Newest singleboard addition

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Newest singleboard addition

Postby vbriel » Sep Sun 21, 2008 10:50 am

I finally traded for a OSI 600 (AKA SuperBoard II). The board is fully self contained SBC with keyboard, video, BASIC in ROM 8K RAM, serial port (300 BAUD) and cassette port.

Programs can be entered by cassette or you can dump them thru the serial port like the replica 1 can do. The display is a tiny 24X25 display but upto 32 characters across are possible. Unfortunately only 24X25 is visable.

Here's my setup as I have it after 1 day.

Image

In just 1 day I was able to locate the user manual, magazine articles, programs, tips and tricks, etc. I was able to setup the video and RS232 ports via internet info as well.

This would make a great computer to replicate but there is a real issue with the keyboard. It is a polled keyboard and therefore nearly impossible to attach a ps/2 up to it. A custom matrix onboard keyboard is possible but finding and implimenting the space bar would be difficult.

The display isn't that great but could be duplicated as well as the serial port. The cassette interface has 1 hard to find chip but there may be a work around.

What do you guys think?

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Postby nekonoko » Sep Mon 22, 2008 11:54 am

Looks like fun to me. Since the display is low resolution, it might be fun to integrate a small LCD panel. I was going to link to a photo of one recently implemented on the N8VEM, but the forum isn't allowing me to link to my website. You should be able to view it in the N8VEM Google group though.
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Postby vbriel » Sep Mon 22, 2008 3:40 pm

nekonoko wrote:Looks like fun to me. Since the display is low resolution, it might be fun to integrate a small LCD panel. I was going to link to a photo of one recently implemented on the N8VEM, but the forum isn't allowing me to link to my website. You should be able to view it in the N8VEM Google group though.


I found the picture, thanks, sorry, I'll look into the links but I've had to lock the forum down so tight because of spam, it's almost no good. I'll look into PhPBB 3 but it isn't an upgrade and looks like a nightmare. Maybe I'll buy a commercial board.

Anyways, this is a good idea nekonoko. The boards graphics are text characters anyways, so something that can produce 192X200 would be enough for 8X8 characters in a 24X25 display format. Hmmm... Built in LCD, some mini type keyboard would be a cool little machine.

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Looks like a cool project.

Postby Aaron Teeling » Sep Wed 24, 2008 7:34 pm

You build it and I of course will purchase one.

Not too familiar with the OSI 600... How will this compare with your Replica1 kit?

Looking over some of the collector sites, there was a floppy drive option. Any thoughts on developing a mass storage device similar to a 3.5" floppy?
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Re: Looks like a cool project.

Postby hanso » Sep Sun 28, 2008 2:35 am

Congrats Vince on your new toy!

Making a replica indeed will be complicated by the matrix keyboard.

Aaron Teeling wrote:You build it and I of course will purchase one.

Not too familiar with the OSI 600... How will this compare with your Replica1 kit?

Looking over some of the collector sites, there was a floppy drive option. Any thoughts on developing a mass storage device similar to a 3.5" floppy?


The OSI 600 was a lot more practical than the Apple 1. Microsoft Basic builtin, cassette interface, videoram instead of a terminal, simple graphics, with a full matrix based Qwerty keyboard. Add a case, call it the Challenger 1P and you have a first generation 8 bit hobby computer. With a price much lower than for example an Apple II.

Ohio Scientific sold a floppy disc interface and an operating system called OS65D. The floppy interface is quite non-standard, with a 6850 UART and a PIA, and the operating system a bit simple. If you want to see more of it, the dutch magazine Elekuur made a clone of that floppy interface, fit for OS65D, for their Junior project, which was a KIM-1 hardware clone.
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Postby xprt » Sep Sun 28, 2008 1:11 pm

Vince,
Oh my god. The superboard was the first computer I ever owned!
I bought it in the late '70s for I think it was $250. That's all I could afford at the time. It was the cheapest computer I could find that could actually do something without investing in a teletype or dumb terminal.

Later I bought the piggy back expansion board that added more RAM. I even bought the floppy drive.

The whole computer was designed for simplicity. The disk OS was ridiculously simple. The disk would spin continuously. The file system was hard formatted so you would store a file in position #1, read one from position #3, etc. Really awful.

I made some little hardware experiments with it. I modified the graphics for a simple block graphics mode (2 x 4 blocks for each character). I also hooked up a D/A converter for sound generation.

I had the assembler, the disk OS. I even bought a third party book of the whole OS disassembled and fully commented.

Typical story, I threw the whole thing away about 15 years ago.
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Postby nekonoko » Sep Mon 29, 2008 2:38 pm

vbriel wrote: I'll look into PhPBB 3 but it isn't an upgrade and looks like a nightmare.


Nah, it's pretty easy to do the upgrade - it even comes with a conversion script. Just make a backup of your phpBB2 database beforehand and you'll be fine.

Looking forward to more updates on this SBC - looks very promising!
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Not that you're busy....

Postby Aaron Teeling » Mar Sun 28, 2010 6:56 pm

I forgot about this...

... any future thoughts on an OSI 600 Replica?

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Postby vbriel » Mar Tue 30, 2010 11:12 pm

I'd love to. What stinks is I'd like to do it with the keyboard all built onboard, but custom keyboards are expensive to make. A project like this would take some planning, too many other things on the board right now.

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