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Roland Huisman
June 19th, 2017, 12:29 PM
Hello everyone,

I was wondering. There are several new designed S100 boards.

But are there also copy's made of the old S100 boards?
Like the MITS serial cards, 1K or 4K RAM, CPU or what ever...?
Is there a list of available boards or Gerber files?

Oh and I'm still looking for an Altair 8800 case. Replica would be good.
Anyone got into that business? I really like my Altair, but I would love to finally add a real case ;)
http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthread.php?42266-Imtair-8800&highlight=imtair

Regards, Roland


(I know Grant Stockly made redesigns / reproductions of some of the Mits boards
and cases. But you can't buy them any more, and as far as I know he didn't give
gerber files or drawings to anyone who wants to make his own replica...)

glitch
June 19th, 2017, 01:16 PM
Grant is the only one with the design files, as far as I know. It would seem a shame to duplicate his work, especially since it seems many people are willing to pay him for reproduction boards...but, I've got the process down and *could* produce reproduction MITS boards. Perhaps I'll give him another prod, seeing as he still has several items from me that were supposed to be scanned and returned...

On a somewhat related note, I do have tape and acetate artwork for MITS 88-SIOB boards, I suspect these were pirate boards from the 1970's. I acquired the artwork in a large lot of documentation from an electrical engineer who had owned an Altair in 1975/1976.

Roland Huisman
June 19th, 2017, 02:03 PM
Grant is the only one with the design files, as far as I know. It would seem a shame to duplicate his work, especially since it seems many people are willing to pay him for reproduction boards...

Yes there are probably many more people who wants these boards. But Grant seems to be out of the replica
business and doesn't answer emails about it... So I guess he is not interested in making and selling these
boards and cases any more. So why can't anyone else do it?

And even if he doesn't want to give the drawings, some one else could make replica's as well... But it would
certainly be a waste of time to do all of Grants work again. But it is already happening...
http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthread.php?57723-Altair-buss-expansion-boards

For me the biggest problem would me the case. The drawings are at that factory... I mentioned it earlier a few days ago.
http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthread.php?58230-Problem-ordering-S100-board-from-Don-Caprio&p=464527#post464527


but, I've got the process down and *could* produce reproduction MITS boards. Perhaps I'll give him another prod, seeing as he still has several items from me that were supposed to be scanned and returned...

On a somewhat related note, I do have tape and acetate artwork for MITS 88-SIOB boards, I suspect these were pirate boards from the 1970's. I acquired the artwork in a large lot of documentation from an electrical engineer who had owned an Altair in 1975/1976.

I've got an original bare MITS 88-SIOB board which I could put on the scanner if that is of any interest...
And I've got an almost bare 8800 PMC rev 0. I could scan that one too. It shouldn't be a big problem
to get layout info of all the other old boards... Redrawing is the most work.

If I want a replica and I can't find gerbers or a board for sale, I'll just make my own. My drawings are for free for those who wants it.
http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthread.php?54312-Dec-H851-pcb-redesign&p=442189#post442189
But I don't like to do work which is already done... :D And if replica boards are for
sale I would buy them because that saves a lot of time... :D

For now, I'm just searching for an 1K static ram board and an Altair 8800 case.

Regards, Roland

glitch
June 19th, 2017, 04:21 PM
The process I use for reproduction is the same as Grant's -- he actually directed me to the company that does it. They do scans at 4000 DPI directly to Gerber files. It's not cheap, but it's cheaper than having to run S-100 sized boards again because you dropped a trace! Dave Fenyes (from osiweb.org) and I have been using the process to preserve and reproduce OSI boards.

8008guy
June 19th, 2017, 07:13 PM
Hi, I will certinally post my gerbers for anyone interested in making their own expansion boards.

Len

glitch
June 19th, 2017, 07:39 PM
Hi, I will certinally post my gerbers for anyone interested in making their own expansion boards.

Len

Maybe you/we/someone ought to get a GitHub repo set up for them, as we did with the OSI boards. That should help ensure their continued availability.

eeguru
June 19th, 2017, 08:33 PM
The process I use for reproduction is the same as Grant's -- he actually directed me to the company that does it. They do scans at 4000 DPI directly to Gerber files. It's not cheap, but it's cheaper than having to run S-100 sized boards again because you dropped a trace! Dave Fenyes (from osiweb.org) and I have been using the process to preserve and reproduce OSI boards.

It is Gardien Services? I recently used them to scan a 6-layer 3B2 board (PORTS) to gerbers. It wasn't cheap at all, however the output was absolutely amazing. It's allowing me to completely capture the schematic and original layout in-tact within Eagle. I can now modify and spin new boards.

