Just Purchased an Altair 8800micro :) #294

Discuss the new Altair 8800 Micro

Just Purchased an Altair 8800micro :) #294

Postby waltermixxx » Apr Wed 01, 2015 11:46 am

I sent Vince an email wondering if he was still selling Altair 8800mico's, needless to say I was thrilled when he repliced to me... He indicated he was busy with orders, but yes they are still available.
So I placed my order. I'm hoping it gets shipped out in a couple of weeks and gets to me here in Toronto Canada in good time :) As an owner of an Elf2000 retro computer( 32k Ram, 32K Rom, real pixie chip, serial port)...
I built an original Elf back in the day with 2k ram, hex keypad, TIL311 hex displays, and a PIXIE CHIP),I always wondered about the Altair computer... I was inspired by Jeff Tranter's video's on Youtube and decided to
take the plunge... Incidently i purchased the book on the Apple Replica 1, but i have three apple // computers so i thought i would try an Altair instead... I may pick up a Replica 1 after I build my Altair. :)

Wish me luck folks on my kit, and here's hoping it gets shipped out soon :)

My wife doesn't know it yet, but it's a present from her for my 50th... :) That and a 3d printer... :)
Last edited by waltermixxx on Apr Mon 27, 2015 10:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Just Purchased an Altair 8800micro :)

Postby wd5gnr » Apr Wed 01, 2015 12:07 pm

Welcome Walter.

I had to check to make sure I didn't write that note! I built an 1802 back in the day (lost it in hurricane Katrina). Since I lost it, I got the ELF2K (in fact, I wrote the serial loader for it for Linux that you see floating around).

I also have the 8800 (in fact, Vince was kind enough to let a few of us work on the firmware with him and that was great fun). And I have a 3D printer (the Printrbot Plus). I don't have any Apples though and when I turned 50, I got a motorcycle, so apparently there's a little difference between us ;-)

If you look in YouTube, search for wd5gnr (my callsign) and you'll see some other Altair action videos and some Printrbot ones too, if you are interested. I think my Elf shows up in the back of one of the videos I have about my custom CPU Blue.

Hope you have fun building the Altair and if you need help, the forum isn't too active but there's usually someone about who will chime in.
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Re: Just Purchased an Altair 8800micro :)

Postby waltermixxx » Apr Wed 01, 2015 12:28 pm

Very cool, i will check out your video's later today :)

I was thinking about getting a motor cycle, but I'm happy in my Fiat 500 :)

Cheers. :)
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Re: Just Purchased an Altair 8800micro :)

Postby waltermixxx » Apr Wed 08, 2015 1:11 pm

I got a reply from Mr. Briel yesterday indicating that he is working on my kit and that it should go out soon. :) very excited. :)
He has been very good about replying to emails and contact in general. I have been watching every video on it, as well as reading what ever i can on the original and the replica.

Hoping to get my kit soon, just waiting on the shipping notification :) Fingers crossed... my birthday is next week :)
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Re: Just Purchased an Altair 8800micro :)

Postby waltermixxx » Apr Fri 10, 2015 12:53 pm

I just got a notification that my Altair 8800micro should be shipping out today :)

This is great news. :) Thanks Vince for the Great and Fast service getting that package out in good time. :) My birthday is next week, so it's looking good that i will get it some time soon. :) I told my wife about her birthday present to me, she asked, "what will you do with that?" I said "stay home and build it, write programs, flick switches, learn assembly language, while at the same time, avoid bars and loose women" She seemed fine with my answer. ;).

In the mean time, I think i will upgrade my newly acquired Timex Sinclair 1000 memory from 2K to 32K internally :) an easy hack from what it looks like:

http://www.zx81.de/english/32k-rame.htm ( that too will help me avoid bars and loose women... ) ;) (hope that does not offend anyone... just trying to be funny :))


I will follow up with the group when the 8800micro arrives, and post pictures if folks want. :)
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Re: Just Purchased an Altair 8800micro :)

Postby waltermixxx » Apr Tue 14, 2015 3:36 pm

I'm getting updates from USPS on the kit's where abouts... :) it's getting closer (still in the U.S. though...)

