"The Ferguson" Bigboard I - CP/M

This is a discussion on "The Ferguson" Bigboard I - CP/M ; Can anyone on this list help me with my Bigboard? I will post a picture on my web site so you can see what the board looks like. Unfortunately I don't have the original documentation I need either. I need ...

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Thread: "The Ferguson" Bigboard I

  1. "The Ferguson" Bigboard I

    Can anyone on this list help me with my Bigboard? I will post a picture
    on my web site so you can see what the board looks like. Unfortunately I
    don't have the original documentation I need either. I need the
    schematics and documentation for this board. I bought this board several
    years ago and now I have to time to put it into operation.

    My goal in getting this board in operation is to build my own CP/M
    computer system and along the way learn how to program the Z80.

    Alan/W8OAJ

  2. Re: "The Ferguson" Bigboard I

    Alan/w8oaj wrote:
    > Can anyone on this list help me with my Bigboard? I will post a
    > picture on my web site so you can see what the board looks like.
    > Unfortunately I don't have the original documentation I need either.
    > I need the schematics and documentation for this board. I bought
    > this board several years ago and now I have to time to put it into
    > operation.
    >
    > My goal in getting this board in operation is to build my own CP/M
    > computer system and along the way learn how to program the Z80.


    I have a couple of Ferguson BigBoards, with original documentation.
    If no one else has anything more readily available, I could try
    to scan it for you.

    -- Dave Tweed (N3AOA)

  3. Re: "The Ferguson" Bigboard I

    David Tweed wrote:

    > Alan/w8oaj wrote:
    >
    >>Can anyone on this list help me with my Bigboard? I will post a
    >>picture on my web site so you can see what the board looks like.
    >>Unfortunately I don't have the original documentation I need either.
    >>I need the schematics and documentation for this board. I bought
    >>this board several years ago and now I have to time to put it into
    >>operation.
    >>
    >>My goal in getting this board in operation is to build my own CP/M
    >>computer system and along the way learn how to program the Z80.

    >
    >
    > I have a couple of Ferguson BigBoards, with original documentation.
    > If no one else has anything more readily available, I could try
    > to scan it for you.
    >
    > -- Dave Tweed (N3AOA)


    Hi David,
    Thanks for your offer! Do you have a BigBoard running now? I bought my
    motherboard several years ago and it needs some troubleshooting.

    Alan/W8OAJ

  4. Re: "The Ferguson" Bigboard I

    Alan/w8oaj wrote:
    > David Tweed wrote:
    > > I have a couple of Ferguson BigBoards, with original documentation.
    > > If no one else has anything more readily available, I could try
    > > to scan it for you.

    >
    > Thanks for your offer! Do you have a BigBoard running now? I bought
    > my motherboard several years ago and it needs some troubleshooting.


    Well, it's been a year or two since I last fired either of them up,
    but yes, they were both working fine at the time.

    Remote debugging is difficult at best, but I'm game. We can take this
    offline if you like. What kind of video+keyboard connection do you have?
    How far are you getting with it?

    -- Dave

  5. Re: "The Ferguson" Bigboard I

    David Tweed wrote:
    > Alan/w8oaj wrote:
    >
    >>David Tweed wrote:
    >>
    >>>I have a couple of Ferguson BigBoards, with original documentation.
    >>>If no one else has anything more readily available, I could try
    >>>to scan it for you.

    >>
    >>Thanks for your offer! Do you have a BigBoard running now? I bought
    >>my motherboard several years ago and it needs some troubleshooting.

    >
    >
    > Well, it's been a year or two since I last fired either of them up,
    > but yes, they were both working fine at the time.
    >
    > Remote debugging is difficult at best, but I'm game. We can take this
    > offline if you like. What kind of video+keyboard connection do you have?
    > How far are you getting with it?
    >
    > -- Dave


    I need to know the connections for video, keyboard, and rs-232. I am
    missing two ram chips, I should be able to find some extras in my junk
    box. What is the max speed on the RAM? My RAM chips are:
    Mostek (C) 8318
    MK4217J-3
    4116J-S

    Also I need to know what U74 and U22 chips are because those sockets are
    empty.

    I would like to get the board running on a dumb terminal or a dedicated
    monitor and keyboard. I have a keyboard that I should be able to use,
    but it hasn't been wired up or tested yet. I can use my Model 100 as a
    dumb terminal for initial testing phase.

    send me an email to w8oaj@verizon.net and we can take this discussion
    offline if you like.

    Thanks Dave!

    Alan



  6. Re: "The Ferguson" Bigboard I

    David Tweed wrote:

    >
    > Well, it's been a year or two since I last fired either of them up,
    > but yes, they were both working fine at the time.
    >
    > Remote debugging is difficult at best, but I'm game. We can take this
    > offline if you like. What kind of video+keyboard connection do you have?
    > How far are you getting with it?


