Announcement

Collapse

Forum 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.


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.


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.



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.


"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.

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

Zenith Z-180

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Zenith Z-180

    Just been out in the shed and under one bench top was this wee beauty. A Zenith Z-180 XT laptop. Model ZWL-183-93. Manufactured in 1987 it came in two versions as far as I can tell. A double 3.5" 720k fdds or one 3.5" 720k fdd and hdd version. I got the later. The fdd bays are designed to pop up when in use which is a nifty feature. It has a number of external ports side and rear. The rear ports are ext. 5.25" fdd, RGB monitor output serial and ltp ports. The side are Line, Tele and a few others with power inlet and on/off switches on the opposing side. Has a built in modem. The hdd has long met its maker and looks like a previous owner has tried to pry the hdd up when the hdd is remove by removing two torx security screws and sliing the hdd from out the rear of the system. It came with two very comprehensive manuals as they did back then and the original MS Dos 3.21 system/boot disc. Getting any info online about Zenith systems is like pulling teeth. Also have the original registration cards as a bonus. Underneath is a bank of dip switches. With these you can select speed(4.77 or 8Mhz), A: drive location(Ext or internal), display width 80 or 40 characters), display type(LCD or CRT), and drive count(1 to 4-can be 3.5"or 5.25"). The back port cover catch is broken so flops about. A bit of fridge magnet and a small piece of steel or velcro will sort that out.

    On boot press ESC and eventually you get a prompt to press ? and then press enter. The diagnostic monitor rom will provide you with a whole host of options, one being B 0 then press enter to boot off the fdd. You can enter the Monitor mode ant time by pressing the CTRL-ALT-INS keys at the same time. Once done you are given a few optiosn from the original boot disk. Selecting N puts you at the Dos prompt.

    The carry case is currently in the clothes washer for cleaning and yes I did check it was empty before hand retrieving a number of 720k floppies in the process.

    This system will compliment my Z286LP Plus quite nicely. That's been solid and I'm sure this will be too looking at the way it is built. I'll hook it up to one of my P166MMX test rigs linux installations for some serial dumb terminal fun using the Banana Dos terminal emulator.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Caluser2000; October 3, 2019, 05:44 PM.
    Thomas Byers (DRI)- "You'll have a million people using the A> [MS-DOS prompt] forever. You'll have five million using [nongraphic] menu systems such as Topview, Concurrent PC-DOS, Desq, and those types. But there'll be 50 to 100 million using the iconic-based interfaces."

    #2
    A bit more tinkering with it. The hdd cover does indeed pop up. I accidentally push in the right area and the cover popped out. Also at the back where I thought was the place to remove the hdd was what looks like an 8-bit ISA expansion slot but it is not document in the books I have. I grabbed out an old 8-bit joy stick card to compare the size and is the same size and pin arrangement. Possibly for diagnostic purposes maybe? Until I find out a bit more about it I'll leave it alone to not cause any damage.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Caluser2000; October 4, 2019, 01:47 PM.
    Thomas Byers (DRI)- "You'll have a million people using the A> [MS-DOS prompt] forever. You'll have five million using [nongraphic] menu systems such as Topview, Concurrent PC-DOS, Desq, and those types. But there'll be 50 to 100 million using the iconic-based interfaces."

    Comment


      #3
      Opening up the beast was quite straight forward 2 screws in the rear port bay and 2 in the battery bay. The front portion had some sort of glue across it but that was easy to seperate with the finger nail. I suspect there was a 5th screw bottom center front but that was missing. Plenty of cable just the flip the top position over and only one connect heeded to be disconnect which hooked up section containing the leds. Very clean inside no dust at all. Also the battery pack seems to be charging fine. It has a keyboard connection for standard XT class desk top keyboards.

      Time to remove the hard drive.
      Attached Files
      Last edited by Caluser2000; October 4, 2019, 07:06 PM.
      Thomas Byers (DRI)- "You'll have a million people using the A> [MS-DOS prompt] forever. You'll have five million using [nongraphic] menu systems such as Topview, Concurrent PC-DOS, Desq, and those types. But there'll be 50 to 100 million using the iconic-based interfaces."

      Comment


        #4
        Ok hard drive is out. It's a 3.5" JVC Model JD38224R00-1. Zenith P/N EA4779-003 with a hdd connector I've never seen before. It's well damped with bumpers in all corners and housed in a protective cage. No web search matches.

        Looking more like that large connector in the back is for an external hdd.
        Attached Files
        Last edited by Caluser2000; October 4, 2019, 08:24 PM.
        Thomas Byers (DRI)- "You'll have a million people using the A> [MS-DOS prompt] forever. You'll have five million using [nongraphic] menu systems such as Topview, Concurrent PC-DOS, Desq, and those types. But there'll be 50 to 100 million using the iconic-based interfaces."