I should have ordered the 88DSK/Memory board with the Altair, I was on the fence about it...
now I realized i should have ordered it so it would have been placed in the kit with the Altair....

The $55.00 shipping, plus U.S. Canada - exchange, on the $99.00 plus brokerage fees and taxes will take it above 200.00
Darn... so advise for anyone ordering the Altair 8800micro, if you are thinking of getting the extra ram and drive emulator,
get it with the kit... :( you will most likely save some money :) Now I am even more on the fence... hopefully they will still be
available for a while... :)

At any rate, my Briel Altair 8800micro gets closer.... :)
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Re: Just Purchased an Altair 8800micro :)

Postby waltermixxx » Apr Wed 22, 2015 1:10 am

The Briel 8800micro kit was in customs for 5 days, but has been released now... hoping to get it any day now...

:)
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Re: Just Purchased an Altair 8800micro :)

Postby waltermixxx » Apr Wed 22, 2015 11:10 am

Folks my Briel 8800micro just arrived at my office. :) S/N 0294 :)

Going to unpack it and check the parts list out, make sure all is there, and then start construction on it maybe tonight,
or tomorrow... :) very exciting :)

Thanks again Mr. Briel for making this kit available... :)

I have been eyeballing the OSI Superboard /// kit .... but i better focus on my 8800micro for now. :)

Cheers. :)
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Re: Just Purchased an Altair 8800micro :)

Postby waltermixxx » Apr Thu 23, 2015 2:50 pm

Okie doke, kit arrived in good shape, a few parts missing ( I emailed Mr. Briel about it, but he is currently moving so i think he is out of commission for a week or so, so not sure I will get a reply in the near future. ) I ended up finding some parts in my parts drawer ( hurray 12 matching 0.1uf decoupling caps. :) ), but hoping he will send me the missing parts either way :) ) I was able to build the entire thing in one sitting ( with the exception of the 3 4.7K resister x 8 sip's as I did not have any of those... tomorrow at lunch time or after work today if I can split early, I am going to check a local store, pretty sure they wont have the SIP's, if they dont have it, i may just check my box for 24 4.7k resisters and solder them in standing up with a soldered to a rail to gnd. I hope i don't have to resort to that... :(
(Edit: I picked up the 4.7k x8 sip so I can finish my 8800micro tonight. )

but I also can't wait to get it up and running :)

here are pictures of the build in the mean time:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/66577016@N00/sets/72157652124136311/

I added two pictures of how the switches are setup. Have a look again, just added these pics.

P.S. I found it easy to install the switches if I removed all washers and nuts except the bottom nut, and lossened it so it was at the correct hight to hold up the display plate, did that with all the nuts, put them in place in the off possition,
then screwed the face plate to the board, and the switches barely moved... i could easily adjust the height of each nut with a small flat screw driver + or - one turn. I could adjust the nut so it would hold the switch down and firmly in place... then solder the switches in place... it was very cool... :) it also adds some rigidity to the switches... :)

Enjoy the pics.

Cheers... :)
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Re: Just Purchased an Altair 8800micro :)

Postby waltermixxx » Apr Fri 24, 2015 10:01 am

And here she is, #294

Image

I was going to go VGA with it originally, however, i like the portability of a small composite monitor.

perhaps when i get the memory expansion/ramdisk board i may go with vga for cp/m :)

Cheers folks... if you are on the Fence, jump off and buy one, this thing is super cool :)
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Re: Just Purchased an Altair 8800micro :) #294

Postby Kryoclasm » May Sun 24, 2015 11:35 pm

Awesome, glad to see it working, can't wait to get mine.

Did you run into any issues other a few missing parts?
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Re: Just Purchased an Altair 8800micro :) #294

Postby waltermixxx » May Mon 25, 2015 6:27 am

No issues with the kit other than a couple of missing parts. Installing the switches and LEDs was a bit tricky,
Do the switches first, and I think if you use the method I described for that it may be easier...

Just be careful with chip orientation. Make sure your chips are in correctly.

Lots of fun to build. Cheers and good luck.
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