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SWTPC Serial Board Prototype

I really liked the SWTPC 6800 based systems of the mid/late 1970s, although a tad out of reach for a high school student.  They came as inexpensive kits and the designs were easy enough for someone with a bit of technical knowledge to understand.  But I never got one.

Well, thanks to having a business making vintage computer accessories, why not just build one from the ground up, using a few modern parts along the way?

The starting point is a serial board that’s basically the same as an MP-S card:

SWTPC_Serial_1This is the first prototype, so it’s got some clean-up work coming still.  It’s got a MAX-232 instead of the old 1488 and 1489 chips, and does not have 20 ma current loop nor cassette clock in/out.  What it does have is a DB-9 on the rear panel and more options for picking up the baud rate from the user defined pins like many people did back then.  It uses a standard SS-30 bus so it can plug into a real vintage SWTPC machine and operate.

The wires are temporary connections to a 6800 based breadboard.  It’s not a pretty sight and is only for testing the serial board and trying some experiments for the next few SWTPC compatible boards.

It’s got one circuit error and I’m going to put a Molex connector on top so it can completely replace an MP-S.

I need a beta tester!

Yes, someone who has an existing SWTPC system (operating, of course) who can take a prototype board, plug it in, and verify it works.  Someone on the East Coast, preferably close to NJ, would be best but I’m flexible.  If interested, email me!