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Thread: Calling all CBM and PET enthusiasts. Need documentation on RS-232 board

  1. #1
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    Default Calling all CBM and PET enthusiasts. Need documentation on RS-232 board

    So on another thread we were talking about ways of getting Terminal support to our older CBM/PET machines that do not have RS-232 hardware : http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthrea...with-their-PET

    I mentioned on the thread I bought a device by a company called "the Net Works" model TNW488/232 which is a board you connect your CBM IEEE 488 port up to with RS 232 hardware on it for support of modems, printers. Etc.

    I hosted some photos of the device online: http://i613.photobucket.com/albums/t...psngrrpk3v.png

    As you can see this thing uses jumper wires to set the connection and speed but I cant for the life of me find any documentation online to set this thing up! I am so close to having a serial port on my PET!

    Take a look and tell me what you think!



    Here are some snippets I found about the device from old published articles from 1979

    The Networks' TN488/232 SERIAL INTERFACE Module ($280) Provides two bidirections RS-232-C Data Channels
    (75 to 9600 Bits per second), plus 6 input status bits and 6 output control bits (use for clear to send, data terminal ready, etc.).

    REVIEW

    TNW 488/232 Serial interface Module

    The Net Works
    524 Quiet Slope dr
    San Diego, CA 92120

    This is a bidirectional RS-232 Module. It is also
    available as a dual channel Module for $280. With this
    unit you can have input as well as output with your
    PET via the IEEE bus. The networks also includes an
    extra IEEE port slot so you can connect another IEEE
    device if you wish.

    It cones with a thorough Manual which includes
    schematics. They explain what is going on when you use
    this unit. AND they give software examples for your
    benefit. You can hook up any RS-232 peripheral to this
    unit. This includes printers, modens, keyboards, etc.

    For an extra $35 you get an attractive case with
    decorative wood sides and a beautiful gold top. $20
    will get you a conplete set of cables you will need to
    hook it up to your PET.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by VERAULT View Post
    So on another thread we were talking about ways of getting Terminal support to our older CBM/PET machines that do not have RS-232 hardware : http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthrea...with-their-PET

    I mentioned on the thread I bought a device by a company called "the Net Works" model TNW488/232 which is a board you connect your CBM IEEE 488 port up to with RS 232 hardware on it for support of modems, printers. Etc.

    I hosted some photos of the device online: http://i613.photobucket.com/albums/t...psngrrpk3v.png

    As you can see this thing uses jumper wires to set the connection and speed but I cant for the life of me find any documentation online to set this thing up! I am so close to having a serial port on my PET!

    Take a look and tell me what you think!
    WOW, that would be very nice piece of hardware to play with!
    If you don't find anyone with the documentation, the only other option is reverse engineer the schematic, that shouldn't take too long since it's just TTL chips and two UARTS (TR1602B, the ones you call "ROMs" in your picture).
    Already looking at the 1602's datasheet could be enough to figure out most of the jumper settings.
    The software to run this nice interface would be much much more useful anyway

    There're a few programs that make a TTL RS-232-like interface out of the PET user port, just like similar softwares do on VIC-20 and C-64 (only the latter are many more and can be found easily).
    Speed is limited probably to 2400 bps like on the other two machines, due to the software UART emulation.

    Frank IZ8DWF

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    It claims it can do 9600 baud Frank, I dont know. Anyway, id be happy with 1200 if I could get this thing working. No software was supplied with this. It says "software examples" basically a basic program to test it., I found it yesterday and for the life of me cant find that article today,. Anyway, I need more info and I need the settings.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by VERAULT View Post
    It claims it can do 9600 baud Frank, I dont know. Anyway, id be happy with 1200 if I could get this thing working. No software was supplied with this. It says "software examples" basically a basic program to test it., I found it yesterday and for the life of me cant find that article today,. Anyway, I need more info and I need the settings.
    I was meaning the user port RS-232 emulation is probably limited to 2400 bps. Of course anything using UARTS, like that IEEE-488 dual RS-232 port, can do much more probably even than 9600 bps.
    If I had one such board, I could easily reverse engineer it and probably find out the jumper configurations.
    So for the moment your best luck is to find someone with the same board or with the manual.

    Frank

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    Well Frank, reverse engineering it is a bit above my skillset.

    And yeah, thats my intent. To find someone here who may have some insight. I see you are in italy, if someone here in the states might be able to that would help.
    Last edited by VERAULT; June 12th, 2018 at 10:31 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iz8dwf View Post
    I was meaning the user port RS-232 emulation is probably limited to 2400 bps. Of course anything using UARTS, like that IEEE-488 dual RS-232 port, can do much more probably even than 9600 bps.
    If I had one such board, I could easily reverse engineer it and probably find out the jumper configurations.
    So for the moment your best luck is to find someone with the same board or with the manual.

    Frank
    Am I missing something, or isn't this thing HPIB? If so, 9600 would be a breeze.

    The trouble I see is not the jumpers. Those could be found by trial and error. The hardest part would be figuring out the pinout of the RS232 ports. That could be determined by tracing the circuit. What each edge finger is connected to should give away what it's for.

    I doubt the software is complicated. There shouldn't be any software configuration, since there are jumpers. I expect that you just send it to data to go out and listen for data coming in. OPEN a channel to it. If you don't know the device number, you'll have to use trial and error. Then GET# and PRINT# your data. But you'll have to figure out the pinout and have a serial terminal to connect to for testing, first.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC9UDX View Post
    The hardest part would be figuring out the pinout of the RS232 ports. .
    Exactly, I cant even build an adapter for the RS232 side at the present time

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    So these must be pretty rare/uncommon that noone has any knowledge of them. I mean this is the product we needed. A serial device for a Commodore PET, Someone must have a manual kicking around.

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    I suspect most people who needed a serial device were satisfied with using the user port, even if that meant being limited to 2400bps. So yeah, I wouldn't be surprised if this particular unit was pretty rare.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kgober View Post
    I suspect most people who needed a serial device were satisfied with using the user port, even if that meant being limited to 2400bps. So yeah, I wouldn't be surprised if this particular unit was pretty rare.
    Kgober, As noted in this other thread: http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthrea...with-their-PET

    The PET DOES NOT have serial support via the user port. thus the reason for buying an external serial device.

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