Northstar Horizon and Socor IQ130 HELP - CP/M

This is a discussion on Northstar Horizon and Socor IQ130 HELP - CP/M ; hello, i recently was given a N* horizon, a Socor IQ130 terminal and a GIGANTIC external dual 8" floppy drive. all the cables and so forth were there as well as 2 boxes of disks (one box of 8" and ...

+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Northstar Horizon and Socor IQ130 HELP

  1. Northstar Horizon and Socor IQ130 HELP

    hello, i recently was given a N* horizon, a Socor IQ130 terminal and a
    GIGANTIC external dual 8" floppy drive. all the cables and so forth
    were there as well as 2 boxes of disks (one box of 8" and one box of
    5.25") I cannot get this machine to boot, or rather i cannot seem to
    interface with the terminal so i dont know if it is booting or not.
    The boxes of disks included a few 8" floppys that were labeled ZCPR3, i
    am assuming these would be the boot discs. I put them in and press the
    reset button on the N* and the drive reads something for about 10
    seconds and then stops spinning. no response on terminal. the N* docs
    i found said terminal must be set to 9600 baud and full duplex... but
    im not sure what else i need to do, the Socor has a few switches on the
    back, on for baud rate, one for Parity? Full duplex, half duplex and
    B.. whatever that is and another switch that i dont know its function
    it is labeled "CL, R" but is a 3 position. Im very interested in
    getting this system to run and any help would be VERY appreciated. but
    i cant find a Socor IQ130 manual.. the IQ120 is not the same. also
    there is an obvious issue with the terminal... about one third of the
    way across the screen as you are typing characters (from left to right)
    the text will double back (from right to left) about 5 characters
    ·writing over itself) and then proceed to type left to right again...
    id does this in the saw "row" all the way down the screen... so any
    servicing help for the terminla would be appreciated as well.

    Thank you very much,
    Bill Bates


  2. Re: Northstar Horizon and Socor IQ130 HELP

    Natively, the Horizon was a machine with on 5.25" drives that did not
    support 8" drives. It would help to know what 8" controller has been
    added, and you should understand that this addition made the system
    non-standard. It might be best, for starters, to revert to the original
    North-Star configuration (5.25" diskettes) and get that working first.
    The instructions in the manual all relate to that mode and may be
    totally wrong or inapplicable to the non-standard configuration using 8"
    diskettes.

    ZCPR3 is an operating system, but the disks labeled ZCPR3 could be boot
    disks, or they could be source code. There's really no way to know if a
    disk is a boot disk or not. Not by looking at it, and, really not even
    by examining it in a working system unless you really get into a binary
    hex examination of the contents of the boot sectors.

    The problem with the Soroc looks like a problem in the horizontal output
    section of the monitor [In other words, as a terminal, it's probably
    working]. But keep in mind that you can use a PC as a terminal by
    running a terminal program (and Hyper Terminal comes with Windows, and
    it will work for this purpose). In fact, my preferred "terminals" for
    classic computers are older $5 to $20 laptops running an older version
    of Windows (sometimes even Windows 3.1, but it really doesn't matter)
    and using Procomm or Hype Terminal. It's just a matter of size and
    weight, but for me, using a "real" older CRT terminal just doesn't make
    sense.

    [One other thought on the Soroc, be sure it's online ... if you are
    seeing what you are typing, it may well be off line, displaying what you
    type but not even sending it to the serial port. You can test that,
    also, with a PC (connect the PC to the Soroc and see if they "talk" to
    each other, merely typing on either one should display what's being
    typed on the other.]

    The normal setup is 9600 baud, 8 bit word, 1 stop bit, and any arbitrary
    setting for parity (which is normally ignored; but "none" is most common).



    onefallinghope@gmail.com wrote:
    > hello, i recently was given a N* horizon, a Socor IQ130 terminal and a
    > GIGANTIC external dual 8" floppy drive. all the cables and so forth
    > were there as well as 2 boxes of disks (one box of 8" and one box of
    > 5.25") I cannot get this machine to boot, or rather i cannot seem to
    > interface with the terminal so i dont know if it is booting or not.
    > The boxes of disks included a few 8" floppys that were labeled ZCPR3, i
    > am assuming these would be the boot discs. I put them in and press the
    > reset button on the N* and the drive reads something for about 10
    > seconds and then stops spinning. no response on terminal. the N* docs
    > i found said terminal must be set to 9600 baud and full duplex... but
    > im not sure what else i need to do, the Socor has a few switches on the
    > back, on for baud rate, one for Parity? Full duplex, half duplex and
    > B.. whatever that is and another switch that i dont know its function
    > it is labeled "CL, R" but is a 3 position. Im very interested in
    > getting this system to run and any help would be VERY appreciated. but
    > i cant find a Socor IQ130 manual.. the IQ120 is not the same. also
    > there is an obvious issue with the terminal... about one third of the
    > way across the screen as you are typing characters (from left to right)
    > the text will double back (from right to left) about 5 characters
    > ·writing over itself) and then proceed to type left to right again...
    > id does this in the saw "row" all the way down the screen... so any
    > servicing help for the terminla would be appreciated as well.
    >
    > Thank you very much,
    > Bill Bates
    >


  3. Re: Northstar Horizon and Socor IQ130 HELP

    On 15 Jul 2006 13:33:48 -0700, "onefallinghope@gmail.com"
    wrote:

    >hello, i recently was given a N* horizon, a Socor IQ130 terminal and a
    >GIGANTIC external dual 8" floppy drive. all the cables and so forth
    >were there as well as 2 boxes of disks (one box of 8" and one box of
    >5.25") I cannot get this machine to boot, or rather i cannot seem to
    >interface with the terminal so i dont know if it is booting or not.
    >The boxes of disks included a few 8" floppys that were labeled ZCPR3, i
    >am assuming these would be the boot discs. I put them in and press the
    >reset button on the N* and the drive reads something for about 10
    >seconds and then stops spinning. no response on terminal. the N* docs
    >i found said terminal must be set to 9600 baud and full duplex... but
    >im not sure what else i need to do, the Socor has a few switches on the
    >back, on for baud rate, one for Parity? Full duplex, half duplex and
    >B.. whatever that is and another switch that i dont know its function
    >it is labeled "CL, R" but is a 3 position. Im very interested in
    >getting this system to run and any help would be VERY appreciated. but
    >i cant find a Socor IQ130 manual.. the IQ120 is not the same. also
    >there is an obvious issue with the terminal... about one third of the
    >way across the screen as you are typing characters (from left to right)
    >the text will double back (from right to left) about 5 characters
    >·writing over itself) and then proceed to type left to right again...
    >id does this in the saw "row" all the way down the screen... so any
    >servicing help for the terminla would be appreciated as well.
    >
    >Thank you very much,
    >Bill Bates


    Ok..

