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Thread: Need some help with a Heathkit H-89 System.

  1. #1

    Default Need some help with a Heathkit H-89 System.

    Bought this Heathkit today off a young kid who got it from his grandfather and didn't know how to use it or if it worked at all. It does seem to me to work but for some reason I'm not getting the H: prompt and it's acting much like a serial terminal would. Is something wrong and how do I get it to the correct prompt so that when I get some software I can boot it. Also I checked and mine does have a Soft Sector Double Density card so I should be fine with regular old 5.25" floppies I think. Again though any help with this machine would be greatly appreciated as I know almost nothing about it other than it looks cool as hell. lol

    Here's an Imgur album of photo's of it and what I mean when I say just a cursor without the "H:".
    https://imgur.com/a/RK8ihpp

    Thanks in advance!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    State College, PA
    Posts
    185

    Default

    This may be a silly question, but do you have the Offline key depressed? Do characters you type appear on the display? If so, release the Offline key.

  3. #3

    Default

    The H-89 / Z-89 is just an H-19/Z-19 serial terminal with a CP/M computer inside of it. (The Z/H versions were the same thing, just the H was the Heathkit kit version and the Z was the Zenith factory-made version).

    So it doesn't surprise me that it's acting like a serial terminal (as that's basically what it mostly is).

    Beyond that I am not sure what to tell you. I have a Z-19, but I've never had the -89 version with the extra stuff in it. But if you treat it like a separate serial terminal and CP/M computer that just happen to inhabit the same enclosure, that might help you with your troubleshooting.

    That being said, you never know quite what you are getting with assembled Heathkit stuff. It all depends on how diligently it was assembled. I'd open 'er up and give it a good once-over for any funny-business, and then proceed with trying to find a fault in the CP/M boards somewhere.

    (The serial terminal part also uses a z80 cpu, so don't get them confused.)

    Afaik the manuals are all available online. The H-19 ones were, anyway.
    -- Lee
    If you get super-bored, try muh crappy YouTube channel: Old Computer Fun!
    Looking to Buy/Trade For (non-working is fine): Tandy 1000 EX/HX power supply, PS/2 Model 25-286 ISA expansion riser, Mac IIci hard drive sled and one bottom rubber foot, Multisync VGA CRTs, Decent NuBus video card, PC-era Tandy stuff, Aesthetic Old Serial Terminals (HP and Data General in particular)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Chaffee, MO
    Posts
    1,606

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    I downloaded the mms-cpm file, renamed it and had a look at the directory using cpmtools.

    Code:
    BEGIN HEA1  Heath H89, Magnolia CP/M - SSDD 48 tpi 5.25" - 512 x 9
    INSERT 22DISK DEFINITION
    END
    
    # HEA1  Heath H89, Magnolia CP/M - SSDD 48 tpi 5.25" - 512 x 9
    diskdef hea1
      seclen 512
      tracks 40
      sectrk 9
      blocksize 2048
      maxdir 96
      skew 1
      boottrk 3
      os 2.2
    end
    
    # libdsk data below
    [hea1]
    description = HEA1  Heath H89, Magnolia CP/M - SSDD 48 tpi 5.25" - 512 x 9
    cylinders = 40
    heads = 1
    secsize = 512
    sectors = 9
    secbase = 1
    datarate = DD
    Code:
    $ cpmls -f hea1 -D mmscpm.raw
    
    
    larry@debian:~/IMDs/H89$ cpmls -f hea1 -D mmscpm.raw
         Name    Bytes   Recs  Attr     update             create
    ------------ ------ ------ ---- -----------------  -----------------
    ASM     .COM     8K     64    
    B5316   .HEX     2K      7    
    B8316   .HEX     2K      7    
    BASECPM .COM    10K     80    
    BZ17    .HEX     2K      7    
    COPY    .COM     2K     11    
    DDT     .COM     6K     38    
    DRIVES  .COM     4K     20    
    DUMP    .COM     2K      4    
    ED      .COM     8K     52    
    FILECOPY.COM     2K      7    
    FIXMSOFT.COM     2K      9    
    FORMAT  .COM    10K     69    
    ICON    .HEX     2K     14    
    LINK    .COM     4K     17    
    LOAD    .COM     2K     14    
    M316    .HEX     8K     58    
    MODE    .COM     4K     30    
    MOVCPM  .COM    14K    104    
    ONECOPY .COM     2K      8    
    PIP     .COM     8K     58    
    READ    .ME      2K      6    
    SCMOVE  .COM     2K     12    
    SETAUTO .COM     2K      5    
    SETUP   .COM    12K     83    
    STAT    .COM     6K     41    
    SUBMIT  .COM     4K     17    
    SYSGEN  .COM     2K     16    
    TPA     .COM     2K      3    
    USER    .ASM    14K     97    
    XKILL   .COM     2K      2    
    XSUB    .COM     2K      6    
    Z17     .HEX     6K     46    
       33 Files occupying    160K,       2K Free.

    Larry

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mloewen View Post
    This may be a silly question, but do you have the Offline key depressed? Do characters you type appear on the display? If so, release the Offline key.
    I also think this is the first thing to check. Since it is echoing what you type, that suggests it is in "offline" mode, where the CPU board is disconnected from the H19 and the H19 is in "loopback".

    If you get no "H:" (or "MMS:") prompt with the OFFLINE key "off" (up), then you'll need to start checking other things. With the H37 double-density soft-sectored floppy controller, there is a ribbon cable jumper between the controller and the CPU board, and without that the system will not run. If you want to run without the H37 you will need to remove the jumper cable and replace the IC on the CPU board to make it functional again.
    - Doug

  6. #6

    Default

    With the Offline key pushed down it goes into terminal mode and just echoes whatever I type like you said without it pressed in I get nothing just the blinking cursor and it bloops whenever I press a key but nothing happens on screen.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    State College, PA
    Posts
    185

    Default

    Also, do you hear any beeps when you power on the system? In online mode, you should hear two beeps: one for the terminal section and one for the CPU. In offline mode, you should only hear one beep. If the system is online and you only hear one beep, the CPU board is not initializing.

    You should consider joining the SEBHC group, where the real experts (not me) hang out.

    https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/sebhc

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by King_Corduroy View Post
    With the Offline key pushed down it goes into terminal mode and just echoes whatever I type like you said without it pressed in I get nothing just the blinking cursor and it bloops whenever I press a key but nothing happens on screen.
    So it seems that the CPU board is not functioning. Check to be certain that there is a ribbon cable connecting the H37 Double Density soft-sectored controller to the main CPU board. That cable must be oriented correctly, and must not be damaged. The H37 documentation should have clear instructions how to install that. One of your photos shows the H37 board removed from the system, so that is worth checking.

    One source for a lot of Heathkit information is here: https://sebhc.github.io/sebhc/. In the DOCUMENTATION section you should find the Z-89-37 manual.
    - Doug

  9. #9

    Default

    Another thing to verify, is that the terminal board is connected to the CPU board. I've received a system where they had turned it into an H19 by connecting the terminal board to one of the rear ports.

    There is also a lot of good info on the sebhc maillist - https://groups.google.com/g/sebhc. You could look through some past posts, or join the list and pose the question there.
    Heathkit and Zenith Data System Pre-IBM Compatible computers.
    Such as H8, H11, H/Z-88/89/90, H/Z-100/120

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