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Re: Howdy!

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  • rileym65
    Welcome to the group!!! Like you my first computer was an Elf, that I had built from the Popular Electronics articles. Even after all this time I still love
    Message 1 of 11 , Jun 23, 2008
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      Welcome to the group!!! Like you my first computer was an Elf, that I
      had built from the Popular Electronics articles. Even after all this
      time I still love to dig out one of my Elf machines to play with, and
      I still write software from time to time. Enjoy the group!!!!
      Mike

      --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, "John" <secosemillon@...> wrote:
      >
      > A friend told me about the web site, and it's been a great trip to go
      > back to the seventies.
      >
      > I still have the Elf I built then - my first computer. It has the hex
      > keypad and display and the 4K memory expansion board.
      >
      > For a printer I found a real old teletype and used it to print my beer
      > labels with. Also I built a speech synthesizer which had to be
      > programmed by phoneme.
      >
      > By the time I was toying with the idea of writing an editor, something
      > happened to the 4K expansion and I never got back to it. Now, thirty
      > years and five computers later, it'd be fun to get back to the Elf.
      >
      >
      > John
      >
    • john seco
      ... I got all my boards together and turned the power on. The leds lit up for about a minute, then there was a POP and smoke from an over-heated capacitor.
      Message 2 of 11 , Jun 25, 2008
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        Bill Rowe wrote:
        > Hi john. it's a little quiet here right now - I think people are summer-busy. Always nice to hear a new story though.
        >
        > Welcome to the list. Poke around the old messages and the files section. there are a few emulators which you can download free and poke at to get back in the game. see if 7B 7A 3000 can still blink your personal leds!
        I got all my boards together and turned the power on. The leds lit up
        for about a minute, then there was a POP and smoke from an over-heated
        capacitor.

        What I have is a Quest Super Elf and a Super Elf Expansion board.
        What I don't have anymore, seemingly, is the documentation - Quest's
        assembly manuals, Questdata sheets, my tapes and notebooks.

        /cosmacelf.com/ has a link for /Quest Super Elf Manuals and Code/, but
        there's an error with the message "The system cannot find the file
        specified". It is still possible to get this stuff from Quest?










        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Al Winfrey
        Hello John! ... The Quest company(s) that you find on the web have little in common with the old fun- electronics company but I don t much know about it s
        Message 3 of 11 , Jun 29, 2008
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          Hello John!

          > I got all my boards together and turned the power on. The leds lit up
          > for about a minute, then there was a POP and smoke from an over-heated
          > capacitor.
          >
          > What I have is a Quest Super Elf and a Super Elf Expansion board.
          > What I don't have anymore, seemingly, is the documentation - Quest's
          > assembly manuals, Questdata sheets, my tapes and notebooks.
          >
          > /cosmacelf.com/ has a link for /Quest Super Elf Manuals and Code/, but
          > there's an error with the message "The system cannot find the file
          > specified". It is still possible to get this stuff from Quest?
          >

          The Quest company(s) that you find on the web have little in common with the old fun-
          electronics company but I don't much know about it's history.

          A little pop and smoke shouldn't stop your fun on the old Super Elf! It's not uncommon to
          loose a cap or two when re-activating any older hardware like that. It's usually an
          electrolytic or a tantalum that goes. The problem is chronic on some older Macintosh
          computers to the point that I once replaced 20 or so surface-mount tantalums on the
          motherboard on an SE-30 to make it stable again.

          There used to be lots of Super Elf documentation around the web but the assumed owner
          of the copy-writed material objected to even pictures being displayed. Most of us are just
          in this hobby for fun and chose not to pursue it with him. I don't want to re-open an old
          can of "Super Worms" but if you look in the photo's section you will find that Richard has
          done a lot of neat stuff with his Super Elf and you might e-mail him for some help. He has
          always been a valued contributor to the group.

