Author Topic: WTB: Microprofessor MPF-1  (Read 7977 times)

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Offline GK

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WTB: Microprofessor MPF-1
« on: May 28, 2014, 09:23:48 am »
Stumbled upon this searching the web for other stuff:

http://www.flite.co.uk/microprofessor-mpf-1b-z80-training-system.htm

I remember learning machine code on one of these at TAFE ~15 years ago. They were already old hat back then; I'm surprised that they are still being made and sold to the original design.

I wouldn't mind one of these on  the bookshelf just for fun/nostalgia, but not badly enough to be willing to fork over 225 pounds plus shipping for a new one.
Anyone out there have one of these collecting dust that they'd be willing to sell. I'd go 50 bucks for one with original manuals. Checked ebay, but no hits at present. There must be a million of these still out there.........   

Bzzzzt. No longer care, over this forum shit.........ZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
 

Offline lowimpedance

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Re: WTB: Microprofessor MPF-1
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2014, 11:47:07 am »
 My goodness that is 'vintage'.
It must have been after my time, my TAFE course used a 6502 based system even more primitive than that one (even had to build it myself). I'm sure its still in the garage somewhere under one of many piles of junk. Ahh memories.....Gonna have to go looking now.
 Good luck finding one, probably all survivors are also buried long out of sight.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2014, 06:04:49 am by lowimpedance »
The odd multimeter or 2 or 3 or 4...or........can't remember !.
 

Offline PE1RKI

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Re: WTB: Microprofessor MPF-1
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2014, 01:30:39 pm »
nice, i had programming lessons on this at school in 1995!
 

Offline Mr Simpleton

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Re: WTB: Microprofessor MPF-1
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2014, 06:52:20 pm »
Remember we did throw away the "book" some 15 years ago :D
Programming MPF-1 is like driving an Austin FX4... Oh wait they still doing it  :-DD

Fun to see the documentatins is in Word 6 format... 
Just curious does anyone use Dos/Word-6 ??  :-//

 

Offline mamalala

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Re: WTB: Microprofessor MPF-1
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2014, 07:56:07 pm »
Stumbled upon this searching the web for other stuff:

http://www.flite.co.uk/microprofessor-mpf-1b-z80-training-system.htm

I remember learning machine code on one of these at TAFE ~15 years ago. They were already old hat back then; I'm surprised that they are still being made and sold to the original design.

I wouldn't mind one of these on  the bookshelf just for fun/nostalgia, but not badly enough to be willing to fork over 225 pounds plus shipping for a new one.
Anyone out there have one of these collecting dust that they'd be willing to sell. I'd go 50 bucks for one with original manuals. Checked ebay, but no hits at present. There must be a million of these still out there.........   

Ah, that's a bargain, compared to this:

http://www.ebay.de/itm/Systems-Z80-Trainer-SEL-Lehrsysteme-/310862183828

:)

Greetings,

Chris
 

Offline 128er

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Re: WTB: Microprofessor MPF-1
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2014, 08:28:35 pm »


Ah, that's a bargain, compared to this:

http://www.ebay.de/itm/Systems-Z80-Trainer-SEL-Lehrsysteme-/310862183828

:)

Greetings,

Chris

This case looks great  :-+ . Thanks for the link. Never seen one of those before.

SEL alway makes nice stuff, also military radio equipment back in the 60/70's. Ultra robust stuff.

I have some educational stuff from Siemens, but it has nothing to do with microprocesors. Its a controller training thing.


Edit:
I've looked closer at the ebay picture...

The bare mains bridge rectifier is creepy. If there is a transformer inside?  ???
« Last Edit: May 28, 2014, 10:19:44 pm by 128er »
 

Offline GK

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Re: WTB: Microprofessor MPF-1
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2014, 05:28:48 am »
With a keypad rather than rows of toggle switches, the Micro Professor was actually quite advanced  ;D

Given the medieval hardware though, it really is amazing that they are still being made and sold. It seems the Z80 is never going to die. I guess the unit is still a workable aid to teaching the fundamentals, though a lot of old, grumpy professors out there who couldn’t be bothered re-writing the established course material might also be a factor, who knows?
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Offline DJ

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Re: WTB: Microprofessor MPF-1
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2014, 06:18:04 am »
I should see if I still have my old Intel SDK-85.

