Talking of the 380Z...

Tony Duell ard at
Tue Jul 5 14:13:14 CDT 2005

> On Tue, 2005-07-05 at 01:09 +0100, Tony Duell wrote:
> > > Not me yet... more interested in their SASI controller at this stage to
> > > be honest as I really need a way of getting the 380Z fileserver backed
> > > up!
> > 
> > What about hacking around with the Acorn SASI controller, e.g. the one in 
> > your ACW? I assume you have schematics, etc for that.
> Yep, could do - plus I've got the schematics for the Torch one
> somewhere. Just wanted to check that there wasn't anything funny about

IIRC Torch made a SCSI controller for the Beeb, it was used with a ROM 
called SCISFS. If you've found one of those you're very lucky, I am told 
that fewer than 100 were made.

> the RML one (there shouldn't be) - SASI should be SASI no matter what.

IIRC the RML hard disk unit used a standard ST506-interfaced drive and a 
standard bridgeboard to SASI (Xebec?) In which case the host adapter is 
going to be pretty normal too.

> > [PROMS]
> > I'll send you a uuencoded tar.gz file of the ones in my machine (CPU, RAM 
> > expansion, 40 column video, hi-res). May be a start.
> Brilliant - ta muchly for that. I'll see if I can work my programmer out
> and read the others that I have...

>From what I remember there are no PROMs on the standard (non-intellegent) 
disk controller or on the PIO card that I have somewhere. The latter is a 
board with an address decoder, 3 Z80-PIOs and a Z80-CTC on it, along with 
a wire-wrap area. I don't have schematics, but it would be trivial to 
work out.

> > > "COS checks to see if there is a VDU plugged into the SIO-4 socket. If
> > 
> > What does it look for? One of the handshake lines being asseted?
> Doesn't say, unfortunately. I actually think that RML started out with
> the best intentions when producing their documents and wanted to
> document everything - with the result being that time constraints meant

To be fair, the RML docs are an order-of-magnitude about the crap you get 
with modern computer products.

It should be piossible to work out what COS looks for from the source 
listings. I am not sure, though, if the version on is recent 
enough to support this. It's a pity nobody has the COS 3.4 or COS 4.0 

> > Personally, I'd try to use the RML's video card for everything, which 
> > means kludging up a keyboard. It can't be that hard, the interface is as 
> > simple as it gets.
> Yep, true. I'll have to have a look inside one of the Cifer keyboards
> sometime as they look the part - maybe one of those can be hooked up via
> an interface...

I still wonder if the PC keyboard interface would be a good idea. It 
would have an adantage to you that the public at Bletchley could bash 
away on a PC keyboard without risking anything too rare.


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