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Thread: Understanding CP/M...

  1. #11
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    Hello, ETV 250 is almost the same as ETV 240. ETV 240 is ROM based, but one can add floppys for saving text documents, the disk format is the same. ETV 250 can not boot CP/M from ROM, when you switch it on, it requests for a boot disk.

  2. #12
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    DU.COM is to connect a "DU 251" external 5,25 inch floppy drive through the LCU (serial port). When I run du.com, I get an additional drive G: but when executing any command with it (dir g: ) I get an bdos error as the drive is not available.

    The "DU 251" drive was used to read diskettes from "ETV 300" wordprocessor system, from "ET 351" typewriter and from "DU 116" floppy drive. DU 116 and DU 251 is the same drive, but different ROMs. DU 116 was used for the ET 225, ET 115 and ET 116 office typewriters as an option. So the ETV 250 with DU 251 was able to read/write 5,25 disks from ET 115, ET 116, ET 225, ET 351 and ETV 300. And MS-DOS based ETV 260, ETV 500 & ETV 2700 (see mine here), the successors of ETV 240/250, are able to read the text documents from CP/M formatted diskettes of ETV 240/250/350.

    Some notes to Olivetti ET and ETV machines
    - So over the different machines there was a complete upgrade path for documnets from the high end office typewriters from 1982 to at least 1989 when ETV 2700 was introduced. ETV 260/2700 also could export their documents to standard ASCII text format, so even recycling of the documents towards real PCs was possible.
    - There were also some external upgrade boxes for some Olivetti office typewriters to extend them to wordprocessor functionality. They always were attached by optional serial interface to the typewriters and used to have an monochrome monitor, standing ontop of the box, or system integrated into the monitor (ETV 2900).
    --- ETS 1010 and ETS 2010, Intel 80186 based, storiaolivetti website says "Unix like OS", forum here says CP/M86 - I don't know, I didn't had to do with that. The ETS were not developements of Olivetti, Olivetti bought a part of the US company which developed them as could be read on storiaolivetti. The ETS were very expensive und looked very ugly, so ETV series was designed as "lower cost" and nicer Mario Bellini design, but still more expensive than a usual PC+printer
    --- ETV 300, same functionality as ETV 250, but PC like box with 1 or 2 5,25 inch single sides 160 kB drives, used for ET 225, ET 111, ET 112, ET 115, ET 116. The ETV 300 was the first ETV system.
    --- ETV 350, same functionality as ETV 250, but PC like box with 1 or 2 3,5 inch single sided 320 kB drives, used also for the same office typewriters (not many were sold, the clients prefered ETV 240/250)
    --- ETV 500, same functionality as ETV 260 (in fact the ETV 500 was just an M19 personal computer running MS-DOS), with 2x 3,5 inch 720 kB floppys, could be attached to ET 112, 116 and maybe others (don't remember, this machine was ultra rare)
    --- ETV 2900, same functionality as ETV 2700, with with 2x 3,5 inch 720 kB floppys, could be attached to ET 2xx0 last generation Olivetti office typewrites.
    - According to manual ETV 2700 (so also ET 2900, probably also ETV 260 and ETV 500) are able to read the following formats: ETV 240/250/350, ETV 210s, CWP-1, (maybe also TOP 100 and Linea 802 home typewriters (mini-wordprocessors with 80x10 characters LCD and 1x 720 kB floppy)
    - There also was a ETV 4000s from 1991 as successor of ETV 2700, but I don't know much about that, from pictures I saw that it has a mouse and a handscanner). Once in an online shop I also saw carbon ribbons which were labled as compatible with ET 2xxx series, ETV 2700/2900 and ETV 5000. I don't know anything about ETV 5000.
    - Basically ETV 240/250 and 260 are using the same printer mechanics as ET 109,110,111,112,115,116 typewriters, but some details are different (step motors versus encoder attached DC motors, printing speed varies between 15 and 30 cps, some sensors, different linefeed motos, width of the printer (10",11",...,17"). ETV 2700 and probably ETV 4000s are using the same printer as ET 2xxx series typewriters. ETV 210s was 2 lines LCD based with thermo transfer printer from IBM. CWP-1 was using thermo transfer or dot matrix printer, I don't remember for it anymore). ET 101,201,221,225,231,351 were first generation Olivetti ET series office typewriters all using allmost the same printer mechanics based on encoder attached DC motors. On that series there was no fully integrated ETV system like ETV 250, just Et 351 with up to two fullsize 80 kB floppys and single line flouroscence display came a bit close to the idea of the ETV systems.
    - Yesterday I did look a bit arround for competition, there was not much. Olympia ETX was something similar to ETV 300/350. IBM 6788 was similar to ETV 250 but using Wordstar CP/M version as software.
    Last edited by 1ST1; December 8th, 2014 at 08:03 AM.

