Altair8800 'kit' - can you identify this stuff?

From: Randy McLaughlin <>
Date: Thu Jan 27 12:31:47 2005

----- Original Message -----
From: "William Layer" <>
> Thanks for the info so far.. here are the ugly details on the 'kit'..
> Dave wrote:
>> Btw - if you have an unassembled 8800 - it might be a good idea to keep
>> it that way - I
>> would think unassembled ones would be more rare than assembled ones.
> Sorry if I was confusing on this.. I was half-joking when I said 'kit
> form'; the unit wasn't so much *unassembled* as *disassembled* :) The unit
> is quite an interesting hodgepodge at the moment.. Here is a better
> description of what I have:
> Original 8800 Chassis, with early faceplate - dang I love that old 70's
> computer typeface! A ding in the white topcover, but overall very nice
> shape.
> Display / Control board (rev 1) removed, and showing evidence of a burnout
> in the lower left, 7400 chip I think. Someone has socketed every chip on
> the board, with a collection of random colorful sockets. The board shows
> some small rework with kynar, to fix lost pads/traces on one socket
> pattern. Needs a couple of switches replaced. Marked "3421K" in black
> Sharpie.
> 8080 CPU card (rev 1) removed and showing signs of modification (a mystery
> chip has been added with glue & kynar), and CPU is missing. Marked "3423K"
> in black Sharpie.
> Motherboard replaced with a Processor Tech (?) MB-1 Mainboard - 16 slots.
> The pullup/pulldown resistors look like they were installed by a small
> child, and not a gifted one. I will rework this area.
> Power supply replaced with beefy 8800B power supply, obviously to
> accomodate all that extra hardware that the motherboard will hold. Large
> fan is also added, without a grille. Watch your #&!$_at_ fingers, kid!
> A card marked "MCT R30 ASSY 105510" (seems like serial or parallel I/O)
> A card marked "SD Systems VersaFloppy II" (must be the disk controller)
> A card marked "SD Systems Expandoram II" (must be the memory card, and
> it's fully populated. No idea what the capacity is)
> A card marked "SD Systems SBC-200" (has a Z-80A cpu, and what I think is
> the matching Z-80 buss driver chip. Has 4 ROM sockets, two of which are
> populated. One is clearly marked 'EDO BIOS'. Also has edge connectors
> marked serial & parallel I/O. Seems like a multifunction card; CPU, ROM &
> I/O)
> A card marked "Signum Systems MICE-48" with a long ribbon cable leading to
> an emulator probe, bearing an EPROM chip. (It's clearly an In-Circuit
> Emulator device, my guess is that it was emulating an 8048 or similar)
> A card marked "Vector 8800V", which is a complete and utter disaster of
> Kynar and flying components. I wouldn't let this thing near a running
> system. (seems like a generic breadboard card, which has been built into
> some form of custom hardware, has a large device marked "Analog Devices
> 940", and about 12 other chips, plus a pile of discete components)
> A large dual-floppy drive chassis, blue in color, with 8" drives. Seems
> like generic Intel hardware of the mid-70's. No obvious markings.
> A collection of 8" disks, some clearly CP/M based. I'm quite certain that
> in light of the Z80 card, that this machine was running CP/M until it was
> taken (or took itself) out of service.
> A small board marked "John Bell Engineering Phoneme Synthesizer" with a
> DIP connector, wall-wart power supply, and a few chips including a Votrax
> SC-01 chip. (Ok, it's clearly a speech synth. Apparently, this thing could
> talk at one point..)
> Ok - I think that's pretty much all of it. If anyone can verify / correct
> me on identification, or provide other info, it would be greatly
> appreciated. Some of this stuff (like the ICE hardware) might be up for
> trade.
> Thanks for all of your time,
> Bill

Herb Johnson has some great stuff on your disk controller you need to get:

Received on Thu Jan 27 2005 - 12:31:47 GMT

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