Category Archives: Hardware

System hardware and extensions

TE-1507 : Prototype updated

Hi, In my PC-1500 i had problems with the first TE-1507 version using Xicor memory.
It was impossible to write something in an unprotected X28HC256.
http://www.pc-1500.info/2015/07/30/te-1507-the-memory-module-for-developers/

The Team1560 needs were to have a big system RAM and a place to test system ROM extensions.
Done ! The TE-1507 is now working with 2 RAM ICs and the R/W protection is done by jumper.

Here are some pictures the prototype :

TE-1507_Proto_900_001

TE-1507_Proto_900_002TE-1507_Proto_900_004

TE-1507_Proto_900_006TE-1507_Proto_900_007

TE-1507_Proto_900_008TE-1507_Proto_900_009

This one, number 3, is reserved for…….. ? Stay tuned 😉

The release version should be available in one month.

Happy birthday !!! The second candle !!!

Hi all my readers !
Two years ago when i started this website i didn’t imagine to find all these informations about the Sharp PC-1500.
Did you imagine that this little pocket computer was distributed all over the world ?
Under other brands like Hiradastechnika or Nanfeng ?

It’s always a pleasure when a reader contact me and tells me it’s story with the PC-1500.
But it’s very rare ! Who wants to share his experience and knowledge ? Send me some articles with pictures and i will publish it !
Do you have some old program tapes ? Do you want to teach machine language programming in a set of articles ?
Your English language writing will sure be better than mine ! lol

300 000 visits since last year… incredible ! Thank you !
I know that my visitors are from lot of countries, some close to me in France like the Silicium.org forum, some from the other side of the planet like Neil in Australia or Waon in China, Toplica in Russia… Thank you for following the SHARP PC-1500’s story.

My next big task will be to contact Sharp in Japan and to ask for their help.
They may have lot of documents to share with us and shipping a parcel with rare informations, schematics, books, pictures, peripherals (like CE-165), is not an excessive cost ? They may have a museum, isn’t ? My website is the PC-1500 museum 😉
Please, Sharp company, read this page http://www.pc-1500.info/donors/
Some of you are already generous donors and i thank you again and again !!!

Who can answer this question : Which is the last serial number signification ?
My suggestion is something like the factory or the target country…

Ok, it’s time to close this second year with a Graal : the Blue PC-1500 in the rare Japan case !

PC-1500_GRAAL_001
PC-1500_GRAAL_002PC-1500_GRAAL_003
PC-1500_GRAAL_005PC-1500_GRAAL_004
PC-1500_GRAAL_007PC-1500_GRAAL_008
PC-1500_GRAAL_009

The Sharp CE-515P printers (Part II) : European/US version opening the box

The box don’t have the classic PC-1500 peripherals brown look.
It’s the for the next generation, the PC-1600, and have a nice blue color.
The parcel looks strong and the printer seems to be well protected.

Sharp_CE-515P_002 Sharp_CE-515P_001

The inside part is made of two blocs of polystyrene. The user manual is on the top.
Sharp_CE-515P_003

And on the top bloc we discover places for a paper roll and 3 pens sets. Nice idea !
Sharp_CE-515P_004
Sharp_CE-515P_005 Sharp_CE-515P_006

Removing the top bloc… and the big graphic color printer is here with it’s power adapter.
Sharp_CE-515P_008

Here are all items included in the box… but the transparent cover is not on the picture.
Sharp_CE-515P_009

Next time we will open the printer 🙂

512KB Memory Expansion Module for SHARP PC-1600 by Tom

After my PC-1500 memory module which need some corrections, i’m very proud to present you this incredible 512KB memory module for the PC-1600 built by Tom.
The best thing to do is to let Tom explain it :

At the beginning of 2014 I rediscovered the fascination of the vintage SHARP pocket computers. My very first computer was indeed a PC-1500/CE-150 which I found somewhere deep down in my storage. And it was still working (except the rechargeable battery of course)!

In the 80s, when I was a boy, however the PC-1600/CE-1600P was a dream, but too expensive for me by magnitudes. So I was lucky to buy one from ebay. Since I’m a computer scientist, I was interested to treat that machine like an embedded system using a modern software dev environment and the sdcc/Z80 C-compiler. I succeeded, but soon noticed that the RAM-disk was too small, even on a 32KB+64KB config.

So I searched for custom vintage Tramsoft and Bajic 256KB modules, but couldn’t get one.
That was the point, when I decided to build my own. Luckily I found the homepage of Kai Bader, who kindly offered me one of his breakout boards and I started experimenting with SRAM ICs.
The hard part for me was to decode the PC-1600 vertical bank switch of slot 2, but finally I got my first 256KB RAM module in my hands.

