Ampro M3

Ampro M3 board underside

Ampro’s M3 CPU board. (Underside with laptop DRAM module)

Ampro M3 CPU board top

In 2002, after a few months of working on the M2 board, Ampro discontinued the board and introduced the M3. They were kind enough to swap out the two boards. For some documentation for installing the embedded Linux port see Application Note for Installing Linux on the Ampro M2 (232kB pdf).

The M3 was used in a tyre plant to replace RS-485 communications servers from Welch Allyn, which connected to their 68000 based barcode scanners. The hardware was obsolete and the company who were maintaining the hardware had repaired the boards as much as possible, but spares were no longer available. The tyre company also wanted to retain their software on the Sun and HP servers running a Natural Adabas database but to move away from the custom package that interfaced to a Unix server serial port. We wrote and tested the barcode interface software, the networking remote procedure calls, the Natural interface and remote debugging software, however, when it came to deployment, the M3 was expensive; M3 board and base board cost the equivalent of five PCs. The M3 mysteriously perished during some electrical fault/ or lightning that also took out the Sun and EMC disk pack.

AVR HMI block diagram

The Au1000/ Au1500 did not have graphics output. We used a previous Atmel 8515 design to drive a small 40×4 character LCD. The block diagram shows how the M3 was connected.

Our attempt to design an Au1000 system was described in Au1000 Processor Board Design—au.pdf (1,45 Meg).