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Mostek/Fairchild F8 Evaluation Kit board, looking for pinout diagram

MikeS

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Joined
Dec 23, 2005
Messages
7,478
Location
Toronto ON Canada
Excellent find!

Looks like a different (earlier?) edition of the Programming Guide than mine but probably just without the 3870. I got in touch with the fellow to whom I'd sent mine but he's been out of the country for a while; hopefully he'll still find the time to scan/forward them when he gets back.
 

1944GPW

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Joined
Apr 26, 2011
Messages
632
Location
Brisbane, Australia
Dwight, thanks for the comment about front panels. I had a vague and simplistic notion that I could perhaps deposit a value into the bank of 2102 memory from a bunch of switches and some pullup-pulldown logic for both the address lines and the data, and just have the DEPosit switch operate Chip Select and Write momentarily. Sort of 'hammer it in' directly :) Not sure if that's the proper thing to do though. Anyway I don't think I'll be doing this.

R_F: thank you for the pointers on some more F8 docs, it all helps.

MikeS: the more doco the merrier.

Well, as I mentioned a bit earlier, I finally found my original kit assembly and component layout documentation on the F8 Evaluation Kit board, which was the reason I started this thread in the first place. I've scanned it and turned it into a 6Mb PDF. I've put it up on my home server at http://202.63.50.228/F8/Fairchild_F8_Kit_1_VERAS_SYSTEMS_kit_assembly_manual.pdf for anyone that wants to get a similar F8 board running.

Steve.
 
Last edited:

seanriddle

New Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2012
Messages
4

seanriddle

New Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2012
Messages
4
Dwight, thanks for the comment about front panels. I had a vague and simplistic notion that I could perhaps deposit a value into the bank of 2102 memory from a bunch of switches and some pullup-pulldown logic for both the address lines and the data, and just have the DEPosit switch operate Chip Select and Write momentarily. Sort of 'hammer it in' directly :) Not sure if that's the proper thing to do though. Anyway I don't think I'll be doing this.

R_F: thank you for the pointers on some more F8 docs, it all helps.

MikeS: the more doco the merrier.

Well, as I mentioned a bit earlier, I finally found my original kit assembly and component layout documentation on the F8 Evaluation Kit board, which was the reason I started this thread in the first place. I've scanned it and turned it into a 6Mb PDF. I've put it up on my home server at http://202.63.50.228/F8/Fairchild_F8_Kit_1_VERAS_SYSTEMS_kit_assembly_manual.pdf for anyone that wants to get a similar F8 board running.

Steve.

Steve-

Do you have the source and/or object code for F8 Tiny BASIC from your picture? It would be fun to port to the VideoBrain.

Thanks-

Sean
 

1944GPW

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Joined
Apr 26, 2011
Messages
632
Location
Brisbane, Australia
Sean,
I do have the complete article from Dr Dobbs. It's 'Tiny BASIC for the F8' by Jerry D Fox, from Issue #39 October 1979. Unfortunately the copy I have was done over thirty years ago on a very very contrasty machine and some of the source pages are extremely difficult to read to the point of being almost illegible. Dr Dobbs published collected yearbook volumes of these early issues, and a bit of googling shows that Volume Four is the one, so that would be the easiest and best way to get a readable version.

Steve.
 

seanriddle

New Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2012
Messages
4
Steve-

Thanks. I'll keep looking. I'll let you know if I find something.

Sean

Sean,
I do have the complete article from Dr Dobbs. It's 'Tiny BASIC for the F8' by Jerry D Fox, from Issue #39 October 1979. Unfortunately the copy I have was done over thirty years ago on a very very contrasty machine and some of the source pages are extremely difficult to read to the point of being almost illegible. Dr Dobbs published collected yearbook volumes of these early issues, and a bit of googling shows that Volume Four is the one, so that would be the easiest and best way to get a readable version.

Steve.
 

VintageComputerman

Veteran Member
Joined
May 26, 2007
Messages
661
Location
WNY
Chuck,
That..... is..... incredible! That's it!!!!! That's the circuit diagram I remember, and the pinouts I need, and the FAIRBUG manual, and a whole bunch of other stuff too! Ah, it's mindboggling thinking about the power of the Internet and a forum like this, and bitsavers.
Thank you again Chuck for your _amazingly_ fast response, I am really really grateful! :) :)

Steve

That's why this is the best vintage computer message board on the internet.
 

Dwight Elvey

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Joined
Jun 21, 2003
Messages
4,753
Location
Santa Cruz
Dwight-

Some work is going on in that area:

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/channel_f_and_videobrain/
http://www.seanriddle.com/videobrain.html
http://www.seanriddle.com/vbinfo.html

We're looking for the APL/S cart to dump, and then I think that's all known carts.

Sean

Hi Sean
Thanks for this work. This is all the info I'd been looking for. Sorry I'd not
replied before, I'd been off on other projects for a while.
I was told that someone was working on a BASIC cartridge for the VB
but it never got done. I'd thought about a Forth for it but never had the time
to trace things out or find the information needed. I think that now I might be able
to make some progress. The RAM is rather limited but with some bank switching,
something could be done.
I have to dig my box out and see what I might fiddle with.
Dwight
 

Webfilter

New Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2013
Messages
2
Location
Austin, TX
Hi Steve,...
I would be interested in the board layout (component placement). Any other info about the F8 Evaluation Kit would be great if you can post somewhere.
(It's a long story...)
Thanks,
Steve S.
 

1944GPW

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2011
Messages
632
Location
Brisbane, Australia
G'day Steve,
No worries, send me a PM and I'll send you the PDF of my F8 evaluation kit instructions which includes the plug pinouts, paper tape format, FAIRBUG commands and I/O routines, TTY and RS232 strapping, circuit diagram and the board component layout. I did offer it to the bitsavers guy for inclusion in that fabulous archive but never received a response, shame really as this info is essential to the Fairchild/Veras F8 Evaluation Kit and is not in the other F8 docs AFAIK.
I have to get back to my own kit sometime as I realised I misinterpreted the diagram and wired it incorrectly after I saw an identical kit on eBay early this year that luckily (a) had the edge connector socket attached to it and (b) enough sufficiently high resolution photos so the pinouts could be followed.

Steve.
 

Webfilter

New Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2013
Messages
2
Location
Austin, TX
Hi Steve,...
Wow! That was fast,... I just noticed your response tonight. By "PM", did you mean "Private Mail"? I would love to have the PDF of the Evaluation Kit... It turns out that I built a Senior Project in College that was centered around the F8 Microprocessor. It was intended to store characters to be printed by a dot matrix printer and I had to program the F8 to send the appropriate signals to a bipolar driver that energized a set of 8 printer needles and impact the ribbon as the motor scanned the head along the paper. At the end of the project, I had an EPROM programmed with character info, machine code to fetch the data in response to a teletype or RS-232 and was able to get the printer to sort-of work, but never really completed the project. My Professor gave me an "A" for the project and I was surprised,... how generous of you, professor! "Don't worry, I said, I'll come back and complete the printer project" The professor just laughed and said, "A funny thing about Seniors after they graduate,... they never seem to come back!" Well, I just found my old Evaluation Board and a kit of parts and I decided after (several umpteen) years,... I am going to finish this project!
 
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