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Re: [midatlanticretro] Which version is it, Altair 680 or 680b ?

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  • Dan
    I couldn t tell which month in 76 this mainboard might have been made. Is yours a 608b too then ? I was hoping the Rev # would give a clue. The mainboard does
    Message 1 of 11 , Sep 5, 2005
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      I couldn't tell which month in '76 this mainboard might have been made.
      Is yours a 608b too then ? I was hoping the Rev # would give a clue. The
      mainboard does have a place for IC L (74LS74), but the socket is empty.
      So would the 680 version have a blank spot there w/o any traces ? I
      recall seeing pictures online of the early 680's with a beige front
      panel, mine isn't. I guess then this might be a 680b after all.

      I think my brother never ordered this with the Monitor Rom, because that
      socket is empty. The System Monitor manual still has the source code in
      there. The title in there mentions 680b Prom Monitor. I'll have to try
      and dig up some 1702 Roms and program some, I hope I get a good one.
      This might be a good time to build a rom emulator.

      I think I remember why now we had to build an ascii keyboard w/ parallel
      intfc for this. We didn't have a terminal back then to use if we had a
      Monitor Rom. So we had this wired up to the machine as an I/O port
      instead. Looking through some of the code listings on an old notepad, I
      found a code listing for a Monitor code which allowed us to read from
      the ascii keyboard. Basically, this code was modified from the original
      Monitor Rom and skipped over the ACIA serial chip instead and read from
      a memory-mapped I/O port.

      =Dan

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      [My Corner of Cyberspace http://ragooman.home.comcast.net/%5d
      [Pittsburgh Robotics Society http://www.pghrobotics.org/%5d
      [Pittsburgh Vintage Comp.Society http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pghvintagecomp/%5d
      [Hurricane-Help contact our relatives http://www.familylinks.icrc.org/katrina/%5d
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



      billdeg@... wrote:

      > >From July 1976 on I believe they were the "b's" If your board had 1975
      > printed on it then I would be more confident that is was a "non-b"
      >
      > Another thing to check would be the monitor ROM, they were different
      > in the
      > two models. You might be able to get the model by looking up that
      > chip. If
      > you have BASIC for the 680, it may make mention in the documentation
      > of the ROM
      > monitor required, and from there you can infer the model.
      >
      > The main motherboard of the 680b will have a space at position L for a
      > "Baudot serial" chip, look for a chip with 74LS74 on it. If you have
      > this, it's a
      > 680b.
      >
      > I have an SWTPc 6800 which is similar to the 680, but not exactly.
      > The 680
      > used S-100 bus and the Altair has a A-50 (Altair custom 50) bus. You
      > can load
      > programs from the SWTPc onto the 680 with minor modifications (I have
      > been
      > told).
      >
      > Bill
      >
      >


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    • Dan
      An old buddy of mine gave me his Swtpc 6800 way back, actually 2 machines and a bunch of boards. I haven t turned it on since he had this running. This is
      Message 2 of 11 , Sep 5, 2005
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        An old buddy of mine gave me his Swtpc 6800 way back, actually 2
        machines and a bunch of boards. I haven't turned it on since he had this
        running. This is another project I'll be working after the 680 gets
        done. I actually have a few machines that I dug out this summer, which
        should keep me busy through the winter. I brought out the 680,
        Swtpc(2x), Imsai, and the Heathkit H-8/H-9. Got my fingers crossed now

        =Dan

        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        [My Corner of Cyberspace http://ragooman.home.comcast.net/%5d
        [Pittsburgh Robotics Society http://www.pghrobotics.org/%5d
        [Pittsburgh Vintage Comp.Society http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pghvintagecomp/%5d
        [Hurricane-Help contact our relatives http://www.familylinks.icrc.org/katrina/%5d
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



        billdeg@... wrote:

        >
        >
        > I have an SWTPc 6800 which is similar to the 680, but not exactly
        >
        >


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      • billdeg@aol.com
        Dan, I should say that I could be totally wrong...I don t have a 680, but I have seen in a couple here and there. I actually read about the B when reading up
        Message 3 of 11 , Sep 5, 2005
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          Dan,
          I should say that I could be totally wrong...I don't have a 680, but I have
          seen in a couple here and there. I actually read about the B when reading up
          on my SWTPc 6800. I can't remember exactly where. Definately the IC L was
          made with a blank on the "B" unless you added the optional serial ROM for the
          slot. I don't know if the non-B 680 would have the slot or not, but I would
          focus on that part of the card, try to find a schematic that compares the two to
          get your answer about the rev of your particulat 680.