    Speaking of Bigboards, IIRC they were a clone of the Xerox 820 system
    board, correct?

  7. Re: "The Ferguson" Bigboard I

    Steven N. Hirsch wrote:
    > Speaking of Bigboards, IIRC they were a clone of the Xerox 820 system
    > board, correct?


    I've never seen an actual 820 board, but I understand they're virtually
    identical. I don't know which one came first, however. It could well be
    the other way around.

    -- Dave Tweed

  8. Re: "The Ferguson" Bigboard I

    On Fri, 03 Feb 2006 17:58:12 -0500, "Steven N. Hirsch"
    wrote:

    >David Tweed wrote:
    >
    >>
    >> Well, it's been a year or two since I last fired either of them up,
    >> but yes, they were both working fine at the time.
    >>
    >> Remote debugging is difficult at best, but I'm game. We can take this
    >> offline if you like. What kind of video+keyboard connection do you have?
    >> How far are you getting with it?

    >
    >Speaking of Bigboards, IIRC they were a clone of the Xerox 820 system
    >board, correct?


    Big board first and then Xerox purchased rights and made some minor mods.

    Dave F.

  9. Re: "The Ferguson" Bigboard I

    >> Speaking of Bigboards, IIRC they were a clone of the Xerox 820 system
    >> board, correct?


    >I've never seen an actual 820 board, but I understand they're virtually
    >identical. I don't know which one came first, however. It could well be
    >the other way around.


    The Bigboard came first, and Xerox licensed the design.

    Physically, the 820 board looks "almost but not quite completely
    unlike" a Bigboard. Electrically they are very similar. I've got photos
    of the BigBoard, 820 and 820-II boards up on my site.

    Cheers,

    --
    dave04a@ Collector of classic pre-PC computer systems.
    dunfield. If you have an old 8/16 bit non-PC system in need of a good
    com home, please contact me at email address on the left, or
    via contact link of this web site:
    http://www.parse.com/~ddunfield/museum/index.html


  10. Re: "The Ferguson" Bigboard I

    Steven N. Hirsch wrote:
    > David Tweed wrote:
    >
    >>
    >> Well, it's been a year or two since I last fired either of them up,
    >> but yes, they were both working fine at the time.
    >>
    >> Remote debugging is difficult at best, but I'm game. We can take this
    >> offline if you like. What kind of video+keyboard connection do you have?
    >> How far are you getting with it?

    >
    >
    > Speaking of Bigboards, IIRC they were a clone of the Xerox 820 system
    > board, correct?


    Back in 1989 I had a running Bigboard. I didn't have a boot disk. I made
    a copy of my Xerox 820 boot disk that I used to reverse engineer my own
    boot disk. I got close to getting it work but then I dropped the project
    for an PC clone. I wish I had stuck it out in hacking the BDOS.

  11. Re: "The Ferguson" Bigboard I

    David Tweed wrote:

    > Alan/w8oaj wrote:
    >
    >>Can anyone on this list help me with my Bigboard? I will post a
    >>picture on my web site so you can see what the board looks like.
    >>Unfortunately I don't have the original documentation I need either.
    >>I need the schematics and documentation for this board. I bought
    >>this board several years ago and now I have to time to put it into
    >>operation.
    >>
    >>My goal in getting this board in operation is to build my own CP/M
    >>computer system and along the way learn how to program the Z80.

    >
    >
    > I have a couple of Ferguson BigBoards, with original documentation.
    > If no one else has anything more readily available, I could try
    > to scan it for you.
    >
    > -- Dave Tweed (N3AOA)


    Thanks for the schematics David. You are a life saver!
    --Alan

  12. Re: "The Ferguson" Bigboard I

    Dave Dunfield wrote:
    >>> Speaking of Bigboards, IIRC they were a clone of the Xerox 820 system
    >>> board, correct?


    > The Bigboard came first, and Xerox licensed the design.
    >
    > Physically, the 820 board looks "almost but not quite completely
    > unlike" a Bigboard. Electrically they are very similar. I've got photos
    > of the BigBoard, 820 and 820-II boards up on my site.


    I have a Corvus network adapter for Xerox 820, which bridges between the
    parallel port and a "flat cable" file server. Does anyone have software
    or documentation for this thing, or have past experience with it?

    Steve

  13. Re: "The Ferguson" Bigboard I

    Alan wrote:
    > I need to know the connections for video, keyboard, and rs-232.


    I have scanned the original BigBoard documents and made them available
    on my website: http://www.dtweed.com/docs/

    These include:
    "The BigBoard: An Overview"
    "Theory of Operation"
    "PFM-80 Users Manual"
    "BigBoard Misc. Addenda"
    the schematics and layout diagram

    I have not included the parts list and assembly instructions, because
    I figure most BigBoards have already been assembled by now.

    -- Dave Tweed

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