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smp
May 1st, 2015, 11:50 AM
Hey everybody!

Mike Douglas (AKA deramp5113) is at it again!

He's now created a modern-day replacement for the Altair FDC, including a bunch of additional goodies.

I have no connection with Mike or his enterprise, except as a very satisfied customer of his Altair Clone. If this new board is of the same quality as his clone machine, it will be a bullet-proof addition to my stock of S-100 boards. And, maybe I can finally get my IMSAI completely running!

http://deramp.com/fdc+product.htm

smp

leiy
May 1st, 2015, 07:52 PM
I really want to buy a FDC+ controller, this will make life much easier.

Please contact me: Altair8800@yeah.net , if someone has FDC+ controller。

Thank you.

leiy
May 1st, 2015, 08:01 PM
Hey everybody!

Mike Douglas (AKA deramp5113) is at it again!

He's now created a modern-day replacement for the Altair FDC, including a bunch of additional goodies.

I have no connection with Mike or his enterprise, except as a very satisfied customer of his Altair Clone. If this new board is of the same quality as his clone machine, it will be a bullet-proof addition to my stock of S-100 boards. And, maybe I can finally get my IMSAI completely running!

http://deramp.com/fdc+product.htm

smp

I see the link you give finally, I have purchased one from the site.

Thank you.

Chuck(G)
May 1st, 2015, 09:28 PM
Somehow, an S100 system using SMT components seems to be a terrible anachronism. :)

smp
May 2nd, 2015, 04:40 AM
Somehow, an S100 system using SMT components seems to be a terrible anachronism. :)

Yeah, I get what you're saying. For me anyway, my vintage S-100 components have been so finicky that acquiring a rock-solid stable component that you can trust is a tremendous blessing.

smp

DDS
May 2nd, 2015, 06:59 AM
Yeah, I get what you're saying. For me anyway, my vintage S-100 components have been so finicky that acquiring a rock-solid stable component that you can trust is a tremendous blessing.

smp

Some of the very early Altair/Imsai and clone hardware was finicky when it was brand new, especially if you were/are mixing & matching manufacturers. But if you move up the time scale to the later IEEE-696 era hardware from Godbout/Compupro/Viasyn, Cromemco and others they're really no more finicky than any other 30 year old vintage stuff. ;-)

Trying to get the latest Linux distro installed on a new laptop will prove to you that you don't need to play with old stuff to get bit by "finicky". ;-)

But if it was all easy we'd all probably get bored & find other hobbies.

ClassicHasClass
May 2nd, 2015, 10:02 AM
Is anyone using this with an IMSAI? Was anything special needed? The serial server functionality is what interests me most.

smp
May 2nd, 2015, 10:30 AM
Some of the very early Altair/Imsai and clone hardware was finicky when it was brand new, especially if you were/are mixing & matching manufacturers. But if you move up the time scale to the later IEEE-696 era hardware from Godbout/Compupro/Viasyn, Cromemco and others they're really no more finicky than any other 30 year old vintage stuff. ;-)


I agree with what you're saying. My passion for the blinkenlights keeps me wanting to attach and use the IMSAI front panel. That seems to present a problem with fully embracing the IEEE-696 compliant hardware. I find that many of the IEEE-696 processors no longer even had the socket to plug in the front panel umbilical cord. Is there a documented mod that allows the IMSAI front panel to coexist peacefully with IEEE-696 hardware?



Trying to get the latest Linux distro installed on a new laptop will prove to you that you don't need to play with old stuff to get bit by "finicky". ;-)


Yes, indeed. I've been there, too! ;-)



But if it was all easy we'd all probably get bored & find other hobbies.


I've no doubt about that at all! 8-)

smp

smp
May 2nd, 2015, 10:34 AM
Is anyone using this with an IMSAI? Was anything special needed? The serial server functionality is what interests me most.


Since this just became available, I've not yet heard who is using this with what hardware. It seems to be aimed at Altair hardware, probably the 2-SIO board, especially since it has the Altair Turnkey Monitor on board. The EPROM can probably be re-programmed with your system monitor of choice, but then I don't know what other functionality might be lost. I'm sure an e-mail to Mike would get better insight. He's always very responsive when I send him a question.

smp

Corey986
May 2nd, 2015, 11:34 AM
You can make a lot serial cards emulate the 2sio. So you may not need to reprogram the EPROM.

deramp5113
May 2nd, 2015, 03:15 PM
The on board EPROM has absolutely nothing to do with the functionality of the disk controller aspects of the board (including the serial disk/server option). You can leave the EPROM disabled and use your own EPROM board if you want. Or, as mentioned by someone else, you program anything you want into an EPROM and put that code on the FDC+ board.

Mike

tkc8800
May 2nd, 2015, 05:11 PM
Somehow, an S100 system using SMT components seems to be a terrible anachronism. :)


I like the mixture of old an new technology. I think it makes the retro computer hobby way more interesting. There's plenty of successful examples of this, the XTIDE, CFFA300, FloppyEmu etc. Getting an Altair to work via a serial link is reasonably easy, getting one to work with a disk drive is much harder. I've never been able to make mine work with any of the original disk hardware, so for me this board it great. Until now I've been limited only to the software that can be loaded via serial link i.e pretty much the original Basics. This board opens up a whole new range of disk software I can now use.

Also, I know there's quite a few Altairs out there that only have two s100 connectors. If you have one of these machines you're limited to a CPU and memory board at most, the most you'd be able to with it is front panel operation. The FDC+ would enable these machines to be fully functional as it provides everything you need aside from the cpu on one board.