CoCo Xpndr1 (was: RE: Keep or assemble???

From: Roger Merchberger <>
Date: Tue Sep 4 18:58:00 2001

Rumor has it that Richard Erlacher may have mentioned these words:
>If you take the time to redesign this device, the simplest, lowest-risk,
>easiest, cheapest, and least-exposed-to-copyright-infringement will be to
>redesign the entire thing in a single CPLD or FPGA, on a board that matches
>physically and logically, but in no way infringes on the copyright associated
>with the artwork, which is what can be copyrighted. Circuits themselves
>have to be patented, and, folks have found, that's a waste of time, since
>generating a logical equivalent circumvents the patent, though not the PCB

Thanks for the good info (as that will help me with other projects) but in
this particular case, it's just a bare board. As I don't have a scanner
hooked up, and my digipixelator is broked :-( I currently cannot easily
share a picture of the board with y'all. But... it's just a board. All it's
designed to do is to bring the CoCo bus signals to pads in which the end
user could solder wires to to interface chips (which you add yourself) to
implement in designing your own expansion(s).

Oh, and it had extra +5V & Gnd rails in between the IC pin rows, to make it
easier to hook up Vcc & ground to your chips. If you wanted +/- 12V, you
had to route that yourself... (and which was no longer supplied by the

I'm just using the board as a template to design my own board, that *will*
have buffer circuits, a separate power supply junction, & other things
(like maybe a breadboard) before I put it into initial use.

And I'd love to *find* a used/older/cheap CPLD programmer... <g>

>Once you have a prototype of your new replacement working, put the
original on
>eBay and take a vacation with the proceeds. ... or don't ...

Erm..... Nope. ;-)



And Chris wrote:

> This is where you can get in trouble. If you make your mods available to
> the public (even if for free), you can be seen as infringing upon the
> owners rights. However, if the company has gone out of business, you
> probably wont get in any trouble. But do NOT confuse out of business with
> public domain, they are not one in the same, just because the company is
> out of business or isn't selling the item any more, does NOT mean that
> the item is public domain. They still have the rights to it, and can
> choose how and where it can be made available. I personally still don't
> think you will have a problem, but you will most likely technically be
> breaking the law.

I do understand that... but with my redesign (which is basically from
scratch, as I *could* find all of the info from other sources) my board
will be so much different from what actually sits in front of me, I don't
think it would be recognizible whatsoever to the original board [[ bad
mental picture: imagine a calico cat laying an egg & hatching an
alligator... eeewww! ]]

All I used the board for was the external measurements (which my old
drafting scale worked wonderfully) and the pin signals (which I could
easily have gotten from my CoCo 1/2/3 techref manuals... if they weren't
boxed & stored).

>From there, it was all AutoCad & my Imanganation.

Thanks for the help!
Roger "Merch" Merchberger
Roger "Merch" Merchberger   ---   sysadmin, Iceberg Computers
Recycling is good, right???  Ok, so I'll recycle an old .sig.
If at first you don't succeed, nuclear warhead
disarmament should *not* be your first career choice.
Received on Tue Sep 04 2001 - 18:58:00 BST

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