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Tektronix 4051 / 4052 / 4052A / 4054 / 4054A Program Archives

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    Tektronix 4014 Terminal Enhanced Graphics Point Plot - on Tektronix 4050 Computers

    I found a great github repository called "Tek4010":
    He has created a Tektronix 4010/4014 terminal emulator program that runs on Raspberry Pi - or in my case Ubuntu linux running on Windows 10.

    It is a little challenging to set up - as you also need to add X-windows support to Windows 10 (already in Raspberry Pi). I installed VcXsrv for X-windows support.

    Once everything is installed - you compile and run the tek4010 application on a Tektronix 401x terminal *.plt plot file and you see how amazing the Tektronix terminals were!

    I have some of the plt files posted on my Tektronix 4050 site with Tek BASIC programs that emulated the output - based on capturing the vectors and converting them to move and draw commands. If you have the serial backpack for your Tek 4050 - you can send the plt files directly as Tektronix built into the serial backpack ROMs a Tektronix terminal emulator for vectors.

    However, most interesting to me was trying to run on the Tek4010 terminal emulator the "Special Point Plot Mode" plt files I had found. The Tek 4050 terminal emulator ROMs do NOT support that mode - and the old linux tekplot utility also does NOT support that mode. Even the Tek4010 emulator (when I found it last week) did NOT support that mode correctly (he had no files to test).

    I sent him a couple of my files - he fixed a couple of bugs in his emulator and posted several of the point plot mode files I provided. However - they are quite dim, and may not look like they would if plotted on a real 4014 terminal with Enhanced Graphics option.

    He then developed a new program he called maketekimage that you can create a plt file from your own photos - that makes the images look great!

    Here are two example plot outputs - Leonard Nimoy as Spock in the original plt file I had and a point plot output file generated from maketekimage using a color photo I found in an internet search.
    The new plt file - was also output from Rene's Tek4010 program.

    From Chuck Forsberg's partially archived website on archive dot org - we find a file with background information on how some of the images were created. In particular, "point plot" files were scanned by a "University of Maryland Flying Spot Scanner which was used to digitize nuclear decay traces".

    Since the Tektronix 4014 Enhanced Graphics terminal had a non-linear brightness curve - and the scanner may have been more linear brightness - that might explain why the point plot images from Chuck's site show a little dim on the PC screen.

    If anyone has a working 4014 with Enhanced Graphics - I would be interested in a photo of these point plot files viewed on that terminal!

    Of course I had to experiment and created a Tektronix 4014 point plot file of me with my full size Star Wars BB-8 droid
    My costume in this picture is based on the "Poe Dameron" character in Star Wars "Last Jedi" movie - since BB-8 was owned by Poe

    Now I'm working on how to do point plots on my 4054A - and even the 4051. Biggest limitation is we need big storage - like my 4907 floppy drive to input the plt file, or slow serial port.
    Last edited by nikola-wan; October 13, 2019, 04:38 AM.



      I keep forgetting how good the Tektronix terminals actually were. You keep posting image files that are extremely good for the time period.

      We had a PET and a Tektronix 4051 in our Electrical Engineering Laboratory at University. The PET was used for playing games and the 4051 for doing serious work!

      Although my final year robotics project did involve interfacing the Commodore PET to a robot (I developed the interface electronics and software language). So the PET did get some use in the end!




        Yes, the Tektronix terminals - and 4050 computers were amazing for the 1970's.

        I had the pleasure of using a 4051 at work in the '70's - and also learned BASIC programming by writing and porting games from magazine articles back in the day.

        Even today - we don't have monitors with 4096 x 3072 resolution - so my Tektronix 4054A is still state of the art!



          Make-Tek-Image is now released by RRICHARZ!

          See my post 46 above for more information:



            I just uploaded my work-in-progress document on Tektronix 4052-4054 System Architecture. Some of the information is from the 4052 Assembler documentation I posted (from the scan of their microfiche), other info is from the 4051 Assembler documentation I posted (from Living Computers Museum scan), and the rest from bits and pieces of the 4051/4052/4054 service manuals posted on I did not complete the effort of filling in the instruction set table with condition codes, nor the effort of typing in the 4051 ROM Call details - many of which are used in the 4052/4054 ROMs.

            I assembled the example 4052 source files in the documentation, and even posted in that same github folder a dump I made using my port of Motorola MINIBUG to dump the 64KB of RAM in my Tektronix 4054A. We have already got the ROMs dumped and uploaded to - so the actual ROM entry points can be harvested for the published ROM CALLs.

            Here is the link to my System Architecture document, and a screenshot of the cover page and table of contents:


              Eight Tektronix 4051 and 4052 ROM Cartridges!

