View Full Version : Kaypro 2'84 disks?

January 24th, 2008, 03:38 PM
Hello all. I just acquired a Kaypro 2'84 in beautiful condition, and was even able to track down schematics of it, but I am currently without software for it. Does anyone have any disks for it they might be willing to part with? I'm in NYC. I'm primarily looking for:
1) A CP/M disk, so I can at least boot the thing
2) Some way of programming it. BASIC would be fine, but a C compiler (or even assembler) or something similar would be preferred.
3) A program like Zmodem (I think that's what its called) so I could transfer files via null modem from my normal desktop.

Also, does anyone know if my machine would recognize 360kb 5.25" floppy drives? The rom is an 81-292.

January 24th, 2008, 04:54 PM
From what info I have, the 2-84 and the 2x are very similar, with the main difference being the 2-84 has SS/DD drives, and the 2X has DS/DD drives. All else looks the same, meaning you should be able to swap out the drives for DS/DD without issue. You will, of course, at that point basically have a 2x.

If you look in the CP/M section, you should find a Kaypro thread I posted in, which went into more detail about the differences.

As to the CP/M disks, the Kaypros were much more forgiving in sharing the boot disks between them - you should be able to boot 2/2x/4/10 boot disks on your machine


January 24th, 2008, 06:23 PM
Are all drives basically identical? i.e. Will a random 360kb floppy off of ebay work just as well?

Also, does anyone have any of the aforementioned boot disks that they would be willing to copy and send me? =)

Terry Yager
January 24th, 2008, 06:36 PM
Support for DS drives must be included in BIOS, and by the correct bootROM. Generally, the 2-84 will not have that support, so without a ROM upgrade, you're pretty much stuck with SS drives. If you can obtain a ROM from a 2X, it should work in your mainboard and allow for DS drive operation (after booting from the 2X bootdisk).


January 24th, 2008, 06:41 PM
Okay, scratch that for now then. Anyone have straight Kaypro 2'84 disks (or the capacity to make them)?

January 24th, 2008, 07:27 PM
To answer your question about using a 360K disk, yes, I believe it should work. With a SS drive, you can only use on side, and thus only half of it's size(180K) it is better than nothing. It is my understanding that(maybe with a mod or two) you can flip the disk and use the other side. "Flippydisks" is what I call them.


Terry Yager
January 24th, 2008, 07:37 PM
Yes, my Kaypro II has an IBM-badged DSDD drive in it, since it was the only thing I could lay my hands on at the time, but it only sees one side (which is set in ROM & BIOS).


January 24th, 2008, 07:45 PM
For other kaypro fans out there, the "KayPLUS" ROM is now available for free over the internet: http://microcodeconsulting.com/z80/kayplus.htm

It claims to have support for a wide variety of floppy drives, including 3.5" drives and higher capacity drives of both sizes.

Does anyone know if I would be able to write a 193 kB floppy drive by plugging my SS/DD floppy into a normal PC running dos (~newish P4 dell machine), and using some sort of disk imaging software?

January 24th, 2008, 09:15 PM
Terry, according to stuff out, and the Kaypro Tech Ref, I would disagree.
You are probably referring to the II, the original Kaypro. Cfenton mentions a 2/84, with an 81-292 ROM, which is the same as a 2x as well.

Kaypro Tech Red shows the 2/84 and 2x as both using the 81-292A rom (Kaypro 1484-D, Page 4-1), and both using the 81-294 mainboard (Kaypro 1484-d page 3-2). The only difference noted on page 3-2 of the tech ref, is the disk storage capacity.

Terry - Keep in mind, there *IS* a difference between a II and a 2/84.
For THAT matter, remember there is a II, a "2/84", and later a model known as a "New 2" which had the same 81-294 mainboard, and the nasty 81-478A Universal ROM. The 81-294+81-478A was also the basis for the Kaypro 1, which is just a 2x with a Universal ROM.

