I've come into possession of a Mostek computer (I'm pretty sure it's a
computer anyway) with a pair of 8" half height floppy drives (Shugart
860s) and three cards.
The cards are roughly 6x4 inches with a 56 finger edge connector on one
of the long ends and various connectors on the opposite end (I'm not
familiar with these). They are labeled MDX-FLP2 (plugged into the
drives - obviously a floppy controller), MDX-SIO (almost certainly a
serial IO card) and MDX-CPU3. The last card is the processor card. The
main chip appears to be a MOSTEK Z-80 clone which is labeled MK3801N-4,
Z80-STI AND ENG. PROTO. There are 8 4564s for 64K RAM on the card along
with what are either connectors for serial and/or parallel ports.
The whole box is about the size of a typical rack-mount machine with a
plastic case around it. Most parts are tagged as Mostek and most date
codes are from the middle of 1982.
Of course it came without software or documentation.
Is anyone familiar with this machine? Does anyone have a boot disk,
other software or documentation for it?
The Vintage Computer Forum
>Date: Fri, 27 Jun 2003 20:01:31 EDT
>Subject: tandy 1000 EX
>I have a Tandy 1000 EX with 256 K memory in perfect working order. It includes a full color monitor, a daisy wheel printer, the original software, plus the games Kings Quest III and IV. Would you be interested in taking this off of my hands? If so, please e-mail me at schapman711(a)hotmail.com and we can talk terms. Thank you, I look forward to your reply.
I have three of the original cd's that came with the Apple TAM 20th
Anniversary computer and need a copy of the others. I have the OS8 CD, Music
Demo CD, and the Tour CD. I believe there were 7 or 8 in the complete set
that shipped with the TAM. Can someone make a copy of the missing CD's and I
will pay you for them? Thanks in advance.
I need to lay hands on at least one 7438 to stick into my new (to
me) Emulex QD21 to implement the "22-Bit Addressing Kit"... there's
a single socket by the fingers, U49, that accepts the 7438, and a
switch to throw. I can pick up a 7438 for all of $0.28 at B.G. Micro,
but the question is are they hand-picked in any way? If so, what would
I have to construct to replicate the selection process.
>> Torch Z80 disc pack
> Unusual. Production ones were brown.
Agreed on the Z80 disk pack - doesn't appear to have ever had anything other
than drives and a cable in it. The PSU is still intact, so it'd be complete
again with the addition of drives (which I now have plenty of spares of!). No
idea why it's grey rather than brown, except that so are the XXX 'prototype'
and the 725 machine.
>> Two Torch Computers 68000 boards.
> Not CP/M, that was the board below. These would run a Unix derivative, I
Fair call. One's an 'Atlas' board, which is what the 725 machine also has in
it. The other is a "Torch 68000 board" and seems to date from a year earlier
(1983 rather than 1984). the earlier board has an 8MHz 68k, the Atlas board a
10MHz - but both have CCCP 1.02 ROMs so I expect they behave identically, with
one just being slower than the other.
> CPN, by the way, isn't CP/M. It looks and feels similar, and *some*
> CP/M software is compatible, but not all -- the memory map is different.
given that the 68k boards have CCCP ROMs too I'm not surprised :)
>> Four Xebec boards with a 50 pin connector, 3x 20 pin connectors and single
>> 34-way edge connector. Single Xebec board with a 50 pin connector, 2x 20
>> connectors and single 34-way edge connector.
> SASI interfaces to ST412-compatible drives.
I found the manuals to these (and all the other interface boards that I have I
believe) - it seems the cards with the three 20-pin connectors on have SCSI
interfaces. The C520 machine meanwhile has a Torch SASI controller in it and
one of the "2 connector" Xebec boards is plugged into that - so unless a SASI
controller can drive a SCSI device, the "2 connector" Xebec boards have a SASI
>> CP/N hard disk utilities (single floppy, hand-written label)
>> Torch hard disk utilities (single floppy, again just hand-written label)
>Hmm... Could I get a copy of those? I think I have the correct MCP ROM
> somewhere here.
sure, I'm a bit snowed under at the moment so it might not be for a few weeks -
plus I need to find a good way of copying the disks unless my PC's controller
will read them. I should have spare Torch ROM sets for everything so I can
always copy the ROM if I can find a good way of doing it (I've got that EPROM
programmer for the Apple 2 but getting data onto and off the machine needs
figuring out). worst-case there'll be a way of me reading the data via a BBC
and mailing it to you I suppose!
>> Acorn Technical Manual - dated 1979, for a 6502-based SBC. Display is quoted
>> the manual as being 9 digits with the leftmost one unused, which may
>> the machine. Possibly a System 1-4 ??
