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Pics of two unusual boards

 
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snuci



Joined: 18 Oct 2013
Posts: 22
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:02 pm    Post subject: Pics of two unusual boards Reply with quote

Today I took delivery of some NeXT equipment that was offered up on the CC-Talk list. Thanks to Chris, I have a NeXT Cube and two NeXT mono slabs but the interesting part is the two unusual boards that were in the Cube.

One board turns out to be one that is already documented in the Archives here. The board is a NeXTbus prototype board with CubeDigital I/O board attached. It is documented here. I believe it provide serial and parallel ports to the Cube but I haven't looked too much in detail as I've only had a chance to take pics. I couldn't find a picture here so please take a look.



The second board is one that I couldn't find info on here. It is a NeXT board with DAZZL-12AD marked on it. I think it's an analog to digital converter board of some type but I don't know the specifics.



I have not yet started up the Cube to see if there is any specialized software on it but that will come. If I find out any more, I'll post back.

If anyone can tell me what the second board is, I'd love to know, if someone has seen it before.

You can see further close-up pics here: http://vintagecomputer.ca/next-cube-with-two-extra-cards

Thanks.
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mikeboss



Joined: 07 Dec 2011
Posts: 365
Location: berne, switzerland

PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 4:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

since there are two BURR-BROWN DACs on the piggyback board, it's pretty save to assume that this is a digital-to-analog board (audio).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burr-Brown_Corporation

http://www.ti.com/lit/ds/sbas145/sbas145.pdf
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bobo68



Joined: 03 Jun 2015
Posts: 191
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My Goodness, that brings tears to my eyes. Nice!

Aparat from the Burr Brown DACs there is an ADC678JD analog-to-digital converter on there (12 Bit which maybe forms the last part of the board's name: DAZZL-12AD. And an ADG507A analog multiplexer. Some timers at the top I guess.

So it is some kind of A/D D/A board.
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snuci



Joined: 18 Oct 2013
Posts: 22
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sadly, I think the original hard drive is toast. It sounds like a plane taking off and would practically shakes the screws out of the unit. I still tried to boot it and it does not respond to SCSI initialization. That's too bad.

However, I did some more searching. According this page: http://mirror.informatimago.com/next/next-peak/next/documents/newsletters/NuggetNewsText/vol.03.07.txt it has a list of NeXT peripherals and under "Data Acquisition and Sound", it has:

Quote:
** Dazzl, Inc.
Model 16/12/200 Analog to Digital Converter - 16 channel 12
bit 200,000 sample per converterz.

Model 16/16/500 Analog to Digital Converter - 16 channel 16 bit
500,000 sample per second converter.

DataDisplay - realtime display software for use with Dazzl
A to D products.


I am guessing this is the first one because of the "12AD". I'll keep digging for info.
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t-rexky



Joined: 09 Jan 2011
Posts: 263
Location: Snowy Canada

PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is some more info for you Wink

https://flic.kr/p/SG8SSj

https://flic.kr/p/SVU6Me


Last edited by t-rexky on Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:28 am; edited 2 times in total
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Rob Blessin Black Hole
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Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 561
Location: Ft. Collins, Colorado

PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello : Totally cool , it may be worth trying to repair the hard drive or hard mount it to see if the software is recoverable and look at it with a second drive. Brian Archer on the forums has had success replacing capacitors on doa hard drives and getting them to work. I probably would have a surrogate drive and if all else fails if you want to send the drive to me I'll see if I can get it to boot or hard mount and copy the software off it for you. No charge other than shipping it would be kind of fun or if you have the make and model of drive and want to try it yourself I probably have an identical drive. I have have an analog to digital convertor external box that was used with a NeXT cube at one point maybe this was how.
Photos



Peace Rob Cool
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snuci



Joined: 18 Oct 2013
Posts: 22
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 3:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the information guys. I guess it's more than a joystick controller card Smile

Turns out the bad hard drive is not original to the Cube so it will not have that software on it. At least I know what to look for now so thanks t-rexky. And Rob, I very much appreciate the offer even though it's not needed in this case. I believe there is an extra drive in the lot so I'll take a look just in case but it's probably wiped clean and reformatted. This lot originally came for the University of Waterloo which was/is know for it's computer engineering program (wish I could have went) so this could have been used for almost anything, given this particular cards ability.

