View Full Version : Minivacs on the 'Bay - what can you do with them?

July 5th, 2008, 04:47 PM

There are a couple of Minivac 601's on eBay right now:

Item number: 110266447343

Item number: 140244789053

I am not in contention this time around. I was just wondering, with six relays, six lights, and switches, what can you do with one of them?

By the way, I am writing a manual for the assembler codes used with the Science Fair Microcomputer Trainer. It should be up on the VCFs in about a week or so. Just in case anybody has one but doesn't want to print out the manual.


October 29th, 2015, 06:23 PM
Sorry for the bump. Does anyone know anything about the Minivac 601, like how many connection cords you need to complete the courseware and if you can get the correct sized pins to make more? There are three on the 'Bay right now:

items 331693229206, 301662555650, and 191705461307. They sure look cool :) I am trying to figure out how the Radio Shack Science Fair Microcomputer Kit could play Tic-Tac-Toe as the Minivac seems to be able to do.


October 29th, 2015, 06:30 PM
I don't mean to hijack this, I know nothing about Minivac (yet)..

But, the Microcomputer Trainer is a very fun machine. I can't post the videos here, but a couple years ago, I used mine to diagnose my broken PET.

Thank you for writing a manual, Sean. I have done this several times over the years, but haven't made anything permanent. It's very hard to use that machine every few years by using the manual to fill in the blanks in my memory. The way the manual is written, one has to read it in its entirety to gain much.

October 29th, 2015, 06:45 PM
I don't mean to hijack this, I know nothing about Minivac (yet)..

But, the Microcomputer Trainer is a very fun machine.

It certainly is. I didn't get very far with it, I finished the first third of the manual (Section 1 of 3, I mean) and then never took it back up again. But it was a really fun day when one of my programs was a byte shorter than the answer in the manual. Nine instead of ten bytes seemed like a GEOS-like acheivement ;)

Thank you for writing a manual, Sean.

[Fred Flinstone getting very small]

I suspect I actually didn't post that. It was probably just an ASCII version of the card that comes with an assembler which tells you what the different instructions do. I do remember that I made Hexadecimal to Binary flash cards that I absolutely could not memorize. Although now, years later (seven years later), I find that I can look at a binary number and add it up in my mind (8 bits, at least.) It's fun.

I'd love to hear about your computer diagnostic program.


October 29th, 2015, 07:57 PM
The Minivac 601 has been discussed on and off in this forum for at least 10 years. There's even an instruction manual posted (http://www.ccapitalia.net/descarga/docs/1961-minivac601-maintenance-manual.pdf).

...and some examples (in Spanish) (http://www.ccapitalia.net/?p=1257)

...and a good description in WikiP (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minivac_601), along with links.

A basic trainer in logic and computers.