Type 5550

Introduction
Box Models
Desktop Models

Content created by "Mr. Tahara" (mirror HERE and HERE). Edited by Tomáš Slavotínek.


Introduction

The 5550 machines sit at the heart of the Multistation series. Many machines carrying this model number were released — from the premiere IBM 5550 Multistation model back in 1983 to the discontinuation of the PS/55 series.

The A to K models have an unique box-like form factor. The later M/P models (introduced after the MCA-based 5570) come in a desktop enclosure. The A to H models use the i8086 processor, J and onward use the i80286.

There were a few models intended for export to the United States, Taiwan and South Korea.


Box Models

5550gh image
5551-A/B/C/D/E/G/H
5550jk image
5551-J/K

The inside is divided into three portions, the substrate, the drive, and the slot. Photo of the internals HERE.

Model Price
(JY)
CPU RAM HDD FDD Video #
Sl.
Notes
5551-A01 614,000 i8086
8 MHz
256
512
5.25"
2DDx1
16-dot
Mono
5
5551-A02 714,000 i8086
8 MHz
256
512
5.25"
2DDx2
16-dot
Mono
5
5551-A03 814,000 i8086
8 MHz
256
512
5.25"
2DDx3
16-dot
Mono
5
5551-A05 1,139,000 i8086
8 MHz
256
512
8.1 5.25"
2DDx1
16-dot
Mono
5
5551-A12 unknown i8086
8 MHz
256
640?
5.25"
2DDx2
16-dot
Mono
5
5551-A13 unknown i8086
8 MHz
256
640?
5.25"
2DDx3
16-dot
Mono
5
5551-A15 unknown i8086
8 MHz
256
640?
8.1 5.25"
2DDx1
16-dot
Mono
5
5551-A23 unknown i8086
8 MHz
256
640?
5.25"
2DDx3
16-dot
Mono
5
5551-A62 unknown i8086
8 MHz
384
640?
5.25"
2DDx2
16-dot
Mono
5 SDLC/BSC comm. adapter
5551-B01 775,000 i8086
8 MHz
256
512
5.25"
2DDx1
24-dots
Mono
5
5551-B02 875,000 i8086
8 MHz
256
512
5.25"
2DDx2
24-dots
Mono
5
5551-B03 975,000 i8086
8 MHz
256
512
5.25"
2DDx3
24-dots
Mono
5
5551-B05 1,300,000 i8086
8 MHz
256
512
8.1 5.25"
2DDx1
24-dots
Mono
5
5551-B12 unknown i8086
8 MHz
256
640?
5.25"
2DDx2
24-dots
Mono
5
5551-B13 unknown i8086
8 MHz
256
640?
5.25"
2DDx3
24-dots
Mono
5
5551-B15 unknown i8086
8 MHz
256
640?
8.1 5.25"
2DDx1
24-dots
Mono
5
5551-B22 unknown i8086
8 MHz
256
640?
5.25"
2DDx2
24-dots
Mono
5
5551-B23 unknown i8086
8 MHz
256
640?
5.25"
2DDx3
24-dots
Mono
5
5551-B25 unknown i8086
8 MHz
256
640?
8.1 5.25"
2DDx1
24-dots
Mono
5
5551-B62 unknown i8086
8 MHz
384
640?
5.25"
2DDx2
24-dots
Mono
5 SDLC/BSC comm. adapter
5551-B63 unknown i8086
8 MHz
384
640?
5.25"
2DDx3
24-dots
Mono
5 SDLC/BSC comm. adapter
5551-C01 625,000 i8086
8 MHz
256
512
5.25"
2DDx1
16-dot
Color
5
5551-C02 725,000 i8086
8 MHz
256
512
5.25"
2DDx2
16-dot
Color
5
5551-C05 1,150,000 i8086
8 MHz
256
512
8.1 5.25"
2DDx1
16-dot
Color
5
5551-C11 unknown i8086
8 MHz
256
640?
5.25"
2DDx1
16-dot
Color
5
5551-C12 unknown i8086
8 MHz
256
640?
5.25"
2DDx2
16-dot
Color
5
5551-C15 unknown i8086
8 MHz
256
640?
8.1 5.25"
2DDx1
16-dot
Color
5
