Author Topic: Vintage chip Programmer : " Micropross ROM 3000U "  (Read 18934 times)

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Offline papardelle

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Re: Vintage chip Programmer : " Micropross ROM 3000U "
« Reply #175 on: May 04, 2024, 12:35:22 pm »
Hello all,
Even if this topic is a bit old, I'm posting here some news.
I found this blog and posts by chance, so I registered.
I'm one of the engineers who developped the Rom 5000/Rom 3000 devices. I don't take time to read all the posts, but perhaps I could help you on some topics, even if it's a very lod story. I don't have archives on the hardware parts, but I still have most of the sources of the software.
Should you be interested, let me know.
 
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Offline VinceTopic starter

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Re: Vintage chip Programmer : " Micropross ROM 3000U "
« Reply #176 on: May 04, 2024, 06:15:02 pm »
Hello Papardelle !

Wow, thank you so much for stopping by, indeed !!

Information on these machines are so extremely rare that I will welcome absolutely ANYTHING you have up your sleeves ! :-+

You said you only have S/W left ? Were you a S/W engineer who developped said S/W ?

Or did you also work on the H/W and Firmware part of the project ?

Even if you did not, maybe you remember bits of information about the H/W, from discussions with your colleague at the coffee machine eh... so even though you don't have any HY/W related documents left, doesn't mean you are unable to help this the H/W side of things  ;D

How much data do you have related to this machine ? Could you upload it to some on-line storage facility ? A Google Drive or whatever people could access ?
this machine is very old so I doubt you will go to jail for sharing the information...  8)

Maybe we could talk over the hone about this ?
It's more practical than typing long messages here maybe... less work at least.

I will send you a PM with my info...

BTW, in case you don't know, there is a French technical forum that also discusses the ROM 5000:

https://forum.system-cfg.com/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=5743

It's 10 year old and only 8 pages long.

This was the only place on the web that I found, that talked about this machine.... it helped me start on my project, and I eventually realised that my 3000 was technically the same machine as the 5000, just headless. I introduced my ROM 3000 on page #5.  It appears I am the only one who own a 3000 models, the other guys on that forum have 5000, lucky them !

Then I created my own page here on EEVBlog about my ROM 3000, to document and archive all my work on it. For now I am the reverse engineering phase... so any help you can provide will be helpful.

Don't worry I am not going to bombard you with questions...

For now, my main problem is to get a proper video display from the internal video output, as it appears to use a proprietary protocol. Using a CGA adapter I can get "something", but it's not 100% perfect : the display rolls over the top by a few lines, and I also thing that a couple lines from the bottom aprt of the screen , are missing... which is annoying as these are the lines that display boot error codes... so I need to get these lines back to help me fix this machine...


I have not worked on this machine for well over a year, judging by the time stamp of my latest message here... shame on me.
Thing is, I have so many other projects going on, electronics related or not....

But OK, I will try to prioritize this project and put it back on the bench !!!


Thanks again for lending a hand, much appreciated !  :D



 

Offline m k

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Re: Vintage chip Programmer : " Micropross ROM 3000U "
« Reply #177 on: May 05, 2024, 08:24:23 am »
I'd like to have a source code, if possible.

After some reading I could give some educated guesses for why and how.
Maybe also a new function or two would be possible.

E,

Link to 15kHz monitors
https://15khz.net/

Other possibility is to lift the status line.

Since we have access to source we can dig up the byte where vertical position of status line is selected.
You can always program new zeros to EPROM, so least significant 1 to 0 and status line goes higher.

That change is also so simple that it can be made on the field, so to speak.
Just connect all pins and finally do a single address programming.

Better make a backup first.
Maybe the previous become a bit moot at that point.

Origo is many times low left.
Can't remember for sure, but recollection is that this picture is text line based.
For graphical representation this zeroing may not work.
With source that is not a problem, but new ROM is a must, I can send if old image is somewhere, can't remember.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2024, 01:44:34 pm by m k »
Advance-Aneng-Appa-AVO-Beckman-Danbridge-Data Tech-Fluke-General Radio-H. W. Sullivan-Heathkit-HP-Kaise-Kyoritsu-Leeds & Northrup-Mastech-REO-Simpson-Sinclair-Tektronix-Tokyo Rikosha-Topward-Triplett-YFE
(plus lesser brands from the work shop of the world)
 

Offline papardelle

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Re: Vintage chip Programmer : " Micropross ROM 3000U "
« Reply #178 on: May 05, 2024, 05:22:04 pm »
That's unbelievable that some people around the world is interested by this old machine! That's electropaleontology...
Let me some time to find and gather the information I could have...
 
