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Holmes
June 28th, 2014, 06:15 AM
Hi All:

I just got my first PET, and it's a real beauty! It's a PET 2001-32N, and it's in great condition. I think it's the perfect model for me, because it's still got the 9 inch screen and has the full keyboard, and has 32K. The screen is nice and clear, and the keyboard works great. The seller salvaged it from the scrap heap of the company where he works, where he said it was sitting in air-conditioned storage.

The PET was the first computer I ever saw, when I was in school in England, and I remember a bunch of older kids playing Space Invaders on it and being amazed.

I opened it up and it's pretty dusty inside, but no bunnies and no animal waste (!). The keyboard was really dusty and dirty, but cleaned up well. Someone put a strip of Scotch tape on the spacebar, presumably to protect it, and it looks every bit of 20-30 years old, and took some careful work to remove, since it left a bit of sticky residue and basically disintegrated when you tried to peel it off. I got it off, though, and the spacebar looks new!

It's got 3 ROMs in it, and they appear to be "added" ROMS, because they've got paper labels on them, which say "TOOLKIT", "WORD111", and "VISCAL".

I read that some of these older software packages used ROM chips for copy protection. Does anyone know what these ROMS are for? I guess VISCAL is for VISICALC, and that would be cool. Is WORD111 for WordPro?

I'm looking at building a sound module for it (no permanent mods to the PET itself), and I'm aching to get the PETdisk (which I've already put on order).

So far, I'm just loving this machine. I just love its design and am amazed at how it's such a futuristic looking machine, and it came out in the late 70's! Actually, I'm noting that it has an uncanny resemblance to the tanks on BattleZone. My 2 year-old loves it too, and loves pressing the keys.

Loving life!

dave_m
June 28th, 2014, 07:56 AM
It's got 3 ROMs in it, and they appear to be "added" ROMS, because they've got paper labels on them, which say "TOOLKIT", "WORD111", and "VISCAL".


From Zimmers here is the command list for the BASIC Programmer's Toolkit:
The BASIC Programmer's ToolKit (PET 3032 version)


Installing


The file toolkit-b000.bin contains the 2K ROM image of the ToolKit which sits
in PET memory at $B000.


To initialise the ToolKit type:


SYS 45056
or
SYS 11*4096


You should see:


( C ) 1979 PAICS
READY.




Commands


AUTO (First Line Number) , (Line Number Interval)


RENUMBER (First Line Number) , (Line Number Interval)


DELETE (Line Number) - (Line Number)


APPEND (Program Name) --- cassette only


FIND (BASIC code) , (Line Number) - (Line Number)
or
FIND "(String)" , (Line Number) - (Line Number)


DUMP --- displays all of the non-array variables present in memory


HELP --- if an error is encountered then the error is displayed


TRACE --- displays executed line numbers


STEP --- same as TRACE but [Shift] key controls program execution


OFF --- turns off the "tracer" which TRACE and STEP activate




Acknowledgements


Chuck Bond is the creator and main implementor of the BASIC
Programmer's ToolKit.


BASIC Programmer's ToolKit is a trademark of Palo Alto ICs a
division of Nestar Systems, Inc.


(c) Copyright 1979 by Palo Alto ICs


When you get your PETDisk, put Visicalc on it. Zimmers has a compressed file of it here:

http://zimmers.net/anonftp/pub/cbm/pet/utilities/index.html

Holmes
June 28th, 2014, 09:51 AM
Dave,

Thank you very much! I found that website, but couldn't find any info for anything like toolkit. I was looking in the main PET folder, and didn't think to look in the "firmware" folder.

I'd really love to run Visicalc on it when I am able to get a PETdisk. I sent my order in, but haven't heard back for about 2 weeks now. I've combed the boards and it seems the designer bitfixer/gubbish is really busy, and sometimes it takes a while to hear back, since he has other responsibilities. I've thought about trying to build my own PETdisk, since I can't wait! I've downloaded the source code for v1.21 which he has very generously posted on his website, and I've compiled it and uploaded it successfully to a spare ATMega328p lying around, which I think should work with his code since it is the same microcontroller with more memory. I guess I could also try uploading his binary file for v2 which has has online as well, since that's the latest version. I've looked at the schematic for his board design, and should be able to build it. I obtained the IEEE-488 port from eBay, and I'm just waiting for the zener diodes. I'm sure it will not look too pretty, or if it will even work, but I'll work on it until I hear back. I'll probably still buy a kit from bitfixer so I have a proper one and to support his excellent work, but this should keep me busy until then.

The only issue is that I don't have his bootloader program, so I think I'll just have to upload the code directly to the microcontroller each time I need to update it. Not as elegant, but still usable. I'm anxious to see if I can build it and get it to work!

