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Looking for 680b Parts & Pieces

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  • mardy_marshall
    I m trying to put together an Altair 680b. I recently acquired an original case, but don t have any guts for it. Anyone out there have either a front panel
    Message 1 of 10 , Feb 13, 2009
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      I'm trying to put together an Altair 680b. I recently acquired an original case, but don't have
      any guts for it. Anyone out there have either a front panel or mother board that they would
      like to either sell or trade?

      -Mardy
    • billdeg@aol.com
      I think you can still get new kits from Stockley Electronics. ? ... From: mardy_marshall To: altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com Sent: Fri,
      Message 2 of 10 , Feb 14, 2009
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        I think you can still get new kits from Stockley Electronics.
         


        -----Original Message-----
        From: mardy_marshall <mardy@...>
        To: altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Fri, 13 Feb 2009 4:44 pm
        Subject: [Altair Computer Club] Looking for 680b Parts & Pieces

        I'm trying to put together an Altair 680b.  I recently acquired an original 
        case, but don't have
        any guts for it. Anyone out there have either a front panel or mother board
        that they would
        like to either sell or trade?

        -Mardy





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      • Marden P. Marshall
        I was hoping to find some vintage stock, but something from Grant could be a Plan B . -Mardy
        Message 3 of 10 , Feb 14, 2009
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          I was hoping to find some vintage stock, but something from Grant could be a "Plan B".

          -Mardy

          On Feb 14, 2009, at 9:04 AM, billdeg@... wrote:



          I think you can still get new kits from Stockley Electronics.
           


          -----Original Message-----
          From: mardy_marshall <mardy@voysys. com>
          To: altaircomputerclub@ yahoogroups. com
          Sent: Fri, 13 Feb 2009 4:44 pm
          Subject: [Altair Computer Club] Looking for 680b Parts & Pieces

          I'm trying to put together an Altair 680b.  I recently acquired an original 
          case, but don't have
          any guts for it. Anyone out there have either a front panel or mother board
          that they would
          like to either sell or trade?

          -Mardy





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        • john_crane_59
          Please keep in mind that the Stockley kits, while good (I have one of his 680 kits), are not 100% compatible with the originals. For example, if you want the
          Message 4 of 10 , Feb 15, 2009
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            Please keep in mind that the Stockley kits, while good (I have one
            of his 680 kits), are not 100% compatible with the originals. For
            example, if you want the extra memory, software, etc, it requires
            the installation of a daughterboard, and that requires a machine pin
            socket on your 6800 chip. In other words, you have to replace the
            CPU socket - messey and definitely not vintage spec. In the
            original 680 there was a 3 slot expander card for the bus and you
            could load up on RAM cards, or whatever. I've been after Grant
            since last November to make up a batch of those, since I have a
            vintage 680 too. Maybe if we BOTH pester him, he will see a market
            for them. wink wink nudge nudge...

            -John

            --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, "Marden P. Marshall"
            <mardy@...> wrote:
            >
            > I was hoping to find some vintage stock, but something from Grant
            > could be a "Plan B".
            >
            > -Mardy
            >
            > On Feb 14, 2009, at 9:04 AM, billdeg@... wrote:
            >
            > >
            > >
            > > I think you can still get new kits from Stockley Electronics.
            > >
            > >
            > > -----Original Message-----
            > > From: mardy_marshall <mardy@...>
            > > To: altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com
            > > Sent: Fri, 13 Feb 2009 4:44 pm
            > > Subject: [Altair Computer Club] Looking for 680b Parts & Pieces
            > >
            > > I'm trying to put together an Altair 680b. I recently acquired
            an
            > > original
            > >
            > > case, but don't have
            > >
            > > any guts for it. Anyone out there have either a front panel or
            > > mother board
            > >
            > > that they would
            > >
            > > like to either sell or trade?
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > -Mardy
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > ------------------------------------
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > Yahoo! Groups Links
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/altaircomputerclub/
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > Individual Email | Traditional
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/altaircomputerclub/join
            > >
            > > (Yahoo! ID required)
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > mailto:altaircomputerclub-digest@yahoogroups.com
            > >
            > > mailto:altaircomputerclub-fullfeatured@yahoogroups.com
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > altaircomputerclub-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > A Good Credit Score is 700 or Above. See yours in just 2 easy
            steps!
            > >
            > >
            >
          • Tom Sanderson
            I am amazed and impressed by collectors of vintage computer equipment. It takes a lot of time, money, knowledge, and skill to restore an old system. The
            Message 5 of 10 , Feb 15, 2009
            • 0 Attachment
              I am amazed and impressed by collectors of vintage computer
              equipment. It takes a lot of time, money, knowledge, and skill to
              restore an old system. The process is complicated by lack of
              information and replacement parts that are nearly impossible to find.
              I am especially impressed when equipment collected is functional and
              can run software. Unlike many collectors, I prefer some of the newer
              revisions with improvements and fixes installed.