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Offline papardelle

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Re: Vintage chip Programmer : " Micropross ROM 3000U "
« Reply #179 on: May 06, 2024, 02:32:13 pm »
"The bad news : it IS indeed French ! ". It is funny.
Yes, it's french!

You really did a huge job, I wonder if I have anything else to help you.

The ROM5000 is a device programmer, and we spent years to add more and more programmable devices to the library. In the last decades of the XXth century, there were so many new devices!
The ROM3000 is a version of the ROM5000, without screen and keyboard, as at the time many customers asked for a remote controlled programmer instead of a stand alone.
But both machine share the same remote control.

Some documentation is available at:
https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/chlg8mkwc6mq4fy08w54y/ROM5000.zip?rlkey=c6hp39l33jwonsr6ax70jg43a&st=fjmag1lf&dl=0

- Logiciel du ROM 5000: a short guide to new developpers working on this device programmer. It's written in french, let me know if you need a translation. It contains a memory map of the ROM 5000, you may find it of some interest.
- User Manual for ROM5000
- sources: source files for the ROM5000. 6502 assembler. That's a jungle. All comments in french. For video part, see VIDxxx. I doubt you find anything useful.
- map.zip : The 6502 have 64 Kb adressable, that's not enough. Addresses from 4000 to 7FFF are mapped, so depending on the device to be programmed, a 'map' is selected to adress the correct page. This allow to extend the adressable space.

Unfortunately, no hardware documentation.

The disks are not PC compatible, as far as I remember the size of the sector differs (256 vs 512), but I know there was an utility to read or write ROM 5000 disks on the PC.

About Micropross: I joined Micropross a few month after it has been created, I learned at the same university that the founder. Micropross was really a small company, and when the ROM 5000 has been designed (1985), the company should be 12 people or around. We never were more than 50 people.

About the video: Yes, there is a character generator, I remember I filled the PROM by myself, even designing my own characters (Micropross logo for example)!

Two UARTS: one is for remote control, the second one is to connect the development system which will send the data to be programmed.

"Littered with gigantic horrific spelling mistakes,": Indeed. One of the technician was unable to write correctly... except for 6502! He was probably our best programmer, so we don't worry about the mistakes.






 
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Offline VinceTopic starter

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Re: Vintage chip Programmer : " Micropross ROM 3000U "
« Reply #180 on: May 11, 2024, 06:05:37 pm »
Wow, sorry for the late replay Papardelle !  :scared:
Been very busy here the recent days... calming down now.

Thanks a lot for the documentation !  :-+

The user manual and programers' guide I already had, but the source code and very detailed maps on the system disk, I didn't have !  :-+

You really did a huge job, I wonder if I have anything else to help you.

Maybe you do ! Who knows... please stick around, subscribe to this topic and watch my progress (hopefully there will be some  :-DD).
Maybe you can help here and there along the way...
I would hate for you to disappear now ! It's a miracle enough that you posted here to help me... let's make this miracle last as long as possibe... stay with me in this journey ! It's not like it will take you much time to 'handle" is it... a few messages here and there that's all.


The ROM3000 is a version of the ROM5000, without screen and keyboard, as at the time many customers asked for a remote controlled programmer instead of a stand alone.

That's very interesting right there Papardelle !  :-+
I mean, I assumed the 300 was a cut down / cheaper version, hence I was afraid it would lack some features/ functionalities compared to the 5000, hence that the 500 user manual might not apply 100%.
But if the 3000 is nothing like that as you say, then I understand it offers 100% the same features as the 5000.... so far I was only HOPING it might be the case, when I saw that my 3000, with NO boot dist in the floppy drive, would display "ROM 5000" on the screen rather than ROM 3000...
But now looks like it's not a hope/supposition anymore, but rather a fact !  :D
That's incredible news !  :D
I can then rely on the 5000 user manual ! 8)


But both machine share the same remote control.

Fantastic once again ! I can rely on the 5000 programming guide there too then !  :D


- Logiciel du ROM 5000: a short guide to new developpers working on this device programmer. It's written in french, let me know if you need a translation. It contains a memory map of the ROM 5000, you may find it of some interest.

No need for translation, I am French as my avatar suggests  ;)

- sources: source files for the ROM5000. 6502 assembler. That's a jungle. All comments in french. For video part, see VIDxxx. I doubt you find anything useful.

