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Thread: Ampro Little Board Z80/A13001 rev A

  1. #1
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    Default Ampro Little Board Z80/A13001 rev A

    I have a Little Board Z80 A13001 rev A system coming to me and have been looking for information on the Rev A board. I found the tech manual for the newer Z80 SCSI updated board, but none for the Rev A. Several questions come to mind such as what is the 26 (??) pin connector on the board used for if it's not a SCSI interface? Which RS232 port is for the terminal and how do you set baud rate etc. If no SCSI expansion, has anyone added a IDE or other HDD via mod's? Ideally, I'd like to find a copy of the tech manual for the board since the manual for the newer board is helpful, but missing info that might be useful. Lastly, I've got to build up a 5.25" floppy supply plus maybe cleaning disk since I long ago dumped everything other than 3.5" or 8" machines. New cleaning disks seem to be rare these days.
    Crazy old guy with a basement full of Pentium 1 laptops and parts

  2. #2
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    The 26 pin header is for the parallel (printer) port.

    Why not use 3.5" disks on your system, since that's what's on hand.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    The 26 pin header is for the parallel (printer) port.

    Why not use 3.5" disks on your system, since that's what's on hand.
    I guessed that was a parallel port, but wasn't sure. It has two 5.25 drives at present and could add a couple of 3.5's, I guess.
    Crazy old guy with a basement full of Pentium 1 laptops and parts

  4. #4
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    Computer arrived and I'm pulling it apart to check out the board and drives. Plus I'm remounting the drives and Little Board into a beautifully made Trimm twin SCSI housing. The original housing was made for two full height drives and open in the front without any faceplate plus the pwr supply looks sketchy. I found some "stuff" that looks like dried chocolate milkshake (or puke) on a SIP resistor pack plus on the housing of one of the drives. IPA and a cotton Q-tip got it off the SIP and I wiped down the drive. There's still a little bit under the flywheel of the drive, but not on any circuitry. I've to to figure out a mounting method for the board since it needs to go above the top side of the top floppy drive vs. attached to the bottom. But the drives mount to a removable drive rack and I should be able to make some brackets to support the board using the drive mounting screws to hold the board up above the drive. Power testing hopefully this weekend.
    Crazy old guy with a basement full of Pentium 1 laptops and parts

  5. #5
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    An update. I ran into a few issues that need to be resolved yet. Due to the way the twin 5.25 drives are mounted into the new housing I need to mount the Little Board above the top drive and of course this in not the normal method of mounting which is to the bottom of a drive. So I need to make four standoffs up from the mounting screws on the side of the drives to support the board. Then I need to drill a hole and mount a new push button reset switch on the front panel to replace the funky C&K spring loaded DPDT switch that came with the computer. Lastly, I need to make a new patch panel to replace the original SCSI connector panel and mount the two RS-232 and parallel port connectors into it.

    The good new is after adding a ATX power splitter to allow connecting the two drives and the board to the housing power supply it worked. Well I did run into a minor issue with my Wyze terminal needing CTS and RTS that wasn't connected on the computers RS232 connector. So I jumpered pins 4 to 5 and also did 6 to 20 just in case that was also a problem and got a sign on. I could read the directories of floppies put into both drives.

    So After the clean up of the mounting stuff it will be a nice working system. Almost portable if I don't need to drag along a CRT terminal. Much easier to do than trying that with a large S-100 chassis with 8" drives.
    Crazy old guy with a basement full of Pentium 1 laptops and parts

  6. #6
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    An RPi running Z80 emulation is far more portable--and even boasts USB.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    An RPi running Z80 emulation is far more portable--and even boasts USB.
    Oh so true.
    Crazy old guy with a basement full of Pentium 1 laptops and parts

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    An RPi running Z80 emulation is far more portable--and even boasts USB.
    And spectacularly uninteresting. May as well demo it on your smartphone.

    Retro hardware is as much tactile as it is executing software.

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