              I'm starting to agree win Grant, I'd rather have a kit with new
              parts, than an original with old problems. Today, I looked at a MITS
              manual PDF produced by Mardy. I printed the manual and it is cleaner
              than an original manual with yellowed paper and binding damage. In
              some cases reproductions are better than the original. My opinion is
              that "pure" originals are great for museums and images, however, I
              want to actually use the equipment. I believe hybrid system are
              consistent with original S-100 "Hobby Computing." Use whatever part
              or modification is necessary to make the equipment functional.

              Grant's 680 kits are not original in another way. The power supply is
              a modern switcher. Try finding an original transformer to upgrade
              your original 680 and power the daughter boards. At first, I was
              concerned when Grant replaced some of my original memory board
              sockets with modern replacements. After talking to Grant I am now
              convinced that many original sockets were poor quality and do not age
              well.

              I think the upgrade board is a great idea. A CPU socket change is a
              small price to get memory and software. The original 680 memory
              boards are rare and the memory chips are still expensive. Most of my
              680 memory boards are Rev 0. Does anyone know what was fixed on the
              Rev 1 board? I'm looking forward to getting upgrade boards for my
              original 680 mainframes. One tiny board and I have software to use.

              After making the above statements, I agree with John, there is a need
              for the 3-slot expander. The upgrade board is great, but doesn't
              allow you to run MITS daughter boards like the cassette, IO, or
              process control. I hope Grant makes an extender board too, even
              though the market is small. Everyone should keep in mind that this
              talented and interesting young man has a day job in addition to being
              a one man MITS factory.

              Regards,

              Tom Sanderson
              www.virtualaltair.com
              www.vector-graphic.info


              --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, "john_crane_59"
              <john_crane_59@...> wrote:
              >
              >
              >
              > Please keep in mind that the Stockley kits, while good (I have one
              > of his 680 kits), are not 100% compatible with the originals. For
              > example, if you want the extra memory, software, etc, it requires
              > the installation of a daughterboard, and that requires a machine
              pin
              > socket on your 6800 chip. In other words, you have to replace the
              > CPU socket - messey and definitely not vintage spec. In the
              > original 680 there was a 3 slot expander card for the bus and you
              > could load up on RAM cards, or whatever. I've been after Grant
              > since last November to make up a batch of those, since I have a
              > vintage 680 too. Maybe if we BOTH pester him, he will see a market
              > for them. wink wink nudge nudge...
              >
              > -John
              >
              > --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, "Marden P. Marshall"
              > <mardy@> wrote:
              > >
              > > I was hoping to find some vintage stock, but something from
              Grant
              > > could be a "Plan B".
              > >
              > > -Mardy
              > >
              > > On Feb 14, 2009, at 9:04 AM, billdeg@ wrote:
              > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > I think you can still get new kits from Stockley Electronics.
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > -----Original Message-----
              > > > From: mardy_marshall <mardy@>
              > > > To: altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com
              > > > Sent: Fri, 13 Feb 2009 4:44 pm
              > > > Subject: [Altair Computer Club] Looking for 680b Parts & Pieces
              > > >
              > > > I'm trying to put together an Altair 680b. I recently acquired
              > an
              > > > original
              > > >
              > > > case, but don't have
              > > >
              > > > any guts for it. Anyone out there have either a front panel
              or
              > > > mother board
              > > >
              > > > that they would
              > > >
              > > > like to either sell or trade?
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > -Mardy
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > ------------------------------------
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/altaircomputerclub/
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > Individual Email | Traditional
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/altaircomputerclub/join
              > > >
              > > > (Yahoo! ID required)
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > mailto:altaircomputerclub-digest@yahoogroups.com
              > > >
              > > > mailto:altaircomputerclub-fullfeatured@yahoogroups.com
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > altaircomputerclub-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > A Good Credit Score is 700 or Above. See yours in just 2 easy
              > steps!
              > > >
              > > >
              > >
              >
            • John Crane
                I have several machines of various types; some lab machines - frankensteins of 70 s and 21st century technology, and some museum pieces kept on spec -
              Message 6 of 10 , Feb 15, 2009
              • 0 Attachment
                 
