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The Matsushita JR series was a line of microcomputers produced by Matsushita Electric Industrial (now Panasonic) during the 1980s. Based on the success of the Sharp MZ and NEC PC-8000 series, it was an attempt by Matsushita to enter the personal computer market.

The JR series included four computer models: the JR-100,[1] the JR-200,[2][3] the JR-300[4] and the JR-800.[5]


The JR-100[6] was released on November 21, 1981, with a price of 54,800 yen.[7] Like the Hitachi Basic Master and Sharp MZ-80, it was a low-performance, low-priced personal computer offering basic semi-graphic character based graphics, a monochrome display, and minimal sound ability. The CPU was an 8-bit Panasonic MN1800A NMOS microprocessor[8] (compatible with the Motorola MC6802, a slightly improved version of the Motorola MC6800) running at a slow 0.89 MHz, and it came with 16 KB of RAM (expandable to 32 KB).[9]



Main article: Panasonic JR-200

The JR-200[2][3] is made of silver grey plastic, and has a black matte area around the chiclet keyboard area. It used the same MN1800A CPU as the previous model, but added a second processor, the 4-bit MN1544CJR,[11] which is used for I/O and contains 128 bytes of RAM plus four kilobytes of ROM.

The computer received favorable reviews on its launch. Creative Computing wrote "The Panasonic JR-200 is one of the nicest new computers to make the scene in some time."[12]

A version of the JR-200 called the Panasonic JR-200U was developed for the North American and European markets and was announced in January 1983.[13]



The JR-300,[4] released in 1984, was completely redesigned in comparison with the earlier JR-100 and JR-200 models. The JR-300 had a Zilog Z80A CPU as well as a second MN1800A CPU to allow backwards compatibility with the JR-200.[15]



A handheld model called JR-800 was launched in 1983 with a price of 128,000 yen,[16] but it was not compatible with the previous JR computers.[5] It was based around a Hitachi HD63A01V CPU[17] (MC6801 compatible) running at 4.9152 MHz, with 16 KB of RAM, and featured a 192 × 64 pixel LCD screen.[18]


Character set

The table below shows the semigraphics character set available on the Matsushita JR series, as shown on the operations manual.[19] Characters are rendered using modern equivalents, the exact hardware font it not simulated.

2 3 4 5 8 9 E F
0 0 @ P
1 ! 1 A Q
2 2 B R
3 # 3 C S
4 $ 4 D T
5 % 5 E U
6 & 6 F V
7 ' 7 G W
8 ( 8 H X
9 ) 9 I Y
A * : J Z 🛉
B + ; K [
C , < L ¥
D - = M ]
E . > N ^
F / ? O _

See also


  1. ^ "MATSUSHITA National JR 100". OLD-COMPUTERS.COM : The Museum.
  2. ^ a b "MATSUSHITA National JR 200". OLD-COMPUTERS.COM : The Museum.
  3. ^ a b Service Manual Personal Computer JR-200U (PDF). Panasonic.
  4. ^ a b "MATSUSHITA National JR 300". OLD-COMPUTERS.COM : The Museum.
  5. ^ a b Hawkings, William (November 1983). "Low-cost computers". Popular Science. p. 150.
  6. ^ マイコン1982年2月号
  7. ^ "JR-100". 計算機室. May 28, 2017.
  8. ^ PANASONIC INDL/ELEK {IC} 72. Panasonic. p. 270.
  9. ^ Operating Instructions - Personal Computer JR-100U. Panasonic.
  10. ^ "JR-100". 計算機室. May 28, 2017.
  11. ^ a b c Reunanen, Markku. "Discovering the Panasonic JR-200U". .Markku Reunanen.
  12. ^ Ahl, David (May 1983). "Panasonic JR-200". Creative Computing Magazine. Vol. 9, no. 5. p. 16.
  13. ^ "PANASONIC JR-200U". OLD-COMPUTERS.COM : The Museum. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  14. ^ PANASONIC INDL/ELEK {IC} 72. Panasonic. p. 524.
  15. ^ "MATSUSHITA National JR 300". OLD-COMPUTERS.COM : The Museum. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  16. ^ "JR-800(ポケコン・ポケットコンピュータ)のことなら「自分でドットコム」(DIY)". www.jibunde.com.
  17. ^ "National JR-800 Documentation". PockEmul - A vintage Pocket Computers and Calculators emulator. August 2020.
  18. ^ "The National JR-800 computer". The pocket computer museum.
  19. ^ Operating Instructions Personal Computer JR-100U. Panasonic. pp. 8, 54.