Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Howdy

Expand Messages
  • Mark Graybill
    Howdy, all--new group member here. I started out with the Elf with a Netronics kit, which I loaned to a friend about 25 years ago and never got back,
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 4, 2003
      Howdy, all--new group member here.

      I started out with the Elf with a Netronics kit, which I loaned to a friend
      about 25 years ago and never got back, unfortunately. My interest in the
      1802 never waned, though. Lately I've been playing with the TinyElf on my
      new Clie, knocking the rust off my memory of how to program the 1802, and
      I'm thinking of putting together something in the way of 1802-based hardware
      this summer.

      I've got several of the MSI/88e handheld terminals, and I've been doing a
      forensic teardown on one off and on over the past several months. Most of it
      has been identifying the parts and trying to document the buses and the
      control logic. I'll probably pull the ROM out of one and read it, they're
      nice little systems and it'd be nice to reprogram one for general-purpose
      use. All the ones I've got work, but I don't have the wand or whatever else
      plugged into them, so all they do is give me an error message at power-up.

      Every one of them has at least 20K of RAM, most have 24K, and they've got a
      pair of 8-character 14-segment alphanumeric LED displays on them as well as
      a little peizo buzzer. The construction is very much the style of the
      period, but they're well made, and most are in good shape except for some
      minor cosmetics like key labels, which I'll want to change anyway. The case
      includes a battery pack as well as a place for backup batteries (a pair of
      #357 hearing-aid batteries, commonly available even today.)

      Right now I'm looking into two possibilities. One is to reverse-engineer the
      MSI/88e enough to use it pretty much as-is with new software to drive the
      hardware, another is to pull the boards from the MSI/88e and cannibalize
      parts to build a new Elf-style system inside the case. If I do that I'll
      probably want to use some programmable logic for the control circuitry and
      the keyboard and display encode/decode instead of the standard MSI/LSI
      components.

      Has anyone else done anything with the MSI/88e?

      -Mark G.
    • Lee Hart
      ... Yes. I have several of them, too, and have been tracing out the schematic. Only about 10% done, though the circuit turns out to be pretty straightforward
      Message 2 of 3 , Jun 5, 2003
        Mark Graybill wrote:
        > Has anyone else done anything with the MSI/88e?

        Yes. I have several of them, too, and have been tracing out the
        schematic. Only about 10% done, though the circuit turns out to be
        pretty straightforward and generic.
        --
        Lee A. Hart Ring the bells that still can ring
        814 8th Ave. N. Forget your perfect offering
        Sartell, MN 56377 USA There is a crack in everything
        leeahart_at_earthlink.net That's how the light gets in - Leonard Cohen
      • erd_6502
        ... Welcome. ... I ve powered a couple up to see them display some non-understood error messages, and I ve dismantled one to see what makes them tick. Beyond
        Message 3 of 3 , Jun 6, 2003
          --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, "Mark Graybill" <saundby@f...>
          wrote:
          > Howdy, all--new group member here.

          Welcome.

          > Has anyone else done anything with the MSI/88e?
          >
          > -Mark G.

          I've powered a couple up to see them display some non-understood
          error messages, and I've dismantled one to see what makes them
          tick. Beyond that, I haven't done much with them... I did take
          my Quest Elf and COSMAC VIP to a computer history exhibit
          recently.

          -ethan
        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.