    Nominally North*Stars do not have 8" drives as the standard controller
    is for 5.25 inch floppies. That suggests you have a hybrid system,
    which is not uncommon. Usually the "Right" serial port (viewed from
    the rear it's the right) is the standard Console. There are manuals
    for the NS* on line so you can read further on port setup (jumpers).
    However, the assignment of which serial port is used is only standard
    for NS*dos and CP/M for NS* disk controllers. IF Someone did their
    own thing that could be out the window.

    So to identify and help further we need to know:

    What floppy contoller(s) is in it (NS* had both a single and a DD
    controller).
    What CPU.
    How much ram.
    What 5.25 floppies if any.
    What 8" drives and what controller for them (if one).

    The terminal is a seperate set of issues. Manual likely would help
    you there. I can't. Sounds like H-hold may be off.

    Allison

  4. Re: Northstar Horizon and Socor IQ130 HELP

    OK, its been about a month since ive posted, and also almost a month
    since i looked at the machine i had asked about. I still havent got it
    going, so maybe with some help from all of you i may at least be able
    to find documentation for this stuff... here is what i was able to
    ascertain about the machine:

    NORTHSTAR HORIZON INFO

    2 apparently orig. 5.25" floppy drives, small red momentary contact
    reset button on front panel i do not believe to be orig.

    STICKER ON BACK OF CHASSIS: NORTH*STAR HORIZON MADE IN U.S.A. 10-00585

    MAIN BOARD:

    silkscreened: NORTH STAR COMPUTERS INC., (COPYRIGHT) 1977 HRZ-MB-3

    STICKER INSIDE OF CASE;
    "CHATEAU DATA SERVICES ROUTE 2 BOX 85E NEWPORT, NORTH CAROLINA 28570
    (919) 726-2947" and, handwritten, "16 MAY 81 MOD 1 MARK O. MB-9" plus 1
    or 2 illegible signatures

    CARDS: (from back of chassis towards front)

    1. "Active Terminator" - Compupro from "GodBout Electronics" copyright
    1980 oakland, CA made in the usa Markings; "BM", "106E", blue and
    green dot stickers. Wow, there are alot of resistors on this card!!

    2. EMPTY

    3. EMPTY

    4. EMPTY

    5. "Disk Jockey/DMA" rev 3a Copyright 1981 G. Morrow (written on
    board... serial no?): 2631230 etching on board DJDMA. Handwritten
    sticker on board "Passed 03/30/83 SAA""P3" wound with wire wrap, diode
    and loose wire soldered to the back side "ABC" jumper, "B+C" are
    jumpered. stickers on chips... 2716/32: DJDMA 2.5 26C2; 6301: DJDMA
    12B; 6305: DJDMA 11C; LS02: 9C (HANDWRITTEN); I6R4: DJDMA 2B; 6305:
    DJA3D-2; 82S105: DJDMA2C


    6. EMPTY

    7. EMPTY

    8. EMPTY

    9. EMPTY

    10. HRAM 64K Northstar, switch in row 6-all on except for number 8,
    switch in row 7 all on, JP1 P+6 shorted-1+8 shorted-R+G shorted,
    JP4-all shorted, JP2 |XX(X=shorted), JP3 N+P top row shorted, SN=hand
    written D-2-C, Orange, red, green w/ a handwritten "P", blue w/ a
    handwritten "X" dot stickers. HRAM 64K sticker says 071153. BACK OF
    BOARD ETCHINGS: FAB00127D, SEIKO-AAF 39-82

    11. EMPTY

    12. NORTHSTAR COMPUTERS, INC. Z-80A PROCESSOR BOARD ZPB-A1, all prom
    option sections unpopulated, some jumpers in "proj address" socket,
    control panel socket unpopulated

    OTHER KNOWN INFO:
    The Disk Jockey/DMA card has one ribbon going to the internal floppy
    drives and one large red ribbon cable going out of the back of the case
    to the Dual 8inch floppy enclosure.

    Thanks in advance for any more info any one may have

    /Bill



    nospam@nouce.bellatlantic.net wrote:
    > On 15 Jul 2006 13:33:48 -0700, "onefallinghope@gmail.com"
    > wrote:
    >
    > >hello, i recently was given a N* horizon, a Socor IQ130 terminal and a
    > >GIGANTIC external dual 8" floppy drive. all the cables and so forth
    > >were there as well as 2 boxes of disks (one box of 8" and one box of
    > >5.25") I cannot get this machine to boot, or rather i cannot seem to
    > >interface with the terminal so i dont know if it is booting or not.
    > >The boxes of disks included a few 8" floppys that were labeled ZCPR3, i
    > >am assuming these would be the boot discs. I put them in and press the
    > >reset button on the N* and the drive reads something for about 10
    > >seconds and then stops spinning. no response on terminal. the N* docs
    > >i found said terminal must be set to 9600 baud and full duplex... but
    > >im not sure what else i need to do, the Socor has a few switches on the
    > >back, on for baud rate, one for Parity? Full duplex, half duplex and
    > >B.. whatever that is and another switch that i dont know its function
    > >it is labeled "CL, R" but is a 3 position. Im very interested in
    > >getting this system to run and any help would be VERY appreciated. but
    > >i cant find a Socor IQ130 manual.. the IQ120 is not the same. also
    > >there is an obvious issue with the terminal... about one third of the
    > >way across the screen as you are typing characters (from left to right)
    > >the text will double back (from right to left) about 5 characters
    > >·writing over itself) and then proceed to type left to right again...
    > >id does this in the saw "row" all the way down the screen... so any
    > >servicing help for the terminla would be appreciated as well.
    > >
    > >Thank you very much,
    > >Bill Bates

    >
    > Ok..
    >
    > Nominally North*Stars do not have 8" drives as the standard controller
    > is for 5.25 inch floppies. That suggests you have a hybrid system,
    > which is not uncommon. Usually the "Right" serial port (viewed from
    > the rear it's the right) is the standard Console. There are manuals
    > for the NS* on line so you can read further on port setup (jumpers).
    > However, the assignment of which serial port is used is only standard
    > for NS*dos and CP/M for NS* disk controllers. IF Someone did their
    > own thing that could be out the window.
    >
    > So to identify and help further we need to know:
    >
    > What floppy contoller(s) is in it (NS* had both a single and a DD
    > controller).
    > What CPU.
    > How much ram.
    > What 5.25 floppies if any.
    > What 8" drives and what controller for them (if one).
    >
    > The terminal is a seperate set of issues. Manual likely would help
    > you there. I can't. Sounds like H-hold may be off.
    >
    > Allison



  5. Re: Northstar Horizon and Socor IQ130 HELP

    Well, you have a non-standard configuration.

    The Northstar disk controller has been removed and replaced with the
    disk jockey. The two are radically and dramatically different in every
    regard. The DJ won't run the NorthStar DOS, and the NorthStar won't
    generally run CP/M (but there were versions of CP/M that were adapted to
    the NorthStar controller, with some limitations because the NS
    controller had a ROM and hardware I/O addressing that limited the size
    of the CP/M TPA).

