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Thread: Tektronix 4052

  1. #1

    Lightbulb Tektronix 4052

    Hi everyone,

    Last week I saved this old Tektronix 4052 from being scrapped. I had seen it before being
    dumped in a corner waiting to be scrapped. I didn't really care about it. But then I got into
    some graphics for the PDP8, getting a Tektronix 611 and later an 605.

    While restoring my 611 I remembered that Tektronix scrapyard 'thing'. So I called the owner if he still had it.
    And it was still there. I asked to not throw it away because maybe I could use parts of that Tektronix 'thing'.
    He promised me not to scrap it and save it for me an I could have it for free. At that moment I didn't
    know the model or whatsoever...

    When I had some contact with Kurt (from the Tek WiKi) about Tek stuff, I stumbled into these
    graphic terminals like the 4010. Wow these are pretty cool! Early seventies and graphics!

    While searching on the forum for Tektronix stuff I saw that Jos Dreesen made some new PCB's for
    Tek computers. So I asked in that topic if I can use such a Tek with tape unit to emulate the 4010.
    And that should be possible when it has a serial port. So, maybe that thing is fun to have... Who knows...
    Searching on the web learned that the Tektronix 'thing' could be a 4051 or 4052.

    So I talked to that man again about emulating the 4010 with that old Tek thing.
    Then I got the question about what I wanted to do with a 4010... To make a long story short:
    he had a 4010 too and that one went to my home too...

    But Monty was curious about my 4052. So here it is:

    Tektronix 4052 03.jpg Tektronix 4052 04.jpg Tektronix 4052 05.jpg Tektronix 4052 06.jpg Tektronix 4052 07.jpg Tektronix 4052 08.jpg Tektronix 4052 09.jpg Tektronix 4052 10.jpg Tektronix 4052 11.jpg

    I have absolutely no clue about what you can actually run on these things. I have got a pile of
    documentation with it. But no tapes. So I don't know if I can do anything with it now.

    Regards, Roland
    Last edited by Roland Huisman; July 5th, 2020 at 05:43 AM.
    WTB: Case for Altair 8800 ...... Rolands Github projects

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Switzerland
    Posts
    149

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    Very very nice example ! They go for 1000's in working condition in Ebay.
    Basically this thing is a "professional home computer" : build-in BASIC, built-in tape drive, GPIB expansion options, but, due to the DVST tube, the best graphic capabilities of that period.
    You could also think of it as a HP85 on steroids...!

    To be honest, the software environment is the biggest drawback on these machines, the BASIC is not the best imho.

    The RS232 you have is from Transera, i.e. non-Tektronix, it would be interesting to have a closeup of the PCB and contents of the ROM, if any.

    Jos
    Last edited by jdreesen; July 5th, 2020 at 06:14 AM.

  3. #3

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    Roland,

    Wow!

    Your 4052 looks in excellent shape.

    From your photos - you don't have the Tektronix RS-232 Comm Interface, but you do have the TransEra RS-232 interface - did you get a manual with that?

    Your photo showed a 4052 File Manager ROM - that means this computer was connected to a 4907 eight inch floppy disk system. Maybe the owner had that too

    As far as programs for the 4052 - I have posted many dozens of recovered programs, and programs I have created on my github repository here:

    https://github.com/mmcgraw74/Tektron...-Program-Files

    If you get your 4052 working and we figure out how to use the TransEra RS-232 cartridge, you can load programs from a PC using serial.

    A quick search of the internet did not turn up a manual for the RS-232, with a 4052A or 4054A we could dump the TransEra RS-232 ROM calls with a CALL "CLIST" command (only in the A-Series computers).


    Monty
    Last edited by nikola-wan; July 5th, 2020 at 07:44 AM.

  4. #4

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    Hello Jos and Monty,

    Here is a picture of the serial board. I will check if I can read the EPROM soon.
    But there is also a PAL chip...

    Tektronix 4052 12.jpg

    I've checked the looks of the Tektronix 4907 disk unit. But I can't remember if he has that.
    I know he has tapes however. But there is a lot of data on it as well. So I left those over there.
    But when I have the machine running I could check what is on those tapes. (plastiband fixes etc?)

    I will check the status of the machine. Jos will be here in 1,5 week...
    So maybe we can check things out with his debug cards at that moment.

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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Switzerland
    Posts
    149

    Default

    PAL's can also be read out....It is even possible to reconstruct the equations from that readout !
    It looks like a standard RS2323 implementation to me.

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jdreesen View Post
    PAL's can also be read out....It is even possible to reconstruct the equations from that readout !
    True, if you have the right equipment... Time for a new (old) programmer I guess...
    It is a 10L8. I will check if I have other options to read it.

    Quote Originally Posted by jdreesen View Post
    It looks like a standard RS2323 implementation to me.
    Okay, that should be good news...
    WTB: Case for Altair 8800 ...... Rolands Github projects

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland Huisman View Post
    Hello Jos and Monty,

    Here is a picture of the serial board. I will check if I can read the EPROM soon.
    But there is also a PAL chip...

    Tektronix 4052 12.jpg

    I've checked the looks of the Tektronix 4907 disk unit. But I can't remember if he has that.
    I know he has tapes however. But there is a lot of data on it as well. So I left those over there.
    But when I have the machine running I could check what is on those tapes. (plastiband fixes etc?)

    I will check the status of the machine. Jos will be here in 1,5 week...
    So maybe we can check things out with his debug cards at that moment.

    Regards, Roland
    Roland,

    The dump of the EPROM will give us the names of the ROM calls, then we can guess the parameters (like the 4052 "RATE" call programs the port speed and parity).

    I would think the jumpers next to the connector allow various signal pins to be rewired. Maybe all them can be configured for terminal or modem instead of needing a crossover cable.

    Monty

  8. #8

    Default

    In the meanwhile I found the manual for that serial module too.
    It explains how to use it from the software side and the settings for
    the jumpers. It can run on many baud rates from 50 to 19200 BAUD.

    I've powered up the machine but the logic seems to be completely dead.
    It does not respond on any keypress. No beep, nothing... Only a not erased
    storage screen... Maybe bitrot in eproms or a shorted capacitor on a reset line?
    Don't know at this moment. (Yes I did check the 5V off course )

    Is there some sort of keypress which I can test that do something for sure?

    Tektronix 4052 13.jpg

    It seems that these machines are quite a pain to service... You can't reach anything
    WTB: Case for Altair 8800 ...... Rolands Github projects

  9. #9

    Default

    Roland,

    With all the front panel lights on - it looks like it didn't boot.

    It looks like both of the ROM packs are installed - I would turn off the power and remove both of them and try to power on again.

    I have had ROM packs lock up the machine - as each ROM pack must be initialized on power on.

    Also be aware - don't unplug or plug in the ROM packs while power is on.

    Monty

  10. #10

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    Roland,

    You are going to need the 4052 service manuals.

    Roland Schregle (Ganjatron) shared this link to his scan of the two manuals : https://drive.google.com/drive/folde..._7?usp=sharing

    Monty

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