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Thread: Building and Altair 8800 from Scratch in 2018

  1. #11
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    Oct 2011
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    Bedford, NH, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by alank2 View Post
    So I'm pretty excited by this. I have a couple of questions for those of you with the knowledge!

    #1 is that I'd like a Z80 CPU board instead of an 8080 - one important thing is running Turbo Pascal and that requires the Z80.

    #2 is that I would probably go with the 88-2SIOJP that Mike mentions which gives serial I/O and EEPROM capability.

    #3 I would need a SRAM board for 64K - is anyone selling kits for these?

    #4 Are there any S100 boards that offer a virtual floppy interface? Meaning some sort of thing where you can mount virtual floppies on a SDCARD or something. Maybe this could be a project for me to look at if there isn't anything like it.
    #3: I thought that Mike said that there's 64K RAM on that SIO board, too?

    #4: Check out the JAIR-8080. It's a complete system on one board, and any of the individual parts (RAM, SIO, CPU, SD) can be enabled or disabled to allow for other boards to be used.

    http://www.s100computers.com/My%20Sy...PU%20Board.htm

    http://www.s100computers.com/My%20Sy...ard%20Rev1.htm

    Josh Bensadon, the designer, can be reached at: jbensadon@hotmail.com, and also on the S-100 Computers Google Group: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/s100computers

    Good luck!

    smp

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by smp View Post
    #3: I thought that Mike said that there's 64K RAM on that SIO board, too?
    Nope, I was wrong there. Another view of the video shows that the RAM is on the FDC-Plus board.

    Sorry about that!

    smp

  3. #13

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    Thanks smp - that does have it all except that it is 8080 and I'm looking for the Z80 instead.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by alank2 View Post
    Thanks smp - that does have it all except that it is 8080 and I'm looking for the Z80 instead.
    Not a problem! Just disable the JAIR CPU, use the JAIR for SIO, RAM, EPROM, and SD card disk system, and plug in an S-100 Z-80 CPU board of your choice.

    smp

  5. #15
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    There are lots of vintage Z80 boards that will work. I'll probably be doing a reproduction of the TDL ZPU (afaik the first S-100 Z80 board) in the near future. You can also go with one of John Monahan's/S100computers.com boards.

  6. #16

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    If you’re wanting to run a Z-80 CPU and Turbo PASCAL in a CP/M environment, then you don’t really need an Altair specific solution. You’ll have a larger number of options putting together a generic S-100 system with the wide variety of new and/or vintage boards available.

    Mike

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by deramp5113 View Post
    Optima was bought by Elma, who also purchased Stantron, and now has an Optima-Stantron division. Grant paid them a good chunk of cash to retool for the original Altair case back in 2007 or so. When I contacted Elma in late 2012 about doing the same thing in order to build the Altair cabinet for me (for the Altair Clone), this is when I learned this information. Because Grant paid for the retooling, they said Iíd have to purchase the cases through Grant. Unfortunately, the case alone was going to cost as much as my target sales price for the fully assembled Altair Clone, so I ended up designing and having my own custom case fabricated.

    Even if Grant were to order more Optima cases today, my guess is that there would be another retooling charge since itís been ten years since the last order, and costs have gone up substantially over the last decade, so I can imagine the cases would be $700$-800 a piece now.

    Mike
    I've also contacted Optima-Stantron a few years ago. Same story, Grant is the owner of the tools.
    It was impossible to get any reply from Grant. I was wondering if Grant could give a licence
    to others to make these cases. But I just was getting nowhere...

    I would be happy to pay a good price for a Optima-Stantron case...
    WTB: Case for Altair 8800, Digital M8357 RX8E ...... Rolands Github projects

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Placitas, NM
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    Quote Originally Posted by glitch View Post
    I'm working with Gary on kitting up the IMSAI and Altair CPU cards, we've just both been busy with other things to get it really moving! Perhaps we can all work together to provide a base "Altair 8800C Starter Kit" or something?
    Glitch - do you (or anybody else, for that matter) have a BOM for Gary's Altair 8800 CPU board with "modern parts"? Of special interest are a replacement transistor for the "CS 4410", the Molex connector, and the Zener diodes - will any 12V and 5.1V Zener do?

    <*> Jim

  9. #19

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    Hi Mike,

    Quote Originally Posted by deramp5113 View Post
    If you’re wanting to run a Z-80 CPU and Turbo PASCAL in a CP/M environment, then you don’t really need an Altair specific solution. You’ll have a larger number of options putting together a generic S-100 system with the wide variety of new and/or vintage boards available.
    I want it all!

    I have always loved your clone and while I know it focuses on 8080 and Altair compatibility, my first programming language was Turbo Pascal on IBM PC, so Turbo Pascal on CP/M holds special interest to me. So does the control panel and all the awesome Altair stuff you demo in your videos.

    Perhaps I'll have to build both 8080 and Z80 S100 boards to play with both unless someone has a dual board (not likely I'm guessing!)

    Thanks,

    Alan

  10. #20

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    11/19/18

    Hello Jim, if you need an assembly manual for the Altair board, Dave's Old Computer's Website has one for download. As to the parts you are looking for...

    Q1 CS4410 (610-2N4410) Mouser
    D1 12V Zener (833-1N5349B-TP) Mouser
    D2 5.1V Zener (78-ZPY5V1-TAP) Mouser
    Molex Socket (538-09-50-7081) Mouser
    Molex Pins/Connectors (538-08-50-0134) Mouser

    Molex Header-SQUARE Pin (538-26-60-2081) Mouser
    Molex Header-ROUND Pin (538-26-20-2081) Mouser

    Molex Header-SQUARE Pin (WM22786-ND) Digikey
    Molex Header-ROUND Pin (WM13464-ND) Digikey

    I don't know which pin type would be better (round/square)...

    *Note: Mouser has many incorrect Images for parts they sell
    read the descriptions or look at Data Sheets

    > Charles

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