> No, it wasn't a System device. That's the original Acorn SBC, I think.
> I've got the matching User's Manual.
It sounds like one of these:
Of course the website info may be innacurate; and piecing together information
about exactly what Acorn produced in the early days is proving hard - what
little data there seems to be on the web is generally labelled with disclaimers
as to accuracy! :-)
I've since found I have manuals for some of the 'other' cards that seemed to be
available (which I believe worked with the later 'system' machines):
o Laboratory Interface Manual
o Visual Display Unit Interface Board technical manual (issue 1, dated 1979),
also mentions the same teletext decoder as used in the BBC so looks like Acorn
were messing around with that even then.
o Acorn 32K DRAM technical manual (issue 3, 1982) - looks to be designed for
the 'system' machines or the Atom.
o Acorn Extension Memory Board manual (issue 3, 1980) - an 8KB board
o PROM Programmer Board manual (Issue 2, 1981)
o VIA Board (Issue 1, 1980)
o Acorn Analogue Interface technical manual (Issue 1, 1980)
Looking at the list, you can see where the BBC had its origins :)
>> Acorn 6809 users manual - dated 1980, this looks to be for a SBC a
> Mine has a fold-out circuit diagram inside the back cover.
rats, I'm missing that unless it's been tucked away inside something else.
>> Atom Disc Pack construction notes, schematics etc. (anyone got a
>> dump of the ROM to go with this?)
> Yes :-)
Hmm, I may have to ask you nicely for a copy of that sometime and build one of
these to go with my Atom... I think everything else I need is covered in the
manual (my Atom's had the memory expansion and BASIC upgrade anyway so it's not
a 'pure' original)
[ BBC FITs]
> Yes, I've got one -- and every Beeb I've ever repaired has passed the
> FIT. You need the software for it; I think the basic A version is
> printed in the manual but there's a B version as well (is that also in
> the manual? I've got one, but not to hand).
What I have is a copy of a confidential Acorn pre-release manual for the FIT
and the PET which makes it a little unique :) But yes, it has listings for the
A and B machines.
It wouldn't surprise me if copies of the associated manuals are still at the
house where I got all this from; stuff from all kinds of machines was just
*everywhere* so there's likely a lot that was missed...
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an all-in-one email...
> OK, in the production XXX, the hard and floppy drives were connected to
> an OMTI board, and thence to the SCSI bus. Your unit is consistent with this
Yep, that's exactly what I have. The case may or may not be a stock part. The
XXX case itself looks to be from something else for sure though - there are
even two spare half-height drive bays inside.
The XXX I have is a single board called a 'Stickleback' with various connectors
in it - including BT in/out and an Ethernet port (none of these are actually
wired to the back of the case though). There's also markings on the board for a
VME bus connection, but no socket or associated circuitry.
I'm "missing" two ICs: IC139 is just a socket for a 48 pin IC beneath which is
written "WYN8526(ET)". IC140 next to this is a 24 pin socket and is also empty.
Maybe something to do with the ethernet circuitry? The connector's nearby. (ET
= 'Ethernet Transciever" ?? :)
> The production machines have a 8 pin DIN for video.
OK, I do have that but it's labelled RGB; there's also the hole for a socket
labelled 'video' - but as the case is a hack who knows...
> Be careful. This sounds like the case from something else. Production
> XXXs have 2 DB25 sockets, and both are RS232 ports (one actually carries
> 2 sets of RS232 signals, for a total of 3 serial ports). There is no
> parallel port on the production machines....
My Stickleback board is marked as having RS432 and X.25, both on 25 pin ports.
The RS432 port is wired through to the parallel port on the back of the case,
and the X.25 port is wired through to the RS432 port on the back of the case
> Production machines don't have a conventional power switch. The PSU is
> controlled by a relay. There's a touch-sensitive contact on the front of
> the box that turns the PSU on when touched.
Except on mine :-) There's a battery hanging loose inside the case, but
nothing resembling touch contacts; it appears that's all been bypassed on this
machine and the power switch works conventionally. I wonder what the correct
procedure of shutting it down safely is... (hopefully one of the various stock
Unix methods will work)
[Torch "Hard Disc"]
> This sounds a bit BBC-micro like!. There is a Torch SCSI hard disk unit
> for the beeb -- it's supposed to be rather rare. The one I've seen is a
> plinth to fit under the nonitor contianing the SCSI interface (connectes
> to the Beeb 1MHz bus) + hard disk and also a floppy drive (connects to the
> normal Beeb disk controller). Maybe you have much the same unit built
> into a case with the Beeb mainboard and monitor.
