Image Map Image Map
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16

Thread: Liveport FDM 180 disk unit for Exidy Sorcerer

  1. #1

    Default Liveport FDM 180 disk unit for Exidy Sorcerer


    I just got a Liveport FDM 180 disk unit. Plugs into the Sorcerer's S100 expansion port. Has anyone got any documentation for it? I have the two sheet user guide but I'm seeking something more technical.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Merritt Island, Fl


    Do you have a picture on the control board - the unit I had years ago (not sure who made it) was a exidy card and 2 MPI drives(IIRC) with a boot cartridge after power on you had to issue go e800 or something like that.

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

  3. #3


    It's not the same unit. The boot ROM is integrated into the drive itself, apparently.

    Front of drive. Looks like a Tandon TM100 unit, save for the mechanical lock button and hard sectored disks.


    S-100 interface adapter. Has no markings (on component side). I assume the labelled ICs are ROMs of some sort, which get put at BC00h in the Sorcerer's memory map. I would like to find out the purpose of the DIP switch. Possibly to locate the ROM in Sorcerer memory? The value is 00100001 or 10000100 depending on the orientation; that is 21h or 84h. The edge connector to the left hand side connects via a ribbon cable to the Sorcerer's S-100 expansion bus.


    There is a fat ribbon cable running across the top of the drive that joins the S-100 adapter to the drive controller board (pictured below). The cable on the left connects to the (presumed) Shugart interface on the drive. The board is marked "Liveport Ltd 1980 Copyright D C Stevens". An edge connector on the left presumably allows additional drives to be connected.

    Last edited by JonB; October 10th, 2017 at 11:05 PM.

  4. #4


    OK, the ROM is identified as Signetics N82S126N PROM. There are two of them on the S-100 board, labelled 3E and 4E respectively. These are 256x4 ROMs, there are two of them, giving 256 bytes for the Sorcerer's disk boot code.

    Does not look like my EPROM reader (TOP 853) can handle these...

    However - the DIP switch does appear to locate the boot ROM in memory. I tried turning the first switch off and the Sorcerer reports RAMTOP at 5BFF; looking at the memory from 5C00 - 5CFF appears to show the ROM content. Definitely something odd going on in the upper memory decoding on the Sorcerer's mainboard.

    With ROM located at DE00h:

    Lots of missing data there!

    EDIT: Better ignore that! It's DC00, and I can see the ROM there with the ICE. Duhh..

    DC00   F2 2F A2 00 F9 3F C9 CD-A2 0F EB 2A A0 0F 2E 00    ./...?.....*....
    DC10   E5 0F 1D 00 01 EF E1 0E-12 0F 06 BD EB 3F 3B 1A    .............?;.
    DC20   70 BF C0 23 10 0F C0 E1-20 AF 00 11 00 0F 19 22    p..#.... ......"
    DC30   A2 0F 36 A0 C0 DF 00 00-00 0F 00 2A A2 0F 7E E6    ..6........*....
    DC40   80 CF A9 00 7E EF 0F A8-C0 AF 00 23 B6 FF B7 00    ...........#....
    DC50   23 7F AF EB 00 0F 00 00-12 7F 23 88 47 1F 77 23    #.........#.G.w#
    DC60   88 4F 0D C2 C2 0F 1A B8-C0 2F A2 00 32 2F 23 7E    .O......./..2/#.
    DC70   20 EF 24 EE 20 CF D4 00-0C 5F CD 49 00 2F 7E 2B     .$. ...._.I./.+
    DC80   E6 2F EE 20 C0 DF 00 23-78 EF 08 2B C0 0F 01 06    ./. ...#x..+....
    DC90   00 3F 61 0E 09 CF 49 01-04 CF FC 00 22 7F E6 08    .?a...I....."...
    DCA0   29 CF 19 01 36 6F 0E 0F-C1 4F 01 C3 01 0F 21 5F    )...6o...O....!_
    DCB0   01 CF 37 01 C0 DF 00 2A-60 0F 22 A4 00 CF 37 01    ..7....*`."...7.
    DCC0   C0 DF 00 2A A0 0F 11 0C-00 1F D1 E9 E1 EF 01 86    ...*............
    DCD0   00 CF A6 00 E1 CF 37 01-E1 7F 23 B6 E0 CF 7E E6    ......7...#.....
    DCE0   20 7F C2 51 01 0F 4F 3E-F1 DF 01 B7 C0 5F 01 0D     ..Q..O>....._..
    DCF0   C0 5F 01 C9 00 0F 00 00-00 0F 00 00 00 CF A6 00    ._..............
    With ROM located at 5C00h:

    So I think the boot ROMs look intact, which is good. There appears to be some oddness around the screen display too - some values are flickering and the address changes from 5Cnn to 1Cnn.

