SAM Coupe
SAM Coupe



Setname:  samcoupe   
Year: 1989
Manufacturer: Miles Gordon Technology plc
Status: good  works
Type: Home Computer
Emulation info
Overall emulation:  good   
Color emulation:  good  
Sound emulation:  good  
Graphics emulation:  good  
Savestates:  unsupported   

Tech info
 Base hardware: (available in all slot configurations)
Z80 ("maincpu")cpu 6000000 Hz
Speaker ("mono")audio
Filtered 1-bit DAC ("speaker")audio
SAA1099 ("saa1099")audio 8000000 Hz
Screen ("screen")raster horizontal 576 x 275 @ 50.080128
Media devices
cassette ("cassette") cassette cass wav, tzx, tap, blk
BIOS options
31 v3.1
30 v3.0
25 v2.5
24 v2.4
21 v2.1
20 v2.0
181 v1.81
18 v1.8
14 v1.4
13 v1.3
12 v1.2
10 v1.0
04 v0.4
01 v0.1
RAM options
256K 262144
512K 524288
1.25M 1310720
1.5M 1572864
2.25M 2359296
2.5M 2621440
3.25M 3407872
3.5M 3670016
4.25M 4456448
4.5M 4718592
Software lists

 Optional hardware: (available with specific slot configurations)

 Configure the slot options for samcoupe:
 Slot Value

Show detailed info about 'Configurations' of this system

Real Time Clock None

Show detailed info about 'Slot Options' of this system
Slot options

NameValueCompatible device(s)
lpt1 ap2000ap2000
 printer centronics_printer
lpt2 ap2000ap2000
 printer centronics_printer
wd1772:0 35dd floppy_35_dd
wd1772:1 35dd floppy_35_dd

Romset info
ROM NameSizeCRC32SHA1Dump StateBIOS option
rom01.z532768 c04acfdf8976ed005c14905eec1215f0a5c28aa686a7dda2good01
rom04.z532768 f439e84e8bc457a5c764b0bb0aa7008c57f28c30248fc6a4good04
rom10.z532768 3659d31fd3de7bb74e04d5b4dc7477f70de54d540b1bcc07good10
rom12.z532768 7fe37dd89339a0c1f72e8512c6f32dec15ab7d6c3bb04151good12
rom13.z532768 2093768caf8d348fd080b18a4cbe9ed69d254be7be330146good13
rom14.z532768 08799596b4e596051f2748dee9481ea4af7d15ccddc1e1b5good14
rom18.z532768 f626063f485e7d9e9a4f8a70c0f93cd6e69ff12269438829good18
rom181.z532768 d25e1de1cb0fa79e4d5f7df0b57ede08ea7ecc9ae152f534good181
rom20.z532768 eaf3205441736323f0236649f2d5fe111f900def8db93a13good20
rom21.z532768 f6804b4611dcac5fdea782cdac03b4d0d7ac25d88547eefegood21
rom24.z532768 bb23fee410cd911ba237dd2cf0c2637be1ad6745b7cc89b9good24
rom25.z532768 ddadd358a25ed85a0f1134ac3a481a3225f24a8bd3a790cfgood25
rom30.z532768 e535c25dd390f0be420dfb12b1e54a4f528b5055d7d97e2agood30
rom31.z532768 0b7e3585c86601633fb61a8c517f7657aad9af4e6870f2eegood31


* CPU: Zilog Z80B (fully compatible with i8080 and Z80) 6MHz with screen off, 4.5 MHz with screen on can be slowed down to emulate ZX Spectrum
* Co-Processor: Motorola MC 1377P Video Chip, Philips SAA1099 soundchip, ASIC handling graphics
* RAM: 256 kb or 512 kb onboard (depending models), and up to 4Mb with external addons (4.5 Mb total)
* ROM: 32 kb (BASIC, BIOS & disk bootstrap)
* Text Modes: 32 x 24, 85 x 24
* Graphic Modes: 256 x 192, 512 x 192
* Colors: 128 colors
* Sound: Philips SAA1099 soundchip, 6 channels stereo FM synthesis, 8 octaves, 2 noise generators, 2 envelope generators, DAC digital output , sample rate 15.6 kHz. Built-in MIDI interface (in, out, through)
* I/O Ports: RF video output (UHF, channel 36), RGB scart video output, serial / network socket, joystick connector (Atari standard), parallel interface, audio input, audio output
* Keyboard: Full-stroke keyboard, 72 keys, Reset button
* Built In Media: one or two 3.5" ultraslim Citizen Double Density Drives (800 kb), first models had no disk-drives
* OS: SamDOS, CP/M available
* Built In Language: SamBasic


Currently, MESS supports up to two floppy drives. Disks have to be in .dsk, .mgt, .sad or .sdf format and use either "floppydisk0" (flop0) or "floppydisk1" (flop1).


