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Re: [Altair Computer Club] MITS ALTAIR 8800b Computer with 11 Boards

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  • Martin Eberhard
    Hi Michael, Probably the best way to get a bootable floppy is to use Mike s PC2FLOP program, and the .DSK file images. You should be able to use your 8800b s
    Message 1 of 10 , Sep 30, 2013
      Hi Michael,

      Probably the best way to get a bootable floppy is to use Mike's PC2FLOP program, and the .DSK file images.

      You should be able to use your 8800b's boot monitor (TURMON) to enter his short loader program, and use that to pull in PC2FLOP - and then use PC2FLOP to load a bootable DSK image and write it to a blank floppy.

      The great advantage of this procedure is that it completely eliminates all problems with disk drive alignment - since your drive wrote the bootable disk image, the alignment is right for reading it. Obviously, this does mean that your disks may not interchange with another Altair, but that's a small problem only...

      Take a look in the files section, under Altair Disk Images for  the PC2FLOP software, instructions, and the DSK images. (Look for Disk Image Transfer Utilities (Stand Alone).)

      That disk drive is a 3202 drive - the manuals are out there...

      Martin


      On Sun, Sep 29, 2013 at 10:41 PM, Michael George Hart <michael.george.hart@...> wrote:
      Hello All
          I was fortunate enough to have the winning bid on eBay for "MITS ALTAIR 8800b Computer with 11 Boards" and an "ALTAIR DISK COMPUTER DOUBLE FLOPPY DISK DRIVE MITS" see images below. 

      From examining the Altair 8800b internals and board either the system was unused in a very clean environment or it was used for a few a month or two and packed away; very very little to no dust accumulation on any of its parts.

      After the inspection I gently remove the boards and plugged in and checked the voltages with my meter and oscilloscope. The voltages were exactly what they should be without any buss load. --from the look of the s100 buss edges of all the cards it looked I was the first one to ever of pulled them out system was built. Interestingly enough most of boards did not see to have and marking/tags would allow me to tell you the part number in order find a manual to repair them if needed although I could identify the function of each board. A lot of the boards looked like revision 0

      I replaced all the boards at the exact location I removed the and did not see or smell any smoke.
      Next I connected the floppy drive and it loaded the head of the drive. This thing is trying to boot it self.

      Does anyone have a bootable 8" floppy I can use to attempt to boot this system assuming the floppy drives are actually functional. The sender of the floppy drive did not properly lock down the heads of the floppy drive when sent them so the drives could be misaligned if they ever worked.

      Does anyone know where I can find documentation of the Altair 8800b and this particular floppy drive system. Until a month ago I didn't think that MITS made a double floppy disk drive system.

      Thank for whatever help you might be able to offer.

      Michael



      $T2eC16h,!)!FIdVju6kkBSLRDeru-!~~60_57.JPG
      $T2eC16F,!zoE9s5nc3O!BSLMf(YU2!~~60_57.JPG
      I, the unwilling, was lead by the unqualified, to do the unbelievable for so long with so little, that I attempted the impossible with nothing

      Sent from my 

    • Michael George Hart
      Thank you so much for the insight. I was starting to think I now have a 100lbs iron brick good for nothing but display I will see how far I can get with
      Message 2 of 10 , Sep 30, 2013
        Thank you so much for the insight. I was starting to think I now have a 100lbs iron brick good for nothing but display

        I will see how far I can get with PC2FLOP tool this weekend.

        Thanks again.

        I, the unwilling, was lead by the unqualified, to do the unbelievable for so long with so little, that I attempted the impossible with nothing

        Sent from my iPad

        On Sep 30, 2013, at 10:00 AM, Martin Eberhard <eberhard@...> wrote:

         

        Hi Michael,

        Probably the best way to get a bootable floppy is to use Mike's PC2FLOP program, and the .DSK file images.

        You should be able to use your 8800b's boot monitor (TURMON) to enter his short loader program, and use that to pull in PC2FLOP - and then use PC2FLOP to load a bootable DSK image and write it to a blank floppy.

        The great advantage of this procedure is that it completely eliminates all problems with disk drive alignment - since your drive wrote the bootable disk image, the alignment is right for reading it. Obviously, this does mean that your disks may not interchange with another Altair, but that's a small problem only...

        Take a look in the files section, under Altair Disk Images for  the PC2FLOP software, instructions, and the DSK images. (Look for Disk Image Transfer Utilities (Stand Alone).)

        That disk drive is a 3202 drive - the manuals are out there...