Revisions of II (known as II/83 also) documented:
81-110 mainboard, 81-149 ROM
81-184 mainboard, 81-242 ROM
81-240 mainboard, 81-242 ROM

Those above are flat II's, and do not support DS/DD without hacking.

If you get 2x, 2/84, 1, or even 10 floppies (my 4/84 with 81-292 ROM boots off of K10 2.2G and H media) it should work fine in DS/DD.

I think, with DS/DD drives installed in CFenton's 2/84, and booting DS/DD media from a 2x,4/84,or K10 it would boot up and show DS/DD capacities.

I would suggest CFenton put together an older WinTel system, with a 360K DS/DD drive, to download and create disks for the Kaypro.
The disk images are out there, and available for downloading from MANY sources. If you need pointers, just ask.

UPDATE: I doubt your Dell would have support for 5.25" floppy drives in it's BIOS.
Find a cheap p1/P2/P3, and add a 5.25" DS/DD which will also image out SS/DD disks.


Micom 2000
January 24th, 2008, 11:36 PM
I was aware that different Kaypros had different BIOS', Was SS or DS the only issues with the various models. I have a 2x and a II. I was sent some bootdisks by Don after I had supplied him with the # on the chip he described me. I acquired another one later and can't remember which one the disk(s) were for. Was it only a question of SS or DS FDs?

I also have a complete set of Pied Piper Perfect Software. Does that mean it will only work on certain Kaypro models ? As a major company one would assume they'd work with all Kaypros. They have notched disks. I assume they're double-sided. [If they haven't succumbed to bit-rot as I discovered with my DOS DR Gem set? :^{ ]


Micom 2000
January 25th, 2008, 12:47 AM
Just went and checked my disks, It's labeled "2X 81-478 rom". So it's for my 2X.
Wondering if it will also boot my Kaypro II.

Enough of these BS excuses. I'll clear my workbench and try to boot Kaypros tomorrow, even if I have forgotten all the CP/M syntax. It will re-establish memory synapses. WHOOOO

I imagine Mike B.will be along any minute to put this thread into it's proper CPM section as it should rightly be, so I can find it again.


Terry Yager
January 25th, 2008, 03:04 AM
Speaking of faulty memory synapses, thanks, Sharko. I'll take your word for it in lieu of looking it up myself. I've never owned a 2-84 or had a chance to play with one. I've had IIs, 4-83 & 84s, a 1, a 2x & a 2 with UROM (which must have been a 'new 2'). The 1 & 2 with UROMs both used the same bootdisk, but not the 2x, IIRC. The 2x disk would boot the 4-84, but not vice-versa (obviously), so the 2x & 4-84 both have the same BIOS, and probably bootROM as well, so you're probably right, putting in a DS drive might just work for the 2x. Best way to find out is try it I s'poze.


January 25th, 2008, 04:43 AM
UPDATE: I doubt your Dell would have support for 5.25" floppy drives in it's BIOS.
Find a cheap p1/P2/P3, and add a 5.25" DS/DD which will also image out SS/DD disks.

Many P4s will do it as well. My Dell didn't support the drive, IIRC. My 2003-2005 machines and below have all supported 5.25 drives, EXCEPT the Dell. I have drives in both my 2003 Emachine and my 2004 HP. Before you do any work to add the drive, go into your BIOS and flip through the floppy options. That is your surefire way to know.


January 25th, 2008, 10:02 AM
Just went and checked my disks, It's labeled "2X 81-478 rom". So it's for my 2X.
Wondering if it will also boot my Kaypro II.

Enough of these BS excuses. I'll clear my workbench and try to boot Kaypros tomorrow, even if I have forgotten all the CP/M syntax. It will re-establish memory synapses. WHOOOO

I imagine Mike B.will be along any minute to put this thread into it's proper CPM section as it should rightly be, so I can find it again.