It's a GEM !  :-+
It's incredible to be abel to read the commented source code all you people wrote for this machine back in the day !
Reading through thoses source files feels like I was there 30 years ago next to you, watching type the code and chatting with you about it, so incredible !!
The in-line comments and also the comments in the change log at the top of the files, just crack me up, you guys had some sense iof humor, never a boring source file !!!
I particularly one file that implemented some memory chip. An entry in change log was like "Trying ti implement that new XX chip from XX Mfg, it's a pain in the ass I can't get it to work, I GIVE UP ! If you want to give it a try GOOD LUCK ! "
Something like that !  :-DD

The disks are not PC compatible, as far as I remember the size of the sector differs (256 vs 512), but I know there was an utility to read or write ROM 5000 disks on the PC.

Yes indeed that was it. I have a document Word called "Overlay" that talks about it, and explains how to map the last 4 maps into memory.
I also have the C source code for the utilities you describe.

About Micropross: I joined Micropross a few month after it has been created, I learned at the same university that the founder. Micropross was really a small company, and when the ROM 5000 has been designed (1985), the company should be 12 people or around. We never were more than 50 people.

Wow, designing such a complex machine and with so much assembly code... I find it quite an achievement for such a small team !
You people must have been very motivated !!  :-+


Two UARTS: one is for remote control, the second one is to connect the development system which will send the data to be programmed.

Thanks for that ! I was wondering what the second port was for.
All I could see was that the UART chip in the machine, according its datasheet, featured a SINGLE serial port... so I assumed the CPU had to multiplex the two ports, hence it could only use one or the other, but not both at the same time.


So to sum it up.. thank you so much Papardelle !  :-+
Please stay with me in the coming months as I resume work on this lovely machine.....now that I found you, I don't want to let you go away !  ;D

So, I will try to resume work onit real fast.
The first thing I need is to figure out a way to get a proper display, since my EGA/VGA arcade game adapter gives me "some" picture, but not 100% correct.

Oh, question about the source code : it looks like it's the code only for the system/boot disk right ? You don't have the code for the CPU itself, I mean the firmware inside the CPU' EPROM chip ?

Code Jungle ? Yes indeed, 404 files total !  :o
However, I am not deterred... just yet.
I see that many files are duplicates : one is for French language, and then there is one for English language.
So  I guess teh brings it down from 400 to 200+ files, much better eh ?!  :)
Then I will try sort these 200 files further. I will open them up one by one.
I will find all those that  correspond to programming specific chips, and set them aside.
That will bring the count down to maybe 50 files left... then those 50 I will try to understand what they do and further sort them.



 

Offline papardelle

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Re: Vintage chip Programmer : " Micropross ROM 3000U "
« Reply #181 on: May 27, 2024, 02:36:25 pm »
Hi Vince & all,

I'm sorry I don't visit this blog more often.
Perhaps I could let you my email, if you have urgent requests. Is it safe to post it here?

In your post #163, you see an emulator on the ROM5000. It is not an emulator.

Let me tell the story.

In the early eighties, Micropross developped a gang programmer very easy to use only two push buttons for all operations. Eight sockets, each of them can be a source or a target. You can copy one EPROM to 7 others, or a set of two to 3 set of two, or a set of four to another set of four. You can choose from 2516, 2716, 2532, 2732, 2764, 27128. That was the ROM2000, our first step in the programming devices world.

Then we developped the ROM5000, which programmed not only EPROMs, but also bipolar PROMs, which all have different programming algorithms. The first version should support perhaps thirty to fifty different devices. The ROM 5000 had a small magnetic tape used as mass storage.
More and more programmable devices coming on the market, so we developped the ROM 5000 D, the D stands for Disk, which replaced the magnetic tape. The programming module is now removable to accomodate SMD devices or exotic pinouts.
EPROMS on DIP socket were not allowed in sensitive applications, like high-speed train or Airbus, the EPROM are soldered directly on the PCB. So to program the devices, you must use the signals available on the connector, that is in-situ programming. That is what you see on the picture in your post #163, the board on the module is a board embedded in the TGV, french high speed train.
But in this case, the programming algorithm must accomodate the specific hardware of the board to be programmed. We invented a description of the board the user can use to develop its own programming algorithm (it has been accepted as a standard for avionics as ARINC 614 standard). This language was ULIS (Universal Language for In Situ)
More and more demand for in-situ programming, thus we developped in-situ programmers, the PRECIS range: Precis B for boards, Precis M for modules (OBRM in avionics), Precis S for small boards, Precis Z for ... smart cards, with a new language inspired by the Basic, ULIS B!
Indeed, smart cards manufacturers were looking for a programmer were they could define their own programming algorithm, for confidentiality reasons.
More and more demand for smart cards programmers, thus we developped the STAR range, dedicated to contact smart cards. Then the smartcards became contactless, we developped the CLASS range to test and program contactless smart cards and micro-modules.
More and more involved in the test of contact and contactless devices, Micropross developped the software around our hardware to test the interoperability of all contact and contactless cards and readers.
Thus, this lead us to test also mobile phones and our products have been implemented at all major mobile phones manufacturers.