    This also means that the boot rom in the computer won't boot the system,
    because it was a NS boot rom that expected a NS disk controller.
    However, the ROM may have been modified to support the DJ, or it may
    have simply been disabled so that the DJ could use it's own boot mechanism.

    But the real problem is that the configuration, whatever it was, is
    completely non-standard, so you can't rely on ANYTHING. And the 2nd
    problem is that you don't know what works and what doesn't, and in a
    system this old, there are likely multiple boards not working (in fact
    it would almost be surprising if any of them worked).

    I don't think that there is ANY way of fixing this unless you have
    another system in which you can test and repair the boards
    one-at-a-time. There are simply too many issues here to deal with when
    you know nothing about the system configuration except that it is
    non-standard, and when it's likely that there are multiple fatal problems.

    If you do have another system, the first task is to test the CPU and
    memory boards, then the disk controller. Once you know that all of the
    components work, you can put them together and try to make a working system.

    Also, since the system is totally non-standard, you will need a custom
    BIOS, and again it's really tough to create one unless you have another
    working system on which to do it. Plus you have to know 8080 assembly
    language programming and have enough hardware information to write the
    custom BIOS.


    onefallinghope@gmail.com wrote:

    > OK, its been about a month since ive posted, and also almost a month
    > since i looked at the machine i had asked about. I still havent got it
    > going, so maybe with some help from all of you i may at least be able
    > to find documentation for this stuff... here is what i was able to
    > ascertain about the machine:
    >
    > NORTHSTAR HORIZON INFO
    >
    > 2 apparently orig. 5.25" floppy drives, small red momentary contact
    > reset button on front panel i do not believe to be orig.
    >
    > STICKER ON BACK OF CHASSIS: NORTH*STAR HORIZON MADE IN U.S.A. 10-00585
    >
    > MAIN BOARD:
    >
    > silkscreened: NORTH STAR COMPUTERS INC., (COPYRIGHT) 1977 HRZ-MB-3
    >
    > STICKER INSIDE OF CASE;
    > "CHATEAU DATA SERVICES ROUTE 2 BOX 85E NEWPORT, NORTH CAROLINA 28570
    > (919) 726-2947" and, handwritten, "16 MAY 81 MOD 1 MARK O. MB-9" plus 1
    > or 2 illegible signatures
    >
    > CARDS: (from back of chassis towards front)
    >
    > 1. "Active Terminator" - Compupro from "GodBout Electronics" copyright
    > 1980 oakland, CA made in the usa Markings; "BM", "106E", blue and
    > green dot stickers. Wow, there are alot of resistors on this card!!
    >
    > 2. EMPTY
    >
    > 3. EMPTY
    >
    > 4. EMPTY
    >
    > 5. "Disk Jockey/DMA" rev 3a Copyright 1981 G. Morrow (written on
    > board... serial no?): 2631230 etching on board DJDMA. Handwritten
    > sticker on board "Passed 03/30/83 SAA""P3" wound with wire wrap, diode
    > and loose wire soldered to the back side "ABC" jumper, "B+C" are
    > jumpered. stickers on chips... 2716/32: DJDMA 2.5 26C2; 6301: DJDMA
    > 12B; 6305: DJDMA 11C; LS02: 9C (HANDWRITTEN); I6R4: DJDMA 2B; 6305:
    > DJA3D-2; 82S105: DJDMA2C
    >
    >
    > 6. EMPTY
    >
    > 7. EMPTY
    >
    > 8. EMPTY
    >
    > 9. EMPTY
    >
    > 10. HRAM 64K Northstar, switch in row 6-all on except for number 8,
    > switch in row 7 all on, JP1 P+6 shorted-1+8 shorted-R+G shorted,
    > JP4-all shorted, JP2 |XX(X=shorted), JP3 N+P top row shorted, SN=hand
    > written D-2-C, Orange, red, green w/ a handwritten "P", blue w/ a
    > handwritten "X" dot stickers. HRAM 64K sticker says 071153. BACK OF
    > BOARD ETCHINGS: FAB00127D, SEIKO-AAF 39-82
    >
    > 11. EMPTY
    >
    > 12. NORTHSTAR COMPUTERS, INC. Z-80A PROCESSOR BOARD ZPB-A1, all prom
    > option sections unpopulated, some jumpers in "proj address" socket,
    > control panel socket unpopulated
    >
    > OTHER KNOWN INFO:
    > The Disk Jockey/DMA card has one ribbon going to the internal floppy
    > drives and one large red ribbon cable going out of the back of the case
    > to the Dual 8inch floppy enclosure.
    >
    > Thanks in advance for any more info any one may have
    >
    > /Bill
    >
    >
    >
    > nospam@nouce.bellatlantic.net wrote:
    >
    >>On 15 Jul 2006 13:33:48 -0700, "onefallinghope@gmail.com"
    >> wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>hello, i recently was given a N* horizon, a Socor IQ130 terminal and a
    >>>GIGANTIC external dual 8" floppy drive. all the cables and so forth
    >>>were there as well as 2 boxes of disks (one box of 8" and one box of
    >>>5.25") I cannot get this machine to boot, or rather i cannot seem to
    >>>interface with the terminal so i dont know if it is booting or not.
    >>>The boxes of disks included a few 8" floppys that were labeled ZCPR3, i
    >>>am assuming these would be the boot discs. I put them in and press the
    >>>reset button on the N* and the drive reads something for about 10
    >>>seconds and then stops spinning. no response on terminal. the N* docs
    >>>i found said terminal must be set to 9600 baud and full duplex... but
    >>>im not sure what else i need to do, the Socor has a few switches on the
    >>>back, on for baud rate, one for Parity? Full duplex, half duplex and
    >>>B.. whatever that is and another switch that i dont know its function
    >>>it is labeled "CL, R" but is a 3 position. Im very interested in
    >>>getting this system to run and any help would be VERY appreciated. but
    >>>i cant find a Socor IQ130 manual.. the IQ120 is not the same. also
    >>>there is an obvious issue with the terminal... about one third of the
    >>>way across the screen as you are typing characters (from left to right)
    >>>the text will double back (from right to left) about 5 characters
    >>>·writing over itself) and then proceed to type left to right again...
    >>>id does this in the saw "row" all the way down the screen... so any
    >>>servicing help for the terminla would be appreciated as well.
    >>>
    >>>Thank you very much,
    >>>Bill Bates

    >>
    >>Ok..
    >>
    >>Nominally North*Stars do not have 8" drives as the standard controller
    >>is for 5.25 inch floppies. That suggests you have a hybrid system,
    >>which is not uncommon. Usually the "Right" serial port (viewed from
    >>the rear it's the right) is the standard Console. There are manuals
    >>for the NS* on line so you can read further on port setup (jumpers).
    >>However, the assignment of which serial port is used is only standard
    >>for NS*dos and CP/M for NS* disk controllers. IF Someone did their
    >>own thing that could be out the window.
    >>
    >>So to identify and help further we need to know:
    >>
    >>What floppy contoller(s) is in it (NS* had both a single and a DD
    >>controller).
    >>What CPU.
    >>How much ram.
    >>What 5.25 floppies if any.
    >>What 8" drives and what controller for them (if one).
    >>
    >>The terminal is a seperate set of issues. Manual likely would help
    >>you there. I can't. Sounds like H-hold may be off.
    >>
    >>Allison

    >
    >


  6. Re: Northstar Horizon and Socor IQ130 HELP

    >Well, you have a non-standard configuration.

