Mystery Japanese PC | Tech Nibble



our MC is supported by monster joysticks calm level up your retro gaming with their joysticks feature in genuine San where RK paths and one click print calm for your photos on canvas acrylic gifts and more local craftsman and global delivery hello cave-dwellers welcome to the cave for the mystery box episode yes this box has come all the way from Japan it took three months to get here owing to the weight of it I chose the slowest and cheapest shipping service so that was by boat and what's inside is a PC that's just about what I can tell you about it it's not a PC I worked on before and it's not a model I'm familiar with and as you'll see as I start to tear it down it's quite an interesting PC with some interesting quirks perhaps specific to Fujitsu perhaps specific to workstation grade pcs I'm not sure and I'm depending a lot on your feedback on this one it may turn into a trash to treasure because it's not in a great state but I need to know more information about it so I'm going to share with you my findings as I take it apart today and I'm appealing to you guys if you see anything interesting anything that you recognize if you've worked on this machine before please please please leave a comment help us all to learn a little bit more about it and maybe you can fill in those missing knowledge gaps that I need to fill if I'm ever going to get this working and if I'm ever going to restore it to its full glory there's some interesting bits and challenges that we really need to get around if we're ever going to see this working so I'm sure you'll want to see what it is let's take it out the box let's tear it to pieces and let's see what our mystery Japanese PC is all about at over seven kilograms this is a lot heavier than it looks and it's also filthy the gloves will definitely be on for this one the first thing I noticed about this is those striking decals it looks to me like something you'd see doing donuts in the local car park a civic type-r or a ford escort xr3i both spring to mind it tells us very loudly then that this is a Fujitsu SMR 78 GL one which leaves me nonetheless to what it is but Fujitsu also make the FM Tom's computer and the FM on that model stands for Fujitsu micro so I think we can safely guess it means the same here and a bit of Internet detective work says that the r70 model was released in 88 but nothing of the hl1 but let's have a poke around and see what we find quite unusually for a pc of the time we have two five and a quarter inch floppy drives and a three and a half inch floppy drive and a hard disk which is labeled as a 40 megabyte model this thing is ready to eat up your floppy disks on the front there's also a reset switch a keyboard Porter a jaunty angle and that's not a ps2 ports got eight pins and a volume knob which I'm assuming is for a PC speaker in the same way that the Amstrad 1512 we recently saw has a PC speaker control because I don't see any audio output ports on this thing there's also a power button on the right-hand side of the front fascia let's take a look around the back of the machine and I'll warn you in advance it's really not pretty back there quite obviously I think this was consigned to the scrapheap a Chain Saw Massacre has taken place straight through all of the cables including any peripherals attached to the machine at the time why well I can only assume it was to save time perhaps this went through a recycling facility of some sort and whoever dealt with it must have had three seconds to cut those cables and move on to the next device and some damage has been done in the process the two rightmost ports are expansion cards and one has been battered it really shouldn't be at this angle but whatever it is it's got a 50 pin interface and we'll see if we can get any more details on that when we take a look inside there's also a selection of built-in ports and this is quite useful there's a scuzzy terminator left attached so we can make good use of that if I just go ahead and carefully unclip it damn thankfully that was just the brittle outer casing I'm sure this will be fine maybe a bit of 3d printing or a bit of hot glue will sort that out and you'll never be able to tell I promise the on-board ports then include that scuzzy port and that suggests that this is a machine designed for serious business use there's also an external floppy drive because of course three internal floppy drives might not be enough for you an rs-232 C port and a sentronics style printer port it's a nice and very serious-looking collection of ports but you may be wondering where we plug our display and if you look over to the left here underneath the power supply there's a port marked CRT and this looks to me like a potential sticking point it's a 28 pin port which I definitely don't have an adapter or a monitor for so any ideas on this one guys what kind of port is this what kind of monitor do we need is there indeed an adapter to maybe convert this to VGA we'll need to overcome that if we're ever to see it work despite Willie go-faster stripes on the outside of the case then this is a serious business machine and that's confirmed by the details over at the IP SJ computer museum website which tells us there were initially 3r models released in 1987 and the a stood for refresh or revolution and it was Fujitsu's