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British Columbia Altair 8800bt Parts

British Columbia

falter

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2011
Messages
6,532
Location
Vancouver, BC
Hi!

I have an Altair 8800bt case, PSU and turnkey card. I am trying to find an 8800b CPU card and the turnkey PCB along with the front dress panel.

I was bidding on an 8800b CPU card but for some reason they seem to go for $400+ in the usual crazy bidding wars - I've seen complete turnkey machines go for well less than $1000, so not really down with spending $500 per part to bring this one back. I'm wondering if there are any repro 8800b CPU cards in the works.. that would make it much more economical to restore this thing.
 

hmb

Experienced Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2019
Messages
286
Hi!

I have an Altair 8800bt case, PSU and turnkey card. I am trying to find an 8800b CPU card and the turnkey PCB along with the front dress panel.

I was bidding on an 8800b CPU card but for some reason they seem to go for $400+ in the usual crazy bidding wars - I've seen complete turnkey machines go for well less than $1000, so not really down with spending $500 per part to bring this one back. I'm wondering if there are any repro 8800b CPU cards in the works.. that would make it much more economical to restore this thing.
A few thoughts...

Using a "replacement" CPU board is far easier with the 8800bt than the 8800b. The CPU board for the 8800b has requirements specifically required to work with the 8800b front panel and 8800b front panel interface board, and the original 8800 CPU board cannot easily be modified to work with it. The CPU board for the 8800bt, on the other hand, just requires standard S100 bus signals to work with the turnkey PCB. My recommendation is that you build the JAIR 8080 CPU board. There are no 8800b CPU board reproductions in the works.

By "turnkey PCB" I assume you are referring to the S100 board with the jumpstart ROM and serial port on it? That, along with the original dress panel, is likely going to be very difficult to find separately. If you use the JAIR CPU board, you really don't need the "turnkey PCB". The dress panel you will likely need to make yourself.
 
Last edited:

falter

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2011
Messages
6,532
Location
Vancouver, BC
A few thoughts...

Using a "replacement" CPU board is far easier with the 8800bt than the 8800b. The CPU board for the 8800b has requirements specifically required to work with the 8800b front panel and 8800b front panel interface board, and the original 8800 CPU board cannot easily be modified to work with it. The CPU board for the 8800bt, on the other hand, just requires standard S100 bus signals to work with the turnkey PCB. My recommendation is that you build the JAIR 8080 CPU board. There are no 8800b CPU board reproductions in the works.

By "turnkey PCB" I assume you are referring to the S100 board with the jumpstart ROM and serial port on it? That, along with the original dress panel, is likely going to be very difficult to find separately. If you use the JAIR CPU board, you really don't need the "turnkey PCB". The dress panel you will likely need to make yourself.
Many thanks. That's a good idea re the JAIR board. By 'turnkey PCB' I mean the small board the reset/halt switches, LEDs and keyswitch mount to. I expect those will be very hard to find.

The dress panel could be reproduced I suppose.. not really much to it. Just would need a good quality, correct perspective pic of one.
 

hmb

Experienced Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2019
Messages
286
Many thanks. That's a good idea re the JAIR board. By 'turnkey PCB' I mean the small board the reset/halt switches, LEDs and keyswitch mount to. I expect those will be very hard to find.

The dress panel could be reproduced I suppose.. not really much to it. Just would need a good quality, correct perspective pic of one.
Since that small "turnkey PCB" has only 2 simple logic ICs, five LEDs, and two toggle switches and the schematic is readily available, making your own (even with point to point wiring on a piece of perfboard) is a relatively simple project.
 
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