5551-C62 unknown i8086
8 MHz
384
640?
5.25"
2DDx2
16-dot
Color
5 SDLC/BSC comm. adapter
5551-D01 520,000 i8086
8 MHz
256
1024
5.25"
2DDx1
16-dot
Mono
6
5551-D06 820,000 i8086
8 MHz
256
1024
10 5.25"
2DDx1
16-dot
Mono
6
5551-E01 625,000 i8086
8 MHz
256
1024
5.25"
2DDx1
16-dot
Color
6
5551-E06 925,000 i8086
8 MHz
256
1024
10 5.25"
2DDx1
16-dot
Color
6
5551-F11 unknown unk. unk. unk. unk. unk.
5551-FR1 unknown unk. unk. unk. unk. unk. Ricoh OEM?
5551-G01 590,000 i8086
8 MHz
256
1024
5.25"
2DDx1
24-dots
Mono
6
5551-G06 890,000 i8086
8 MHz
256
1024
10 5.25"
2DDx1
24-dots
Mono
6
5551-G08 990,000 i8086
8 MHz
256
1024
20 5.25"
2DDx1
24-dots
Mono
6
5551-G22 unknown i8086
8 MHz
512?
1024
5.25"
2DDx2
24-dots
Mono
6
5551-G32 unknown i8086
8 MHz
640?
1024
5.25"
2DDx2
24-dots
Mono
6
5551-H01 830,000 i8086
8 MHz
256
1024
5.25"
2DDx1
24-dot
Color
6
5551-H06 1,130,000 i8086
8 MHz
256
1024
10 5.25"
2DDx1
24-dot
Color
6
5551-H08 1,230,000 i8086
8 MHz
256
1024
20 5.25"
2DDx1
24-dot
Color
6
5551-J02 905,000 i80286
8 MHz
640
16MB
5.25"
2HCx2
24-dots
Mono
6
5551-J08 1,195,000 i80286
8 MHz
640
16MB
20 5.25"
2HCx1
24-dots
Mono
6
5551-J12 905,000 i80286
8 MHz
640
16MB
5.25"
2HCx2
24-dots
Mono
6 384KB Multiplex Memory Adapter
5551-J18 1,195,000 i80286
8 MHz
640
16MB
20 5.25"
2HCx1
24-dots
Mono
6 384KB Multiplex Memory Adapter
5551-K02 1,065,000 i80286
8 MHz
640
16MB
5.25"
2HCx2
24-dot
Color
6
5551-K08 1,355,000 i80286
8 MHz
640
16MB
20 5.25"
2HCx1
24-dot
Color
6
5551-K12 1,065,000 i80286
8 MHz
640
16MB
5.25"
2HCx2
24-dot
Color
6 384KB Multiplex Memory Adapter
5551-K18 1,355,000 i80286
8 MHz
640
16MB
20 5.25"
2HCx1
24-dot
Color
6 384KB Multiplex Memory Adapter
5551-Y01 unknown unk. 256
640
5.25"
2DDx1
unk. 5 Numerical calc. shared processor?
5551-Y05 unknown unk. 256
640
8.1 5.25"
2DDx1
unk. 5 Numerical calc. shared processor?
5551-Y12 unknown unk. 384
640
5.25"
2DDx2
unk. 5 Numerical calc. shared processor?
5551-Y13 unknown unk. 384
640
5.25"
2DDx3
unk. 5 Numerical calc. shared processor?
5551-Y15 unknown unk. 384
640
8.1 5.25"
2DDx1
unk. 5 Numerical calc. shared processor?
5551-BU1 735,000 i8086
8 MHz
256
640
5.25"
2DDx1
24-dots
Mono
5 Export model for US
5551-BU5 1,260,000 i8086
8 MHz
256
640
8.1 5.25"
2DDx1
24-dots
Mono
5 Export model for US
5551-GU1 unknown i8086
8 MHz
256
1024
5.25"
2DDx1
24-dots
Mono
6 Export model for US
5551-GU8 unknown i8086
8 MHz
256
1024
20 5.25"
2DDx1
24-dots
Mono
6 Export model for US
5551-JU2 950,000 i80286
8 MHz
640
1408
5.25"
2HCx2
24-dots
Mono
6 Export model for US
5551-JU8 1,255,000 i80286
8 MHz
640
1408
20 5.25"
2HCx1
24-dots
Mono
6 Export model for US
5551-GCx unknown i8086
8 MHz
256
1024
5.25"
2DD
24-dots
Mono
6 Model for Taiwan
5551-GKx unknown i8086
8 MHz
256
1024
5.25"
2DD
24-dots
Mono
6 Model for Korea

