This is not a language

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Teardropexplodes
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This is not a language

Post by Teardropexplodes » Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:08 pm

Hi all,
This is my first post. I had a 48K ZX Spectrum through the 80s (I know) but I always wanted a "proper" computer like the BBC!
I finally picked one up with a monitor, 2 disk drives and lots of software including a few Acornsoft games on cassette and disk.
I can't get the machine to load anything though. I have zero expertise with the BBC so I thought I'd ask for help here.
The BBC is a Master model and when it boots up it says "This is not a language".
I had a little read on various sites and tried typing CONFIGURE LANG 12 but to no avail.
When I type CHAIN "" to load software I get a Bad command error.
It also came with a Music Maker device with a microphone. No idea what this is!
Anyway, thanks in advance.
Matt.

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sweh
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Re: This is not a language

Post by sweh » Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:37 am

The Master has a battery inside it that keeps configuration settings. If the battery goes flat then configuration is lost. This is pretty common on old machines.

So first thing you should do is change the battery (assuming the person you bought it from already hasn't done it). While you're in there check for battery leakage 'cos that might damage the motherboard.

With a new battery in, hold down the R key and turn it on. That'll reset the configuration to a default setup... which would include ADFS as the default filesystem.

So now press D-BREAK, which will temporary switch to DFS.

That may drop you into the "*" prompt, so now you need to set some more sane values.

Code: Select all

*CO. FILE 9
*CO. MODE 135
*CO. LANG 12
*CO. NOBOOT
Now control-BREAK should get you into BASIC.

A more complete set of commands to set up other stuff, just in case it was set wrong.

Code: Select all

*CO. BAUD 4
*CO. CAPS
*CO. DATA 4
*CO. DELAY 50
*CO. NOTUBE
*CO. NODIR
*CO. FDRIVE 0
*CO. FLOPPY
*CO. IGNORE 10
*CO. LOUD
*CO. PRINT 1
*CO. REPEAT 5
*CO. SCROLL
*CO. TV 0,1
Rgds
Stephen

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daveejhitchins
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Re: This is not a language

Post by daveejhitchins » Fri Sep 28, 2018 5:28 am

Welcome to the Forum, Matt . . . Enjoy . . .

Good luck with you Master, I'm sure you'll get it working soon.

Dave H :D
Parts: UM6502CE, GAL22V10D, GAL16V8D, AS6C62256A, TC514400AZ, WD1772, R6522, TMS27C512, AT28C256
Products: ARA II, ARA III, ABR, ATI, AP6, MGC, AP5 . . .
For a price list, contact me at: Retro Hardware AT dave ej hitchins DOT plus DOT com

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Lardo Boffin
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Re: This is not a language

Post by Lardo Boffin » Fri Sep 28, 2018 6:42 am

Welcome! And there is nothing wrong with a 48K Spectrum. I only had a 16K one!
Atom, issue 5
BBC model B 32k issue 4, 16k sideways RAM, Watford 12 ROM board, Acorn 6502 coproc
BBC model B 32k issue 7, turboMMC, Opus Challenger 3 512k, Pi 3 coproc
USA Model B
BBC Master, Datacentre + HDD, pi co-proc, econet, NULA

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Elminster
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Re: This is not a language

Post by Elminster » Fri Sep 28, 2018 6:55 am

Welcome.

As the other said. Also do you know if the X2 caps in psu were replaced recently, they tend to blow up after 20 to 30 years.

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flaxcottage
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Re: This is not a language

Post by flaxcottage » Fri Sep 28, 2018 8:01 am

Welcome, Matt. :D

The Master is a great machine. And, yes, do replace the PSU X2 capacitors because when they go they smell horrible. :(
- John

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1024MAK
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Re: This is not a language

Post by 1024MAK » Fri Sep 28, 2018 10:59 am

Teardropexplodes wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:08 pm
Hi all,
This is my first post. I had a 48K ZX Spectrum through the 80s (I know) but I always wanted a "proper" computer like the BBC!
Hi Matt.

Welcome :D

Why not pop over to the introduce yourself section and tell us a little bit more about yourself and your hobbies :wink:

We don't do 'other' computer bashing here, so be careful, there be WoSsers here (World of Spectrum members, main site, new site (under construction), forum) as well as owners of other 1970s, 1980s and 1990 computer systems...

There are a fair number of members here who had a non-Acorn computer at home, but got to play with a Beeb elsewhere, such as at school. I also had a ZX Spectrum 48k rubber key at home, but loved the BBC B's at school.

The Master range was one of the most expensive 8 bit "home" computers that were available. Hence it is a bit more complex than the earlier BBC A and BBC B machines.

