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I have all this stuff and I don't know what to do with it


Sinphaltimus
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I am definitely a bit overwhelmed right now. Another 99er here was kind enough to offer all his stuff for cost of shipping and I jumped on it (with borrowed cash).

Everything appears to be in top notch well preserved condition. Working condition of everything is unknown but all the major hardware is in the original boxes and all the manuals and disks appear to be in proper order and then some. I mean, there's booklets for what appears to be every chip in the console, large thin paper sheets of the schematics, etc...

The TI itself is known to have half the keys on the keyboard not functioning. This was already another topic discussion. Not looking to fix the KB although I will take a closer look at it myself.

 

However, I have all this stuff and don't know where to start. The PEB has the disk controller and 32k memory inside. The flex cable interface is not installed, there is what appears to be a ground cable maybe coming out of the part that connects to the console. It looks deliberate and it's yellow. It doesn't connect to anything. post-47352-0-75115400-1472078509_thumb.jpg I'll have to RTFMs to see if there is any mention of it etc.. The floppy drives are not installed and my guess is t half heights go in the fill height bay.

I'm going to be moving really slowly with this stuff. and probably spend days reading manuals before I even begin assembling anything.

I am going to have so many questions (yes I will google first, yes I will search the forums first) that I thought it might be appropriate to have my own comment discussion to keep all the info consolidated. Might be someone in my footsteps not far behind can benefit as much from this as I have already reading so many threads here.


I want to code in assembly. That's my goal. But I've got a long way to go and I'm in no rush. I'm having fun with XB right now and I'm OK with that for the time being until I wrap up my ZOMBi game. So for now, here's the list of what I have received followed by several questions.

 

Here's what I have:

  • TI-99/4A (black & silver)
  • original black keyboard (about half the keys work)
  • two tan keyboards from Radio Shack (not working at all)
  • speech synthesizer
  • Zenith 12" green monitor
  • PEB (Not INstalled)
  • TI disk controller card (installed in PEB)
  • TI memory expansion card (Installed in PEB)
  • full height 5.25" floppy drive (Not INstalled)
  • two half-height 5.25" floppy drives (Not INstalled)
  • GE cassette deck ("Computer Program Data Recorder") (Not INstalled)
  • pair of TI joysticks (Not INstalled)
  • Spectravision QuickShot joystick (First thing I will install.)
  • cartridges: Parsec, Mini Memory, Extended BASIC, Music Maker, Pole Position, Star Trek, Editor/Assembler, Disk Manager 2
  • disks: Editor/Assembler, TI Forth
  • cassettes: Line-by-line assembler, Republic Software Utilities I
  • manuals for pretty much everything, including TI service manuals with schematics

First question; the joysticks. They are in a box with a little silver box that has a switch on it. What the heck is that switch box and how do I use it? I would think the joysticks just get plugged directly in to the TI, then I saw this thing. Looks like it is meant to plug in to the console and two joysticks can plug in to it. (picture attached)

post-47352-0-00315700-1472078707_thumb.jpg

Next question. I suppose I need to install these floppies in to the peb first. I think I can figure that out no problem. Also no problem on the interface card either I don't think. Is there any specific order these things should be in. Right now the disk controller is next to the full height bay and the 32k memory is in the furthest slot from that. Does it matter where the flex cable interface card goes?

Then what? Plug it in to my TI, turn it on first, then turn on my TI and type size to see of the ram works?

Correct me if I'm mistaken (again I have a lot of RTFMs to do.) but for me to be able to use the floppy drives I will need a special cartridge installed to format them first correct? Then after that I can load dsk1 and dsk2 like in emulation?

And the mini memory module, I read about that, seems a little gem I should crack open and change the battery on before using it. Will do, but I have to wonder, this is a cart with storage capabilities, is there anyway to increase that storage and edit the embedded programs to be able to access it?

Whew, that's it for now I guess.

Attached are a pic of the flex cable wire and switch box thing.

This is more than I could ever have wished for. I'm so excited to be here.

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Lucky ....... I am after a PEB, fully loaded and TI FORTH.

 

 

I know and am grateful for it. I feel like I arrived at just the right time.

 

Ask around if anyone is willing to part with a PEB for cost of shipping? I'm surprised that the offer came across my desk twice already and I jumped on it. You might get lucky too.

 

A friend of mine who has been to many parties at my house noticed my TI setup. He had no idea I had one or ever used one. He never did but a few years ago he picked one up in the box for cheap and just held on to it. He was under the impression he could network it with another and do something cool with speech synth but be never even turned it on. He's bringing it to me at the end of October. (pictured below)

 

This will become my backup. I'll keep it in the box. It does come with that terminal emulator program which i think is great for speech synth stuff if I read correctly in another post or website.

