I got the (assumed) GRiDCASE 1520 doing something today!
In fact, it's running an Apple ][ emulator right now. :)
The hard drive was totally hosed. Seized. Dead.
On a hunch, I opened up the Toshiba T1200 (which I can't use without
appropriate power supply) and extracated its HD.
I was happy to see that the Toshiba's drive used the same connector. I
guess it's a standard laptop drive. (Isn't it fitting that my very
first working laptop was also (more-or-less) the very first laptop? :) )
When I cracked open the outer case, I was even happier to see that the
Toshiba's drive was also 20MB and made by JVC.
Toshiba's drive: JD3824G01-4
GRiD's drive: JD3824G00-2
I figured they'd be the same drive, but methinks I was wrong. With the
Toshiba's drive in place, the GRiD now powers up the drive at the
appropriate time, and I guess the drive passes whatever test it needs to
pass, and then the GRiD is able to boot from floppy. But I haven't been
able to access the HD yet. It just makes unpleasant noises when I try.
I don't have the proper SETUP program for the GRiD, but shouldn't FDISK
be able to tell me what's there anyway? Or is the busted SETUP possibly
the only thing wrong now?
Anyway, the GRiD didn't complain about the clock not being set, even
after an hour of being turned off. But the clock also didn't advance in
that time. The battery says it's non-rechargable, but I'm still hoping
it will recover. :)
BTW, what a freaking pain working in the Toshiba is, compared to the
GRiD! Plastic framework that goes all over the place, multiple
different screw types in annoying places, etc. Getting the case open
with no instructions was easier, but once inside it's harder to deal
Or maybe I'm just used to the GRiDCASE's innards now. :)
I'm using my Compass again. :)
I have the GRiD 1520 (I think that's the model) disassembled on the
kitchen table beside me.
It does, I repeat, it *does* have a hard drive in it. Either it is very,
very quiet, or it wasn't spinning up before. Could be why it didn't pass
I've located the battery, too. Looks to be non-rechargable, and it's
soldered to the motherboard. Looks like a pink capacitor. TL-5101.
Anyone know the specs on this?
The hard drive is from JVC. I didn't even know that JVC made hard drives.
"Manufactured by Victor Company of Japan, Limited". It's labeled "20 MEG
HD" on the outside of the metal case. It's a model JD3824G00-2. There is
one error listed, on cylinder 155, head 0, sector 4.
The hard drive is a very slim 3.5" unit, with a 26-pin connector going
into it. Those 26 pins _include_ the power. What kind of drive is this?
The floppy drive definitely works. I plugged it into my Amiga 1200 and
viewed some JPEGs from it.
The little modem board (?) is from USRobotics.
The AC adapter actually slides out of the case. It has battery terminals
on its inside end. Obviously the battery pack must fit into the same
space when the machine is on the move. There's some other kind of
connector on the end of the AC adapter, too, but I don't know what that's
for. Also, why is there an external 16VDC connector if the battery slides
into the case?
The CPU is a HARRIS (says INTEL lower down) CG80C286-10.
There are four monstrous square FARADAY chips near the CPU, 21 pins to a
side. FE3000A/M79V004, FE3030/M73HB002, FE3010/M92H801, FE3020/M73HB001.
There's a 40-pin ceramic DIP labeled "256K RAM". Could be video RAM, I
suppose, but it's far away from the video board and plasma display
connecions. There's a socket next to it, of the same physical size.
There are four banks of RAM on little boards, kind of like SIMMs but not.
The board edges seem to be soldered to the motherboard. There are four
empty spaces for more of these things. 30 pins each. Or is that what
30-pin SIMMs are supposed to look like? :)
Some chips have GRiD labels.
The chip which I presume to be the main video chip is a square YAMAHA
beast, 21 pins per side, with labels "7822851/V6366B-J/6102B-J".
Possibly most importantly, there are modifications inside. On the
motherboard, at position U83, there is a piggybacked 20-pin chip, with
some cut pins and wire leading to the chip below it (only one) and to U72
and U73. There's another piggybacked 14-pin chip at U26, and a couple of
other patches here and there. I thought a machine beaing the GRiD name
would be beyond these kinds of patches. :)
Anyway, I ended up doing the full disassembly by accident. I was trying
to figure out how to open the case, and the only obvious screws were the
ones under the carrying handle. I unscrewed two of those and "jingle
jingle jingle" some metal pieces fell from their moorings and started
drifting around inside. Oh joy.