Don't think so - a II is an SS/DD mainboard and drives, 2x is DS/DD, so the media is probably DS/DD and won't work in a II.
A 2x has DS/DD drives and mainboard+ROM from the factory.
Keep in mind there IS a difference between II (roman numeral) and 2 (not roman numeral). The Kaypro II was their very first machine. Rumor has it they did what Ashton-Tate did, which is skip 1 or I or 1.0, to make it seem as if they're older than they are. Other rumor, is the Apple II was very popular at the time, and wanted to capitalize on that as well. Whatever.

Anyways, I think the 2/84 can be upgraded, by simply adding the DS/DD drives. The 2x already has the DS/DD drives. The "New 2", according to the Kaypro 1484-E Tech Ref, already has DS/DD drives (81-294 MoBo/81-478A ROM - page 3-8). The II I think needs hardware mods to the floppy section to support DS/DD. I dunno - tech ref 1484-E shows FDC chip at U82 on 81-110 mainboard on a K-II to be an FD1793 IC. I though 1793's were DS capable, so maybe it's the support chips. Probably not worth the effort, as you would have a completely non-standard Kaypro, and good luck finding a CP/M to boot on it!


January 26th, 2008, 09:31 PM
Well, I ordered a 360kb ds/dd floppy drive off of ebay, I just need to get some 5.25" disks now =) We will see how things work out. I also found someone on craigslist who is giving away an old pentium-class computer, so i'll have to see if i'm too late for it. I'll post updates later.

January 26th, 2008, 10:36 PM
Let me know if you can't get something set up, and I'll make some disks
for you to try out. I should be able to gen something for you. I'll have no
way of really testing it accurately, though.

I would try to scrounge up a pair of 360kb drives for the 2/84, and then use Kaypro 2x media in it. You can also go full-boat, and get the KayPLUS ROM or TurboROM for it, which gives alot more options, especially the KayPLUS, since it's not a Kaypro 10. Most Kaypro 10's, unfortunately, will not work with the KaypLUS ROM, because the KayPLUS ROM looks for the old interface board between the mainboard and the WD1002 HD controller. There are very few K10's left in that configuration, because kaypro did free dealer upgrades to get those modified/replaced.


January 27th, 2008, 06:08 AM
I'm definitely considering the KayPlus EPROM upgrade now, although I'd have to track down some 2764 EPROMs (or just risk my only one, i suppose). Did I understand the datasheet right for the EPROMs that you just apply a normal TTL-level address and data byte to the chip, and then pulse 12-20 volts to the programming pin and the byte is stored? All of this is assuming it has been previously erased, of course. It looks like building a programmer would be fairly easy.

January 28th, 2008, 06:18 PM
Oh, one other thing.
If you DO upgrade it to DS/DD, you will NEED to get a DS/DD CP/M 2.2, as the CBIOS on the II/2's CP/M is set to SS/DD, so you'd be kinda screwed, unless you wanted to patch the CBIOS yourself, which would kinda' suck anyway.

No sense re-inventing the wheel!

If ya need a KayPLUS EPROM, lemme know, and I'll burn one off for ya.
prob just like $11 to cover the EPROM, shipping, the bubble-mailer, and PayPal. Round it up to $15 if ya want some different DS/DD Kaypro CP/M boot disks, and I'll gen up a few.

Did you ever tell what mainboard rev you have? I know you said you had an 81-292A, which is standard 2/84, 4/84, meaning all ya need is DS/DD drives, DS/DD boot media, and you're done.

However, if you have an 81-??? part number on your mainboard, we can narrow it down. It's usually silkscreened on the front edge of the mainboard, in the center or very right, usually.


January 28th, 2008, 07:46 PM
Interestingly enough, my mainboard says "ASSY 81-_____", and there is no number filled in. I definitely think I'll take you up on your ROM + CP/M offer =) I'll make it a cool $20 if you could track down a) basic interpreter or editor/C compiler (C compiler would be ideal), and/or b) some sort of serial file-transfer program so I could send files via null-modem cable =)

January 28th, 2008, 08:00 PM
Is the RAM on your board, front left and socketed?