flagship business PC range the FMR 70 gets a mention as being a high-end model and it would remain their premium PC until a new range came out in 1993 there's still no specific mention of our HL 1 variant but promising lis it does say that the r 70 range is fully ms-dos compatible inside the case the initial impressions are actually good it certainly looks a lot tidier than the outside those two massive floppy drives dominate much of the space as does the power supply unit at the back and that might all explain the positioning of a familiar component tucked down here in the corner is an Intel 386 processor it's passively cooled but positioned so that it has space to let it breathe around it and it's not crammed under all of those disk drives the part number reveals that this is a 3/8 6dx processor and is running at 20 megahertz that's faster than the 16 megahertz of the standard r 70s so I'm starting to think that the HL 1 model is a later slightly faster revision of the original r7 t the expansion cards are of course an added bonus but we'll get them out of the way because I want to strip this back to the bare bones machined removal is completely tool-less the cards just yank out and another sign of the higher class nature of this machine can be seen in the expansion ports this card is a text na interface card I've never heard of it either and you can see there's a white or grayish connector and this conforms to the din four one six one two standard in this example there are three rows of 96 gold pins and they were commonly used in a rack mounted or more industrial systems and we'll see these throughout the machine as we tear it down no ice or expansion cards are an option for us then and that may prove to be very limiting in what upgrades we could put in this machine I certainly don't think I've ever seen a 96 pin soundblaster card the second expansion card in the machine is Fujitsu branded and may well be standard for this age at one model he has a sentronics style Porter it's covered in 7000-series logic and it has an NEC IC which is a general-purpose interface bus adapter so I think this is just another port which complements the onboard printer port great for businesses with multiple local printers or peripherals with the cards out of the machine then I wanted to have a quick look for the destroyer of machines the battery and sure enough we have a big varta battery located on the reset switch and volume assembly here positioned with excellent precision so that the ribbon cable can catch any leaks from the battery above it and slowly disintegrate thankfully it hasn't reached this stage yet but we will remove the assembly and let's get that battery out before it causes any damage the next thing we take out is the psu followed by a cooling fan for the PSU which looks like it has some luxurious vibration and sound dampening foam around it but over time that's just turned into brown dust yuck the deeper we dive into this the more obvious is that this was made for easy maintenance and upgrading we had two thumb screws to open the case to less expansion cards and now the disk drives just slide in and out so if we wanted to replace a disk drive at any point we could do so without ever once using a screwdriver and I like that a lot the five and a quarter inch drives are housed in caddies to fit the machine perfectly but it gives no clues away as to whether they are low 360k or high 1.2 megabytes t disks and hazard a guess at them being the higher capacity drives based on the build of the machine and the period in which it was released again this is something I'd hopefully like to find out further down the line with our top layer of drives removed it reveals two more on the right here we have a 40 megabyte hard drive with a very satisfying dial on the top this must be used to set the device ID on the scuzzy bus and it's far better than fiddly jumpers very satisfying to click once again they slide out with no tools required and then the back plane pops out of the system board and it uses that same 96 pin dim connector that we saw before if we pop open the hard drive caddy it does appear to be the original Fujitsu drive sitting in a puddle of orange gloop fortunately it doesn't seem to have made its way onto the PCB and he's just crept into the power connector but it should clean up fine if we don't get the Machine going maybe we can plug this into another machine and see if we can retrieve any data now we can remove the plastic shroud and with that out the way it's really starting to look more like a regular PC and we can now remove the on-board port and with a flick of the wrist they pop out and again it's that same din connector so far so good and if you've seen anything of interest while I've been tearing this apart please do leave a comment so that we might all learn a little more about the machine inside the case we've got signs of corrosion and more signs of water damage and that's also evident on the system board unfortunately on the back of the board it's mostly isolated to the mounting points and there's also one component which has taken the brunt of it here and there are various water marks or rust spots dotted around the board while I said this was a preliminary exploration of the machine for a potential trash to treasure well this kind of thing will bug me if I don't