                I have several machines of various types; some "lab machines" - frankensteins of 70's and 21st century technology, and some "museum pieces" kept on spec - but not used much.  I agree 100% with your comments on sockets too.  They were especially bad on SWTP 6800 machines.  Personally, I will say a machine is still "on spec" even if has new sockets and new chips.  My main concern for the Altair 680 expander cards is that I want to wire up some homebrew cards for it!  
                 
                I think collecting vintage computers is not unlike collecting vintage cars...
                 
                If you don't have a car at all and need one, by all means buy one new from the dealership that you know will run well from day one.  THEN worry about that old clunker for weekend tinkering.  If someone wants a no fuss entry to 70's microcomputing - Grant makes it easy and relatively painless. I have nothing but praise for him and what he as accomplished. 
                 
                But where there was once just "hobby computing", there is now "hobby computing" and "historical preservation" - two very different approaches.  Now if Grant would sell a few "Limited Edition Altair II" machines with a signature plate from Ed Roberts...  Now those would appeal to both the hobbyists and the collectors.  I'll even contribute the whiskey required to get Ed drunk enough to do it.
                 
                Good point on the manuals too. All the schematics and manuals that I use are on several CDs.  My originals are kept safe elsewhere.  As with book collecting, there is the original and there is the "reading copy".  I wouldn't dare lay out vintage MITS schematics on my workbench with sharp tools, soldering irons, chemicals, etc.
                 
                -John

                --- On Mon, 2/16/09, Tom Sanderson <yahoo@...> wrote:

                From: Tom Sanderson <yahoo@...>
                Subject: Re: [Altair Computer Club] Looking for 680b Parts & Pieces
                To: altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com
                Date: Monday, February 16, 2009, 12:00 AM

                I am amazed and impressed by collectors of vintage computer
                equipment. It takes a lot of time, money, knowledge, and skill to
                restore an old system. The process is complicated by lack of
                information and replacement parts that are nearly impossible to find.
                I am especially impressed when equipment collected is functional and
                can run software. Unlike many collectors, I prefer some of the newer
                revisions with improvements and fixes installed.

                I'm starting to agree win Grant, I'd rather have a kit with new
                parts, than an original with old problems. Today, I looked at a MITS
                manual PDF produced by Mardy. I printed the manual and it is cleaner
                than an original manual with yellowed paper and binding damage. In
                some cases reproductions are better than the original. My opinion is
                that "pure" originals are great for museums and images, however, I
                want to actually use the equipment. I believe hybrid system are
                consistent with original S-100 "Hobby Computing." Use whatever part
                or modification is necessary to make the equipment functional.

                Grant's 680 kits are not original in another way. The power supply is
                a modern switcher. Try finding an original transformer to upgrade
                your original 680 and power the daughter boards. At first, I was
                concerned when Grant replaced some of my original memory board
                sockets with modern replacements. After talking to Grant I am now
                convinced that many original sockets were poor quality and do not age
                well.

                I think the upgrade board is a great idea. A CPU socket change is a
                small price to get memory and software. The original 680 memory
                boards are rare and the memory chips are still expensive. Most of my
                680 memory boards are Rev 0. Does anyone know what was fixed on the
                Rev 1 board? I'm looking forward to getting upgrade boards for my
                original 680 mainframes. One tiny board and I have software to use.

