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Thread: BP Microsystems EP-1 - single board Z80 computer?

  1. #1

    Default BP Microsystems EP-1 - single board Z80 computer?

    So I wanted to program some Motorola MCM68766C EPROMs and Iíve got a xeltek 280U that lists those as compatible, but it fails after the first bit no matter what I try. I see that others have had similar results with similar USB programmers.

    So I got on eBay and I bought an EP-1 that others have had success using. The version I received was the later rev 4 hardware and it was running version 3.15 code. I found where someone had archived old software packages for this unit, and it included a 3.20 software. The instructions had you write an eprom with the 3.20 code and then open the device and swap it for the original.

    When I opened it up I was surprised that it was powered by a Z80 with 2K of RAM. Some people suggest that you need DOS to use the programmer, but I found one person that said all you need is a terminal program that can send data with xmodem.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Chaffee, MO


    Yes, The BP Microsystems EP-1 Programmer is a GREAT Programmer. I've used them for years. All you need is any
    Terminal (or Computer running a Terminal Program). I don't use xmodem protocol, I just read and write HEX bytes.

    It will do a good Job and I've never had a problem, with any of the units I've used.

    BP Microsystems still has their website available with the documentation and Software. Or they did the last time
    I was on their website.

    Here is their list of parts it will program:
    Model:              EP-1 EPROM Programmer
    Software:           V3.20, Copyright (C) 1985-1995 BP Microsystems, Inc.
    Phone:              (713)688-0920 or 800-225-2102
    Hardware:           Type 4, 6.144MHz
    Chip Type:          None Selected 
    File Address Range: 0 - 0
    Baud Rate:          1200
    Protocol:           PCDOS3: Used with EP.EXE V3.XX
     FINd  Find part names         Blank   Blank
     PARTS Lists supported parts   List    List chip contents on screen
     Stat  Programmer status       Manual  Manually program
                                   Program Program from hex file
    SETUP COMMANDS                 PB      Program from binary file
     Addr  Set addressing mode     PROTect Protects microcontrollers
     BAse  Set file start address  RB      Read, producing binary file
     Chip  Select a chip           RH      Read, producing straight hex file
     PAGe  Select active page      RI      Read, producing Intel hex file
                                   RM      Read, producing Motorola hex file
    MISCELLANEOUS COMMANDS         RT      Read, producing Tekhex file
     PROTO Sets comm. protocol     SUM     Calculate/set checksum
     Help  Produces this screen    Verify  Verify from hex file
     Quit  Return to DOS           VB      Verify from binary file
     Test  Test programmer         FILL    Program a range with a value
    BP Microsystems, Inc. support hotline: 800-225-2102 or 713-688-4600.
    Call for a free printed device list. Firmware updates are available from
    our BBS at 713-688-9283.
        8753H   *1B,C     8751H   *1B,C     87C51  *1C        Am27128           
        Am27128A          Am2716            Am27256           Am2732            
        Am2732A           Am2732B           Am27512           Am2764            
        Am2764A           Am27C128D         Am27C128P         Am27C256          
        Am27C512          Am27C64D          Am27C64P          Am27H256          
        Am2817A           Am2864A           Am2864AE          Am2864B           
        Am2864BE          Am28C256          Am9716            Am9761H *1B,C     
        AT27C128          AT27C256          AT27C256R         AT27C512          
        AT27C512R         AT27LV512         AT27C513          AT27C515          
        AT27HC256         AT27HC256L        AT27HC256R        AT27HC256RL       
        AT27LV256R        AT27HC64          AT27HC641         AT27HC641R        
        AT27HC64L         AT28C04           AT28C04E          AT28C04F          
        AT28C16           AT28C16E          AT28C16F          AT28C17           
        AT28C17E          AT28C17F          AT28C256          AT28C256E         
        AT28C256F         AT28C64           AT28C64E          AT28C64F          
        AT28C64X          AT28HC16          AT28HC16L         AT28HC191         
        AT28HC191L        AT28HC256         AT28HC256E        AT28HC256F        
        AT28HC256L        AT28HC256LE       AT28HC291         AT28HC291L        
        AT28HC64          AT28HC64E         AT28HC64L         AT28HC64LE        
        AT28PC64          AT28PC64E         
        8014              8020              8023              
        CAT27128A         CAT27256          CAT27512          CAT2764A          
        CAT27HC256        CAT28C16A         CAT28C17A         CAT28C256         
        CAT28C64A         CAT28C64B/T       CAT28C65A         
        DPV27C256         DPV27C512         
    Electronic Arrays
        XLE28C16A         XLE28C64          XLM28C16A         XLM46C15          
        XLM46C16          XLM46P15          XLM46P16          XLS2804A          
        XLS2816A          XLS2817A          XLS2864A          XLS2865A          
        XLS28C16A         XLS28C64          XLS46C15          XLS46C16          
        XLS46P15          XLS46P16          
        MBL8742H *1A      MBL8749H *1A      MBL8749N *1A      MBM27128          
        MBM27128-X        MBM2716           MBM2716H          MBM27256          
