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RE: [N8VEM-S100:3543] Newbie about to start building my first S100 system

Hi Philippe,

Welcome to the group.

I can answer the part about the logic analyzer with my experience.
If you are building boards that are from a tested and good design, then you don't need much more than a volt meter to see you have power and good eye sight to look for solder shorts.  A scope is helpful in finding bad chips, by means of checking input activity vs output activity.  It can also serve to display bus contention due to a short somewhere.  The logic analyzer works great when you are debugging a board design.  You want to see the logic in "slow motion" which is near impossible on a scope.  I don't believe it will help you much when building and debugging these boards.  Up to now, I have been able to get all kits I build working with just the scope.  And I've been able to do many repairs with just the scope.  These logic analyzers are great, but if money is tight, wait to buy one.  But I think you really don't need one for getting these boards to work.

Josh Bensadon

Date: Thu, 8 May 2014 09:46:19 -0700
From: philip...@gmail.com
To: n8vem...@googlegroups.com
Subject: [N8VEM-S100:3543] Newbie about to start building my first S100 system

Hi folks,

My name is Philippe, living in France, collector of vintage computers, a bunch of SBC's (KIM1, AIM65, SYM1, TM990/189 etc) and several other desktop oldies (HP85, SX64, ...).  I decided to start building a S100 system, I can't afford an IMSAI and would like to start a long-lasting project involving soldering, coding etc (I have an electronics engineering background and have good experience in coding, assembler in particular)

Thanks to the great info found in his forum and a very helpful feedback received from John, Andrew and Todd, I am leaning towards the following scenario : 
- power supply : stwo switched PS from mouser (+7.5V and +/-18V)
- case :  19' rack 4U height from modushop.biz (not necessary probably at the beginning but nice, they are based in Italy, so certainly cheaper shipment for me)
- mother board : I found a 10 slot passive board from Salota, I understand an active one is much better when running at high clock speeds (?), but I guess it's a good start
- CPU board : getting a Z80 board with on board EPROM makes debugging easier I understand - I have an EPROM programmer to burn the first test code - so this will certainly my first focus
- serial board : I wish there were Z8O CPU boards with both builtin EPROM and serial but did not find one, so this extra board will be necessary

Could you please let me know your thoughts about the above ? I have decent soldering skills so I would be keen to get a ready-to-solder Z80 S-100 V2 master CPU board if boards are available but I thought that would be safer to start with a finished board.. what do you think ? May be some group members are soldering new cards and willing to sell some ? 

Last question : I have an oscilloscope but no logic analyzer. I saw good reviews about the Open Workbench Logic Sniffer, who you advise me to get one ? 

many thanks in advance for your suggestions, I am glad to join this group !

kind regards,

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