RTFM: TRS-80 Model 200, Proper Disassembly and Re-assembly – fix that pesky video ribbon cable!

You who follow my correspondence here will know all about my TRS-80 Model 100, which sees use mostly as a timelapse camera controller. I also have a pair of Tandy Model 200′s, which are the rarer version and are basically the same machine with a few improvements like a much larger screen that folds clamshell-style and 3 banks of 24k RAM rather than 1 bank of 32k RAM.

IMG 7373 RTFM: TRS 80 Model 200, Proper Disassembly and Re assembly   fix that pesky video ribbon cable!One of these T200′s I picked up a few years ago in trade, and it would turn on, but nothing would come up on the screen. At the time, I took it apart in the same way you’d take a Model 100 apart: by removing the 4 screws at the bottom, which are the only screws accessible from the outside. This is what I found.

IMG 7356 RTFM: TRS 80 Model 200, Proper Disassembly and Re assembly   fix that pesky video ribbon cable!The video ribbon cable was separated from it’s plug, and there’s no way you can plug it back in (it’s way too short). Well, after several attempts, I put it back together with the cable still disconnected and tossed it into the “future projects” pile.

Fast forward to today, when I was suddenly struck with the idea to RTFM. The Service Manual has to be somewhere on the web, right? Ayup, it was. Club100 to the rescue!

t200 smA RTFM: TRS 80 Model 200, Proper Disassembly and Re assembly   fix that pesky video ribbon cable!Turns out the obvious way is the wrong way. You have to take the screen off first, as illustrated below. With the screen off, the ribbon cable has a straight path to the motherboard socket and can easily be re-attached. The illustration is slightly misleading – it shows an arrow implying you pull the front plastic bit off, but you actually press the center with your thumb and it easily unsnaps and comes loose.

t200 smB RTFM: TRS 80 Model 200, Proper Disassembly and Re assembly   fix that pesky video ribbon cable!And there we go. I had to reverse the cable to get it to plug in right. This put the aging folds of the cable in different places, so to distribute future wear on parts not already stressed by 30 years of opening and closing. Should last another 30 (or it better, it’s not like I can order a replacement from the Rat Shack anymore.)

IMG 7357 RTFM: TRS 80 Model 200, Proper Disassembly and Re assembly   fix that pesky video ribbon cable!So there you are. I imagine this video cable issue plagues anyone who has taken apart a T200 without reading the Service Manual first, so hopefully this post will save someone a great deal of frustration. (:

The Fifth Phoenix Type-In: Report and Ephemera

2014 07 26 1 The Fifth Phoenix Type In: Report and Ephemera

AUT 0040 The Fifth Phoenix Type In: Report and Ephemera
Your Humble Correspondent

2014 07 26 2 The Fifth Phoenix Type In: Report and Ephemera AUT 0049 The Fifth Phoenix Type In: Report and Ephemera 2014 07 26 2b The Fifth Phoenix Type In: Report and Ephemera AUT 0150 The Fifth Phoenix Type In: Report and Ephemera 2014 07 26 2c The Fifth Phoenix Type In: Report and Ephemera

AUT 0127 The Fifth Phoenix Type In: Report and Ephemera
I mentioned that I didn’t know most of the people that showed up – lots of new people and plenty of curious people from the Book Bar (yeah, it’s a bookstore and a bar) came over to try out the machines. A hive of activity. This young fellow didn’t waste any time – he sat down at Ryan’s Royal 10, familiarized himself with the margins, and proceeded to pound out 2 or 3 pages of dense single spaced prose. He took it all with him. I expect that when confronted with a typewriter, this fellow was seized with the Muse and knocked out a short story. That’s pretty much what it’s all about, really.
2014 07 26 2d The Fifth Phoenix Type In: Report and Ephemera
Oh, look – maybe a new Typecaster coming up in the ranks!

