Posted on

Real SWTPC Memory Board

For fun, I put a real MP-8M memory board into our test motherboard and ran memory tests:


You can see the power supply above the board in the background… 1.03 amps!  That’s with only 4K populated, versus our 64K board that draws about 100 ma.

Memory tests ran for a couple hours without a hitch, so this shows our CPU and motherboard will work properly with vintage boards.


Posted on

Fun at VCF MW 9.0

I took a lot of photos, but these are a few of the more interesting exhibits, in my opinion.

The Corsham Tech display of a 6800 CPU system (left) and a KIM-1 with our expander boards:


A few of my Franklin Computer systems.  A CX portable and the lowest numbered ACE-100 found so far:


Jack Rubin’s PDP-8.  I gave him a USB thumb drive and joked that I loaded it with the latest PDP-8 malware I could find, but didn’t see where to plug the USB drive in.  He removed the covered an showed me that he has a USB interface in his PDP-8!


There’s always at least one PDP-11 at every VCF:


And a VAX 11/780 stood guard by the door into the exhibit area:


For some reason I never took a picture of the Alphas right next to me.  Someone had some DECstations for sale but I didn’t ask for prices.

There was an impressive collection of 1802 machines as well:





I had a fun time out in Lombard, IL at VCF MW and will probably go again next year.  I keep telling people it was like the old days at the Trenton Computer Fest where lots of smart people gathered, exchanged ideas, showed off what they had, discussed future plans, and everyone was willing to help each other.  There were people with soldering irons turned on, scopes, logic analyzers, collections of tools and other things needed if someone wanted to try building or repairing something,

It was definitely a fun weekend.

Posted on

VCF MW Summary, 6800 Progress, etc

This is my first year at VCF MW, and it’s been a lot of fun.  Not a huge show, but I think there were more than the 100 that was given as an estimate.  Lots of people running demos, lots of old machines to play with, great technical people to talk with, and still a lot of time for working on things.  I was able to do some coding and people would stop and we’d talk about my project, and I talked to others working on getting something to work.  Tools were loaned, ideas exchanged, and stuff that wasn’t working were put back into working order.

For those who remember the old days of the Trenton Computer Festival, it was very much like that.  A good time, and definitely worth the drive out from NJ.

There were several people here who had a lot of knowledge about SWTPC systems so I got lots of advice, we exchanged files, and will be working on some projects together.  Chris… great to meet you!

I got the SD card program working better… it now loads S19 files directly from SD into the 6800s RAM and can execute them.  The files are still in FAT format, so getting a FLEX driver working is next, but I’ve got some other work that needs to be done once I return home.

The show opens at 10 this morning and runs until 4 but I’ll probably pack and around noon and start the long drive back.