                After making the above statements, I agree with John, there is a need
                for the 3-slot expander. The upgrade board is great, but doesn't
                allow you to run MITS daughter boards like the cassette, IO, or
                process control. I hope Grant makes an extender board too, even
                though the market is small. Everyone should keep in mind that this
                talented and interesting young man has a day job in addition to being
                a one man MITS factory.

                Regards,

                Tom Sanderson
                www.virtualaltair. com
                www.vector-graphic. info

                --- In altaircomputerclub@ yahoogroups. com, "john_crane_ 59"
                <john_crane_ 59@...> wrote:
                >
                >
                >
                > Please keep in mind that the Stockley kits, while good (I have one
                > of his 680 kits), are not 100% compatible with the originals. For
                > example, if you want the extra memory, software, etc, it requires
                > the installation of a daughterboard, and that requires a machine
                pin
                > socket on your 6800 chip. In other words, you have to replace the
                > CPU socket - messey and definitely not vintage spec. In the
                > original 680 there was a 3 slot expander card for the bus and you
                > could load up on RAM cards, or whatever. I've been after Grant
                > since last November to make up a batch of those, since I have a
                > vintage 680 too. Maybe if we BOTH pester him, he will see a market
                > for them. wink wink nudge nudge...
                >
                > -John
                >
                > --- In altaircomputerclub@ yahoogroups. com, "Marden P. Marshall"
                > <mardy@> wrote:
                > >
                > > I was hoping to find some vintage stock, but something from
                Grant
                > > could be a "Plan B".
                > >
                > > -Mardy
                > >
                > > On Feb 14, 2009, at 9:04 AM, billdeg@ wrote:
                > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > I think you can still get new kits from Stockley Electronics.
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > -----Original Message-----
                > > > From: mardy_marshall <mardy@>
                > > > To: altaircomputerclub@ yahoogroups. com
                > > > Sent: Fri, 13 Feb 2009 4:44 pm
                > > > Subject: [Altair Computer Club] Looking for 680b Parts & Pieces
                > > >
                > > > I'm trying to put together an Altair 680b. I recently acquired
                > an
                > > > original
                > > >
                > > > case, but don't have
                > > >
                > > > any guts for it. Anyone out there have either a front panel
                or
                > > > mother board
                > > >
                > > > that they would
                > > >
                > > > like to either sell or trade?
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > -Mardy
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > ------------ --------- --------- ------
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/altaircomp uterclub/
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > Individual Email | Traditional
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/altaircomp uterclub/ join
                > > >
                > > > (Yahoo! ID required)
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > mailto:altaircomputerclub- digest@yahoogrou ps.com
                > > >
                > > > mailto:altaircomputerclub- fullfeatured@ yahoogroups. com
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > altaircomputerclub- unsubscribe@ yahoogroups. com
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > http://docs. yahoo.com/ info/terms/
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > A Good Credit Score is 700 or Above. See yours in just 2 easy
                > steps!
                > > >
                > > >
                > >
                >


              • Tom Sanderson
                The lines between hobby computing and historical preservation are blurry. Grant s reverse engineering of Altair hardware documents and preserves a lot of
                Message 7 of 10 , Feb 15, 2009
                • 0 Attachment
                  The lines between "hobby computing" and "historical preservation" are
                  blurry. Grant's reverse engineering of Altair hardware documents and
                  preserves a lot of MITS engineering. The frankensteins of 70's and
                  21st century technology are useful for the historical preservation of
                  software. One example is using the 680 upgrade to preserve the VTL
                  programming language.

                  Hardware and software emulators are another area where newer
                  technology preserves software history. The historical preservation
                  approach protects the history of the Altair 8800, but tends to ignore
                  the Altair 8800B and MITS 300. Give the difficulty of preserving
                  Pertec floppy drives and hard drive, you will likely need to use an
                  emulator to run the MITS Accounting Software.

                  The Internet and PDFs are making a big impact on hobbyists and also
                  those interested in history. High prices on Ebay brought a lot of
                  Altairs out of basements and closets. I find my original manuals to be
                  a burden because of size and weight. Today, Mardy's PDF is answering
                  my historical questions about the MITS Programming System II. I'm glad
                  I don't have an original manual copy because my storage space is full.

