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Cromemco TU-ART Serial Parallel Card HELP

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  • tkaragiris
    Hi All, Does anyone know if it s possible to use the Cromemco TU-ART card as an alternative serial card to the MITS 882SIO? I ve managed to get one of the
    Message 1 of 5 , Mar 12, 2012
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      Hi All,

      Does anyone know if it's possible to use the Cromemco TU-ART card as an alternative serial card to the MITS 882SIO?

      I've managed to get one of the Cromemco cards and I also have a PDF copy of the manual. Reading through the manual it says it supports the 8080 CPU. And I have read a post on here of someone who says thay had one of these Cromemco cards in their Altair 8800a.

      I've created a page on my website with detailed images of the card I've got and there's also a link to the PDF manual at the top of the page.

      I don't have an engineering background so reading the manual is a bit like Chinese to me.

      Can anyone assist me to configure this card for use with my Altair 8800?

      My ultimate goal is to use the serial interface to connect the Altair to a pc.

      Thanks,
      Theo
    • tkaragiris
      Here s the link to the page on my site: http://www.tkconsulting.com.au/Home/ALTAIR8800Page/tabid/419/Default.aspx
      Message 2 of 5 , Mar 12, 2012
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      • mfeberhard
        Hi Theo, The TUART does indeed work in an Altair, but it uses a different UART than does to 2SIO. (The TUART uses the Texas Instruments TMS5501, and the 2SIO
        Message 3 of 5 , Mar 12, 2012
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          Hi Theo,

          The TUART does indeed work in an Altair, but it uses a different UART than does to 2SIO. (The TUART uses the Texas Instruments TMS5501, and the 2SIO uses the Motorola 6850.) The two UARTs are not compatible - their control registers work differently, etc.

          This means that you must write an I/O driver for the TUART, for whatever software that you plan to run on the Altair. Note that unlike later computers, there is no universal driver interface provided by an operating system - each program that you use will have its own driver for whatever ports it knows how to support.

          For example, if you want to use Altair Basic with the TUART, then you will need to splice a TUART driver into Basic, which will require finding a disassembled copy of Basic - at least the driver section disassembled.

          If you want to use CP/M on the Altair, it's a little easier - CP/M has a well-defined interface in its BIOS.

          Martin

          --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, "tkaragiris" <tkaragiris@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi All,
          >
          > Does anyone know if it's possible to use the Cromemco TU-ART card as an alternative serial card to the MITS 882SIO?
          >
          > I've managed to get one of the Cromemco cards and I also have a PDF copy of the manual. Reading through the manual it says it supports the 8080 CPU. And I have read a post on here of someone who says thay had one of these Cromemco cards in their Altair 8800a.
          >
          > I've created a page on my website with detailed images of the card I've got and there's also a link to the PDF manual at the top of the page.
          >
          > I don't have an engineering background so reading the manual is a bit like Chinese to me.
          >
          > Can anyone assist me to configure this card for use with my Altair 8800?
          >
          > My ultimate goal is to use the serial interface to connect the Altair to a pc.
          >
          > Thanks,
          > Theo
          >
        • tkaragiris
          Martin, Thanks for that, very good info as usual. Ok, well considering the TUART requires a lot of work, what about a serial card that uses the Motorola 6850?
          Message 4 of 5 , Mar 12, 2012
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            Martin,

            Thanks for that, very good info as usual. Ok, well considering the TUART requires a lot of work, what about a serial card that uses the Motorola 6850?

            I have been reading about some non MITS serial cards that say in the manuals they can operate similar to the MITS card.

            Are there any "compatible" serial cards available that can replicate the operation on the 88-2SIO?

