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Gary C

Piles of computers

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Exciting month

Daver2 arranged for some equipment from work to be picked up from the station by various interested parties. Arrived at the building to see a pile of DEC equipment (apparently it was much bigger earlier).
Took home a Microvax3300 and a microvax II. Maybe this time I wont blow up the PSU on the 3300 (labelled 240V, actually 110V) and then I can use it to diagnose the first unit and eventually have two working 3300's.

Last week met PG31 who had three Alpha machines for me plus a VT420. Rather an interesting pile is now keeping my 911 company in its garage.

The MZ-80K has been taking up most of my time recently. The faults have been PSU caps and a corroded track on the floppy interface card that was hidden under a chip. Fun time diagnosing and fixing it and it was good to have to use the tools I have been building up over the year. This to me is what it is all about.
As it presents a Shugart 34 pin interface, attaching a Gotek has been really easy. The flashfloppy software is actually really good and very flexible. Being able to define a custom geometry was really useful but I was surprised that there was virtually no information on the web about using a Gotek with an MZ80K. I suppose the disk drives were fairly rare (as they cost more than the computer to add) and I now think I was VERY lucky to secure an I/O unit with the disk and printer interface for my machine, especially for less than 30 (it failed to sell first time round on ebay and I was the only bidder second time around). Just wish I could find a matching drive box as I dont know were to mount the gotek. I might put it inside the I/O unit with a custom made side panel.

Fortunately, the software on tape is easily converted to disk by loading a masterboot program into the computer first which then handles the formatting of the disk and the copying of the program.

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