Tony D. wrote, in response to a message about the Wang 100-series
calculators that I wrote a while back
Yes, sorry for the delay. I have jsut about caught up with my e-mail now.
BAsically, my ISP accidently stopped accepting PPP conenctions (dial in,
get throug hthe login/pass word promps, then nothing). I told them about
this, they told me to check a lot of irrlevant things (which I did, just
ot be safe). I pointed out I could describe exactly what was goign on
,i'd got a datacoms analyser between the PC and the modem and could see
what each side was doign. I'd changed nothign, my hardware wa behaving as
I expected it to, etc... Afte 2 weeks of such comments, they finally told
the networking group, who fixed the problem in < 1 day. Ho-hum....
Please don't murder me. I was young and foolish... I have the remains
of those somewhere :-(
I understand. We all make mistakes, especially when we are younger. I
made my share of mistakes back in the day too...though it's not like the
days of mistakes are gone despite my age and supposed wisdom :-)
These are extremely rare machines today. They were kind of a lost
Now, I am wondering it it owuld be possible to restore mine...
I think the logic boards are basically intact. I did rad some of the
0.156" edge conenctors (and may have lifted traces while so doing :-(), I
may have tken the odd logic IC, but only common TTL parts.
The PSU is intact, apart fro mthe fact I removed the output cable and
paddleboard and wired it to my homebrew machins. I may still have the
The bottom part of the case is intct, I may havee drileld a few holes,
but noting major. Ditto the rear (black) panel aroudn the AUX conenctor
The disaster is the keybaord. I used this for my hoebrew, and of course I
had to use the PCB to suppro the microswitchs. AS a result I must have
cut a lot of traces. I also remvoed and used elswhere hte 6 little toggle
switchs (but I guess thouse are stnadard). I can't rememebr what I did to
the bacjk of interlocking buttons, I know i disabled the itnerlocking
part, but whether that is permanent I don't know. I relabeleld all the
keys, but I think i did that by turning over the bits of card inside the
keycap and using rub-down letters on the back. So that is not permanent.
I doubt I still have the keybaord cables and paddleboards, though.
I should have hthe nixie tube board intact. And the 'rolling pin' hosuing
for the display, prbably minus the filter. What I know I can't find is
the top (white) part of the case. I have no idea what happened to that.
It didn';t work before I took it to bits, of coruse. And I never had any
docuemtnation on it. I susepct given schematics, at least of the keyboard
section, I could have a go at restorign it. Might be a fun project sometime.
machine from the get-go -- the 100-series was
Wang's attempt at making a
calculator that was cheaper than the 700-series calculators that were
Wang's top-end machines, with amazing capabilities and speed. The
100-series was a huge compromise, using a serial bit-by-bit ALU, the
"cheap" diode (slow) ROM versus the (fast) wire-rope ROM of the
700-series, and keycode-encoded programs for advanced math operations
(trig & statistics) versus microcoded routines on the 700-series. By
the time the 100-series machines made it to market, the technology used
in them had been eclipsed by solid-state ROM, and higher-levels of TTL
integration, pretty much making them dead-ends. They never sold well,
and planned improvements, like an external learn-mode programmer and
other peripherals were canceled.
I got it years ago, and used the keyboard, case, and PSU as part of my
homebrew machine. I think i have the main PCBs
mostly intact still.
I did desolder some of the connectors and maybe the odd IC, though.
A worthy use for the parts at the time. No faulting you for building a
homebrew machine from it.
This was about 30 years ago, BTW. It's not something I did last week
:-). However, even then I did see the value in some old machines. I got a
Casio AL100 at aobut the same time, and I did rpeserve that.
IIRC there were 3 boards in the pile. The bottom 2 were the diode
firmware ROMs, the top one was full of mostly
That's the one. The top board had almost all the logic, and the two
bottom boards had the diode ROM matrices.
Yes, from what I rememebr abotu the machine it was identical to the
pictres on your site.
The top board had a mix of TTL and DTL ICs on it,
There was another 24 pin
IC (the ROM you mention) and some RAMs (1101a?).
The 24-pin IC was part of the microcode sequencer, a mask-programmed TMS
2600 device. The RAMs were indeed 1101A's, either genuine Intel, or
second-sourced parts from various IC houses. There
are four sockets, of
which two are populated for the "base" models with 4 memory registers.
The other two sockets were populated for the "extended" models, which
had 12 memory registers.
I am pretty sure mine had all 4 RAMs in it. Probbably still does.
I seem to remember a
couple of smaller PCBs tht fitted on top, display drivers?
Yes. The display or printer driver board plugged into a socket on the
main board. In the models with Nixie displays, the BCD- to 1-of-10
Mine had the nixie tubes.
chip, and display drive transistors were on this
board. On the models
equipped with the built-in printer, the circuitry to drive the printer
(a Seiko drum printer) were on the board. There was a socket on either
of these boards that another board could plug into which was the
Trig/Statistics ROM board. This board contained some sequencing and
I do rememebr a secodn board on top opf the disply driver, but I don;t
think it backhes the one you show. I don't remmerb ra second ROM, for
addressing logic, along with another mask-programmed
TMS 2600 ROM that
contained keycode sequences to carry out (rather slowly) trig and some
statistics functions. This board was an extra-cost option.
for more information.
Maybe I should try to get it going again...