HxC fitted to LSI Computers System M-Three

Post here your pictures / videos / review of the HxC Floppy Emulator.
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SteveH
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HxC fitted to LSI Computers System M-Three

Post by SteveH »

Here are a few photos of an early 1980s British built computer (LSI Computers Ltd, System M-Three) that I restored a couple of years ago. It's an ugly duckling of a Z80 based system that has two continuously spinning noisy Shugart 8” diskette drives.

This was the state of the system after being in someone’s attic for 20+ years.
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Here it is restored and running an EPROM based monitor program.
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And here it is fitted with a HxC floppy emulator - the screen shows Wordstar word processor under my own build of CP/M 2.2 operating system.
IMAG1826(3).jpg
IMAG1826(3).jpg (199.95 KiB) Viewed 7018 times

SteveH
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Re: HxC fitted to LSI Computers System M-Three

Post by SteveH »

For anyone interested, the following Google photo album has more pics of the restoration process, including the addition of the HXC Floppy Emulator and an IDE Hard Drive (using a disk-on-module).

https://goo.gl/photos/tMza3ootuxB6FYF38

Jeff
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Re: HxC fitted to LSI Computers System M-Three

Post by Jeff »

Very nice restoration !
And thanks for the compatibility report ! :)

AW99
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Joined: Fri Jun 12, 2015 8:37 pm

Re: HxC fitted to LSI Computers System M-Three

Post by AW99 »

Good job! Looks like a new product now and together with the HxC it's even more fascinating.

LSIEngineer
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Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2020 5:56 pm

Re: HxC fitted to LSI Computers System M-Three

Post by LSIEngineer »

Hello,

I came across your website in an memory lane experience in Google maps.

I like the restoration you have done to LSI Computer's M3. C.P.U. Computers Ltd of St, Johns, Woking, Surrey, England started as a manufacturer of small multi-user business machines starting with the M1 based on the Intel 8080, their most profitable machine. They then produced this M3 for Personal business use with WordStar for secretarial use and Lotus 123 for finance. They also produced their own business software to run on this same machine; UK accounting and stock control software. Unfortunately, the company went into demise once Big Blue IBM globally brought out the IBM PC 3" floppy running on DOS.

How do I know? I was a production test engineer at the company around 78-81. I think the motherboard even has the EPROMs I copied from the master (my style of writing). For the 'Tester' you might have my monacle 'CMK'

SteveH
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Re: HxC fitted to LSI Computers System M-Three

Post by SteveH »

Hi LSIEngineer,

I too worked for LSI, the West Midlands franchise, developing software for the Softpac Axis Accounting/Costing/Payroll/etc. package. That was in the late 80s through to early 90s. To begin with mainly using the LSI Octopus (M5) and then later IBM PC and AT clones. I do recall our engineering department repairing a number of older LSI M4s and CAL-PCs (M4 motherboard in a PC style box with separate screen), but nothing earlier than that.

Following your post I looked back through the photos I took of the M3 PCBs, looking at the INSP and TEST signature/initials boxes. The initials on the motherboard were smudged when I first got the machine and were later cleared during cleaning. The keyboard doesn’t have your initials, but I need to re-open it to take some higher resolution photos. However… the CRT display board photo clearly show CMK.

It would be great if you could get in touch with me, as I’m always on the lookout for information, photos, memories, etc. of LSI and their products from the early days. If you can’t message me via this board, try - steve dot hunt at iname dot com.

CRT Display Board:
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