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Next Big Event: VCF MW

Corsham Technologies will be displaying at VCF MW in the Chicago area September 10-11th.  We’ll have pretty much everything we sell, and will have the usual display of the SS-50 systems, a KIM-1 with our expansion boards, etc.  This show has a good feel to it, so while there is a lot to see, there is also time to stop and really see things and talk to the people behind the exhibits.  I’m hoping to get some quality debug time on an SS-30 board that didn’t work quite as well as I had hoped.  Every day is so busy here that it just hasn’t gotten the attention it needs.

If you’re anywhere near Chicago, I would encourage you to check out the show.  For those who remember Trenton Computer Fest in the 70s, it’s got that kind of feel, just not as big and no outdoor flea market (the flea market is indoors).

If you’re planning on going and want to see something in particular from us, please let me know so it gets included when we pack up.  This year I’ll probably be by myself (my son came last year) so there’s more room in the car to pack more stuff.


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New SD Shield!

We are now shipping revision 4 of the SD Shield!

CT_New_SD_Shield - 1

This has everything version 3 had, as well as a few new goodies:

  • The Micro SD card socket (J2, on the far left) has been moved over 1/4″ so it may stick out the front or rear panel in a chassis.
  • A four position Options DIP switch.  Current software doesn’t use them but will display the values on the console.  We wanted this for future options, or users may program their Arduino code to use the switches.
  • More lines between the Arduino and the 68B21 on the parallel board.  While these aren’t used now, they might be in the future.
  • A new interrupt line from the Arduino.
  • Software on the Arduino can detect whether it is running on the old or new shield.

To go with the new hardware, there is a new version of Arduino software:

  • The new software can run on old or new shields; it detects which it is on.  Ie, any version of Arduino code runs on either old or new shields.
  • Real Time interrupts are provided, in speeds of 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 100, 250, 500, and 1000 milliseconds.  Any interval of 10 ms intervals can be programmed by the user.  This was added to allow timesharing type operating, such as for OS/9 or printer spooling.
  • Software reads the four Options switches, but currently does nothing with them.

Old boards can be updated to provide the real time clock interrupt source by soldering two wires onto an older version shield.

I’m in the process of putting the latest Arduino code and the Remote Disk Protocol Guide onto the website.

Oh, no price change for this version of the board.  It costs a bit more to manufacture because of the slightly larger surface area and the DIP switch, but not enough to justify a price change.


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New Revision of 6809 CPU Board

Over the last couple of months I wasn’t doing much work on new products but did try to update some existing ones.  As I’m building and using boards, I make notes of errors and things that could be improved, and as the inventory of boards starts dropping low, new spins of the boards are ordered.

First update: A new spin of the 6809 board.  No new features, just fixes.  The rev 1 boards had a number of cuts and jumpers to fix design flaws, so the new board has all those fixes.  One bug remains: one of the ICs is still mislabeled!  For anyone buying assembled boards, none of this is significant, but for those who are building from bare boards, the new revision is a bit easier.  The first board built worked perfectly the very first time.