Panasonic RL H1400 handheld computer

David Betz dbetz at
Mon Feb 27 09:06:12 CST 2006

I have a module that plugs into the side of the HHC and contains four  
ROMs containing the SNAP (Forth-like) programming language for the  
HHC. I sent Roger Merchberger a copy of the ROM images and he has  
been trying to get this to work on internal ROMs but I don't think  
he's been successful yet. Unfortunately, the pins were brittle on one  
of the ROMs that I pulled from my module and several have broken off.  
Until I find a machined pin socket to repair the broken ROM, I no  
longer have a working module. The ROM image files are okay though.  
The checksums on the image files match the checksums on the labels on  
the ROMs.

On Feb 26, 2006, at 6:14 PM, Computer Collector Newsletter wrote:

> Don't worry Jack, you're not alone, a bunch of us have RLH models.   
> (There
> was also a 1200 and a 1600 I think -- I might have those numbers  
> wrong --
> the differences were in the amount of memory in the computer.)
> The computer (generally called a "pocket computer" when you search  
> on the
> web) was designed by Friends Amis.  Shortly before they finished it  
> the
> company (or maybe just the product line?) was acquired by  
> Matsushita which
> sells as Panasonic / Quasar.
> There's a very handy description at
> -- make  
> sure you
> also click on the icons on the right side of the page for more  
> information.
> The computers were mostly bought by insurance companies.
> Roger M. last year was making copies of the BASIC module, maybe he  
> still is.
> By coincidence, last week I spoke with guy who was software manager at
> Friends Amis.  He was moderately helpful; the best information he  
> gave me
> was names of other Friends Amis people who were higher up and / or  
> joined
> the company earlier than he did.  So now I'm trying to contact  
> those people
> and, of course, I will post updates here if / when I reach them.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: cctalk-bounces at [mailto:cctalk- 
> bounces at]
> On Behalf Of Tony Duell
> Sent: Sunday, February 26, 2006 3:42 PM
> To: cctalk at
> Subject: Panasonic RL H1400 handheld computer
> Can anyone tell me useful stuff about the Panasonic RL H1400  
> computer? I
> believe it was also sold under the Quasar brand name.
> I've just bought one. As well as the machine (which I've not tested  
> yet), I
> got a little thermal printer/cassette interface, the AC adapter  
> (for 110V
> mains), and 13 EPROMs in carriers. These seem to be insurance  
> programs (what
> a suprise -- NOT), but are at least UV-erasable EPROMs.
> A few things :
> I have of course taken it apart, it is painful to dismantle with wires
> soldered between everything. The contemporary HP machines are a lot  
> nicer to
> work on.
> With the bottom cover removed, you see the component side of the  
> CPU board.
> I recognise the 6502 processor, some TTL and 4000-series CMOS  
> chips, 2 8K
> ROMS soldered in, and 2 6116 (2K each) SRAMs. There's also a square  
> chip, looks to be custom (I/O???). Alongside that board is a 6V  
> NiCd pack
> with a fuse in series.
> A bit more desoldering and unscrewing let me flip that board out of  
> the way.
> On the underside is another TTL chip and a lot of SMD passives, etc.
> The other PCB carries the keyboard contacts, the display, half-a- 
> dozen Epson
> PQFP chips (display drivers?) and a couple of 4071s, which IIRC are OR
> gates.
> There's an expansion connector on the end of the CPU board. 44  
> contacts.
> Looks to be the 6502 bus + power some others.
> The printer also comes apart from the bottom. Its PCB contains a 4K  
> ROM, an
> 80 pin PQFP ASIC, a driver chip, and a few small logic chips.  
> Getting ito
> the rest of the machine is a bit more tricky, all it contains is  
> the printer
> mechanism and 4.8V-worth of NiCds.
> I also cracked open the mains adapter.More complicated than I thought,
> there's a regulator chip in there. And a fuse mounted in clips  
> (what is the
> point of a clipped in fuse inside a glued case??).
> Anyway, I've done a web search. Nothing very useful turned up. I  
> did read a
> user manual on one site, which told me little that wasn't obvious.
> Anyone got any technical information on it? Any useful software?
> -tony

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