    >The Northstar disk controller has been removed and replaced with the
    >disk jockey. The two are radically and dramatically different in every
    >regard. The DJ won't run the NorthStar DOS, and the NorthStar won't
    >generally run CP/M (but there were versions of CP/M that were adapted to
    >the NorthStar controller, with some limitations because the NS
    >controller had a ROM and hardware I/O addressing that limited the size
    >of the CP/M TPA).


    >This also means that the boot rom in the computer won't boot the system,
    >because it was a NS boot rom that expected a NS disk controller.
    >However, the ROM may have been modified to support the DJ, or it may
    >have simply been disabled so that the DJ could use it's own boot mechanism.


    No - the Boot ROM for the standard Horizon is contained on the NorthStar
    disk controller - the ZPB has jumpers to set a power-on jump. This is normally
    set to E800 for the double-density controller or E900 for the single density
    controller, however it can be jumper configurable to any memory block.

    I am not familier with the Disk Jockey, however assuming that it has a boot
    ROM, it is quite likely that the power-on-jump has simply been reconfigured
    to execute the DJ boot rom at power-up. Hopefully it's in a better place than
    the NorthStar ROM (ie: not in the middle of the memory map) and if so, the
    HRAM card has likely been configured to provide a full RAM configuration
    fitting around the disk controller ROM (all conjecture on my part).


    >But the real problem is that the configuration, whatever it was, is
    >completely non-standard, so you can't rely on ANYTHING. And the 2nd
    >problem is that you don't know what works and what doesn't, and in a
    >system this old, there are likely multiple boards not working (in fact
    >it would almost be surprising if any of them worked).


    >I don't think that there is ANY way of fixing this unless you have
    >another system in which you can test and repair the boards
    >one-at-a-time. There are simply too many issues here to deal with when
    >you know nothing about the system configuration except that it is
    >non-standard, and when it's likely that there are multiple fatal problems.


    I disagree with this - You just take it one step at a time. The fact that
    it accesses the drive on power-up tells me that a fair bit is working
    at least to some extent. The CPU is working, the disk controller is
    working at least to the point where it can access the drive. Most likely
    the RAM is working as it has probably used stack to get to the point
    of booting, however you could pull the RAM card and verify that it
    does not access the disk to be certain of this.,

    I have the docs for the NorthStar cards and backplane on my site.
    With these you can determine exactly what addresses are used,
    and exactly how the I/O has been setup.

    The ZPB has an option to put a 1K ROM on the CPU - One thing I
    might do is to drop in a little "ramless" Z80 monitor program that
    talks to the Horizon serial console - with this, as long as the CPU
    and mainboard are working you can poke around from inside
    the system. If not, then you have vastly narrowed the field of
    debugging, once you get the ROM executing, the system will
    sit in a UART polling loop, and it's just a matter of tracing the
    signals.

    If everything seems to be working correctly but you can't talk
    to it, it may be your terminal - use a light box to check for data
    going back and forth, and try a PC as a terminal.

    With the monitor, I would then checkout the RAM - try writing and
    reading from it and see if it works. I would also extract the content
    of the disk controller ROM and disassemble it to see exactly
    what it is doing, and where it is trying to load the boot sector.

    Assuming all goes well, I would launch the disk ROM, then
    reset the system and look to see if anything was loaded. If
    you had do, you could patch a new copy of the ROM to jump
    back to the monitor after loading the boot sector. Track
    down and fix hardware problems as necessary until you have
    a good boot sector load.

    This is all assuming you have a good boot disk for that controller.
    If you don't know, then make a cable to connect the drive to your
    PC and use my ImageDisk utility to read the disk into an image file
    on the PC (assuming it's soft-sector). Then you can verify that the
    disk format matches the controller setup in the DJ boot ROM that
    you have disassembled, and that the boot sector looks like it should
    work with that controller/ROM (more disassembly required).

    Once everything works, then you should observe the drive load the
    boot sector and step to the next track - possibly further. If the drive
    - recalibrates to track 0 (manually move it out with the power-off
    to confirm this)
    - Loads the boot sector
    - then steps out one or more tracks
    the controller is likely reading the disk OK - since we have already
    gotten the console to work, if you have a good boot disk, you
    may get the OS prompt. If not, more disassembly and debugging.


    >If you do have another system, the first task is to test the CPU and
    >memory boards, then the disk controller. Once you know that all of the
    >components work, you can put them together and try to make a working system.


    >Also, since the system is totally non-standard, you will need a custom
    >BIOS, and again it's really tough to create one unless you have another
    >working system on which to do it. Plus you have to know 8080 assembly
    >language programming and have enough hardware information to write the
    >custom BIOS.


    Yes, but again not impossible - by putting a monitor on the CPU card, you
    can effectively give yourself a front panel - with the ability to load programs
    into memory from the monitor, you CAN create a custom disk without
    another system.


    to the OP:

    If you know what you are doing, all of this is actually pretty straightforward.
    If you don't - then you will learn a lot and probably have some fun (if you
    like these sort of challenges). If however, you are looking for a "plug and
    play" solution - then we don't have one for you.....

    The beauty of these old systems is that are actually quite simple, it is
    possible to determine and understand the complete boot sequence from
    RESET to OS-prompt. It will take some work, but it can be done, and can
    be a very rewarding experience.