        Comment


          #5
          This looks similar to my HP Portable Vectra CS. The hdd is pretty much the same as mine, which is a pain in the rear. My has a stuck head and it is basically impossible to find a replacement.

          Comment


            #6
            modem7 has the Z-180 series Owners Manual in PDF format http://www.minuszerodegrees.net/manu...s%20Manual.pdf Seems to be some variances compared to mine. As I mentioned earlier info on Zenith/Heath stuff. It is like pulling teeth. Very little information out there. which is unusual since they catered for the educational and Govt. departments primarily. it's like everything was slammed in a vault.

            The drive cage has a p/n of JD-3824R0Z0 and found this old vcf thread http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthrea...acements/page2
            Last edited by Caluser2000; October 4, 2019, 09:11 PM.
            Thomas Byers (DRI)- "You'll have a million people using the A> [MS-DOS prompt] forever. You'll have five million using [nongraphic] menu systems such as Topview, Concurrent PC-DOS, Desq, and those types. But there'll be 50 to 100 million using the iconic-based interfaces."

            Comment


              #7
              All put back together again except the isa looking conection cover. I'll replace the torx security screws with phillips head screws for ease of access in future. Just going through all the programs on the Zenith supplied supplied floppy. Lots of goodies. Quite amazing how much stuff you can get on a 720k disk. The most interesting one for me is zcom. It is a Zenith supplied serial file transfer program/terminal emulator, used to transfer programs system to system via serial port direct or via dial-up modem. Now this is 1987 well before MSs interlink/interserv programs. You can set a system up as a zcom server or use it as a client to transfer files. Handy for future use and will compliment the mtCP suite nicely.
              Thomas Byers (DRI)- "You'll have a million people using the A> [MS-DOS prompt] forever. You'll have five million using [nongraphic] menu systems such as Topview, Concurrent PC-DOS, Desq, and those types. But there'll be 50 to 100 million using the iconic-based interfaces."

              Comment


                #8
                They were an easy system to work on, except when the battery or the ceramic resistor that's part of the charging circuit would melt the side of the case. Since this was physical damage, the service contract we had covered it, so we have to replace the entire tub underneath the pc and transfer the serial number label.

                Comment


                  #9
                  You're lucky to get a JVC drive. The ALPS drives were notorious for seizing up. The HDD cover was not meant to pop up like the floppy. IIRC the "legs" were melted on the ends to keep the cover in place. Funny thing was a little force would snap that plastic burr off. I can't picture it, but did that model have a removable cover to install a modem?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Yeah there's a cover on the bottom right hand side held in by one screw. There's a few other connectors on the mobo unused. Do you know what the iSA looking connector at the back was for Moondog?
                    Thomas Byers (DRI)- "You'll have a million people using the A> [MS-DOS prompt] forever. You'll have five million using [nongraphic] menu systems such as Topview, Concurrent PC-DOS, Desq, and those types. But there'll be 50 to 100 million using the iconic-based interfaces."

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by neosunrise View Post
                      This looks similar to my HP Portable Vectra CS. The hdd is pretty much the same as mine, which is a pain in the rear. My has a stuck head and it is basically impossible to find a replacement.
                      I did a bit of googling and found a guy that has a few blog posts about reverse engineering the connector. Turns out its a modified ST-506 protocol to better fit laptop use.

                      https://knm.org.uk/blog/2017/04/the-...erface-part-1/
                      https://knm.org.uk/blog/2017/05/v86p-expansion/
                      https://knm.org.uk/blog/2018/09/the-...erface-part-3/

                      And this place makes a "we do everything" board which has support for the weird 26 pin JVC controller.
                      https://www.drem.info/technical-specs

                      It's not cheap though..

                      The guy also mentioned the connector that the disk controller plugs into is a slightly modified 8 bit ISA bus, so it may be possible to make a custom ISA board to have XT-IDE support.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I've acquired another one of these wee beauties. This time it is a twin 720k fdd version. https://www.trademe.co.nz/a/marketpl...7?bof=Dc3WGI68
                        Thomas Byers (DRI)- "You'll have a million people using the A> [MS-DOS prompt] forever. You'll have five million using [nongraphic] menu systems such as Topview, Concurrent PC-DOS, Desq, and those types. But there'll be 50 to 100 million using the iconic-based interfaces."

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Hi Caluser2000 , it would be great if you could read out and post the BIOS ROMs of your Z-180's. I'd love to include the machines in the MAME emulator.
                          There's no need to crack them open (unless you decide to and have an EPROM reader anyway) - some DEBUG magic will do:
                          http://mess.redump.net/dumping/dump_bios_using_debug

                          Thanks
                          Robert

                          Comment

                          Working...
                          X