              I just received eight Tektronix 4051 and 4052 ROM Cartridges - thanks to a tip from Slob, and thanks to commodorejohn for finding them at an estate sale!

              Here is a pic of the ROM Cartridges:

              Top row are 4052 ROM Packs:
              • 4052 Editor (4052R06)
              • 4052 File Manager
              • 4052 RS-232 Printer Interface (4052 Option 10)

              Bottom row are 4051 ROM Packs:
              • 4051 Editor ROM
              • 4051 Matrix Functions
              • 4051 Binary Program Loader
              • 4051 Binary Program Loader
              • 4051 RS-232 Printer Interface (4051 Option 10)

              I will capture and post all these ROMs, but when I opened the 4051 Editor ROM - it has two Motorola 2kx8 MCM6832 Mask ROMs (according to the 4051 service manual schematics).

              I don't find this part in the Data I/O Unipak family/pinout list, partially because it isn't programmable

              Does anyone have a suggestion on how to read that ROM on a Data I/O Unipak?

              I guess I will open up the 4052 ROMs next - they should have 2732 EPROMs - much easier to read.



                Nine Tektronix 4052 ROM Cartridge binaries and photos posted

                Nine Tektronix 4052 ROM Cartridge binaries and photos posted on my github archive in a new 4052_ROM_Pack_Firmware folder:

                • 4050E01 ROM Expander (Cartridge photos only - uses BASIC ROM firmware)
                • 4052 File Manager (-00 firmware and docs)
                • 4052 File Manager (-01 firmware and docs - this is the one I am using with my 4907)
                • 4052 Advanced File Manager (requires Tektronix 4909 Hard Disk system which I don't have)
                • 4052 Character and Symbol - 4052R11
                • 4052 Editor
                • 4052 Graphics Enhancement - 4052R12 (includes firmware link to bitsavers, doc, and programs - fast graphics plus music!)
                • 4052 GPIB Enhancement - 4052R14 (4052/4054 only)
                • 4052A GPIB Enhancement - 4052R14-1A (4052A/4054A only)
                • 4052 RS-232 Printer Interface - 4052F10

                I have not been able to read the 4051 ROM Cartridges - they contain Motorola MCM6832 ROMs.

                I uploaded the difficult to find MCM6832 data sheet from the MC6800_Microcomputer_System_Design_Data_1976.pdf


                Here is a side-by-side picture I made of the MCM6832 and TMS2716 EPROM which has similar voltages, but completely different pinout. Both parts targeted the early 6800 computers - prior to the standardization of EPROM and ROM pinouts:

                I used the table to breadboard jumpers between the MCM6832 ROM and the Data I/O Unipak 2B ZIF socket configured for the TMS2716 family/pinout code 23/28.

                The Data I/O registered an Error 31 - excessive current drain

                There is a difference in the two datasheets for the +5V input current (almost zero in the TI compared to the Motorola), so I supplied the ROM +5V from a separate power supply. I still got the same error.

                So I'm not proceeding with trying to read any of the 4051 ROMs - maybe someone has a different suggestion?


                  Here is the pinout of my adaptor. The "Plug" is the TMS2716 pinout plug to go into the reader, the "socket" is the MCM6832. Note that I labeled the address bus A1 to A11 and the data bus is D1 to D8. Some documentation starts numbering at zero, Tektronix schematics start at one.
                  Plug... Socket... Signal
                  1 ... 20 ... A8
                  2 ... 15 ... A7
                  3 ... 14 ... A6
                  4 ... 13 ... A5
                  5 ... 11 ... A4
                  6 ... 10 ... A3
                  7 ... 9 ... A2
                  8 ... 8 ... A1
                  9 ... 4 ... D1
                  10 ... 5 ... D2
                  11 ... 6 ... D3
                  12 ... 12 ... VSS
                  13 ... 7 ... D4
                  14 ... 19 ... D5
                  15 ... 18 ... D6
                  16 ... 17 ... D7
                  17 ... 16 ... D8
                  18 ... 3 ... /CE
                  19 ... 23 ... VDD
                  20 ... 2 ... A11
                  21 ... 1 ... VBB
                  22 ... 22 ... A10
                  23 ... 21 ... A9
                  24 ... 24 ... VCC

                  It looks the same as your pinout. Double check your work. It's easy to get your wires crossed...
                  Last edited by oldcomputerexpert; October 21, 2019, 10:06 PM.


                    Originally posted by oldcomputerexpert View Post
                    Here is the pinout of my adaptor. The "Plug" is the TMS2716 pinout plug to go into the reader, the "socket" is the MCM6832. Note that I labeled the address bus A1 to A11 and the data bus is D1 to D8. Some documentation starts numbering at zero, Tektronix schematics start at one.