fix it so we will clean it up shortly it's a nicely built machine then as you'll probably agree it's accessible it's easy to service and find your way around all of the key components of the machine are on the system board so we can do away with all the non-essential parts to try and get that running so no disk drives or hard drive no backplane or rare ports no case and no fan all we need is that board the power supply and the power switch still no sign of a speaker though so I'm not entirely sure what that volume control is for we've established that this is a 386 based system and on board we can also see two clusters of RAM this is DRAM in an inline package and is divided up between system and video memory 584 kilobytes of RAM is standard on this model with up to 10 megabytes of extended RAM at least that's on the standard r70 model counting up all the modules we have 14 total of various vendors and part numbers could we have a whopping 10 megabytes on board split between those duties it looks like it could be that way based on the part numbers but I'm still trying to track some of them down to confirm that so proof will be in the booting and our system board is a sea of Fujitsu branded chips from digital to analog converters to the onboard peripheral interface chip and if were to progress with this repair then I will try and find out a bit more I'd particularly like to know what video chip is on board here I'm unable to find out what that is currently many of them are dated 1991 which lines up with the idea that this is a later model in the series so there are still many mysteries to be solved but while I continue to look for service guides or data sheets we can try and do something useful and that's to clean up the board so that it doesn't get any more damaged I've used white vinegar here to get the rust off of the board and it feels like we've caught this just at the right time it all seems to be lifting off and is only on the surface I couldn't see any obviously eaten tracks or damage to the board and on the face of it I'm feeling quite positive about this board the top of the board was quite grimy so I gave that a good fingertip clean as well and is looking much healthier by the time we finished the final test today then is to determine if we can actually power the machine on even if we don't have a display and that requires a suitable power source the psu expects a hundred of your Japanese volts to be supplied and according to the test points on the system board we're expecting 12 negative 12 and 5 volts by the looks of things this comes out of the PSU in the form of a 15-pin main connector a connector for the fan which is standard we recognize that one and a 5 pin auxilary power connector which also plugs into the system board this then is not the same as a standard 80 power supply and if it doesn't work we'll need to find the pin ups for the connectors so that we can send the right power supply to the board with a new mains lead connected and a step down transformer attached I tested it out and we can see a hundred and ten volts going into the power switch and out of the switch into the board but at the other end we've got nothing coming out of the PSU absolutely nothing that's not necessarily a bad thing because it could be that the power supply popped and so they dispose of the whole machine still in a perfectly good state but that's where we'll stop today so let's stop and review what other hurdles we may need to overcome to actually see this in action so there we go that's an introduction to our Fujitsu PC Fujitsu's premium business PC of the early 90s and late 80s is really nice to see how they put things together and the nuances and quirks that Fujitsu had in their PCs of that period now there's a lot of challenges to get through and I really appreciate any comments insights or help that you can give down below in the comment section specifically there's the CRT port what can we plug into that how can we get around that unusual port and there's just more information to find out in general all of those interesting the expansion connectors in the board what's the bus controller for that I know later Fujitsu had something called an R bus which managed all that and that was based around a RISC processor I can't find what we've got in here I'm sure with a bit more digging with access to a few more data sheets I can find out what all of those chips are what they're doing the power supply we need to overcome that but I don't think that will be such a major problem because in the very worst case scenario the housing for the power supply is big enough to squeeze a modern power supply into so we can retain the original looks but have a brand new power supply we just need to figure out what the pinouts are to get power into the board so lots more to find out well we see this computer again it all depends on what information we can dig up and as I said at the start of this video I appreciate any help whatsoever that you can give us in finding out more information on it until then I hope we see you again and I hope we see this machine again thank you for watching take care and see you soon if you enjoy my content and would like to toss a coin into the hats to support the cave then check out patreon.com/crashcourse you can see on the screen now thank you for your support you