Roland Huisman
June 20th, 2017, 01:57 AM
Hi, I will certinally post my gerbers for anyone interested in making their own expansion boards. Len

Sounds like a great start to me!


It is Gardien Services? I recently used them to scan a 6-layer 3B2 board (PORTS) to gerbers. It wasn't cheap at all, however the output was absolutely amazing. It's allowing me to completely capture the schematic and original layout in-tact within Eagle. I can now modify and spin new boards.

Very nice! http://mhtest.com/scanning.shtml Seems to be bought by Gardien Services...

It looks a bit like I've done before.. Make a Röntgen picture of a board. That was my
way to figure out how it was made on the top side whit out damaging the pcb...
39177 39178 39179

(It is a SASI harddisk controller of the Holborn 6100 / 6500 btw... http://www.technischmuseum.nl/devices/Holborn%206500/Holborn%206500.html )

That scanning of Gardien seems to be in layers. Hmm I have to figure out if I can do that too...

Regards, Roland

edale
June 20th, 2017, 04:55 AM
...I've got an original bare MITS 88-SIOB board which I could put on the scanner if that is of any interest...

Regards, Roland

I would be interested in the scans.

glitch
June 20th, 2017, 06:40 AM
It is Gardien Services? I recently used them to scan a 6-layer 3B2 board (PORTS) to gerbers. It wasn't cheap at all, however the output was absolutely amazing. It's allowing me to completely capture the schematic and original layout in-tact within Eagle. I can now modify and spin new boards.

Yep, Mile High Test, now part of Gardien! A two-layer S-100 sized board costs around $250 to scan. I haven't used their multilayer service but I knew they were capable of it -- do they destroy the board in the process? Front and back is obvious, but I'd think they would need to mill away the outer layers to get at inner stuff for a multilayer scan. Whatever the process, they're good at it, and they'll clean up hand-drawn boards on request. I believe they state that they guarantee you can take the Gerbers and get an electrically identical board.

I've been importing the Gerbers into KiCad and working with them there. If it's a simple change (like adding the OSI Preservation Project text) I just generate a new Gerber and merge them in gerbv. Dave has been using, IIRC, Altium.

I need to get a Solid State Music IO-2 off to them. I find it to be one of the handiest "I need to put some I/O on the S-100 bus" boards available.

eeguru
June 20th, 2017, 07:22 AM
I had to use a scanning service like Mile High/Gardien for a 6 layer board as it was very difficult to do it optically. AT&T used a thin solder mask and outer pre-preg so layers 2/5 were actually visible on an optical scan as a darker shade of grey. But it was still difficult to trace over in Eagle as Eagle doesn't allow a photo-realistic overlay import. I was pretty sure the inner layers were full ground and power pours. But as it turned out there were several power pours on layer 4 and it was nice to find exactly where they were via the scan (though x-ray would have done the same).

It cost ~$700 for the 6 layer scan of a approximately 6" x 8" board. And it was destructive. I sent them two depop'd boards. Once I took great care in depopulating to no heat warp or scare any holes. I sent them another I had hacked on with sanders and chemicals that was mauled a bit as a reference. But when they sent me back the non-destroyed board, it was the nice one! I guess they figured the electrical test verification after the scan was better with the higher integrity board.

Still took me about 80 man hours to reassign the imported Gerber traces to net names defined on a schematic. May take another 80 to rename the nets to intuitive canonical names as there are a billion discrete gates on that board!

glitch
June 20th, 2017, 07:37 AM
Nice! I figured they'd have to mill off the layers to get at the inner copper. Good to know what to expect if/when the time comes for a multilayer board. It's expensive, but you figure if your time is worth anything to you, it's actually a pretty good value. I can do more useful/billable work in the time saved by having Mile High Test do the scanning than it costs, plus they don't drop traces.

I've sent Grant an email about potentially purchasing some of his design files if he's not interested in doing more reproduction boards. I'd rather pay him than duplicate the work, plus then I'd have to strip down some of my originals!

Roland Huisman
June 20th, 2017, 01:51 PM
I've sent Grant an email about potentially purchasing some of his design files if he's not interested in doing more reproduction boards. I'd rather pay him than duplicate the work, plus then I'd have to strip down some of my originals!

That would be a fair deal I think! And please ask about the cabinets too... :D

8008guy
June 20th, 2017, 07:03 PM
When was the last time anyone got a response from Grant? I emailed him a month or so and never heard anything at all.

smp
June 21st, 2017, 04:02 AM
When was the last time anyone got a response from Grant? I emailed him a month or so and never heard anything at all.

March 19, 2016.

I was actively trying to purchase an Altair 680 kit from him. This was a message from him on his Forum. At the time, he stated: "I have two remaining obligations I'm finishing up before I can handle anything new. It will happen soon!"

SIGH.

smp