Please do ask if you get stuck, there is no such thing as a dumb question.
flaxcottage wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 8:01 am
Welcome, Matt. :D

The Master is a great machine. And, yes, do replace the PSU X2 capacitors because when they go they smell horrible. :(
The type that need changing are RIFA brand. Some of my Master 128's are former school machines. These don't have RIFA capacitors in their PSUs (power supply unit). Either the RIFA capacitors were replaced when the school had the computers serviced, or by the time the school bought them, the PSU manufacturer had started to use more than one capacitor supplier. But the only way to know, is to take the covers off and have a look.

Mark

Teardropexplodes
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Re: This is not a language

Post by Teardropexplodes » Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:17 am

Wow, thanks everyone! I have just had a very late dinner - I've been in Scarborough all day on a nostalgia trip.
The arcades were disappointing as ever but I had a great day.
I will get on and have a go at sorting the Beeb out as soon as I can and get back to you.
I've posted an intro in the new users section.
Cheers!

Jungsi
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Re: This is not a language

Post by Jungsi » Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:12 pm

After servicing the BBC Master CPU I get the message
TERMINAL
=

Doing the CMOS reset this way:
- Holding key "R" and switching on screen shows:
CMOS RAM RESET
PRESS BREAK TO CONTINUE

- pressing BREAK shows:
TERMINAL
=

There should be:
Acorn MOS
Acorn ADFS

pressing CTRL+D+BREAK shows
Acorn MOS
Acorn ADFS

but there is no cursor for typing in commands....

http://lionels.orpheusweb.co.uk/CompNyb ... onfig.html

There must be another problem....

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Elminster
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Re: This is not a language

Post by Elminster » Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:30 pm

Does it say
TERMINAL
=
?

In which case the CONFIG LANG is probably set to the temrinal program and starting it on boot or something.

I dont know the commands to exscape of the top of my head.

Possible

CTRL + F1

Then I think it excepts '*' commands, but ages since I used.


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Re: This is not a language

Post by Jungsi » Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:44 pm

It‘s accepting *CONFIGURE or *HELP but when I type the first four commands for LANG and so on and press CTRL+BREAK it is again in TERMINAL MODE.....

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Elminster
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Re: This is not a language

Post by Elminster » Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:50 pm

What does

Code: Select all

*ROMS
show? Should be temrinal as 15 (F in hex) and Basic as 13 (edit: oops I mean 12, C in Hex)

*configure LANG 12

should be setting the LANG to BASIC aka 'C'

Edit: removed hex counting error
Last edited by Elminster on Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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danielj
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Re: This is not a language

Post by danielj » Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:53 am

Just to check, have you removed the old battery? Have you put in a new one?

If it's not remembering settings after a ctrl-break the I'd start to suspect the cmos ic being dead...

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DutchAcorn
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Re: This is not a language

Post by DutchAcorn » Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:21 am

Jungsi wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:12 pm
...
pressing CTRL+D+BREAK shows
Acorn MOS
Acorn ADFS

but there is no cursor for typing in commands....
You can’t type in commands because it is booting from ADFS, which needs an ADFS floppy in the floppy drive.

The fact that crtl-D-break does not end up at DFS makes the OS rom a suspect imo. I am curious about the results of the *ROMS command.

Since you started this with “this is not a language” and you are now in Terminal mode, the cmos chip does seem to hold some kind of setting.

The battery does not need to be connected to debug this. The Master normally holds it’s configuration a few seconds after power off. Are you certain the replacement battery is ok?
Paul

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Elminster
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Re: This is not a language

Post by Elminster » Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:27 am

DutchAcorn wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:21 am

Since you started this with “this is not a language” and you are now in Terminal mode, the cmos chip does seem to hold some kind of setting.
Thread started by different person :)

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Elminster
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Re: This is not a language

Post by Elminster » Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:29 am

danielj wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:53 am
Just to check, have you removed the old battery? Have you put in a new one?

If it's not remembering settings after a ctrl-break the I'd start to suspect the cmos ic being dead...
Yes he did. This was confirmed over here

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=15779#p216430

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danielj
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Re: This is not a language

Post by danielj » Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:39 am

OK. Not been following coherently. So, if its really not remembering after a ctrl break then it's most likely time for a new cmos ic.

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DutchAcorn
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Re: This is not a language

Post by DutchAcorn » Thu Oct 04, 2018 1:47 pm

Elminster wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:27 am
DutchAcorn wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:21 am

Since you started this with “this is not a language” and you are now in Terminal mode, the cmos chip does seem to hold some kind of setting.
Thread started by different person :)
Ah, so it was. These mixed threads can be hard to follow, thanks for pointing that out.
Paul

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Jungsi
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Re: This is not a language

Post by Jungsi » Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:46 pm

Some news - I don't know if they are good or bad ;-)
When I start the Master I see
TERMINAL
=

When I type *BASIC it jumps to BASIC?

