It's ALIVE! Re: Update: BBC Acorn

From: Joe <>
Date: Sun Jan 12 20:05:30 2003

   Worked on the Acorn after supper and got it working! Yippie!

At 12:59 AM 1/13/03 GMT, you wrote:
>On Jan 12, 18:38, Joe wrote:
>> Well the Acorn is alive again. I finally got around to fixing the
>> power supply. That also took care of the buzzing sound that was
>> coming from the speaker. I'm also now getting a prompt. Before the
>> PSU blew I was getting the ROM messages but no prompt. Now I'm
>> getting "Acorn OS", "Acorn DFS", "BASIC" and ">" with a blinking
>> underline prompt after that. However it's still not responding to
>> the keyboard (except for the Control-Break).
>Well, that's a fair amount of progress, even without the keyboard. Do you
>still have the description I wrote about how it works?

   You bet! I saved all the messages until I could work on it.

  BTW I been finding some interesting things in it. First, I was screwing around with the keyboard and hit Shift Break and it shifted to an 80 (?) column mode and reports "Econet Station No 1 No Clock". I looked and it does have the 68b54 ADLC IC. It also has the 8271 Floppy Controller IC. Also I think the unmarked ROM is an AVIEW ROM. I poped up with a message about Aview while I was testing it. Also it has a DNFS (Disc and Network OSs?) ROM in it.

   I looked at the pictures on the websites that you recommended and this Acorn is VERY different inside than any of the ones shown on the websites. All of the ICs are arranged completely differently and the IC numbers are different.

>> Just for the hell of it I tried powering it up with different
>> ROMs removed. With the "US BASIC" ROM removed it asked "What Language?".
>> Of course since the keyboard wasn't working I couldn't tell it anything.
>You wouldn't have been able to anyway. Without a language ROM of some
>sort, it won't listen to you. unless you have a Second Processor unit
>installed, and it drops to the "*" prompt.
>> With both the "US BASIC" and "DNFS" ROM removed it reported "View A2.1",
>> "No Text", Editing No File", "Screen Mode 7", "Printer Default" and a
>> "=>" prompt. Looks like I fell into some kind of monitor program.
>> Still can't do anything due to faulty keyboard.
>That's not a monitor prompt, it's the command mode of VIEW, which is a word
>This is slightly odd. View is, in Acorn OS terms, a language, equivalent
>to BASIC, COMAL, LOGO, FORTH, Wordwise, or any number of terminal emulator
>ROMs. So removing BASIC but leaving View and the DNFS should have resulted
>in your getting the View prompt, just as it did when you took out both

   It might have but I didn't try removing the BASIC ROM and leaving in the DNFS ROM. I was removing and replacing them in the order that they're installed in the machine. In this one the order is (unreadable label), View, DNFS, US BASIC and an empty socket.

>> I cleaned up before Christmas and misplaced the bag with the screws
>> for it, *&^(&%%!
>That's all right. No proper BBC Micro has screws, except three M3 machine
>screws to hold the PSU in place, and *possibly* some mushroom-head
>self-tappers to hold the PCB steady. The keyboard screws should be
>replaced with PCB clips for quick access, and the case screws should be
>thrown away ;-)

    I guess that's what I'll do but the short ground jumper for the keyboard was in there too :-( I found some PC screws that fit the PSU and I didn't have the main PCB out so at least they're bolted down.

   Thanks for your help and the website references. I've been finding lots of interesting info on there. I was impressed with the Acorn's versatility and the number of different interfaces that the Acorn has. You can even use 8" floppy drives with it! Nothing in the US comes close AFIK. I also searched E-bay for "BBC Acorn" and found loads of interesting goodies for it. It looks like the Acorn users are still very active in the UK.


>Pete Peter Turnbull
> Network Manager
> University of York
Received on Sun Jan 12 2003 - 20:05:30 GMT

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