Help identifying a BBC Master please

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bomo
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Help identifying a BBC Master please

Post by bomo » Wed Sep 24, 2014 3:42 pm

Hi all,

I've inherited a BBC Master and don't really know much about it. When I switch it on, it comes up with:

VIEW
Bytes free 28926
Editing No File
Screen mode 3
=>

I Google image searched BBC Master and saw someone had typed in *HELP so I did that too. This is the output of *HELP:

OS 3.20
MOS
TERMINAL 1.20
VIEW B3.0
EDIT 4
ViewSheet B1.0
DFS 2.24
DFS
SRAM 1.04
SRAM

Lastly the serial number (which I've just supplied to your serial number project thread) is: 01-AMB15-0080669.

What does all of this mean? Does it look like it's booting normally? Many thanks for your help.

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mjforbes
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Re: Help identifying a BBC Master please

Post by mjforbes » Wed Sep 24, 2014 3:54 pm

For some reason, it's "booting" into the View wordprocessor, rather than Basic. To get it back to "Master 128" mode, hold down CTRL and the space-bar, then hit Break. You should now see :

Acorn MOS
This is not a language
*_


At the "star" prompt, type CONFIGURE LANG 12 and hit return - then hard reset the machine (CTRL + Break) You should now be in 'normal' mode, but there may be more "Configure" tweaks - these are discussed in this thread.

Hope this is of use.
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bomo
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Re: Help identifying a BBC Master please

Post by bomo » Wed Sep 24, 2014 4:30 pm

Hi mjforbes. Thanks for your help.

I tried to do CTRL SPACE BREAK as you suggested. The machine beeps and the screen refreshes but it's still in this word processor mode.

Ever seen that before? :shock:

EDIT: One thing is different than before. It now shows 'screen mode 7' rather than 'screen mode 3'. Is that significant?

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george.h
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Re: Help identifying a BBC Master please

Post by george.h » Wed Sep 24, 2014 4:39 pm

bomo wrote:VIEW
Bytes free 28926
Editing No File
Screen mode 3
=>
Hi Bomo,

When you see the above screen you should be able to just type the following after the "=>" prompt:

*CONFIGURE 12

After you hit enter press and hold CTRL, while holding it press and release BREAK, then release CTRL. You should now get the standard BBC Basic screen.

If you get that use *STATUS to display the rest of the current configuration information and we can take you through the settings. All of the settings you'll see are maintainted by a battery pack located under the lid by the speaker grill. You might want to check them as if it hasn't been used for quite a while they are likely dead. Typically this will be a holder with 3 x AA batteries, but NOT always.

From the 01-AMB15 part of the serial number it will be a standard UK BBC Master 128.
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bomo
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Re: Help identifying a BBC Master please

Post by bomo » Wed Sep 24, 2014 5:05 pm

Thanks guys, it's working now. It came up with:

Acorn MOS
Acorn 1770 DFS
BASIC
>_

*STATUS displays:

BAUD 8
No Boot
Caps
Data 5
Delay 123
No Directory
External Tube
FDrive 7
File 3
Floppy
Ignore 239
Lang 12
Mode 135
Tube
Quiet
Print 7
Repeat 191
No Scroll
TV 2,1

Does all of that look ok?

I see the speaker grill. Where is the lid for the batteries? Do I need to unscrew the case?

I noticed while I was writing down the *STATUS information, the screen corrupted for want of a better word. The words jumbled around a bit and were missing characters. Some were in different colours. I'm using a Microvitec 895 CUB monitor. I rebooted and left it on again and it hasn't done it this time. Could that be the video chip failing?