ROMS
Terminal Fehler_1.jpg
ST.
Terminal Fehler_2.jpg
Doing CTRL+D+BREAK is booting my Welcome Disk in the now attached disk drive

*CONFIGURE LANG 13

then CTRL+BREAK brings back
TERMINAL
=



I think the battery pack is ok - it was already a newer one. I only put in new batteries.

Maybe this is a crazy idea: It seems it's storing it's information correct. When I disconnect the battery pack it should reset the CMOS so I could start from the beginning with the *CONFIGURE COMMANDS ? :wink:

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jgharston
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Re: This is not a language

Post by jgharston » Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:00 pm

BASIC is 12 not 13. It's finding there's no language in ROM 13, so counting down from 15 to find a ROM with a language in, finding ROM 15 has a language in, and entering it.

Also, Ctrl-SPACE-Break drops you into TAPE/ROM, bypassing any hanging looking for a disk in ADFS. If you can't get to a * prompt, Ctrl-Shift-SPACE-Break drops you to the MOS * prompt. (It looks for a ROMFS !BOOT command, fails, gives Bad command and as no language has been started yet, drops to the MOS prompt.)

Code: Select all

$ bbcbasic
PDP11 BBC BASIC IV Version 0.25
(C) Copyright J.G.Harston 1989,2005-2015
>_

Jungsi
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Re: This is not a language

Post by Jungsi » Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:02 pm

Thanks for the tips - the problem is the same

*CONFIGURE LANG 12
dosn't change anything - after typing this command and doing *ST. the LANG is still set to 15
Ctrl-SPACE-Break and Ctrl-Shift-SPACE-Break still sends me to
TERMINAL
=

(no disc inserted)
How long should the battery be disconnected to reset the CMOS?
What would happen if i replace the existing MOS chip with a multi OS chip. Does that affect the settings?

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1024MAK
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Re: This is not a language

Post by 1024MAK » Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:17 pm

Disconnecting the battery, and then waiting for some time to pass, then reconnecting the battery will result in the CMOS memory that contains the configuration data being filled with random nonsense.

So you will have to clear the CMOS memory and start again.

Before you do that, try
*INSERT 12
then
*CO. LANG 12

With any command that starts with a ‘*’ make sure that there are no extra spaces.

This web site has some useful information.

Try some of the other configuration commands listed at the bottom of the page. Do any of them result in the settings changing?

Mark
Last edited by 1024MAK on Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Jungsi
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Re: This is not a language

Post by Jungsi » Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:39 pm

Waiting some time without a battery - starting the BBC shows
_

Turned off - startet with holding R -> then Break shows:

TERMINAL
=


The setting shown with *ST. are the same as before

Switching to BASIC with
*BASIC and
*INSERT 12
then
*CO. LANG 12
This don't change anything on *ST.

Is this strange?

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danielj
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Re: This is not a language

Post by danielj » Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:46 pm

Yes. That shouldn't happen. Does it do the same without the battery connected? Suspect cmos is dead....

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KenLowe
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Re: This is not a language

Post by KenLowe » Thu Oct 04, 2018 11:14 pm

The results of your *STATUS command looks a bit suspect. It looks like all the bits of each status parameter are set to logic 1. As others have indicated, this is very likely a faulty cmos.

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Re: This is not a language

Post by Jungsi » Fri Oct 05, 2018 5:53 am

Yes - it‘s the same with batteries disconnected.

Where do I get a replacement CMOS Chip? :-)

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danielj
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Re: This is not a language

Post by danielj » Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:04 am

It's a HD146818P, so I'd try a bit of an ebay trawl or utsource if nothing appears at a reasonable price there? Not sure if Dave H has them, or Retroclinic might too?

d.

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Re: This is not a language

Post by Jungsi » Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:19 am

Thanks - ordered one on EBay - lets see what happens when it‘s changed ;-)

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Re: This is not a language

Post by Jungsi » Fri Oct 05, 2018 1:45 pm

I've found something in the Master Service Manual about exactly my problem:

7.1.10 The computer powers up in terminal mode, and *configure will not change it.
1 Check 1 and 2 in the section above.
2 Check all connections to the clock/RAM chip IC11 for open circuits or short circuits.


Section above:
7.1.9 All the keys are working, but CTRL BREAK behaves as
BREAK. (CTRL BREAK should invoke the configuration settings.
)
1 Check that all power-down components around the CM0S clock/RAM chip
IC11 are present and have the correct value.
On some early computers, C11 needs to be 100uF instead of 10uF, D8
should be changed to IN4001, and Q3 should have a 1k8 resistor between
its base and emitter.
2 Check that the chip enable pin 13 of IC11 is normally high with just
occasional excursions low. If not then check the system VIA IC8 for
the RTC chip select pulses which should be on pin 16.

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