8-Bit Software Online Conversion

Introduction: ------------- Hello! My name is Oliver and I have just joined in at 8-Bit Software. 9 years ago when I attended modern grammar school here in Germany I decided to do a computer course which our science teacher asked us for. We had C64s and soon I felt the need to have my own. When we went out for shopping to Ulm I came across the Electron rather than a C64 and the supplier said I should rather go for this since it was better. It also was quite cheap (since it was one of the last few they sold) and my father wasn't prepared to spend more on a computer so we bought it. At first I was quite disappointed since the programmes we did at school didn't work on it right from the start since it was incompatible. I paid no attention to it for some time but then I used it again and got more into things and found out that it was a much better machine. Although slower it had a much better Basic (well the best compared to computers of that time) and the system software was much better since BASIC and the operating system were 2 separate units. It also had a much better keyboard and higher screen resolution than the C64. I expanded it with a SEDFS (slogger electron disc system), plus 1 and a brother printer. There has never been a higher feeling than getting this disc system (because it was quiet expensive at the time it was so hard to convince my parents that I need it, but raising every penny I finally managed it). I thought now everything ever imaginable can be programmed on this, having a massive 400k of disc space at my fingertips. Well the humble Electron also made me quite a few friends. Since my parents lived in England for some time they love it and go on holiday to south England every few years. We also went not long after I got the computer and I bought my first books, games and magazines for it (and the magic that came with it). I first subscribed the Acorn User, then the Electron User which had more in it for the ELK of course. I wrote to the Electron User asking people to contact me. About 18 people wrote. Well not many (4) remained but I am now in contact with them for quite a few years an I cannot imagine an end since 2 don't even have their Electrons anymore and talking is more general than it was at the start. However I'd like to thank them all for writing, they have helped me a lot improving my English and some of them I have even met for a few times. One is even also a member of 8BS. Hello Bill! He's a retired teacher and met his wife (who is Scottish) in Germany at the end of the war. He originally also went out for a C64 when he got retired but came across the Electron (fortunately since otherwise we would not have met). He told me about 8-Bit Software and when me and my girlfriend came over to Britain this summer for our holiday we stayed a few days with Bill and I decided to call up Chris. He asked me to come round and have a cup of tea and I came and joined in 8BS. He sold me a Compact which I now use here in my studying accommodation to read the 8BS discs. I put it into a Zenith PC Computer case. Quite a few cables had to be done and some information had to be taken from books I have, worked out and asked. I thought some of you out there might also need it someday so I typed it in ... (although I have taken care in providing correct information - I cannot be held responsible for any mistakes) Signal and Pin Assignments for the signal connector of IBM PC ------------------------------------------------------------- compatible diskdrives as used with the BBC Micro / Acorn Electron ----------------------------------------------------------------- Used Connector types -------------------- * DIN (deutsches Institut fuer Normung = German institute for standard) * D-Type * IDC (insulated displacement connector) 3.5 inch diskdrives: -------------------- disk drive signal connector (IDC) --------------------------- __Pin No.2 __Pin No.34 / / ---------------- ---------------- ! * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ! (view into disk drive ! * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ! signal connector) ------------------------------------- ^ ^ !__Pin No. 1 !__Pin No.33 plug of the computer to diskdrive ribboncable that goes into the drive ------------------------------------------------------------------------ __Hole No.34 __Hole No.2 / ----- / ----------------! !---------------- ! o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o ! (view into disk drive ! o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o ! cable plug) ------------------------------------- ^ ^ !__Hole No. 33 !__Hole No.1 5.25 inch diskdrives: --------------------- disk drive signal connector --------------------------- __Copper Track No.33 __Copper Track No. 1 / / = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = ------------------------------ ---- ! ! ! ! (view into disk drive ------------------------------ ---- PCB signal connector) = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = ^ ^ !__Copper Track No.34 !__Copper Track No.2 plug of the computer to diskdrive ribboncable that goes into the drive ------------------------------------------------------------------------ __Copper Track No.1 __Copper Track No. 33 / / ------------------------------------- ! = =O= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = ! (view into disk drive ! O ! cable plug) ! = =O= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = ! ------------------------------------- ^ ^ !__Copper Track No.2 !__Copper Track No.34 1... 34 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 34 way ribbon cable !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! wire No.1 is marked red or blue !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Signal and Pin Assignments of the Acorn / BBC Micro Computer ------------------------------------------------------------ __Pin No.33 __Pin No.1 / / ---------------- ---------------- ! * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ! (view into BBC Micro disk ! * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ! drive socket (IDC)) =================================================================== PCB ^ ^ !__Pin No. 34 !__Pin No.2 __Hole No.1 __Hole No.33 / ----- / ----------------! !---------------- ! o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o ! (view into disk drive ! o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o ! cable plug that goes into ------------------------------------- the socket above) ^ ^ !