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Greetings from Canada

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:49 pm
by waltermixxx
Hi there, just a quick hello and introduction.

As a kid I messed around with electronics and frequented the stores on queen street west in toronto,
as there were lots of electronic hobby and parts stores there. I remember seeing the OSI Superboard II
at the Excelltronix store a few times salivating over it. Wanting one badly... but being unable to afford it.

So I hand built a Cosmac Elf II (with 2k of ram and pixie chip for video) it was awesome. :)

but every now and then i think back on those days eyeballing the adds in Electronics Today for the OSI,
and it's full keyboard and real video text video output. I thought one day....

Well that day is here, or at least it was last weekend when I finally (through the generosity of Steve Gray, and fair trade),
I acquired one.

It seemed to be in pretty good working order too. All but 5 or 6 keys were working, and I managed to get it down
to 3 keys which consistently gave me grief.

I did have another strange issue, it was displaying a full 32 charcaters across of which only
24 were visible, but the others were there, so I could not see the first 4 characters on the left or right.
That turned out to be a firmware issue that was corrected with the CEGMON monitor rom in place of the PC 2.0 rom
that was installed...

The final issue was the power supply, it had a pretty bad 2 volt ripple in it, so it needed to be fixed.

Long story short, I brought it over to my buddy Josh's place, and we burned a new eprom (the CEGMON), and replaced the bad capacitor in the power supply, and all was well. Then I decided to try and fix the keyswitches using DEOXIT5D, (dont ever do this) It looked like it was working so I sprayed it on a few other keys, then all the keys started shorting. quite depressing... all was going so well.

I removed the 16 keys, and cleaned the board and solder holes, and set out to fix the switches, carefully taking them apart, cleaning them out,
and putting them back together.... I managed to clean 5 so far. Then spoke with a friend, who had a cashregister keyboard that has the same keys, he offered to give me the keyboard for parts. I'm hoping to pick up the keyboard today, remove all of the keys, test them and replace the damaged ones on the OSI.

So a bit of a roller coaster ride, but i love that superboard II and I only just got it. :) It did come with a home built case, but having to do repairs etc, has not spent much time in it. I will post some pictures when i have it all ready to go. :)

Re: Greetings from Canada

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:21 pm
by waltermixxx
installing replacement keys now. :) I picked up the cash register keyboard today and transfering keys over.
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found out some info on the keys:
these are the same switches... :) same keys the BBC computer uses.
you can get them on ebay, or from retroclinic directly if you email him :) ... 100623.m-1

Re: Greetings from Canada

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:59 am
by RedskullDC
Hi Walter,

You can also get the futaba switches in bulk from here: ... kage-of-20

A very good price indeed.


Re: Greetings from Canada

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:57 am
by waltermixxx
that's super cool, no hoops to jump through and no shipments from the U.K.
thank you for that that's great. :)