          Bill D

          In a message dated 9/5/2005 8:56:32 AM Eastern Standard Time,
          ragooman@... writes:

          > I couldn't tell which month in '76 this mainboard might have been made.
          > Is yours a 608b too then ? I was hoping the Rev # would give a clue. The
          > mainboard does have a place for IC L (74LS74), but the socket is empty.
          > So would the 680 version have a blank spot there w/o any traces ? I
          > recall seeing pictures online of the early 680's with a beige front
          > panel, mine isn't. I guess then this might be a 680b after all.
          >
          > I think my brother never ordered this with the Monitor Rom, because that
          > socket is empty. The System Monitor manual still has the source code in
          > there. The title in there mentions 680b Prom Monitor. I'll have to try
          > and dig up some 1702 Roms and program some, I hope I get a good one.
          > This might be a good time to build a rom emulator.
          >
          > I think I remember why now we had to build an ascii keyboard w/ parallel
          > intfc for this. We didn't have a terminal back then to use if we had a
          > Monitor Rom. So we had this wired up to the machine as an I/O port
          > instead. Looking through some of the code listings on an old notepad, I
          > found a code listing for a Monitor code which allowed us to read from
          > the ascii keyboard. Basically, this code was modified from the original
          > Monitor Rom and skipped over the ACIA serial chip instead and read from
          > a memory-mapped I/O port.
          >
          > =Dan
        • Dan
          There was somebody on the Altair Computer Club yahoo newsgroup that recently posted some links with pics for the internals of 680. I can see now how they added
          Message 4 of 11 , Sep 5, 2005
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            There was somebody on the Altair Computer Club yahoo newsgroup that
            recently posted some links with pics for the internals of 680. I can see
            now how they added the expansion boards inside this little box.

            =Dan

            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            [My Corner of Cyberspace http://ragooman.home.comcast.net/%5d
            [Pittsburgh Robotics Society http://www.pghrobotics.org/%5d
            [Pittsburgh Vintage Comp.Society http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pghvintagecomp/%5d
            [Hurricane-Help contact our relatives http://www.familylinks.icrc.org/katrina/%5d
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



            billdeg@... wrote:

            > Dan,
            > I should say that I could be totally wrong...I don't have a 680, but I
            > have
            > seen in a couple here and there. I actually read about the B when
            > reading up
            > on my SWTPc 6800. I can't remember exactly where. Definately the IC
            > L was
            > made with a blank on the "B" unless you added the optional serial ROM
            > for the
            > slot. I don't know if the non-B 680 would have the slot or not, but I
            > would
            > focus on that part of the card, try to find a schematic that compares
            > the two to
            > get your answer about the rev of your particulat 680.
            >
            > Bill D
            >
            >


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          • billdeg@aol.com
            now there s a buddy! Sounds like fun. I use a Zenith c-19 terminal with my SWTPc @ 300 baud. Are you planning on doing a display table at VCF 3? Any one of
            Message 5 of 11 , Sep 5, 2005
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              now there's a buddy! 
               
              Sounds like fun.  I use a Zenith c-19 terminal with my SWTPc @ 300 baud.
               
              Are you planning on doing a display table at VCF 3?  Any one of those systems would be interesting to see in action.
               
              Bill
               
               
               
              -----Original Message-----
              From: Dan <ragooman@...>
              To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Mon, 05 Sep 2005 10:31:16 -0400
              Subject: SWTPC 6800...e: [midatlanticretro] Which version is it, Altair 680 or 680b ?

              
              An old buddy of mine gave me his Swtpc 6800 way back, actually 2 
              machines and a bunch of boards. I haven't turned it on since he had this 
              running. This is another project I'll be working after the 680 gets 
              done. I actually have a few machines that I dug out this summer, which 
              should keep me busy through the winter. I brought out the 680, 
              Swtpc(2x), Imsai, and the Heathkit H-8/H-9. Got my fingers crossed now
              
              =Dan
              
               ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
              [My Corner of Cyberspace                     http://ragooman.home.comcast.net/]
              [Pittsburgh Robotics Society                       http://www.pghrobotics.org/]
              [Pittsburgh Vintage Comp.Society http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pghvintagecomp/]
              [Hurricane-Help contact our relatives http://www.familylinks.icrc.org/katrina/]
               ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
              
              
              
              billdeg@... wrote:
              
              
              > > > I have an SWTPc 6800 which is similar to the 680, but not exactly > >
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            • Dan
              I m hoping I can use my Heathkit H-9 terminal for each of the machines. But I guess I ll have to find some more terminals if I want to make a display with
              Message 6 of 11 , Sep 5, 2005
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                I'm hoping I can use my Heathkit H-9 terminal for each of the machines.
                But I guess I'll have to find some more terminals if I want to make a
                display with several machines running.