        Martin


        On Sun, Sep 29, 2013 at 10:41 PM, Michael George Hart <michael.george.hart@...> wrote:
        Hello All
            I was fortunate enough to have the winning bid on eBay for "MITS ALTAIR 8800b Computer with 11 Boards" and an "ALTAIR DISK COMPUTER DOUBLE FLOPPY DISK DRIVE MITS" see images below. 

        From examining the Altair 8800b internals and board either the system was unused in a very clean environment or it was used for a few a month or two and packed away; very very little to no dust accumulation on any of its parts.

        After the inspection I gently remove the boards and plugged in and checked the voltages with my meter and oscilloscope. The voltages were exactly what they should be without any buss load. --from the look of the s100 buss edges of all the cards it looked I was the first one to ever of pulled them out system was built. Interestingly enough most of boards did not see to have and marking/tags would allow me to tell you the part number in order find a manual to repair them if needed although I could identify the function of each board. A lot of the boards looked like revision 0

        I replaced all the boards at the exact location I removed the and did not see or smell any smoke.
        Next I connected the floppy drive and it loaded the head of the drive. This thing is trying to boot it self.

        Does anyone have a bootable 8" floppy I can use to attempt to boot this system assuming the floppy drives are actually functional. The sender of the floppy drive did not properly lock down the heads of the floppy drive when sent them so the drives could be misaligned if they ever worked.

        Does anyone know where I can find documentation of the Altair 8800b and this particular floppy drive system. Until a month ago I didn't think that MITS made a double floppy disk drive system.

        Thank for whatever help you might be able to offer.

        Michael



        <$T2eC16h,!)!FIdVju6kkBSLRDeru-!~~60_57.JPG>
        <$T2eC16F,!zoE9s5nc3O!BSLMf(YU2!~~60_57.JPG>
        I, the unwilling, was lead by the unqualified, to do the unbelievable for so long with so little, that I attempted the impossible with nothing

        Sent from my 

      • deramp5113
        Michael, Feel free to contact me if you need any help with PC2Flop. Mike ---In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, wrote:
        Message 3 of 10 , Sep 30, 2013

          Michael,


          Feel free to contact me if you need any help with PC2Flop.


          Mike

           



          ---In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, <altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

          Thank you so much for the insight. I was starting to think I now have a 100lbs iron brick good for nothing but display

          I will see how far I can get with PC2FLOP tool this weekend.

          Thanks again.

          I, the unwilling, was lead by the unqualified, to do the unbelievable for so long with so little, that I attempted the impossible with nothing

          Sent from my iPad

          On Sep 30, 2013, at 10:00 AM, Martin Eberhard <eberhard@...> wrote:

           
          Hi Michael,

          Probably the best way to get a bootable floppy is to use Mike's PC2FLOP program, and the .DSK file images.

          You should be able to use your 8800b's boot monitor (TURMON) to enter his short loader program, and use that to pull in PC2FLOP - and then use PC2FLOP to load a bootable DSK image and write it to a blank floppy.

          The great advantage of this procedure is that it completely eliminates all problems with disk drive alignment - since your drive wrote the bootable disk image, the alignment is right for reading it. Obviously, this does mean that your disks may not interchange with another Altair, but that's a small problem only...

          Take a look in the files section, under Altair Disk Images for  the PC2FLOP software, instructions, and the DSK images. (Look for Disk Image Transfer Utilities (Stand Alone).)

          That disk drive is a 3202 drive - the manuals are out there...

          Martin


          On Sun, Sep 29, 2013 at 10:41 PM, Michael George Hart <michael.george.hart@...> wrote:
          Hello All
              I was fortunate enough to have the winning bid on eBay for "MITS ALTAIR 8800b Computer with 11 Boards" and an "ALTAIR DISK COMPUTER DOUBLE FLOPPY DISK DRIVE MITS" see images below. 

          From examining the Altair 8800b internals and board either the system was unused in a very clean environment or it was used for a few a month or two and packed away; very very little to no dust accumulation on any of its parts.

          After the inspection I gently remove the boards and plugged in and checked the voltages with my meter and oscilloscope. The voltages were exactly what they should be without any buss load. --from the look of the s100 buss edges of all the cards it looked I was the first one to ever of pulled them out system was built. Interestingly enough most of boards did not see to have and marking/tags would allow me to tell you the part number in order find a manual to repair them if needed although I could identify the function of each board. A lot of the boards looked like revision 0

          I replaced all the boards at the exact location I removed the and did not see or smell any smoke.
          Next I connected the floppy drive and it loaded the head of the drive. This thing is trying to boot it self.

