[vcf-midatlantic] B&C Microsystems EEPROM software

J. Alexander Jacocks jjacocks at gmail.com
Mon May 27 23:24:33 EDT 2019


Matt,

If it’s rs-232 serial, likely you don’t need anything but a term program.
Try 9600bps, 8 data bits, no parity, and 1 stop bit, to start with.
 38,400bps is also common.

A large number of programmers from that era are self-contained; since
rs-232 isn’t a real-time-suitable protocol (like usb!), images were
generally uploaded to the unit’s internal memory, before programming a
device.  Similarly, devices could be read to memory, and then downloaded.

- Alex

On Mon, May 27, 2019 at 16:27 Matt Reynolds via vcf-midatlantic <
vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org> wrote:

> Herb,
>
> It's vintage, which is why I thought I'd take a stab at asking you folks.
> The motherboard says it was made in 1989.
>
> 1.  It is screen printed in the name on the device that it is rs-232.
>
> 2.  I can try and use PuTTY and see if that works but I'm sure it needs
> more than that.
>
> 3.  I'm trying to set this device up so i can read\burn EEPROMS, so I'd
> have to buy\use something else to read the one inside of it..  There is an
> 8085 processor in it.  There is also an 8155 and 8251.
>
> 4.  This may have been common in the past, but I'm only four years older
> than the device itself.  I've never had to do it, I'm trying to learn about
> it, which is why I bought it in the first place :)
>
> I am not giving up hope that the software is out there somewhere.  The
> software for it's more expensive relative is on bitsavers, I will probably
> try and install it and see what it does regardless.  Maybe I'll get lucky
> and it will work.  I'll also try the straight up serial connection and see
> what happens.
>
> Thanks,
>
> Matt
>
>
> On Mon, May 27, 2019, 3:34 PM Herb Johnson via vcf-midatlantic <
> vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org> wrote:
>
> > >  software
> > > that goes with a B&C Microsystems Inc. UP100 Universal RS232
> > E(E)PROM/Micro
> > > Programmer.
> >
> > If this is some modern unit with a single-chip microcontroller, you are
> > probably out of luck. If not, if it's vintage enough to have a
> > microprocessor and some ROM and some RAM:
> >
> > 1) confirm the unit is "RS-232" or serial. Many of them used a PC
> > parallel port. YOu'll have to reverse engineer the circuits at the DB25
> > (or DB9) connector.
> >
> > 2) If it's really serial, chances are it can be operated with a serial
> > terminal (or PC running a comm program). You may have to guess at the
> > baud rates, it may be autobaud, using the first character received to
> > determine a baud rate. "Hit return a lot.".
> >
> > If it's PC parallel, you are mostly out of luck. But there's still:
> >
> > 3) if all that fails, Pull the PROM out of the unit - chances are it has
> > one - and dump it. Of course you'll need an EPROM reader, once, to do
> > this. Also note the processor in the unit. You may need to disassemble
> > the code, at least a little. But it may be informative even as an ASCII
> > dump.
> >
> > - Um, this is the kind of thing done, lots of time in the past, to make
> > sense of some unknown microcomputer. Is this "lost art" now?
> >
> > Puzzled,
> > Herb Johnson
> >
> > --
> > Herbert R. Johnson, New Jersey in the USA
> > http://www.retrotechnology.com OR .net
> >
>


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