As to the compiler, that's going to take alot of research on your part.
For example, here's some links for CP/M C Compiler downloads:

http://pag-per.servicam.com/migl/amstradpcw/c_compilers.html (CP/M-80 versions - CPM-68K is Motorola 68000-based)

I would still HIGHLY recommend a PC with a 5.25" floppy, so you can transfer back-and-forth. Serial comms is extremely slow
on those older systems, and is really not worth it. I never bothered, and I always have cables (straight and null modem) handy
for accessing my Altos terminal ports, tandy model 102, and EPROM burner usage. Never bothered to even hook it up. Beside the
fact that comm software was EXTREMELY machine specific, it's a pain.

bottom line: get a PC with at least one ISA slot, with room for a 5.25" floppy, get a 5.25" floppe, get an Adaptec 1542B/C/CF on eBay
(got mine for $12 shipped) and ya got a system that can do even single-density if needed!


January 28th, 2008, 08:06 PM
As far as I can tell. I believe there are 8 64k x 1 DRAM chips in sockets in the lower left corner. Has anyone here tried the 256kb mod? I read about it somewhere.

January 28th, 2008, 09:03 PM
OK - I think in my stash I have a 2/84.
After hacksawing a slot into a stripped philips case screw.....

1. Is the model number on yours, on the back panel 81-014?
2. Says "Kaypro 2" on the back, and side panels
3. ports on back, left to right: unlabelled rj11,J5 Parallel Port, J4 Serial Data, J3 Serial Printer Output, J2 keyboard"
4. Does your motherboard look like the attached picture?


January 29th, 2008, 03:57 AM
Yes, yes, yes and yes =)

January 29th, 2008, 08:36 AM
OK - lemme do a test this week with a DS/DD drive, and I'll tell you what transpired ;)


January 29th, 2008, 03:58 PM
Let me know how it goes. I only bought one of the double-sided drives, so I could actually use disks for either (can you mix and match those? Or do I need to pick up a 2nd 360kb drive?)

January 29th, 2008, 04:40 PM
OK - I just popped on the drive cage (1) DS/DD 5.25" floppy, set it to DS0, and it booted up off a DS/DD CP/M 2.2F diskette.

SO, it works, no hardware changes needed, not even the ROM.
Of course, the KayPLUS makes it work better, but it'll work as-is.

As to having 2 types, I think the CBIOS is set to have 2 of the same drives.
I don't think, unless you modify the CBIOS memory tables for the drives, that you can have different ones. Maybe the aftermarket ROMs have an option for that, but factory ROMs don't


January 29th, 2008, 05:05 PM
I can deal with that. I'm still interested in the disks + KayPLUS ROM, though.

January 29th, 2008, 05:24 PM
Well, I popped in a KayPLUS '84 ROM.
It looks like it will allow a DS/DD and a SS/DD.
First, using kpcnfg84.com to configure CP/M under the KayPLUS, you
set up the drives. Choices are:
5.25" SS/DS/QD
3.5" SS/DS

When you use their FORMAT.COM to format a floppy disk, you have to explicitly tell it details:
Drive letter
Brand (supports Osborne, Kaypro, Xerox, and 1 or 2 more)
Then it asks if it's a QD...then you tell it SS or DS...then entire disk or specify tracks...then it goes to town.

The KayPLUS ROM+CBIOS allows access to the other formats under normal operations, ie, you can be booted, pop in a SS/SD Osborne 1 disk, and do a DIR on it, and it'll work. I actually tried this on my 4/84, and it read that SS/SD Osborne1 CP/M boot disk!

Pretty nifty!

Haven't played with the TurboROM on it yet - I'll probably pop one in there and see how that is.


January 29th, 2008, 05:28 PM
Sweet! By "QD" do they mean 1.2 MB or 720 KB for the 5.25" drives? Also, any chance a normal (modern) 1.44mb 3.5" drive will work in 720kb mode?

