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Thread: Aim-65 video card mystery

  1. #11
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    Dec 2011
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    I will get you everything that I can. I have the card, and will be happy to dump the ROM and character generator. I would be thrilled to see this replicated as well.

    Dave

  2. #12

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    The video card manual is on the web someplace. The cards were made in a Euro card like format and a STD bus like card. Neither cards were compatible with either.
    The interface was mostly buffers as I recall and some address decoding. This is not a really complicated circuit.
    RM65 bus was setup to allow two processors on the same bus but you only need the one. If someone was to make a new board it would be good to add things like more RAM and maybe a SD card interface.
    I've been meaning to play with my bus but have gotten distracted, playing with 4004 stuff.
    I've been intending to blow new EPROMs to run from a serial terminal, for the RM65 stuff I have, but have finished it up.
    Dwight

  3. #13
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    Jun 2012
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    One of the documents I read yesterday I am sure had the bit patterns for the character generator in it.

    Dave

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by dfnr2 View Post
    I will get you everything that I can. I have the card, and will be happy to dump the ROM and character generator. I would be thrilled to see this replicated as well.

    Dave
    Thank you so much.

  5. #15

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    There was a remark on Han's website about this book:

    Datasheets of all available RM 65 modules are described in Chapter 9 of the 1984 Synertek Databook.

    Does anyone have a copy of this book or know where one is ?

    Was Synertek part of Rockwell or the same company ?

    Currently trying to find the data (schematic) on the adapter module Rockwell part RM65-7101E, which allows the Video card to plug directly onto the AIM-65 expansion connector.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Synertek was another company making 6502-related chips, boards and systems, notably the Sym-1, essentially an improved KIM-1 clone.

    For AIM video I just use the RS-232 port, either with a computer terminal emulator if I plan to load/save any data or just a $20 VGA terminal board.

    As I've often said, with 40K RAM, an 80x25 VGA display and a nice keyboard and built-in BASIC, FORTH, PL/65, Assembler (and Pascal with some mods) it makes a nice little 'real' computer; for disk storage there's the AH5050 DOS and interface to a CBM 1541.

    m

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeS View Post
    Synertek was another company making 6502-related chips, boards and systems, notably the Sym-1, essentially an improved KIM-1 clone.

    For AIM video I just use the RS-232 port, either with a computer terminal emulator if I plan to load/save any data or just a $20 VGA terminal board.

    As I've often said, with 40K RAM, an 80x25 VGA display and a nice keyboard and built-in BASIC, FORTH, PL/65, Assembler (and Pascal with some mods) it makes a nice little 'real' computer; for disk storage there's the AH5050 DOS and interface to a CBM 1541.

    m
    Yes that sounds like a good option, but I want to run just the video card and composite video monitor with my AIM-65 so as to keep using the AIM's keyboard etc rather than farming the function out to a terminal.

    But I do want to set up a serial interface, and I think that is done using the TTY signals and a serial IC like the MAX232 or similar. But I have not seen any posted project that shows the schematic of how it was done or whether or not handshaking was used or just the RX/TX. Can you point me to a schematic of a RS-232 system that can be plugged onto the AIM-65 which is known to work ?

    I think the great utility of that would be to get programs in and out of the AIM this way, much like the SOL-20 using .ENT files, rather than having to use tape storage & retrieval.

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeS View Post

    for disk storage there's the AH5050 DOS and interface to a CBM 1541.

    m
    Mike,

    When I read this I had no idea what AH5050 meant. So I searched and found the attached information.

    If I was going to be able to set this up myself as an option you suggested and had any hope of making it work, I would require 1) the schematic for the original card to build a replica 2) the manual and 3) the ROM file to be able to put it together and make it work.

    Do you know where I can find these three items documented ?
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  9. #19
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    The AIM-65 is supposed to interface to the serial world via a 20 mA current loop.

    However, with the addition of an RS232 transmitter buffer, it can drive an RS232 device as per the following document:

    http://retro.hansotten.nl/uploads/fi...65%20RS232.pdf.

    The RS232 receiver circuitry is already built into the AIM-65 (connected to J1-Y).

    If you need to use the serial connected terminal with the monitor - you have to flip switch S3 from OPEN (AIM-65 keyboard) to CLOSED (TTY input). I have 'fixed' a few AIM-65 computers when people have got them (when they state that the keyboard doesn't work) by suggesting they change the state of switch S3. Presumably, the previous owner ran the machine with a TTY - or someone has just played with the switches !

    Dave

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by daver2 View Post
    The AIM-65 is supposed to interface to the serial world via a 20 mA current loop.

    However, with the addition of an RS232 transmitter buffer, it can drive an RS232 device as per the following document:

    http://retro.hansotten.nl/uploads/fi...65%20RS232.pdf.

    The RS232 receiver circuitry is already built into the AIM-65 (connected to J1-Y).

    If you need to use the serial connected terminal with the monitor - you have to flip switch S3 from OPEN (AIM-65 keyboard) to CLOSED (TTY input). I have 'fixed' a few AIM-65 computers when people have got them (when they state that the keyboard doesn't work) by suggesting they change the state of switch S3. Presumably, the previous owner ran the machine with a TTY - or someone has just played with the switches !

    Dave
    Thanks Dave, that is very helpful to see the exact document. I can make the interface from that.

    One of the problems I have quickly discovered for vintage computer interfacing is that there are may suggestions of things that should work, or did work, or references to equipment type numbers. But then nothing solid was documented oh how it was done at the schematic level. Since many original boards are virtually unobtainium, it requires the original data to replicate them, which I can do with three things; pcb photos and schematics & ROM dumps, if I can get them.

    The other option to re-engineer the notion of the design from scratch, with modern components. But this is not in my wheelhouse, and besides, ideally, I want the vintage nature of the original designs.

    The information required to replicate things, like vintage pcb's etc, appears to be fading fast.

    It is a little like the experiences I had back in the 1970's when I was restoring tube based gear, made in the 1930's, the data was thinning out and much of it was lost. That was only 30 years aging. But now, in the year 2021 data on apparatus from the 1970's is vanishing fast.

    For example, looking around at ways to get a video output from the AIM-65, I came across this remark posted on a German website about the AH5050 interface a year or so ago:

    But even more difficult to find is the driver disk for the AH5050 interface. There was a tool on it so that the whole thing could also be operated under Basic

    and to save basic programs. Without a floppy disk, only assembler programs can be stored on floppy disk.


    It is quite tantalizing looking at some of the advertising in the vintage magazines for a card that does a useful function, but its a little like dangling a carrot in front of horse, you can see it, but its just out of reach.

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