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Thread: Poly 88 case

  1. #1
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    Default Poly 88 case

    I just picked up a Poly-88 case only.. wondering what you guys think my odds are of finding actual Poly boards? I seem to recall seeing some on ebay but can't remember how long ago.

    An S100 bus is compatible with most any S100 card, right? I'm thinking if I can't find the actual Poly boards I can shove something else in there.. like this Applied Tech DG680 board I got.

  2. #2
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    They do come up now and then, so if you keep an eye out you may well end up with a board set.

    Quote Originally Posted by falter View Post
    An S100 bus is compatible with most any S100 card, right?
    Well, sort of. You can plug most S-100 boards into the Poly 88 chassis, but just because something is S-100 doesn't necessarily mean it'll work with other S-100 boards from a different manufacturer (or even the same manufacturer but from two different eras!). With a little chassis like the Poly 88, you should probably look for a single-board computer with at least the CPU, ROM, and console all on one board. Some very late SBCs will even have your full 64K of RAM.

  3. #3

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    Video boards are more common than CPU cards as they had early graphics
    and were memory based.
    The video board could also take a parallel keyboard, so no separate monitor needed.
    They did make RAM boards but none of the Poly88s I've seen had them.
    There are two holes on the back of the chassis that look to be for RS232. These would normally
    have a serial buffer board and a cassette interface board. It is unlikely you'd find one of these
    unless attached to a chassis.
    Dwight

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    Question - *is* the Poly 88 historically significant? I had been led to believe it was but I'm not convinced it is.. doesn't seem to me it does anything unique vs. the Sol-20 and the Sol I thought was out earlier..

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    The CPU card with RAM, ROM and cassette interface is probably mildly significant. I don't know if they were the first to integrate that much though.

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    Yeah. I'm just trying to figure out why they're so hotly contested. They're clearly very collectible.. I just don't understand why they stand shoulder to shoulder with a SOL.

  7. #7

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    It was also a single reset button machine.
    It had a monitor in ROM rather than switches.
    The cassette interface wasn't on the CPU, only the USART
    was.
    Dwight

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    IIRC it was called the Micro Altair until they got told to cut it out

  9. #9

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    I think its claim to fame was the single button reset and no hardware front panel. The monitor in ROM was quite good. Since the video was memory mapped, it was fast to update. It showed a multi-line memory window, the registers and for the pointer registers, a single line of 8 bytes, as I recall. It highlighted the byte actually pointed to.
    It had a tape read but there just wasn't enough room for the tape write. One had to enter it from the keyboard and then save itself to the cassette.
    Dwight

  10. #10

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    Years ago a friend gave me a Poly88 that was non functional. He also gave me a TEI enclosure with the Poly88 card set in it. One quirk on this Poly88 is that there's a cut out on each side that exposes card edge fingers on the motherboard. Supposedly this was a way to add S100 slots and power supply capacity to the system. You could just buy another box and connect the two motherboard sections somehow. These things were rare and I'd be willing to bet any original connectors or ribbon cables to connect two boxes would be even more so. And that's assuming Polymorphic didn't leave that as a DIY project for the buyer.

    In this picture, you can see something with two card edge connectors attached to the near side of the motherboard. That could be a piece of original equipment that got separated from the unit I was given. Or it could be one person's way of making use of the expansion feature.

    http://deramp.com/pictures/poly88_inside1.jpg

    I was just cruising about for any info on a motherboard to motherboard connector. When I got to Herb Johnson's site, the name Dwight Elvey popped up.

    http://www.retrotechnology.com/resto...y_restore.html

    Mr. Elvey, could you shed any light on the Poly88 expansion feature?
    Last edited by DDS; November 8th, 2017 at 05:17 AM. Reason: Added picture with expansion connector
    "It's all bits on the bus, Cowboy! It's all bits on the bus!" -- Tom Beck, #1ESS Instructor, Southern Bell Opa Locka Training Center

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