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dvanaria
April 13th, 2013, 07:39 AM
I just bought a Kaypro 1 off of eBay for a decent price, mostly because I wasn't familiar with this model and the computer looked like it was in really good condition.

The seller listed it as "for parts only" and when I set it up at home and plugged it in, sure enough the power light came on, but there was no activity at all on the screen, and no sounds of the floppy drive(s) searching for a disk. That's all it did.

My first thought: the brightness knob in the back was turned all the way down. Nope, this did nothing.
My second thought: the floppy drives are hooked up incorrectly and causing the computer to freeze before booting up. I opened up the case (even the inside was in mint condition!) but all the ribbon and power cables looked correctly set.

What else? The power supply? I verified the type: Cal DC. I then verified it was jumpered correctly for 110v (not 220v).

I tried unhooking the ribbon and power cables from the floppys (maybe the power supply wasn't putting out enough power?) and turned the machine on again, thinking I would at least see a message on the screen. But no, blank screen still.

What is most puzzling is the condition this computer is in. It looks like its never been used, ever, and has been stored in a dust free environment. I can't believe what great shape it's in. Even the keys on the keyboard had a little "snap" to them the first time I pressed them, as if they had never been depressed before.

Anyway, I'm totally lost. Anyone have any ideas? Thanks in advance.

Mr.Amiga500
April 13th, 2013, 08:36 AM
Maybe that's why it's in such great condition - it never worked properly so nobody had a chance to use it. (...like a dead Atari 800XL I got and my 1953 phone)

Can we see some pictures? I'd like to see a perfect condition Kaypro.

TX_Dj
April 13th, 2013, 12:02 PM
Sounds like a kaypro, to me...

It should be saying something on the screen like Kaypro 1, maybe asking you to press enter, I can't remember specifically how the 1 behaves.

The crazy thing about kaypros is they named them weird. One might assume the 1 was the first, but it was the last CP/M machine they made. The II was the first. Other times they'd release another model that was identical in almost every regard except for the model drive installed (and/or its orientation in the chassis) and different software suite and call it a different name.

I have several kaypros, and at the moment none of them are in working condition, hence my statement "sounds like a kaypro".

I'm currently fighting to revive my Kaypro 10, mainly because I have no other hard drive equipped CP/M machines and it would be very nice to have the "limitless" space of 10MB to play with while building software for my other machines... Traditional diagnostics have largely failed me (though they did help me identify a need to swap the CRTC, which may be your whole problem by the sound of it) and I've resorted to replacing every single chip on the board. It's slowly getting "better", i.e. doing more things when it powers on/resets, but still nonfunctional in the traditional sense.

Good luck!

dvanaria
April 13th, 2013, 12:24 PM
Maybe that's why it's in such great condition - it never worked properly so nobody had a chance to use it. (...like a dead Atari 800XL I got and my 1953 phone)

Can we see some pictures? I'd like to see a perfect condition Kaypro.

That's a good point, maybe it never worked to begin with- but wouldn't the buyer have just brought it back?

I'll definitely post some pictures later this afternoon.

Thanks.

dvanaria
April 13th, 2013, 02:41 PM
I'm starting to think it's the CRT also. If it was bad/broken, would that prevent the floppys spinning up on boot? Here are some photos (its funny it doesn't say Kaypro 1 on the sides, only on the back):

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When I flip the power switch I can hear a slight 'electrical charge' sound coming from the screen/tube assembly. The only indication the machine is even getting power is the main power light on the front is lit with the power on.

It's in great condition, I'd love to fix it. I have a CP/M master disk from a Kaypro 10 (I believe it's version 2.2 G), which I put in the floppy drive 1 just to see if the drive needed a disk in it to actually start spinning up. No luck there though.

Thanks for all the comments so far. TX_Dj, the only other Kaypro I have is a 10, and I was able to eventually get it working, but it still requires a 5 to 10 minutes "warm up" period before the hard disk starts operating without errors. It's definitely a temperamental machine. Maybe I can help answer questions, let me know.

dvanaria
April 13th, 2013, 02:42 PM
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More photos of the Kaypro 1.

phogren
April 13th, 2013, 03:30 PM
Try turning it on with the drives disconnected and see if you get a display. You could have a shorted drive.

dvanaria
April 13th, 2013, 03:52 PM
Try turning it on with the drives disconnected and see if you get a display. You could have a shorted drive.

Thanks, I did try that though. I disconnected the floppy drive ribbon from the motherboard entirely, and unplugged the power connectors going to each drive. I was thinking the same thing, that if I did that I would at least see something on the screen when I turned it on. But there was no difference.

I wonder now about the tunning knobs that are on the CRT Controller board (there are like 4 of them I think, V-hold, H-hold, etc). I wonder if one of them was accidentally moved all the way to the side? Could that completely remove the picture?

phogren
April 13th, 2013, 04:47 PM
Sorry I missed that you had already done it. I would think you'd get some kind of activity if it was the V-hold or h-hold. You can try the connector on the back of the video card. Maybe it's corroded or not connected well. If you have another kaypro try a different motherboard and see if the display works with that one.
A word of caution (forgive me if you already know this) but working around the CRT you should be very careful as it can have power for awhile even when unplugged. you should discharge the flyback transformer if you are around it at all. Again sorry if you alreay know this.

Mr.Amiga500
April 13th, 2013, 06:30 PM
That's a good point, maybe it never worked to begin with- but wouldn't the buyer have just brought it back?

I'll definitely post some pictures later this afternoon.

Thanks for the pictures. That does look like it's in perfect condition - no shine on the keys and no wear on the painted outline.

The Kaypro 1 was the last CP/M Kaypro. It's possible that it's old stock that never sold and anyone who later picked it up couldn't use it because of whatever fault it has.

When you turn it on waiting for it to boot up - does it ever beep? I'm just wondering because my Kaypro II sometimes takes forever to read a disk and it seems like nothing is happening - until it eventually beeps and says it can't read the disk. If the screen wasn't working, it would appear to be doing nothing. (you'd need a disk in the drive to test this)

dvanaria
April 13th, 2013, 06:30 PM
You can try the connector on the back of the video card. Maybe it's corroded or not connected well. If you have another kaypro try a different motherboard and see if the display works with that one.


working around the CRT you should be very careful as it can have power for awhile even when unplugged. you should discharge the flyback transformer if you are around it at all.

Ok great, thanks for the ideas. I don't really know much about the CRT actually, though I have heard the capacitors on that board and the power supply board can hold a charge after the computer is unplugged. How do you discharge the flyback transformer? I may try some more basic troubleshooting before I get into that but it sounds like something good to know.

phogren
April 14th, 2013, 06:39 AM
you should google it for more detailed information on discharging the high voltage system.
I do it with a long handled well insulated screwdriver. I ground the blade of the screwdriver with a jumper wire to the frame of the CRT. Then gently push the blade under the cap on the side of the CRT until it touches the metal in the cable (It looks like a spark plug cable). You'll be amazed sometimes at the spark you'll get.

dvanaria
April 18th, 2013, 08:53 AM
When you turn it on waiting for it to boot up - does it ever beep? I'm just wondering because my Kaypro II sometimes takes forever to read a disk and it seems like nothing is happening - until it eventually beeps and says it can't read the disk. If the screen wasn't working, it would appear to be doing nothing. (you'd need a disk in the drive to test this)

It doesn't actually ever beep, so it must not be getting that far in the bootstrap process.

I might put the K1 aside for a bit while I get my K10 up and running. I was tempted to start swaping in parts from the K10 to figure out which part of the K1 is failing, but it's taken so much work to get the K10 running I don't want to sacrifice any of its parts to test another machine.

Thanks for your help, I will pick up this project at some point down the road. I'll keep an eye out on eBay for another K1 that's advertised "for parts" and see if I can get a complete system running at some point!

mloewen
April 20th, 2013, 05:08 PM
I'm starting to think it's the CRT also. If it was bad/broken, would that prevent the floppys spinning up on boot? Here are some photos (its funny it doesn't say Kaypro 1 on the sides, only on the back):

It's in great condition, I'd love to fix it. I have a CP/M master disk from a Kaypro 10 (I believe it's version 2.2 G), which I put in the floppy drive 1 just to see if the drive needed a disk in it to actually start spinning up. No luck there though.


When you eventually get the hardware sorted out, you're going to need a different boot disk for the Kaypro 1. Your machine probably has the "Universal ROM" which requires CP/M 2.2U1 to boot. There's an IMD copy on Dave Dunfield's site.

GADFRAN
May 16th, 2013, 03:56 PM
Thanks for the info on a Kaypro 1 - we do not have much in our knowledgebase on this site on it.

I think you got a lot of good advice so far - probably never used - old stock - etc. - keep in mind that Kaypro was in a panic just to survive in the later years so a lot could of slipped thru the cracks.

We have identified some Netherland labeled Kaypros - check thru this site with a search - it saves a lot of us repeating past posts and trying to find the info again.

Certainly a lot different from many other Kaypros.

Yes the naming system & other aspects of the Kaypro can be very confusing !

All the best and keep us informed of your progress to contribute to the knowledge base.

Frank