                  Rather than an Altair II, I'd like to see an S-100 board that had 64K,
                  Turnkey functions, and emulated the disk controller and drives. Put
                  that in a historically preserved Altair mainframe and the software is
                  preserved too. Herb Johnson, recently reminded me that the historical
                  preservation of microcomputers is emphasizing Hobby Computing and
                  ignoring Small Business Computing. Some people argue whether the
                  Altair was the first microcomputer. Which microcomputer had the first
                  General Ledger, Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, Inventory, and
                  Word Processor? Hint: It was not the Apple or IBM PC.

                  I like the frankensteins of 70's and 21st century technology. My 8800b
                  and 3202 drives are historically correct, however, I'm happy to have a
                  serial to Ethernet converter instead of a Beehive terminal. Next, I
                  need a pulse to tone converter to use my PMMI modem with VOIP. I'll
                  probably have to wait awhile for someone to make PDFs of the thick
                  accounting software manuals. Does anyone else have an Altair with an
                  IP address? I'd like to some Altair networking.

                  Back to the original topic. Does anyone have 680 parts for Mardy?




                  --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, John Crane
                  <john_crane_59@...> wrote:
                  >
                  >  
                  > I have several machines of various types; some "lab machines" -
                  frankensteins of 70's and 21st century technology, and some "museum
                  pieces" kept on spec - but not used much.  I agree 100% with your
                  comments on sockets too.  They were especially bad on SWTP 6800
                  machines.  Personally, I will say a machine is still "on spec" even if
                  has new sockets and new chips.  My main concern for the Altair 680
                  expander cards is that I want to wire up some homebrew cards for it!  
                  >  
                  > I think collecting vintage computers is not unlike collecting
                  vintage cars....
                  >  
                  > If you don't have a car at all and need one, by all means buy one
                  new from the dealership that you know will run well from day one. 
                  THEN worry about that old clunker for weekend tinkering.  If someone
                  wants a no fuss entry to 70's microcomputing - Grant makes it easy and
                  relatively painless. I have nothing but praise for him and what he as
                  accomplished. 
                  >  
                  > But where there was once just "hobby computing", there is now "hobby
                  computing" and "historical preservation" - two very different
                  approaches.  Now if Grant would sell a few "Limited Edition Altair II"
                  machines with a signature plate from Ed Roberts...  Now those would
                  appeal to both the hobbyists and the collectors.  I'll even contribute
                  the whiskey required to get Ed drunk enough to do it.
                  >  
                  > Good point on the manuals too. All the schematics and manuals that I
                  use are on several CDs.  My originals are kept safe elsewhere.  As
                  with book collecting, there is the original and there is the "reading
                  copy".  I wouldn't dare lay out vintage MITS schematics on my
                  workbench with sharp tools, soldering irons, chemicals, etc.
                  >  
                  > -John
                  >
                  > --- On Mon, 2/16/09, Tom Sanderson <yahoo@...> wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  > From: Tom Sanderson <yahoo@...>
                  > Subject: Re: [Altair Computer Club] Looking for 680b Parts & Pieces
                  > To: altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com
                  > Date: Monday, February 16, 2009, 12:00 AM
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > I am amazed and impressed by collectors of vintage computer
                  > equipment. It takes a lot of time, money, knowledge, and skill to
                  > restore an old system. The process is complicated by lack of
                  > information and replacement parts that are nearly impossible to find.
                  > I am especially impressed when equipment collected is functional and
                  > can run software. Unlike many collectors, I prefer some of the newer
                  > revisions with improvements and fixes installed.
                  >
                  > I'm starting to agree win Grant, I'd rather have a kit with new
                  > parts, than an original with old problems. Today, I looked at a MITS
                  > manual PDF produced by Mardy. I printed the manual and it is cleaner
                  > than an original manual with yellowed paper and binding damage. In
                  > some cases reproductions are better than the original. My opinion is
                  > that "pure" originals are great for museums and images, however, I
                  > want to actually use the equipment. I believe hybrid system are
                  > consistent with original S-100 "Hobby Computing." Use whatever part
                  > or modification is necessary to make the equipment functional.
                  >
                  > Grant's 680 kits are not original in another way. The power supply is
                  > a modern switcher. Try finding an original transformer to upgrade
                  > your original 680 and power the daughter boards. At first, I was
