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Stunning Motorola 68000 system made by Computer System Associates USA circa 1984

inotarobot

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Hi all,

Well back in Feb 2014 I purchased a stunning Motorola 68000 system made by Computer System Associates (CSA), 7562 Trade Street, San Diego, CA 92121.

It appears they are no longer in business. I have seen ads for them in some of the old 1980 period magazines. I posed this back in Feb 2014 in the Companies section, and actually in Sept the same year I got a reply from the founder of Computer System Associates. I totally missed his reply. I only noticed it yesterday when I went searching for the pic of the machine running. I have actually just started to chat with him. Mind you that 3 year lapse in seeing his reply, may make getting some data difficult as one of his associates is now now well enough to recall details I am searching for.

Now April 2017, I am finally getting around to powering unit back up and getting pics online

This is my unit running.

VWuriXS.jpg


They must have made a few units as mine has a serial number A 001396. I have seen, mentioned on this site, one other very incomplete unit that was for sale on ebay a few years back.

The workmanship and quality of the system I got, tells me they were Perfectionists, and I cannot believe someone, somewhere, does not have documents and hopefully Source Code for the onboard CSA Firmware.

My unit uses a Motorola MC6800ECB (educational computer board) for the CPU/ Memory and a CSA purpose built Display and Keyboard PCB (68000 00106J, Serial number B1284) mounted above it. This is covered by a hinged 'Smoked" plastic cover that is white silk screen printed with functional identifers for the various readouts.

This Display and Keyboard PCB has a 'Serial Display Interface" daughter board (00675 S/N 1439) that has an Intel C8751H-12, that is handling the interface between the 68000 and the 20 key keyboard, the 6 rows of 7 segment displays and 4 rows of 16 leds; that display the internal states of the 68K as it runs.


I am looking for someone that has the source code for the Display Processor on the upper PCB. It is contained in an Intel C8751H-12 micro, with a label over the Eprom window reading "Display 992-00233-1". Have tried reading it on a few Programers and get different check sums on subsequent reads. Tried burning a blank Intel C8751H-12, but no joy as it just runs 'a random code', flashing all the leds and 7 segments. I assume the security bit was set in the original CSA C8751H micro, after it had been programmed.

CSA also have a pair of eprom on the Main 68000 board labeled PETEBUG U10 992-00220 & U11.. 992-00221.

It seems to get repeatable reads on these with check sums for U10 being AB45 and U11 ...7A63

Will try and upload more photo shortly.

Any help will be appreciated.

regards
David Broadbent
Melbourne, Australia
 
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inotarobot

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Amazing how the time flies. I posted the original post Feb 2014, and here it is April 2017.

And I am only now posting more pics now

MEXhjwx.jpg


So why was it in a HP silk screened logo'd leather case ? The case certainly seems to be made to fit it perfectly.

bnXbge8.jpg


VWuriXS.jpg


A0V1NIe.jpg


Notice the hardwood timber sides.
 

inotarobot

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Here are more pics

Serial number
6aB0TvY.jpg



This one you can see the two pcb of the unit.

Lower one is a Motorola M68000 educational computer MEX68KECB, while the upper board is the Display Board by Computer Systems Associate, USA

It provides an amazingly detailed look at the inner working of the MEX68KECB

KALTWIs.jpg
 

inotarobot

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When I got this unit it had 3 different ROM sets.

One I assume is the standard Motorola Tutor Roms

XqiNJFF.jpg


Second is the PETEBUG which I gather is CSA's own version of a OS for the unit and allows the Display to show up

zDZyi6O.jpg




Third is rom pair marked Silicon Software by Hunter and Ready Inc. Up till a few mins ago I had no idea on them.

dqYJE9g.jpg


Now from MISS Google I find the following snippet

"Silicon software: real-time program foundation 14. ... Hunter & Ready have developed the VRTX family of silicon software components which combines advanced real-time operating system functions ... Hunter & Ready, Inc. 445 Sherman Ave."

So I guess I will now hunt down more info on this.
 

inotarobot

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HELP needed please

Well I CAN NOT believe this was the only one of these CSA made. Especially when you look at the quality of the Display PCB, and the Silk Screen work on the top Perspex cover.

Q1. I am asking all here have you seen another one ??

If so, could get still access to it ?? Would you be willing to try and see if you can get the owner to provide some information from it ? Even just photos and serial numbers, eprom sticker details, would be good.


Q2. Do you know whom wrote the code in the Display Intel C8751H-12 micro, with a label over the Eprom window reading "Display 992-00233-1" ?????

Recently I have been exchanging IM's with the original President/Founder, of Computer System Associates (CSA), whom believes this unit was made post him leaving CSA in 1987. He does NOT feel anyone he knew, wrote the C8751H code. Vic thinks it may have been some one from HP that could have written the Intel chips code, and this unit was made as a 68000 trainer for them. Sadly the gentleman Pete, whom wrote the 'Petebug' rom code is too ill to recall anything from that time of his working life. As I of writing this, I have to assume none of CSA's early works were saved to some external now accessible public archive.

This chip has the security bit blown, so its near (but maybe not impossible using 'aggressive means') to take a back up of. However at this moment that is toooooo much of risk. Other way is to spend time with my Tek Prism 3000 and the logic probes and just explore and write some code myself. However I lack on thing.. TIME.

So hence my asking all of you for help.

regards
David
 
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Pt68k5

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Motorola 68000 system made by Computer System Associates USA circa 1984

Motorola 68000 system made by Computer System Associates USA circa 1984

Can you post copies of the different eprom sets I have a cpu board and would like to play with.