    Regards,
    Dave


    --
    Dunfield Development Services http://www.dunfield.com
    Low cost software development tools for embedded systems
    Software/firmware development services Fax:613-256-5821


  7. Re: Northstar Horizon and Socor IQ130 HELP

    On 14 Aug 2006 18:27:18 -0700, "onefallinghope@gmail.com"
    wrote:

    >OK, its been about a month since ive posted, and also almost a month
    >since i looked at the machine i had asked about. I still havent got it
    >going, so maybe with some help from all of you i may at least be able
    >to find documentation for this stuff... here is what i was able to
    >ascertain about the machine:
    >
    >CARDS: (from back of chassis towards front)
    >
    >1. "Active Terminator" - Compupro from "GodBout Electronics" copyright
    >1980 oakland, CA made in the usa Markings; "BM", "106E", blue and
    >green dot stickers. Wow, there are alot of resistors on this card!!
    >
    >2. EMPTY
    >
    >3. EMPTY
    >
    >4. EMPTY
    >
    >5. "Disk Jockey/DMA" rev 3a Copyright 1981 G. Morrow (written on
    >board... serial no?): 2631230 etching on board DJDMA. Handwritten
    >sticker on board "Passed 03/30/83 SAA""P3" wound with wire wrap, diode
    >and loose wire soldered to the back side "ABC" jumper, "B+C" are
    >jumpered. stickers on chips... 2716/32: DJDMA 2.5 26C2; 6301: DJDMA
    >12B; 6305: DJDMA 11C; LS02: 9C (HANDWRITTEN); I6R4: DJDMA 2B; 6305:
    >DJA3D-2; 82S105: DJDMA2C
    >
    >
    >6. EMPTY
    >
    >7. EMPTY
    >
    >8. EMPTY
    >
    >9. EMPTY
    >
    >10. HRAM 64K Northstar, switch in row 6-all on except for number 8,
    >switch in row 7 all on, JP1 P+6 shorted-1+8 shorted-R+G shorted,
    >JP4-all shorted, JP2 |XX(X=shorted), JP3 N+P top row shorted, SN=hand
    >written D-2-C, Orange, red, green w/ a handwritten "P", blue w/ a
    >handwritten "X" dot stickers. HRAM 64K sticker says 071153. BACK OF
    >BOARD ETCHINGS: FAB00127D, SEIKO-AAF 39-82
    >
    >11. EMPTY
    >
    >12. NORTHSTAR COMPUTERS, INC. Z-80A PROCESSOR BOARD ZPB-A1, all prom
    >option sections unpopulated, some jumpers in "proj address" socket,
    >control panel socket unpopulated
    >
    >OTHER KNOWN INFO:
    >The Disk Jockey/DMA card has one ribbon going to the internal floppy
    >drives and one large red ribbon cable going out of the back of the case
    >to the Dual 8inch floppy enclosure.
    >
    >Thanks in advance for any more info any one may have
    >
    >/Bill


    Sliced off a bit...>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>.

    What you have is a NS* horizon chassis, CPU and ram with a DJ floppy
    controller. This was fairly common upgrade for more floppy space and
    more accessable format.

    Its likely running CP/M and the DJ card has a boot rom on it.

    The NS* ZPB (Z80 card) rarely if ever had the rom section populated
    so this is normal.

    You have a 64k ram card that sounds like 48k is enabled.

    Finding a boot disk is troublesome. While you can find one for the DJ
    controller the serial (console) IO may be or may not be set up for
    NS*. The result is it would boot but communication with console is
    unlikely. Since there is no resident software other than boot you
    will need another system that can create a disk with the needed IO.
    This problem plagued many as it's chicken and egg.

    Allison

  8. Re: Northstar Horizon and Socor IQ130 HELP

    On Tue, 15 Aug 2006 02:51:18 GMT, Barry Watzman
    wrote:

    >Well, you have a non-standard configuration.


    Not totally. NS* were popular as the IO was a very standardized
    configuration. The only unknown is the DJ and status of everything
    (working or not).

    >The Northstar disk controller has been removed and replaced with the
    >disk jockey. The two are radically and dramatically different in every
    >regard. The DJ won't run the NorthStar DOS, and the NorthStar won't
    >generally run CP/M (but there were versions of CP/M that were adapted to
    >the NorthStar controller, with some limitations because the NS
    >controller had a ROM and hardware I/O addressing that limited the size
    >of the CP/M TPA).


    Thats false regarding NS* controller and CP/M. NS* ran CP/M from
    v1.4 on and the V2.2 versions allowed the bios to be in the top 4k
    (split bios) allowing TPA in the range of 58k (large by cpm
    standards!). Even without the split bios TPAs of
    52k can be done with stock CP/M and NS* controller.

    >This also means that the boot rom in the computer won't boot the system,
    >because it was a NS boot rom that expected a NS disk controller.
    >However, the ROM may have been modified to support the DJ, or it may
    >have simply been disabled so that the DJ could use it's own boot mechanism.


    The boot rom was ON the NS* controller. So without the NS* controller
    there is NO ROM unless the DJ controller had one (it did).

    >But the real problem is that the configuration, whatever it was, is
    >completely non-standard, so you can't rely on ANYTHING. And the 2nd
    >problem is that you don't know what works and what doesn't, and in a
    >system this old, there are likely multiple boards not working (in fact
    >it would almost be surprising if any of them worked).


    The NS* without a NS* contoller was a basic S100 crate with a good PS,
    decent Z80 card with power on/ reset jump to any address. It carried
    a full boat of serial (2 ports), parallel and even a hearbeat
    interrupt. (all on the backplane board). For that reason many were
    modified for a different more flexible controller such as DJ, Tarbell,
    and Compupro. One of min mine has one I designed, I also have
    one that is stock NS*. If the disk controller carries some form of
    rom (or other boot mechanism) it will potentially work.

    The problem with using a NS* is the lack of any resident software
    such as a monitor. This means even if you have a bootable disk for
    the disk controller in use there is no way to easily modify the IO to
    mach NS* IO. This was a common problem on many non front
    pannel crates. The solution was adding some form of rom
    to allow access to the hardware. I personally keep a Compupro
    System Support 1 with rom configured for such uses. There is a
    long list of cards what would also be suitable.


    >I don't think that there is ANY way of fixing this unless you have
    >another system in which you can test and repair the boards
    >one-at-a-time. There are simply too many issues here to deal with when
    >you know nothing about the system configuration except that it is
    >non-standard, and when it's likely that there are multiple fatal problems.


    Either a second system (working), a system with compatable media
    (to tweek the bios and rewrite it back to media) or a Rom Card
    with a monitor debugger in rom.

    >If you do have another system, the first task is to test the CPU and
    >memory boards, then the disk controller. Once you know that all of the
    >components work, you can put them together and try to make a working system.


    This can be problematic without an available working system. However
    the good news is the backplane and Z80 cards are amoung the most
    reliable. The ram however does tend to be troublesome. The ram can
    be replaced with any 64k (with block disable) ram and static types are
    far less trouble during testing.

    >Also, since the system is totally non-standard, you will need a custom
    >BIOS, and again it's really tough to create one unless you have another
    >working system on which to do it. Plus you have to know 8080 assembly
    >language programming and have enough hardware information to write the
    >custom BIOS.


    This is not as bad as all that. Often controllers that were sold as
    third party upgrades came with a bios that matched the hardware
    or if it differed it was only the basic console IO (sometimes just
    addresses) that had to be changed. The frustrating part is
    while you can have a fully fuctional system with a valid boot disk if
    the lack of a way to communicate with it is a show stopper.


