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Thread: Sol-PC acquisition

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada
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    Default Sol-PC acquisition

    I had mentioned this acquisition in falter's Sol Prototype Project thread but thought this could use a dedicated post so as not to clog up his original post. Most of this thread is similar to my original post but I have pics posted now.

    I have recently acquired a home-made Sol-PC with documentation from October 1976. The original owner appears to have been a Sol-PCB purchaser (paid $40). The Sol-PC Rev D board looks like the regular ďS-100 slot in the middleĒ board that is hand soldered, has a third-party ASCII keyboard from Electronics Warehouse (EW-100), a hand built power supply and comes in a case that looks nothing like a SOL-20 (clearly a third-party case as shown below).

    The Sol-PCB may have been purchased from the original Popular Electronics article from July 1976. I donít see any evidence of the Sol-PCB being sold in any subsequent price lists or this September 1976 press release but it is mentioned in the PE article so I believe this may have been from that original article.

    The documentation I have is quite sparse yet I believe it is complete. The cover letter is visible below. As noted in the letter, it comes with full schematics, a placement guide and other information for the builder. The components are all over the place in terms of dates so I donít think this was a pre-packaged kit. The personality module is also a bit strange because itís a 2708 version from 1977 (I think this was a replacement). The actual Intel 2708 is missing in one or two photos because, sadly, it is blank and I canít seem to erase what is left on it. It would have contained CONSOL since it is a 1k x 8 chip.

    The Rev D schematics are dated September 23, 1976 so itís not too far off of the article date. Full size and more pics are at my site posted here. Iíll scan the rest of the documentation and post soon.

    Sol-PC - front left side view.jpgSol-PC - PCB top.jpgSol-PC - PCB bottom.jpgSol-PC - power supply.jpgSol-PC - Letter in documentation.jpg

  2. #2

    Default

    Cool to get a SOL computer and I really like that case almost as much as a real SOL case never seen a case like that one before.

    Jim
    Who let out the magic smoke!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Default

    Sweet museum piece!
    Last edited by livewire; July 16th, 2017 at 07:00 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default

    Thanks. I do love the "homebrew" aspect of this. It's a good example of the times. Incidentally, this came with an Ithaca Intersystems DPS-1 so I believe this was the terminal for it.

    I have scanned and posted my documentation if anyone is interested. You can go to http://vintagecomputer.ca/files-area/ and look in the Sol-PC folder.

  5. Default

    Is your DPS-1 the blinkin light version?

  6. #6
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by livewire View Post
    Is your DPS-1 the blinkin light version?
    Yes but sadly, it's missing some of it's signature orange paddles for the front switches. I am also missing the Run/Stop switch. Of note is the serial number. The previous owner was clearly an early adopter for both this DPS-1 and the Sol-PC! Here are some more pics of the Ithaca InterSystems DPS-1: http://vintagecomputer.ca/ithaca-intersystems-dps-1/

    Note: What looks like damage to the front panel is actually the protective wrap still intact. It's in great shape except for those paddles missing.

    Last edited by snuci; July 21st, 2017 at 02:17 PM.

  7. Default

    Gotta love them early adopters! Never did check the s/n on mine.

    In this age of 3D printing, you could clone a batch of those paddles easily. The only trick might be matching the surface texture. (if you are a perfectionist)
    Last edited by livewire; July 22nd, 2017 at 10:27 AM.

  8. Default

    Do you know the part number of the correct (original) C&K RUN/STOP switch? They might still be available.
    Sorry, but my curiosity is killin my cat (LOL) - do you have the original barrel key for it?
    Last edited by livewire; July 22nd, 2017 at 10:24 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by livewire View Post
    Do you know the part number of the correct (original) C&K RUN/STOP switch? They might still be available.
    According to Herb Johnson's page here: http://www.retrotechnology.com/restore/res_ithaca.html the Run/Stop switch is a C&K 7205J3V6BE2 DPDT switch. I wonder if something like this could be modified to work: http://www.ebay.ca/itm/191871770627 I thought I'd keep looking for now and see if I can find something closer.

    Quote Originally Posted by livewire View Post
    Sorry, but my curiosity is killin my cat (LOL) - do you have the original barrel key for it?
    No original key, unfortunately. I do have a spare barrel switch with key that I will try at some point. I just have to find it

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    East Coast USA
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    Default

    Wow, I finally got a chance to download and look at the SolPC documentation. Very scary.... No support from PT according to the docs to get the system running. It was sold as a PCB only for $40 no chips or sockets.

    What I find interesting is that this also confirms something I suspected, which was the Rev-D board is really the first one available to the public. I have a RevD and Rev-E Sol-20.

    Cheers,
    Corey

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