And now, in basically the order I picked them up, are the sheets that were left behind today. Many many more sheets went with people, despite the triplicate copies. A lot of typing happened today, and some of it even made sense. :D

2014 07 26 3 The Fifth Phoenix Type In: Report and Ephemera 2014 07 26 4 The Fifth Phoenix Type In: Report and Ephemera 2014 07 26 5 The Fifth Phoenix Type In: Report and Ephemera 2014 07 26 6 The Fifth Phoenix Type In: Report and Ephemera 2014 07 26 7 The Fifth Phoenix Type In: Report and Ephemera 2014 07 26 8 The Fifth Phoenix Type In: Report and Ephemera 2014 07 26 9 The Fifth Phoenix Type In: Report and Ephemera 2014 07 26 10 The Fifth Phoenix Type In: Report and Ephemera 2014 07 26 11 The Fifth Phoenix Type In: Report and Ephemera 2014 07 26 12 The Fifth Phoenix Type In: Report and Ephemera 2014 07 26 13 The Fifth Phoenix Type In: Report and Ephemera 2014 07 26 14 The Fifth Phoenix Type In: Report and Ephemera 2014 07 26 15 The Fifth Phoenix Type In: Report and Ephemera 2014 07 26 16 The Fifth Phoenix Type In: Report and Ephemera 2014 07 26 17 The Fifth Phoenix Type In: Report and Ephemera 2014 07 26 18 The Fifth Phoenix Type In: Report and Ephemera 2014 07 26 19 The Fifth Phoenix Type In: Report and Ephemera 2014 07 26 20 The Fifth Phoenix Type In: Report and Ephemera 2014 07 26 21 The Fifth Phoenix Type In: Report and Ephemera 2014 07 26 22 The Fifth Phoenix Type In: Report and Ephemera 2014 07 26 23 The Fifth Phoenix Type In: Report and Ephemera 2014 07 26 24 The Fifth Phoenix Type In: Report and Ephemera 2014 07 26 25 The Fifth Phoenix Type In: Report and Ephemera 2014 07 26 26 The Fifth Phoenix Type In: Report and Ephemera 2014 07 26 27 The Fifth Phoenix Type In: Report and Ephemera 2014 07 26 28 The Fifth Phoenix Type In: Report and Ephemera

Amusingly, there was a fellow that showed up towards the end of the event with a little white portable, who set his machine up at the other end of the room and then came to check us out. Turns out he had just came to the bar with his machine to write, and didn’t know about the type-in at all. It was his first time bringing his typewriter and he was astonished to find the room already full of people tapping away. :D

File Transfer for TRS-80 Model 100/102/200 using a Digital Audio Recorder: The Road Less Travelled…

It all started simply enough: I came up with the idea of using my retrotech timelapse camera kit to do a timelapse of the upcoming Phoenix Type-In.  Well, when you come up with these ideas, the first thing you do is check your kit and get it ready.  Thus began the adventure…

I pulled the Timelapse Kit out of the closet where I had stored it some months ago, and I expected the batteries in the TRS-80 Model 100 to be dead. They were. No big deal, I changed them. Then I booted it up to find that it had sat long enough without power that the memory had cleared, wiping the resident TL.BA program that I use as an intervalometer.  “No Problem” thought I, “I have a backup right here on my PC.

IMG 3850 File Transfer for TRS 80 Model 100/102/200 using a Digital Audio Recorder: The Road Less Travelled...
TRS-80 Model 100, still kickin’ since 1983

Well, in order to transfer the file from my PC to the Model 100, I need a null-modem cable (you remember them, right?) and a PC with an RS-232 port. I can whip up an old PC from parts in minutes that will suit, but for some reason I couldn’t find my Null Modem Cable.

Ergh. No way to transfer the file then. Well, I guess I’ll just rewrite the timelapse program. No Problemo – it’s like 20 lines of BASIC. I dusted off the Model 100′s BASIC reference manual and set to work. About halfway into it, I discovered that the Model 100′s Backspace key had stopped working… and I discovered that by not being able to delete a typo. Ergh…

IMG 3844 File Transfer for TRS 80 Model 100/102/200 using a Digital Audio Recorder: The Road Less Travelled...Ok, that’s gonna be a problem, but I can power through it. I have my Model 200 that I can use instead. Now I just have to figure out how to get what I’d already typed from the 100 to the 200.  At first I considered trying to use the PDD drives I have, but they’ve been fritzy for decades and I don’t really trust them. That left me with the old CCR-81 Cassette Drive.

image011 File Transfer for TRS 80 Model 100/102/200 using a Digital Audio Recorder: The Road Less Travelled...It was then that I got the bright idea of trying to use a Digital Audio Recorder to transfer the files rather than the Cassette Drive. After all (I reasoned), a digital audio file will probably have better data fidelity than a 30 year old tape recorder with dry belts and a God-knows-how-old cassette tape, right?

So I gave it a try. I happen to have picked up an iKey Audio M3 at Deseret a week or two ago for $10 (smokin’ deal – still in the box!), and it can be set to record 44k Mono WAV files.  After a few tries (the TRS-80 is a little deaf, and needs the sound levels just about as high as they’ll go for both recording and playback), I found I could save the files from the Model 100 to the M3 recorder and load them into the Model 200 for editing. YAY! :D

I then happily finished the timelapse program, tested it on the Model 200 and then saved it to the M3 and loaded it to the Model 100. Mission accomplished!

And then I realized that I had a digital representation of my program as an audio file on an SD card I could read on my PC.  Hmmn… I wonder if anyone has written some sort of converter to read an audio file of a saved program on cassette and turn it back into ASCII? That would be a handy way of transferring files from my Model 100/200 to the PC, wouldn’t it?

It turns out that someone has… *sort of*… At least they have for the TRS-80 Model I/III/4. Completely different machines, different processor and OS, but just maybe they use the same format for recording data to tape? Might as well give it a try and see what happens… I downloaded the utilities for converting Model I/III/4 WAV files to CAS (a format used to load the programs into emulators), and to convert from CAS to Hexidecimal Text.

My first attempt wouldn’t load because the M3 recorder records a WAV file that isn’t Microsoft 16-Bit PCM format, so the first thing to do is convert it to that format. I loaded the WAV file into the Free Audacity audio editor and simply “exported” it to the proper format.

2014 07 25 5 File Transfer for TRS 80 Model 100/102/200 using a Digital Audio Recorder: The Road Less Travelled...Once in the right WAV format, the file imported into WAV2CAS just fine, and I could immediately see that even though the program didn’t understand the audio file’s data headers, it could read the file and could show the HEX and ASCII contents. I couldn’t select or copy that text though. First I needed to “Save” each chunk of the packet as a separate CAS file. I did so, exporting all chunks except the first one, which contained garbage headers.

2014 07 25 1 File Transfer for TRS 80 Model 100/102/200 using a Digital Audio Recorder: The Road Less Travelled...The next step is to fire up the PLAYCAS program and load each of the CAS files into it, then right-click the title bar to get the menu where you can “save text”, which finally exports the data to a plain ASCII text file.

2014 07 25 2 File Transfer for TRS 80 Model 100/102/200 using a Digital Audio Recorder: The Road Less Travelled...Well, OK. Not really plain ASCII. What you get is a bunch of text files that contain the data in a HEX column and an ASCII column. This is not really what you want in the end, so here’s how to get the plain text. First, open up all the text files in a text editor (I use Notepad++) and copy/paste them all together in order. What you get looks like this:

2014 07 25 3 File Transfer for TRS 80 Model 100/102/200 using a Digital Audio Recorder: The Road Less Travelled...Delete the headers and use the “Regular Expression” search/replace function to get rid of the ASCII column. All you want is the HEX column.  Copy that entire HEX column and go to a HEX to ASCII converter site and paste the HEX code into the “convert” box.

2014 07 25 4 File Transfer for TRS 80 Model 100/102/200 using a Digital Audio Recorder: The Road Less Travelled...2014 07 25 6 File Transfer for TRS 80 Model 100/102/200 using a Digital Audio Recorder: The Road Less Travelled...What you’ll get in return is the ASCII text with some garbage characters at the beginning and ends of the chunks. Just cut out these garbage characters, and what’s left is your text file!

and here it is:

10 CLS:PRINT”Canon PS600 Timelapse”
20 PRINT”2014 – T. Munk – munk.org”
30 PRINT:INPUT”Seconds Between Shots”;D
50 I1=30
110 B=INT(I1*D)
200 INPUT “#Exposures to Shoot”;A:O=A
300 CLS:PRINT”Timelapse Program:”
305 PRINT”Shoot”;A;”Exposures”
310 PRINT”At”;D;”Second Intervals.”
350 PRINT:INPUT”Press <ENTER> To Begin”;G$
390 IF G$ = “” THEN 400 ELSE 10
400 CLS:MOTOR ON:FOR Z = 1 TO 25:NEXT Z
410 MOTOR OFF:A=A-1
411 S2=INT(D*A)
413 PRINT”*** TRS-80 Timelapse ***”
414 PRINT “<SHIFT><BREAK> To Quit.”
420 FOR X=1 TO A STEP 1
425 PRINT@122,”Exposure”;X;”of”;O
430 FOR E=1 TO B STEP 1
433 R=ABS((E/I1)-D):R2=INT(R)
435 PRINT@162,”Countdown:”;R2
440 NEXT E
450 MOTOR ON:FOR Z=1 TO 25:NEXT Z:MOTOR OFF
490 NEXT X
495 PRINT@122,”Exposed”;X;”of”;O
500 A=O
1000 PRINT@162,”Ended Shoot.          “

Oh, and in case you want to hear what this data file sounds like in the language of the TRS-80′s Cassette Save format, listen to this WAV file.  (set your volume low first, for Jebus sakes, the TRS-80 sings one screetchy song!)

Alternately, you can use the above WAV file to load this program directly into your own Model 100/102/200!

 

 

My Balls Survive the Haboob, thanks to Careful Packaging By A Fellow Typospherian!

Dune4 My Balls Survive the Haboob, thanks to Careful Packaging By A Fellow Typospherian!…Storms build up across six or seven thousand kilometers of flatlands, feed on anything that can give them a push—coriolis force, other storms, anything that has an ounce of energy in it. They can blow up to eight hundred kilometers an hour, loaded with everything loose in their way—sand, dust, everything. They can eat flesh off bones and etch bones to slivers.

-”Dune”, Frank Herbert

IMG 7349 My Balls Survive the Haboob, thanks to Careful Packaging By A Fellow Typospherian! 2014 07 21 a My Balls Survive the Haboob, thanks to Careful Packaging By A Fellow Typospherian!haboobery My Balls Survive the Haboob, thanks to Careful Packaging By A Fellow Typospherian!

A Haboob rolling into town, turning the air into sandpaper…

What it feels like if you’re outside when one of these suckers hits town:

IMG 7350 My Balls Survive the Haboob, thanks to Careful Packaging By A Fellow Typospherian!
I’ve carried this Spyderco Endura for prolly about a decade now. Handiest knife I’ve ever owned, but it’s talents are wasted on cutting open mail. :P

2014 07 21 b My Balls Survive the Haboob, thanks to Careful Packaging By A Fellow Typospherian! IMG 7351 My Balls Survive the Haboob, thanks to Careful Packaging By A Fellow Typospherian! 2014 07 21 c My Balls Survive the Haboob, thanks to Careful Packaging By A Fellow Typospherian!

IMG 7352 My Balls Survive the Haboob, thanks to Careful Packaging By A Fellow Typospherian!
On top of Ol’ Dusty, all covered in dust, He’s really quite dusty, so clean him I must… (to the tune of “On Top of Ol’ Smokey”)

The Typewriter Database: 2000+ Galleries reached, Remington Portables and a Nikon FE for $15

IMG 7346 The Typewriter Database: 2000+ Galleries reached, Remington Portables and a Nikon FE for $15 2014 07 19 1 The Typewriter Database: 2000+ Galleries reached, Remington Portables and a Nikon FE for $15 IMG 7347 The Typewriter Database: 2000+ Galleries reached, Remington Portables and a Nikon FE for $15