    Allison


    >
    >
    >onefallinghope@gmail.com wrote:
    >
    >> OK, its been about a month since ive posted, and also almost a month
    >> since i looked at the machine i had asked about. I still havent got it
    >> going, so maybe with some help from all of you i may at least be able
    >> to find documentation for this stuff... here is what i was able to
    >> ascertain about the machine:
    >>
    >> NORTHSTAR HORIZON INFO
    >>
    >> 2 apparently orig. 5.25" floppy drives, small red momentary contact
    >> reset button on front panel i do not believe to be orig.
    >>
    >> STICKER ON BACK OF CHASSIS: NORTH*STAR HORIZON MADE IN U.S.A. 10-00585
    >>
    >> MAIN BOARD:
    >>
    >> silkscreened: NORTH STAR COMPUTERS INC., (COPYRIGHT) 1977 HRZ-MB-3
    >>
    >> STICKER INSIDE OF CASE;
    >> "CHATEAU DATA SERVICES ROUTE 2 BOX 85E NEWPORT, NORTH CAROLINA 28570
    >> (919) 726-2947" and, handwritten, "16 MAY 81 MOD 1 MARK O. MB-9" plus 1
    >> or 2 illegible signatures
    >>
    >> CARDS: (from back of chassis towards front)
    >>
    >> 1. "Active Terminator" - Compupro from "GodBout Electronics" copyright
    >> 1980 oakland, CA made in the usa Markings; "BM", "106E", blue and
    >> green dot stickers. Wow, there are alot of resistors on this card!!
    >>
    >> 2. EMPTY
    >>
    >> 3. EMPTY
    >>
    >> 4. EMPTY
    >>
    >> 5. "Disk Jockey/DMA" rev 3a Copyright 1981 G. Morrow (written on
    >> board... serial no?): 2631230 etching on board DJDMA. Handwritten
    >> sticker on board "Passed 03/30/83 SAA""P3" wound with wire wrap, diode
    >> and loose wire soldered to the back side "ABC" jumper, "B+C" are
    >> jumpered. stickers on chips... 2716/32: DJDMA 2.5 26C2; 6301: DJDMA
    >> 12B; 6305: DJDMA 11C; LS02: 9C (HANDWRITTEN); I6R4: DJDMA 2B; 6305:
    >> DJA3D-2; 82S105: DJDMA2C
    >>
    >>
    >> 6. EMPTY
    >>
    >> 7. EMPTY
    >>
    >> 8. EMPTY
    >>
    >> 9. EMPTY
    >>
    >> 10. HRAM 64K Northstar, switch in row 6-all on except for number 8,
    >> switch in row 7 all on, JP1 P+6 shorted-1+8 shorted-R+G shorted,
    >> JP4-all shorted, JP2 |XX(X=shorted), JP3 N+P top row shorted, SN=hand
    >> written D-2-C, Orange, red, green w/ a handwritten "P", blue w/ a
    >> handwritten "X" dot stickers. HRAM 64K sticker says 071153. BACK OF
    >> BOARD ETCHINGS: FAB00127D, SEIKO-AAF 39-82
    >>
    >> 11. EMPTY
    >>
    >> 12. NORTHSTAR COMPUTERS, INC. Z-80A PROCESSOR BOARD ZPB-A1, all prom
    >> option sections unpopulated, some jumpers in "proj address" socket,
    >> control panel socket unpopulated
    >>
    >> OTHER KNOWN INFO:
    >> The Disk Jockey/DMA card has one ribbon going to the internal floppy
    >> drives and one large red ribbon cable going out of the back of the case
    >> to the Dual 8inch floppy enclosure.
    >>
    >> Thanks in advance for any more info any one may have
    >>
    >> /Bill
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >> nospam@nouce.bellatlantic.net wrote:
    >>
    >>>On 15 Jul 2006 13:33:48 -0700, "onefallinghope@gmail.com"
    >>> wrote:
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>>hello, i recently was given a N* horizon, a Socor IQ130 terminal and a
    >>>>GIGANTIC external dual 8" floppy drive. all the cables and so forth
    >>>>were there as well as 2 boxes of disks (one box of 8" and one box of
    >>>>5.25") I cannot get this machine to boot, or rather i cannot seem to
    >>>>interface with the terminal so i dont know if it is booting or not.
    >>>>The boxes of disks included a few 8" floppys that were labeled ZCPR3, i
    >>>>am assuming these would be the boot discs. I put them in and press the
    >>>>reset button on the N* and the drive reads something for about 10
    >>>>seconds and then stops spinning. no response on terminal. the N* docs
    >>>>i found said terminal must be set to 9600 baud and full duplex... but
    >>>>im not sure what else i need to do, the Socor has a few switches on the
    >>>>back, on for baud rate, one for Parity? Full duplex, half duplex and
    >>>>B.. whatever that is and another switch that i dont know its function
    >>>>it is labeled "CL, R" but is a 3 position. Im very interested in
    >>>>getting this system to run and any help would be VERY appreciated. but
    >>>>i cant find a Socor IQ130 manual.. the IQ120 is not the same. also
    >>>>there is an obvious issue with the terminal... about one third of the
    >>>>way across the screen as you are typing characters (from left to right)
    >>>>the text will double back (from right to left) about 5 characters
    >>>>·writing over itself) and then proceed to type left to right again...
    >>>>id does this in the saw "row" all the way down the screen... so any
    >>>>servicing help for the terminla would be appreciated as well.
    >>>>
    >>>>Thank you very much,
    >>>>Bill Bates
    >>>
    >>>Ok..
    >>>
    >>>Nominally North*Stars do not have 8" drives as the standard controller
    >>>is for 5.25 inch floppies. That suggests you have a hybrid system,
    >>>which is not uncommon. Usually the "Right" serial port (viewed from
    >>>the rear it's the right) is the standard Console. There are manuals
    >>>for the NS* on line so you can read further on port setup (jumpers).
    >>>However, the assignment of which serial port is used is only standard
    >>>for NS*dos and CP/M for NS* disk controllers. IF Someone did their
    >>>own thing that could be out the window.
    >>>
    >>>So to identify and help further we need to know:
    >>>
    >>>What floppy contoller(s) is in it (NS* had both a single and a DD
    >>>controller).
    >>>What CPU.
    >>>How much ram.
    >>>What 5.25 floppies if any.
    >>>What 8" drives and what controller for them (if one).
    >>>
    >>>The terminal is a seperate set of issues. Manual likely would help
    >>>you there. I can't. Sounds like H-hold may be off.
    >>>
    >>>Allison

    >>
    >>



  9. Re: Northstar Horizon and Socor IQ130 HELP

    On Tue, 15 Aug 2006 10:47:55 GMT,
    Dave.Dunfield@use.techsupport.link.on.my.website (Dave Dunfield)
    wrote:

    >>Well, you have a non-standard configuration.

    >
    >>The Northstar disk controller has been removed and replaced with the
    >>disk jockey. The two are radically and dramatically different in every
    >>regard. The DJ won't run the NorthStar DOS, and the NorthStar won't
    >>generally run CP/M (but there were versions of CP/M that were adapted to
    >>the NorthStar controller, with some limitations because the NS
    >>controller had a ROM and hardware I/O addressing that limited the size
    >>of the CP/M TPA).

