Topics

EZ Test for 4041


Monty McGraw
 

I discovered before Christmas that I had 4041 EZ-TEST that I had gotten in 2000. I spent last week working to recover them and several other tapes. All the recovered files are posted on my 4041 github repository: https://github.com/mmcgraw74/Tektronix-4041-GPIB-Controller.

Details of the recovery process are in this thread I just posted on vcfed.org: http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthread.php?78257-Tektronix-4041-EZ-Test-tapes-recovered!!


Monty McGraw
 

Gary,

I have shipped all three of your DC100 tapes back to you - all working now, with a couple of new plastiband drive belts.

The 4.25" plastibands don't last long if you are actively writing files to tape - they stretch slightly and then you get tape errors.

Just booting the System Verification tape to change the console to COMM0: - the belt lasts longer.

I also created and posted on my github site a 4041 BASIC program that creates an entire SYSVER tape - but it needs 512KB of 4041 memory to hold the all the tape files in DATA statements. It should be easy to divide the program into several smaller ones for those that don't have 512KB of memory. I load the program into memory from my PC through 4041 COMM0: at 9600 baud.

Your first post in this thread indicated you had a EZ-TEST software tape that is not reliable anymore. I would love to try to recover those files - and put them on a NOS tape for you.

Monty


Gary Robert Bosworth
 

Monty: Thanx for your help with these tapes. They were never dropped by
me. They were always packaged good, so I cannot imagine how they saw any
violent physical shock. I sure hope that all 3 work good for you. I
cannot imagine how magnetic tapes could lose their flux density and fail so
bad in my system. My tape drive appears to be in perfect condition, and
was originally owned by NASA where it was not used much and was never
mistreated. Let's hope for the best. I do have 2 other tape drives, so I
might have to switch them which is difficult in that 4041 mainframe.

Gary

On Tue, Nov 17, 2020 at 4:52 PM Monty McGraw <mmcgraw74@gmail.com> wrote:

Gary,

I got your three tapes, removed the belts and plastic parts and put them in
my dehydrator at 135F.
Thursday I will remove them from the dehydrator and begin testing them this
weekend.

One thing I noticed, two of the tape reels showed the tapes were dropped
and the edge of the reels were up to the top of the case :(

I pushed gently on the high edge to roughly center the tapes on the reels
before putting them in the dehydrator.

I did not dehydrate those tapes before sending them to you - I'm hoping
everything will be fine after they bake for two days.

I plan to install new belts on all three tapes.

Monty

Monty

On Mon, Nov 9, 2020 at 12:33 PM Gary Robert Bosworth <grbosworth@gmail.com
wrote:

Monty: I have 3 tapes that have gone bad. I don't understand why they
went bad. My tape drive seems to be running smooth. I will be happy to
send the failed tapes to you to see what you can do with them. Please
send
me your snail mail address so I can get these in the mail as soon as
possible. Thanx.

Gary Bosworth
grbosworth@gmail.com


On Sun, Nov 8, 2020 at 2:54 PM Monty McGraw <mmcgraw74@gmail.com> wrote:

Gary,

I would like to try recovering the files on your EZ-Test tape if you
still
have it.

Monty





--
Gary Robert Bosworth
grbosworth@gmail.com
Tel: 310-317-2247









--
Gary Robert Bosworth
grbosworth@gmail.com
Tel: 310-317-2247


Monty McGraw
 

Gary,

I got your three tapes, removed the belts and plastic parts and put them in
my dehydrator at 135F.
Thursday I will remove them from the dehydrator and begin testing them this
weekend.

One thing I noticed, two of the tape reels showed the tapes were dropped
and the edge of the reels were up to the top of the case :(

I pushed gently on the high edge to roughly center the tapes on the reels
before putting them in the dehydrator.

I did not dehydrate those tapes before sending them to you - I'm hoping
everything will be fine after they bake for two days.

I plan to install new belts on all three tapes.

Monty

Monty

On Mon, Nov 9, 2020 at 12:33 PM Gary Robert Bosworth <grbosworth@gmail.com>
wrote:

Monty: I have 3 tapes that have gone bad. I don't understand why they
went bad. My tape drive seems to be running smooth. I will be happy to
send the failed tapes to you to see what you can do with them. Please send
me your snail mail address so I can get these in the mail as soon as
possible. Thanx.

Gary Bosworth
grbosworth@gmail.com


On Sun, Nov 8, 2020 at 2:54 PM Monty McGraw <mmcgraw74@gmail.com> wrote:

Gary,

I would like to try recovering the files on your EZ-Test tape if you
still
have it.

