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Thread: Who knows something about the old NEC PC-6001A around here?

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  1. #1

    Default Who knows something about the old NEC PC-6001A around here?

    Hi Everyone,

    It was my first computer when I was 12. I got one from eBay, but it has issues with the power board that turns the transformer output into DC. I think I can work on it though.

    Does anyone have one of these? I'd love to get a 16K ram expansion board for it (or build an equivalent).'

    Thanks,

    Alan

  2. #2

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    Well, it took some work, but I got it running well now! The power board had a shorted diode causing it to pull 2.5A @ 120VAC. This in turn blew a fuse that I didn't at first see. Once I replaced the fuse, I saw the overcurrent situation and once I found the bad diode I replaced all 4 of them with new ones from Mouser.

    pc6001a.jpg

    I've got two for fun projects I am going to do for this thing.

    The first is that I am going to make a cassette interface that can load/save emulator compatible P6 files to a SDCARD. Some friends have been helping me with the circuits/opamps I need to convert MIC and EAR level signals to microcontroller level signals. The idea is that you can save an image to it and it will listen and decode the audio from the cassette port and store it as a file on the SDCARD. In the reverse direction, using a LCD and a couple of buttons, you can select an image and then "CLOAD" it in.

    The second project is that I found a guy in Japan who developed the ultimate all in one cartridge. It has the 16K RAM expansion, DIP switch selectable ROM, and a full emulation of the FDD unit that this machine had for SDCARD. Unfortunately they do not have any of the parts or boards left so I will be left with making my own PCB, but I've got a schematic and the firmware he developed for an ATMEGA164 microcontroller so it shouldn't be impossible to do.
    Last edited by alank2; July 15th, 2017 at 07:31 PM.

  3. #3

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    Good work!, the machine looks fab!

    The japanese guy must be Nishida Radio, right?, the card must be the SD6031, nice hardware. I've a very old and rough prototype from him that uses a SD card and connects through the joystick port. It works at least with the 6001's big brother, the MkII, never tested it with the 6001.

    About the RAM, never tried; but with a PC-6006 cartirdge you can upgrade RAM or add extra ROMs.

    EDIT: Seems that the RAM is already built-in as 8x4116 (need to disassemble the cart to check it). The sockets are only used for ROM...
    Last edited by jltursan; July 17th, 2017 at 02:26 AM.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by jltursan View Post
    Good work!, the machine looks fab!
    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by jltursan View Post
    The japanese guy must be Nishida Radio, right?, the card must be the SD6031, nice hardware. I've a very old and rough prototype from him that uses a SD card and connects through the joystick port. It works at least with the 6001's big brother, the MkII, never tested it with the 6001.
    Yes! I've emailed back and forth with Mr. Nishida a few times. I'm mostly trying to decide how to implement the FDD selection feature - how do I pick which image file goes into which drive. The firmware has a method via the computer and I've got some sample code, but am not sure how to compile it. Part of me wants to use a slightly larger microcontroller and drive a small 4x7 segment display and use that to pick which image which drive and leave the computer out of it, but that will require changing his schematic and I'm not sure I want to do all that just yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by jltursan View Post
    About the RAM, never tried; but with a PC-6006 cartirdge you can upgrade RAM or add extra ROMs.
    One of the reasons I want to make this board is that I don't have a PC-6006 cartridge for more RAM/RAM. The odd thing is I remember having a 16K RAM cartridge back in the 80's, but I don't remember it being as long as the PC-6006 with the door you can open for the ROM, so who knows.

    I've got an empty PCB with the card slot built up in my pcb layout program so far...

    cart.jpg

  5. #5

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    Btw, here's my naked PC-6006:



    So, if you have a protoboard, then you only need the info from this page:

    http://sbeach.seesaa.net/article/387861385.html

    Is dead easy to upgrade RAM with 32KB,...well, not really, 32KB IC are used; but only 16KB are available as A14 is grounded...

  6. #6

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    Thank you for the picture - that is the best image of te PC-6006 I have seen!!!

    I wish I had the shell/cartridge from a PC-6006 - the extra long length would help me with the one I want to make. I have a ROM cartridge (Canyon Climber) and am thinking about whether to use a simple tiny HP quad 7 segment bubble LED display on it (will fit the cartridge shell I have), or make the PCB extend past it a bit and use a backlit LCD that will allow me to show filenames on the SDCARD instead of just a numbered image.

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