Device programmers

From: Bruce Lane <>
Date: Wed Feb 23 09:04:44 2005

Good day,

*********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********

On 23-Feb-05 at 13:16 Wai-Sun Chia wrote:

>Just wanted to find out what you folks are using for programming
>devices when used with restoring classic computers..
>- PROMs (M9312, etc)
>- PALs
>- GALs
>I'm hoping to get a programmer which can support all these devices in
>a single package. So far I've shortlisted to these DataIO products
>which still seems to be fairly easily available:
>- DataIO 29A
>- DataIO 29B
>- DataIO 212
>- DataIO 60A
>Which one would you recommend? Why?

        Honestly? I would be leery about any of them. It's not that they were "bad" products (they're not -- they were constructed very well indeed), it's just that all the units in your shortlist have one thing in common: None of them can program logic devices (PLDs, PALs, GALs) without additional hard-to-find adapters. Specifically, the 'LogicPak' for the 29 series, and even then there was a whole fleet of different socket adapters for the LogicPak. The 29's have been out of support from DIO for so long that finding accessories for them can be exceptionally tough.

        The issue you're facing is this. E(E)PROM programmers -- in other words, device programmers that just do memory devices -- are easy to find and pretty inexpensive. Once you get to bipolar PROMs, though, and other devices like PALs and GALs, the complexity and cost of the programmer required shoots up. It has to do with the programming technology involved (non-pin driver vs. pin driver).

        I would suggest that you turn your efforts and funds towards finding at least a Data I/O 2900, 3900, or even a Unisite. I just landed a 2900 on Greed-Bay for a little over $100, and there are some Unisites I've seen go in the $200 to $250 range. These units are a much better investment, as they can program any type of device that is (a), programmable, and (b), can drop into a DIP socket (other socket types are supported with the Chipsite or Pinsite adapters).

        There are at least a couple of other listmembers who have Unisites, myself included. Ask Joe Rigdon about his.

        Happy tweaking.

Bruce Lane, Owner & Head Hardware Heavy,
Blue Feather Technologies --
kyrrin (at) bluefeathertech do/t c=o=m
"If Salvador Dali had owned a computer, would it have been equipped with surreal ports?"
Received on Wed Feb 23 2005 - 09:04:44 GMT

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