        MBM27256-W        MBM27256-X        MBM2732           MBM2732A          
        MBM2764           MBM27C128         MBM27C128P        MBM27C256         
        MBM27C256A        MBM27C256A-W      MBM27C256AP       MBM27C256H        
        MBM27C512         MBM27C512P        MBM27C64          MBM27C64-W        
        MBM27C64-X        MBM28C64          MBM28C65          MBM83256          
        27011  (12.5V)    27128  (21V)      27128A (12.5V)    2716   (25V)      
        27256  (12.5V)    2732   (25V)      2732A  (21V)      2732B  (12.5V)    
        27512  (12.5V)    2764   (21V)      2764A  (12.5V)    27C128 (21V)      
        27C16  (25V)      27C256 (12.5V)    27C32  (25V)      27C512  (12.5V)   
        27C64  (12.5V)    27C64  (21V)      
    General Instrument
        27256             27C128            27C256            27C512            
        27C513            27C64             27HC64            27HC64L           
        28C04             28C04F            28C16             28C16F            
        28C17             28C17F            28C64             28C64A/AX         
        28CP256           28CP256A          28CP256B          
        GR27128           GR27256           GR27512           GR27513           
        GR2764            GR281             GR881             GR3281            
        HN27128A          HN27128AG         HN27128AP         HN27256           
        HN27256G          HN27256P          HN27512           HN27512G          
        HN27512P          HN27C256          HN27C256FP        HN27C256G         
        HN27C256AG/HG     HN27C512G         HN27C64           HN27C64G          
        HN462532          HN462532G         HN462716          HN462716G         
        HN462732          HN462732G         HN4827128         HN4827128G/P      
        HN482732A/AG      HN482764          HN482764G/P       HN58064           
        HN58064P/FP       HN58C65           HN58C65P/FP       HN58C66P/FP       
        HY2764            HY27C64           HY27C64A          
        IDT78C16A         IDT78C256A        IDT78C64A         IDT78M64          
        27011             27128             27128A            27128B            
        2716              27256             2732              2732A             
        27512             27513             2758              2764              
        2764A             27C011            27C128            27C256            
        27C512            27C64             2816A             2817A             
        2864              2864A             68C257            8041A  *1A        
        8042   *1A        8048AH *1A        8049AH *1A        8050AH *1A        
        8741A  *1A        8741AH *1A        8742   *1A        8742AH *1A        
        8744H  *1B,C      8748   *1A        8748H  *1A        8749H  *1A        
        8751H  *1B,C      8755A  *1A        87C256            87C257            
        87C51  *1C        87C64             P27128A           P27128B           
        P27256            P27512            P27513            P2764A            
        P27C128           P27C256           P27C64            
    Microchip Technology
        27256             27C128            27C256            27C512            
        27C513            27C64             27HC256           27HC256L          
        27HC64            27LV256           28C04             28C04A/AF/F       
        28C16             28C16A/AF/F       28C17             28C17A/AF/F       
        28C64             28C64A/AF/AX      28C256            28CP256           
        MX27C256          MX27C64           MX27C512          MX27L256          
        M5L27128K         M5L27128K-I       M5L27256K         M5L27256K-I       
        M5L2732           M5L27512K         M5L2764K          M5M27128P         
        M5M27256          M5M27256P         M5M27512P         M5M2764P          
        M5M27C128K        M5M27C256         M5M27C256A/AK/K/P M5M27C512AK       
        M5M27C512AP       M5M28C64AP        M5M28C64P         
        ET2716            ETC2716           ETC2732           MK2716            
        MK2764            MK38XXX           MK48T08           MK4848Z30         
        MCM2532           MCM2716           MCM68764          MCM68766          
        MM2716            MM2716E           MM2758-A          MM2758-B          
        MM2758Q-A         MM2758Q-B         NM27C128          NM27C256          
        NM27C512          NM27C64           NM27C64Q          NM27LC512         
        NM27LC64          NM27LV512         NM27LV64Q         NM27P512          
        NMC2732           NMC27C128B        NMC27C128BQ       NMC27C128BN       
        NMC27C128C        NMC27C128CQ       NMC27C16          NMC27C16H         
        NMC27C16HQ        NMC27C16Q         NMC27C256         NMC27C256Q        
        NMC27C256B/C      NMC27C256BN       NMC27C256BQ       NMC27C32          
        NMC27C32B         NMC27C32BQ        NMC27C32E         NMC27C32EH        
        NMC27C32H         NMC27C512         NMC27C512A        NMC27C512AN       
        NMC27C512AQ       NMC27C64          NMC27C64N         NMC27C64Q         
        NMC27C64B         NMC27C64BN        NMC27C64BQ        NMC27CP128        
        NMC27CP128Q       NMC9817           NMC98C64A         
        8748HD *1A        uPD27128          uPD2716           uPD27256          
        uPD2732           uPD2732A          uPD2764           uPD27C256         
        uPD27C256A        uPD27C512         uPD27C64          uPD28C04          
        uPD28C05          uPD28C256         uPD28C64          
        MSM27128A         MSM27128AS        MSM27128AZB-RS    MSM2716           
