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Dimension 68000

ushicow

Member
Joined
May 8, 2022
Messages
27
Location
Japan
Hi all,

I got a Dimension 68000. It didn't come with a keyboard, so I built a PS/2 to serial converter with an Arduino.
The floppy disk did not work due to many capacitors leaking, but only one of them worked after replacement.
Comes with 8086, Z80, and 6512 cards; IBM and CP/M-80 emulation worked, but Apple II emulation would not read the disk.

The Bitsavers' archive of manuals and disk images, as well as DimensionDude's YouTube videos, very helpful.

http://bitsavers.org/pdf/microCraft/
http://bitsavers.org/bits/MicroCraft/
https://www.youtube.com/user/DimensionDude/videos

Thanks,

- Atsushi
 

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ushicow

Member
Joined
May 8, 2022
Messages
27
Location
Japan
The Apple II emulation did not boot up because the disk drive was out of alignment when it was repaired.
The alignment of track 0 was adjusted and the DOS 3.3 MASTER Disk was successfully booted.
Due to the delicate adjustment, the other disks have not been able to boot.
Also, Gotek flashfloppy is now available as drive B.

- Atsushi
 

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ushicow

Member
Joined
May 8, 2022
Messages
27
Location
Japan
Nice, great work!. Is the PS/2 to serial converter, firmware and design, available somewhere?
I built the converter using the PS2KeyAdvanced library for Arduino and the Simple Test sketch example. The sketch file is attached.

- Atsushi
 

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Al Kossow

Documentation Wizard
Joined
Sep 1, 2006
Messages
3,380
Location
Silicon Valley
Hi all,

I got a Dimension 68000. It didn't come with a keyboard, so I built a PS/2 to serial converter with an Arduino.
The floppy disk did not work due to many capacitors leaking, but only one of them worked after replacement.
Comes with 8086, Z80, and 6512 cards; IBM and CP/M-80 emulation worked, but Apple II emulation would not read the disk.

The Bitsavers' archive of manuals and disk images, as well as DimensionDude's YouTube videos, very helpful.

http://bitsavers.org/pdf/microCraft/
http://bitsavers.org/bits/MicroCraft/
https://www.youtube.com/user/DimensionDude/videos

Thanks,

- Atsushi
Has anyone been able to contact DemensionDude?
He has a lot of stuff years ago, and used to post here.
 

Al Kossow

Documentation Wizard
Joined
Sep 1, 2006
Messages
3,380
Location
Silicon Valley
Are you in need of a hard disk controller board? He might have one.
I noticed that you made the observation I wasn't able to read to of the PALs on my board
It would also be really nice if the microcontroller in the original keytronic keyboard could be
dumped. As I recall, he had more that one. I don't have a keyboard for my machine.
 

ushicow

Member
Joined
May 8, 2022
Messages
27
Location
Japan
Are you in need of a hard disk controller board? He might have one.
I noticed that you made the observation I wasn't able to read to of the PALs on my board
It would also be really nice if the microcontroller in the original keytronic keyboard could be
dumped. As I recall, he had more that one. I don't have a keyboard for my machine.
If you do not care about the appearance, you can use an Arduino and substitute a PS/2 or USB keyboard.
The attached photo shows a Dimension 68000 keyboard listed on eBay a few years ago, with the same case as the IBM 5150 Keyboard, but with some different keytops.
 

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ushicow

Member
Joined
May 8, 2022
Messages
27
Location
Japan
The Apple II emulation did not boot up because the disk drive was out of alignment when it was repaired.
The alignment of track 0 was adjusted and the DOS 3.3 MASTER Disk was successfully booted.
Due to the delicate adjustment, the other disks have not been able to boot.
Also, Gotek flashfloppy is now available as drive B.

- Atsushi
The floppy disk drive was replaced and ProDOS now boots.
I got two SA455-2AA and tried them. I replaced the controller PCB of the SA-455 originally mounted with the PCB of the SA455-2AA. One "59.6.15" (59 means Showa era in Japan, manufactured June 15, 1984) can boot ProDOS and other software. The other "17May84DB" did not.
 

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ushicow

Member
Joined
May 8, 2022
Messages
27
Location
Japan
How to use the Shugart SA455-2AA PCB on the Dimension 68000.
A: Remove the terminator.
B: Replace SS jumper with SO.
C: Remove MD1 jumper.
D: Replace MM jumper with MS.
E: Set DS jumper to desired drive number.
 

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ushicow

Member
Joined
May 8, 2022
Messages
27
Location
Japan
I got a utility disk for Apple II emulation, which allows file exchange between Apple II and CP/M.
 

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fritzeflink

Experienced Member
Joined
May 19, 2014
Messages
207
Location
germany
A nice system which i have now heard from a friend. He has DOS and CP/M86 on a Tulin 226 hard drive. The hard disk has problems starting up, but I could now create raw images with David Gesswein's MFM Emulator.
Hopefully David will be able to add the controller to the MFM EMU software, but that will take some times he told.

We tried to get in contact with DemensionDude but nothing happendy.
 

Al Kossow

Documentation Wizard
Joined
Sep 1, 2006
Messages
3,380
Location
Silicon Valley
We tried to get in contact with DemensionDude but nothing happendy.

I gave up as well trying to get him to dump the keyboard firmware
Dave is very good at supporting new mfm disk formats. Hopefully an image will be available soon. Hard disk Dimensions were quite rare
 

ushicow

Member
Joined
May 8, 2022
Messages
27
Location
Japan
A nice system which i have now heard from a friend. He has DOS and CP/M86 on a Tulin 226 hard drive. The hard disk has problems starting up, but I could now create raw images with David Gesswein's MFM Emulator.
Hopefully David will be able to add the controller to the MFM EMU software, but that will take some times he told.

We tried to get in contact with DemensionDude but nothing happendy.
I hope you are able to retrieve the MFM image and boot it.

I recently found a system with a hard drive on eBay. The seller once accepted my offer, but unfortunately has since rescinded it. It doesn't seem to be bootable, but it is an unusual system.

https://web.archive.org/web/20230614103327/https://www.ebay.com/itm/166147279861
 

fritzeflink

Experienced Member
Joined
May 19, 2014
Messages
207
Location
germany
With the hard drive the Dimension 68000 booted well but then the harddrive has problems to start. For some of the old harddrives the ball bearing grease has dried up.
The hard drive must be warmed up so that it rotates more easily and the target speed is reached.

As it booted perfect some weeks ago there is a good chance for booting well with the MFM Reader/Emulator by David.
 

fritzeflink

Experienced Member
Joined
May 19, 2014
Messages
207
Location
germany
David added the Dimension-68000 format to the mfm/emu and I got a complete read from the hd.
I used mfm_util to make the emu-file(s) and next we will try to get the dimension-68000 running with the mfm/emu emulation.
 

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shirsch

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2008
Messages
769
Location
Burlington, VT
I would love to get my hands on a Dimension 68k hard disk controller. After many attempts at contacting DimensionDude I received a single reply to the effect that he had more boards but didn't know if they worked. After that, crickets...
 

fritzeflink

Experienced Member
Joined
May 19, 2014
Messages
207
Location
germany
ushicow and Al Kossow should have the images now.

I'm nor shure - to much mailing - if some of them has tested the image. If yes please let us know.
 

ushicow

Member
Joined
May 8, 2022
Messages
27
Location
Japan
ushicow and Al Kossow should have the images now.

I'm nor shure - to much mailing - if some of them has tested the image. If yes please let us know.
I do not have the hard disk controller, so I could not try to mount it directly on my Dimension 68000, but I was able to retrieve all the files from the disk image.
 
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