Scor­pio News


October–December 1988 – Volume 2. Issue 4.

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What you get

  • A 48 page manual.
  • A floppy disk containing some test and benchmark programs
  • Hard copy of the test program results
  • The NE898 board

Monitor PROM source and circuit diagrams are available on request


I understand that the documentation is currently undergoing revision. What is currently being distributed gives sufficient information to operate the NE898, detailing all the link options, switches, connectors and the I/O port allocations. Also included are some example Pascal programs demonstrating the use of the DMA, LCD interface and both the CPU and SPCT asynchronous serial interfaces. Those people wishing to make use of the new facilities offered by the NE898 would do well to equip themselves with the 64180 User Manual, the technical documentation on the Z80 peripheral chips, and the application notes on the 58274 RTC chip.


The board is very solidly constructed, in keeping with Newburn’s Industrial systems market. It is quite densely packed, and all ICs are socketed. Most of the link options are provided with plug and jumper, some are multi-way DIL socket and solder headers. The outer edge of the board. is lined with a series of four dil plugs, incorporating ejectors, – P-Bus, SPCT serial; parallel and CPU serial. According to the manual the PCB is six layer – one of the internal layers appears to be a total ground plane. A set of 20 uncommitted plated through holes are provided, ready to accept an additional IC. This will allow a limited amount of tidy customisation. There are a few minor ‘fixes’ on the board – the reset switch is mounted at a peculiar angle, two pull-up resistors are tacked onto the back of the board, as is one wire link. However the overall impression is one of quality. Indeed the board can be supplied with full certification of conformity of the parts used, for those customers who require evidence of Quality Control.

In use

The board arrives ready configured as a plug in replacement for a GM813, set to 8MHz. Note that some existing boards will require a link setting to the AUX CLK position before operating in an 8MHz system. The author’s system was Nascom 2 based, and so this was removed together with the GM802 64K RAM and GM803 EPROM cards. Thus the new configuration is NE898, GM829 FDC/​SASI and GM832 SVC.

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