That's all, folks!

I found a box with some programmable devices, they may be blank, programmed, or destroyed. Are you interested?
There are mainly EPROMS, from 2516 to 27C400, some EEPROMs, two one chip (87C51 and the famous 68705, which need a full story!), a few PALs (10L8, 20RA10, 22V10 etc) and PROMs (24S10, 74LS123, etc), also some SMD devices (MACH 210, EPM5032).
Let me know if you need it.
 
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Offline m k

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Re: Vintage chip Programmer : " Micropross ROM 3000U "
« Reply #182 on: May 27, 2024, 05:30:58 pm »
I'm quite sure I can find a place for 14S10.
Advance-Aneng-Appa-AVO-Beckman-Danbridge-Data Tech-Fluke-General Radio-H. W. Sullivan-Heathkit-HP-Kaise-Kyoritsu-Leeds & Northrup-Mastech-REO-Simpson-Sinclair-Tektronix-Tokyo Rikosha-Topward-Triplett-YFE
(plus lesser brands from the work shop of the world)
 

Offline VinceTopic starter

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Re: Vintage chip Programmer : " Micropross ROM 3000U "
« Reply #183 on: May 28, 2024, 08:47:17 pm »
Hi Papardelle, sorry again for the delay !  :-[

I'm sorry I don't visit this blog more often.

Oh, what you can do is click on the little "Notify" button at the bottom of the page.
This way you won't have to visit the forum all the time to check for nex messages here : instead you will receive a notification e-mail automatically whenever there is something new to read on this topic ! Zero overhead !  8)


Perhaps I could let you my email, if you have urgent requests. Is it safe to post it here?

No don't post your e-mail here, anyone could read it, including Google bots, ChatGPT and the Russian bots, bad things could happen !  :-DD
However private messages is fine : I will send you one in a minute as soon as I am done writing this message.
We can then exchange e-mails this way.


In your post #163, you see an emulator on the ROM5000. It is not an emulator.
Let me tell the story.

WOW ! Thanks for the memories and history of the company, that was fascinating !!  :D
See ? I knew you had much more to share than you originally thought !  ;)
It's funny that your colleague who wrote that programmer's guide, used that TGV board to illustrate the cover page, rather than, say, the HP 64K system that was used to develop the system.

In the early eighties, Micropross developped a gang programmer
[..] That was the ROM2000, our first step in the programming devices world.

OH ! That's interesting again !
On the other / French forum, system-cfg.com, on the ROM 5000 topic, there is a guy who said he bought a ROM2700 !

https://forum.system-cfg.com/viewtopic.php?p=220620#p220620

It looks really like a nice machine ! I just love the big keys, they don't make them like this anymore !  :(
Looks like this ROM2700 is a more modern version/development of the ROM200 ? It's got an LCD display and a comprehensive keypad, and the owner says that the machine came with a CD-ROM containing the S/W to transfer data from a computer to the programmer.


I found a box with some programmable devices, they may be blank, programmed, or destroyed. Are you interested?
There are mainly EPROMS, from 2516 to 27C400, some EEPROMs, two one chip (87C51 and the famous 68705, which need a full story!), a few PALs (10L8, 20RA10, 22V10 etc) and PROMs (24S10, 74LS123, etc), also some SMD devices (MACH 210, EPM5032).
Let me know if you need it.

Oh wow yes, I sure want them ! I just love any and all programmable devices !!!  :D
It will be super cool to have a variety of devices to test on my ROM3000 once I get it to work ! 8)
MK can have the 14S10 if he wants... if I ever need some he will just send some back my way !  ;D
I don't even know what the 14S10 is.. Google can't find a (relevant) datasheet for it... but if MK wants them so bad, I guess it's some rare, unobtainium chip that must be used in some machine that people are still interested today ! An old arcade machine or vintage computer MK ??

 

Offline coromonadalix

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Re: Vintage chip Programmer : " Micropross ROM 3000U "
« Reply #184 on: May 28, 2024, 09:52:16 pm »
have you recovered the available files   on this french forum ?

I'm native french

attached here
 

Offline m k

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Re: Vintage chip Programmer : " Micropross ROM 3000U "
« Reply #185 on: May 29, 2024, 09:10:24 am »
I don't even know what the 14S10 is..

You may also have a place for it.
It's one of those field programmable PROMs, where you burn out internal tungsten fuses and change bits from 0 to 1.

