reason I can't do that on mine is because they used some kind of odd mechanical drive mechanism instead of belts. Probably seemed more reliable at the time, but was just as prone to failure in the end.

    I would also recommend that you build or purchase a cassette interface cable if you want to go for authenticity of setup. There are various android apps and arduino projects that can be used for simplicity's sake, or you can get a cassette player. I've always been fond of the Tandy CCR-81 or CTR-80.

  10. #10


    That's lucky, I have a couple of those Samsung floppy drives for Amiga conversions already.

    I like the idea of tape loading, I'll give that a try.


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