Note: The list includes some models that were not covered by the available IBM documentation (see entries with "unknown" price). The information pertaining to these models may not be entirely accurate. Specifically:

  • Models A, B, C, and G - some information was extrapolated from the model number
  • Model F - no info other than the model name, so all the details are unknown
  • Model Y - same as F, details are based on the Dec 1984 anno. date and the model number
  • Taiwanese/Korean models - no information other than the model name (found on the web)

Memory

In KDOS, the memory above 1 MB can be used only as a RAM disk.
In OS/2, all memory can be used for programs.

Floppy Drives

2DD is 720KB (640KB initially)
2HC is 1.2MB

Up to 3 floppy drives can be installed, except for the models with a hard drive.
Later, an external 3.5-inch drive for media conversion could be added.

Video Modes

Displays with 16-dot characters have a resolution of 720x512 pixels.
Displays with 24-dot characters have a resolution of 1024x768 pixels.

The C model displays 4 out of 16 colors @ 360x512 pixels. However, the system guide mentions a "new model C" (C1x?), which can display 16 out of 64 colors @ 720x512. The subsequent models are 16-dot and 24-dot types with 16 out of 64 colors.

Kanji Characters

Kanji fonts are loaded from software if the optional Kanji font card isn't installed. The Kanji font card is required for models with only one floppy drive. (Ed. Depending on the operation mode, the font card may not be required.)

Export Models

In addition to English, the software catalog lists operating systems in Hangul, Simplified Chinese, and Traditional Chinese.

It seems that IBM Korea was manufacturing a Multistation for Hangul. However, the G model mentioned above may be made in Japan. It is unknown whether China and Taiwan was also producing.

Dimensions

Width: 261 mm
Depth: 410 mm
Height: 305 mm


Desktop Models

5550mp image

Model Price
(JY)
CPU RAM HDD FDD Video #
Sl.
Notes
5551-M02 785,000 i80286
10 MHz
1MB
15MB
5.25"
2HCx2
24-dot
Mono
3
5551-M08 1,065,000 i80286
10 MHz
1MB
15MB
20 5.25"
2HCx1
24-dot
Mono
3
5551-M12 707,000 i80286
10 MHz
1MB
16MB
5.25"
2HCx2
24-dot
Mono
3
5551-M19 833,000 i80286
10 MHz
1MB
16MB
30 5.25"
2HCx1
24-dot
Mono
3
5551-P02 935,000 i80286
10 MHz
1MB
15MB
5.25"
2HCx2
24-dot
Color
3 Graphic Support Function
LSI standard equipment
5551-P08 1,215,000 i80286
10 MHz
1MB
15MB
20 5.25"
2HCx1
24-dot
Color
3 Graphic Support Function
LSI standard equipment
5551-P12 842,000 i80286
10 MHz
1MB
16MB
5.25"
2HCx2
24-dot
Color
3 Graphic Support Function
LSI standard equipment
5551-P19 968,000 i80286
10 MHz
1MB
16MB
30 5.25"
2HCx1
24-dot
Color
3 Graphic Support Function
LSI standard equipment

* Kanji font ROM is standard equipment for all models

Memory

In KDOS, the memory above 1 MB can be used only as a RAM disk.
In OS/2, all memory can be used for programs.

Floppy Drives

An external 3.5-inch drive for media conversion can be added.

Content created and/or collected by:
Louis Ohland, Peter Wendt, David Beem, William Walsh, Tatsuo Sunagawa, Jim Shorney, Tim Clarke, Kevin Bowling, Tomáš Slavotínek, and many others.

Ardent Tool of Capitalism - MAD Edition! is maintained by Tomáš Slavotínek.
Last update: 05 Feb 2023 - Changelog | Legal Info & Contact