Forum Rules and Etiquette

Our mission ...

This forum is part of our mission to promote the preservation of vintage computers through education and outreach. (In real life we also run events and have a museum.) We encourage you to join us, participate, share your knowledge, and enjoy.

This forum has been around in this format for over 15 years. These rules and guidelines help us maintain a healthy and active community, and we moderate the forum to keep things on track. Please familiarize yourself with these rules and guidelines.

Rule 1: Remain civil and respectful

There are several hundred people who actively participate here. People come from all different backgrounds and will have different ways of seeing things. You will not agree with everything you read here. Back-and-forth discussions are fine but do not cross the line into rude or disrespectful behavior.

Conduct yourself as you would at any other place where people come together in person to discuss their hobby. If you wouldn't say something to somebody in person, then you probably should not be writing it here.

This should be obvious but, just in case: profanity, threats, slurs against any group (sexual, racial, gender, etc.) will not be tolerated.

Rule 2: Stay close to the original topic being discussed
  • If you are starting a new thread choose a reasonable sub-forum to start your thread. (If you choose incorrectly don't worry, we can fix that.)
  • If you are responding to a thread, stay on topic - the original poster was trying to achieve something. You can always start a new thread instead of potentially "hijacking" an existing thread.

Rule 3: Contribute something meaningful

To put things in engineering terms, we value a high signal to noise ratio. Coming here should not be a waste of time.
  • This is not a chat room. If you are taking less than 30 seconds to make a post then you are probably doing something wrong. A post should be on topic, clear, and contribute something meaningful to the discussion. If people read your posts and feel that their time as been wasted, they will stop reading your posts. Worse yet, they will stop visiting and we'll lose their experience and contributions.
  • Do not bump threads.
  • Do not "necro-post" unless you are following up to a specific person on a specific thread. And even then, that person may have moved on. Just start a new thread for your related topic.
  • Use the Private Message system for posts that are targeted at a specific person.

Rule 4: "PM Sent!" messages (or, how to use the Private Message system)

This forum has a private message feature that we want people to use for messages that are not of general interest to other members.

In short, if you are going to reply to a thread and that reply is targeted to a specific individual and not of interest to anybody else (either now or in the future) then send a private message instead.

Here are some obvious examples of when you should not reply to a thread and use the PM system instead:
  • "PM Sent!": Do not tell the rest of us that you sent a PM ... the forum software will tell the other person that they have a PM waiting.
  • "How much is shipping to ....": This is a very specific and directed question that is not of interest to anybody else.

Why do we have this policy? Sending a "PM Sent!" type message basically wastes everybody else's time by making them having to scroll past a post in a thread that looks to be updated, when the update is not meaningful. And the person you are sending the PM to will be notified by the forum software that they have a message waiting for them. Look up at the top near the right edge where it says 'Notifications' ... if you have a PM waiting, it will tell you there.

Rule 5: Copyright and other legal issues

We are here to discuss vintage computing, so discussing software, books, and other intellectual property that is on-topic is fine. We don't want people using these forums to discuss or enable copyright violations or other things that are against the law; whether you agree with the law or not is irrelevant. Do not use our resources for something that is legally or morally questionable.

Our discussions here generally fall under "fair use." Telling people how to pirate a software title is an example of something that is not allowable here.

Reporting problematic posts

If you see spam, a wildly off-topic post, or something abusive or illegal please report the thread by clicking on the "Report Post" icon. (It looks like an exclamation point in a triangle and it is available under every post.) This send a notification to all of the moderators, so somebody will see it and deal with it.

If you are unsure you may consider sending a private message to a moderator instead.

New user moderation

New users are directly moderated so that we can weed spammers out early. This means that for your first 10 posts you will have some delay before they are seen. We understand this can be disruptive to the flow of conversation and we try to keep up with our new user moderation duties to avoid undue inconvenience. Please do not make duplicate posts, extra posts to bump your post count, or ask the moderators to expedite this process; 10 moderated posts will go by quickly.

New users also have a smaller personal message inbox limit and are rate limited when sending PMs to other users.

Other suggestions
  • Use Google, books, or other definitive sources. There is a lot of information out there.
  • Don't make people guess at what you are trying to say; we are not mind readers. Be clear and concise.
  • Spelling and grammar are not rated, but they do make a post easier to read.
See more
See less

EPROM Programmer

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    EPROM Programmer

    Can someone recommend a good, not too expensive, EPROM programmer?

