full writeup here: http://www.glitchwrks.com/2019/06/14/alspa-aci2

I picked up an Alspa ACI-2 a while back and got it going, but have only today gotten around to writing it up! The ACI-2 is a complete CP/M system in what looks like an external 8" disk drive cabinet. Here's mine with a VT320 terminal:



It's a neat little CP/M box: 4 MHz Z80, 64K of DRAM, three 8251A serial ports, and two Tandon 8" single-sided drives. There are versions with double-sided drives, a parallel printer port, and/or Corvus hard disk support. It's a pretty quick little system, and the CBIOS can still talk to IBM 3740 formatted disks, too. Mine was intermittent when I got it, turned out to be a bad bitrate jumper plug:



Someone kinda mangled that one, and the connections were intermittent (in the above picture, I believe the jumper for the modem port is broken). I made up a new one, jumpering all three ports for 9600 bps:



The pinout for the bitrate jumper is in the linked writeup at the top of this post. With the bitrate jumper fixed, the machine operated perfectly. I found a copy of CP/M in the Don Maslin archive on geneb's retroarchive.org and go that going. As seen below, there was a *lot* of extra stuff on the disk from its previous owner:



I cleaned it up and made a new working disk without so much clutter. Even single-sided, the disks hold around 600K each, which is quite nice for CP/M! I will make ImageDisk images of my new disks and post them online next time I've got my imaging machine set up.

I ended up doing the writeup this week because I pulled the ACI-2 out for two purposes: first, to get Mike Douglas's PCGET and PCPUT customized for it, and second, to start on a bigger, long-term project: cleaning up KERMIT-80. I'll write about the KERMIT-80 work elsewhere, but there's now a KERMIT 4.11 overlay for the ACI-2 that supports both the MODEM and PRINTER ports.

I customized PCGET and PCPUT to use any of the three ports: CONSOLE (default), MODEM (M), or PRINTER (P).

Ultimately, I think I'm probably going to sell this little machine. I tend to use my IMSAI a lot more often if I want to run CP/M on 8" disks or do hardware/software development. If I just want a CP/M system to use, I'll usually dig out the Ampro LittleBoard System 100, since it's nice and small. So, if anyone thinks they'd be interested in a fully working Alspa ACI-2 with disks, send me a PM!