Howdy gents...

Introduce yourself. Tell people why you are interested in vintage computers and what (if anything) you've got.

Howdy gents...

Postby SeanKennedy on Thu Jan 08, 2015 1:14 pm

A bit presumptuous, but there you go.

I started out helping my father build a DSE Super-80 back in 1981 (Fore runner of the MicroBee) after it appeared in Electronics Australia. We mangled that thing through various iterations, including maxing out the RAM to 48k, adding the enhanced and then VDUEB video cards, ROM Basic (to save 10 minutes of your life each time you started it up from 300buad tape) and eventually adding S-100 printer cards, Speech synthesis, and dual floppy drives. At about that stage we were able to run CP/M and add bank switched RAM (128K I think), and my path along the direction of Z-80 based kit was set.

I used BBC's at school, and the odd Apple for Pascal. At one stage I even managed to get taken on as a school holidays computer camp tutor out at Canty Uni - mainly because we were able to link several school's worth of Beebs together. Dad brought home Osborne like luggables that also ran CP/M and I eventually splashed out and bought a V20 based Acer from DSE - which was a hybrid chip that could run in Z-80 and 8088 mode. I don't think I did anything other than run that as a PC. And it's been Intel/AMD ever since.

Anyway, the time has come for me to upgrade my really old smartphone, and although my wife and kids have long been fans of iPods, iPads and AppleTV I have managed to stay free of any Cupertino kit myself (the only exception I could find was that I once owned some Apple stock in my super fund). I really need to start in the beginning here, so I managed to beat out some fellow board users (Sorry Gavin etc) on a broken Platinum //e just before Xmas. That's early enough I reckon. Once it is going, I'll be able to have an iPhone.

Pretty broken, but not unrecoverable from what I can tell. I didn't realise how tricky it would be to track down D41464s and 65C02s over the year end break though :)

So far I've reseated all the socketed chips, replaced the electrolytic caps on the mainboard, and some of the ceramics, and removed the two RAM chips and put new sockets in. I've lengthened the speaker and US/UK switch leads to enable working on the board outside the case. New D41464-12s arrived today (but I suspect he 65C02 is the real culprit).

Anyway, I was pointed in this direction last year by another member, and hope to convince Gavin or Terry to part with the odd card or floppy drive in the near future from their extensive collections :) or I'll start trawling eBay.

Wish list for now:
Apple Disk ][ (I have the interface card)
Super Serial card
Parallel printer card
CFFA-3000 (Yeah right!)

As for the kit I have, the Apple //e Platinum is there, along with a DEC DS-10 (but I don't think that counts as pre-'95 being a turn of the century device) and a salvaged Wyse-60 (or 2?) - Still regret binning my Sparc5 pizza box and 20" CRT, but it did take up a lot of bench space, and was only being used as a web server. And throwing out a bin full of 5.25" floppies for Apple/BBC and early PC stuff. I really need to have a clean out of the shed before I shift out for EQ repairs!

Cheers
SeanKennedy
 
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Location: Christchurch

Re: Howdy gents...

Postby SeanKennedy on Thu Jan 08, 2015 2:29 pm

Actually, in hind sight I think I'm after the external //e disk (or twinset) rather than a Disk ][.

Cheers
SeanKennedy
 
Posts: 121
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Location: Christchurch

Re: Howdy gents...

Postby tezza on Thu Jan 08, 2015 2:59 pm

Welcome to the Forums Sean,

That sounds like one pimped-out Super 80!

Yea, those chips can be hard to come by. It's worth just asking on these forums, just in case people have numerous spares in their parts bin and want to sell. It can be cheaper than importing them.

No spare IIe disk drive but I do have a spare Apple II printer card which is earmarked for Trade Me eventually. I won't be putting up for a while though. I want to test it first.

You might not have to wait that long to have a crack at one. There seems to be a number of people who have "spring clean" as a New Year's resolution and most seem to have Apple gear!
Tez (Terry Stewart) (Administrator)
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Re: Howdy gents...

Postby mrad01 on Thu Jan 08, 2015 9:39 pm

SeanKennedy wrote:
Wish list for now:
Apple Disk ][ (I have the interface card)
Super Serial card
Parallel printer card
CFFA-3000 (Yeah right!)
Cheers


Hi,

I can hook you up with some stuff if you just cover the shipping. I've got a Parallel card and a //e floppy drive (works, but may need a head clean - it doesn't boot disks) you can have. I do have a couple of CFFA cards - but I don't think I'll part with those for a while!! hahaha Just send me a DM with your address and I'll get them shipped out to you.

M
mrad01
 
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Re: Howdy gents...

Postby RonTurner on Fri Jan 09, 2015 12:30 am

I can test a 65c02 for you etc I take it you live in chch?

Gavin.
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Re: Howdy gents...

Postby SeanKennedy on Fri Jan 09, 2015 5:23 am

RonTurner wrote:I can test a 65c02 for you etc I take it you live in chch?

Gavin.

Thanks for the offer Gavin - I have 5 on the way from China which should arrive any day now.

After replacing the RAM, I'm now getting different ASCII filled screens, some with the RAM 0 0 0 0 1 type messages - I'll keep digging from there.

Sean
SeanKennedy
 
Posts: 121
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Location: Christchurch

Re: Howdy gents...

Postby SeanKennedy on Sat May 28, 2016 11:46 am

Wow - things have come a long way in a year and a half.

When I was digging up the Z88/Britten pics, I found this beauty - me sitting at the Super-80 in the early 1980's.

Image

You can almost make out the Digital Corp serial printer on the left. This was an awesome freestanding thing with its own keyboard that could be used as an electric typewriter - if you were willing to accept nasty dot matrix as output. This was the device made famous in this hoax pic by pasting it in front of a nuclear sub missile station. To the right is the Star CP-80 which Ian2u recently helped me reacquaint myself. We went through many iterations of printers, including a daisy chain one which sounded like a machine gun going off! 80 solenoids in a row that would fire off when the right letter went clattering past on a vertical finger chain. Next was a decent daisy wheel one which when using WordStar under CP/M did a decent job of proportional justification, and with changing wheels we had multiple fonts.

The Super-80, being a DSE kit didn't come with a case for a few months, so most builders improvised. Dad sawed off the keyboard pretty early on as the PCB had jumpers that allowed a ribbon cable to facilitate this, and he had a pile of edge connectors, so he extended the keyboard data lines to these, and we could make games adapters and input pads by using push buttons and emulating the keyboard matrix and slotted into the end using vero-board. The DSE monitor was a bit susceptible to noise - and I think it may have gone both ways with the floppy drives (full height!) so a metal tray was put in place - not sure if a baking tray or recycled printing plate. The various knobs and switches probably stopped you hitting reset by accident, and controlled volume for the add on speech synth and multi voice audio cards which typically hung of the parallel printer port.
SeanKennedy
 
Posts: 121
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Location: Christchurch


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