Thanks very much :)

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george.h
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Re: Help identifying a BBC Master please

Post by george.h » Wed Sep 24, 2014 5:22 pm

There's nothing drastically wrong, and you can find a full guide to all of the settings here:

http://chrisacorns.computinghistory.org ... AN/203.pdf

The default settings according to the user guide are:

*CONFIGURE BAUD 4
*CONFIGURE NOBOOT
*CONFIGURE CAPS
*CONFIGURE DATA 4
*CONFIGURE DELAY 50
*CONFIGURE NODIR
*CONFIGURE INTUBE
*CONFIGURE FDRIVE 3
*CONFIGURE FILE 15
*CONFIGURE HARD
*CONFIGURE IGNORE 10
*CONFIGURE LANG 12
*CONFIGURE MODE 7
*CONFIGURE TUBE
*CONFIGURE LOUD
*CONFIGURE PRINT 1
*CONFIGURE REPEAT 10
*CONFIGURE SCROLL
*CONFIGURE TV 0,1

Unfortunately you WILL have to take the lid off to check the battery pack. There are four screws you need to remove on the underside, two at the very front, two towards the rear, all labelled "Fix".
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Re: Help identifying a BBC Master please

Post by bomo » Wed Sep 24, 2014 5:26 pm

That's absolutely brill. Thanks mjforbes & George! Much appreciated. =D>

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george.h
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Re: Help identifying a BBC Master please

Post by george.h » Wed Sep 24, 2014 5:40 pm

My pleasure!

If you are new to BBC stuff then the two most important key combinations to remember are <CTRL><BREAK>, done I described earlier, and <SHIFT><BREAK>, done the same way but holding down <SHIFT> instead of <CTRL> - learnt the "press and hold...." way of describing it telling primary school head teachers how to do it over the phone! :wink:

<CTRL><BREAK> does a hard reset, while with a floppy drive attached and suitable floppy disk inserted <SHIFT><BREAK> will "boot" the floppy. This isn't the same as on PCs etc as it doesn't load it's operating system from disk. It's normally used to execute commands from a text file called !BOOT (pronounced "pling boot" in the Beeb world, or sometimes "bang boot") on the disk which are typically used to start a menu program or similar - usually something like:

CHAIN "Menu"

Used on most games disks....
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sydney
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Re: Help identifying a BBC Master please

Post by sydney » Wed Sep 24, 2014 5:40 pm

I'd check the batteries asap as they can do damage and make a right mess if they leak!

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george.h
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Re: Help identifying a BBC Master please

Post by george.h » Wed Sep 24, 2014 5:47 pm

Ah Sydney!

Just out of interest, what I said in my previous post about primary school head teachers.... that was when I was working at Pendower Hall Teachers Centre for Newcastle Education Committee up West Road. It has long since become something else now.... :wink:
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sydney
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Re: Help identifying a BBC Master please

Post by sydney » Wed Sep 24, 2014 6:34 pm

Small world eh? I live two streets behind the Crematorium just down the road from Pendower Hall. As a child I went to St. Cuthbert's High school and my wife works for sure start and she informs me that Pendower Hall is now no longer in use for anything due to budget cuts :(
george.h wrote:Ah Sydney!

Just out of interest, what I said in my previous post about primary school head teachers.... that was when I was working at Pendower Hall Teachers Centre for Newcastle Education Committee up West Road. It has long since become something else now.... :wink:

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george.h
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Re: Help identifying a BBC Master please

Post by george.h » Wed Sep 24, 2014 7:01 pm

sydney wrote:Small world eh? I live two streets behind the Crematorium just down the road from Pendower Hall. As a child I went to St. Cuthbert's High school and my wife works for sure start and she informs me that Pendower Hall is now no longer in use for anything due to budget cuts
Many of the Beebs at St. Cuthberts had their security engraving done by yours truly! Stock book, Line and Page :lol:

Shame it's not in use anymore - the kitchen there did a nice range of hot meals for staff 8) The curries were particularly good...... :lol:

You ever come across software called Progress and T-Squared?
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Re: Help identifying a BBC Master please

Post by bomo » Thu Sep 25, 2014 1:05 pm

Thanks for the commands George. :) Just noticed it's gone back to word processor mode overnight. I don't know why. Nay bother.

I had a look at the batteries and they were pretty corroded so I've got rid of them.

Funny you should mention Newcastle. I'm not from there but one of the first places I used a BBC Micro (Model B) when I was a kid was at a friend's house in Wideopen. Small world indeed. :o

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jms2
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Re: Help identifying a BBC Master please

Post by jms2 » Thu Sep 25, 2014 6:26 pm

bomo wrote:Thanks for the commands George. :) Just noticed it's gone back to word processor mode overnight. I don't know why. Nay bother.