This system requires full keyboard emulation to work correctly. At startup, full keyboard emulation mode is enabled by default. Whilst in full keyboard emulation mode, some key associated functionality may be disabled (like the ESC key for EXIT). The keyboard emulation mode is toggled using the "Scroll Lock" key (by default).

Original Keyboard:

ESC 1! 2@ 3# 4$ 5% 6& 7' 8( 9) 0~ -/ +* DELETE F7 F8 F9

TAB Q< W> E R[ T] Y U I O P =- "© F4 F5 F6




BIOS options

MESS emulates many different BIOS revisions of the Sam Coupé. You can switch between them, changing the -bios parameter. At command line,

"-bios 0" or "-bios 31" = v3.1

"-bios 1" or "-bios 30" = v3.0

"-bios 2" or "-bios 25" = v2.5

"-bios 3" or "-bios 24" = v2.4

"-bios 4" or "-bios 21" = v2.1

"-bios 5" or "-bios 20" = v2.0

"-bios 6" or "-bios 181" = v1.81

"-bios 7" or "-bios 18" = v1.8

"-bios 8" or "-bios 14" = v1.4

"-bios 9" or "-bios 13" = v1.3

"-bios 10" or "-bios 12" = v1.2

"-bios 11" or "-bios 10" = v1.0

"-bios 12" or "-bios 04" = v0.4

"-bios 13" or "-bios 01" = v0.1

RAM options

External ram does not suffer from ASIC video RAM wait states which affect the entire internal 512kb - unless you are using rom routines or have turned the screen off - possible inmodes 2,3/4 - mode 1 is zx spectrum compatible and can load zx spectrum rom into ram and run 48k software 20% faster without many problems - using external ram paged into >=32,768 code runs at 6mhz but only supported in two discs on the velesoft site

Different RAM configurations are possible for the coupe in MESS. You can switch between them, changing the -ramsize parameter. At command line, you simply have to add ''-ramsize ram_value'', where //ram_value// can assume one of the following values

512k (default)
1280k - 256k + 1m
1536k - 512k + 1m
2304k - 256k + 2m
2560k - 512k + 2m
3328k - 256k + 3m
3584k - 512k + 3m
4352k - 256k + 4m
4608k - 512k + 4m

Known Issues

To Do list:

* Mouse interface
* Borders
* Joystick
* Serial and parallel interface
* EDSK support
* Cassette support
* Harddrive support (Atom, etc.)
* Dallas clock support

Nevertheless, a large number of disks run well. Also, copy protected disks like "Lemmings" now boots in MESS.

History and Trivia

In the last quarter of 1989 M.G.T. (Miles Gordon Technology) launched the Sam Coupé. M.G.T. was already known in the ZX Spectrum world for a range of hardware that they sold. The Sam was their pride and joy, and unfortunately to be their downfall.
It was not realised at launch that not only could internal 256/512kb ram run zx spectrum 48k programs 20% faster but using the external 1-4mb ram interfaces code above 32,768 can run at 6mhz - this is without using line interrupts to further increase the performance.
This was a time when the 16-bit machines, the Atari ST and the Amiga, were really being to take off. Sales in computers such as the Spectrum was in rapid decline. The Sam was aimed to fill this gap, a powerful 8-bit machine with specs that in cases out performed those of the 16-bit machines, at an 8-bit price. It was hoped that current 8-bit owners, particularly Spectrum owners, would jump on the nicely priced Sam rather than a more expensive 16-bit machine.

(info from


* SAM Coupé and other Spectrum Advanced Machines (including documentation for a lot of hardware expansions) --
* Land of Pod - SamCoupé pages --
* Sam Coupé Pro-Dos Resource Site --
* Sam Coupé Scrapbook --
* Blinky's SAM Page --
* Sam Coupé at --

Other Emulators

* SimCoupé --
* ASCD (DOS) --
* X128 win/dos --
* SamCoupé (DOS) --

Edit the History info for this game.


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