OK, been inside now - it is a BBC, with a Torch Z80 coprocessor. Torch SASI
interface hooked up to the BBC's 1MHz bus, with a Xebec interface hanging off
that which talks to the hard drive. Integral display is a Microvitec (probably
a Cub). The case appears to be production quality but is a very oddball design
(as is the seperate PSU). See seperate post for link to pics if you can
motivate yourself to look at some grahpics :-}
The keyboard's an ineresting custom design with about a million keys :-) Half
of these seem to be labelled with various wordprocessing functions. I since
believe I'm missing a modem from it, but one of the spares I have will fit -
not sure where it hooks up to the rest of the system though.
[ Torch-725 ]
> The QuadX I have is in the same case (basically) as a production XXX. But
> the mainboard is a singla 6U VME card, and there's a little 3 slot (I
> think) VME cardcage in the bottom slice. Much the same PSU as
Hmmm... ok, what I have in that 725 is another BBC, a 68k Torch Atlas board,
Torch SCSI interface, and a Xebec controller talking to the full-height drive.
I need to go poke around in the documentation sometime. And I'll have to hassle
the guy I got these from about the rack-mount QX he has if this is in fact
something different :)
Information on what exactly a Torch Unicorn was would be useful, to be honest.
Some people seem to think it was the name of a complete machine, whilst others
think it was just the name for the range of Torch cards available for the BBC.
Just idly wondering if the 725 was a prototype Unicorn or something; I don't
have details of exactly what machines Torch made.
> This does not sound like a XXXX....
I do have a spare hard disk labelled as Quad X, those tape drives and
controller boards, a surplus Torch-stock PSU, complete ROM set, and the
complete schematics for the QX VME card. I'll just go build myself one... ;-)
>> Triple X PSU (or so I was told; not having a 'genuine' Triple X I don't
> Can you describe it? I've got a couple of XXXs (including a nicely
> expanded one with a Quinring on top), and quite a pile of spares...
Duh! I just picked it up; I'd only noticed the Farnell label before. It
actually says "Triple X 100W" on the side :) It's not the same as the power
supply in my "prototype" XXX which is a 150W unit, same as the one in the big
"Hard Disc" machine.
> In theory the XXX can support a tape drive on the SCSI bus, but I've
> never managed to get it to work...
I'll keep an eye out when I go through the docs I have. I noticed on the
previous owner's invoices for the XXX that I now have that he recieved it with
a tape drive. Maybe there'll be some info amongst everything that says how it
hooks up. The two tape drives I got were from XXX machines so I can grab model
numbers / interface details from those too.
>> Seven issue 3 Torch manta boards,
> These are used in XXX and XXXX machines if you have a real SCSI hard
> drive (as opposed to an ST506 one on an OMTI board).
gotcha. I can't imagine I can make use of seven of them, unless driving them is
easy enough that I can use them in other systems... I've got the docs for the
boards but I don't know how detailed they are yet.
>> Two Torch key disks (with different serial numbers).
> You may not have realised it yet, but the Torch OS is keyed to the serial
> number of the (uncopyable) Key disk. If you have to re-install the OS, or
> if the NiCd goes flat, or... you need the right key disk...
I have two, for machines with two different serial numbers. Hopefully one works
with the 'prototype' system I have (or, if it is a prototype, they disabled
this feature :-)
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Visted one of my favorite scrounging places today and found a Otrona
Attache and a Soroc Terminal (1802 CPU :-) :-) Also got two shugart 851 8"
floppy drives, an IC Master (1988) a stack of DRI CPM manuals, a DEC PDP-8
handbook and a notebook full of Mostek computer board manuals. Oh and an
AIM-65 User's Guide.
Does anyone have disks for the Otrona?
I'm looking at a new job; one of the requirements is a familiarity
with VME and CAMAC (it's how they mount their data aquisition hardware).
I used to work with Mizar-brand VME cards long ago, so I'm not a
complete novice, but I think I ought to do some brushing up before
being subjected to the techie gauntlet. Googling for "VME and CAMAC"
turns up a lot of hits. :-) Can anyone make suggestions on some
good overview texts? Web preferred, but if I have to, I can resort
to the local Uni library.
At some point, I'll have to know how to operate as well as repair
the equipment, but I'll be happy just to be able to participate in
a discussion of the hardware without looking like a goob in the
Thanks for any help narrowing down the search.
Tempest shielded Zeniths aren't all that rare. The US Goverenment made a
HUGE purchase of Zenith computers back in the mid '80s and many of them
ended up being shielded for use in various goverenment agencies. I used to
see pallet loads of shielded Zeniths and even a hand-full of shielded
MacIntoshes at one of the scrap places that I frequent.
At 08:40 AM 6/27/03 -0400, you wrote:
>Here's one that seems unusual
>RARE Zenith Inteq 248 PC Tempest Shielding