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14484Re: [cosmacelf] RE: Found Quest S100 Hardware

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  • Mark G Thomas
    Oct 7 10:16 AM
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      > ---In [2]cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, <5c077a113y@...> wrote:
      > Couldn't resist contacting a group of COSMAC enthusiasts!
      > Back in 1970's I had a Quest Super Elf. (Time lapse of 35 years)
      > Digging around in the basement I found an S100 backplane and 2, S100
      > cards (True Blue Video, Dynamic RAM) from that system. Also found some
      > Quest Super Elf documentation (partial, nothing for those cards
      > however). Could live without the S100 cards, but would like to own a
      > Quest Super Elf "motherboard" again!
      > Hope to put together a Membership Card in the near future, and to
      > re-read those Quest newsletters!
      > - Scott

      On Sun, Oct 06, 2013 at 08:34:33PM -0500, Scott Alley wrote:
      > Yep, I think you had to purchase the expansion board to get the
      > cassette interface (and 4K? of RAM, a couple of S100 slots, and a
      > serial interface). It still seems strange to me that today we talk
      > about giga-bytes of R/W memory.
      > - Scott

      I added the expansion board with 2x S100 slots, and a S100 slot expander.
      A junior high school classmate's father *gave* me three then-precious
      8k S100 static RAM boards. Each board had 64x2102 chips on it. They
      drew a lot of current. I had a significant number of 2102 chips fail, so
      ended up spending some time and effort writing memory test programs and
      tracking down bad chips. Once powered up and memory tests passed, loading
      BASIC from cassette took a long time. I used my ASR-33 teletype as a
      terminal, then maybe later a Hazeltine CRT.

      I still have my Quest Super Elf, and it still mostly works. The LED
      displays are extremely dim -- I think they have degraded internally,
      unless it is an issue with the chips that drive them. One day I'll
      put a modern power supply in the chassis, replace the displays if I can,
      and clean up some of the wiring I did when I was 14 and originally
      assembled it.

      The elf2k is much less tedious to work with. Booting ElfOS from CF card
      is a joy compared with loading software via serial port or cassette.

      I just recently modified a Membership Card by adding an elf2k ROM,
      posting info to this group about the process. Using with the Membership
      Card via serial port with the additional ROM utilities is fun and easy,
      and of cource it still has the switches and blinkin' lights.


      Mark G. Thomas (Mark@...)
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