Mitsubishi ML-8000 (MSX1, 1983)

When I was originally looking for a MSX, I only had three requirements:

  1. 32K of RAM
  2. A cool case
  3. The ability to play Hydlide 1-3

It turns out that MSX1s can do all that fairly easily. It also turns out MSX1s have some really neat designs. It also turns out that, unless it's a Pasopia IQ for some reason, basically nobody gets in bid wars over these things!

After a simple research process, "which one looks the coolest", I settled on this ML-8000. Turns out it's also a piece of history by being the first MSX-spec system ever released to market. Neat!

Say hello to one of the most simple MSX1s out there, externally and internally. Other than the neat looks, there's not really all that much to the ML-8000. I really don't know a ton on the history of the model, just that it exists and cost ¥59,800 when it came out, so I can't speak a ton on that aspect.

Your connectors go as-follows:

Under the lid, a standard suite of MSX1 chips live under a (not that great) membrane keyboard. It's basically entirelly built off the shelf, featuring chips such as:

If you're wondering about the PSU, specs go as-follows: 100V AC +/- 10% in, 5V@2A/12V@0.3A/-12V@0.3A out. It definitely runs a bit hot for comfort after a few hours. It hasn't had any serious problems, it just makes the top-left cornre of the case really warm. I just may consider swapping it alongside the ICs dependant on silly voltages. Or maybe that's just my general hatred for 4116s? heh.

The composite output on it isn't exactly amazing, I've seen RF that looks *much* better. I assume the output circuit is either not that great, just uses dirty signals, or has something like dying caps? I can tell it's dead simple just looking at the motherboard. That being said, if you're using a CRT under 14", it's tolerable. Monochrome also helps.

Speaking of leaving the MSX on for "a few hours", the ML-8000 made an appearance at CCAG '22! It ran Knightmare all day and was quite the hit, see it all the way over to the left? I'll make sure to have a color monitor for it, alongside the PX-V7, in '23.

Someone has asked me if I have any plans for this computer. I wouldn't mind finding the optional keypad, a Diatone system, or the robotic arm. I don't think I'll be doing much in the way of internal mods other than what I mentioned above (PSU, thermal paste on the VDP, change 4116s to something single-supply) just because it's kinda charming in the stock configuration. I should desolder, dump, then re-install (in sockets) the ROMs pretty soon.

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