Turns out they were under the battery compartment. Turns out I needed to
disassemble EVERYTHING to get under there and put the pieces back in
place. Turns out they were the springs that hold the handle in one of two
Now I hope I can get the darn thing together again. I didn't take notes,
and there are tons of screws all over the place.
I just revived my GRiD 1530 (and it was a pain)... Tandy still sells parts
for these (not many and pricey too!)
I bought a new mother board (only to later find out that my old one just
lacked memory) and a technical reference manual (what a waste of money).
What are you trying to find out?
At 07:59 PM 5/18/1999 -0400, you wrote:
>You guys and gals are probably getting tired of my little GRiD updates,
>but here goes anyway...
>I am typing this message on the GRiDCase. So the modem works. 2400bps.
>I found Rob's GRiDBoard website, and from there found out that AST keeps
>the configuration files for a lot of old GRiDs on its website.
>I downloaded conf1520.exe from there.
>Now I have my doubts about this machine even being a GRiDCase 1520. Most
>of the configuration options don't work or are meaningless to this
>particular machine. Like the thing to set the backlighting on the display
>- my machine has a gas plasma display. And it seems to be telling me that
>my machine doesn't have a modem... so what the heck am I using right now?
>It did let me configure my expansion RAM from EMS to XMS... or was that
>the other way around? And it let me change my processor speed. But it
>wouldn't let me do anything with the hard disk and a whole bunch of other
>It's a '286 machine, magnesium alloy case, 1.44MB floppy, had a 20MB HD in
>it, has a 2400bps internal modem, standard PC ports, gas plasma display,
>two ROM sockets under a trapdoor above the keyboard... could this thing
>be anything other than a 1520?
>Note that is says "GRiDCASE 1500 Series" above the display.
>Now I suppose it's time to see if I can have the machine work *without* a
>hard drive installed. I just got a _very_ scary message about JVC drives
>seizing and taking HD controllers with them. (Thanks for the warning,
>Of course, as the drive that was in the machine when I got it was seized
>up, the damage may already be done. And maybe that's why I'm still unable
>to access the HD. :(
Tired of Micro$oft???
Move up to a REAL OS...
######__ __ ____ __ __ _ __ #
#####/ / / / / __ | / / / / | |/ /##
####/ / / / / / / / / / / / | /###
###/ /__ / / / / / / / /_/ / / |####
##/____/ /_/ /_/ /_/ /_____/ /_/|_|####
("LINUX" for those of you
without fixed-width fonts)
Be a Slacker! http://www.slackware.com
Slackware Mailing List:
On Thu, 13 May 1999 Doug Spence wrote:
> >> As for disk transfers, I can do that with my handy-dandy A1020 drive
> >> on my Amiga. It reads and writes several Atari 8-bit formats just
> >> fine, including 810 (SS/SD) and XF551 (DS/DD?).
> > Hmm have to check that out.
> Yes, if your Amiga's 5.25" floppy drive is connected to the Amiga's
> floppy controller, you should be able to do the same thing.
> The program for doing this is on aminet:misc/emu/551conv.lha
Talking of the Amiga 1020 drive... I would like to get hold of one of these. Am
I correct in thinking that they were not sold in the UK (where I live)?
If I can't find an A1020 (or compatible replacement, if any were made), I may
try and rig up my own drive.
To this end, can some kind person who owns an A1020 open it up, and tell me
what type/model the drive mechanism is, and also describe any interface PCB
My beautiful new GRiD Compass is now online!
The keyboard seems to need a little bit of cleaning or working-in,
sometimes keypresses don't register.
This thing automatically loads up a VT100 emulator when I turn it on.
Does anyone know anything about GRiD-OS? I think it was version
3.something. I'll verify that later.
I'm just SOOO happy that the Compass works! I'v been wanting to at least
_see_ one in operation since I first read the review in... I'm not
sure... January 1984 Creative Computing? (No, I think that was the
I'm going to have to poke around some more. I just wanted to dial in with
the thing and make this announcement. :) (It's hard to find a provider
that will accept a 1200bps conection these days, huh?)
So... GPIB is the same as IEEE-488? Anyone got an adapter cable for
YES!! Plasma display AND bubble memory in ONE machine!