Monty





--
Gary Robert Bosworth
grbosworth@gmail.com
Tel: 310-317-2247






Gary Robert Bosworth
 

Monty: I have 3 tapes that have gone bad. I don't understand why they
went bad. My tape drive seems to be running smooth. I will be happy to
send the failed tapes to you to see what you can do with them. Please send
me your snail mail address so I can get these in the mail as soon as
possible. Thanx.

Gary Bosworth
grbosworth@gmail.com

On Sun, Nov 8, 2020 at 2:54 PM Monty McGraw <mmcgraw74@gmail.com> wrote:

Gary,

I would like to try recovering the files on your EZ-Test tape if you still
have it.

Monty





--
Gary Robert Bosworth
grbosworth@gmail.com
Tel: 310-317-2247


Monty McGraw
 

Gary,

I would like to try recovering the files on your EZ-Test tape if you still have it.

Monty


Monty McGraw
 

The 4041 Utility ROMpack R04 manual on bitsavers has a couple of interesting rom calls:

  • Loadroms is a Soft ROMpack loader that could load ROMs from a file on tape or disk into memory (pg 1-1)
  • PROM File System allows ASCII or ITEM files to be read from PROMs as device name PROM0 which is read-only but supports all the BASIC commands other than SAVE (also on pg 1-1)

Two problems with the PROM file system - the Tektronix ROM Carriers are 'almost unobtainable' although I have found two different sources the price is over $50 for a single plastic cover with two EPROMs in the Molex carriers. Second problem is the PRMBLD and RMXFER are two BASIC programs that came with the 4041 "Accessory Kit" for programming 4041 PROMs. I can't find those programs :(

I think it would be relatively easy to make a 4041 ROM Drawer compatible circuit board that would emulate the ROM Drawer with larger EPROMs.

We just need the PRMBLD and RMXFER programs to create the 'tape' file for a PROM0.

The manual indicates on page 7-1 if the PROM0 contains an AUTOLD file, this file will automatically become the default SYSDEV device and the AUTOLD will be loaded automatically at power-up!


Dave Brown
 

Gary
I dare say back in 1982 when the 4041 was introduced they had no idea that anyone would still be wanting to use one nearly 40 years later.
Small tape drives for use as 'flexible/versatile' read/write storage were a common feature back then as well.
There are some ROMs in the ROM carrier but will have to dig the hardware out to check exactly what is in there. Given there is another 4041 close at hand (Stephen's post was a surprise in more ways than one-not seen him since engineering school) I will hold off on the parting out process at this stage but should I proceed with that and have anything you are interested in available, I'll get back to you.
DaveB, NZ

-----Original Message-----
From: TekScopes@groups.io [mailto:TekScopes@groups.io] On Behalf Of Gary Robert Bosworth
Sent: Friday, June 07, 2019 14:36
To: TekScopes@groups io
Subject: Re: [TekScopes] EZ Test for 4041

It is hard for me to understand why Tektronix did not include a small boot ROM to get the instrument up and running. Why boot from mag tape which is notorious for weak signals after a few years of sitting around?

There are two things that I still need for my 4041. I need a 160K memory card, and the ROM04. If you have either of these, I am interested to purchase them.
Gary B.

On Thu, Jun 6, 2019 at 7:22 PM <s.r.bell@snap.net.nz> wrote:

Dave,

I have a similar issue with my 4041. I have been attempting to reverse
engineer the tape controller with a view to making up a tape emulator
based on an SD card. However, due to lack of time and it being a
difficult circuit to decipher, I haven’t made much progress on this.

In the interim I have been experimenting using a terminal emulator,
via a custom adapter to convert RS232 to the keyboard port logic
levels, to enter suitable commands to transfer the console port to the
rear panel RS232 port. On this port I connect a PC terminal emulator
and can use the PC to edit, upload and save programs. At the moment
this is a tedious process as I have to enter the initial commands into
the terminal emulator by hand but I have been thinking of programming
up a little micro controller to fit inside the LEMO plug and
automatically squirt the requisite commands into the keyboard port
every time the 4041 is powered up. Again, due to lack of time, I haven’t made any progress on this.

I see from your signature that you are a Kiwi. I am located in
Christchurch. Perhaps we could get together and collaborate to make
these 4041s usable again.