    Calling the boot code at 5C00 caused the drive light to flicker and the head carriage appears to be making some weak attempt at moving, but the motor doesn't start. I have seen the motor fire up before though. The head carriage and motor may need lubrication, I have not yet opened the drive up for a service.

    [Edit 2: I wasn't able to recreate the drive activity, but I have serviced the head carriage..]
    Last edited by JonB; October 11th, 2017 at 05:08 AM.

  5. #5


    Well I take it back. The CPU is in a socket (circled in red).

    You can also see all the patch wires for the memory upgrade (circled in yellow). Fortunately I have the instructions for this, so should be able to derive the circuit.


    Time to try the ICE, methinks...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Merritt Island, Fl


    For the DIP switch settings could be negative logic so they could DE or EB but my bet would be DE - which could mean your boot address could be DE00.

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

  7. #7


    Actually, DC00 as far as I can tell. I edited post #4.

    Disassembled it looks like this:

    DC00 F2 2F A2       JP P,A22F
    DC03 00             NOP
    DC04 F9             LD SP,HL
    DC05 3F             CCF
    DC06 C9             RET
    DC07 CD A2 0F       CALL 0FA2
    DC0A EB             EX DE,HL
    DC0B 2A A0 0F       LD HL,(0FA0)
    DC0E 2E 00          LD L,00
    DC10 E5             PUSH HL
    DC11 0F             RRCA
    DC12 1D             DEC E
    DC13 00             NOP
    DC14 01 EF E1       LD BC,E1EF
    DC17 0E 12          LD C,12
    DC19 0F             RRCA
    DC1A 06 BD          LD B,BD
    DC1C EB             EX DE,HL
    DC1D 3F             CCF
    DC1E 3B             DEC SP
    DC1F 1A             LD A,(DE)
    DC20 70             LD (HL),B
    DC21 BF             CP A
    DC22 C0             RET NZ
    DC23 23             INC HL
    DC24 10 0F          DJNZ DC35
    DC26 C0             RET NZ
    DC27 E1             POP HL
    DC28 20 AF          JR NZ,DBD9
    DC2A 00             NOP
    DC2B 11 00 0F       LD DE,0F00
    DC2E 19             ADD HL,DE
    DC2F 22 A2 0F       LD (0FA2),HL
    DC32 36 A0          LD (HL),A0
    DC34 C0             RET NZ
    DC35 DF             RST 18
    DC36 00             NOP
    DC37 00             NOP
    DC38 00             NOP
    DC39 0F             RRCA
    DC3A 00             NOP
    DC3B 2A A2 0F       LD HL,(0FA2)
    DC3E 7E             LD A,(HL)
    DC3F E6 80          AND 80
    DC41 CF             RST 08
    DC42 A9             XOR C
    DC43 00             NOP
    DC44 7E             LD A,(HL)
    DC45 EF             RST 28
    DC46 0F             RRCA
    DC47 A8             XOR B
    DC48 C0             RET NZ
    DC49 AF             XOR A
    DC4A 00             NOP
    DC4B 23             INC HL
    DC4C B6             OR (HL)
    DC4D FF             RST 38
    DC4E B7             OR A
    DC4F 00             NOP
    DC50 23             INC HL
    DC51 7F             LD A,A
    DC52 AF             XOR A
    DC53 EB             EX DE,HL
    DC54 00             NOP
    DC55 0F             RRCA
    DC56 00             NOP
    DC57 00             NOP
    DC58 12             LD (DE),A
    DC59 7F             LD A,A
    DC5A 23             INC HL
    DC5B 88             ADC A,B
    DC5C 47             LD B,A
    DC5D 1F             RRA
    DC5E 77             LD (HL),A
    DC5F 23             INC HL
    DC60 88             ADC A,B
    DC61 4F             LD C,A
    DC62 0D             DEC C
    DC63 C2 C2 0F       JP NZ,0FC2
    DC66 1A             LD A,(DE)
    DC67 B8             CP B
    DC68 C0             RET NZ
    DC69 2F             CPL
    DC6A A2             AND D
    DC6B 00             NOP
    DC6C 32 2F 23       LD (232F),A
    DC6F 7E             LD A,(HL)