  3. #13

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    ETV300 Need HELP.
    I just have a ETV300 monitor and computer box without its keyboard in my storage from some days.
    I not know anything on this machine, but i have also 3 cp/m boot diskettes with word program also.
    From where i could start? Where to find documetation? Schematics? may i connect a standard parallel keyboard to try the computer?
    Thanks for any suggestion or internet link.
    Best
    Enrico - Pisa - ITALY

  4. #14
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    Hello Enrico, there is no special separated keyboard for the ETV 300. (Same for ETV 350, ETV 500 and ETV 2900) You need an Olivetti ET series typewriter with optional "Line Communication Unit" (LCU). The LCU is a module which can be plugged into the typewriter at the rear side in the bottom which adds serial and/or parallel ports to the typewriter. The typewriter acts as the keyboard and printer to the ETV 300, the connection is over the RS232/V24 interface. And even not every LCU has the correct software inside to communicate with the ETV 300. There are LCUs for use with ETV, for Telex, for use the typewriter as a printer for PC and to attach external floppy drive "DU 116" or "DU 251" to the typewriter. For a series of different ET series typewriters there were different LCU and per ET series model there was one out of 3 or 4 different LCU which is compatible to the ETV 300. Some of the typewriters also required EPROM updates to support the LCU. This is quite complicated... The follwoing ET series typewriters can be used with ETV 300 if they have the correct LCU: ET 225, ET 110, ET 111, ET 112, ET 115, ET 116. (maybe also ET 121, ET 221, ET 231, but i don't remember, so not sure about this. ET 101, ET 201 and ET 351 can not be used. Definitely not useable with ETV 300: ET 2000 series - here you can attach MS-DOS based ETV 2900 if you have the correct LCU.)

    Tipp: Try to remember from where you got that ETV 300 and check if there is also the matching typewriter which has been used with that ETV 300.

    Otherwise it will be almost impossible to get a working combination of ETV 300/350 and ET series typewriter. I have several ET series typewriters, but none of them has an LCU. I also have technical manuals for most of the ET and ETV series machines (but not for ETV 300).
    Last edited by 1ST1; January 30th, 2015 at 01:39 PM.

  5. #15

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    Thanks for your precious suggestions.
    About ET351: it recovered in my store from more than 1 year. I wish to know more as possible on it before turn it on.
    About ETV300: a public company had it in its building under the roof. I saw it there almost 2 years ago, but i bring it just the last week. I not seen the typewriter and from other your specifications i read over internet on olivetti things i though to connect a serial port of a pc to the serial port of the etv300 emulating the typewriter. it seems reading your info that this could not possible. I could not bring the typewriter so in this case i could not make the etv300 working. is it so?
    About the software i can send them asap to you in imd format.
    It seems that there are not much documentation on those old italian machine over the internet.
    I think that this is very strange (i know that in 1985 internet was not so popuolar!!! ) and I'm a bit sad for this.
    DO you know a way to help me?
    Enrico

  6. #16
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    Emulating the typewriter over serial interface of a PC could be an idea. Have you tryed if the ETV boots from it's diskette and does the monitor work? If yes you can try to plug it to a pc and start a terminal program and try different settings for speed and handshake. I think it should not be faster than 9600 baud and it uses hardware handshake. I think in some of the service manuals for those typewriters I have there is the pinout of the necessary serial cable to connect the LCU to the ETV, I can check and make a quick scan, that should help you to make a working serial cable for PC. And then you have to find out how they communicate together, it's not only ascii what goes over there, Olitext MWP wordprocessing software supports text attributes and other control sequences to be sent from the typewriter to the ETV and back. One important for you whould be the EXIT key of the typewriter to be able to escape from autostarting Olitext MWP to the CP/M command prompt. Maybe that follows a standard, like Diabolo 630 daisywheel printer escape sequences, or VT52 terminal, or whatever proprietary, you have to find out that. Anyhow you should return to that company and ask them if they may still have the typewriter somewhere, that would make things easier. If they still would have several, take all of them (at least one of every type), they all are worth for preservation, they are well designed machines of high quality and outstanding design by Hans von Klier, Mario Bellini, Ettore Sottsass and other big names of european product design scene. (Olivetti was a design trend setter like Braun in it's time and Apple by today)

    You are right, there is not much on Olivetti systems on Internet at all, except for M24 PC there are some ressources (if you know that it was sold in the US as AT&T 6300 and Xerox 6060). I am very happy that I kept a lot of service manuals as these machines now come back to me as a hobby. I have service manuals of almost any ET series typewriters (except of ET 101, 201, 121, 231, also the collection of ET 2000 series manuals is not complete and no ETV 300, 350, 2700, 2900, 4000), some Praxis electronic typewriters, mechanical manuals for Lexikon, Tekne and Editor series, I have pocket guides for all personal computers beginning with M24 up to 1992, pocket guide for monitors and magnetic/optic drives of these PC, the whole "Theory of Operations" and service manual folder of LSX 5020 80486-EISA workstation. I already thought if it would make sense to contact storia/fondatione olivetti and the museum in Ivrea to cowork with them to bring as much as possible online for everyone who is interested in restaurating their historic products. Not decided yet.

    For your ET 351 the most important is that you remove the NVRAM battery of the system board and clean out the battery liquid leaked out as this is very agressive to the boards. It's even possible that this battery liquid eats away the copper interconnects of the boards so you might have to restore them. You should hurry up with that, To make the ET 351 working you must place a new battery of same voltage (should be 3,6V) and type (nicd) (don't use nimh or other modern type, I am afraid that their loading current is too high for the loading circuit of the base board), because during auto diagnostics after power on the Et 351 and most other ET series typewriters are checking the battery voltage and that would give a failure and diagnostics stops. Then clean the mechanics from dust, dryed out grease and oil and make sure that all mechanics moves easy. A bit of oil on the rails of the print head is important! Write down also all the cables comming from the mechanics, power supply, floppy drives etc to the base board that if you have to disconnect them that you don't mix up after reassembling, that could damage the electronics if you put the wrong cable to the wrong pins (there are for example several 2 pim cables which could be mixed up). If you have done all of this, you can try to power on. As long you don't need olivetti specific spareparts it should be possible to restore it to working condition. (and there might be still even some service companies which still store olivetti specific spareparts, specially in Italy. Also the Olivetti museum in Ivrea might be good for help) I can provide you the service manual for Et 351, but mine is in german language, and I have to digitize it first.

    I have sent you a private message for excchanging files and so on.
    Last edited by 1ST1; February 1st, 2015 at 12:13 AM.

  7. #17

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    ETV300

    The document is intended as a description of the hardware units in 1983.

    The case is very similar to a classic pc deskot modern. Its front presenting a drive 5.25", a led power indicator and a reset button. On the back there is a power switch at its side there is a grip for the input of 220Vac. There is a 9-pin female cannon connector with power and signal for monochrome external CRT monitor, a parallel port and a serial port RS-232 standard both attested on a cannon 25-pin female. They are distinct one from the another for a pin present on the outside of the connector positioned differently in order to prevent a cable is inserted in place of the serial to parallel and viceversa.

    The internal power supply has a 220Vac input and a connector for output DC voltages. A little printed circuit board connected to 220Vac hosts connections for internal power supplies: two connectors for power cables floppy drive, along with connectors for power the main pcb and an additional connector for a small PCB whose output connector has a power cable connector to CRT.

    The main pcb OLIVETTI XS AB RL13LC has three card edge 25 + 25 connectors and a male one always with 25 + 25 contacts for further extensions. The quartz for the clock is 8MHz. It has a Z80 CPU, a CTC Z80, 2 eprom 2716, a 64KB (8x4164) memory bank, one Z80 PIO and one Z80DART. Above the Z80DART there is a small PCB with chip SN75188 / 89 which convert signals from TTL to RS232 standard. The signals wired on cannon 25-pin female are pins: 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,12,13 and 20. The parallel port has the following pin wired: 1,2,4 , 5,6,7,8,9,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22. On the main board near the power connector there is a 4-pin DIP switch to configure the likely presence or absence of additional cards in the slots.

    The monochrome video card produced by FACE teleinformatica reports the code XSCRTC LSRL02 and it has a chip TMS9937NL, two DRAM 6116, a chip CRT8002 and an EPROM 2732. the video output is taken via a chip SN7486 known to allow reverse sync signals appropriately managed through separate a dip switch 4 pin and a jumper to 2 positions. The connector has the 1,3,5,7 grounded and signals are present separate sync and video signals on pins 2,4,6,8.

    The board FDC produced by FACE teleinformatica si reports the code XSMFDC LS RL01 and it has a chip Z80 PIO, a WD1793 and a standard 34-pin connector for flat cables for floppy disk drive.

    The floppy drive is a FDD2124AM2 the ALPS with formatted capacity of 180KByte (SS / DD
    ?)

    MANUFACTURER MODEL NO. WDTH. HGT. UNFMT'D FORMT'D RPM
    ALPS ELEC. FDD2124 5.25 HALF 250KB 180KB 300

    The flat cable is modified: all pins except the following are given straight from IDC female connector to the two card edge connectors female:

    IDC pin 1 --- pin 1 of 1st card edge
    IDC pin 3 --- pin 1 of the 2nd card edge
    IDC pin 15 --- pin16 of the 2nd card edge


    Power Connector pins

    Black to pin 4 of SN74121
    white GND
    Blue + 12Vdc
    white GND
    white GND
    Red + 5Vdc
    Red + 5Vdc
    white GND
    Green to contact A21 connector BUS
    orange -12Vdc

    Pics here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/bn77ji4ip...1cd2-PJQa?dl=0



    1st turn on

    Disconnected connector between power supply and the main board and also disconnected the floppy drive. With voltmeter between the red (+ 5vdc) and white (GND) it dysplayed for a moment after which the power supply + 6,4Vdc then making a clicking sound and the voltmeter displays 0Volt flashing .

    What I have to do?

    Enrico
    Last edited by enrico; February 1st, 2015 at 01:12 PM.

  8. #18
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    These early switching power supplys don't supprt to power up without a load. Some just switch off, some get damaged from that. So be carefull. When you want to thest the power supply without risking that a damaged power supply would destroy the computer's electronic with too high voltages, then attach low resistance resistors to the power supply. Generate a load of - let's say 2A on 5V and 1A on 12V - R=U/I, P=U*I R=5V/2A = 2,5 ohms, P = 5V*2A = 10 Watt ; R=12V/1A=12 Ohm, P=12V*1A=12 Watt - that is the both resistors you should connect to the power supply when testing. Be carefull, these resistors are getting quick very hot.

  9. #19

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    I learned now. i attached a car lamp 12V 55W on the +12vdc line so the power supply is good.
    i hope to connect the crt monitor to the 9pin cannon connector tomorrow to see something on the screen.
    and then to try to understand if the rs232 works like a DTE or DCE side.
    Do you think that the ETV300 waits for something from the rs232 to works?

    Enrico

  10. #20
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    Hello, this is a good question. I don't know if she is waiting for some signal/message from the LCU to boot, you have to try it (or disassemble the BIOS code & analyze). I think with DTE DCE you are on a good way. This evening I search the cable pinout, I think that would help you.

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