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Sharp PC-1500 question (F2 button disabled?)



#2

In case someone might know.....

I bought a "for parts" PC-1500 Pocket Computer on a lark (mainly hoping the display might be the same as my fully blackened EL-5100 display) and it actually works fine except for the F2 key. I dug in and found one of the red "inspection dots" stuck right over the F2 contact grid. Now the question is: is this a total accident or was this done on purpose for some reason? One other (possibly) odd thing is a handful of "blue wires" on the main PCB which could be factory fixes but again, hard to tell. At some point I may go for the display swap but for the moment I thought it might be fun to play with the 1500 for a while. I may just remove the dot and see what happens but I thought I would ask for thoughts first.

Wisdom welcomed!


#3

FWIW it's beginning to look like this one has been modified for some specific purpose as there are a total of 6 red dots over button contacts (I guess I didn't try every one but most seemed to work). Also the display does appear different enough to probably not work correctly as an EL-5100 replacement. So sad. Not much to lose at this point so maybe I'll pull all the dots and see what happens.


#4

FWIW you can try with gopc2 (trs 80 pc 2 free emulator for android) to see if there are differences with your model.

To get a more complete experience, you can use go1500 (sharp pc 1500 or trs pc 2 emulator with ram modules and CE 150 emulation, still on google play)

Olivier

Edited: 2 Dec 2012, 3:27 p.m.


#5

Olivier,

I loaded the free version on two different tablets and cannot get the "Mode" to toggle out of program mode.

Okay, figured it out. Needed to enter NEW 0.

Nice looking emulator.

Quick question: Can the GO1500 load a Machine language WAV file?
I have a machine file with a FORTH on it - wonder if it would work in your emulator.

Also, any thought on doing a PC-1600 emulator (my favorite).

Thanks,

Bill

#6

I took a chance and removed the dots and all switches seem to be working correctly (as well as the machine itself). After looking at the blue wires again they did appear to be factory/designed-in so it's all very odd. Maybe it was purposely disabled as a store demo machine or something? Anyway it calculates, stores and recalls variables, etc. Next step will be to find some time to enter a program or two and test further. Not bad for $20 and just what I needed--another project! Yeah, right!

I don't have any modern gadgets but might investigate the emulations if my son is here over the Christmas holiday. He and his wife have all the fancy phones, tablets, etc. Back in the 70's I did a lot of peripheral hardware/software development for the TRS-80 (early voice recognition/synthesis) although I wrote most everything in assembly language. I did do some BASIC programming later on the Apple II (music/MIDI related). Anyway, old memories.


#7

Hi,

Many SHARP pocket computers, such as yours, were hardware- and/or software pre-configured for specialized purposes.

I got several, one was pre-configured for artillery computations and such, other for computing the correct proportion for mixing chemicals, etc.

Those models frequently included templates, or even a relabeled keyboard, with unnecessary keys disabled. They seemed to be very popular for such specialized uses.

Best regards from V.

#8

Quote:
After looking at the blue wires again they did appear to be factory/designed-in so it's all very odd. Maybe it was purposely disabled as a store demo machine or something?

I have a standard PC-1500A open right now, it has blue wires in it too. It is not unusual to see such factory fixes or post-production design mods.

#9

Yes, very true. Most of these wires actually have pads on the PCB so I suspect it may have been a way to get the last few connections made on a dense layout. Probably cheaper and faster than another PCB layout revision.


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