Purchasing advice for a Panasonic FS-A1

Par bmos

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11-03-2016, 12:12

Hey guys, a place near my parents home in Japan has an MSX2 Panasonic FS-A1 for about 150$ Never owned one before but love the system and want to be an owner too. Figured this was the best place to ask since I come here quite a lot for info already.

If this isn't a good deal I can just do an auction or something later. Thanks guys!

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Par Manuel

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11-03-2016, 12:47

Looks expensive to me, as it's a very simple MSX2. See https://www.msx.org/wiki/Panasonic_FS-A1

For instance, it doesn't have a disk drive, which is usually comfortable, although nowadays you can also use a MegaFlashROM SCC+ SD or the like.

Also it only has 64kB of RAM.

So, depending on what you want to do with the machine, it's suitable or not. E.g. it's suitable for running original cartridge games. It's not suitable for running European disk games.

Also, are you in Japan yourself? Or somewhere else?

Par bmos

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11-03-2016, 13:20

Myself. I used to live here but now only visit a few times a year. I think you're right about passing on this. Bummer Sad I'll head back and see if there's another model I missed. Looks like some of the later Panasonic and Sony models are best for Japanese units?

Par bmos

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11-03-2016, 13:35

Err.. Yamaha?

Par Grauw

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11-03-2016, 14:20

Looking at eBay and sales history, I think the price is a bit steep but not much above market value (though in Japan, I’d expect it to be cheaper). If it’s in good condition complete in box it’s not a bad deal. Prices have been going up so things are getting more expensive than they used to be. European MSX2 computers are cheaper for better specs, but if you don’t live in Europe that means you have to deal with PAL and 230V. What can you do eh…

As Manuel said, if you combine it with a MegaFlashROM SCC+ SD with 512K RAM expansion option (€140), it’s a perfectly good system. (I’d recommend getting one regardless of what MSX you buy.) Having that, I very rarely use the disk drive on my turboR, you can do without. Of course it also depends on what you want to do with it. E.g. if you insist on playing original games then lack of a disk drive is a problem for RPGs and late western games. If you only want to play Japanese games then you probably don’t need any additional memory. If you want to run VGMPlay for MSX then you do Smile.

For playing games I’d also recommend getting an MSX-Music (FM-PAC) cartridge, e.g. from Repro-Factory or another one new or second hand. If you buy an MSX2+ computer, many of them have MSX-Music built-in so you don’t need to buy it separately.

See also this recent thread for some related discussion.

Par bmos

Supporter (8)

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11-03-2016, 14:21

Thanks Grauw, it was a spur-the-moment thing when I saw it. Found the same one on auction starting at ¥1000 so definitely wasn't a good purchase. Smile

Par gdx

Enlighted (5829)

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11-03-2016, 14:47

The disadvantages of Panasonic FS-A1 are the following:

- The heavy power supply adapter and specific
- The unit is too light (the big cartridges like Sunrise CF imbalance the machine)
- No Reset button and power button is not very well designed
- The firmware is very troublesome

I like the red despite all this. Cool

Grauw wrote:

Looking at eBay and sales history, I think the price is a bit steep but not much above market value (though in Japan, I’d expect it to be cheaper).

Many are sold without the supply adapter.