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What IO ports does "stock" Altair Basic Support for the "main console"?

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  • corey986
    I m a little confused. Is it 020 or port 00 that it is looking for? I m new to the Altair and just starting to do some heavy research and some of the
    Message 1 of 6 , Aug 28, 2012
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      I'm a little confused. Is it 020 or port 00 that it is looking for? I'm new to the Altair and just starting to do some heavy research and some of the information on the internet has confused me. I have read, hopefully correctly, that the SIO card is at port 00 by default and the dual SIO card is at 020. Reading some of the stuff about how to load basic from the serial port using a PC kinda implies it's at port 020, but then do you have to change the mapping if you have a single SIO card at port 00 to use and load basic?

      Any information that can clarify this stuff for me please let me know. Also should I bother searching or just read all the MITS manuals "cover to cover". I hate reading on an electronic device, so I do plan on printing out all the manuals starting tomorrow after I grab a couple of reams of pre-hole punched paper.

      Thanks,
      Corey
    • Craig Landrum
      ... Corey; When loading/booting, the switches on the front panel control which card will be used for the console and may apply when loading from a PC. On9600
      Message 2 of 6 , Aug 28, 2012
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        >I'm a little confused. Is it 020 or port 00 that it is looking
        >for? I'm new to the Altair and just starting to do some
        >heavy research and some of the information on the internet has
        >confused me. I have read, hopefully correctly, that the SIO
        >card is at port 00 by default and the dual SIO card is at 020.
        >Reading some of the stuff about how to load basic from the
        >serial port using a PC kinda implies it's at port 020, but then
        >do you have to change the mapping if you have a single SIO card
        >at port 00 to use and load basic?
        >
        >Any information that can clarify this stuff for me please let
        >me know. Also should I bother searching or just read all the
        >MITS manuals "cover to cover". I hate reading on an electronic
        >device, so I do plan on printing out all the manuals starting
        >tomorrow after I grab a couple of reams of pre-hole punched paper.
        >
        >Thanks,
        >Corey

        Corey;

        When loading/booting, the switches on the front panel control
        which card
        will be used for the console and may apply when loading from a
        PC. On9600
        baud RS-232 high speed Wyse dumb terminal) and an SIOC for my
        110 baud
        current loop ASR33. I also had the DBL boot rom installed.
        This was my
        boot sequence:

        To Boot the Altair:
        - Turn on disk drives and CPU
        - Insert diskette into drive A
        - HOLD the STOP switch up while pressing the RESET switch UP.
        Release the RESET switch, then the STOP switch. This is the
        MITS-recommended reset sequence and was unique to the Altairs.
        - Set front panel switch all down with top A8 thru A15 UP (FF00)
        - Press EXAMINE UP and release to set the CPU memory pointer to
        address FF00 (start of the DBL boot EPROM)
        To use the 9600 baud RS232 port as the console (SIO2 board):
        - Set all address switches down, and A12 and A8 UP
        To use the 110 baud TTY as the console (SIOC board):
        - Set all address switches down and A13 and A9 UP (This works
        only with the BASIC and Altair DOS disks, does not work with
        Burcom CP/M)
        - Press the RUN switch down and release to begin booting.

        Hope this helps. Probably need to di something different to actually
        load the OS across the serial link from a PC.

        --
        Craig Landrum
        Chief Technical Officer
        mindwrap, inc.
        Phone: (540) 347-2552 x 229
        Fax: (540) 347-2556
        email: craigl@...
      • steve
        Welcome to the club, Corey. Either board can be configured to any address, but the only Altair product that used port 000 was the VLCT (Very Low Cost
        Message 3 of 6 , Aug 28, 2012
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          Welcome to the club, Corey.

          Either board can be configured to any address, but the only Altair product that used port 000 was the VLCT (Very Low Cost Terminal), which was a parallel interface- not serial.

          When using BASIC, you would normally identify the main console port as octal 020 and 021. The HSR (High Speed paper tape Reader) also used 020 and 021. You can re-address your SIO single port serial board to any address including 020/021. I know of no specific reason why someone would have reconfigured it to 000, but an experimenter could have done so for a variety of reasons.

