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WTB - Data I/O 29B Universal Programmer (or equivalent)

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I'm looking for a universal programmer that can handle all the old obscure bipolar PROM's EPROM's etc. Something like the Data I/O 29B.

If the price is right, I'm happy to buy a unit that needs some work (hoping I'll be able to get it going again!).

Let me know what you have, or if you have any recommendations on an alternative programmer I should be looking out for on eBay or similar!


Normally you should have an idea of the parts you want to use and program,  you tell us nothing  by the way  loll

Check all the major brand supprted part lists,  there is no aboslute / ultimate programmer ... you'll get an idea and how much $$$ it may cost

A TNM-5000 is a very good contender at around 300$ usd or less, frequent updates and use cheap simple adapters ... 

Find a programmer whos not locked onto its adapters sockets  vice verca ...   i have an Elnec and some adapters cost a fortune.

The famous tl866,  now has an old version who could program some chips at higher voltage than the newest version, i have the first series,  kinda limitted, and in my case support wasn't good from autoelectric, and the software support may end soon or will end eventually in favor of the newests models, but some of the adapter sockets have id chips on them.

my 2 cents

Thanks - ultimately I'd like to be able to program any of the devices listed here:

Perhaps the Data IO is the way to go - I do have a couple of BP Micro programmers (BP-1148, EP-1140), 1,  plus a Xeltek Superpro 510p and a TL866 - the last two are useful for more modern devices (plus they run under Windows 10!), and the BP ones handle some of the earlier EPROMS, but not the PROM's.

Ideally I'd get rid of the BP units after I had something that will do all the earlier devices.

Stray Electron:

--- Quote from: deanclaxton on January 23, 2020, 03:05:20 am ---I'm looking for a universal programmer that can handle all the old obscure bipolar PROM's EPROM's etc. Something like the Data I/O 29B.

--- End quote ---

   I have a couple of 29s somewhere. But IIRC they require the correct plug in for the EPROM, PROM or PAL that you want to program and IIRC the plug in for the bipolar PROMS was very hard to find even 20 years ago. Also IIRC the blank PROMS have been out of production for 30+ years and I couldn't find any 15 or so years ago when I wanted some to reprogram an HP 1000. 

  Do you have a manual for the -29 that shows what plug ins you need for the devices that you want to program?

   And FYI I don't think that the -29s will program the 1702 and similar P-MOS EPROMs if you're interested in those.  I have an old Pro-Log programmer that kept specifically for that task.

Thanks - yeah I believe that there is a UniPak 2B that will do most of them? If I'm able to get hold of a 29B (or even a 29A), then a Unipak 2 sounds like its a necessity.

Found this :

For some devices,  socket adapters are required - perhaps these are simple PCB's that could be reproduced? For a few, Cartridges are required such as the 351B-086 - I'm not sure whether these are simple or not. For many devices though, the Unipak 2B is all that is required.

More Info :




The UniPak 2B,™ with a Data I/O® mainframe, programs vir-
tually every memory device under software control from
over 33 manufacturers. These include EPROMs, EEPROMs,
microcomputers and PROMs of all bipolar fuse technol-
ogies; fuselink and vertical fuse. More than 90% of these
devices are supported with no additional adapters.


A key enhancement over earlier UnlPak and UniPak 2 is the
UniPak 2B's support for optional slide-in pinout cartridges.
These cartridges allow users to reliably program devices
which are not programmable with the base UniPak 2B,
regardless of pinout configuration or packaging. Car-
tridges provide the UniPak 2B with the flexibility to program
the latest complex device types and hard-to-handle
packages, such as 40-pin one megabit EPROMs, PLCCs,
and other surface-mount devices.


Like its predecessors, the UniPak 2B speeds the program-
ming process through the use of intelligent algorithms.
These algorithms eliminate redundant programming pulses
by checking memory cells after each pulse to see if they
have been programmed. "

So the cartridges would be tricky to replicate if required, but seems it will handle many devices without any additional adapters.


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