Panasonic FS-A1FM
This page was last modified 14:34, 26 May 2023 by Mars2000you. Based on work by Gdx and Rderooy and others.




The Panasonic FS-A1FM is similar to the FS-A1F but has a built-in modem.

It comes also with the first edition of the MSX-Engine Toshiba T9769, which will be used later for MSX2+ and MSX turbo-R machines.

It was aimed at the Japanese market. This model is available in black.

Brand Panasonic
Model FS-A1FM
Year 1988
Region Japan
Launch price ¥89.800
RAM 64kB in slot 3-0, 8kB SRAM
VRAM 128kB
Media MSX cartridges, 2DD floppy disks
Video Yamaha V9938
Audio PSG (AY-3-8910 compatible, integrated in MSX-Engine T9769)
Chipset Toshiba T9769
Keyboard layout QWERTY/JIS + numeric keypad
Extras 720kB 3,5" floppy disk drive, firmware switch, reset button, pause button, built-in modem with access to The LINKS network and MSX-Modem BASIC, Kanji-ROM level 1, 12x12 Dot Kanji-ROM, DESKPAC firmware (special edition with modem features), Utility disk with MSX-DOS 1 and tools
Emulation ROMs dumped and emulated, except for the modem functionality which is not supported by the emulators. 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.


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. It will simultaneously deactivate the modem.

You can also skip the firmware without deactivating the modem by changing the position of the switch at the back before booting the computer.

The built-in firmware is a special edition of the well-known Panasonic DESKPAC software with modem features. It presents 8 options:

  • 1 - Clock Settings
  • 2 - Screen Adjust
  • 3 - Clock
  • 4 - Calendar
  • 5 - Modem Settings and Phone Book
  • 6 - Access to The LINKS network
  • 7 - Documents Management
  • 8 - MSX-BASIC

Note that the Calculator has been removed.

The 3 modem features actually correspond to the MSX-TELCOM utility written by ASCII and Matsushita, which is integrated in the FS-CM1 modem. MSX-Modem BASIC is also included in this firmware.

The icons of options 5 to 7 can be replaced by the Japanese name of the corresponding application when you press the spacebar (it acts like a toggle).

From MSX-BASIC, it is possible to access the modem settings and the phone book with CALL TELCOM or _TELCOM if you haven't de-activated the modem when booting. An automatic awakening (自動吾醒) feature is hidden under the instruction CALL REMOTE or _REMOTE.

Besides, an exclusive instruction for this computer allows to connect to BT Japan Co., the Japanese service of British Telecom: CALL BTELCOM(<Number>) or _BTELCOM(<Number>).


Besides MSX-DOS 1, the provided disk contains a part of the DESKPAC software.

It's an Utility disk that has its own menu with 4 options:

  • 1 - Disk Utility
  • 2 - Word Processor, Address Book & Business Card
  • 3 - Video Graphics (in screen 8)
  • 4 - MSX-BASIC

Option 2 leads to 6 sub-options:

  • 1 - Word Processor (creating)
  • 2 - Word Processor (editing)
  • 3 - Business Card
  • 4 - Adddress Book
  • 5 - Cassette Label
  • 6 - Application Closing

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 main 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.



Panasonic FS-A1FM box with computer
Panasonic FS-A1FM
Panasonic FS-A1FM keyboard
Panasonic FS-A1FM back
Panasonic FS-A1FM right side
Panasonic FS-A1FM box
FS-A1FM keyboard detail
FS-A1FM box and content
Panasonic FS-A1FM PCB
MSX-Engine T9769
Panasonic FS-A1FM manuals
Gate Array uPD65013GF457
Panasonic FS-A1F/FS-A1FM drive
FS-A1F/FS-A1FM drive PCB
Panasonic FS-A1FM label


DESKPAC Clock Settings
DESKPAC Screen Adjust
DESKPAC Calendar
MSX-TELCOM Modem Settings
MSX-TELCOM Access to 'The LINKS'
MSX-TELCOM Documents Management
MSX-TELCOM Automatic Awakening
Options with Japanese names

Utility Disk

DESKPAC - Utility disk - Menu
DESKPAC Disk Utility
WP, Address Book & Business Card
DESKPAC Word Processor (creating)
DESKPAC Word Processor (editing)
DESKPAC Business Card
DESKPAC Address Book
DESKPAC Cassette Label
DESKPAC Video Graphics


The Panasonic FS-A1FM is a MSX2 with 2 cartridge slots (one at the top, one at the back) and a Z80A integrated in the MSX-Engine T9769 from Toshiba. The floppy disk controller is the Toshiba TC8566F. The SRAM is a NEC D4364CX-15L chip. It is mainly used by the modem software.

On the back of the computer, there is a switch to eventually skip the special edition of DESKPAC firmware with modem features. The modem speed is 300/1200bps.

This model can be easily upgraded to 128kB RAM by adding vertical MB81464-12 x2 (rare nowadays) and two ceramic capacitors of 100 nF (104). You must also cut the jumper J3 and put the J2. The locations are between the VDP and T9769. (See links in Japanese below)

Floppy Disk Belt specifications:

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

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
Slot 2
Page 8000h~BFFFh DeskPac
Page 4000h~7FFFh Main-ROM Modem ROM Disk ROM
Page 0000h~3FFFh Sub-ROM
  • There is also a Kanji Driver ROM (32kB), but its location is unknown.


Maintenance / Repair / Upgrades

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