          Your confusion may come from the terminology used in MITS manuals and the serial CHIP's data sheets when talking about their CONTROL/STATUS and DATA ports. The serial UART or ACIA chip's control/status address is always one lower than the address through which the actual data flows. So a convenient way of talking about a serial CHIP is to describe the lower control/status channel as 0, and the upper data channel as port 1, even if the BOARD itself is at 020/021.

          Also, I think the 2SIO board, which has 2 complete serial ports (spanning four I/O addresses) identifies its two ports as 0 and 1, again independent of the board's actual addressing.

          However you set up your system, make sure you have properly configured your serial board for correct baud rate, stop bits, parity bit, etc.

          I hope I didn't make this too confusing. Someone else can surely describe it better. The best place to start reading is the 8800 or 8800b manual, which both cover serial I/O pretty well. After that, I guess you should read the manual for your SIO or 2SIO serial board.

          steve
          ==========================


          --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, corey986 <no_reply@...> wrote:
          >
          > I'm a little confused. Is it 020 or port 00 that it is looking for? I'm new to the Altair and just starting to do some heavy research and some of the information on the internet has confused me. I have read, hopefully correctly, that the SIO card is at port 00 by default and the dual SIO card is at 020. Reading some of the stuff about how to load basic from the serial port using a PC kinda implies it's at port 020, but then do you have to change the mapping if you have a single SIO card at port 00 to use and load basic?
          >
          > Any information that can clarify this stuff for me please let me know. Also should I bother searching or just read all the MITS manuals "cover to cover". I hate reading on an electronic device, so I do plan on printing out all the manuals starting tomorrow after I grab a couple of reams of pre-hole punched paper.
          >
          > Thanks,
          > Corey
          >
        • B Degnan
          It s in the MITS BASIC manual, in the back. There is a set of instructions for bootstrapping using the SIO card. I am pretty sure BASIC is set to port 20,
          Message 4 of 6 , Aug 28, 2012
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            It's in the MITS BASIC manual, in the back.  There is a set of instructions for bootstrapping using the SIO card.  I am pretty sure BASIC is set to port 20, regardless of the IO card.
            bd



            -----Original Message-----
            From: corey986 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com>
            To: altaircomputerclub <altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Tue, Aug 28, 2012 3:15 pm
            Subject: [Altair Computer Club] What IO ports does "stock" Altair Basic Support for the "main console"?

            I'm a little confused.  Is it 020 or port 00 that it is looking for?    I'm new 
            to the Altair and just starting to do some heavy research and some of the 
            information on the internet has confused me.  I have read, hopefully correctly, 
            that the SIO card is at port 00 by default and the dual SIO card is at 020.  
            Reading some of the stuff about how to load basic from the serial port using a 
            PC kinda implies it's at port 020, but then do you have to change the mapping if 
            you have a single SIO card at port 00 to use and load basic?
            
            Any information that can clarify this stuff for me please let me know.  Also 
            should I bother searching or just read all the MITS manuals "cover to cover".  I 
            hate reading on an electronic device, so I do plan on printing out all the 
            manuals starting tomorrow after I grab a couple of reams of pre-hole punched 
            paper.
            
            Thanks,
            Corey
            
            
            
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          • corey986
            Thanks for the welcome ;) My Altair should be arriving later this week so all this information will help me with my initial startup. I do plan on doing a
            Message 5 of 6 , Aug 28, 2012
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              Thanks for the welcome ;)

              My Altair should be arriving later this week so all this information will help me with my initial startup. I do plan on doing a complete restoration, but will want to test it first so I have a "baseline" on what needs to be refreshed from an actual electronics perspective not just cosmetic. The system has a MITS PIO but other than using a spare ASCII keyboard it's not going to help much. I have thought about creating a bidirectional parallel to serial adapter, but have decided it's not worth the effort since I have a lot of work to do on the Altair itself.

