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Success Stories If you have successfully repaired or restored a piece of equipment, why not write up what you did and post details here. Particularly if it was interesting, unusual or challenging. PLEASE DO NOT POST REQUESTS FOR HELP HERE!

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Old 16th Oct 2017, 3:20 pm   #1
JohnBHanson
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Worthing, Sussex, UK.
Posts: 288
Default Alphatronic PC rejuvenated

I have rejuvenated my Alphatronic PC by replacing the old 40 track 5.25 inch disk drives with "Modern" 3.5 inch DD/HD disk drives.

I have also modified the disk controller to cope with the high density mode of these disk drives increasing the storage capacity by a factor of 4.

One of the problems was the floppy disk contoller was located in the same case as the first floppy drive. Its PCB was mounted under the floppy and designed so the tall capacitors of the power supply were behind the floppy drive. I needed an adapter board to change the connector from the edge connector type used for the 5.25 inch connector to the type used on the 3.5 inch drives. This had to be very small so as to fit between the drive and the capacitors. A *big* thank you to volte-face for supplying this.

I also had to modify the bios and boot roms to allow booting from HD disks. While doing this I decided to add code to the boot roms to allow booting from 512 byte sector disks as well as the original 256 byte sector disks in both HD and DD modes. This allows me to easily use a usb floppy drive to copy the data to/from a PC.

Details of what I have done can be found at
http://81.105.120.101/alphatronic/hw...h_density.html

I first got this machine in about 1984 and nice to have it working again!
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Old 17th Oct 2017, 10:35 am   #2
electronicskip
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Location: Gloucester, Glos. UK.
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Default Re: Alphatronic PC rejuvenated

Nice to see one of these still in existence, we had one of these at work years ago.
Was it made by triumph ? the typewriter people?
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Old 17th Oct 2017, 8:29 pm   #3
JohnBHanson
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Location: Worthing, Sussex, UK.
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Default Re: Alphatronic PC rejuvenated

Yes it was made by Triumph Adler. Unusually for them it had a Z80 in it rather than an 8080.

However they removed most of the advantage in having the Z80 because the bios destroyed the contents of the index registers thus meaning CP/M programs could not use these registers.

I modified the bios not to destroy these registers as well as adding improved screen handling.

I used it to write lecture notes on many years ago!
An old friend.
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Old 28th Oct 2017, 5:11 pm   #4
m0cemdave
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Location: Bletchley, Buckinghamshire, UK.
Posts: 593
Default Re: Alphatronic PC rejuvenated

Triumph-Adler also made desktop PC clones - Alphatronic P50 and P60.

They were a bit unusual in using an 80186 instead of an 8088 and so, as with the Olivetti 8086 PC, were not quite standard PC clones.
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