Sigh. I feel old now
 

Offline Yago

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Re: WTB: Microprofessor MPF-1
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2014, 02:07:17 pm »
I should see if I still have my old Intel SDK-85.

Sigh. I feel old now

Mine was the Emma 6502 back in the 80's!
 

Offline netdudeuk

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Re: WTB: Microprofessor MPF-1
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2014, 11:00:28 pm »
nice, i had programming lessons on this at school in 1995!

I've got a circa 1981 original in mint condition.  I'd put the value at a lot more than $50 though.
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: WTB: Microprofessor MPF-1
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2014, 06:53:04 am »
Funny I learned Z80 assembly with a book that used the MPF-1 that of course I didn't have while waiting for a replacement Z80 for my ZX-81 (fried it by shorting something on the expansion port)
I did all the exercises by hand, kind of being the Z80 myself :)

Took like 3 months to get the replacement Z80 so I had plenty of time.
 

Offline GK

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Re: WTB: Microprofessor MPF-1
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2014, 12:35:55 pm »
Local pickup in Victoria only, unfortunately.
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Online free_electron

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Re: WTB: Microprofessor MPF-1
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2014, 06:06:22 pm »
I should see if I still have my old Intel SDK-85.

Sigh. I feel old now
or one of those old ISIS machines. those were fun !
Professional Electron Wrangler.
Any comments, or points of view expressed, are my own and not endorsed , induced or compensated by my employer(s).
 

Offline im_a_human

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Re: WTB: Microprofessor MPF-1
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2016, 07:22:15 am »
Hi,

I still use the Microprofessor but built on veroboard and with a lot of customisation.

Heres links to my pictures of my versions of the machine

https://www.flickr.com/photos/nicktate/5026693027/in/dateposted-public/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/nicktate/5027325482/in/dateposted-public/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/nicktate/5026729937/in/dateposted-public/

This is the oldest one I still have. Its more or less the closest to the original but the keyboard layout I made different and the  connector pinout is different on mine. The CPU runs at 4 MHz clock speed. The original ran at 1.79MHz.

The power supply is a separate 5V unit. The board that connects to the CPU bus connector at the back is for two serial ports, one MIDI and the other RS232.
 

Offline im_a_human

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Re: WTB: Microprofessor MPF-1
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2016, 07:56:51 am »
This is my fourth computer build..

https://www.flickr.com/photos/nicktate/5014645754/in/dateposted-public/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/nicktate/5014661578/in/dateposted-public/

In this version I used all CMOS Z80 CPU, PIO, CTC, 8255 PIA, 6850 UART chips to reduce power consumption and added a lot more hardware. The CPU runs at 4MHz.
In addition to the 2k ram there's 128K bytes of ram. I added an extra register to switch 8K pages in the memory map. There's also a real time clock.
The battery is not shown in this photo as it was being upgraded at the time in 2010.
I added an * bit DAC and an 8 bit ADC. This can be used in conjunction with the analogue board on top at the back of the keyboard. There are some low pass filters and a mixer. The switches allow routing of the signals between the input/output sockets and bypassing the filters or mixer. The mixer allows returning the output so it gets summed with the input so it can be used to create a digital audio delay unit with the software I wrote. I used this particular computer for sound synthesis and audio sampling quite alot. I added one serial port configured as a MIDI interface.
Back in the early 90's it was very expensive to buy professional music gear such as samplers and synths etc, but it was fun to build your own.
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: WTB: Microprofessor MPF-1
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2016, 08:24:11 am »
I used to have a ZX-81 and started to tinker with the I/O bus, long story short I shorted something and fried the CPU, so I went to order another one (since it was socketed it would be just a drop in replacement) well, back then you will have to wait months to get a part, their estimate was 2 months and it took 3, but they did have a book in English (this was in Spain early 80s) about the Z80 assembly language.

