Saturday, 11 February 2017

Reading Unsupported PROMs On A MiniPro TL866

As part of our slow progress with the Quantel DPB-7001 Paintbox we have been working a way to try and emulate a SMD hard disk. Because we don't have a working DPB or an SMD drive we need to build a rudimentary emulator of the disk controller element of the DPB so we can understand how it works.


Quantel DPB-7001 Disk Sequencer Card with 7 PROMs on the far right.

This will allow us to design a replacement plugin card for the physical DPB-7001 that would replace the Disk Sequencer card with a SMD emulator built into it using some flash memory and an FPGA.

Although most of the DPB uses standard 74 series logic, the disk controller uses an AMD AM2910 microcode sequencer driven from a small set of codes contained within 7 PROMs. We need to extract the code from these to be used within the DPB emulator that is being written. These PROMs are 28L22 devices with 256 x 8 bits of storage. The addressing is simple for these devices, there are 8 address lines to address each of the 256 memory locations and 8 data bits of output.

Unfortunately my MiniPro TL866 EPROM programmer doesn't support the 28L22, but that does not mean it can't read them with a bit of thought.

What we can do is make a small adaptor board to convert the pinout of the 28L22 PROM to be pin compatible with some other memory device the TL866 can read.

The closest match i could find was the AM2716B, which is a EEPROM with 2048 x 8 bits of storage. Though this has 10 address lines to access the additional memory space of this device. This is not a problem, we can simply leave these two extra address lines unconnected at the reader. The result of this is the reader will think it's reading out 2048 bytes of data but in fact it will be reading 256 but it will wrap around 8 times in the data readout.

Firstly we need to make an adaptor board to connect the device into the TL866:


During construction, the pin headers protrude through the base of the strip board to make contact with the ZIF socket of the TL866. Each pin can then be wired to a IC socket the 28L22 PROM will plug into.


View from underneath.


The 28L22 PROM plugged into the TL866.

Once the data is read out, we simply discard the last 1792 bytes of data to get to the original 256 bytes of data.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Quantel Schematics & Documentation

During my adventures with the Quantel Paintbox i have unearthed several pieces of documentation that i have scanned in and provided on my Google Drive for all to access.

Many Quantel products used the 3U V-Series chassis so these documents maybe of relevance even to non Paintbox systems. For example the Editbox used the same architecture as the V-Series but was in the larger rack.

As i add more i will include the details into this post

To access the repository use this link:

The current list of documents is as follows:

Quantel BridgeProcessor2 2058-66 Schematic.pdf
Schematics for the Bridge Processor used in the V-Series chassis.

Quantel CPU3 2060-74 Schematic.pdf
Schematic for the 68010 CPU3 (2060-74) card used in the early V-Series chassis.

Quantel CPU42 2078-82 Schematic.pdf
Schematic for the 68040 CPU42 (2078-82) card used in the later V-Series chassis, similar 2099 & 2101 boards were also used in the Editbox, Domino systems that used the same architecture.

Quantel DiskStore1M 2060-72 Schematic.pdf
Schematic for the DiskStore1M (2060-72) card used in many of the V-Series chassis.

Quantel VideoOut4 2057-69 Schematic.pdf
Schematic for the VideoOut4 (2057-69) used in some of the V-Series chassis, this has YUV/RGB analog and SDI digital output.

Quantel Netcom & Snetcom Documentation.pdf
Some possibly internal user guide for the Netcom and Snetcom board used in the V-Series chassis.

Quantel Network Engineering Training Manual 2066-58-050B.pdf
Network Engineering Training Manual 2066-58 for the V-Series including details of picturenet etc.

Quantel Paintbox Express Installation Manual 2090-58-030B.pdf
Complete installation manual for the Paintbox Express, this is a later 68040 based V-Series machine.

Quantel Paintbox Maintenance Training Manual 2056-58-050C.pdf
Some maintenance & engineering information for the V-Series Paintbox.

Quantel Picturebox Maintenance Training Manual 2057-58-050C.pdf
Similar to the manual above but for the V-Series Picturebox.


Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Quantel Paintbox V-Series - Setting The RTC Date

I have recently been playing around getting a Quantel Paintbox (V-Series Harriet) running. During the process i had to replace the battery backed SRAM which also contained the Real Time Clock (RTC).

Within the Paintbox user interface there is an option to set the time but not the date, this is even true in the engineering console where you have more access to the operating system. The only way to set the date is to manually set the RTC clock by poking bytes into a memory location.

This is due to Quantel's time-limited software keys. If there was an easy way to set the date then it would be easy to circumvent their feature expiry time by simply adjusting the system date before the key expires.