I have to look over the CubeDigital card. With it in place, the Cube shows a white screen and will not boot. I'll have to check the wiring as it used to work with the card in place.

Certainly makes for an interesting Cube in any case. If someone does happen to have the software or further documentation on the pin outs for the Centronics connector, please let me know. I'd love to play with it a little. Sadly, it did not come with the Centronics cable.
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bobo68



Joined: 03 Jun 2015
Posts: 191
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

snuci wrote:
Quote:
** Dazzl, Inc.
Model 16/12/200 Analog to Digital Converter - 16 channel 12
bit 200,000 sample per converterz.

Model 16/16/500 Analog to Digital Converter - 16 channel 16 bit
500,000 sample per second converter.

DataDisplay - realtime display software for use with Dazzl
A to D products.


I am guessing this is the first one because of the "12AD". I'll keep digging for info.


And why does it have the Burr-Brown DACs if it is only meant to do A/D conversions?
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t-rexky



Joined: 09 Jan 2011
Posts: 263
Location: Snowy Canada

PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bobo68 wrote:
And why does it have the Burr-Brown DACs if it is only meant to do A/D conversions?


The second photo from the "Software and Peripherals" catalog shows a "Calibrate" menu entry. Perhaps the D/A is for calibration, although I cannot imagine why they would use a D/A for calibration, as opposed to a fixed reference, or perhaps a few switched fixed references...
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bobo68



Joined: 03 Jun 2015
Posts: 191
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was thinking along similar lines. There are also some op amps on the board one could use as comparators.

But Burr-Browns just for calibration? Maybe if price is not a consideration... Very Happy


Last edited by bobo68 on Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
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snuci



Joined: 18 Oct 2013
Posts: 22
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Found in comp.sys.next written by William M. Bumgarner on 12/8/90:

Quote:
I spoke with Scott D. of Dazzl yesterday, here are the full details on the board and what else is available.

Dazzl 16 channel A/D Board.

Specs:
- 16 inputs
- 200 kHz total sampling rate (by specification-- apparently, it can be driven faster)
- 12 bits resolution (14 bits available at a lower speed)
- Self installing software (makefile does the intsall)
- 1.0 and 2.0 kernel drivers included
- Parallel port included on the board

input specs:
- very accurate-- low chatter, high per sample and long run accuracy.
- Gurantee sample length, rate, start and end within 1 sample
- Programmable triggers;
- software (internal) and hardware (external) trigger support.
- pre, post, and mid triggering supported.

Availability: NOW. The board is in production and shipping. Cash is much preferred; PO's will be indefinitely delayed right now. This will change in the future, but the size of the board production part of the company is extremely small (as is the company)-- a little history:

Scott started the board project because he needed a research tool for his neurophysiology studies-- he picked up an absolute genius of a hardware designer and built the board, which, over time, became a real product. The quality of standards is very high, the future is bright, but the cash flow is not large now; Scott can't afford to float PO's right now.

Price: Corporate - $2950, Educational - $1950

Misc:
- support is currently limited due to time. This will be changing in the future.
- source code is available on a special case basis. Five sample acquisition programs available. Currently no interface other than the kernel driver. I will be implementing GUI type stuff in the future, look for a release around mid-summer at latest.
- A couple of third party apps are going to support the board directly.
- 2 boards in a machine running simultaneously works well.
- not currently compatible with 040 products-- will be as soon as Scott has an 040 board in hand.

Extensions:
- 144 channel multiplexer: gives 144 channels at 1 to 2 kHz sampling rate per channel. Ideal for medical work, automation, and other tasks.
- 256 channels is entirely possible; implementation requires a few orders (see below)

Future Directions:
- additional features can be added that will affect the price.
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