                I've never been to any of the VCF events. When I look at the VCF
                website, I see there's a VCF 8 planned out in Cali. But I couldn't make
                that one. Then I also heard about the VCF Midwest planned but that's not
                mentioned on the website either. I heard from Evan there maybe a VCF
                East ? I guess that's VCF East 3. But I don't see that mentioned on the
                VCF website. This one would be closer for me if it's in NJ.

                If the VCF East 3 is planned for the spring (after we thaw out) I could
                make an effort to get there with a couple of machines. I'll have to see
                how far I get with the machines I have here. I like to get Basic running
                on some of the machines too. I'll keep you posted.

                =Dan

                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                [My Corner of Cyberspace http://ragooman.home.comcast.net/%5d
                [Pittsburgh Robotics Society http://www.pghrobotics.org/%5d
                [Pittsburgh Vintage Comp.Society http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pghvintagecomp/%5d
                [Hurricane-Help contact our relatives http://www.familylinks.icrc.org/katrina/%5d
                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



                billdeg@... wrote:

                > now there's a buddy!
                >
                > Sounds like fun. I use a Zenith c-19 terminal with my SWTPc @ 300 baud.
                >
                > Are you planning on doing a display table at VCF 3? Any one of those
                > systems would be interesting to see in action.
                >
                > Bill
                >
                >
                >
                > -----Original Message-----
                > From: Dan <ragooman@...>
                > To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
                > Sent: Mon, 05 Sep 2005 10:31:16 -0400
                > Subject: SWTPC 6800...e: [midatlanticretro] Which version is it,
                > Altair 680 or 680b ?
                >
                >
                >An old buddy of mine gave me his Swtpc 6800 way back, actually 2
                >machines and a bunch of boards. I haven't turned it on since he had this
                >running. This is another project I'll be working after the 680 gets
                >done. I actually have a few machines that I dug out this summer, which
                >should keep me busy through the winter. I brought out the 680,
                >Swtpc(2x), Imsai, and the Heathkit H-8/H-9. Got my fingers crossed now
                >
                >=Dan
                >
                > ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                >[My Corner of Cyberspace http://ragooman.home.comcast.net/%5d
                >[Pittsburgh Robotics Society http://www.pghrobotics.org/%5d
                >[Pittsburgh Vintage Comp.Society http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pghvintagecomp/%5d
                >[Hurricane-Help contact our relatives http://www.familylinks.icrc.org/katrina/%5d
                > ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                >
                >
                >
                >billdeg@... <mailto:billdeg%40aol.com> wrote:
                >
                >>
                >>
                >> I have an SWTPc 6800 which is similar to the 680, but not exactly
                >>
                >>
                >
                >
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              • Evan
                ... But I don t see that mentioned on the VCF website. This one would be closer for me if it s in NJ. Dan, I promise you that we ll host East 3.0 next spring!!
                Message 7 of 11 , Sep 5, 2005
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                  >>> I heard from Evan there maybe a VCF East ? I guess that's VCF East 3. But I don't see that mentioned on the VCF website. This one would be closer for me if it's in NJ.
                  Dan, I promise you that we'll host East 3.0 next spring!!
                   
                  But before we add it to Sellam's site, we have to determine 1.) the date, and 2.) how we're going to pay for it.
                   
                  "Paying for it" is the reason why I'm gauging interest in holding a swap meet this fall, or better yet, having someone think of a much simpler way of fundraising.
                   
                  Any ideas?  Anyone?  Bueller...?
                   
                  We need to raise $1,000 or more, in order to rent tables and stuff, buy event insurance, do some advertising, etc. ... one aspect is that we'll add a simple "please donate" button when the new web site is ready and when we open a bank account.  John Allain (our webmaster) and Jim Scheef (our treasurer) are working on both projects.


                  From: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com [mailto:midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Dan
                  Sent: Monday, September 05, 2005 9:37 PM
                  To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: VCF...Re: SWTPC 6800...e: [midatlanticretro] Which version is it, Altair 680 or 680b ?


                  I'm hoping I can use my Heathkit H-9 terminal for each of the machines.
                  But I guess I'll have to find some more terminals if I want to make a
                  display with several machines running.

                  I've never been to any of the VCF events. When I look at the VCF
                  website, I see there's a VCF 8 planned out in Cali. But I couldn't make
                  that one. Then I also heard about the VCF Midwest planned but that's not
                  mentioned on the website either. I heard from Evan there maybe a VCF
                  East ? I guess that's VCF East 3. But I don't see that mentioned on the
                  VCF website. This one would be closer for me if it's in NJ.