              I have an ECT R2IO serial/parallel card that I will try to use until I can locate a real MITS 2SIO, which I think may be hard to find so I will need to get this one running with basic till then. I don't have a teletype, though I am building a homebrew tape reader.

              You are right I think I was getting confused in the terminology, but I think your post is helping me understand this port stuff. I do appreciate any advise and help. I am a planner so collecting as much information as possible before I jump into a project is what I do.

              Thanks,
              Corey




              --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, "steve" <alltare@...> wrote:
              >
              >
              >
              > Welcome to the club, Corey.
              >
              > Either board can be configured to any address, but the only Altair product that used port 000 was the VLCT (Very Low Cost Terminal), which was a parallel interface- not serial.
              >
              > When using BASIC, you would normally identify the main console port as octal 020 and 021. The HSR (High Speed paper tape Reader) also used 020 and 021. You can re-address your SIO single port serial board to any address including 020/021. I know of no specific reason why someone would have reconfigured it to 000, but an experimenter could have done so for a variety of reasons.
              >
              > Your confusion may come from the terminology used in MITS manuals and the serial CHIP's data sheets when talking about their CONTROL/STATUS and DATA ports. The serial UART or ACIA chip's control/status address is always one lower than the address through which the actual data flows. So a convenient way of talking about a serial CHIP is to describe the lower control/status channel as 0, and the upper data channel as port 1, even if the BOARD itself is at 020/021.
              >
              > Also, I think the 2SIO board, which has 2 complete serial ports (spanning four I/O addresses) identifies its two ports as 0 and 1, again independent of the board's actual addressing.
              >
              > However you set up your system, make sure you have properly configured your serial board for correct baud rate, stop bits, parity bit, etc.
              >
              > I hope I didn't make this too confusing. Someone else can surely describe it better. The best place to start reading is the 8800 or 8800b manual, which both cover serial I/O pretty well. After that, I guess you should read the manual for your SIO or 2SIO serial board.
              >
              > steve
              > ==========================
              >
              >
              > --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, corey986 <no_reply@> wrote:
              > >
              > > I'm a little confused. Is it 020 or port 00 that it is looking for? I'm new to the Altair and just starting to do some heavy research and some of the information on the internet has confused me. I have read, hopefully correctly, that the SIO card is at port 00 by default and the dual SIO card is at 020. Reading some of the stuff about how to load basic from the serial port using a PC kinda implies it's at port 020, but then do you have to change the mapping if you have a single SIO card at port 00 to use and load basic?
              > >
              > > Any information that can clarify this stuff for me please let me know. Also should I bother searching or just read all the MITS manuals "cover to cover". I hate reading on an electronic device, so I do plan on printing out all the manuals starting tomorrow after I grab a couple of reams of pre-hole punched paper.
              > >
              > > Thanks,
              > > Corey
              > >
              >
            • B Degnan
              Correction to my earlier statement about BASIC and port assignments! Appendix A Supplement How to Load BASIC in the Altair BASIC manual describes how to
              Message 6 of 6 , Aug 28, 2012
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                Correction to my earlier statement about BASIC and port assignments!

                Appendix A Supplement "How to Load BASIC" in the Altair BASIC manual describes how to bootstrap BASIC using the 88-PIO (assuming that's what you have).
                According to this source the Octal channels are 0,1, thus the card should be jumpered for 0,1.  The status bits active =  high, the octal masks = 2/1 (less important other than remember to lift switch A13 when you RESET and RUN BASIC after loading it). 

                So, that must mean BASIC is agnostic to what port is used.  - confirmation?

                When you get the Altair and you put a few alligator clips on the pins to test I/O, the ECHO character program for the 88-PIO is (from 000)

                333
                000
                346
                040
                312
                000
                000
                333
                001
                323
                001
                303
                000
                000

                If you have the correct cable for serial comm's, toggle in the code above and you should see characters you type on the screen.  Note the PIO has series of molex pins that are easy to interface with manually.  You will have to somehow wire the "in" side and the "out" side to mimic a serial cable.  I never did this before, I'd be interested to see how it goes.