24S10 and 14S10 are cousins, 3-state and open collector outputs.
(eyes)

82S129 74S287 24S10 14S10
82S126 74S387 24SA10
(not 187)

I've also checked those sources few times, but my French is lacking.
Some text manipulation things I found, but cursor positioning is not straight forward, at least in names and numbers.

E,
property mixup.

E2,
more files.
And it's possibly that 24S10 that is more relevant.


E3,
less files.
PDF is from Datasheet Archive, but can't figure out the search phrase.

E4,
dang, 187 is a mask ROM.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2024, 12:19:08 pm by m k »
Advance-Aneng-Appa-AVO-Beckman-Danbridge-Data Tech-Fluke-General Radio-H. W. Sullivan-Heathkit-HP-Kaise-Kyoritsu-Leeds & Northrup-Mastech-REO-Simpson-Sinclair-Tektronix-Tokyo Rikosha-Topward-Triplett-YFE
(plus lesser brands from the work shop of the world)
 
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Offline VinceTopic starter

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Re: Vintage chip Programmer : " Micropross ROM 3000U "
« Reply #186 on: May 29, 2024, 08:13:02 pm »
have you recovered the available files   on this french forum ?

I'm native french

attached here

Yep I have all that.
 

Offline VinceTopic starter

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Re: Vintage chip Programmer : " Micropross ROM 3000U "
« Reply #187 on: May 29, 2024, 08:17:03 pm »
I don't even know what the 14S10 is..

You may also have a place for it.
It's one of those field programmable PROMs, where you burn out internal tungsten fuses and change bits from 0 to 1.

24S10 and 14S10 are cousins, 3-state and open collector outputs.
(eyes)

82S129 74S287 24S10 14S10
82S126 74S387 24SA10
(not 187)

I've also checked those sources few times, but my French is lacking.
Some text manipulation things I found, but cursor positioning is not straight forward, at least in names and numbers.

E,
property mixup.

E2,
more files.
And it's possibly that 24S10 that is more relevant.


E3,
less files.
PDF is from Datasheet Archive, but can't figure out the search phrase.

E4,
dang, 187 is a mask ROM.


I am bit confused now... what are those 'E' iterations ?

Do you still want those chips ?
Are they mask ROM i.e. useless to us ?
 

Offline m k

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Re: Vintage chip Programmer : " Micropross ROM 3000U "
« Reply #188 on: May 30, 2024, 11:21:34 am »
Yes, still want it, 24S10 that is.
And it's even better now since the earlier OC output knowledge was inaccurate.
Upper line of the earlier post is 3-state and lower OC outputs.

We can figure out the rest when you get them.
Generally old PROM types are good to have, PALs are much less needed around old TE, I guess.

For 87C51, I think I've seen one in HP 3478A.

The mentioned mask ROM is my pokings around the net and nothing to do with other things.

But are you sure you don't need that 24S10 your self?
I have a recollection that you may need one, but the sign is not bright.
It's sometimes used as a substitute to discrete logic chips, design time is probably somewhere before PAL chips, early '80s I guess.
Usual place is an address bus where output side is logically complex, those are faster than regular ROMs.

E is edit.
Keep'em or not is always a thing.
Advance-Aneng-Appa-AVO-Beckman-Danbridge-Data Tech-Fluke-General Radio-H. W. Sullivan-Heathkit-HP-Kaise-Kyoritsu-Leeds & Northrup-Mastech-REO-Simpson-Sinclair-Tektronix-Tokyo Rikosha-Topward-Triplett-YFE
(plus lesser brands from the work shop of the world)
 

Offline VinceTopic starter

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Re: Vintage chip Programmer : " Micropross ROM 3000U "
« Reply #189 on: May 30, 2024, 04:03:01 pm »
You are instilling doubt in me now, MK... I am starting to find thse 24S10 sexy as hell... maybe I will keep some of them... depends how much there are in all ! We shall see !  ;D

The 80C51 I am impatient to get my hands on... as it will bring back some memories.
In 1996 at school they started teaching us micros and assembly language on a (actual/vanilla) 80C51 development board, with 64K of external memory.
Half of the was an EPROM containing a monitor, the other half was a 32K RAM chip into which the monitor would download the user program.

Then the next year in 1997 we were blessed : we had a different dev board... still 8051 based but this time a super duper variant of it : the 80C552 !
Was the state of the art 8051 back then... fancy PLCC package, PWM, lots of I/O, ADC, I2C, even a H/W multiplier IIRC but don't quote me on that...it was a monster back then !  :-DD

 


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