First 68008 board

Conlog — 1986

68008 static tested and our first 68008 board

Our first 68008 board being statically tested in 1986.

Our first 68000 family board. This was the 8-bit bus version of the 68000 processor, which was a 32-bit processor as defined by the internal registers. The static tester was covered in a little more detail in 68008 static tester. We still have the OrCAD circuit diagrams, but cannot open them at the moment, as we do not have any CAD software that reads the files. We might change that, but the peripherals would have been the Zilog Z85xx devices that we had used before and there were plenty of application notes from Zilog and AMD on how to interface them to other processors. We also used the 68230 parallel I/O chip and the 68901 serial UART/ timer and limited I/O chip. The real-time clock was the Intersil ICM7170.

After the board was debugged with the static tester, we wrote some software to test the board for timing.

Static testing 68008 board at Conlog

Static testing the PCB version of the above wire wrap card in 1986.

Static testing pre-production PCB

Once the wire wrap card had been debugged (as well as the ICE), I laid out the board with Tango PCB. The boards were made at Conlog who had a two side facility, but no through-hole plating. The sockets were soldered on the top side where necessary, otherwise they used jumper wires.

68008 board at Conlog

Layout of above wire wrap card in 1986.

Pre-production board fully tested

The photo is unfortunately not very good. We wrote a monitor program that was also used in the ICE. The initial testing of the monitor used my Zilog 8000 C I/O library which I later tested on a 286 PC at Conlog running Xenix, Microsoft’s version of Unix, but that went nowhere.

The silver stickers on the chips had the pin labels which made it easier to probe the correct pins without having to resort to datasheets and counting the pins. The board was a double Euro size of 160 × 234 mm. The ribbon cable was for keyboard scanning and other functions on an external board. The board in 68008 static tester at the bottom had a keypad, some status LEDs, a buzzer and an interface to an alpha-numeric vacuum flourescent display. That was probably very similar to the interface on this card.