Heathkit Systems in MAME

Heathkit H19

Emulation of the base H19 is basically complete and accurate with the exception of interlaced video mode. If you run into any issues, let me know.

ROM Options

  • heath - Original H19 ROM, Heath Company
  • super19 - Super19, ATG Systems, Inc. (Manual)
  • superset - Superset, TMSI (Manual)
  • ultra19 - UltraROM, Software Wizardry (Manual)
  • watz19 - Watzman (HUG P/N: 885-1221) ROM (Manual)

Graphic Boards

  • gp19 - Northwest Digital System's GP-19 Graphics board (GP-19 Manual) - (not working)
  • Known Issues
    • The ROM is no longer properly initilizing the system. Currently the screen and keyboard does not work. This issue blocks any of the following issues from being observed.
    • 49/50 line mode is only showing top half of screen. (Issue found/fixed, but current PR was not accepted.)
    • Lower case descenders are missing in 49/50 line mode. (Issue found/fixed, but current PR was not accepted.)
    • When used with the H89, the initial "H:" prompt is not displayed. The terminal board seems to be taking much longer than the H89 to initialize.
  • igc - SigmaSoft and Systems Interactive Graphics Controller (IGC) - (IGC Manual)
  • NOTE: Due to the unique nature of the IGC board and the parallel connection to the CPU board, this TLB option is only available with the "H89 with Sigmasoft IGC" clone. It is not an option for the H19, or regular H88 or H89 system. It could be supported with an H8 and H19 configuration.

    Not Implemented
    • Light pen, Joystick, Centronics
    • Alternate character set(missing the needed ROM).
    • Use of alternate ROMs to enable interlace mode and 640x500 resolution.
  • imaginator - Cleveland Codonics Imaginator I-100 (I-100 Manual)


  • Fix issue with gp-19 graphics board.

Heathkit H89

As of release 0.256, the H89 is considered a working system with the addition of the Z-89-37 soft-sectored controller addon board is implemented. Up to 4 floppy disks can be connected to the controller although the standard Heath operating systems (HDOS & CP/M) only support 3 drives.

NOTE: With the Z-89-37 controller, Only soft-sectored disk images can be used. These include: IMD, TD0, or MFI. Hard-sectored disk images, such as H8D or H17Disk, can not be used at this time.

System BIOS Options (Monitor ROMs)

There are several replacement Monitor ROMs to select from for the H89. A ROM with support for the Z-89-37 Soft-sectored controller is needed to boot and use the system with floppy disks. This includes the MTR-90, MMS-84B (or 84A), KMR-100, and the MtrHex-4K.

Note: We do not have documentation for all of the replacement ROMs, so dip switch setting for those are not reflected in MAME. By default the dip switch setting listed in MAME are for the MTR-90, but the user is able to change this to one of the other ROMs with documentation by using the "Machine Configuration" option and selecting the correct ROM.

  • MTR-90 (444-142)
    Default/Latest ROM provided by Heath, this version supports all of Heath's mass storage systems, except for the cassette interface board. These are the H-88-1 hard-sectored controller, the Z-89-37 soft-sectored controller, the Z-89-47 interface card for the H/Z-47 8" Floppy drive system, and the Z-89-67 interface card for the Z-67 Winchester Drive and 8" Floppy. Currently only the Z-89-37 controller is supported in MAME. (MTR-90 Manual).
  • MTR-90 (444-84)
    Heath's first release of the MTR-90 ROM had some reliability issues when the soft-sectored controller used 96 tpi drives. It was replaced with part number 444-142, which addressed the reliability issues. (MTR-90 Manual).
  • MTR-89 (444-62)
    Supports the H-88-1 hard-sectored controller and the Z-89-47 interface card for the H/Z-47 8" Floppy drive system. Neither of these cards are currently supported/implemented in MAME. (MTR-89 Manual).
  • Kres KMR-100
    Based on Ultimeth ROM plus support for Kres Products (KMR-100 Manual)
  • MMS-84B
    Magnolia Microsystems ROM supports Heath's controller/interface cards except for the cassette interface board. It also supports the MMS add-on cards, but none of these are currently supported in MAME. (MMS-84B Manual).
  • MMS-84A
    Magnolia Microsystems ROM, don't have documentation for this version, but seems similar to the MMS-84B version.
  • Ultimeth MtrHex-4K
    Developed by Ultimeth Software and Dean Gibson. Since I haven't found the manual for this version, information from the Kres manual along with the 2k Ultimeth version manual can be used to understand how to use this monitor ROM.
  • Ultimeth MtrHex (2k)
    Developed by Ultimeth Software and Dean Gibson (MtrHex Manual)


  • Add additional controller/interface cards including Heath's H-88-1, Z-89-47, and Z-89-67.
  • Add support for the NOGDS HA-89-3 Graphics and Sound Card.
  • Add 3rd party add-on cards (like MMS soft-sector controller).
  • Add various memory upgrades (MMS 128K, CDR 1M)
  • Add replacement CPU boards including DG Super-89.
  • Any other ROMs, including SigmaROM(if I can find a copy).

Heathkit H89 with SigmaSoft IGC

This clone of the Heathkit H89 is nearly identical to the parent H89 system. It just adds the SigmaSoft parallel port to the CPU board, and only support TLBs options with the SigmaSoft IGC board, these are:

  • igc - the IGC with the standard Heath terminal ROM.
  • igc_super19 - the IGC with the Super19 terminal replacement ROM.
  • igc_ultrarom - the IGC with the UltraROM terminal replacement ROM.
  • igc_watzman - the IGC with the Watzman terminal replacement ROM.

All supported BIOS options of the h89 are also supported for this system. The soft-sector controller is also currently the included disk controller.

Heathkit H88

The H88 is a clone of the H89 with the ROM set to MTR-88 (and no other options), has the H-88-5 Cassette Interface card, and 2 cassette tape players/recorders. The soft-sectored controller is not supported with this ROM.

A software list has been created for the cassette images which work on the H88, to make it easier to select and use the images.

MTR-88 (444-40) Original ROM supported only the H-88-1 hard-sectored controller and H-88-5 cassette interface card. Currently, only the cassette interface board is supported by MAME. (MTR-88 Manual).

Heathkit H8

I haven't worked much on the H8 emulator, but it is listed as functional and supports cassette tapes. The h37 soft-sectored controller that I implemented for the H89 should be relatively easy to get working with the H8, although I haven't looked closely on what would be needed.

Github activity

Merged PRs(will be available in next release)

New stuff

  • Added Z-89 MMS system with the MMS DD soft-sectored controller.

Open PRs(not yet merged)

  • Add support for hard-sectored disks - still work in progress. MAME devs are trying to determine the best way forward with hard-sectored floppies.

Recent improvements in Heath emulation

  • MAME 0.266
    • Merged heathkit and zenith directories to allow both brands to be built from the same source.
    • Added clone ZDS Z-90 system.
  • MAME 0.264
    • Improve h19/h89 screen size to not have so much blank space on the borders and add bezels.
    • Added initial implementation of H-88-1 Hard-sectored controller(not working yet).
  • MAME 0.263
    • Added support for the SigmaSoft Interactive Graphics Controller (IGC).
    • Added alternative ROM - Ultimeth MTRHEX (2k).
    • Added Software List for the H88 and the cassette software.
  • MAME 0.262
    • Added support for the H-88-5 Cassette Interface Board.
    • New H88 clone using the H-88-5 and with the MTR-88 ROM
    • Implemented single-step hardware in H89.
    • Implemented AMI S2350 USRT device (prep work to support hard-sectored H-88-1 controller)

ROMs Needed for Heath Emulators in MAME

  • H8 - h8.zip
  • H19 - h19.zip (Updated with Superset and Imaginator I-100 ROMs)
  • H89 - h89.zip (Updated with Kres KMR-100, Ultimeth, Superset, and Imaginator I-100 ROMs)

Other useful files

  • Software List for H88 Cassette titles (in H8T format) - h88-cass.zip

Last Modified: Thursday, 30-May-2024 22:50:26 PDT

Contact Details

Mark Garlanger

Email: heathkit [at] garlanger [dot] com

If you email me, PLEASE check your spam filter for any responses.

Website: www.garlanger.com



This site is dedicated to preserving the history of the original Heathkit computers. They were initially release in 1977 and included the 8-bit H-8 and 16-bit H-11 systems. The H89 was released in 1979.