                    It looks the same as your pinout. Double check your work. It's easy to get your wires crossed...
                    I began ohming out my wiring and found mistakes and a bad jumper wire.

                    I replaced my cheap DIP socket with a machined pin socket - rewired and was able to read all but one of the 4051 MCM6832 ROMs. Date codes ranged from 1976 to 1977 - 42 years old!
                    The only MCM6832 I couldn't read was the 2nd ROM in the 2nd Binary Program Loader cartridge, but I read both the ROMs in the first Binary Program Loader ROM Pack.

                    I've created another folder on my github repository for Tektronix 4051 ROM Pack Firmware:


                    I believe I have recovered the following ROM firmware - but I don't have a 4051 to test them:

                    4051 Editor 4051R06
                    4051 Binary Program Loader 4051R05
                    4051 Matrix Functions 4051R01

                    I got backward device error on attempting to read the MCM68308 1KB EPROM on the 4051 RS-232 printer interface. This was the same error as the MCM6832 I couldn't read in the 2nd Binary Program Loader ROM Pack.
                    I tried using the i2708 EPROM Family/Pinout 21/27 - with the MCM68308 in a ZIF socket with pin 18 tied to +5V as shown in the 4051 service manual 2 schematic for this ROM Pack.

                    I may try to connect this EPROM to an Arduino to read the firmware.

                    I posted each ROM Pack in a separate folder like I did for the 4052 ROM Pack firmware I posted last week.

                    Here is my photo of the 4051 Editor ROM Pack - which contained four 2Kx8 ROMs:

                    And here is my photo of the 4051 RS-232 Printer Interface ROM Pack PCB - which includes the MCM68308 ROM and Motorola 6850 UART with a 1975 date code:

                    Each ROM Pack has a photo of the label on the end of the ROM pack, front of the PCB and back of the PCB.
                    Last edited by nikola-wan; October 26, 2019, 07:16 PM.


                      Sounds like the next order of business is to design an open source cartridge pcb that let's you house all the ROMs in a chunk of flash memory or via microSD card.
                      @LegalizeAdulthd | Computer Graphics Museum | Terminals Wiki | Manx Documentation Database


                        Originally posted by legalize View Post
                        Sounds like the next order of business is to design an open source cartridge pcb that let's you house all the ROMs in a chunk of flash memory or via microSD card.
                        I agree.

                        It sounds easier to just emulate the bank switching of the 4050E01 eight-slot ROM Expander and use two 32Kx8 or one 64Kx8 EPROM to store eight ROM packs. The 4051 Editor ROM Pack has four 2Kx8 ROMs.

                        Here is the theory of operation of the 4051E01 ROM Expander:

                        And I uploaded the relevant schematic pages here:

                        Last edited by nikola-wan; October 28, 2019, 04:55 PM.


                          Extending the 4051 ROM Expander idea a bit further - maybe the board should emulate the 4050E01 ROM Expander which supports both 4051 AND 4052/4054 ROM Packs.

                          The 4050E01 ROM Expander automatically detects a 4051 or 4052 computer - and obviously the expander card can plug into either system.

                          Here is my scan of the relevant theory and schematics from my 4050E01 manual.


                          I do know the 4052/4052 supported up to four 4Kx8 EPROMs - so that means we need two 64Kx8 EPROMs to hold eight of those ROM Packs.
                          Last edited by nikola-wan; October 28, 2019, 05:45 PM.


                            Maybe Jos Dreesen can create a circuit board for the "Tektronix 4051/4052 Multi-ROM Pack"!
                            Jos has already created a 4052 Diagnostic Cartridge, which works great in my Tektronix 4054!

                            My github folder on 4052E01 ROM Expander has closeup photos of the ROM Cartridge:


                            Like this front view:


                              Rather than emulate one of their multipack devices, I think the easiest solution is to create a cartridge that has a small display and a couple buttons to let you scroll through the rom images on a microSD card, similar to the floppy emulators and whatnot that lots of people have made for the C=64 and so-on.

                              This will allow you to have more ROM images than could fit in any legacy device.
                              @LegalizeAdulthd | Computer Graphics Museum | Terminals Wiki | Manx Documentation Database


                                Originally posted by nikola-wan View Post
                                Maybe Jos Dreesen can create a circuit board for the "Tektronix 4051/4052 Multi-ROM Pack"!
                                Jos has already created a 4052 Diagnostic Cartridge, which works great in my Tektronix 4054!
                                I'll put it on my ( rather large ) ToDo list for 2020 !

                                ( And I did not "create" an Diagnostic Cartridge, I just updated Tektronix' design with some easier to find components. )

                                BTW still some Diagnostics Cartridge PCB/finished Units available !