__Hole No.2 !__Hole No.34 PinSignal Name: (IBM) Input/Output: Signal Name on BBC ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 02 Reserved -- Not Used 04 Not Connected -- Used (Usage Unknown) 06 Drive Select 3 Input Signal Not Used 08 Index Output Signal Index 10 Drive Select 0 Input Signal Drive Select 0 12 Drive Select 1 Input Signal Drive Select 1 14 Drive Select 2 Input Signal Not Used 16 Motor On Input Signal Motor On 18 Direction Select Input Signal Direction Select 20 Step Input Signal Step 22 Write Data Input Signal Write Data 24 Write Gate Input Signal Write Gate 26 Track 00 Output Signal Track 00 28 Write Protect Output Signal Write Protect 30 Read Data Output Signal Read Data 32 Side Select Input Signal Side Select 34 Ready (Disk Change) *Output Signal Not Used PIN No. 1,3,5,7,9...33 are connected to GND Signal and Pin Assignments on BBC Master Compact D25 Connector -------------------------------------------------------------- __Pin 1 __Pin 13 / / ------------------------------- \ . . . . . . . . . . . . . / View into disk \ . . . . . . . . . . . . / drive plug \-----------------------/ ^ ^ !__Pin 14 !__Pin 25 __Hole 13 __Hole 1 / / ------------------------------- \ o o o o o o o o o o o o o / View into Master Compact \ o o o o o o o o o o o o / disk-drive connector \-----------------------/ ^ ^ !__Hole 25 !__Hole 14 PinSignal Name: Input/Output ----------------------------------------------------------- 1 Index Output Signal 2 Drive 0 Input Signal 3 Drive 1 Input Signal 4 Drive 2 (NC if PL3 is open) Input Signal 5 Motor On Input Signal 6 Direction Input Signal 7 Step Input Signal 8 Write Data Input Signal 9 Write Gate Input Signal 10 Track 0 Output Signal 11 Write Protect Output Signal 12 Read Data Output Signal 13 Side Select Input Signal 14 to Pin 25 = 0Volts (GND) NC = means Not Connected (PL3 is a link on the PCB of the Computer) PCB = printed circuit board Analogue RGB Monitor Cable (BBC Micro <--> Commodore 1084S Monitor) ------------------------------------------------------------------- view into 6pin DIN plug view into D9 connector 1 2 3 4 5 blue ---------------- ( . ) \ . . . . . / yellow ( . . ) green \ . . . . / ( . ) ----------- black ( . . ) red 6 7 8 9 ^ (notch) connect: black to 1 red to 3 green to 4 blue to 5 yellow to 7 PC Power connector (for the main PCB) ------------------------------------- ------------- cable colour meaning no. of wires ! ! -------------------------------------------- ! o o o o o ! white = - 5 Volt 1x ! ( rot = + 5 Volt 3x ! o o o o o ! black = 0 Volt 4x ! ( blue = -12 Volt 1x ! o o o o o ! yellow = +12 Volt 1x ! ! orange = control cable 1x ---^-----^--- Programming Hints and Tips -------------------------- * Sometimes it's necessary to program a soft-reset to initialize. The equivalent to pressing BREAK is: CALL !-4 (don't ask me how it works but it does I read it years ago in an Acorn User I think) * Some people might want to copy their tape software onto disc, however some programmes on tape are protected and cannot be loaded using the *LOAD filename command, the computer stops loading and says protected. What happens is that Acorn has provided a facility for software suppliers to protect their software against piracy. When the computer loads a programme from tape the information block is loaded first which contains the filename, protection information, loading address and execution address. To make the computer ignore the protection information and make it keep loading, the following programme must be executed first. P%=&880 however this code should not be used to pirate OPT0 software LDA&3CA AND#254 software transferred from tape to disc may also STA&3CA not work properly for several reasons: RTS - it switches back to tape ?&220=&80 - it uses spaces needed by the disk filing system ?&221=8 - it can only be executed at &E00 (BBC B) *FX 14,4 + most success is with a &E00 DFS Non Programming Tips -------------------- I use an HP Deskjet printer with my PC and Compact. Users of the HP Deskjet printer might know that old ink cartridges were refillable with normal writing pen-ink (and 2% to 4% isopropanol). When my old cartridge went empty a friend of mine used the computer and bought a new one (fortunately he didn't throw away the old one). Now that this new one ran out I refilled the old and wanted to use it again. However it didn't work, nothing came out. A dealer gave me a hint, to put it in warm water (yes the whole cartridge) and leave it in there til it gets cold. So I did, filled it with ink again and after printing a few pages it became darker and darker. So try that first in order to save money! WANTED: ------- Finally I'd like to ask BBC Master Compact Users to help me. I didn't get a manual with my Compact - does anybody have a spare manual or can anybody copy or lend me the manual to copy it. I'll refund the cost of copying and postage, however please do first write to me. Does anybody have a circuit diagram of the Compact or/and can anybody tell me which chips are required and where they go in for a RS432 serial port on the Compact. Does anybody have information on how to connect a Mouse for the BBC B / Master 128 User Port to the Master Compact Joystick port. (They say it is possible in an old Acorn User - but how?) WANTED: ------- Advanced Disk Investigator and manual by ACP. For the BBC with 1770 disk controller. Eprom blower capable of blowing roms >16K (at least 32K) with software and manual. The BBC Literacy Project on video tape. Please contact me: ------------------ Oliver Debus / Stuwo Z24 / Kotterner Str.40a / 87435 Kempten / Germany Since I study electrics I am also interested in any Micro User Body build articles for the BBC B, Master, Compact, Electron. I got an EPROM programmer (faulty) from a friend which was reviewed (how to build it) in Beebug in 1986 - can anybody send me the article please? I can offer anybody wanting a PCB diagram of the BBC B, Master 128 and Electron at the cost of photocopying and postage. If you are interested write me. Finally I'd like to say that I feel very sorry about Mark Colton's death. I have grown up with VIEW on the Electron and Master and now use Pipedream on my PC and Z88 regularly. (Pipedream is the Z88, IBM PC and Archimedes version of VIEW PROFESSIONAL) Thanks to Chris and Bill for tea and sympathy. BYE! (Oliver Debus)