I had a look at the batteries and they were pretty corroded so I've got rid of them.
The batteries are used to keep the configuration settings, so if you have taken them out it won't remember any of the *CONFIGURE settings that you type in.

It's not a problem, but it is quite inconvenient. You can get Master battery packs from Ebay (probably) or from Mark at Retroclinic on here. :D

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Re: Help identifying a BBC Master please

Post by DutchAcorn » Thu Sep 25, 2014 7:17 pm

bomo wrote:I had a look at the batteries and they were pretty corroded so I've got rid of them.
If you open up the original battery pack (using gloves :shock: ) you will find a diode and a resistor that you can re-use to make a new battery pack. The diode protects the batteries from the current coming from the Master that reduces battery life.

Paul
Paul

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george.h
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Re: Help identifying a BBC Master please

Post by george.h » Thu Sep 25, 2014 7:38 pm

DutchAcorn wrote:The diode protects the batteries from the current coming from the Master that reduces battery life.
From back when Acorn designed the Master to use a rechargeable lithium battery! Must make BeebMaster shudder, the thought of Masters executing the Halt & Catch Fire instruction.... :lol:
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Re: Help identifying a BBC Master please

Post by bomo » Fri Sep 26, 2014 1:26 pm

The batteries were completely corroded so I doubt there was any juice left in them anyway. They were hit by the slime monster and covered in green goo (fortunately all held inside the sealed plastic wrapping). The diode/resistor fell apart as soon as I opened the pack.

I think I'm going to dump this BBC. It's a shame but the video has started to roll up on the monitor so it's off (above) the monitor display. I've tried it on a TV and it's doing the same thing on that.

Thanks for your help anyway. :|

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danielj
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Re: Help identifying a BBC Master please

Post by danielj » Fri Sep 26, 2014 1:38 pm

No! Don't dump! It will be fixable! Whereabouts are you?!

d.

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george.h
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Re: Help identifying a BBC Master please

Post by george.h » Fri Sep 26, 2014 1:56 pm

danielj wrote:No! Don't dump! It will be fixable! Whereabouts are you?!

d.
Thunderbeebs are GO! (cue music) :wink:

Seriously.... A minor issue like poor vertical sync (which is what you are probably seeing) is likely to be easy to fix or easily fixed for you if you are not into/confident in electronics. Once binned a Beeb is lost to the world forever which would be a real shame, especially with so many good homes it could go to and be nursed back to full health.
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Re: Help identifying a BBC Master please

Post by bomo » Fri Sep 26, 2014 2:25 pm

I'm not confident with electronics. I'm in Bournemouth but moving to Devon in the next 3 months. The house move is enough stress on its own that I can't spend anymore time on projects like this. I'm trying to pack everything I want to keep to put into a storage unit.

The BBC Master was given to me by my father so I'll ask him what he wants to do. He originally thought about selling it on Ebay for spare parts etc.

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danielj
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Re: Help identifying a BBC Master please

Post by danielj » Fri Sep 26, 2014 2:33 pm

Bomo, I will happily see (as, I'm sure, will many others!) if I can get it working for you. The only issue being that I'm up the other end of the country in Manchester.

d.

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mjforbes
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Re: Help identifying a BBC Master please

Post by mjforbes » Fri Sep 26, 2014 6:02 pm

I'm closer than Manchester (Southsea), and SHOULD be in the Bournemouth/Poole area in a fortnight. IF it's heading towards landfill/eBay for spares/other non-preservation fate, AND a deal can be made (between Bomo/Bomo's Dad/A Stardotter, I'd be happy to collect and post on to whomever at cost + a pint.

A lot of uncertainties in the last paragraph, but you know what I mean ...!

Matt

Versainville on Orne, Haute-Normandie (now) // Southsea-sur-Solent, Hants (tomorrow afternoon)
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Re: Help identifying a BBC Master please

Post by BeebMaster » Sat Sep 27, 2014 2:19 pm

george.h wrote:It's normally used to execute commands from a text file called !BOOT (pronounced "pling boot" in the Beeb world, or sometimes "bang boot")
I've always pronounced it Exclamation-mark-boot; have I been saying it wrong for 25 years query, er..question mark I mean, factorial...erm..exclamation mark...
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Re: Help identifying a BBC Master please

Post by bomo » Sat Sep 27, 2014 2:49 pm

mjforbes wrote:I'm closer than Manchester (Southsea), and SHOULD be in the Bournemouth/Poole area in a fortnight. IF it's heading towards landfill/eBay for spares/other non-preservation fate, AND a deal can be made (between Bomo/Bomo's Dad/A Stardotter, I'd be happy to collect and post on to whomever at cost + a pint.