                  > concerned when Grant replaced some of my original memory board
                  > sockets with modern replacements. After talking to Grant I am now
                  > convinced that many original sockets were poor quality and do not age
                  > well.
                  >
                  > I think the upgrade board is a great idea. A CPU socket change is a
                  > small price to get memory and software. The original 680 memory
                  > boards are rare and the memory chips are still expensive. Most of my
                  > 680 memory boards are Rev 0. Does anyone know what was fixed on the
                  > Rev 1 board? I'm looking forward to getting upgrade boards for my
                  > original 680 mainframes. One tiny board and I have software to use.
                  >
                  > After making the above statements, I agree with John, there is a need
                  > for the 3-slot expander. The upgrade board is great, but doesn't
                  > allow you to run MITS daughter boards like the cassette, IO, or
                  > process control. I hope Grant makes an extender board too, even
                  > though the market is small. Everyone should keep in mind that this
                  > talented and interesting young man has a day job in addition to being
                  > a one man MITS factory.
                  >
                  > Regards,
                  >
                  > Tom Sanderson
                  > www.virtualaltair. com
                  > www.vector-graphic. info
                  >
                  > --- In altaircomputerclub@ yahoogroups. com, "john_crane_ 59"
                  > <john_crane_ 59@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > Please keep in mind that the Stockley kits, while good (I have one
                  > > of his 680 kits), are not 100% compatible with the originals. For
                  > > example, if you want the extra memory, software, etc, it requires
                  > > the installation of a daughterboard, and that requires a machine
                  > pin
                  > > socket on your 6800 chip. In other words, you have to replace the
                  > > CPU socket - messey and definitely not vintage spec. In the
                  > > original 680 there was a 3 slot expander card for the bus and you
                  > > could load up on RAM cards, or whatever. I've been after Grant
                  > > since last November to make up a batch of those, since I have a
                  > > vintage 680 too. Maybe if we BOTH pester him, he will see a market
                  > > for them. wink wink nudge nudge...
                  > >
                  > > -John
                  > >
                  > > --- In altaircomputerclub@ yahoogroups. com, "Marden P. Marshall"
                  > > <mardy@> wrote:
                  > > >
                  > > > I was hoping to find some vintage stock, but something from
                  > Grant
                  > > > could be a "Plan B".
                  > > >
                  > > > -Mardy
                  > > >
                  > > > On Feb 14, 2009, at 9:04 AM, billdeg@ wrote:
                  > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > I think you can still get new kits from Stockley Electronics.
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > -----Original Message-----
                  > > > > From: mardy_marshall <mardy@>
                  > > > > To: altaircomputerclub@ yahoogroups. com
                  > > > > Sent: Fri, 13 Feb 2009 4:44 pm
                  > > > > Subject: [Altair Computer Club] Looking for 680b Parts & Pieces
                  > > > >
                  > > > > I'm trying to put together an Altair 680b. I recently acquired
                  > > an
                  > > > > original
                  > > > >
                  > > > > case, but don't have
                  > > > >
                  > > > > any guts for it. Anyone out there have either a front panel
                  > or
                  > > > > mother board
                  > > > >
                  > > > > that they would
                  > > > >
                  > > > > like to either sell or trade?
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > -Mardy
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > ------------ --------- --------- ------
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/altaircomp uterclub/
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Individual Email | Traditional
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/altaircomp uterclub/ join
                  > > > >
                  > > > > (Yahoo! ID required)
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > mailto:altaircomputerclub- digest@yahoogrou ps.com
                  > > > >
                  > > > > mailto:altaircomputerclub- fullfeatured@ yahoogroups. com
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > altaircomputerclub- unsubscribe@ yahoogroups. com
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > http://docs. yahoo.com/ info/terms/
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > A Good Credit Score is 700 or Above. See yours in just 2 easy
                  > > steps!
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > >
                  > >
                  >
                • Grant Stockly
                  ... I would say a fair amount of kit builders are not collectors. They are people who didn t have the means to build a kit in the 70s, or were not around in
                  Message 8 of 10 , Feb 15, 2009
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                    >But where there was once just "hobby computing", there is now "hobby
                    >computing" and "historical preservation" - two very different approaches.