    >
    >>This also means that the boot rom in the computer won't boot the system,
    >>because it was a NS boot rom that expected a NS disk controller.
    >>However, the ROM may have been modified to support the DJ, or it may
    >>have simply been disabled so that the DJ could use it's own boot mechanism.

    >
    >No - the Boot ROM for the standard Horizon is contained on the NorthStar
    >disk controller - the ZPB has jumpers to set a power-on jump. This is normally
    >set to E800 for the double-density controller or E900 for the single density
    >controller, however it can be jumper configurable to any memory block.
    >
    >I am not familier with the Disk Jockey, however assuming that it has a boot
    >ROM, it is quite likely that the power-on-jump has simply been reconfigured
    >to execute the DJ boot rom at power-up. Hopefully it's in a better place than
    >the NorthStar ROM (ie: not in the middle of the memory map) and if so, the
    >HRAM card has likely been configured to provide a full RAM configuration
    >fitting around the disk controller ROM (all conjecture on my part).
    >
    >
    >>But the real problem is that the configuration, whatever it was, is
    >>completely non-standard, so you can't rely on ANYTHING. And the 2nd
    >>problem is that you don't know what works and what doesn't, and in a
    >>system this old, there are likely multiple boards not working (in fact
    >>it would almost be surprising if any of them worked).

    >
    >>I don't think that there is ANY way of fixing this unless you have
    >>another system in which you can test and repair the boards
    >>one-at-a-time. There are simply too many issues here to deal with when
    >>you know nothing about the system configuration except that it is
    >>non-standard, and when it's likely that there are multiple fatal problems.

    >
    >I disagree with this - You just take it one step at a time. The fact that
    >it accesses the drive on power-up tells me that a fair bit is working
    >at least to some extent. The CPU is working, the disk controller is
    >working at least to the point where it can access the drive. Most likely
    >the RAM is working as it has probably used stack to get to the point
    >of booting, however you could pull the RAM card and verify that it
    >does not access the disk to be certain of this.,
    >
    >I have the docs for the NorthStar cards and backplane on my site.
    >With these you can determine exactly what addresses are used,
    >and exactly how the I/O has been setup.
    >
    >The ZPB has an option to put a 1K ROM on the CPU - One thing I
    >might do is to drop in a little "ramless" Z80 monitor program that
    >talks to the Horizon serial console - with this, as long as the CPU
    >and mainboard are working you can poke around from inside
    >the system. If not, then you have vastly narrowed the field of
    >debugging, once you get the ROM executing, the system will
    >sit in a UART polling loop, and it's just a matter of tracing the
    >signals.


    This is problematic for one reason. The rom socket is
    configured for 2708 and those are scarce and a pain
    to burn. Rather than populate and mess with the rom
    on the CPU I have suggested a rom card (any from
    a long list will do!) I use a system support 1 with a
    2716(rom) and 6116(ram) for a base system as it
    also has a serial port so the only things I need working
    is a clear bus (no shorts of bad drivers from other cards)
    and a working CPU (also power!).

    >If everything seems to be working correctly but you can't talk
    >to it, it may be your terminal - use a light box to check for data
    >going back and forth, and try a PC as a terminal.
    >
    >With the monitor, I would then checkout the RAM - try writing and
    >reading from it and see if it works. I would also extract the content
    >of the disk controller ROM and disassemble it to see exactly
    >what it is doing, and where it is trying to load the boot sector.
    >
    >Assuming all goes well, I would launch the disk ROM, then
    >reset the system and look to see if anything was loaded. If
    >you had do, you could patch a new copy of the ROM to jump
    >back to the monitor after loading the boot sector. Track
    >down and fix hardware problems as necessary until you have
    >a good boot sector load.
    >
    >This is all assuming you have a good boot disk for that controller.
    >If you don't know, then make a cable to connect the drive to your
    >PC and use my ImageDisk utility to read the disk into an image file
    >on the PC (assuming it's soft-sector). Then you can verify that the
    >disk format matches the controller setup in the DJ boot ROM that
    >you have disassembled, and that the boot sector looks like it should
    >work with that controller/ROM (more disassembly required).
    >
    >Once everything works, then you should observe the drive load the
    >boot sector and step to the next track - possibly further. If the drive
    > - recalibrates to track 0 (manually move it out with the power-off
    > to confirm this)
    >- Loads the boot sector
    >- then steps out one or more tracks
    >the controller is likely reading the disk OK - since we have already
    >gotten the console to work, if you have a good boot disk, you
    >may get the OS prompt. If not, more disassembly and debugging.
    >
    >
    >>If you do have another system, the first task is to test the CPU and
    >>memory boards, then the disk controller. Once you know that all of the
    >>components work, you can put them together and try to make a working system.

    >
    >>Also, since the system is totally non-standard, you will need a custom
    >>BIOS, and again it's really tough to create one unless you have another
    >>working system on which to do it. Plus you have to know 8080 assembly
    >>language programming and have enough hardware information to write the
    >>custom BIOS.

    >
    >Yes, but again not impossible - by putting a monitor on the CPU card, you
    >can effectively give yourself a front panel - with the ability to load programs
    >into memory from the monitor, you CAN create a custom disk without
    >another system.
    >
    >
    >to the OP:
    >
    >If you know what you are doing, all of this is actually pretty straightforward.
    >If you don't - then you will learn a lot and probably have some fun (if you
    >like these sort of challenges). If however, you are looking for a "plug and
    >play" solution - then we don't have one for you.....
    >
    >The beauty of these old systems is that are actually quite simple, it is
    >possible to determine and understand the complete boot sequence from
    >RESET to OS-prompt. It will take some work, but it can be done, and can
    >be a very rewarding experience.


    Amen to that!

    >
    >
    >Regards,
    >Dave



  10. Re: Northstar Horizon and Socor IQ130 HELP

    onefallinghope@gmail.com wrote:

    > NORTHSTAR HORIZON INFO
    >
    > CARDS: (from back of chassis towards front)
    >
    > 1. "Active Terminator" - Compupro
    > 5. "Disk Jockey/DMA" rev 3a Copyright 1981 G. Morrow (written on
    > board... serial no?): 2631230 etching on board DJDMA.
    > 10. HRAM 64K Northstar, >
    > 12. NORTHSTAR COMPUTERS, INC. Z-80A PROCESSOR BOARD ZPB-A1,
    > Thanks in advance for any more info any one may have
    >
    > /Bill


    Each of the cards above, and the motherboard, have manuals available.
    either I have the manuals available as photocopies for a fee, or there
    are PDF's of the manuals on the Web at various sites. If you want to
    get this system going and KEEP it going, yourself, then GET THE MANUALS
    and READ THE MANUALS. You'll learn what you need to do.

