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Thread: Picked up a Model I Level II and just fixed it, had a few questions.

  1. #1

    Smile Picked up a Model I Level II and just fixed it, had a few questions.

    So I bought this Awesome Model I Level II setup at an estate sale a couple months back, and finally got it working. Had to replace a couple of caps and reconnect a few things that got loose, then it booted the disks right up. So I'm surprised I managed to fix that myself before coming here.


    But I still had a few questions. Is there any way to decode the date? The computer has a serial number of ~47,000 and expansion unit is ~38,000. I heard 50,000 were made in the first year but monitor is dated 79.

    And is there any way to reasonably clean the keyswitches? The spacebar was stuck and fixing that and getting it working smoothly took close to an hour on its own.

    Last thing- would the most affordable way to try out games be using and making my own cassettes? Or is there a better way.


    Here's a photo (couldn't get the in-line function to work)

    Thanks in advance guys, and in a couple months I'll probably have to sell it though since I'm going back to college and it takes up quite a bit of room :/

  2. #2
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    Probably your best way to test the Model 1 software is to use an Emulator;
    There is:
    TRS80GP http://48k.ca/trs80gp.html
    SDLTRS http://gitlab.com/jengun/sdltrs
    XTRS http://www.tim-mann.org/xtrs.html

    Software is on:
    http://www.classiccmp.org/cpmarchives/trs80.php
    http://www.classiccmp.org/cpmarchives/

    There is enough software there to keep you busy until retirement.

    Larry

  3. #3

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    Thank you for the resources, Larry.

    Would it be possible to record those programs onto cassettes if I purchased a tape deck to use with the computer? Or if I put a 5 1/4" drive in my Windows 98 PC, could I write those images to a disk or would it not be proper formatting?

    To me, for certain hardware there's just a feeling that can't be matched with emulation. The TRS-80 is really like that for me. I didn't grow up with one or anything (heck I'm 20), but if I have the hardware I'd like to use it.

  4. #4
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    Yes, you can transfer some of the programs to cassette, but after you do just one you won't waste
    your time. It is a slow rate for the Model 1, and it will take forever. Plus, if the volume isn't
    exactly correct for reading back into the computer, it will just lock up. So, I'd skip over that
    plan. But, you can do one for a test. I started out reading in tapes and modifying a header
    that was added to the tape file which loaded it higher and then executed the program.
    That was used from a single disk drive system, and worked good.

    Another thing with the Model 1 is most did not have Lower Case. There were several Lowercase
    modifications by aftermarket folks. I have an assortment of Character Generator IC files, that
    show the various Character sets. There is another posting on VCF that has all the basic
    programs that will show all the possible characters and graphics. I'll have to search for it
    and give you the link.

    Any of the emulators can write to actual physical floppy drives to make floppys. There are some
    good tutorials on the Ubuntu Forum and on the Debian Forum with good guides for using these
    emulators.

    The SDLTRS guide probably needs an update since Jenz has updated the source.
    SDLTRS:
    https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread....highlight=XTRS
    http://forums.debian.net/viewtopic.p...t=XTRS#p385953

    XTRS:
    https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread....highlight=XTRS
    http://forums.debian.net/viewtopic.p...t=XTRS#p359796

    David Keil's Emulator:
    https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread....ht=%5BHOWTO%5D
    http://forums.debian.net/viewtopic.p...WTO%5D#p359793

    Z80 Emulator:
    https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread....highlight=XTRS
    http://forums.debian.net/viewtopic.p...t=XTRS#p381433

    [HOWTO] use DOSBOX:
    http://forums.debian.net/viewtopic.p...WTO%5D#p359786

    [HOWTO] - Access CP/M Floppy's via libdsk & cpmtools
    http://forums.debian.net/viewtopic.p...WTO%5D#p532551


    Larry

  5. #5
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    Model 1 Character Set Basic Programs:
    http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthrea...basic+programs

    Look at your "A" and "a", to see if the a is a flying a, meaning it is a pixel higher than it should be.
    Lots of the Model 1's had this problem.

    One other problem the early Model 1's had was a bad problem with keybounce with ROM 1.1. Version 1.3
    ROM fixed that debounce problem and also fixed the cassette input problem from tapes. There were other
    3rd party solutions to key de-bounce and a modified board to go inside of the Cassette Tape for volume
    tuning. I actually did that modification and it helped. But the best thing was ROM Version 1.3

    It took me a while to locate the Basic Program posting.

    Larry

  6. #6

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    Thank you for all the information and resources, Larry. I guess running from cassettes is more difficult than I had thought.

    I'm not at home right now, but I'll see what version of the ROM I'm on. I do not believe it has the keybounce though from what I've read and used on a machine that did have it. I'll update you on what I find out, you seem like the TRS-80 expert around here.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by istartedthewar View Post
    Is there any way to decode the date? The computer has a serial number of ~47,000 and expansion unit is ~38,000. I heard 50,000 were made in the first year but monitor is dated 79.
    You also have a later keyboard with ALPS keyswitches, so I would guess it's a 1979 system. I don't know much about the serial numbering. You can find lots of individual dates on the components inside the keyboard and the expansion interface.

    And is there any way to reasonably clean the keyswitches? The spacebar was stuck and fixing that and getting it working smoothly took close to an hour on its own.
    No. Be wary of instructions for earlier TRS-80 keyboards, on which the keys easily popped on and off. Here's an aptly-named video about your keyboard: "Model I - TOTAL FAIL - Trying to remove the key caps"

    Last thing- would the most affordable way to try out games be using and making my own cassettes? Or is there a better way.
    The simplest way to try out games is to use the cassette port, but no actual cassettes. At least, it's the simplest way if you have the cassette port cable (with a DIN plug at one end and three phone plugs at the other). Just plug the black 3.5mm plug into the headphone jack of a modern laptop, smartphone, or music player. You can convert CAS files you find online into standard WAV files using Playcas. (Playcas can also directly send the audio out the headphone jack without creating a WAV file.)

    Or if I put a 5 1/4" drive in my Windows 98 PC, could I write those images to a disk or would it not be proper formatting?
    If your 5 1/4" drive on the PC is an older one (48 tracks per inch and 50,000 flux transitions per track) (a/k/a "360k") then you can get things to work much more easily than if it's a later 5 1/4" drive (96 tpi and 83,333 ftpt) (a/k/a "1.2M"). In the latter case, you'll probably need a magnetic bulk eraser in addition to the drive. You can find more info in the links Larry gave.
    -Alan

  8. #8
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    Here is a good reference for Model 1 ROMS that Alan posted a while back. REF See Posting #9:
    http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthrea...1+ROM+Versions


    Larry
    Last edited by ldkraemer; July 6th, 2019 at 04:31 AM.

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