Stephen



--
Gary Robert Bosworth
grbosworth@gmail.com
Tel: 310-317-2247


Gary Robert Bosworth
 

It is hard for me to understand why Tektronix did not include a small boot
ROM to get the instrument up and running. Why boot from mag tape which is
notorious for weak signals after a few years of sitting around?

There are two things that I still need for my 4041. I need a 160K memory
card, and the ROM04. If you have either of these, I am interested to
purchase them.
Gary B.

On Thu, Jun 6, 2019 at 7:22 PM <s.r.bell@snap.net.nz> wrote:

Dave,

I have a similar issue with my 4041. I have been attempting to reverse
engineer the tape controller with a view to making up a tape emulator based
on an SD card. However, due to lack of time and it being a difficult
circuit to decipher, I haven’t made much progress on this.

In the interim I have been experimenting using a terminal emulator, via a
custom adapter to convert RS232 to the keyboard port logic levels, to enter
suitable commands to transfer the console port to the rear panel RS232
port. On this port I connect a PC terminal emulator and can use the PC to
edit, upload and save programs. At the moment this is a tedious process as
I have to enter the initial commands into the terminal emulator by hand but
I have been thinking of programming up a little micro controller to fit
inside the LEMO plug and automatically squirt the requisite commands into
the keyboard port every time the 4041 is powered up. Again, due to lack of
time, I haven’t made any progress on this.

I see from your signature that you are a Kiwi. I am located in
Christchurch. Perhaps we could get together and collaborate to make these
4041s usable again.

Stephen



--
Gary Robert Bosworth
grbosworth@gmail.com
Tel: 310-317-2247


Stephen Bell
 

Dave,

I have a similar issue with my 4041. I have been attempting to reverse engineer the tape controller with a view to making up a tape emulator based on an SD card. However, due to lack of time and it being a difficult circuit to decipher, I haven’t made much progress on this.

In the interim I have been experimenting using a terminal emulator, via a custom adapter to convert RS232 to the keyboard port logic levels, to enter suitable commands to transfer the console port to the rear panel RS232 port. On this port I connect a PC terminal emulator and can use the PC to edit, upload and save programs. At the moment this is a tedious process as I have to enter the initial commands into the terminal emulator by hand but I have been thinking of programming up a little micro controller to fit inside the LEMO plug and automatically squirt the requisite commands into the keyboard port every time the 4041 is powered up. Again, due to lack of time, I haven’t made any progress on this.

I see from your signature that you are a Kiwi. I am located in Christchurch. Perhaps we could get together and collaborate to make these 4041s usable again.

Stephen


Vince Vielhaber
 

There was a hard drive available for it. It was small, 10MB I think, but it worked. Really slow, but better than tapes.

Vince - K8ZW.

On 06/06/2019 01:07 AM, Dave Brown wrote:
My 4041 is still languishing here due to lack of a DC100A tape that will allow me to boot it and make it useable. Think I'm about ready to give up and part it out or whatever - it's only been sitting here unused for well over 10 years! What they need is for some clever dude to come up with an adapter to boot them or load other software from an SD card or similar.
DaveB, NZ


-----Original Message-----
From: TekScopes@groups.io [mailto:TekScopes@groups.io] On Behalf Of Gary Robert Bosworth
Sent: Monday, June 03, 2019 13:32
To: TekScopes@groups.io
Subject: [TekScopes] EZ Test for 4041

Does anyone have a DC-100A tape with Tektronix EZ-TEST software on it for the Tektronix 4041 GPIB Controller, that they are interested in selling? Mine has become weak with time and is not reliable anymore.
Gary







Dave Brown
 

My 4041 is still languishing here due to lack of a DC100A tape that will allow me to boot it and make it useable. Think I'm about ready to give up and part it out or whatever - it's only been sitting here unused for well over 10 years! What they need is for some clever dude to come up with an adapter to boot them or load other software from an SD card or similar.
DaveB, NZ

-----Original Message-----
From: TekScopes@groups.io [mailto:TekScopes@groups.io] On Behalf Of Gary Robert Bosworth
Sent: Monday, June 03, 2019 13:32
To: TekScopes@groups.io
Subject: [TekScopes] EZ Test for 4041

Does anyone have a DC-100A tape with Tektronix EZ-TEST software on it for the Tektronix 4041 GPIB Controller, that they are interested in selling? Mine has become weak with time and is not reliable anymore.
Gary


Gary Robert Bosworth
 

Does anyone have a DC-100A tape with Tektronix EZ-TEST software on it for the Tektronix 4041 GPIB Controller, that they are interested in selling? Mine has become weak with time and is not reliable anymore.
Gary