His PETpix looks really cool, as well. I just love modern adaptations for vintage equipment. It is so cool to think you can build something today that will work with a computer that is over 30 years old.

dave_m
June 28th, 2014, 11:12 AM
I'd really love to run Visicalc on it when I am able to get a PETdisk.

A possible issue is that Visicalc may expect to interface with a dual floppy drive like the Commodore 2040 or 4040 that differentiates between drive 0 and drive 1. As of the moment, PETdisk can not emulate this type of dual drive. It will require a firmware update.

Holmes
June 29th, 2014, 07:17 AM
OK. I'll post a report if I'm able to test it.

gubbish
July 6th, 2014, 08:15 AM
OK. I'll post a report if I'm able to test it.

Hi, bitfixer (aka gubbish) here,
I just got a large-ish order of replacement parts for the PETdisk in last week, so I should be able to send your kit out early this week. I'll track down your order email and send you a reply. Sorry for the wait, and please let me know if you have questions. Thanks,
- Mike

Holmes
July 6th, 2014, 11:50 AM
Hi, bitfixer (aka gubbish) here,
I just got a large-ish order of replacement parts for the PETdisk in last week, so I should be able to send your kit out early this week. I'll track down your order email and send you a reply. Sorry for the wait, and please let me know if you have questions. Thanks,
- Mike

Cool! Thanks.

I sent you an email with my order confirmation. Can't wait!

Holmes
July 13th, 2014, 10:04 AM
So DISASTER strikes suddenly, and without warning. Well maybe not disaster, but definitely upsetting.

So I built up my PETdisk clone using the schematics and source-code from gubbish's website, and had it all wired up in a breadboard to an IEEE-488 plug and ready to test.

Before I connected anything to the PET, I simply popped open the top and propped it up (figuring if something was going to fry, I wanted to be able to see the innards while it was happening). I plugged the PET power in. Remember, I have not plugged my PETdisk clone in yet - it's just a vanilla PET right now. So I turned it on, and immediately a small capacitor blew with crackling/sizzling sounds, sparks, magic smoke and everything! So upsetting, since I'd used it a good bit before this.

I checked which one, and it was C25. I checked Zimmers website for my motherboard (2001-N), and it's a 1.0uF tantalum capacitor rated for 25V (although mine is rated for 35V).

Here's a pic:
19464

I guess I will have to desolder it and solder in a replacement, once I buy one.

Anyone have any suggestions or tips on this? I've got a good amount of soldering experience, but not much with de-soldering, especially on these vintage boards. I guess I'll clip the leads, add some fresh solder, and just take out the bad cap. Should I replace any other capacitors that are known to blow?

I guess the good thing is I'll have to take the motherboard out, which will give me a chance to clean it fully, which I was avoiding. And it will let me get better acquainted with this machine. Too bad I never even got to turn my PETdisk clone on yet to see if it works. I guess I'll have to wait.

dave_m
July 13th, 2014, 01:18 PM
C25 is on the +12V regulator circuit. C17 is the same on the +5V regulator. This happens a lot on PETs so don't worry. It should not have taken out anything else. And in fact if you remove the shorted cap, the system will probably come up, but it would be good practice to replace the part.

Holmes
July 13th, 2014, 01:55 PM
C25 is on the +12V regulator circuit. C17 is the same on the +5V regulator. This happens a lot on PETs so don't worry. It should not have taken out anything else. And in fact if you remove the shorted cap, the system will probably come up, but it would be good practice to replace the part.

dave_m - thanks a lot! That's exactly the info I was looking for.

I'm really glad I tried to test the machine before plugging anything in, so it eliminated the possibility that my device caused the damage. It's very reassuring to hear it's a commonly blown cap and that it didn't fry something else when it blew.

I'll post when I get it back working again.

Holmes
July 16th, 2014, 01:01 PM
It's alive again!!

So I pulled out the motherboard, which was actually a bit harder than I planned, since someone had stripped one of the 3 screws holding it in. I managed to get it off with some vice-grips, though.

I cleaned off the motherboard a little more, since it was accessible, and took lots of pictures of it. I desoldered the blown cap (using a Radioshack 45W desoldering iron which worked amazingly well), and resoldered in my replacement from Digi-Key (which arrived today - superfast!). There were several areas of dried flux on the bottom of the motherboard, which seemed odd to me, unless someone had done some mods.

There was a really odd wire, that was connected to pin #1 of socket UD3 (where my VISCAL ROM is). It's just a loose wire, about 1-inch long, hanging off the pin below the motherboard. Weird. Here's a picture:

19498

I didn't know what to do with it, so I just cut off some wire insulation and slid it over it so it wouldn't touch anything else, and put the motherboard back.

I powered the PET back on, and it turned on just fine without issues! I left it on for about 15-20min to make sure everything was okay, and so far it looks like it's fixed.

19499