 

14079794_10206812212375859_1459538616103

Edited by Sinphaltimus
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The little box with the switch is so that you can connect Atari-style joysticks to your TI. The TI has a slightly different pin-out, and the box solves that issue. Only a few joysticks were made specifically for the TI: the originals from TI, the Amiga joysticks, and the Slik Sticks, IIRC.

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The little box with the switch is so that you can connect Atari-style joysticks to your TI. The TI has a slightly different pin-out, and the box solves that issue. Only a few joysticks were made specifically for the TI: the originals from TI, the Amiga joysticks, and the Slik Sticks, IIRC.

 

 

Awesome! Thanks. Wow, Amiga Joysticks? I have a bunch of those. I just dug them out of storage recently. I also have a ton of Atari joysticks (still in storage).

 

I would never have guessed that is what this box does.

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Glad he found it all a good home.

 

The ground wire on the flex cable interface? that's a new one that I have not seen before. Maybe someone else can answer that one.

 

As far as what slot it goes into, well typically it goes in slot #1.

 

You will need a program to format floppies, if you have an XB 2.7 cartridge you can use a program on there. Option M is good.

 

When you install the floppies remember that the jumper switches start at 0 (zero), so zero = DSK1, 1 = DSK2, etc. The stock TI disk controller will do DS/SD (if the disk drive supports it) and up to 3 disk drives at 40 track. You can do a mod to the controller to get 80 track DS/SD.

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Glad he found it all a good home.

 

The ground wire on the flex cable interface? that's a new one that I have not seen before. Maybe someone else can answer that one.

 

As far as what slot it goes into, well typically it goes in slot #1.

 

You will need a program to format floppies, if you have an XB 2.7 cartridge you can use a program on there. Option M is good.

 

When you install the floppies remember that the jumper switches start at 0 (zero), so zero = DSK1, 1 = DSK2, etc. The stock TI disk controller will do DS/SD (if the disk drive supports it) and up to 3 disk drives at 40 track. You can do a mod to the controller to get 80 track DS/SD.

 

JUMPERS!?!?! Uh Oh. There weren't any manuals with that half height drive. Also, is formatting what this disk management cart is for? Damn, now I gotta pull these drives. They are just sitting in there, there's no brackets to mount these half heights to. I might just pull them and put the full height in there maybe. I dunno. Or I'll just leave them be as is.

 

Well, I did get this far!

 

:)

 

14068298_10206812683467636_2639211366660

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Glad he found it all a good home.

 

The ground wire on the flex cable interface? that's a new one that I have not seen before. Maybe someone else can answer that one.

 

As far as what slot it goes into, well typically it goes in slot #1.

 

You will need a program to format floppies, if you have an XB 2.7 cartridge you can use a program on there. Option M is good.

 

When you install the floppies remember that the jumper switches start at 0 (zero), so zero = DSK1, 1 = DSK2, etc. The stock TI disk controller will do DS/SD (if the disk drive supports it) and up to 3 disk drives at 40 track. You can do a mod to the controller to get 80 track DS/SD.

 

 

 

OK on the order of floppies... The drives don't seem to have jumpers. I can't locate them but I'm tired and going to bed.

 

Here is a photo of the bottom of the drives. One has a blue chip near the connector the other does not (the chip is in the box it came in).

 

I'm guessing this is some kind of termination thing like SCSI has?

 

If so, I'm guessing the one with the chip will go on the end of the cable?

 

And which one would be drive 0 (dsk1) and 1 (dsk2)?

 

 

 

14068483_10206812759349533_8282361739178

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OK on the order of floppies... The drives don't seem to have jumpers. I can't locate them but I'm tired and going to bed.

 

Here is a photo of the bottom of the drives. One has a blue chip near the connector the other does not (the chip is in the box it came in).

 

I'm guessing this is some kind of termination thing like SCSI has?

 

If so, I'm guessing the one with the chip will go on the end of the cable?

 

And which one would be drive 0 (dsk1) and 1 (dsk2)?

 

 

PM sent.

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OK on the order of floppies... The drives don't seem to have jumpers. I can't locate them but I'm tired and going to bed.

 

Here is a photo of the bottom of the drives. One has a blue chip near the connector the other does not (the chip is in the box it came in).

 

I'm guessing this is some kind of termination thing like SCSI has?

