SVI.738 Xpress

Spectravideo SVI.738 X’Press

The SVI.738 is a very special MSX computer. It was presented as a MSX-1 computer with 80 column display facilities. Also a quality CP/ M 2.2 system was delivered in the box.
It is a ‘portable’ machine with dimensions slight bigger than a modern notebook. Ofcourse in those days LCD screens were not available so it needs a television or a monitor. But the carrying bag is really convenient.

Under the hood it was a surprise: the video chip is the V9938, and in fact it was nearly an MSX-2. Missing was enough memory, the clock IC and the MSX-2 BIOS ROMS. Many X’Press machines were converted later, for example in the Netherlands by the CUC and in Denmark by Henrik Gilvad. Missing was the memory mapper (external memory mappers do function though if you change the slot address of the cartridge connector. Note that several revisions of the motherboard exist, the first were having space reserved on the print with notes where to place the clockchip.


The SVI.738 X’Press Technical Reference Manual circuit diagrams in PDF format.

The SVI.738 X’Press User Guide pages in PDF format.

SVI.738 CP/M 2.2 and MSX-DOS system disks

The Spectravideo SVI.738 is a special machine: it comes standard with CP/M 2.2 and MSX-DOS. The system disks contain the usual files and utilities and also special utilities to exchange files between the two operating systems.

Here you can download the SVI.738 CP/M 2.2 and MSX-DOS system disks including the tools to recreate real floppy disks.

SVI.738 system disks stickers scanned by Gerrit Dijkstra

Clock circuit diagrams design notes for the SVI-738 X’Press (Henrik Gilvad and other scandinavion designers)

Sources of Termtype and Sysgen , the SVI.738 Xpress CP/M utilities, commented by Luis Claudio Grosso

Disassembled and commented source of the SVI.738 utilities Editfkey and Loadfkey , made by Luis Claudio Gross

Disassembled and commented source of the SVI.738 DUMP utility , made by Luis Claudio Gross

The dutch original text of the SVI.738 CP/M bios patches I designed for C.U.C. Computer Info, which appeared as a long series.

Louis Claudio Grosso has updated his information on the CP/M BIOS of the Spectravideo SVI.738 X’Press.
Not only the source of the BIOS is now available but also a program to write the boot information to disk.

Henrik Gilvad even made the X’Press into a MSX2+ with internal memory mapper. If you know how he did that: please mail me!
Dan Derpaux send me this info how to do the SVI.738 MSX-1 to MSX2+ conversion!

SVI.738 MSX2+ ROMS (dump made by Bjoye Skjoldhammer) some part is not correct alas. I do have such a MSX-2+ myself so i should dump it soon!

The instructions to convert the SVI.738 to MSX-2
New and in english, combined the CUC dutch (translated) info and the danish/finnish info

The international SVI.738 MSX-2 Roms (thanks JP Grobler) without clockchip

The international SVI.738 MSX-2 Roms (CUC version) with clockchip

Add an RGB connecter to the SVI.738

Change slot settings for MSX-DOS 2, SCC, etc

Second diskdrive for the SVI.738

Reset button for the SVI.738

Improve sound for FM-PAC, SCC

Internal SVI.738 32K static RAM (contributed by Dan Derpaux, translated for the Syntax magazine)

Another MSX2 conversion

Louis C. Grosso did, independent of the conversions above, also an update of the SVI.738 to MSX2, without clockchip. The videorams are updated as in the other descriptions, he modified the MSX2 ROMS of a DAEWOO MSX2 computer and placed them in EPROMs with the following circuit

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This SVI.738 was equiped further with a 720k internal drive, and a 360k 5 1/4 external drive, no memory mapper.

Here are the EPROMs, here are the utilities to format the 5 1/4 inch floppy drive.

The SYS02.BIN is the system rom and the EXT02.BIN is the sub rom. The original roms belong to a DAEWOO TPC310 sold in Argentina under the brand ‘TALENT MSX2’ model TPC310

The roms were patched for the following:
– Skip all the RTC access to avoid system hang during startup.
– Make the logo screen indicate 64k main ram instead of 128k.
– Program a 2 PIAs based memory mapper I never constructed.
– Translate the error messages to English (copy the English messages from the original SVI rom over the DAEWOO Spanish messages).
PS. The EXT02.BIN rom also contains the TURBO BASIC compiler that works also in MSX1 mode.