                  If the VCF East 3 is planned for the spring (after we thaw out) I could
                  make an effort to get there with a couple of machines. I'll have to see
                  how far I get with the machines I have here. I like to get Basic running
                  on some of the machines too. I'll keep you posted.

                  =Dan

                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                  [My Corner of Cyberspace                     http://ragooman.home.comcast.net/]
                  [Pittsburgh Robotics Society                       http://www.pghrobotics.org/]
                  [Pittsburgh Vintage Comp.Society http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pghvintagecomp/]
                  [Hurricane-Help contact our relatives http://www.familylinks.icrc.org/katrina/]
                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



                  billdeg@... wrote:

                  > now there's a buddy!

                  > Sounds like
                  fun.  I use a Zenith c-19 terminal with my SWTPc @ 300 baud.

                  > Are you planning on doing a display table at VCF 3?  Any one of
                  those
                  > systems would be interesting to see in action.

                  > Bill



                  > -----Original
                  Message-----
                  > From: Dan <ragooman@...>
                  > To:
                  midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
                  > Sent: Mon, 05 Sep 2005 10:31:16
                  -0400
                  > Subject: SWTPC 6800...e: [midatlanticretro] Which version is it,
                  > Altair 680 or 680b ?
                  >
                  >
                  >An old buddy of mine gave
                  me his Swtpc 6800 way back, actually 2
                  >machines and a bunch of boards. I
                  haven't turned it on since he had this
                  >running. This is another project
                  I'll be working after the 680 gets
                  >done. I actually have a few machines
                  that I dug out this summer, which
                  >should keep me busy through the
                  winter. I brought out the 680,
                  >Swtpc(2x), Imsai, and the Heathkit
                  H-8/H-9. Got my fingers crossed now
                  >
                  >=Dan
                  >
                  >
                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                  >[My
                  Corner of Cyberspace                     http://ragooman.home.comcast.net/]
                  >[Pittsburgh
                  Robotics Society                       http://www.pghrobotics.org/]
                  >[Pittsburgh
                  Vintage Comp.Society http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pghvintagecomp/]
                  >[Hurricane-Help
                  contact our relatives http://www.familylinks.icrc.org/katrina/]
                  >
                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >billdeg@...
                  <mailto:billdeg%40aol.com> wrote:
                  >
                  >>
                  >>
                  >> I have an SWTPc 6800 which is
                  similar to the 680, but not exactly
                  >>
                  >>
                  >
                  >
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                • Vintage Computer Festival
                  ... Serious question: are the links that hidden? It looks pretty obvious to me: you click on Events (there are at least two links on the main page). On the
                  Message 8 of 11 , Sep 6, 2005
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                    On Mon, 5 Sep 2005, Dan wrote:

                    > I've never been to any of the VCF events. When I look at the VCF
                    > website, I see there's a VCF 8 planned out in Cali. But I couldn't make
                    > that one. Then I also heard about the VCF Midwest planned but that's not
                    > mentioned on the website either. I heard from Evan there maybe a VCF
                    > East ? I guess that's VCF East 3. But I don't see that mentioned on the
                    > VCF website. This one would be closer for me if it's in NJ.

                    Serious question: are the links that hidden? It looks pretty obvious to
                    me: you click on Events (there are at least two links on the main page).
                    On the events page, the current events are listed on the top and the past
                    events underneath.

                    VCF Midwest happened 6 weeks ago. VCF East 3.0 is still in the
                    pre-planning stages.

                    --

                    Sellam Ismail Vintage Computer Festival
                    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    International Man of Intrigue and Danger http://www.vintage.org

                    [ Old computing resources for business || Buy/Sell/Trade Vintage Computers ]
                    [ and academia at www.VintageTech.com || at http://marketplace.vintage.org ]
                  • Dan
                    Oh I guess that s why I didn t see the Midwest event, it happened already. I was looking for a future date. Sorry about that. I ll keep waiting for the VCF
                    Message 9 of 11 , Sep 7, 2005
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                      Oh I guess that's why I didn't see the Midwest event, it happened
                      already. I was looking for a future date. Sorry about that. I'll keep
                      waiting for the VCF East 3 announcement.

                      =Dan

                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                      [My Corner of Cyberspace http://ragooman.home.comcast.net/%5d
                      [Pittsburgh Robotics Society http://www.pghrobotics.org/%5d
                      [Pittsburgh Vintage Comp.Society http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pghvintagecomp/%5d
                      [Hurricane-Help contact our relatives http://www.familylinks.icrc.org/katrina/%5d
                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



                      Vintage Computer Festival wrote:

                      >
                      >
                      > VCF Midwest happened 6 weeks ago. VCF East 3.0 is still in the
                      > pre-planning stages.
                      >
                      >


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