          By the way, if you notice the Elf 2000 by Bob Armstrong from Spare Time Gizmos you can
          see his take on the old Elf with newer components. He also offers several expansion
          boards if you choose and you can freely download documentation from his web site.

          http://www.sparetimegizmos.com/Hardware/Elf2K.htm

          Al Winfrey - wa9hsl
          ....
        • Andrew Wasson
          Hey John, Yup it s a bit quiet around here these days but that naturally comes with summer and warm weather. Hopefully it will get a bit more lively towards
          Message 4 of 11 , Jun 29, 2008
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            Hey John,
            Yup it's a bit quiet around here these days but that naturally comes
            with summer and warm weather. Hopefully it will get a bit more lively
            towards the fall & winter.

            As Al mentioned, those vintage caps sometimes run out of smoke when
            they're powered back up. I wouldn't be surprised if it was back to
            normal after replacing that cap.

            Regarding manuals, I have a little info for you.

            Recently (3-31-2008), I had an email discussion with Paul the current
            holder of Quest's copyrights about providing PDF versions of the Quest
            schematic for members of this group. Here is the meat of his reply:

            "Most anything can be posted as long as it's a digital scan, the
            format is not changed and its a complete copy. with copyright owner
            noted. These days the huge files from digital scans are not a big
            problem as they were several years ago."

            As I recall there were a few manuals floating around without the
            copyright info on the front cover or OCR'd and that provided some
            friction. As far as pictures goes, If you have a nice photo of your
            Super elf, upload it wherever you want. A small firestorm erupted over
            an image of a Super Elf in a custom case that might have been mistaken
            for the Quest case. All in the past and I wouldn't think it should
            take anything away from our enjoyment of these neat computers.

            I emailed you a link to a scan of the manual but your yahoo address
            doesn't seem to work. It's a big file 18MB. Send me an email and I'll
            forward it to you.

            Cheers,
            Andrew





            --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, "Al Winfrey" <al_wa9hsl@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            > Hello John!
            >
            > > I got all my boards together and turned the power on. The leds lit up
            > > for about a minute, then there was a POP and smoke from an
            over-heated
            > > capacitor.
            > >
            > > What I have is a Quest Super Elf and a Super Elf Expansion board.
            > > What I don't have anymore, seemingly, is the documentation - Quest's
            > > assembly manuals, Questdata sheets, my tapes and notebooks.
            > >
            > > /cosmacelf.com/ has a link for /Quest Super Elf Manuals and Code/,
            but
            > > there's an error with the message "The system cannot find the file
            > > specified". It is still possible to get this stuff from Quest?
            > >
            >
            > The Quest company(s) that you find on the web have little in common
            with the old fun-
            > electronics company but I don't much know about it's history.
            >
            > A little pop and smoke shouldn't stop your fun on the old Super Elf!
            It's not uncommon to
            > loose a cap or two when re-activating any older hardware like that.
            It's usually an
            > electrolytic or a tantalum that goes. The problem is chronic on some
            older Macintosh
            > computers to the point that I once replaced 20 or so surface-mount
            tantalums on the
            > motherboard on an SE-30 to make it stable again.
            >
            > There used to be lots of Super Elf documentation around the web but
            the assumed owner
            > of the copy-writed material objected to even pictures being
            displayed. Most of us are just
            > in this hobby for fun and chose not to pursue it with him. I don't
            want to re-open an old
            > can of "Super Worms" but if you look in the photo's section you
            will find that Richard has
            > done a lot of neat stuff with his Super Elf and you might e-mail him
            for some help. He has
            > always been a valued contributor to the group.
            >
            > By the way, if you notice the Elf 2000 by Bob Armstrong from Spare
            Time Gizmos you can
            > see his take on the old Elf with newer components. He also offers
            several expansion
            > boards if you choose and you can freely download documentation from
            his web site.
            >
            > http://www.sparetimegizmos.com/Hardware/Elf2K.htm
            >
            > Al Winfrey - wa9hsl
            > ....
            >
          • john seco
            ... Hi Andrew The link worked and now I have the assembly manual. Thank you very much. I will have my Elf powered up this evening. That will be worth a
            Message 5 of 11 , Jul 1, 2008
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              Andrew Wasson wrote:
              > Hey John,
              >
              > I emailed you a link to a scan of the manual but your yahoo address doesn't seem to work. It's a big file 18MB. Send me an email and I'll forward it to you.
              >
              > Cheers,
              > Andrew
              >
              Hi Andrew

              The link worked and now I have the assembly manual. Thank you very
              much. I will have my Elf powered up this evening. That will be worth a
              picture or two.