    DC70 20 EF          JR NZ,DC61
    DC72 24             INC H
    DC73 EE 20          XOR 20
    DC75 CF             RST 08
    DC76 D4 00 0C       CALL NC,0C00
    DC79 5F             LD E,A
    DC7A CD 49 00       CALL 0049
    DC7D 2F             CPL
    DC7E 7E             LD A,(HL)
    DC7F 2B             DEC HL
    DC80 E6 2F          AND 2F
    DC82 EE 20          XOR 20
    DC84 C0             RET NZ
    DC85 DF             RST 18
    DC86 00             NOP
    DC87 23             INC HL
    DC88 78             LD A,B
    DC89 EF             RST 28
    DC8A 08             EX AF,AF'
    DC8B 2B             DEC HL
    DC8C C0             RET NZ
    DC8D 0F             RRCA
    DC8E 01 06 00       LD BC,0006
    DC91 3F             CCF
    DC92 61             LD H,C
    DC93 0E 09          LD C,09
    DC95 CF             RST 08
    DC96 49             LD C,C
    DC97 01 04 CF       LD BC,CF04
    DC9A FC 00 22       CALL M,2200
    DC9D 7F             LD A,A
    DC9E E6 08          AND 08
    DCA0 29             ADD HL,HL
    DCA1 CF             RST 08
    DCA2 19             ADD HL,DE
    DCA3 01 36 6F       LD BC,6F36
    DCA6 0E 0F          LD C,0F
    DCA8 C1             POP BC
    DCA9 4F             LD C,A
    DCAA 01 C3 01       LD BC,01C3
    DCAD 0F             RRCA
    DCAE 21 5F 01       LD HL,015F
    DCB1 CF             RST 08
    DCB2 37             SCF
    DCB3 01 C0 DF       LD BC,DFC0
    DCB6 00             NOP
    DCB7 2A 60 0F       LD HL,(0F60)
    DCBA 22 A4 00       LD (00A4),HL
    DCBD CF             RST 08
    DCBE 37             SCF
    DCBF 01 C0 DF       LD BC,DFC0
    DCC2 00             NOP
    DCC3 2A A0 0F       LD HL,(0FA0)
    DCC6 11 0C 00       LD DE,000C
    DCC9 1F             RRA
    DCCA D1             POP DE
    DCCB E9             JP HL
    DCCC E1             POP HL
    DCCD EF             RST 28
    DCCE 01 86 00       LD BC,0086
    DCD1 CF             RST 08
    DCD2 A6             AND (HL)
    DCD3 00             NOP
    DCD4 E1             POP HL
    DCD5 CF             RST 08
    DCD6 37             SCF
    DCD7 01 E1 7F       LD BC,7FE1
    DCDA 23             INC HL
    DCDB B6             OR (HL)
    DCDC E0             RET PO
    DCDD CF             RST 08
    DCDE 7E             LD A,(HL)
    DCDF E6 20          AND 20
    DCE1 7F             LD A,A
    DCE2 C2 51 01       JP NZ,0151
    DCE5 0F             RRCA
    DCE6 4F             LD C,A
    DCE7 3E F1          LD A,F1
    DCE9 DF             RST 18
    DCEA 01 B7 C0       LD BC,C0B7
    DCED 5F             LD E,A
    DCEE 01 0D C0       LD BC,C00D
    DCF1 5F             LD E,A
    DCF2 01 C9 00       LD BC,00C9
    DCF5 0F             RRCA
    DCF6 00             NOP
    DCF7 00             NOP
    DCF8 00             NOP
    DCF9 0F             RRCA
    DCFA 00             NOP
    DCFB 00             NOP
    DCFC 00             NOP
    DCFD CF             RST 08
    DCFE A6             AND (HL)
    DCFF 00             NOP
    ..which seems at least partially corrupted to me.

  8. #8


    Quote Originally Posted by JonB View Post

    I just got a Liveport FDM 180 disk unit. Plugs into the Sorcerer's S100 expansion port. Has anyone got any documentation for it? I have the two sheet user guide but I'm seeking something more technical.

    Correction... The Sorcerer's expansion port is not strictly S100; it's just that Exidy produced an expansion box that had an S-100 rack inside, and this plugged into the Sorcerer's non S-100 expansion port.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Melbourne, Australia


    Quote Originally Posted by JonB
    Any progress with the Liveport Jon?

  10. #10


    No, sir.

    It's on the shelf pending an injection of enthusiasm from me. (I got your PM, thanks!)


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts