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Old 27th Jun 2020, 6:08 pm   #1
Karen O
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Default Orton NIBL computer (closure after 40 years!)

Hi All,

Firstly, I have to say how heart-warming it is for me to see my old friend - the SC/MP microprocessor - getting so much attention recently in the Vintage Computer section. Programming the Z80 is so much easier, but I'll never forget the revelation I had when I grasped the ins and outs of the simpler SC/MP. "I can program this!!!!"

In many ways, this is the computer I wanted to build circa 1978, but for all the usual reasons it never happened (cost being a major obstacle). I wanted a NIBL machine, plus a set of utilities (which I call 'Page 2 support') to handle cassette I/O, usual 'monitor' style commands to examine memory, support for a printer, and most importantly, an assembler to augment NIBL.

Although I've used modern parts, this machine could be built with real vintage parts, and I'm certain it would work!

Anyway, enjoy!
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File Type: pdf Orton NIBL computer manual.pdf (137.5 KB, 174 views)
File Type: zip Files.zip (76.6 KB, 86 views)
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Old 28th Jun 2020, 6:08 pm   #2
Timbucus
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Default Re: Orton NIBL computer (closure after 40 years!)

Yet another really interesting addition to the SC/MP stable - I will have to build something to try NIBL itself and this now. I have been putting it off waiting to do something with an addon to the MK14 to adapt NIBL-E but, maybe a plain NIBL based machine with this extra functionality is a good first step.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 28th Jun 2020, 8:58 pm   #3
Karen O
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Default Re: Orton NIBL computer (closure after 40 years!)

Thank you TimB,

Your comments are very much appreciated.

In many ways I've taken the easy way out by using modern parts. I know how much effort goes into pulling together genuine vintage parts to do some of the things in the Vintage Computer section.

But I think that's my modus operandi: keeping old ideas alive using modern tech.

I have a PMOS SC/MP somewhere, and some 2708 EPROMs, so maybe I should do something truly vintage...?

Keep up the fascinating work!
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Old 28th Jun 2020, 9:19 pm   #4
Timbucus
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Default Re: Orton NIBL computer (closure after 40 years!)

I think your use of modern parts is great as it makes it more accessible to people - I do admire all your cases though... Doing so with modern parts is much like all the recreated modern machines like the C64 and Spectrum Next but, for electronics enthusiasts...

That PMOS SC/MP is asking to go in one of the BYWOOD SCRUMPI 1 recreations... perhaps with a few ribbon cables over to a NIBL ROM and RAM expansion... would have been a likely expansion back in the day.
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Old 28th Jun 2020, 10:59 pm   #5
dominicbeesley
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Default Re: Orton NIBL computer (closure after 40 years!)

This looks excellent! I'll be having a proper read of this this week but at a glance it looks very useful.
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 12:36 pm   #6
Karen O
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Default Re: Orton NIBL computer (closure after 40 years!)

Hi Dom,

I'm pleased that you approve. The trouble with big systems (and 24k RAM was a BIG system for the late 70s) was the inevitability of a card frame, backplane bus, metalwork, etc. That could easily cost as much as the silicon back then. At least now, I can avoid that big expense

TimB,

You've got me fired up! I rather like the idea of mounting a SCRUMPI card vertically to resemble a Scelbi 8H. I have just the card guides to do that, and some blank double-Eurocard prototyping boards.

Am I right in thinking that the SCRUMPI board used a double-Eurocard format? Or am I thinking of the KIM-1?
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 9:01 pm   #7
Timbucus
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Default Re: Orton NIBL computer (closure after 40 years!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karen O View Post

TimB,

You've got me fired up! I rather like the idea of mounting a SCRUMPI card vertically to resemble a Scelbi 8H. I have just the card guides to do that, and some blank double-Eurocard prototyping boards.

Am I right in thinking that the SCRUMPI board used a double-Eurocard format? Or am I thinking of the KIM-1?
Excellent - look forward to your next new old vintage design...