                    I would say a fair amount of kit builders are not collectors. They
                    are people who didn't have the means to build a kit in the 70s, or
                    were not around in the 70s to experience it. There are a few who are
                    collectors.

                    Usually the reason someone buys a reproduction kit is to experience
                    construction of a vintage computer. That is why I made the kit in
                    the first place. I'd watched the movies about silicon valley and
                    read enough books to have a desire... I of course had to make the
                    kit before I could build it. : )

                    I am a die hard preservationist, and maybe that is why I prefer MY
                    Altair 8800 to a vintage one. I am a lot less worried about frying
                    something on a current machine than my vintage machine (even though
                    they both have a similar value), the vintage one can't be replaced
                    quickly and easily...

                    Just some random thoughts. : )

                    Grant
                  • Grant Stockly
                    ... The only reason I have not made an expander card yet is because lack of interest from buyers. I can give you one of the yellow prototype versions if you
                    Message 9 of 10 , Feb 16, 2009
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                      At 11:18 AM 2/15/2009, you wrote:
                      >Please keep in mind that the Stockley kits, while good (I have one
                      >of his 680 kits), are not 100% compatible with the originals. For
                      >example, if you want the extra memory, software, etc, it requires
                      >the installation of a daughterboard, and that requires a machine pin
                      >socket on your 6800 chip. In other words, you have to replace the
                      >CPU socket - messey and definitely not vintage spec. In the
                      >original 680 there was a 3 slot expander card for the bus and you
                      >could load up on RAM cards, or whatever. I've been after Grant
                      >since last November to make up a batch of those, since I have a
                      >vintage 680 too. Maybe if we BOTH pester him, he will see a market
                      >for them. wink wink nudge nudge...

                      The only reason I have not made an expander card yet is because lack
                      of interest from buyers. I can give you one of the yellow prototype
                      versions if you want. I am also ready to make 1702 EPROM copies. My
                      programmer now works!

                      I was going to make a copy of the 16k SRAM board, but the cost to me
                      is $200 each when building 10. The processor expander was my answer
                      to giving people a ton of RAM and program storage space with minimal cost.

                      The only kit I have made that I see a market for is the 8800. The
                      680 and Kenbak just aren't doing well and I'm not sure if I will make
                      more when I run out of cases. It takes a lot of money up front to
                      build a card, and it only makes sense to buy parts for a minimum of
                      10 to get the prices low enough. The average S-100 card costs me
                      about $1400 to make the first 10 and about $1000 for every 10 after that.

                      All of this may change. I've spent the last 18 hours from this
                      weekend entering every single detail of the 8800, 680, and Kenbak
                      into my new QuickBooks software. Organizing the kit operation in
                      excel spreadsheets just wasn't working for me or kit buyers. Maybe
                      it will improve my organization and work flow so that I keep going. : )

                      Grant
                    • Dan Roganti
                      john_crane_59 wrote: it requires the installation of a daughterboard, and that requires a machine pin socket on your 6800 chip. In other words, you have to
                      Message 10 of 10 , Feb 17, 2009
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                        john_crane_59 wrote:
                        it requires the installation of a daughterboard, and that requires a machine pin 
                        socket on your 6800 chip.  In other words, you have to replace the 
                        CPU socket - messey and definitely not vintage spec. 

                        FYI,

                        I do recall machine pin sockets being available in the industry from latter half of the 70's--from looking in my old ED and EDN mags--. I've had them since '80. They obviously weren't cheap enough for the hobby market yet, but that shouldn't exclude them.

                        I try to keep things to spec too. But I include the the level of technology for the time period as a whole, not just one segment of the market, namely the hobby/home market. One good example is the 64K Dram, this was already in '78 but mainly in the industrial market, it was a few years before it became cheap enough for the home computers.

                        =Dan
                        [ = http://www2.applegate.org/~ragooman/   ]

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