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Slicer 80186

falter

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2011
Messages
6,620
Location
Vancouver, BC
Haven't been buying much lately. I think I've grown weary of spending many hundreds or thousands for obsolete gear, for one thing. But also I'm trying to contain collecting by not spending more than my little Youtube channel produces income wise in a month, which is usually a few hundred bucks. Thankfully it's a new month, and this Slicer 80186 machine dropped into my feed. Every time I think I've put together an exhaustive list of 80186 based personal computers something else jumps up!

Haven't seen any sales of these in the recent past - nothing on Worthpoint either. The price was $250USD, just inside my budget, and I thought that was fair for what it is. I'm glad bitsavers has some disk images and such archived. Guess I'll have to save up for an 8" floppy drive next and figure out how to write some disks.

One of the Molex power connectors looks a bit toasted.. hopefully the machine isn't.

Anyone out there have or once had one of these?
 

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I had a slicer in the early 1980's. Nice system, but the dual dram sockets were problematic. That looks like a great system as it has some of the expansion boards that would have made it more IBM PC compatible. Look at the old ad's in Micro Cornucopia. I would have gladly paid $250 for that system...
 
One thing I'm curious about is why they went with 8" for floppy drive support.. wouldn't 1983 be a bit late in the game for that? Esp if you were offering expansions to make it somewhat PC compatible.
 
I admit I'm a bit intimidated by the idea of buying an 8" drive.. not really sure what to look for. I'm assuming any externally enclosed 'general purpose' unit would do.
 
I may be wrong but you should be able to use a high density drive (5.25"") to write out those 8 inch images to.
 
I believe you can also configure certain 3.5" drives like the Samsung SFD-321B to behave like an 8" drive if nothing else is available.
 
According to this 1995 Byte review, it has 5.25 and 8 floppy capability. When I looked through that article, what came to mind is that this was a bridge machine for CP/M and-to MS-DOS. My early recollections at that time was that the CP/M crowd were the 8" users. Maybe bridge isn't the right term but it had intentional appeal to either CP/M or MS-DOS users.
 
The price was $250USD, just inside my budget, and I thought that was fair for what it is. I'm glad bitsavers has some disk images and such archived. Guess I'll have to save up for an 8" floppy drive next and figure out how to write some disks.

FWIW, a 1.2Mb 5.25" floppy like those used in IBM PC/AT compatibles is the same geometry and rotational speed (360 RPM, instead of the 300 used by normal 5.25" drives and most 3.5" drives) as an 8" drive, so if all Bitsavers has is 8" format disk images you might be able to just use one of those. The floppy cable attached to this mess looks like a 5.25" one, not an 8" one.

... That said, the readme file in the directory on bitsavers seems to indicate that most of these disk images are normal 40 track 5.25" images, so for your purposes the 8" thing is a red herring?
 
Yeah, I was just going off the manual on bitsavers on page 5 - it said presently the 8" was what was supported. Maybe that changed later? I note that other sources indicate it has a 34 pin connector specifically for 5.25". It'd be odd not to support those drives I would think by 1983. So hopefully it's just a matter of writing some disks and away we go.
 
Finally brought this home.. what a nice little unit! The stacked RAM on the mainboard looks so cool although I've heard it was problematic. I can't wait to fire it up. And the seller packed it to perfection. 6 inches of foam board all the way around on all sides plus bubble wrap. I love when people take care with things.

Anyway here's some more of my own pics. The 5.25" drive is mine. It seems like an ST506 and appropriate controller card would work with this, although on deeper reading IBM formatted single or double sided floppies apparently work great. Really curious to see what CPM and DOS software it can actually run.
 

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Couple more pics..
 

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