          Does anyone have a bootable 8" floppy I can use to attempt to boot this system assuming the floppy drives are actually functional. The sender of the floppy drive did not properly lock down the heads of the floppy drive when sent them so the drives could be misaligned if they ever worked.

          Does anyone know where I can find documentation of the Altair 8800b and this particular floppy drive system. Until a month ago I didn't think that MITS made a double floppy disk drive system.

          Thank for whatever help you might be able to offer.

          Michael



          <$T2eC16h,!)!FIdVju6kkBSLRDeru-!~~60_57.JPG>
          <$T2eC16F,!zoE9s5nc3O!BSLMf(YU2!~~60_57.JPG>
          I, the unwilling, was lead by the unqualified, to do the unbelievable for so long with so little, that I attempted the impossible with nothing

          Sent from my 

        • B Degnan
          I saw the photos. Are the two drive controller cards connected with cables? The drive controller for this system would be two boards connected by cables/wire.
          Message 4 of 10 , Sep 30, 2013
            I saw the photos. Are the two drive controller cards connected with cables?  The drive controller for this system would be two boards connected by cables/wire.  I assume yes you have the cables, but they were not visible in the ebay auction.
            Bill



            -----Original Message-----
            From: Michael George Hart <michael.george.hart@...>
            To: altaircomputerclub <altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Mon, Sep 30, 2013 12:38 pm
            Subject: [Altair Computer Club] MITS ALTAIR 8800b Computer with 11 Boards

            Hello All
                I was fortunate enough to have the winning bid on eBay for "MITS ALTAIR 8800b Computer with 11 Boards" and an "ALTAIR DISK COMPUTER DOUBLE FLOPPY DISK DRIVE MITS" see images below. 

            Sent from my 
          • B Degnan
            just to clarify, I mean that the two drive controllers are connected internally within the computer. There is a separate cable that connects from the outside
            Message 5 of 10 , Sep 30, 2013
              just to clarify, I mean that the two drive controllers are connected internally within the computer.  There is a separate cable that connects from the outside of the computer to the drive controller port.
              bd



              -----Original Message-----
              From: B Degnan <billdeg@...>
              To: altaircomputerclub <altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Mon, Sep 30, 2013 1:08 pm
              Subject: Re: [Altair Computer Club] MITS ALTAIR 8800b Computer with 11 Boards



              I saw the photos. Are the two drive controller cards connected with cables?  The drive controller for this system would be two boards connected by cables/wire.  I assume yes you have the cables, but they were not visible in the ebay auction.
              Bill



              -----Original Message-----
              From: Michael George Hart <michael.george.hart@...>
              To: altaircomputerclub <altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Mon, Sep 30, 2013 12:38 pm
              Subject: [Altair Computer Club] MITS ALTAIR 8800b Computer with 11 Boards

              Hello All
                  I was fortunate enough to have the winning bid on eBay for "MITS ALTAIR 8800b Computer with 11 Boards" and an "ALTAIR DISK COMPUTER DOUBLE FLOPPY DISK DRIVE MITS" see images below. 

              Sent from my 


            • Michael George Hart
              Yes, there are two S100 boards in the 8800b that connects to chassis mounted connector. There is a cable from the drive unit that plugs directly into the
              Message 6 of 10 , Sep 30, 2013
                Yes, there are two S100 boards in the 8800b that connects to chassis mounted connector. 

                There is a cable from the drive unit that plugs directly into the chassis connector.

                To night I will post pictures of all the cards found in the unit.

                I, the unwilling, was lead by the unqualified, to do the unbelievable for so long with so little, that I attempted the impossible with nothing

                Sent from my iPad

                On Sep 30, 2013, at 1:07 PM, B Degnan <billdeg@...> wrote:

                 

                I saw the photos. Are the two drive controller cards connected with cables?  The drive controller for this system would be two boards connected by cables/wire.  I assume yes you have the cables, but they were not visible in the ebay auction.
                Bill




                -----Original Message-----
                From: Michael George Hart <michael.george.hart@...>
                To: altaircomputerclub <altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Mon, Sep 30, 2013 12:38 pm
                Subject: [Altair Computer Club] MITS ALTAIR 8800b Computer with 11 Boards

                Hello All
                    I was fortunate enough to have the winning bid on eBay for "MITS ALTAIR 8800b Computer with 11 Boards" and an "ALTAIR DISK COMPUTER DOUBLE FLOPPY DISK DRIVE MITS" see images below. 

                Sent from my 

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