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Thread: Unknown device

  1. #1

    Default Unknown device

    Does anyone know what this device is?



    I suspect it's some kind of trainer or programmer. Here is a large pic of the board.




    Other details are:

    * Main CPU is a 1802
    * The EPROM is the 1802 monitor
    * There is an F key on the keyboard which will lock itself down, bit like a caps lock

    Seems to work although lifting up the keyboard reveals two wires which have come away from their solder pads. I have no idea where they should go?

    Tez
    ------------------------------------------------
    My vintage collection: https://classic-computers.org.nz/collection/
    My vintage activities blog: https://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/
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  2. #2
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    1984 is a bit late in the history of the COP1802 training kits of this type. On the surface, it looks like someone's interpretation of the COSMAC ELF.

    What's perplexing is the mix of standard 74xx series logic with 74LSxxx logic.

  3. #3

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    Thanks Chuck,

    I've now dug around a little and know more about the microprocessor and it's history. Yes, I suspect a design based on the ELF.

    I'd love to find out who sold the board and what the primary purpose was. It has "Lang 1984" and the words "Commander" on the board. 1984 seems to me to be a bit late to sell these kind of general computer kits, when you could buy a C64 off the shelf. It has lots of connectors with tantalising lables like "BURNROM", READROM and RUNROM.

    Do you think it could have been connected to an EPROM burner or at least had another piece of gear to accompany it?

    Tez
    Last edited by tezza; December 10th, 2011 at 11:27 AM.
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    My vintage collection: https://classic-computers.org.nz/collection/
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  4. #4
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    While it may (with the addition of a +25 volt Vpp supply) be able to program an EPROM, I don't think that programming is this thing's primary purpose.

    Take a look at the PCB. While it does appear to have a solder mask, note that the vias are jumpered with short pieces of wire and that component holes use "rivets", rather than plated-through holes and vias that a professional PCB would have.

    This may be a one-off.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by tezza View Post
    I'd love to find out who sold the board and what the primary purpose was. It has "Lang 1984" and the words "Commander" on the board. 1984 seems to me to be a bit late to sell these kind of general computer kits, when you could buy a C64 off the shelf. It has lots of connectors with tantalising lables like "BURNROM", READROM and RUNROM.
    Those "connectors" actually look more like some sort of programming/option jumpers; what happens when you move the existing one?

    I'm with Chuck; looks like a custom homebrew ELF.

    Have fun with it!

  6. #6

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    Hmmm….I’d be inclined to agree with you EXCEPT…

    An acquaintance unearted a PDF which described the MCL, a precision positioning system. This was produced by the German firm LANG GMBH & Co.

    What it intriguing is this sentence on page 2 which reads…

    Interfacing the MCL with the LANG Commander
    The LANG Commander is used as a console device for MCL/MCC positioning systems. Supply voltage for the Commander is 19VDC, not regulated. The voltage is applied to pin 1 of the RS232 interface connector by Jumper J7 inside the MCL.
    This voltage is applied by a jumper to pin 1, if a terminal was supplied with the controller.
    MCL – 2 jumper (bridge) 19 from board no. 070192
    MCL – 3 jumper (bridge) 12 from board no. 070592

    If using the LANG Commander , please be sure to use genuine interface cables supplied by LANG only.”

    This is the only reference to the LANG Commander in the document. However the circuit board of this ELF –like machine has the words “LANG 1984”, then “Commander” at the bottom centre of the circuit board?

    The jury is still out as the document seems to be 1997 and this machine of mine is 1984. It does say “LANG 1984” and Commander though? An early version made by LANG GMBH & Co. ? Circuit board only maybe, or a kit?

    @Mike: Gotta figure out what it's saying to me first Mike, before I can make any sense of the numbers.

    Tez
    Last edited by tezza; December 10th, 2011 at 06:16 PM.
    ------------------------------------------------
    My vintage collection: https://classic-computers.org.nz/collection/
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  7. #7
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    Not sure what it is, but Lang GMBH is still in business, might want to write a few emails:

    http://www.langcomputer.de/

    Very neat board, and it looks like maybe somebody took some excess or unused parts from Lang and made their own something or other. Learning about it is half the fun!!
    The ancients knew *more* than us...
    http://www.legendarytimes.com/forum/index.php They're baaaack!

    Come and see http://www.gamegavel.com for all your gaming needs! We have Zero-ohm resistors!

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    @Nathan: nice thought, but this Lang Computer appears to be a local retail store. Doesn't appear to make a thing.

    @Tezz: Nope, not the same thing at all, just a coincidence. But I should explain myself. Let's look at the board and see what it can--and can't do.

    Up at the top, we have the display. Three hex digits for address, two for data. So it can access up to 4KB, no more. You have the LED latch/decoder/drivers; I can't make out the part number, but they're probably Fairchild 9368, which have the unusual property that they'll display A-F as well as 0-9. Below that we see a 74LS174, hex flip-flop, which looks as if it's used to latch the 6 high-order bits of the address for PROM/RAM access.

    We next have in the center of the board, an EPROM; probably a 2716. toward the left, we have a CDP1852 8-bit I/O port connected to an 8-position DIP switch.

    Back all the way over to left, we have a terminal with a PCB legend that says +25. That's the EPROM Vpp--and the resistor and LED tell us that it's applied. We have a mass of jumper headers and a couple of terminals labeled for battery. The jumpers appear to configure the setup for `1 SRAM, or 2 SRAM (with one being in the EPROM socket). Burning, reading/verifying and executing from the EPROM seem to be other jumper settings.

    Note the 2KB 6116 SRAM on left has two diodes. This is likely to allow a battery to be used to keep the SRAM contents alive while the unit is powered off. Note that below the 6116, we have a 74LS244 octal transceiver for both the RAM and PROM data bus. Below the COP1852, you see a transistor (probably something like a 2N2222), an LED, a relay and a jumper to select between the two. So you can blink an LED or activate a relay, whose contacts are rated at 1A (I assume that's what the legend means by the connector.) I'm not sure that the 3-pin connector above the relay does, but a little tracing should tell us.

    Below the SRAM and transceiver we have the COP1802 CPU. Over to the left, we have what appears to be an oscillator using a 74LS132 quad Schmitt trigger with some jumpers to select the frequency. There's a 7473 (with a date code of 1974!) dual J-K flip-flop that's probably used as a divider. The mass of ICs around the 74150 16-bit multiplexer and the 74150 itself appear to be keypad-related. The slide switch labeled "RAM PROTECT" appears to disable writes to the SRAM.

    So there you have it--a simple trainer. No serial I/O of any sort--and, in fact, other than the relay and LED displays and keyboard, no other I/O of any sort

    It's possible that someone from the Yahoo Cosmac ELF Group may recognize this thing.
    Last edited by Chuck(G); December 10th, 2011 at 08:36 PM.

  9. #9

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    Many thanks for taking the time to type out that analysis Chuck.

    I will check with that group you mention but at least I know what it is now. The fact that it the board says "Commander" and has Lang 1984 stamped on it does seem pretty coincidental. It's not beyond chance that Lang GMBH & Co did bring out a trainer in the early days and that they used the name "Commander" for later consoles. I might make enquires anyway. Half the fun is finding these things out.

    Thanks again,

    Tez
    ------------------------------------------------
    My vintage collection: https://classic-computers.org.nz/collection/
    My vintage activities blog: https://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/
    Twitter: @classiccomputNZ ; YouTube Videos: (click here)


  10. #10
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    Box it and send it to me Tezza! I'll give it a good home... I have this thing for trainers. Finally got a SDK-86!
    *FrankG*

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