I assume that was the KIM-1 both the SCRUMPI-1 (PMOS which is tiny at 5 1/2" by 6") and the SCRUMPI-II (NMOS SC/MP II) which is about twice that were non standard.

I have a theory that the SCRUMPI-1 was originally intended to be the front panel system for what became the System 68 which was a standard Eurocard (ETI wanted it to be 6800 based) so it would have had the switches remote mounted on a panel perhaps and the LED's facing on edge I suspect..

https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...166274&page=16 has some photos of the accurate recreation PCB Phil is doing and a link to my manual/history document which includes my humorous "what could have been" - I have a rack which is mainly PSU and horizontal giant cards so my final one (when the switches fit on the card) may actually get mounted on the front so the expansions can happen in the back...

Click image for larger version

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The rack already contains a 1978 Serial cassette interface CUTS card which I want to reuse and get working...

The case has a perspex top and when I started on the project I was going to mount my Vero built (SCRUMPI 2 size one) on the top but, now we have real PCB's the front mount as you say, will look very much like a British Altair! It will also allow the TV to stay on the top to be used as a display for the Graphics card when it is done.

Thanks for the dive into the SCELBI not one I had seen before!

The SCRUMPI 2 card is best seen in this photo (guess where the top mounting idea came from...):

https://arnowelzel.de/en/jim-austins...#&gid=1&pid=52
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Old 30th Jun 2020, 3:48 pm   #8
SiriusHardware
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Default Re: Orton NIBL computer (closure after 40 years!)

Slightly OT: Is that an original MK14 manual lurking in the upper left? Where did you manage to find that? V1 or V2?
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Old 30th Jun 2020, 5:01 pm   #9
Timbucus
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Default Re: Orton NIBL computer (closure after 40 years!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by SiriusHardware View Post
Slightly OT: Is that an original MK14 manual lurking in the upper left? Where did you manage to find that? V1 or V2?
I wish - it is an Inkjet printed on A4 Photo paper cover I use to contain all my printed notes relating to the MK14...
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Old 30th Jun 2020, 5:11 pm   #10
SiriusHardware
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Default Re: Orton NIBL computer (closure after 40 years!)

Had me fooled, and I have two real ones.
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Old 30th Jun 2020, 5:33 pm   #11
Timbucus
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Default Re: Orton NIBL computer (closure after 40 years!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by SiriusHardware View Post
Had me fooled, and I have two real ones.
Now that is just showing off...
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Old 30th Jun 2020, 6:32 pm   #12
SiriusHardware
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Default Re: Orton NIBL computer (closure after 40 years!)

My original one was in such terrible condition, with schoolboy scribbles on nearly every page, that it would have actually devalued the machine rather than adding to the value if I ever intended to sell it. I eventually pounced on a nice clean one which came up on its own for 7 and that is the one I will pass on with the machine if I ever sell it (unlikely) or give it to a museum.

Anyway... Back to NIBL.
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Old 30th Jun 2020, 7:29 pm   #13
TonyDuell
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Default Re: Orton NIBL computer (closure after 40 years!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by SiriusHardware View Post
Had me fooled, and I have two real ones.
I thought it was genuine too..

I only have one MK14 manual (came with the kit years ago). It lives on the bookshelf along with that 'Understanding Microprocessors...' book and the Softy 1 manual.
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Old 1st Jul 2020, 5:10 am   #14
Karen O
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Default Re: Orton NIBL computer (closure after 40 years!)

Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by SiriusHardware
Had me fooled, and I have two real ones.
Now that is just showing off...
Yes, Sirius, don't show off or you might not get invited round again
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Old 9th Aug 2020, 1:24 am   #15
Karen O
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Default Re: Orton NIBL computer (closure after 40 years!)

I've facilitated PC-relative indexed instructions in my SC/MP assembler.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Orton NIBL computer manual.pdf (138.1 KB, 74 views)
File Type: txt PAGE2asm.txt (22.7 KB, 50 views)
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