Scor­pio News


July–September 1987 – Volume 1. Issue 3.

Page 52 of 67

The assembly contains the reset switch, indicators, key switch, etc was also released by two screws. I then discovered that my suspicions were correct. One of the cables to the reset switch was too long, and had got in the way of the keyswitch. When I had turned the latter I had ripped off the former! A quick dab of the soldering iron and all was well.

I was also right about the wait-state link, and changed that to software-selectable.

I noted that the 1.2M floppy drive was a Teac FD55FG unit, and that the Winchester was a half-height Seagate unit. No un-heard of Taiwanese rubbish here! Further, the unit was all equipped to easily take a second Winchester, the power cable sitting there waiting.

The main board on the base of the unit contains the 640K RAM (18 x 256K chips, plus 18 x 64K – 18? Yes, parity RAM.), the 80286, socket for 80287, real time clock/​calendar and battery, keyboard support. and general logic. Like most AT boards, the CHIP’s chip set is used to provide most of the general purpose logic.

There are three “expansion” boards fitted. A full length Winchester / floppy controller board; a full length EGA colour board, also containing the parallel port; and a small dual serial-board, one DB25 being on the same board, plus a cable going to the second DB2S, mounted on one of the rear expansion panels corresponding to an unused expansion slot.

The Monitor

The monitor is a 14″ TVM one (although it actually has a “Copam” label on the front). It is a dual-mode one, switching automatically between CGA and EGA modes as required by the graphics board. On the rear is the mains-in socket, plus a cable going to a 9-way D-type for plugging into the EGA board. There are also four pots, two “Vertical size” and two “Horizontal Centre”, for adjusting the display in each of its modes.

On the front is an on/off switch, power-on indicator, brightness control, and colour balance control. There is also a three position Display Mode switch that gives a full-colour picture, or a green only or amber only one. I can’t really consider this to be an awful lot of use, as it is easy to software select text of your own colour choice anyway. Unless anyone else knows of a good reason? I bet some people can’t work out where their colour has gone, or don’t even know they’ve got it!

The Keyboard

The keyboard is “AT-style”, whatever that means. It has three groups of keys. On the left are 10 function keys, then there is the main alpha-numeric and control cluster, and on the right is the numeric pad, screen control cluster. The main cluster is slightly non-standard in that it has the four cursor keys repeated in a straight line at the bottom right hand corner.

There are three LEDs to indicate Caps Lock, Num Lock and Scroll Lock. A couple of swing-out plastic legs under the keyboard can be used to tilt it, and this is the way that I find it most comfortable.

Key action is a la IBM, in that each key contains a “click” mechanism. It’s not a bad keyboard at all.

The Manual

An A5 ring binder containing the documentation comes with the system. As seems to be happening quite often with both hardware end software these days, there is JUST too much manual for the binder, making it awkward to use unless you remove one of the smaller sections.

Page 52 of 67