I don't know if this was such a smart buy....

History and Preservation Issues

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eslapion
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Postby eslapion » Fri Dec 15, 2006 11:35 pm

What I meant is, back in 1984, I remember reading a review of that thing that said HEXKIT was no a good piece of software at all because it didn't support different programming voltages and the VIC's memory architecture does not allow 32k of contiguous memory so programming a 27256 is not possible with that device.

The maximum was reputed to be a 27128 and only ONE voltage PGM is supported and I don't remember which.

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Postby KilrPilr » Sun Dec 24, 2006 2:35 pm

Try Jerry Kurtz. He had one awhile back he was trying to sell and may still have it. I dont know if it has the rom you need but if it does, I know he would make a copy of it for you. If you decide you want to get rid of the promqueen, let me know and maybe we can do a trade or something. I want to get one of these. Also could you scan in the manual for it? I dont think its out there and is actually something you rarely see accompanying a unit for sale. Merry Xmas all!


Leo

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ral-clan
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Postby ral-clan » Sun Dec 24, 2006 8:09 pm

Who is Jerry Kurtz and how can I get in touch with him? I would certainly pay him for a copy of the ROM. I do plan to keep the PROMQUEEN either way....as some people have said, it is possible to write burning software for it, and maybe one day I will have the skill to do that.

I can certainly scan the manual and will post hi-res pictures of the PROMQUEEN here also.

PS: I believe I also have a manaul for the PROMENADE if anyone needs a copy.

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Postby KilrPilr » Mon Dec 25, 2006 12:33 am

jerrykurtz earthlink net

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Postby Jeff-20 » Mon Dec 25, 2006 2:27 am

you may want to cipher his email as protection against spam...

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ral-clan
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Postby ral-clan » Wed Dec 27, 2006 1:12 pm

Unfortunately Jerry Kurtz had the C64 version and he sold it six months ago.

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Postby ral-clan » Tue Jan 02, 2007 8:20 pm

Okay, I got the PROMQueen in the mail today:

Image

I'm actually glad now that I got it. It's pretty cool and seems well made. The manual is very comprehensive and well written.

Unfortunately I don't have the HEXKIT firmware which seems to be needed to actually do anything. Apparently it came on an EPROM with the original hardware, but could also be loaded from tape or disk.

Here is some info about this item:

- there is 4K of ROM resident inside it, which can be mapped to any location with dip switches.
- it can burn 2716, 2732X, 2732A, 27C16, 27C32 EPROMs. The appendix also recommends 2532 and 2764 EPROMS (gives full spec sheets for these), so maybe it can burn those too.
- it can "rip" EPROMS or ROMS to disk or tape.
- it has a MIMIC mode which I don't fully understand yet, but I think it involves plugging in a fake EPROM which is actually attached via wires to another computer (to test code meant for a different processor on that system?).
- above the built-in reset button there are two holes. Inside of these are two user-adjustable pots for adjusting the voltages from 21V to 25V so you can burn the types of EPROMS listed above.

All in all, seems like a really cool device. Now if we can only get and archive the firmware to Zimmers, all those PROMQUEENS that show up on Ebay without the chips can be made useful again!

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Postby ral-clan » Tue Jan 02, 2007 8:25 pm

eslapion wrote:What I meant is, back in 1984, I remember reading a review of that thing that said HEXKIT was no a good piece of software at all because it didn't support different programming voltages.

The maximum was reputed to be a 27128 and only ONE voltage PGM is supported and I don't remember which.


Hi Eslapion. Apparently the voltages can be adjusted from 21 to 25 volts. Does this make it any better than the review stated? I am new to all of this but that feature seems to provide a glimmer of hope.

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Postby eslapion » Wed Jan 03, 2007 3:37 am

ral-clan wrote:Hi Eslapion. Apparently the voltages can be adjusted from 21 to 25 volts. Does this make it any better than the review stated? I am new to all of this but that feature seems to provide a glimmer of hope.


Only a very small number of EPROM chips can use 25 volts for programming and most of them are discontinued nowadays. According to my information list these are the 2758, 2716, 27c16, 2564 (not to confuse with 2764 which is still available and popular) and the electrically erasable 68764.

21 volts is still used on a few models of 2764 or 27128 but they are difficult to find. You can find a few old chips like that on eBay but most of the time the seller won't specify the programming voltage and you have no garantee they are the right voltage for you.

The most popular voltage for EPROM programming is 12.5 volts and apparently, this voltage is unavailable to you. It is what I use most of the time on my Promenade. It is used on virtually all 2764, 27256, 27c256, 27512 and 27c512. The Promqueen seems unable to go beyond a 2764 according to what you say.

In other words, my original assessment of this device stands. The Promqueen is mostly useless.

As a comparison, the Promenade is compatible with both the VIC and the C64. Even if the memory limitations of the VIC forces a "section by section" type of programming, it is still possible to use a VIC to program up to a 27(c)512 with it. It also supports all 3 common programming voltage; 12.5, 21 and 25 volts. It doesn't have a single switch or pot to adjust.

I did consider making clones of the Promenade device but the demand is just too low.

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Postby Jaicen » Wed Jan 03, 2007 6:53 am

I think you're all looking at this the wrong way. If you were serious about burning EPROMS Ral-Clan, it would be a very simple task to build a PC based prommer that supports a whole host of different voltages and configurations.
In fact, i'd say the prommer that you have is more useful for working with obsolete stuff that you might find in the back of some old computing magazine, so in that respect is a good buy if you're willing to search out the stuff.
I think it also looks really cool, so that's a good enough reason to own it in my view!

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ral-clan
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Postby ral-clan » Wed Jan 03, 2007 8:14 am

Yeah, I am really new to EPROM programming, so I just bought this on a whim.

If I can get it working, I don't really plan to do more with it than archive cartridges and make some cartridges from ROM images.

It's too bad most of the chips are not made anymore. Would it be possible to salvage older compatible chips from other obsolete devices? i.e. can a 20 year old EPROM be reprogrammed reliably, and if so, how many write/rewrite cycles can an EPROM survive?

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Postby 6502dude » Wed Jan 03, 2007 10:21 am

ral-clan wrote:Would it be possible to salvage older compatible chips from other obsolete devices? i.e. can a 20 year old EPROM be reprogrammed reliably, and if so, how many write/rewrite cycles can an EPROM survive?


Yes, 2716 & 2732 chips may be salvaged from old equipment and reused. But bulk of equipment that had these eproms types was junked by mid 1990s. www.sayal.com still has pulls for sale.

I have read that relaibility dimmishes beyond 100 read/write cycles. However I don't think I have ever approached that number of cycles on a single device.

You will need a UV lamp (shielded) to erase eproms. A 8 watt UV lamp will erase eproms in about 10 mins.

Alternatively you could place eproms under florescent lamp to erase them. This will take about 45 days :lol:

While the documentation mentions 2764 eproms, you will need an adapter socket for PromQueen as it appears to only support 24 pin eproms.
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ral-clan
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Postby ral-clan » Wed Jan 03, 2007 10:34 am

Thanks for all the info.

Until I can track down the HEXKIT software, this item isn't going to function anyway. This ROM really needs to be archived on Zimmers! A Usenet search indicates that most recent PROMQUEEN owners are searching for it.

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Postby Schema » Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:28 pm

If the PromQueen only supports 24 pin EPROMs, does that include the Motorola 68764? These are pin-compatible with the original Commodore ROMs, and I just won more than I'll ever need on eBay. If you ever get the burner working, you're welcome to a few of them.

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Postby ral-clan » Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:31 pm

Thanks, I'll try to remember that.


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