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Vintage Computers Any vintage computer systems, calculators, video games etc., but with an emphasis on 1980s and earlier equipment.

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Old 3rd Oct 2020, 8:34 pm   #1
Cobaltblue's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Exeter and Poole, UK.
Posts: 4,017
Default Fairchild F8

Back in the late 70's I had several involvements including building a PC from scratch using the Fairchild F8.

It was also used in amusement machines especially one arm bandits.

I did a nice little side-line at that time repairing and reprograming amusement machines.

Anyone else do anything with the F8?

I am hoping as I re-enter my stores I will find my F8 stuff.


Mike T
Don't care if it was a bargain why's it in my kitchen
Mike T BVWS member.
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Old 3rd Oct 2020, 9:00 pm   #2
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Newbury, Berkshire, UK.
Posts: 543
Default Re: Fairchild F8

I remember raking through some boards at a computer junk shop (Display Electronics) in Ilford back in the 80s and finding a circuit board that the guy there said was an "F8 CPU board" but as I hadn't heard of it at the time I put it to one side. Which at the time was wise because getting any data on it in the pre-internet years would have been unlikely. I instead picked up a 6800 based board from a point of sale terminal which had an intriguing number of big support chips (probably 6820 PIA's) memory and EPROM. I never really got it to do anything much and I wish I could find it now because now I have an EPROM programmer, time and knowledge!

Theres a F8 card pulled from a communications reciever on eBay now, selling for $100 so if you do find yours look after it! It surely must be very rare.
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Old 3rd Oct 2020, 9:03 pm   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Wiltshire, UK.
Posts: 8,975
Default Re: Fairchild F8

I built some agricultural data-collection gear using the F8; back in the late-70s the idea of counting/weighing pigs as they fed was kinda novel !

[The in-the-pigshed bit used the F8 and battery-backed CMOS RAM chips to store the data, which was then uploaded to a PDP11 when the in-the-pigshed bit was taken back to head-office at the end of the week].

I remember some fun because the F8 had to drive a 4-digit 7-segment multiplexed display from software, and when an interrupt came along the display was 'stalled' while the interrupt was serviced - this meant whichever segments on the poor little calculator-style 'bubble' display were lit at the time stayed turned-on - and passing a high current - for the duration of the interrupt-service routine. We had problems with segments going-dim through overdrive: I rewrote things so when the interrupt arrived there was a little routine which was called to 'flush' the display-drivers to all-segments-off before servicing the interrupt proper.

Ah, all now lost in time.
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