    Most likely, if the disks you got came with the system originally,
    you've got a boot disk among them. If you don't you can with
    perserverance make your own boot disk. THE MANUALS HAVE SOME OF THAT
    INFORMATION. You may need some CP/M manuals also. You may need some
    help from someone to make the disks, but maybe not.

    You can start some discussions about what to do next; but you could
    also go back through comp.os.cpm and read about similar systems in
    similar condition, and read THOSE discussions, and get almost as much
    assistance. Even if you get lucky and through discussion you can get
    the system running, at some point it will stop running and you'll have
    to fix it, and so you'll need to know how to do that.

    THESE SYSTEMS WERE DESIGNED TO BE FIXED. They were designed so that
    someone could learn what was needed to be learned, and then fix them,
    and program them, all the way down to the operating system! In Z80
    assembly language! That's how it was done, in those days.

    So what is your plan? What do you wanna do - long term? What do you
    know how to do, what do you want to learn? It's up to you and your
    priorities and resources and capabilities. The info you need is
    available - not a "here's what to do" but "here's how it works".

    Herb Johnson

    Herbert R. Johnson, New Jersey USA
    web site
    domain mirror
    my email address: hjohnson AAT retrotechnology DOTT com
    if no reply, try in a few days: herbjohnson ATT comcast DOTT net
    "Herb's Stuff": old Mac, SGI, 8-inch floppy drives
    S-100 IMSAI Altair computers, docs, by "Dr. S-100"


  11. Re: Northstar Horizon and Socor IQ130 HELP


    >>The ZPB has an option to put a 1K ROM on the CPU - One thing I
    >>might do is to drop in a little "ramless" Z80 monitor program that
    >>talks to the Horizon serial console - with this, as long as the CPU
    >>and mainboard are working you can poke around from inside
    >>the system. If not, then you have vastly narrowed the field of
    >>debugging, once you get the ROM executing, the system will
    >>sit in a UART polling loop, and it's just a matter of tracing the
    >>signals.


    >This is problematic for one reason. The rom socket is
    >configured for 2708 and those are scarce and a pain
    >to burn. Rather than populate and mess with the rom
    >on the CPU I have suggested a rom card (any from
    >a long list will do!) I use a system support 1 with a
    >2716(rom) and 6116(ram) for a base system as it
    >also has a serial port so the only things I need working
    >is a clear bus (no shorts of bad drivers from other cards)
    >and a working CPU (also power!).


    Agreed that a ROM card may be easier to use. For some
    reason I had the impression that this was the OPs only
    S-100 system and therefore he would be unlikely to have
    a ROM card. Also, when I go for the "stripped down"
    approach to beginning the diagnostics, the fewer cards
    in the system the better.... which makes CPU card ROM
    sockets appealing.

    If you can't get/program a 2708, then it quite easy to adapt
    a 2716 or even a larger ROM to work in a 2708 socket (with
    only 1K available of course) - in my case, it would likely be
    a home-made adapter board and an EEPROM emulator
    instead of a physical ROM anyway (but I didn't feel the need
    to go into that at the time).

    But such details aside - the idea is to use a simple ROM
    monitor to give you the ability to do "front panel functions".
    Once you have that, you will be able to debug the system,
    build custom software and have much more ability with a
    non-booting system than just a reset button ...

    Yes - the SS1 is an ideal way to do this, as it provides
    everything that the monitor ROM needs to know about,
    allowing you to have it preconfigured and ready to go...


    --
    Dunfield Development Services http://www.dunfield.com
    Low cost software development tools for embedded systems
    Software/firmware development services Fax:613-256-5821


  12. Re: Northstar Horizon and Socor IQ130 HELP

    On Wed, 16 Aug 2006 00:57:52 GMT,
    Dave.Dunfield@use.techsupport.link.on.my.website (Dave Dunfield)
    wrote:

    >
    >>>The ZPB has an option to put a 1K ROM on the CPU - One thing I
    >>>might do is to drop in a little "ramless" Z80 monitor program that
    >>>talks to the Horizon serial console - with this, as long as the CPU
    >>>and mainboard are working you can poke around from inside
    >>>the system. If not, then you have vastly narrowed the field of
    >>>debugging, once you get the ROM executing, the system will
    >>>sit in a UART polling loop, and it's just a matter of tracing the
    >>>signals.

    >
    >>This is problematic for one reason. The rom socket is
    >>configured for 2708 and those are scarce and a pain
    >>to burn. Rather than populate and mess with the rom
    >>on the CPU I have suggested a rom card (any from
    >>a long list will do!) I use a system support 1 with a
    >>2716(rom) and 6116(ram) for a base system as it
    >>also has a serial port so the only things I need working
    >>is a clear bus (no shorts of bad drivers from other cards)
    >>and a working CPU (also power!).

    >
    >Agreed that a ROM card may be easier to use. For some
    >reason I had the impression that this was the OPs only
    >S-100 system and therefore he would be unlikely to have
    >a ROM card.


    That may be so. The learning curve is steep then.

    > Also, when I go for the "stripped down"
    >approach to beginning the diagnostics, the fewer cards
    >in the system the better.... which makes CPU card ROM
    >sockets appealing.


    Yep, there are several CPUs that would be good candidates that
    already have rom sockets (and even ram). Those that come to
    mind is the SBC880, Compupro Z80 and others.

    I had used a Compupro CPU-Z as a tool to troubleshoot some bad
    NS* MDC boards. The cokets were configured for 2k rom and 2k ram
    in the Fxxxh block to allow for a debug monitor with it's own ram.
    Very handy tool for NS* mods and repairs.

    >If you can't get/program a 2708, then it quite easy to adapt
    >a 2716 or even a larger ROM to work in a 2708 socket (with
    >only 1K available of course) - in my case, it would likely be
    >a home-made adapter board and an EEPROM emulator
    >instead of a physical ROM anyway (but I didn't feel the need
    >to go into that at the time).


    You could. It's a viable solution.

    >But such details aside - the idea is to use a simple ROM
    >monitor to give you the ability to do "front panel functions".
    >Once you have that, you will be able to debug the system,
    >build custom software and have much more ability with a
    >non-booting system than just a reset button ...


    Back when I bought and used a Netronics explorer for that
    purpose after my first NS* was hit by lightining. Gave me S100
    bus 8085 with a local monitor to debug errant boards.

    >Yes - the SS1 is an ideal way to do this, as it provides
    >everything that the monitor ROM needs to know about,
    >allowing you to have it preconfigured and ready to go...


    Why I suggested it. Processor Tech and several others made
    similar boards.

    Though a Computime SBC880 was the most handy, Z80, serial
    port, parallel port, 2/4k rom (with disable) and 1kram. Enough
    resources to run the S100 bus but would run fine if the bus was
    jammed. Offered up as a possible suggestion case the op
    needs a solution.


    Allison


+ Reply to Thread