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  • The logical extension of just replacing the Altair power supply with a modern switching power supply would be to replace the whole Altair with a software simulation (of which there are several) :-) For my own part, I like to keep these vintage machines as vintage in appearance and function as possible. In Ross's case, a 60 Hz to 50 Hz converter is pretty impractical, so the next...
    eberhard@... Nov 22, 2017
  • Hi Ross, I am pretty sure the Altair 8800 power supply was designed using 60 Hz "filament" transformers, with no thought to 50 Hz operation. However, the 8800b power supply was designed for 50/60Hz operation. Generally speaking, running a 60 Hz transformer at 50 Hz will cause the transformer to run hot. You can get away with it on the original Altair power supply for a short while...
    eberhard@... Nov 21, 2017
  • I don't actually know KiCAD, but IMHO with any CAD system, it's essential to learn how to create new parts yourself. This is particularly true when working with these old computers, as many older parts aren't in any of the standard libraries. (And surprisingly often the part definitions you find are NFG!) Martin E.
    eberhard@... Nov 19, 2017
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  • Hi Robert, I (hopefully) have connected to you directly. To everyone else: yes, I still have a few of these kits available. Martin E.
    eberhard@... Jul 26, 2017
  • I couldn't agree more, Jack. I knew George Morrow when I built my first Altair back in the day, and then got to know him again near the end of his life. Very cool guy, and quite clever. His son worked for me at one of my startup companies in the late 90's :-)
    eberhard@... Jun 28, 2017
  • Josh, The original boxer fan was pretty darned loud, even by 1976 standards. In 1976, there were ads in the magazines for a quieter fan, the "Whisper" fan, from Rotron. (The black-label Whisper fan is the correct one from 1976.) I installed one of these in my own Altair 1976, and I've installed them in other Altairs I've restored more recently. I consider this fan to be "authentic...
    eberhard@... Jun 28, 2017
  • The Altair 8800 serial numbers did start with 220000. In theory, the "K" at the end indicated a kit, and an "A" at the end indicated a factory-assembled Altair. However, my own Altair 8800a is serial number 220541A. But I bought this computer as a new kit in 1976 from Computer Kits in Berkeley, CA. So MITS was not totally consistent with this "A" and "K" designation.
    eberhard@... Jun 28, 2017
  • Oops. Accidentally uploaded version 2.4 instead of 2.5 last time! Now this directory actually contains XMODEM version 2.5 :-) https://beta.groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/altaircomputerclub/files/Modem%20Programs/ Sorry 'bout that.
    eberhard@... Jun 16, 2017
  • I've uploaded version 2.5 of my XMODEM.COM here: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/altaircomputerclub/files/Modem%20Programs/ Version 2.5 is a minor upgrade from version 2.4. The only difference is that 2.5 will work correctly if there are no spaces on the command line between the file name and the "slash" options, e.g. "XMODEM MYFILE/R" Version 2.4 fixed a significant bug that...
    eberhard@... Jun 15, 2017
  • Be aware that the Paypal protection is more limited than it appears. If the seller has already moved the money out of his PayPal account, then PayPal has limited resources to recover your money after a bogus transaction. Their fraud protection is not a guarantee with PayPal's money - they will only try and recover the money from the seller. A while back, I stupidly bought an Altair...
    eberhard@... Jun 14, 2017