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Thread: Powertran Cortex

  1. #461
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    Wow, this is some really great stuff.

    I would be very interested in trying to resurrect as much of the software as possible. Particularly, NOS would be very an interesting project and a superb contribution to the 'suite' that's been put together so far. Be time consuming though...

    I would love the M9900 due to it's significance in my life (well that's just my opinion of course!) and I suspect I would need to use it as a foundation for some of the software restoration. Getting it going would be quite the task, but some of the equipment I work with is older than this system(!), so massive linear power supplies and 8" drives along their associated spares are within easy reach.

    I suppose when the time comes that I've rescued as much as possible, my ultimate goal would be upgrade my emulator (or create another) with the features/functionality of the M9900. Then, if he's up for it, I would like to pass the hardware on to Jim F as he's obviously been after one of these for as long as I've had a Cortex in my life. At least it would be the right side of the Pond if/when the time comes!

    Dave.

  2. #462
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    Jul 2009
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    Southampton, UK
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    An update to the hardware list, and comments on things so far.

    ----------

    Found a few more bits of hardware in with some documentation. I've added it to the original hardware list above, and is:

    -- 1 off populated MPE FD/WD Iss. A board (with some components and hard wiring on the back).

    -- 1 off MPE 9950 CPU-E TMS9995 Iss. 3 processor board. All chips fitted. Forth EPROM. Two flying leads for RS-232 connections. 8K RAM, 8K ROM.

    -- 1 off bare MPE 9950 CPU-E TMS9995 Iss. 3 processor board.

    Photo: http://stuartconnerdownloads.me.uk/~...f/DSCF0283.JPG

    I'll give Jim F first refusal on the TMS9995 board, since he showed interest in the earlier one. Looks like we have full documentation, plus the PAL programming terms.

    ----------

    The MPE FD/WD boards - if they are just buffers and decoding, they might be a useful basis for an IDE interface, which is little more than a memory mapped port. I've got one on my TM990 system along with a disk operating system which is patched into Cortex BASIC and lets you save/load programs. Should port across to the Cortex easily.

    ----------

    Jim H - your sheet fed scanner - is it labour intensive to use, or can you just start it going and wander off? Lots of the documentation is individual sheets of fan fold paper which might scan easily. [I can also scan through the MFD printer at work - I'll have to investigate it properly.]

    ----------

    Floppy drives for the Mk 1 Cortex. Thanks for the offers of drive for this. I've actually got a pair of drives that I got for my 4A that should work with this. Both a double-sided, but on one, one head is faulty and it will only work single-sided (fortunately the working head is that fitted to normal single-sided drives). I've just got a pair of cased 1/2 height ex-BBC Micro drives to use with my Cortex board and 4A.

    ----------

    The board with the dual 9901s is in one of the ETI articles says Jim F. I thought I recognised it! Jim, there are front and back photos below. If you need them under different lighting conditions to be able to see the traces, let me know.

    http://stuartconnerdownloads.me.uk/~...f/DSCF0285.JPG
    http://stuartconnerdownloads.me.uk/~...f/DSCF0286.JPG

    Stuart.

  3. #463
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    Near Hindhead, Hampshire. UK
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    "Jim H - your sheet fed scanner - is it labour intensive to use, or can you just start it going and wander off? Lots of the documentation is individual sheets of fan fold paper which might scan easily. [I can also scan through the MFD printer at work - I'll have to investigate it properly."

    You can load up about 100 pages A4 and then leave it.
    It will scan double sided but it's actually quicker to scan all of one side, then all of the other side and use a program to merge the pages, I use a program that handles all that and saves as a PDF.

    Jim

  4. #464
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    Aug 2011
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    Near Hindhead, Hampshire. UK
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    I've got a GAL programmer and various GAL's as well.
    It's quite a while since I played with them, can you read from them to copy one ?

    Jim

  5. #465
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hearne View Post
    I've got a GAL programmer and various GAL's as well.
    It's quite a while since I played with them, can you read from them to copy one ?

    Jim
    It's been my experience that the small scale devices can be copied. The larger scale CPLD's usually include a Security Bit where the device reads as blank but functions as designed. With these, the only course of action is to erase them to use them again. However, given the vintage and size of these devices, they should be OK.

    Dave.

  6. #466
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    Having just re-read all that's been happening today (again, wow!), I'm curious if there are any disks for the PP95. As it stands, I doubt it was used with just Cortex Basic/CDOS. MDEX also looks doubtful because I don't recall ever seeing any Memory Management or Hard Disk drivers in the Sysgen disks, so I'm thinking it must have been rocking NOS...

    Yummy!

    D.

  7. #467
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    Jul 2009
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    Southampton, UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by tms9995 View Post
    Having just re-read all that's been happening today (again, wow!), I'm curious if there are any disks for the PP95. As it stands, I doubt it was used with just Cortex Basic/CDOS. MDEX also looks doubtful because I don't recall ever seeing any Memory Management or Hard Disk drivers in the Sysgen disks, so I'm thinking it must have been rocking NOS...

    Yummy!

    D.
    Spoiler: three of the (many) disks are "TX NOS Pascal disks 1/2/3". I need to scan the TMX9909 manual then the next task is to catalogue the disk labels.

    Dave - I've sent you a PM regarding shipping the M9900 box. No rush, but need to investigate the options.

    Stuart.

  8. #468
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    Jun 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart View Post
    Spoiler: three of the (many) disks are "TX NOS Pascal disks 1/2/3". I need to scan the TMX9909 manual then the next task is to catalogue the disk labels.

    Dave - I've sent you a PM regarding shipping the M9900 box. No rush, but need to investigate the options.

    Stuart.
    I just replied via email. Hope you got it.

    Dave.

  9. #469

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    I am definitely interested in the following items:

    -- 1 off populated MPE FD/WD Iss. A board (with some components and hard wiring on the back).

    -- 1 off MPE 9950 CPU-E TMS9995 Iss. 3 processor board. All chips fitted. Forth EPROM. Two flying leads for RS-232 connections. 8K RAM, 8K ROM.

    A copy of the documentation would be good here too (electronic or paper, assuming you want to keep the originals)

    On the Winchester controller, I seem to remember that board is a SASI controller. I'll have to compare it to the ones used in the SASI controller I have for my TI -99/4A to be sure though.

    The pix are perfect. It is definitely the 9901 board from the ETI magazine article. I'll use these to update my layout and do a short run of five or six of them (more if anyone else is interested in one). Yours doesn't have the joystick connectors fitted, but they might come in handy if you plan on porting anymore game software!

  10. #470
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    Aug 2011
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    Near Hindhead, Hampshire. UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart View Post
    I need to scan the TMX9909 manual
    That's what I meant to check for on my home pc last night and forgot.
    I'm sure I already have a scanned copy of the TMX9909 manual, might have come from Jim H ?

    Jim

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