I did buy the book and while waiting for the actual processor I did all the exercises by hand (I was pretty much the CPU).
The target device for the book was the microprofessor MPF-1, of course there was no way I could afford it back then but I did learn assembly for my 1st time using that book ( I think it had yellow covers but not sure anymore)

I always lusted with the thought of purchasing one, but instead I used the ZX-81 and later on the ZX-Spectrum to do my assembly code, (I was the assembler btw, figured out the op-codes and poke the code using Basic) lots of fun for me at the time :)

Anyways, I don't lust upon it anymore, you can get a full soft core z80 fpga but what for? Current MCUs are way past what those things could do.

I do have somewhere an assembler and debugger that did run on IBM and clones, but  as soon as I saw it boot and the copyright for the Spectrum I lost interest because I got it working. The thing is that my energy (other than figuring that out) moved towards the current generation so I moved on.

Not saying you shouldn't seek an MPF-1, but why?

I just noticed I already told my story earlier on this thread, well, less detailed but still. Move on to current gen. Even microcontrollers have more computing power that that awesome z-80 (well awesome at it's time with their expanded instruction set over the 8080).


 

Offline im_a_human

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Re: WTB: Microprofessor MPF-1
« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2016, 09:21:38 am »
Heres the next one and the most recent built in 2010...

Actually no. 6 in my line up of computer builds. I don't have No 5 anymore as it was a complete disaster. In 1997 I attempted to build a quad Z180 CPU machine running at 33MHz. (a Z80 on steroids). The project became extremely complicated as I didn't use the same Microprofessor software like all the others did. I tried to write my own OS. I used a 4x40 line LCD and a similar keyboard as the others. After a few years I admitted defeat and gave up on it.

But anyway this is my most recent build and its rather spectacular in its own right!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/nicktate/5014907538/in/dateposted-public/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/nicktate/5014319327/in/dateposted-public/

The main board features CMOS chips like the build in my previous post. There are two crystal oscillators so the CPU clock speed can be switched between 4MHz and 12MHz. The battery backed ram is 256Kb. One of the 128K ram chips is using the same 16x 8Kb page switching as the previous computer has, then the other 128Kb ram is divided up into 4x 32Kb. They are independent of each other too. I didn't add a real time clock to this one as I didn't leave enough space on the board. In the end I built a separate board for the clock.

Like the previous design I added an 8bit ADC and DAC but never finished the analogue circuits so the wires are still to this day left hanging loose out the back. I used separate filter circuits on a bread board connected the DAC/ADC to do digital audio experiments. Next up was the serial interface with the MIDI interface again.

Hers the keyboard...

https://www.flickr.com/photos/nicktate/5014196341/in/dateposted-public/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/nicktate/5040505406/in/dateposted-public/

In 2012 for the top board at the back of the keyboard/display I did something rather awesome! ...

https://www.flickr.com/photos/nicktate/6872507206/in/dateposted-public/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/nicktate/8708165210/in/dateposted-public/

I added four Microchip dsPIC microcontrollers running at 40 MHz. They communicate with the Z80 computer part of the board through a MIDI interface on the board. Each dsPIC shares the serial bus and I designed the software and hardware in such a way so they are each addressable and while they can each receive data at the same time they will never transmit on the serial bus at exactly the same time. Each dsPIC has its own 16bit ADC with up to 8 multiplexed inputs and inputs and two x 18 bit DAC's. I have programming headers so each dsPIC's software can be reprogrammed by plugging the programmer into the header next to each chip.

The board with its four dsPICs is capable of doing some very good processing work for sound synthesizer projects. I run the different software required to make oscillators, envelope generator and filters and effects on each of the dsPIC chips and wired the analogue signals from one chip to the next. I wrote a MIDI sequencer program on the Z80 part of the computer to control the dsPIC board.

This project is still on going to this very day so hope to finish it eventually.

There is another post on my projects in this forum but this is sort of a re-visit to the Microprofessor of sorts and how I recreated it. Its still alive and it will probably outlast every last MAC and PC in existence. In another 50 years we may just need the Z80 to do some vital work.


 

Offline joeqsmith

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Re: WTB: Microprofessor MPF-1
« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2016, 03:59:33 pm »
I should see if I still have my old Intel SDK-85.

Sigh. I feel old now

Now that thing is old.  We used those when I was in school for one of my digital courses.  I still have my copy of this book for the SDK:
http://www.amazon.com/101-microprocessor-software-hardware-projects/dp/0830600302


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