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Thread: Microkit 8/16

  1. #1
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    Default Microkit 8/16

    Just bought this: https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?m...2F113974640727

    Does anyone know a bit about these? I think it is essentially like the digital group 8080.. you cannot do much without a program tape? The serial on this one is quite low. I don't think a ton of these were made, so I don't have terribly high hopes of finding the software. Just wondering if it can do *anything* without that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by falter View Post
    Just bought this: https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?m...2F113974640727

    Does anyone know a bit about these?
    yup, early in-circuit emulator, Microkit became Futuredata was bought by Genrad, then they sold the product line to Kontron

    some docs under http://bitsavers.org/pdf/futuredata

    it would be nice to get a dump of the boot prom

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    I may just have to send you that.. I've not quite figured out how to safely dump 1702s yet.

    From reading it definitely looks like you need the software on tape to do anything with it. Hopefully I can find something one day.

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    This looks another great machine to get going...

    There is a project here to program and read 1702A devices: http://www.tronola.com/html/1702a_prom_programmer.html.

    You only need the READ function, so should be able to get away with +5V and -9V regulated supplies connected to a parallel PC port with just a ZIF socket and some way to switch the voltages to prevent damage to the EPROM.

    Since you don’t require the programmer part of the circuit most of the complexity disappears. Although I haven’t checked, the software should be able to just read an EPROM.

    It would be interesting to see what the bootstrap contains.

    I assume the Harvard tape encoding/decoding protocol (as described in the documentation on Bitsavers) is described somewhere?

    It would also be good to get a schematic of the I/O card (from somewhere)...

    If we can find out where the I/O ports are, we should be able to write our own bootstrap code (assuming you can find someone to program a 1702(A)) to load from (say) a serial port.

    Genrad are still around. May be worth an e-mail or two?

    Dave

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    Thanks Dave. I'll reach out to Genrad and see if they have anything.

    I wonder if I should invest in one of these for reading the 1702... maybe build and plug into my Sol? Might be less risky: https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?m...2F183695822483

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    Come to think of it.. my digital group machine uses a 1702. But I imagine it would not be possible to get it to read the one from the microkit in the absence of it's own monitor program. I don't assume things like video and keyboard i/o were similar.

    Thinking further on that.. Marty gave me a prototyping board for the digital group machine... maybe we could rig up a reader on that...

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    Found one of the prototyping boards Marty sent for the digital group machines:

    Front: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1YUg...ew?usp=sharing
    Back: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1pwr...ew?usp=sharing

    No idea if this was set up to read 1702s but it might have been... or could be repurposed..

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    It is here! I'm posting some pics in my Google Drive because now the forum doesn't accept anything larger than 256kb?

    https://drive.google.com/drive/folde...55?usp=sharing

    It's in pretty nice shape overall, everything is there. I'm gonna guess that the little 3.5mm plug is the video output? Kinda weird, it's attached to the keyboard.

    Really wish I had a manual... it's gonna be really hard to figure out what's right or wrong without one. My guess is, from the seller photos, the screen of 9s and 0s probably means it's hung somewhere.. not executing any monitor or bootstrap. That's what my Sol does when it's all locked up.

  9. #9

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    Nice! The cards seem to have the same form factor as the Intel Intellec boards?
    http://technischmuseum.nl/devices/In...ellec%208.html
    I wonder if it had the same bus structure...

    Regards, Roland
    WTB: Case for Altair 8800 ...... Rolands Github projects

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    Here is a video of what it does (or doesn't):

    https://youtu.be/ISTLA7eNhKw

    It seems to power up with random characters, and then if you hit Reset, you get those 9090909090 patterns. My Sol does the latter when it powers up and is locked up completely.

    I note the changing 'Enabled' light on the keyboard. No idea what it means but if you hit Reset, it goes off, and then if you hit Load it comes on again.

    (Mind my messy shop -- in the process or reorganizing and moving stuff between rooms.

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