 

If so, I'm guessing the one with the chip will go on the end of the cable?

 

And which one would be drive 0 (dsk1) and 1 (dsk2)?

 

 

 

 

I believe DSK2 will be the one with the blue chip. The blue chip I beleive is the resistor pack or what you call a terminator and needs to be on the last drive in the cable chain. These drives don actually have jumpers that can be removed and placed somewhere else. But there are dip switches you can pull these jumper packs off and replace them.

 

I believe you need the 8 position dip switch.

 

HERE

Edited by Shift838
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JUMPERS!?!?! Uh Oh. There weren't any manuals with that half height drive. Also, is formatting what this disk management cart is for? Damn, now I gotta pull these drives. They are just sitting in there, there's no brackets to mount these half heights to. I might just pull them and put the full height in there maybe. I dunno. Or I'll just leave them be as is.

 

Well, I did get this far!

 

:)

 

 

Also Disk Manager 2 cartridge will format you diskettes. If you don't have XB 2.7 then I suggest you get it, huge multicart with tons of utilities and games on it. Also get a FlashRom99 cartridge. It's an SD cartridge basically that we can throw up to 32k ROM cartridge files on. I think the limit is run under 180 files at once. So around 180 carts at on one cart (ROMS only, no GROM based cars like Extended Basic, etc.)

 

I see you have Editor Assembler. Once you get your disk drives working and if you don't have the above carts that i suggested you will be able to run more extensive disk utilities, games, etc with the Editor Assembler cartridge. (FYI XB 2.7 Suite has EA on it too!).

 

Most of the Cartridges have been dumped and can be ran via Editor Assembler.

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So I Read the PEB manual and yes, those blue chips are resistor packs, the one missing a chip goes in the middle of the cable and the other drive goes on the last connector. They appear to be working, that is to say they are behaving as expected but I'm stuck.

I recall asking about 51/4" floppy disks and being told they are all created equal so I purchased a ne sealed box of DSHD 51/4" diskettes,

I only tried one but it won't initialize. The drive light comes on when expected, I can hear the disk spinning but it keeps coming back saying disk not initialized and then asks me a bunch of disk geometry questions that end with the same error.

I've already researched the 80 track hack and that requires a eprom burner that I don't have and wouldn't know how to use if I could borrow one.
So there's my first moment of disappointment. I can't even find DSDD disks that say more than 500k. I'll keep searching.

I was able to catalog a disk in both dsk1 and dsk2 so I can confirm both drives are working.

If any of you have 5 1/4" diskettes that are compatible with my floppy drives let's talk. I have a new box of 10 DSHD diskettes I don't need. A possible swap maybe?

Edited by Sinphaltimus
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... I recall asking about 51/4" floppy disks and being told they are all created equal ...

 

That is definitely not true as you discovered. There is at least one thread (probably many more) on this forum discussing it. The HD diskettes have totally different head and magnetic field requirements than the others. The others are also not “all created equal” because there are hard-sectored disketes as well as soft-sectored diskettes. You want the soft-sectored variety, which have only the index hole (the ~1/8" hole offset from the large spindle hole). You should probably stick to DSDD floppies because of their specs. Even though we routinely used the other side of SS floppies on SS drives in the hacked “flippy” mode, it was risky.

 

...lee

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You have bought the dreaded 1.2MB disks--the ONLY soft sectored disks to avoid like the plague. All other soft sectored disks are good--the best ones to use are the ones that say they are 360K (rarely, the box will say 400K but they are the same disks). 720K are also good. The box will almost always have a DSDD or DSQD on it--these are always good if they are soft sectored (also noted on the box). Rarely, you will see SSDD or SSQD disks. These are the single-sided variants of the double sided disks. They are the same disks, but the second side usually failed some QC check, so they sold it as a SS disk. Most people had DS drives as the cost difference wasn't horrible. . .

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To make things worse, the HD 5.25" drives usually ran with 360 rpm. There is a line on the Shugart bus (DENSEL) to turn the HD mode on and off for floppy drives that support it. I first thought this was for double density, but that does not make sense, since the floppy drive does not care about FM or MFM encoding, but very well about how strong to drive the magnetic coil in the head.

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  • 3 months later...

Hi Sinphaltimus!

I would like to have those service manuals, or at least see what you have of those.

Would give you a fair pay.

BR Klaus

 

I don't think I have anything particularly rare. Wasn't looking to sell anything as I only have one copy of each. I could try scanning anything you may need?

 

post-47352-0-44975100-1480884363_thumb.jpg

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