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Any running AM1000 or AM1200 out there?

curbie

Experienced Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2019
Messages
96
I recently bought an AM1000 listed as for parts or repair, and I intend to repair this little guy. Does anyone have a running AM1000 or AM1200? What I'm doing now is signal tracing "WHAT IF" theories, trying to either prove them right or wrong, thereby isolating the problem directing, or by a process of elimination. One of the theories I'm currently chasing is a bad boot prom, which brings me back to the original question, back in the stone age I did more than a little repair/upgrade work on Alpha Micros, and still have a few megabytes of notes/code including a program I wrote to dump boot code to a file, which is the reason for the need for a running AM1000 or AM1200, I'd like someone to dump their boot prom for me.

Thanks for any help you can provide.

Curbie
 

curbie

Experienced Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2019
Messages
96
Hi Classic, this place turned up in a search motor while looking for old familiar Alpha Micro folks.
 

curbie

Experienced Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2019
Messages
96
http://http://bitsavers.org/pdf/alphaMicrosystems/am-1000/AM-1000-09_1988/firmware/

were there ever schematics around for the systems?

I was also curious if the AM-1100 was just an AM-1200 with the 68451 MMU or if there were
any 1000's that were built with the cartridge tape interface populated.
Schematics, yes, but you had to buy them, and they weren't cheap.
I was told by Alpha Micro at the time, that, that we were one of the largest dealers in terms of sales, and in terms of maintenance, we had hundreds of monthly maintenance contracts, and if I remember correctly, over 1800 doctors on our systems, and have only seen an AM1100 at alpha micro corporate, I don't know what market demand the were trying to fill, or who would have created it (not us), but I suspect Alpha Micro was trying to woo some Unix customer that never took the bait.

I didn't really have any experience with much of Alpha Micro's oddball stuff. We stuck to pretty generic configurations, although highly expended, 3.5 Mb. mem boards, 16 port serial boards, AM1001s and large disk expansion, and 68020 & 68030 cpu upgrades, basically competed with IBM's (and did well) in the medical community.

Cartridge tape interface... I think I recall seeing see a few... if I recall the AM625, a separate board and like the AM213, mounted to the four screw lugs on top of the power supply cover, I think, 40 years can play with my mind.

http://bitsavers.org/pdf/alph...1988/firmware/ is 404, what was it?
 

curbie

Experienced Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2019
Messages
96

Well after just ignoring the malformed/dead Bitsavers URL that was causing the 404 error, I went to http://bitsavers.org and just tried to follow links to anything Alpha Micro, and BINGO, found some claimed Alpha Micro boot prom images, a dump shows some Alpha Micro diagnostic ascii which is a very good sign. A big THANK YOU to Al Kossow!
I may be able to prove this "WHAT IF" theory right or wrong fairly quickly.

curbie
 

curbie

Experienced Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2019
Messages
96
I know it’s been a long time, I’m painfully slow but also painfully persistent, and just yesterday, thanks to the work of a board member here, my little AM1000 is now spitting out a baby ‘b’ to the status display.

Wasn’t expecting it... then I had a hair dryer pointed at the AM1000 fan hole, connected to a PID, set at 100 degrees F, and after it got there and settled for an hour, I tried to spin up the drive. The first 100 degree spin up attempt didn't spin up my pre-reef 10mb CMI, so up to 105 degrees for hour and repeat, that got the drive to spin up, but I don't hear the initial stepper motor head launch. So I let this drive heat soak @ 100 degrees F all night, but still no initial stepper motor head launch this morning.

now I'm going to copy these known-good boot proms, and think on this drive more.

Boy, I haven’t had a feeling like that (seeing the baby ‘b’ pop up), in 20 years, good times.

Curbie
 

curbie

Experienced Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2019
Messages
96
The concluding post to this thread, thanks to members on this board, and the boot drive they setup for me, my little AM1000 is up and running well now.

After two additional repair cycles, (schematics and logic probe, find part online and order it then wait for it to show up, install then run through paces), this Alpha now “feels” fine, and hasn’t popped a single parity error since the last fix over two weeks ago.

So now I’m back at the scsi2sd, it doesn’t seem possible that scsi2sd has been out there that long, gone though that many revisions, has such a following, gets good reviews, and still has basic flaws. So I bought another identical Maxtor LXT-213SY as my existing boot drive, to setup as a secondary drive and low and behold… the exact same 255 block logical unit problem as a secondary drive as with the scsi2sd, smells like a Alpha software bomb!

I’m going to carry on trying to get the Alpha and scsi2sd to play nice, and/or chasing a viable backup scheme, but those updates won’t be on this thread, maybe on my “SASI drive replacement” thread, or maybe on a new Alpha backup thread depending on what I find?



Thanks to ALL that helped me get this far.

Curbie
 

ClassicHasClass

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2013
Messages
1,572
Location
Sunny So Cal
Excellent!

What was the issue with the scsi2sd? I'm thinking of setting up one on my Eagle 450, but this is rather newer and is true SCSI. It helps that I can boot it off my E300's backup tape.
 

curbie

Experienced Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2019
Messages
96
hi classic,

haven't chased down the exact problem with the Amos/l or scsi2sd yet, will post my findings when I do. I'm gearing up for a long haul, don’t think I’ll have the direct answers anytime soon, my suspicion is I’ll have to re-write some stuff, and that will take some time.

I suppose trying to revive my MFM drive might/could work, which is scheduled to happen next week but I’m not holding my breath, same thing with finding a suitable used one to test a suspicion I have.

Never the less, they are just all puzzles to be solved to me. The scsi2sd would seem to solve both drive and backup issues with the same fix, which makes it so appealing to me.


Will post when/if I find the issue.


Curbie
 
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