                Bill




                -----Original Message-----
                From: corey986 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com>
                To: altaircomputerclub <altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Tue, Aug 28, 2012 4:21 pm
                Subject: [Altair Computer Club] Re: What IO ports does "stock" Altair Basic Support for the "main console"?

                Thanks for the welcome ;)
                
                My Altair should be arriving later this week so all this information will help 
                me with my initial startup.   I do plan on doing a complete restoration, but 
                will want to test it first so I have a "baseline" on what needs to be refreshed 
                from an actual electronics perspective not just cosmetic.  The system has a MITS 
                PIO but other than using a spare ASCII keyboard it's not going to help much.   I 
                have thought about creating a bidirectional parallel to serial adapter, but have 
                decided it's not worth the effort since I have a lot of work to do on the Altair 
                itself. 
                
                I have an ECT R2IO serial/parallel card that I will try to use until I can 
                locate a real MITS 2SIO, which I think may be hard to find so I will need to get 
                this one running with basic till then. I don't have a teletype, though I am 
                building a homebrew tape reader.
                
                You are right I think I was getting confused in the terminology, but I think 
                your post is helping me understand this port stuff. I do appreciate any advise 
                and help.  I am a planner so collecting as much information as possible before I 
                jump into a project is what I do.
                
                Thanks,
                Corey 
                
                
                
                
                
                --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, "steve" <alltare@...> wrote: > > > > Welcome to the club, Corey. > > Either board can be configured to any address, but the only Altair product that used port 000 was the VLCT (Very Low Cost Terminal), which was a parallel interface- not serial. > > When using BASIC, you would normally identify the main console port as octal 020 and 021. The HSR (High Speed paper tape Reader) also used 020 and 021. You can re-address your SIO single port serial board to any address including 020/021. I know of no specific reason why someone would have reconfigured it to 000, but an experimenter could have done so for a variety of reasons. > > Your confusion may come from the terminology used in MITS manuals and the serial CHIP's data sheets when talking about their CONTROL/STATUS and DATA ports. The serial UART or ACIA chip's control/status address is always one lower than the address through which the actual data flows. So a convenient way of talking about a serial CHIP is to describe the lower control/status channel as 0, and the upper data channel as port 1, even if the BOARD itself is at 020/021. > > Also, I think the 2SIO board, which has 2 complete serial ports (spanning four I/O addresses) identifies its two ports as 0 and 1, again independent of the board's actual addressing. > > However you set up your system, make sure you have properly configured your serial board for correct baud rate, stop bits, parity bit, etc. > > I hope I didn't make this too confusing. Someone else can surely describe it better. The best place to start reading is the 8800 or 8800b manual, which both cover serial I/O pretty well. After that, I guess you should read the manual for your SIO or 2SIO serial board. > > steve > ========================== > > > --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, corey986 <no_reply@> wrote: > > > > I'm a little confused. Is it 020 or port 00 that it is looking for? I'm new to the Altair and just starting to do some heavy research and some of the information on the internet has confused me. I have read, hopefully correctly, that the SIO card is at port 00 by default and the dual SIO card is at 020. Reading some of the stuff about how to load basic from the serial port using a PC kinda implies it's at port 020, but then do you have to change the mapping if you have a single SIO card at port 00 to use and load basic? > > > > Any information that can clarify this stuff for me please let me know. Also should I bother searching or just read all the MITS manuals "cover to cover". I hate reading on an electronic device, so I do plan on printing out all the manuals starting tomorrow after I grab a couple of reams of pre-hole punched paper. > > > > Thanks, > > Corey > > > ------------------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Links <*> To visit your group on the web, go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/altaircomputerclub/ <*> Your email settings: Individual Email | Traditional <*> To change settings online go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/altaircomputerclub/join (Yahoo! ID required) <*> To change settings via email: altaircomputerclub-digest@yahoogroups.com altaircomputerclub-fullfeatured@yahoogroups.com <*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to: altaircomputerclub-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com <*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to: http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
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