              You mentioned Paul , Messenger is it?. Thanks for telling me all that,
              BTW. If you still have his email address, I'd like to get it and write
              him. Hopefully he's relaxed a bit and would be amenable to getting me a
              copy of the docs. At least we could discuss options.

              Regards,


              John Good


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Andrew Wasson
              Hi John, Glad to hear your SE will be up and going tonight. I ll contact you offline re: the rest. Cheers, Andrew ... address doesn t seem to work. It s a big
              Message 6 of 11 , Jul 1, 2008
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                Hi John,
                Glad to hear your SE will be up and going tonight.
                I'll contact you offline re: the rest.

                Cheers,
                Andrew

                --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, john seco <secosemillon@...> wrote:
                >
                > Andrew Wasson wrote:
                > > Hey John,
                > >
                > > I emailed you a link to a scan of the manual but your yahoo
                address doesn't seem to work. It's a big file 18MB. Send me an email
                and I'll forward it to you.
                > >
                > > Cheers,
                > > Andrew
                > >
                > Hi Andrew
                >
                > The link worked and now I have the assembly manual. Thank you very
                > much. I will have my Elf powered up this evening. That will be
                worth a
                > picture or two.
                >
                > You mentioned Paul , Messenger is it?. Thanks for telling me all that,
                > BTW. If you still have his email address, I'd like to get it and write
                > him. Hopefully he's relaxed a bit and would be amenable to getting
                me a
                > copy of the docs. At least we could discuss options.
                >
                > Regards,
                >
                >
                > John Good
                >
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
              • john seco
                At least some things light up, but it has a way to go before it functions properly. And the keys definitely aren t that color. [Non-text portions of this
                Message 7 of 11 , Jul 1, 2008
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                  At least some things light up, but it has a way to go before it
                  functions properly.

                  And the keys definitely aren't that color.


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Andrew Wasson
                  Keep plugging away. Several years ago I had one that worked somewhat intermittently and I found that a 4011 had packed it in. I could make it malfunction by
                  Message 8 of 11 , Jul 2, 2008
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                    Keep plugging away.

                    Several years ago I had one that worked somewhat intermittently and I
                    found that a 4011 had packed it in. I could make it malfunction by
                    hovering my hand over the chip or just touching the plastic case.

                    Good luck,
                    Andrew

                    --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, john seco <secosemillon@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > At least some things light up, but it has a way to go before it
                    > functions properly.
                    >
                    > And the keys definitely aren't that color.
                    >
                    >
                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >
                  • Al Winfrey
                    John, You may have already tried this but one thing that happens with socketed ICs over long storage is that a crystaline coating often forms between the pins
                    Message 9 of 11 , Jul 3, 2008
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                      John,

                      You may have already tried this but one thing that happens with socketed ICs over long
                      storage is that a crystaline coating often forms between the pins and the socket contacts.
                      CMOS IC's sometimes behave strangely but they are even stranger when the circuit
                      contacts aren't clean. This oxide acts as an insulator and you can break it loose by gently
                      rocking each IC in it's socket.

                      I place the board ( a Super Elf in this case) on a flat static-safe surface and then use a
                      blade to pry gently under the front and back of each IC to raise it a little but don't lift it
                      out of the socket. Then re-seat the IC with an even pressure on each end. This action will
                      scrape loose the oxide and usually the thing starts working...if it was stored originally in
                      working condition! This is not a cure-all but the conditions also affects TTL IC's.

                      :o)

                      al
                      ....



                      --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, "Andrew Wasson" <andrew@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Keep plugging away.
                      >
                      > Several years ago I had one that worked somewhat intermittently and I
                      > found that a 4011 had packed it in. I could make it malfunction by
                      > hovering my hand over the chip or just touching the plastic case.
                      >
                      > Good luck,
                      > Andrew
                      >
                      > --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, john seco <secosemillon@> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > At least some things light up, but it has a way to go before it
                      > > functions properly.
                      > >
                      > > And the keys definitely aren't that color.
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      > >
                      >
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