School Teacher - Help Me Get This Acorn Running

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jase1979
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School Teacher - Help Me Get This Acorn Running

Post by jase1979 » Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:55 am

Hi, I''m a DT teacher in South Wales. I've just booted an old Acorn Master up. It was used to control a boxford lathe in the past.

I remember playing chuckie egg on one of these when I was in school in the early 90s :D

I would like to get it up an running for educational purposes.

When booting I get:

Acorn MOS
Acorn 1170 DFS
This is not a language
*
I understand that you can run ROMS of the old floppies from an SD or MMC card. Whats the cheapest way to do this?

Thanks for any replies

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Multiwizard
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Re: School Teacher - Help Me Get This Acorn Running

Post by Multiwizard » Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:59 am

Hi,

welcome to this great Forum... :D


Greetings from my little Dutch Atomic Attic, Wim... :-)

VectorEyes
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Re: School Teacher - Help Me Get This Acorn Running

Post by VectorEyes » Wed Feb 20, 2019 12:11 pm

The very first thing to do is check the internal battery. This battery is used to keep the CMOS settings and real time clock running, and after 25-odd years they tend to be corroded and somewhat leaky! Luckily on most Masters they're sealed enough that the corrosion doesn't affect any of the other components inside the case.

Unscrew the four main case screws, take the top off, and if you can see a set of three AA batteries which look like they're leaking/corroded, take them out! Then get hold of a replacement. There are a number of options, and it's easy to replace. I use the ones from RetroClinic but you should be able to Google for "BBC Master replacement battery" and decide which one you like.

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tricky
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Re: School Teacher - Help Me Get This Acorn Running

Post by tricky » Wed Feb 20, 2019 12:34 pm

You probably need to do R+Ctrl+break or something like that to reset the CMOS and make it refresh its ROM list, which will probably get you basic back.
The cheapest modern storage starts from £12 inc p&p for an "mmc" (about 98% compatible) or retro clinic does a more professional one for not much more.
For a master, a diy gotek is about twice that once you have power and ribbon cables and should be nearly 100% compatible.
There is a list of modern expansions around here somewhere, but one of these will make your machine much more useable.

Kazzie
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Re: School Teacher - Help Me Get This Acorn Running

Post by Kazzie » Wed Feb 20, 2019 12:39 pm

The CMOS settings include remembering which ROM to use as the default when the machine is turned on (usually the BASIC programming language). If the CMOS settings have been lost, it'll be looking for a different ROM that either isn't present or doesn't provide a programming language, hence the "Language?" prompt.

After replacing the batteries, you'll needs to reset the CMOS settings to their default, by pressing a particular sequence of keys when you turn it on. There's a webpage here that will give you an overview of the procedure.

I'll let other, more knowledgeable people tell you about floppy disk replacements, as I'm still using old floppy drives instead.

Have any peripherals survived, or do you just have the main box? The software for controlling the lathe could have been provided on a floppy disk, or it might have been a ROM chip that was (is!) inserted into the mainboard. (When you get the machine booting, a *ROMS command will list all the ROMs that are plugged in.)
Last edited by 1024MAK on Sat May 25, 2019 6:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Tidy up URL
BBC Model B 32k issue 7, Sidewise ROM board with 16K RAM
Archimedes 420/1 upgraded to 4MB RAM, ZIDEFS with 512MB CF card
Acorn System 1 home-made replica

jase1979
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Re: School Teacher - Help Me Get This Acorn Running

Post by jase1979 » Wed Feb 20, 2019 1:16 pm

Thanks for the replies so far, I'll get the battery sorted.

So when I type *ROMS I get

ROM F TERMINAL 01
ROM E VIEW 04
ROM D ACORN ADFS 50
ROM C BASIC 04
ROM B EDIT 01
ROM A ViewSheeet 01
ROM 9 DFS 79
ROM 8? ...
Last edited by jase1979 on Wed Feb 20, 2019 1:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Kazzie
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Re: School Teacher - Help Me Get This Acorn Running

Post by Kazzie » Wed Feb 20, 2019 4:06 pm

That listing shows Basic is ROM 0xC (12 in decimal). Typing *CONFIGURE LAN 12, and resetting the machine should get it booting into BASIC. Bear in mind that until you replace the CMOS battery, it will forget these settings when you switch the machine off.

There's a list of all the CONFIGURE settings in this document, in case you want to explore it further.
Last edited by Kazzie on Wed Feb 20, 2019 4:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
BBC Model B 32k issue 7, Sidewise ROM board with 16K RAM
Archimedes 420/1 upgraded to 4MB RAM, ZIDEFS with 512MB CF card
Acorn System 1 home-made replica

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flaxcottage
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Re: School Teacher - Help Me Get This Acorn Running

Post by flaxcottage » Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:29 pm

A Datacentre and a Master are a marriage made in heaven - up to 2GB HDD storage, DFS, ADFS, SWR and PAGE stays at &E00!!
- John

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DutchAcorn
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Re: School Teacher - Help Me Get This Acorn Running

Post by DutchAcorn » Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:34 pm

For cheap, easy and effective solid state storage I’d recommend the units that Retroclinic sells. See here for the ebay listing: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ACORN-BBC-MO ... 4001244394

It fits very neatly in the user port of the master and makes for a very compact solution.

You can also eliminate eBay in the transaction and contact Mark directly (mark@retroclinic.com).

No, I don’t get commission :D
Paul

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RobC
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Re: School Teacher - Help Me Get This Acorn Running

Post by RobC » Tue Feb 26, 2019 10:10 pm

Welcome.

Whereabouts in South Wales are you based?

I'm in Newport and have most of the modern Beeb storage options if you'd like to see them in action...

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davidb
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Re: School Teacher - Help Me Get This Acorn Running

Post by davidb » Tue Feb 26, 2019 10:53 pm

Welcome! :D

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klintworth
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Re: School Teacher - Help Me Get This Acorn Running

Post by klintworth » Wed Feb 27, 2019 3:47 pm

Welcome Jase, from another teacher who still uses Acorns in the classroom - in Canada! Paul :lol:
BBC B Issue 4 & 7, BBC B (USA), BBC Master, Electron, BBC Master Compact, Olivetti PC128S, Castle A7000+

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shawty
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Re: School Teacher - Help Me Get This Acorn Running

Post by shawty » Wed Feb 27, 2019 5:12 pm

Welcome aboard, nothing to add here that's helpful everyone else has it covered :-)

shawty
Been around I.T. since the Beeb was born, maybe you've seen me around :D

jase1979
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Re: School Teacher - Help Me Get This Acorn Running

Post by jase1979 » Fri May 24, 2019 8:11 pm

I've got the SD card and smart spi from retroclinic up and running. I have a BBC master. I wanted to run chuckie egg, its available on the menu, but it says file not found :shock:

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CMcDougall
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Re: School Teacher - Help Me Get This Acorn Running

Post by CMcDougall » Fri May 24, 2019 8:54 pm

welcome Jase39 :)

as said, RetroClinic SD card £13 a pop =D>
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lurkio
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Re: School Teacher - Help Me Get This Acorn Running

Post by lurkio » Sat May 25, 2019 11:33 am

jase1979 wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 8:11 pm
I've got the SD card and smart spi from retroclinic up and running. I have a BBC master. I wanted to run chuckie egg, its available on the menu, but it says file not found :shock:
Can you run any other games at all?

:?:

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