IMG 7348 The Typewriter Database: 2000+ Galleries reached, Remington Portables and a Nikon FE for $15
made only one thriftin’ stop this week in-between driving around chores, but that Deseret hit yielded a primo Nikon FE for $15. I’ve been on the lookout for one of these.
IMG 7339 The Typewriter Database: 2000+ Galleries reached, Remington Portables and a Nikon FE for $15
I’ve finally cracked open this stack of paperbacks I picked up a couple of months ago. I think I now have every Rex Stout that exists (this pile is about 20 books high, it just didn’t fit in the FOV.) I need the pair of Raymond Chandlers just so I can get a break from the onslaught of Archie and Nero.

Stapler of The Week: The Aceliner

IMG 7070 Stapler of The Week: The AcelinerThe Ace Aceliner, a true classic. Probably the first stapler I actually sought out after seeing them on other Typosphere blogs. It’s a popular design, easy to get ahold of, and there’s probably one in every casual stapler collector’s corral.
IMG 7310 Stapler of The Week: The AcelinerThere are at least two different variations, probably indicating a change in design and tooling to cut costs. If anyone knew when this design change occurred, you could probably better tell when a given stapler was made, at least within a decade or so.
IMG 7311 Stapler of The Week: The AcelinerI’m pretty sure the scalloped-edge version with the “Aceliner” embossing on the top is the older design, but how much older is unknown. I’ve read somewhere that the Aceliner wasn’t introduced until the 1970′s despite it’s mid-century styling. I do believe that the rounded, unembossed version is the style you can still buy brand-new from Ace.
IMG 7312 Stapler of The Week: The AcelinerThe Aceliner is a tail-loader like most other Ace staplers. You pull out the “tail” and it folds up to allow loading.
IMG 7313 Stapler of The Week: The AcelinerThe Aceliner is a remarkably ergonomic machine. It fits perfectly in the hand, and opens up all the way for tacking. In fact it’ll open up to about 20 degrees past flat.
IMG 7314 Stapler of The Week: The AcelinerA comparison of the two designs shows other visible differences between the older and newer styles: Older versions have grey rubber feet, newer versions have black plastic feet. IMG 7318 Stapler of The Week: The AcelinerThe older version includes the brand “ACE” stamped into the front, while the newer version lacks this detail.IMG 7319 Stapler of The Week: The AcelinerDifferent types of rivets are used  for the pivot bar…IMG 7320 Stapler of The Week: The AcelinerIMG 7321 Stapler of The Week: The AcelinerOtherwise, they appear to be identical. Both styles work great, and there is no functional difference between the two. Both produce either Interfold or Exterfold staples via the sliding anvil.IMG 7043 Stapler of The Week: The AcelinerIt should be said that the Aceliner, although svelte, is a heavy stapler. Solid steel, thickly forged. If I were in sudden need of a weapon and all I had to choose from were the staplers on my desk, I’d grab the Aceliner. The shaped pommels make it easy to grip, so it won’t slip out of your hand in the heat of battle, and I’d bet that the unfortunate assailant you socked with an Aceliner would be none too pleased with the sound of his skull caving in.  In fact, my older Aceliner has clearly spent part of it’s previous life as an improvised hammer, as the deep gouges on the bottom plate would attest. Someone gave it a pretty good beating, and the Aceliner shrugged it off and kept working, like a stapler should.

Collectable? maybe.
Attractive? Hells yes!
Durable: Like a Rock.
Should you get one if you see one at a thrift? Ayup! (:

Stapler of the Week: 1950′s School Green and Teal Swingline Model 27

IMG 7323 Stapler of the Week: 1950s School Green and Teal Swingline Model 27
Found at the Mesa Thrift along with an Aceliner for $1.99 each! :D
IMG 7325 Stapler of the Week: 1950s School Green and Teal Swingline Model 27
Really, one of the more attractive modern-ish Swingline designs, it was superceded in 1970 by the bread-n-butter Model 747.