The V-Series CPU3 (also CPU3, CPU42 & CPU43) board has two battery backed SRAMs, these are the ST MK48Z02 and the MK48T02. The 'Z' version is a regular SRAM, the 'T' version includes a RTC which is mapped into the last 8 bytes of the MK48T02's 2048 byte address space.

In the CPU3 implementation 'RF' (the component designation on the PCB silkscreen) is the MK48T02 and 'RD' is the MK48Z02. Both devices are memory mapped into the 68000 address space starting at $040000 to $040FFF. The MK48Z02 is mapped to EVEN bytes and the MK48T02 is mapped to ODD bytes to give a total capacity 4,087 bytes (accounting for the 8 RTC control registers).

According to the datasheet for the MK48T02 device the RTC register map is as follows:

Add  D7 D6 D5 D4 D3 D2 D1 D0
7FF:  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - : Year 00-99
7FE:  0  0  0  -  -  -  -  - : Month 01-12
7FD:  0  0  -  -  -  -  -  - : Date 01-31
7FC:  0 FT  0  0  0  -  -  - : Day 01-07
7FB: KS  0  -  -  -  -  -  - : Hours 00-23
7FA:  0  -  -  -  -  -  -  - : Minutes 00-59
7F9: ST  -  -  -  -  -  -  - : Seconds 00-59
7F8:  W  R  S  -  -  -  -  - : Control

ST=Stop Bit
R=Read Bit
FT=Frequency Test
W=Write Bit
S=Sign Bit

KS=Kick Start Bit


To translate this to the Paintbox memory map we must multiply the address by 2 and add $40001. So the map becomes:

Add    D7 D6 D5 D4 D3 D2 D1 D0
40FFF:  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - : Year 00-99
40FFD:  0  0  0  -  -  -  -  - : Month 01-12
40FFB:  0  0  -  -  -  -  -  - : Date 01-31
40FF9:  0 FT  0  0  0  -  -  - : Day 01-07
40FF7: KS  0  -  -  -  -  -  - : Hours 00-23
40FF5:  0  -  -  -  -  -  -  - : Minutes 00-59
40FF3: ST  -  -  -  -  -  -  - : Seconds 00-59
40FF1:  W  R  S  -  -  -  -  - : Control


You can poke bytes into these addresses using the Quantel AFS Monitor on the serial port prior to booting the Paintbox software or you can use the 'MEMORY' command from within the Paintbox console.

Using the AFS Monitor to set the date to Wednesday 7 December 2016, remembering the values are BCD and the year is defined as years since 1980.

At the command prompt:

Allow write access to registers & stop clock:
40FF1;80

Set the day of week:
40FF9;03

Set the date:
40FFB;07

Set the month:
40FFD;0C

Set the year:
40FFF;36

Disable write access to registers & start clock:
40FF1;00

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Teardown: AMO Sovereign Phaco - Cataract Surgery Machine

In this teardown i look at a AMO Sovereign WhiteStar Phaco machine used to perform cataract surgery.

'Phaco' is a short form of Phacoemulsification which uses an ultrasonic knife to cut into the eye and chop up the damaged lens into small pieces soa new artificial lens can be inserted.

The machine i acquired was used in a local vets almost complete but with without the ultrasonic hand tools. Probably they kept them as spares for their new machine which replaced this one.

The machine is made up of a steel and aluminium chassis and the control box mounted on the top. Inside the chassis is an air pump, motorised IV pole, printer, storage tray and the along with the foot switch a few other electrical cables and power distribution.

The main controller is made from a steel outer chassis with plastic coverings. Mounted on the front is a LCD screen and control buttons. Inside the controller is a switch mode power supply, Ziatech embedded computer, phaco and diathermy power control board, parastaltic pump and valve arrangement and a SCSI solid state drive which contained the operating program.

The embedded computer is a Ziatech Z200, this uses a 80486DX4-100 CPU with 8mb RAM with several option boards; SCSI 2 Interface, Soundcard, fluidics controller and phaco controller.

A thanks and shoutout to Mike of MikesElectricStuff for tipping me off about this item which was local to me. Thanks Mike!


Saturday, 5 November 2016

Teardown: Kodak CR500 Computed Radiography X-Ray Scanner

In this video i begin looking at a Kodak DirectView CR500 Computed Radiography scanner.

A computed radiography system exposes special x-ray plates in regular x-ray equipment but the image is not stored photographically. It's stored in special materials on the imaging plate.

To reveal the image stored on the plate it's digitally recovered using a CR Reader, which is what the Kodak CD500 is. The cassette is offered up the the machine where it extracts the imaging plate from the cassette, scans a red laser over the plate which makes the material fluoresce blue. The blue light is picked up using photomultiplier tubes and then digitised and processed so the image can be viewed on a computer.

The imaging plate is then exposed to bright visible light to erase it for re-use. 


Part 1: Disassembly of the main components.


Part 2: Looking closer at the main components.