View Full Version : Kaypro information...

February 9th, 2012, 02:02 PM
Here's some handy info for Kaypro fans (copied from the Technical Manual)

Model Name CP/M Mainboard ROM Version
2/83 2.2f 81-110 81-149-C
4/83 2.2f 81-240 81-232-A
4/83+88 2.2f 81-240 81-232-A
2/84 2.2g 81-294 81-292-A
4/84 2.2g 81-184 81-292-A
4/84+88 2.2g 81-184 81-292-A
2X 2.2g 81-294 81-292-A
4X 2.2g 81-297 81-326-E
ROBIE 2.2g 81-296 81-478-A
10 2.2g 81-180 81-302-C

2X w/mdm 2.2ul 81-580 81-478-A (incl. Clock)
10 w/mdm 2.2ul 81-582 81-478-A (incl. Clock)

New 2 2.2ul 81-294 81-478-A
1 2.2ul 81-294 81-478-A

(might want to sticky this)


February 9th, 2012, 02:10 PM
2/83 2.2f 81-110 81-149-C
This doesn't match up with my Kaypro 2(II) at all instead it matches up with this
4/83 2.2f 81-240 81-232-A
But it isn't a 4 that much i know.

February 9th, 2012, 02:30 PM
It's entirely possible Kaypro did a repair on the Kaypro 2 you have and it ended up with a later motherboard.

February 9th, 2012, 02:55 PM
I actually have 2 with the same mobo and and chip numbers, both 2's

ok it wasn't exactly as i thought, it was 81-240-A instead of just 81-240 but i think i read somewhere that there was both number types.

this page has the info i was refering too http://www.z80.eu/kaypro.html

February 9th, 2012, 03:00 PM
The information came straight out of the Kaypro Technical Manual, so I suspect either a field repair or upgrade was done to your machine Elvi.


February 9th, 2012, 03:02 PM
please look at the last post, i may have edited it while you typed.

February 10th, 2012, 02:54 PM
Yes there are many posts on this site about "just what Kaypro do you have, despite what the case may say ?"

Very complex in so many ways - then throw in "mods" at Kaypro and by others !

We started a registry attempt, but you can see how complex it got very quickly.

Even the cases are different for many of the Kaypro II’s, e.g. just the vent opening patterns. So just what is under the hood ?

Pictures can help a great deal, especially of the back panel.

Of course, we have now identified “ international “ Kaypros that add another layer of complexity.

Just like a murder mystery – who did it [or in this case – what is it !] ?

Then the "newbies" who pick up the "box" for free even and it does not work, even if they may have the disks ! They post on this site and we do the best we can, but it is so very complex in so many ways.

An so it goes !


February 10th, 2012, 04:54 PM
This thread allready has all the info needed and pics also to identify it from before http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/showthread.php?28147-Need-help-with-restoring-a-Kaypro-283

Terry Yager
February 10th, 2012, 04:56 PM
Now if you're fortunate enough to come upon an actual KayComp, we might be able to ID that with a high degree of probability (although I have seen (in pictures, of course), some that had both drives mounted on one side rather than the more familiar left-right configuration). Good luck!


February 10th, 2012, 11:19 PM
Just remembered I have a "Kaypro Dealer Reference Manual" binder sitting in the next room, with the Kaypro Technical Manual from August 1984. It says in "troubleshooting tips" 81-240-n is a mainboard for "Kaypro 2/4". In the model specs it says for mainboard:

Kaypro 2: 81-110-n or 81-240-n
Kaypro 4: 81-240-n
Kaypro 2/84 & 2X: 81-294-n
Kaypro 4/84: 81-296-n

So it looks like (I'm guessing) early Kaypro 2 (aka 2/83) shipped with 81-110-n, then sometime during the production run they switched to 81-240-n. So Elvi's Kaypro config matches what kaypro's docs say is a factory setup. The rom version could have been a dealer upgrade later, or perhaps the factory just stuck the latest rom in when building the board.


February 11th, 2012, 05:02 PM
Micro Cornucopia indicated that for the upgrade to the Kaypro "8" - you had to check a chip on the 80-240 n board - you may already have a " 4 " but all else said it was a " 2 ". If you had the 4 then the upgrade was simpler.