IMG 7326 Stapler of the Week: 1950s School Green and Teal Swingline Model 27

IMG 7327 Stapler of the Week: 1950s School Green and Teal Swingline Model 27
opens up easily with a bottom-mounted lever for tacking.
IMG 7328 Stapler of the Week: 1950s School Green and Teal Swingline Model 27
Standard Swingline-style top loading. Easy to load and takes standard staples.
IMG 7331 Stapler of the Week: 1950s School Green and Teal Swingline Model 27
makes both Interfold and Exterfold staples.

IMG 7332 Stapler of the Week: 1950s School Green and Teal Swingline Model 27

IMG 7334 Stapler of the Week: 1950s School Green and Teal Swingline Model 27
The Model 27 Swingline Stapler was introduced in 1952 and “Improved” in 1954. I recall seeing these quite often at school growing up – not as omnipresent as the crinkle-grey boxy 1940′s Bostitches that permeated my childhood institutional memories, but still often enough that I remember them. The School Green and Teal color combo may have been a special run for school systems, but I can’t tell for sure.

Prepping for the 5th Phoenix Type-In: Part One in the Hot, Hot Heat…

2014 07 07 1 Prepping for the 5th Phoenix Type In: Part One in the Hot, Hot Heat...

Click to embiggen…

In other news, I received some research from Peter Weil on Blickensderfers and Hammonds, which resulted in some nice updates for those pages on the Typewriter Database. I’ve also completed the “Non-Noiseless Standards” section of the Remington page (whew) and am now knee-deep in the Noiseless Standards. This did not keep me from noticing that we are very nearly at 2000 typewriter galleries in the Database now. I’m starting to think that 3000 by next January 1 is a completely reasonable goal…

Stapler of The Week: 1950′s Arrow 210

This week’s Stapler is one I picked up a couple of days ago at Goodwill’s half-price day. I’d let this one sit on the shelf for a week and a half because it was busted, missing important bits and ugly as sin. When the price dropped to $1.50, though – I wanted it just to show off it’s unique features (and the Arrow 210 has some pretty unique features). I’d love to find one in nice working condition with all the parts intact.

IMG 7296 Stapler of The Week: 1950s Arrow 210
Beat to heck, top cap insert missing, the entire spring and plunger assembly from the feed system is missing as well.
IMG 7297 Stapler of The Week: 1950s Arrow 210
Thumb latch on the side allows the top to open for loading staples, although it’s designed primarily to be a tail-loader.
arrow210 4 Stapler of The Week: 1950s Arrow 210
Button on the bottom to open up the stapler for tacking on most staplers, on the Arrow 210 instead…
IMG 7308 Stapler of The Week: 1950s Arrow 210
…completely unlatches the top section from the bottom for tacking. A lot of parts can easily come off this stapler and get lost. I bet not many of them are intact.
IMG 7301 Stapler of The Week: 1950s Arrow 210
The two separate parts…
IMG 7309 Stapler of The Week: 1950s Arrow 210
Then just snap back together again…
IMG 7307 Stapler of The Week: 1950s Arrow 210
And there’s the really interesting feature: a THREE-WAY ANVIL! The Arrow 210 takes “standard” staples.
arrow210 0 Stapler of The Week: 1950s Arrow 210
Makes normal (interfold is the proper term for it) staples.
arrow210 1 Stapler of The Week: 1950s Arrow 210
Makes “splayed” (Exterfold is the proper name) staples
arrow210 2 Stapler of The Week: 1950s Arrow 210
and ALSO makes a staple where the legs are both folded to the right. This allows you to just pull up on the staple to remove it without damaging the paper. It’s a “temporary” staple that works sort of like a straight pin.

The Arrow 210 is a *BIG* stapler. It is significantly larger than even my Aceliners, and is a bit heavier as well (more solid than an Aceliner? That’s SOLID!), even when beat all to heck and lacking half it’s feed system, it still will staple. I bet a good one with all the parts intact would be a sharp-looking stapler too. I’m on the lookout for one, maybe in green, in much nicer condition.

A Typecast Blog by The Right Reverend Theodore Munk