    I want to be able to play around with updating the BIOS chips in my XT, 5162 and AT machines as well as some other such chips. It would be great if it was USB and worked with either Windows 7 or some flavor of modern linux (Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS etc).

    IBM 5160 - 360k, 1.44Mb Floppies, NEC V20, 8087-3, 45MB MFM Hard Drive, Vega 7 Graphics, IBM 5154 Monitor running MS-DOS 5.00
    IBM PCJr Model 48360 640kb RAM, NEC V20,, jrIDE Side Cart, 360kb Floppy drives running MS-DOS 5.00
    Evergreen Am5x86-133 64Mb Ram, 8gb HDD, SB16 in a modified ATX case running IBM PC-DOS 7.10

    GQ-4X is a good basic USB programmer. Runs about $100 and works with all versions of Windows XP-10.


      The TL866CS is ~$50 on ebay and will program virtually everything you're likely to need. Some sellers throw in a few adaptor boards too, so that you can program chips besides DIP packages.


        TL866A and TL866CS both work with the command line minipro tools on Linux. I use CENTOS 7 myself.
        Thus spake Tandy Xenix System III version 3.2: "Bughlt: Sckmud Shut her down Scotty, she's sucking mud again!"


          I have one of these that I bought from Chuck(G). It has worked well for programming GALs, EPROMs and EEPROMs. I see there is a newer version of it as seen here.
          Last edited by ibmapc; January 7, 2017, 05:39 PM.


            Originally posted by Plasma View Post
            GQ-4X is a good basic USB programmer. Runs about $100 and works with all versions of Windows XP-10.
            This. .
            Be polite and I may let you live.



              Originally posted by Plasma View Post
              GQ-4X is a good basic USB programmer. Runs about $100 and works with all versions of Windows XP-10.
              I use one of these too, but it is an old version of the GQ-4X. I am very happy with it.

              According to the manufacturer's web site,, there is new version, quote, "This software is for latest GQ-4X V4(GQ-4x4) universal programmer only. The newer version GQ-4x4 has two beep sounds from programmer when it is power on."

              At the web site, "True-USB PRO GQ-4X" appears to be used for the old version, and "True-USB PRO GQ-4X V4" for the new version.


                Just a curious question, as I'm looking to upgrade from my old Willem programmer - will these devices program non-cmos chips? IIRC, the reason they added a dc jack to the Willem programmer was due to the higher current/voltage needed.

                Its been awhile since I've used it, and the new ones look alot easier to configure, so i might just be in the market for one myself.
                Currently Looking for Samsung Sens Pro Laptop's (500, 520,800,820) and accessories, specifically a docking station.


                  I also have the older model GQ4 which i bought back in 2010 and have been very pleased with it, My only gripe is it won't do Pal's / Gal's but i have my Data I/O programmer to do them. You can get cheaper but they all have their pro's and con's, I don't think i have had to use external power when programming the older NMOS 27x chips even though on some it was recommended, I guess it depends on the power output of your USB socket.


                    I have a Needham EMP-20 burner , plugs into the parallel port, this has worked well for me.

                    Recently I've had problems finding good EPROM chips, mainly 2764 and 27256.
                    Many of the UV erasable ones I've bought , even some new old stock ones, don't seem to work anymore.
                    Is there an alternative more modern chip I can use instead of 2764/27256 ? Even if its a one time burn
                    only would work for me......


                      You can substitute 27(c)512, just duplicate your image so it fills the entire chip. That way the extra address pins have no effect.

                      You can also use a 32-pin EEPROM or flash like the 29F010 if you hang the extra pins off the socket and jumper Vcc.


                        Thanks for the info ! My primary use would be burning ROMS for older IBM machines, PC/XT/AT

                        Can I also use the 256K chip ?

                        Or would I need the 512K chip :


                          Either of those chips will work if you are ok with OTP.

                          Note that the 5150 uses 2364 EPROMs, which have a different pinout from 2764. But you can use 27xxx with an adapter like this.


                            I have the GQ-4X Willem programmer. Easy to use and $89 from WalMart, free shipping.


                              I never liked the older Willems Chinese burners much. Currently using a Xeltek Unipro for old chips (have a nice UV eraser also) and for new motherboard chips a cheap NANO USB dongle programmer.
                              What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
                              Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
                              Boxed apps and games for the above systems
                              Analog video capture cards/software and complete systems