January 29th, 2008, 06:30 PM
DS/QD is the 96tpi 720kb 5.25" floppies, like in a Tandy 2000, Altos 5 / 580, etc..
I would say a 1.4M 3.5" would work fine - trouble will be finding one that can have the drive select ID changeable!! Most are soldered on the pcboard. Should work fine, though, with 720kb media.

I stress DS/DD media, because using 1.44MB media as 720kb does not work well for long....


Terry Yager
January 29th, 2008, 07:58 PM
Kewl, even though I no longer own anything except the original K-II (and the Omni-II), having recently given away my last DS/DD K-1. It's still nice to know, as it's sum'n I've wondered about in the past, but never got around to testing. I just wasn't sure if the bootROM would 'see' both sides as a cylinder, or if CP/M 'lives' on only one side, or whatever. I do believe that modding the CBIOS for DS isn't that complicated, probably only requiring one byte to be changed.


January 29th, 2008, 09:19 PM
Not even necessary - just get the CP/M for the system that you basically "upgraded to." In the case of the 2/84, that would be a 2x or a 4/84.
There ya gots a nice, purdy CBIOS, already done, working, running, ready to go!



January 30th, 2008, 03:55 PM
So how should we make arrangements? I'm eager to boot this guy up.

January 30th, 2008, 07:44 PM
Let me get the stuff ready, and I'll drop ya a line.
Your 2/84 does have a 28-pin socket, right?
Right now, you should have a 24-pin EPROM in a 28-pin socket?
4 empty pinholes to the left, as you look into the front?


January 30th, 2008, 08:20 PM
yup. 24 pin EPROM in a 28 pin socket.

February 3rd, 2008, 12:00 PM
Any progress so far?

February 3rd, 2008, 04:46 PM
Yeah - I'm working on it ;)
I have 3 requests to fulfill, including yours.

So, to sum up, you want:

1) KayPLUS '84 ROM
2) KayPLUS-prepped DS/DD boot disk with KayPLUS Utilities
3) Standard Kaypro DS/DD boot disk with CP/M utilities



February 3rd, 2008, 07:22 PM
...See my new thread entitled "Calling all original media owners"

Frustrating, really....


February 4th, 2008, 09:06 PM
As I suspected, from playing with it on my K10....

I have a working setup, but for the TurboROM.
It's working on my 2/84 and 4/84, so it should work with yours, as well.

let me know if this is OK.

TurboROM is not TOO much different - most of the same features, anyway.
I made a disk, with all the TurboROM tools, bootable with a 56K TPA. You use that to gen higher TPA system images.

I also made a 2nd disk, boots a 62K system image, and has all CP/M utilities and SBasic on it. This one also has TURBOCFG.COM to configure TurboBIOS settings on the system track.

Basically, you gen a new size TPA under TurboBIOS, by using the TurboDisk:
1) run PEEK.COM to see max TpA size on your system (ie, 63.00K)
2) ran MOVTURBO 63.00 (result from PEEK.COM saying max size)
3) TURBOGEN TURB6300.SYS (line 2 autosaves with 4-digit TPA size)
4) Asks what drive to dump to (a or b)

Make SURE you write-protect the originals, and make copies of them!
Just put a blank disk in B:, boot the 62K disk, run MFDISK.
Select (f), and then b format disk. Format a second one, while you're at it.
exit out, boot the 56k installed, run TURBOGEN TURBxxxx.sys (yours) and dump it on the b. Allows doing it again, and again. When done, exit.
if at A0>, do pip b:=a:*.*[OV] to dump all to b: - label that one the TurboDisk.

Boot the 62k TPA disk, swap the 2nd formatted disk into b:, and at the A0> prompt, do as above - pip b:=a:*.*[OV] to copy the whole disk to b:
Label that one whatever you like, but that will be your boot disk, with Max TPA size system image.