I picked up a couple of Compupros that were used in a Titan missile test
station. Each one has a Compupro 286 CPU, 64^H^H 128 K S-RAM card, EPROM
card, system support card and Interfacer 4 card along with a number of
custom cards. The operating system for them is in EPROM. These were used to
operate a ultrasonic test machine by remote control. Each test stand had a
turntable and gantry that would rotate the missile and run the test head up
and down until it inspected the entire missile body. Each test head had
four large ultrasonic transducers for detecting flaws in the missile. These
computers generated the master timing for the ultra sonic pulses and
converted the return signals from analog to digital then fed the data back
to another computer for further processing. They could be operated at up to
200 MHz PRF. They also took care of things like controlling the
programmable attenuators in the RF receiver. Most of the connectors on them
were replaced with "Canon plugs" and an extra power supply added for use by
one of the special cards. An extra fan was also added inside. All of the
custom cards use gold SMA connectors to connect to each other and to carry
the RF signals. The custom cards have some really neat devices on them such
as flash A/D converters, very fast S-RAM for buffers, switchable
attenuators, a crystal with 10-7 accuaracy, etc.
I was going to convert these back to standard Compupro configuration but
if anyone is seriously interested in them I will consider interesting
trades or $$.
PS I have lots of manuals for them too including schematics and theory
of operation for the custom cards.
I dropped by my old place of work yesterday, lugging my GRiDs and
Toshiba laptop (and I'm still in pain).
The accountant has a laptop that he wanted me to look at. It looks to me
like there's nothing wrong with it except a dead CMOS battery.
How do I get into the setup of an Epson Equity LT-286? And what kind of
battery does it need?
I tried most of the usual setup suspects. Does it require a setup progam
on floppy? It was a 2nd hand machine and the owner doesn't have any disks
for it or manuals (just the machine, power supply, and nice carrying
> From: Tony Duell <ard(a)p850ug1.demon.co.uk>
> To: Discussion re-collecting of classic computers
> Subject: Re: homemade computer for fun and experience...
> Date: Sunday, April 04, 1999 10:49 AM
> True. But AFAIK the AT keyboard host interface was never implemented in
> TTL (it always used a programmed 8042 microcontroller), so it's a little
> harder to build from scratch.
We used on our mc68000 boards a 68681 DUART & and some inverters as a
keyboard interface for xt/at. Was very simple. If anybody needs it, i could
dig it out again.
<I used 5/8" plywood and 2x4 all around mounted vertically for extra
<support for the shelves. I would not use anything less. Try sticking a
<couple S-100 chassis on a shelf of 1/2" plywood or supported with less
Err... I've done it and 1x2 and 1/2" play do it real well and I do have a
few s100 crates.
<than a 2x4 and unless you have additional support in the way of diagonal
<cross-members or extra support underneath the shelf it'll bow or break.
<Maybe not right away, but with time it'll start to sag.
the trick is you box the underside of the shelf in 1x2 and put one down the
middle for support. then that assembley is screwed to a 2x4 at the corner
and a pair of diagonal braces on the back of 1x2 and side if needed. Use
wallboard screws to assemble rather than nails, they hold better.
<It saves much time to use steel brackets instead of cutting slots into the
<wood. I did my first shelf with the latter design and it took a long
What slots? It can be sone that way but it's not a required thing.
<If I had to do it over I'd buy pre-fab shelves like the Gorilla racks.
They are nice and all but the wood can be cheaper especially if you can
scrounge. Also wood can be configured for odd sizes like a 27" wide
space between the h960 and the window. ;)
I have a friend (Yes, Virginia, I have two friends) who's been a DEC
repairman for many years. He now wants to get rid of the accumulated a lot
of stuff in his barn, and has asked me to help get rid of it.
I'm not sure I have the time to make a complete catalogue of all his stuff.
Anyway, I know squat about big iron, and therefore don't know what's
valuable to people.
Please, therefore, email me with your wants -- anything from, "I'll take
anything" to "keep an eye out for this widget". I have no idea what he wants
for all of this, bit I doubt he's out to gouge.
"Y1K caused the Dark Ages."
Thousands of discounted photo items at http://www.hmcltd.net/pgphoto
From: Colan Mitchell <cdrmool(a)interlog.com>
To: Discussion re-collecting of classic computers
Date: Wednesday, May 26, 1999 4:37 PM
Subject: confidential info on old harddrives.
>If this is a ? thats been dealt with before I joined the list my
> I repeatedly come across personal and confidential information on
>discarded computers. I sit and shake my head in shock. Lawyers seem to
>be the worst. I have considered contacting the original owners and
>educating them about practicing safe hex but, especially in the case of
>lawyers and women, don't want to have them freak out and think I'm being
>weird and calling the police. On the other hand I feel that I should do
>something. In the end I just format the drives and forget about it.
> Has anyone experienced contacting an original owner? What was the
>response. This is something that I've not read about in the media as Y2K
>and Hackers get all the press but I suspect this is a bigger potential