27 thoughts on “Mystery Japanese PC | Tech Nibble

  1. Thanks for watching! Can you help? Did you spot anything in the video you can elaborate on to get this running?
    Perhaps you've used this machine and can shed some light? I'd love to hear from you!

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  2. The 50 pin accessory board appears to be a printer interface from a Dataproducts line printer , just my 2 cents, as they interface used to appear on many DEC
    computers.

  3. Having watch waaaaay too much Japanese horror movies.
    I'm going to go ahead and guess that it's haunted, you are now cursed, and everybody who watches this is also cursed. Have fun sleeping.

  4. Im impressed how clean and good loking the pc is inside, when you see the poor thing before from outside. But I never see this art from crt panel before, can only think like the c46 monitor thats maybe a monitor that is directly build for this pc. The rear slot tin looks like a serial & paralel port.

  5. Looks similar to an 8088 back in the day… It took one floopy for the data and the other with an operating system on it… I still have one of the first laptops, it too takes 2-floppies to work… Good luck, PS, I still have the floppies…

  6. Wow! I use it on My First career. It was 1990s in Shinjyuku Japan.
    I worked at a subcontracting company of Fujitsu.
    I was a corder. I make UXP/DS(SVR4 Fujistu Proprietary implementation) 's device driver.
    I used it to write Specs and Test lists.

    BootROM: Fujitsu's Original. (hasn't compatibility with PC/AT BIOS) 🙁
    You have to find 'Fujitsu MS-DOS for FM/R' or 'Fujitsu OS/2 For FM/R' or 'Fujitsu Windows3.x for FM/R'.
    Keyboard I/F:Fujitsu's Original.(not PS/2) 🙁
    You have to find Fujitsu keyboard for FM/R.
    (I remember that there were 2 or 3 Type of FM/R KB I/F.)

    28pin Display :Fujitsu's Original assigned. (RGB with keyboard mouse )
    You can convert to RGB25pin. 🙂
    I find a Japanese website about Old Japanese PC's pin assigns.
    http://hp.vector.co.jp/authors/VA018718/towns/connect/pinasgn.htm#FMR_RGB
    Below is a summary of the Web site(FM/R High resolution model's RGB 28pin).
    Top left 1…..14 Top Right
    BottomLeft 15……28 Bottom Right
    2:HSync 5:G-GND 6:Green 7:R-GND 8:Red 9:B-GND 10:Blue 28:VSync
    (Sync-GND is Unknown. but it work.)
    The display should support 1120x750pixel.

  7. 懐かしいですね。
    しかし、富士通のFMRシリーズはマイナーです。
    FMーTOWNSと互換性は有りましたが、知っている人は少数。
    日本ではNECのPCー9801シリーズが主流でした。

  8. I am also wondering if this is something that came from manufacturing. The grime on the outside and inside look like something that could have been pulled from machinery. The way it was yanked out suggests that the guy was on the clock and did this to expedite replacing that machinery with new updates. I have seen CNC machines thst came from GM with nothing more than a 386 computer mounted inside the large cabinetry, and the coolant from that process ocassionaly leaking in. Of course its not supposed to but accidents happen.

    This most likely was working if pulled from that application as they were updating their machinery.

  9. This is one of the business desktop PCs called Fujitsu FMR70HL, an older Fujitsu proprietary standard about 35 years ago.

    Japanese
    富士通(Fujitsu)

    Machine spec
    CPU: i386-20 (probably Intel 80386?)
    RAM: 2MB
    HDD: 100MB
    3.5 "FDD

  10. A wonder to watch albeit a bit of a tease but I look forward to an update of and if you ever get it to serviceable conditions, damn, I hate it when I have to wait lol! You get a subscribe and a like.

  11. If this baby bases on NEC PC-98 it might need special japanese version of MS-DOS. regular MS-DOS does not boot on old PC-98, it is not compatible.

  12. Lots of recycling companies cut the cables or demand that they are cut before you can leave them off.

  13. I've seen such CRT-Port on an IBM. They were for Monitors that supported a higher Resolution and Colour-Depth then the normal Monitors.
    Had to do something with the signal.

    So Maybe IBM is able to help you out on the CRT-Port-Issue

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