AES 7100

From: Doug Spence <>
Date: Sat Mar 13 05:15:36 1999

Hi again,

I conscripted my father to come and help me drag the AES 7100 home today.

It doesn't work. The display powers up but nothing is displayed. The
drives never turn but their lights shine at the instant the power switch
is flipped. I suspect its not working has something to do with several
empty sockets on the motherboard, but I can't be sure.

Even with it not working, it's an interesting machine.

It's a little over 26.5-inches wide, and over 16-inches deep if you
include the handles on the back for pulling out the motherboard. The main
box is about 4.25-inches high, with a 10.5" green phosphor monitor sitting
on top of it, connected with a swivel neck. The top of the monitor sits
about 16" above the surface of the table. The disk drive portion of
the box is about 10.5" high and 9.25" wide, and is visually disconnected
from the rest of the box in the same way that an Apple III keyboard is
visually disconnected from the rest of the III... still built on the same
metal frame underneath.

The motherboard pulls out on a tray from the back of the machine, with
only two screws holding it in.

There are numerous holes for ports of various sizes, but most of them have
metal plates screwed over them and nothing behind them. Unscrewing the
plates usually reveals a picture of a telephone handset beside the hole.

There are plenty of post holes in the motherboard in locations that match
the holes in the back of the case, so there must have been plenty of

My own machine only has one small daughtercard sitting on posts, with a
50-pin male edge connector accessible from a hole with a drawing of a
printer beside it.

There is also a 12-pin female port with a drawing of a printer beside it,
with the pins arranged in a 3x4 grid.

On the motherboard, there is a Mostek Z80A, probably 4MHz. There are
three Z80A PIO chips, and two Z80A CTC chips, and several other large
multi-legged critters.

There are three 8-chip banks of 4164 DRAMs, with a fourth row left empty.
That's quite a bit of memory for a Z80!

There is a 24-pin EPROM, with an empty 24-pin socket beside it.

There is a set of two other 24-pin chips which might be ROMs.

There are two other empty sockets, one with 18 pins and the other with 16

There is a 15.something MHz crytal, and a 24.0000MHz crystal.

There is oodles of TTL.

Chips range in dates from '79 to '82.

The keyboard connector inside the machine is cracked and broken and won't
stay in place.

The keyboard is larger than it has to be, with lots of photogenic
whitespace around the key areas.

The area that would normally be a numeric keypad on a normal keyboard has
pictograms of unknown function.

The key which must be the caps lock lights up when it is hit, but the
light doesn't turn off if you hit it again. It only turns off when the
keys which must be shift keys are hit.

The disk drives are full-height, single-sided.

It has a plate with "7100" on the front, but a small plate on the back
says "AES Model 203".

The monitor has no external controls, but there is what appears to be a
trapdoor on the back of the monitor which is screwed shut. Perhaps I
should try messing with that before I decide that the machine is
definitely dead.

There is another machine just like it at the same store, even grimier than
this one was. But considering the hassle of hauling and storing this
thing, I don't think I'll have the energy to go back for it.

Doug Spence
Received on Sat Mar 13 1999 - 05:15:36 GMT

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