        MSM27256          MSM27256AS        MSM27256ZB-RS     MSM2732           
        MSM2732A          MSM27512          MSM27512AS        MSM27512ZB-RS     
        MSM2764           MSM2764A          MSM2764AS         MSM2764AZB-RS     
        MSM2764RS         MSM27C128AS       MSM27C256         MSM27C256H/HZB/ZB 
        MSM27C64AS        MSM2816ARS        MSM28C64A         
    Quick Pulse
        27011             27128A            27256             27512             
        RD27C256          RD27C64           
        R2764             R2764C            R27C64            R2816             
        R5213             R52B13            R52B33            R87C32            
        KM2816A           KM2816AI          KM2817A           KM2817AI          
        KM2864A           KM2864AH          KM2865A           KM2865AH          
        KM28C256          KM28C64           KM28C64A/B        KM28C65           
        27128             27256             2764              27C256            
        27C256A           27HC256           2804A             2816A             
        2816AH            2817A             2817AH            2864              
        2864H             28C256            28C64             28C64A            
        28C65             36C16             36C32             38C16             
        38C32             5133              5213              52B13             
        52B13H            52B33             52B33H            5516A             
        5516AH            5517A             5517AH            55B33             
        55B33H            82005             82025             86063             
        E52B33            E52B33H           M52B33            M52B33H           
        ET2716            ETC2716           ETC2732           M27128A           
        M2716             M2716P            M27256            M27C256B          
        M27C512           M2732A            M27512            M2764             
        M2764A            M27C64A           M28C64C           M48Z32            
        M48Z32Y           MK2716            MK2764            MK38XXX           
        MK48T08           MK48T18           MK48Z30           ST27128A          
        ST27256           ST2764A           ST27C256          TS27C17AC         
        TS27C17AP         TS27C256          TS27C256P/Q       TS27C64           
        TS27C64A/P/Q      TS28C16A          TS28C16AC/AP      TS28C17A          
        TS28C64           TS28C64C/P        
        LH57126           LH57126J          LH57127           LH57127J          
        LH57128           LH57128J          LH27254           LH27255           
        LH57256           LH57256J          LH5762            LH5762J           
        LH5763            LH5763J           LH5764            LH5764J           
        27C256            27C512            27C64A            87C256            
        87C64             SC87C51 *1C       
        STK28C256         QSPM27128         SPM27128C         SPM27128H         
        SPM27C256         SPM27C256H        SPM27C64          SPM27C64C         
        SPM27C64H         SPM2864           SPM2864C          
        SPM27128          SPM27128C         SPM27128H         SPM27C256         
        SPM27C256H        SPM27C64          SPM27C64C         SPM27C64H         
        SPM2864           SPM2864C          
        SMJ2516           SMJ2532           SMJ2564           SMJ27C128         
        SMJ27C256         SMJ27C512         TMS2516           TMS2532           
        TMS2532A          TMS2564           TMS25L32          TMS27128          
        TMS2732A          TMS2764           TMS27C128         TMS27C256         
        TMS27C512         TMS27C64          TMS27P32A         TMS27P64          
        TMS27PC128        TMS27PC256        TMS27PC512        TMS27PC64         
        TC54256AF         TC54256AP         TC54512AP         TC57256           
        TC57256AD         TC57256ADI        TC57256D          TC57512AD         
        TC57H256D         TMM23128-H,H      TMM23128-H,L      TMM23128-L,H      
        TMM23128-L,L      TMM2364-H,H       TMM2364-H,L       TMM2364-L,H       
        TMM2364-L,L       TMM24128AF/AP     TMM24256AF/AP     TMM24256BF/BP     
        TMM24512          TMM24512AF/AP     TMM24512F/P       TMM2464A          
        TMM2464AF/AP      TMM27128          TMM27128A         TMM27128AD        
        TMM27128ADI       TMM27128D         TMM27128DI        TMM27256          
        TMM27256A         TMM27256AD        TMM27256ADI       TMM27256BD        
        TMM27256BDI       TMM27256D         TMM27256DI        TMM2732           
        TMM27512          TMM27512AD        TMM27512ADI       TMM27512D         
        TMM27512DI        TMM2764           TMM2764A          TMM2764AD         
        TMM2764ADI        TMM2764D          TMM2764DI         
    VLSI Technology
        VT27C256          VT27C512          VT27C64           VTC27C256         
        WS27C128F         WS27C256F         WS27C256L         WS27C512F         
        WS27C512L         WS57C128F         WS57C128FB        WS57C256F         
        WS57C256FB        WS57C512F         
    White Microelect.
        8014              8020              8023              
    White Technology
        8014              8020              8023              
        X2804A            X2816A            X2816AI           X2816AM           
        X2816B/C          X2816H            X28256            X2864A            
        X2864AI           X2864AM           X2864B            X2864H            
        X28C256           X28HC256          X28VC256          X28C64            