Thanks Tony
 

Pt68k5

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Hello, I am looking to get hex file copies of the different eproms that you have for the main 68000 board

Thanks Tony
 

inotarobot

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Can you post copies of the different eprom sets I have a cpu board and would like to play with.

Thanks Tony

Hi Tony,

I thought I had uploaded the eprom images to Bitsavers.org either under the Computing archive group, as code for CSA. But there not there.These would have been the eproms for the
MEX68KECB to drive the CSA daughter board and the code of the Eprom on the CSA Display daughter board. This daughter board eprom is currently refusing to read, due to the security bit being set. However I am working to change that.

As to the eproms for the MEX68KECB look as per the following link.
Let me know how you go/

regards
David

http://www.bitsavers.org/components/motorola/68000/MEX68KECB/
 

inotarobot

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Hello, I am looking to get hex file copies of the different eproms that you have for the main 68000 board

Thanks Tony

Hi again Tony,

this wonderful system is currently in storage in my 40ft storage semi-trailer that's parked at a remote location to my home.

My Saab 9-5 car just blew a head gasket 3 days back while I was 2hrs from home, so until I can pick it up 4 days from now with a loaned car and car trailer and then replace head gasket, I am not in a position to go and get into my storage unit to get the Motorola system, so as to copy eproms.

I think I had sent the Petebug eprom copy to another member here, but that was a while back.

I cannot do anything for you before the 7th June 2019, but will try and see if I have copy of the HEX files on an old PC in my Computer room on this coming Saturday.

regards
David
 

Pt68k5

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Hello David

any luck on coping the eproms

Also did you ever connect this to a serial port, and if so what shows up on the screen

Thanks Tony
 

Pt68k5

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Hello anyone

David are you out there, I am still waiting to see if you have had any time to get the info and post it

I have gotten one of these off of ebay, But it is missing the eproms and the c8751h
I am working on making schematics of the serial display board along with the display and keypad board.

Any info that is shown when connected to a serial terminal would be great along with the different eprom files

Thanks Tony
 

inotarobot

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https://www.ebay.com/itm/CSA-Micro-...San-Diego-1981-VINTAGE-/143691812792#viTabs_0

This earlier version of my machine came up on eBay and located Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States and it's s/n is 001061 whereas mine is s/n 001396

Seller says it "Powers ON"... Sigh

No display as its certainly does not have the 68000 installed in ZIP socket.

Does appear to have 2 by M2732 eproms (but no ID info on the labels on them), and 2 by HM6116 rams installed.. so maybe it will run by adding a 68000 processor


S6i75z0.jpg


62dBZVL.jpg


I have put all the sellers pics here. Note I have NO affiliation with this seller.

https://imgur.com/a/HVRcl23
 
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nikola-wan

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David,

I did a bit of searching and CSA did two accelerator boards for the Amiga, a Derringer030 and a Mega-Midget Racer.

Here is an ad for the CSA Micro 68000 in "MICRO" magazine found in archive.org:

attachment.php


The Motorola MC68000 Educational Computer looks like a close relative, and there are posts on vcfed about this computer.

Manual for it is on bitsavers:
http://www.bitsavers.org/components/motorola/68000/MEX68KECB/MEX68KECB_D2_EduCompBd_Jul82.pdf

And falter has been working on one and posted the Tutor code. You might be able to bring up your CSA board with code from the Motorola Educational Computer.

Another search turned up an auction from August where three CSA Micro 68000 were sold.
attachment.php


I think this was the auction I bought an 8-inch Shugart Floppy Drive for $10 to replace a drive in my Tektronix 4907 Floppy system.

Monty
 
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dluck

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CSA made several variations of accelerator boards for the Amiga computer. I remember in 1985 I convinced Commodore Execs to buy us one plug in 68020 to 68000 socket adapter that I saw them advertise in EDN or some other trade mag. I gave it to Carl since he was still working on the Amiga kernel, and there he made a few changes to handle mainly the changes in the interrupt stack so the software would be able to tolerate a 68020. After the release of the Amiga CSA decided to make custom hardware for the Amiga computer, primarily to address users that really wanted to beef up their computing power, especially if the 68881 fp coprocessor was added. And then there was ray tracing.
I spent some time with the CSA guys and would surely like to get back in touch with any of them.
dale
 

inotarobot

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CSA made several variations of accelerator boards for the Amiga computer. I remember in 1985 I convinced Commodore Execs to buy us one plug in 68020 to 68000 socket adapter that I saw them advertise in EDN or some other trade mag. I gave it to Carl since he was still working on the Amiga kernel, and there he made a few changes to handle mainly the changes in the interrupt stack so the software would be able to tolerate a 68020. After the release of the Amiga CSA decided to make custom hardware for the Amiga computer, primarily to address users that really wanted to beef up their computing power, especially if the 68881 fp coprocessor was added. And then there was ray tracing.
I spent some time with the CSA guys and would surely like to get back in touch with any of them.
dale

Hi Dale, its quite a few years back and I will need to dig deep into my Yahoo mails, but the last I recall was a conversation with someone associated with CSA telling me the ""main programmer"" was suffering with Alzheimer's and would likely not have a clue about things in his past.
I should have posted the info into this post at the time, because just maybe it might have helped some here. Possibly even got someone close to him to follow on and try.
 

Pt68k5

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Feb 18, 2010
Messages
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Hello
I got this off of ebay and installed a 68000 cpu and it is dead so I think the eproms on the board are not for booting it. I have tried changing locations with on luck. did you ever get copies of the eproms form the other version of this?

Tony
 

gottahack

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May 14, 2022
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Hi, David. I have one of these, also in a HP briefcase, but mine doesn't work and no display comes up. I bought it at a flea market many years ago, but just pulled it out of storage and was looking around for info and found this thread.
 
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