Version1
Technical Data (rev 1 – sold out)
———————————
* 256KB RAM module with low power SRAM chip
* 32KB can optionally be reserved as a main memory extension, the rest is used as RAM-disk
* No battery buffer

I send one to Kai and he posted it on his website. Allmost immediately I was contacted by Eric – the owner of this great site – who had some clever suggestions for technical improvements and organized a poll at the silicium.org enthusiasts forum for a revision 2 of the board.
Since my first version had a 512KB SRAM chip on board of which “only” 256KB was used, the main improvement was to provide a 2x256KB mode and a 512KB mode.
It was clear soon that the 512KB harware mode was not supported by the PC-1600 INIT-command, but after some fiddling about I managed to write a patch routine that overcomes this problem.
And that was the birth of the first 512KB RAM module for the SHARP PC-1600.

Version2
Technical Data (rev 2 – sold out)
———————————
* as rev 1 but 3 modes of operation:
– 256KB mode, without need of any additional init software or peeks/pokes
– 2x256KB mode, with two banks 256KB each – to be switched by an additional hardware switch
– 512KB mode, needs an additional custom patch routine to get that mode running
* Battery buffer not included, but a description for mod available.

For more details see
http://www.silicium.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=38729&start=84

Technical Data (rev 3 – planned)
——————————–
* as rev 2 but with (better) battery buffer support incorporated

Thanx again Eric for your support and this very informative and entertaining site.

Thank you Tom for this module !
My friends from Silicium and me are happy with our 512KB PC-1600 🙂

>Click to download the full module description <<

 

TE-1507 : The memory module for developers !

Hello !

The TE-1507 memory module is now in my PC-1500 !
This module offers a very wide memory space for developers.

It was initially planned to have RAM and EEProm but due to a bad EEProm lot… it’s now full RAM.

Standard memory for Basic/ML :
– from &0000 to &3FFF
– 2 x 16KB switchable by PV or PU (jumper to select active signal)
– read only by removing a jumper
– disabled by removing a jumper

EEProm memory (here it’s RAM) for ML only as system/peripheral ROM extension:
– from &8000 to &BFFF
– 2 x 16KB switchable by PU (as in the CE-158 interface)
– set by jumper if it’s in the PV=0 (like CE-150) or PV=1 (like CE-158 or CE-162E) memory space
– read only by removing a jumper
– disabled by removing a jumper

The two memory addresses can be inverted by placing the enable jumpers on the switch positions (90° move)

Here are the pictures :
TE-1507_H_014TE-1507_H_013

TE-1507_H_015TE-1507_H_017

TE-1507_H_023TE-1507_H_022

TE-1507_H_021TE-1507_H_020

TE-1507_H_019

This module will be a very good investment to expand your PC-1500(A) !
The Team1560 member CGH is working on a ROM builder to add Basic keywords from a wide library. Cool, isn’t it ?

The price for this special module is $75 without shipping costs.

New in the family : PC-1500 RP !

Do you remember the PC-1500 RP2 found in Brazil ?
This new one is the RP and it’s the same for the printer.

PC-1500_RP_015

This is a full set with all accessories and manuals. The instruction manual is only a bad copy.
PC-1500_RP_016PC-1500_RP_002
The case is very clean ! And all accessories are present : power adapter, pens, paper, cables…
PC-1500_RP_003PC-1500_RP_006
And the papers too : connector cover for the printer, sticker for name.
PC-1500_RP_009PC-1500_RP_007
And the big surprise is the PC-1500RP 8K memory module. Uh, all seems to be named PC-1500RP…
PC-1500_RP_008
The case is like the one the the PC-1500RP2 but with two rivets on each side. This makes it stronger.
PC-1500_RP_001PC-1500_RP_005
PC-1500_RP_004PC-1500_RP_014
Differences between the RP and RP2 ? None !
PC-1500_RP_010
Each time the serials are same for the pocket computer and the printer.
PC-1500_RP_013
PC-1500_RP_011
PC-1500_RP_012

Manuals BRLink
PC-1500_RP_INSTR(Not original cover)
Download
PC-1500_RP_PROGDownload

In conclusion i think the RP version is the PC-1500 without memory module (or with 8K) and the RP2 is provided with the 16KB module (Remember the PTA-4000 and PTA-4000+16).
Not much differences but we can consider the two versions.
Now we have 11 PC-1500 versions !

New hardware coming soon : TE-1504B, a backplane for the PC-1500

I wasn’t very present here these weeks… but was designing new hardware for our pocket computer !

TE-1504 : A simple connector converter HD60 –> simple card connector (horizontal)
TE-1504S : Same as previous but with bus drivers (horizontal)

The all time the missing extension :
TE-1504B : A backplane for the PC-1500 with bus drivers and 5 card connectors (vertical)
Each connector respect the same pin role as on the PC-1500.

TE-1504B_Docu
TE-1504B_Pict01
TE-1504B_Pict02

And there will be two prototype boards :
TE-1504PS : Short version 80×100
TE-1504L : Long version 150×80

Do you have some board ideas for the system ?