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Thread: New Acquisition from VCF Midwest - Ferguson Big Board!

  1. #1

    Default New Acquisition from VCF Midwest - Ferguson Big Board!

    Well, I've finally found a Ferguson Big Board. Not the II, but the original one. I just downloaded the original documents and plan to get this fully up and running with an ASCII keyboard, and a Shugart SA-800 drive (if I can find one).

    Anybody have a drive or the CP/M for the Ferguson?

    I'll try and document the revival of this board. I want to mount it in a custom wood case too.

    Vince
    Briel Computers
    retro hobby kits
    http://www.brielcomputers.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Saginaw, MI, USA 48601
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    Default

    Don't hold out on us, Vince...where's the pix?

    --T
    Teach your children how to think, not what, and hold 'em close, not tight.
    _____________________________________________

    Please visit the Vintage-Computer Wiki. Contributers welcome.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    South Florida
    Posts
    1,640

    Default

    Dave Dunfield's got a few disk images in IMD format on his site.

    I KNOW you've been there already, but...

    Go to:
    http://www.classiccmp.org/dunfield/img/index.htm

    Scroll down to System / Install disks
    then search for Furguson <sic?>


    T

  4. #4

    Default

    Shark,

    Thanks! It's been home less than 1 day and already I've got the disk images now and the manuals and schematics from here:

    http://www.dtweed.com/docs/

    Now, I need to find either an 8" drive or if the ferguson can handle a 5 1/4" with some easy mod. I guess first I should connect it to a power supply, monitor and keyboard to make sure it works!

    Vince
    Briel Computers
    retro hobby kits
    http://www.brielcomputers.com

  5. #5

    Default

    Ok, here's some pictures of the board, not good but I was in a hurry.

    Vince
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Briel Computers
    retro hobby kits
    http://www.brielcomputers.com

  6. #6

    Default

    IT WORKS! Yeah. Took some work, reseating chips, reading the manuals but I got the monitor to come up. Next I'll wire a ASCII keyboard up and play around in the monitor.

    Vince
    Briel Computers
    retro hobby kits
    http://www.brielcomputers.com

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by vbriel View Post
    IT WORKS! Yeah. Took some work, reseating chips, reading the manuals but I got the monitor to come up. Next I'll wire a ASCII keyboard up and play around in the monitor.

    Vince
    Hi Vince,

    I have a Kaypro II motherboard which I think is a fairly close copy of the FBB. One thing I have been wondering is if the video output of the Kaypro II board can be attached to a regular VGA monitor. The video connector has HSYNC, VSYNC, and VIDEO signals which appear to be standard TTL levels.

    Any ideas? Thanks!

    Andrew Lynch

  8. #8

    Default

    Well, maybe, it has separate signals for monitors that may require it. From what I have read, Kaypro copied most of the Ferguson board. I wish the drive and disks were compatible! I have much more work to do to get this fully operational with CP/M but I want to document the process of taking it from a cardboard box to a full system!

    Here's what the PFM 3.3 monitor looks like when it comes up. Sorry for the bad picture quality.

    Vince
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Briel Computers
    retro hobby kits
    http://www.brielcomputers.com

  9. #9

    Default

    Well, after doing some work and sending out emails I've found that the 5.25" HD drives work identical to 8" drives except the 5.25" drives have 3 more tracks available. Therefore according to Dave Dunfield I should be able to wire up a 5.25" drive in the 8" connector and be able to load bigboard CP/M images from his site right onto the 5.25" drive!

    I'm going to try this this weekend. I can't believe a have 20 cases of SD/DD disks but NO HD disks. All my vintage machines use DD disks and high density won't work in them.

    Getting the OS to boot will probably be the biggest hurdle. Once it boots, I will begin constructing a case for the Ferguson.

    Vince
    Briel Computers
    retro hobby kits
    http://www.brielcomputers.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    South Florida
    Posts
    1,640

    Default

    Vince,

    5.25" DS/HD 1.2MB media is pretty cheap on fleaBay, simply because noone really needs/wants it. If it's for an AT+, they'd rather use 1.44, and older than that, was pretty much DS/DD. You can find tons of those cheap!

    I MIGHT have a box i can send ya, because I really have no need for it at present, but I can;t send it until probably Tuesday.

    T

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