            Thanks,
            Theo


            --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, "mfeberhard" <eberhard@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hi Theo,
            >
            > The TUART does indeed work in an Altair, but it uses a different UART than does to 2SIO. (The TUART uses the Texas Instruments TMS5501, and the 2SIO uses the Motorola 6850.) The two UARTs are not compatible - their control registers work differently, etc.
            >
            > This means that you must write an I/O driver for the TUART, for whatever software that you plan to run on the Altair. Note that unlike later computers, there is no universal driver interface provided by an operating system - each program that you use will have its own driver for whatever ports it knows how to support.
            >
            > For example, if you want to use Altair Basic with the TUART, then you will need to splice a TUART driver into Basic, which will require finding a disassembled copy of Basic - at least the driver section disassembled.
            >
            > If you want to use CP/M on the Altair, it's a little easier - CP/M has a well-defined interface in its BIOS.
            >
            > Martin
            >
            > --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, "tkaragiris" <tkaragiris@> wrote:
            > >
            > > Hi All,
            > >
            > > Does anyone know if it's possible to use the Cromemco TU-ART card as an alternative serial card to the MITS 882SIO?
            > >
            > > I've managed to get one of the Cromemco cards and I also have a PDF copy of the manual. Reading through the manual it says it supports the 8080 CPU. And I have read a post on here of someone who says thay had one of these Cromemco cards in their Altair 8800a.
            > >
            > > I've created a page on my website with detailed images of the card I've got and there's also a link to the PDF manual at the top of the page.
            > >
            > > I don't have an engineering background so reading the manual is a bit like Chinese to me.
            > >
            > > Can anyone assist me to configure this card for use with my Altair 8800?
            > >
            > > My ultimate goal is to use the serial interface to connect the Altair to a pc.
            > >
            > > Thanks,
            > > Theo
            > >
            >
          • mfeberhard
            It depends on the board s architecture. If it is a simple board with a 6850, and the board has a dip switch to set the address, then the answer is probably yes
            Message 5 of 5 , Mar 14, 2012
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              It depends on the board's architecture. If it is a simple board with a 6850, and the board has a dip switch to set the address, then the answer is probably yes - you can configure the board to look like a 2SIO to the software. But if the board has (for example) a baud rate generator that must be set up in software, then you're still in for a little bit of driver work.

              Let me know which board you have in mind - and post the manual, if you have a copy - and I'll take a look.

              -Martin

              --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, "tkaragiris" <tkaragiris@...> wrote:
              >
              > Martin,
              >
              > Thanks for that, very good info as usual. Ok, well considering the TUART requires a lot of work, what about a serial card that uses the Motorola 6850?
              >
              > I have been reading about some non MITS serial cards that say in the manuals they can operate similar to the MITS card.
              >
              > Are there any "compatible" serial cards available that can replicate the operation on the 88-2SIO?
              >
              > Thanks,
              > Theo
              >
              >
              > --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, "mfeberhard" <eberhard@> wrote:
              > >
              > > Hi Theo,
              > >
              > > The TUART does indeed work in an Altair, but it uses a different UART than does to 2SIO. (The TUART uses the Texas Instruments TMS5501, and the 2SIO uses the Motorola 6850.) The two UARTs are not compatible - their control registers work differently, etc.
              > >
              > > This means that you must write an I/O driver for the TUART, for whatever software that you plan to run on the Altair. Note that unlike later computers, there is no universal driver interface provided by an operating system - each program that you use will have its own driver for whatever ports it knows how to support.
              > >
              > > For example, if you want to use Altair Basic with the TUART, then you will need to splice a TUART driver into Basic, which will require finding a disassembled copy of Basic - at least the driver section disassembled.
              > >
              > > If you want to use CP/M on the Altair, it's a little easier - CP/M has a well-defined interface in its BIOS.
              > >
              > > Martin
              > >
              > > --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, "tkaragiris" <tkaragiris@> wrote:
              > > >
              > > > Hi All,
              > > >
              > > > Does anyone know if it's possible to use the Cromemco TU-ART card as an alternative serial card to the MITS 882SIO?
              > > >
              > > > I've managed to get one of the Cromemco cards and I also have a PDF copy of the manual. Reading through the manual it says it supports the 8080 CPU. And I have read a post on here of someone who says thay had one of these Cromemco cards in their Altair 8800a.
              > > >
              > > > I've created a page on my website with detailed images of the card I've got and there's also a link to the PDF manual at the top of the page.
              > > >
              > > > I don't have an engineering background so reading the manual is a bit like Chinese to me.
              > > >
              > > > Can anyone assist me to configure this card for use with my Altair 8800?
              > > >
              > > > My ultimate goal is to use the serial interface to connect the Altair to a pc.
              > > >
              > > > Thanks,
              > > > Theo
              > > >
              > >
              >
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