Sakhr AX-200
This page was last modified 22:04, 13 February 2022 by Mars2000you. Based on work by Gdx and Rderooy and others.

Contents

Description

Computer

Sakhr Computers was a Kuwaiti company that was selling MSX computers imported from Japan in Egypt and the Persian Gulf States. These MSX were localized by Al Alamiah (the parent company at that time) and rebranded for the Arabic market.

The AX-200 is the Yamaha YIS-503II adapted for Arabic countries. The not usable mini-slot has been removed. The power supply is built-in.

It has an Arabic QWERTY keyboard, but is also available in an Arabic/French version (with AZERTY keyboard), where the English Word Processor is replaced by a French Word Processor.

It seems that this computer was sometimes sold with a Yamaha musical module SFG-05 and the indication AX-200M on the underside, similar to the Yamaha YIS-503MII.

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 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: Yamaha)
Model AX-200
Year 1986
Region Middle East
Launch price
RAM 64kB split between slots 0-0 and 0-2
VRAM 16kB
Media MSX cartridges, side slot modules
Video Yamaha V9938 (MSX2 VDP!)
Audio PSG (integrated into MSX-Engine S3527), (AX-200M version) SFG, MIDI
Chipset Yamaha S3527
Keyboard layout QWERTY/Arabic or AZERTY/Arabic
Extras internal RAM & VRAM expandable, 60 pin module port, Arabic BASIC, firmware (Calendar, Graphics, Arabic Writer, English or French Writer),(AX-200M version) FM module SFG-05
Emulation ROMs of the QWERTY version dumped and emulated as the "Yamaha AX200". For the AZERTY version ROM dump is needed. See this thread for details

Firmware

From BASIC, the optional music software can be launched with CALL MUSIC or _ MUSIC.

The Arabic/English model comes with version 1.00 of Arabic firmware, present on all Sakhr/Al Alamiah computers. It's probably version 1.01 on the Arabic/French model.

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 - is only in Arabic language and has two options (Monthly Calendar and Daily Calendar), it will be completely different in higher versions of the firmware.
  • 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-200(F) box
Sakhr AX-200
Sakhr AX-200 underside
Sakhr AX-200(F) packaging
Sakhr AX-200 back
Sakhr AX-200 label
Sakhr AX-200 right side

Arabic Firmware

Arabic firmware version 1.0
Arabic firmware 1.0 menu
Calendar submenu
Calendar 1
Calendar 2
Graphics
Arabic Writer
English Writer

Firmware of SFG-05 module

SFG-05 Polyphonic mode (F2)
SFG-05 Monophonic mode (F1)
SFG-05 Voice menu (F3)
SFG-05 Load/Save menu (F4)

Specifications

The AX-200 is an MSX1 equipped with a V9938 and a Z80A from Sharp (LH0080A). This computer supports all Yamaha modules. This computer can be easily upgraded internally because RAM and VRAM are each on an individual board.

The 64kB RAM is split in half between the slots 0-0 and 0-2, a configuration that can cause poorly written software to crash. Also, with this layout, the POKE-1,(15-PEEK(-1)\16)*17 trick to workaround buggy software that does not handle subslots properly will not work on this machine.

Slot Map

Slot 0-0 Slot 0-1 Slot 0-2 Slot 0-3 Slot 1 Slot 2 Slot 3
Page C000h~FFFFh Upper
32kB RAM
Cartridge
Slot 1
Cartridge
Slot 2
Module
Slot
Page 8000h~BFFFh Arabic ROM
Page 4000h~7FFFh Main-ROM Lower
32kB RAM
Page 0000h~3FFFh
  • By default the Module Slot contains a SFG-05 module from 0000-7FFF on the model AX-200M.

Connections

Links