    The 1B and 1C parts are Adapter Modules that Plug into the EP1 for programming Large Pin DIP Microprocessors.


  3. #3


    I’ve used an EP-1 programmer for years - ever since I purchased it new way back when. It’s been a great and reliable programmer for 35 years.

    XMODEM is not an option in my firmware version, so I’ve always just done a simple text file send of .hex files using a terminal emulator. This requires that hardware or software handshaking is enabled on your terminal emulator. This worked fine until having to switch to a USB serial adapter for use with newer PCs without a serial port. The drivers for the USB adapters allow too much overrun before stopping from a handshake signal and then overrun the EP-1’s receive buffer.

    To get around this problem, I put an Altair 8800 in between the PC and my EP-1 that functions as a serial buffer between the modern PC and the old EP-1. I’ve actually ended up finding several handy applications for the SERBUF program I wrote for the Altair. It’s a good way to interface between a modern PC and old equipment like the EP-1, a cassette interface, or a Teletype.

    Your post made me want to dig further into the firmware available for my EP-1. I found an file that contains the latest firmware for each hardware version of the EP-1. I learned that I have hardware version 3 running v2.05 firmware. Looks like I can update to the v3.2 firmware. I’m going to try that update today and play with the XMODEM option.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Seattle, WA


    I had a BP Microsystems EP-1 Programmer in the past before selling it to someone else on the forum a while ago. It's the only BP Microsystems programmer with a serial port interface and that is standalone as far as all of the device programming algorithms being baked into the programmer firmware.

    All of the later models used an LPT port interface before they eventually switched to a USB port interface, and the DOS or Windows programmer software on a PC host is required because the selected device specific programming algorithms are downloaded to the programmer from the PC host software.

    So on the plus side the EP-1 doesn't require any specific software to control it through the serial port interface, as long as a hex file can be downloaded to the EP-1. On the minus side the supported device list of the EP-1 is baked into the programmer firmware and there was no way to update the supported device list through software (short of updating the firmware in the EP-1 EPROM to the final version).

    The only device programmers I have ever used are BP Microsystems. I currently use USB interface BP-1410 or BP-1610 units. Along the way they updated from Z80 processors to 286 and then 486 processors in the units I have.


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