A lot of uncertainties in the last paragraph, but you know what I mean ...!

Matt

Versainville on Orne, Haute-Normandie (now) // Southsea-sur-Solent, Hants (tomorrow afternoon)
Sure Matt, that sounds a good idea. If someone wants to offer something, I'll ask me dad. Cheers :) Or can post it if postage is covered within the offer.

Perhaps I should create a post in the classifieds?

BTW how do I sent a private message on here? I don't think the option is open to me as I'm a new member?
Last edited by bomo on Sat Sep 27, 2014 4:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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george.h
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Re: Help identifying a BBC Master please

Post by george.h » Sat Sep 27, 2014 2:51 pm

BeebMaster wrote:
george.h wrote:It's normally used to execute commands from a text file called !BOOT (pronounced "pling boot" in the Beeb world, or sometimes "bang boot")
I've always pronounced it Exclamation-mark-boot; have I been saying it wrong for 25 years query, er..question mark I mean, factorial...erm..exclamation mark...
I've no idea where it came from and found it rather odd myself - but that is how I've known it expressed ever since I encountered my first Model A at school (back in the Cambrian era) complete with OS 0.1, BASIC 1 and Provisional User Guide. I thought it was just a short hand way of saying it, but apparently not!

See the below which I only found after typing the above:

http://blog.codinghorror.com/ascii-pron ... ogrammers/

One wonders though if "pling" might be safer in the Beeb Vault - "bang" might be tempting fate a bit :wink:
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Re: Help identifying a BBC Master please

Post by richardtoohey » Sat Sep 27, 2014 10:32 pm

bomo wrote:BTW how do I sent a private message on here? I don't think the option is open to me as I'm a new member?
I think you can send PMs after 25 posts. Or email an admin and they can make it happen sooner (if they are not too busy.)

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Re: Help identifying a BBC Master please

Post by CMcDougall » Tue Oct 28, 2014 9:26 pm

Thanks to Bomo :wink: for giving this M128 a loving home =D>

After a good clean, getting rid of some of the rust (back plate is bad on right side), new 220uF cap for better start-up, and pressing sticky keys a good few times, all keys now work \:D/

Here is the picture on TV from a working scart lead now:
M128 wonky scr.jpg
m
This was a MODE7, *ROMS, *T.,*SAVE BOB 8000 C000. It's sort of 'flashing' but more like lines flying through the text :?
Reading the Service manual, it says something about check LK5 for CSYNC polarity for your monitor, but I can't find that on the motherboard :shock: #-o :roll:

Anyone sorted this sort of screen corruption before :?: I have a spare Iss7 dead beeb with all chips working on it, so can swap chips if need be 8)
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Re: Help identifying a BBC Master please

Post by 1024MAK » Tue Oct 28, 2014 9:43 pm

That's a strange one.

If it is "lines flying through the text", that implies that a unwanted high frequency signal is getting into the video output.

Mark

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Re: Help identifying a BBC Master please

Post by paulb » Tue Oct 28, 2014 10:16 pm

CMcDougall wrote:Anyone sorted this sort of screen corruption before :?: I have a spare Iss7 dead beeb with all chips working on it, so can swap chips if need be 8)
It looks like one of the "fields" isn't being generated at the right time. I hope that "field" is the correct term: I'm referring to the two batches of 312.5 lines comprising the full 625 line interlaced display. (No, I'm no video expert, just someone who read a bit about video signals when deducing what the ULA does.)

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Re: Help identifying a BBC Master please

Post by 1024MAK » Tue Oct 28, 2014 10:25 pm

If it is a frame/field fly back problem, it will show up better if a graphics mode is selected and a large area of solid colour is drawn to the screen.

Mark

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