Curious that Kaypro was selling a 2 that was really a 4. Why not just sell it as a 4 ? Probably they had a lot of cases of 2’s left over. Also, it would simplify their inventory having one board for both models with only one chip different.

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For those who do not know, they stored a lot of their voluminous inventory due to high demand in big tents on the property. Of course, stealing items was rampant – some indicate over a million dollars – a lot of money back then in the 1980’s.

Again, Osborne’s “hypergrowth” - few had experienced that before that era – one Osborne or Kaypro out the door every 6 minutes – 24/7/365 – most already paid for with a big waiting list !

Get his book – do a Google search – some still available even autographed by him – mine is ! He wanted his side of the story told despite the written threat of a lawsuit at the front of his book he had included.

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The " A " or other rubber stamped letter on chips were usually in "red" and indicated a more advanced chip. Crude, but effective and fast in those hectic days !

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Yes, I have the dealer manual also and it is very useful.

Yes, you are correct on the 81-110n board.

The 81-110n board is rather rare – you have to look on the “ other side “ of the board to find that number, so you have to take the board off to do it. But they ultimately became more readily available because of the upgrade to the 81-240n series.

So for those interested in getting a spare board, that one may be more common today. But some recent prices were about $400 !

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The 81-240n is easier to determine – this number is on the “ front “ of the board.

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Yes, Elvi, we had discussed your Kaypro issues and it was rather simple to determine what you have.

But many others have Kaypros that are not as easy to ID.

As we discussed, you are in Finland – out of USA. If you can tell us more about the history of it if you know of any, it may prove useful as we further ID Kaypros.

We have identified Kaypros from Germany [German text on screen, German CP/M, etc.], Tez in New Zealand, Netherlands, Canada, etc. Kaypro was international so it would be expected. On the back panel however, most say built in CA even though other countries are noted on the back panel and have different graphics to ID components – e.g., ports, etc.

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Those were very hectic days as Kaypro was desperate to avoid bankruptcy. So many variations occurred we are now finding out about, besides try to continue to support !

The draft of my Kaypro book on my website elaborates on this [WWW.KAYPROSTS.ORG – look under folder “Special.”].

But it was a loosing game – way too many models to support and the market clearly changing to IBM compatible.

Their last year of existence, they lost 98% of what they made in sales ! Pretty clear, time to wrap it up and let Compaq take over, which quickly soared in record profits for many years !

Many like Osborne and even those at Micro Cornucopia, besides Kaypro were very bitter.

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All part of my decades of science, technology and society STS research funded by National Science Foundation [NSF] 20 years ago with many other “gray haired academics identified to help the public better understand and manage STS even in their everyday lives.

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Obama’s solar panel mistake is very typical – hubris, tunnel vision, politics, etc.

You just get wiped out with total loss of control by the STS steamroller !

More details if interested – great local radio station WHYY - FM in SE PA had an interview on the details – host was Terry Gross – must be on internet.

Simply – silicon for chips was about $400 a KG – Solandra had new cheaper tech to not use silicon – but Chinese found way to make silicon for only $40 a KG so Solandra lost its edge.

I worked as a tech mgr for Air Products and setup a lab for a plant to make silicon [actually silane]. When silane burns in the air from a leak, you get a snow storm of silicon dioxide – sand – of course, if you are close to it you get fried ! Pretty wild times back in 1990’s.

So next time you look at a computer chip, you may look at it differently.

And as I said above “and so it goes !”

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Hope of some interest – if we do not know the past, we tend to repeat many of the bad, not good parts !

Stay tuned – it is going to be quite the ride and we have only “ just begun, “ as the old song went.

Computers are just “commodities” today like kitchen appliances – not much difference between labels.

After holidays, just got a cheap Lenova to replace my 8 year old Vista [local build] and decision was easy – Best Buy had it and was very customer friendly – the other place [will not give the name] did not have it and were not customer friendly – I was just a bother !

Good luck – we will all need it.


April 10th, 2012, 11:44 AM
Keep in mind, also, there were 2 later tech manuals - later 1 ("-F" revision, I think) corrected mistakes in the previous ("-D" or "-E") revision of the tech manual.