Hardware involved in the project as of Dec 2012

The 1130 recreation is centered on a Digilent Nexys2 development board which contains a 1.2M gate equivalent FPGA - Xilinx Spartan 3E - plus support circuits and components, many of which I am leveraging.

Nexys2 board bottom left, logic analyzer above and breakout board attached to right

It has a clock running at 50MHz and is field programmable by USB from the Digilent-provided Adept software on a PC, but could be programmed by the standard JTAG method too.

It hosts a flash ROM which contains the programming, loaded whenever the board is powered on or reset.

The board has features which are used for debugging convenience, such as eight switches, four push buttons, eight LEDs and four 7-segment LCD digits, but which will not be active in the final machine. There is support for a VGA interface which is not used. The board also provides more than 50 I/O pins from the FPGA, in eight digilent style "PMOD" connectors and in the 50 pin expansion connector. I use these for logic analyzer debugging but also for connections to other hardware, as will be outlined below.

16MB of flash memory is on board, plus 16MB of fast RAM, both of which were planned to be used in the 1130 project. The flash could hold seven virtual disk cartridges, any one of which could have been mounted in the emulated disk drive on the project. However, timing issues and complexity led to use of separate flash rather than the onboard flash, because of the sharing of the IO pins between RAM and flash that make it impossible to fully overlap their operation. The RAM is used to implement the 32K of 16 bit words in the largest 1130 configuration (plus the 2 parity bits per word).

A PS2 port is provided on the board and used to connect a PC keyboard to stand in place of the 1130s console keyboard. Later in the project I hope to put in a more accurate keyboard replica that provides just the signals which are emitted by the 1130 hardware itself, not PS2 keyboard scan codes. All the scan codes are converted by emulation logic to appear to be the micro-switches on the real keyboard of an 1130, thus the adapter logic from the 1130 is unmodified.

The USB link provided on the board provides a high speed and low speed transfer mode embodied in the Cypress chip on the board - up to 480MB/s transfer rate as a stream connection as well as emulating a PC extended parallel port (EPP) for low speed transfers. This is used to connect to software running on a PC, written in Python, to link the peripheral emulators on the board with external files and simulated lights and buttons of the I/O device. The current emulation planned includes 1132 printer, 1442 card reader/punch, 2501 card reader, 1627 plotter, console printer (typewriter) output, and a means to preload core memory (board RAM) and virtual disk cartridges (board flash).

External hardware I have built provides the console lights, switches, and buttons. The 1130 has more than 100 incandescent lights in a panel that indicates the value of system registers, conditions, the current T and I cycle and other status of the machine.It has several lighted buttons and button switches that sit alongside the console keyboard keys. There is a row of 16 toggle switches that sit on the front of the console printer. Six toggle switches are normally hidden and used by the maintenance engineer (the CE switches). The panel of lights sits on a pedestal above the console printer, which is a modified Selectric typewriter. The panel is built using LEDs rather than incandescent lights, built to appear as similar as possible to the real machine. It has a rotary dial switch on the right of the panel lights which is fully implemented and has an emergency pull switch on the left which I plan to build as a nonfunctional knob. The LEDs are controlled by boards I built using a chain of MAX7219 controller chips which are connected over a high speed serial link to the Nexys2 board.

Another high speed serial link, using the SPI protocol, links to a MCP23S17 chip that multiplexes the 16 toggle switches on the front of the console printer over the four wires of an SPI link. A third high speed serial link, using the I2C protocol, connects to two MCP23017 chips used to multiplex all the other buttons, switches and the virtual disk cartridge number, using only two wires.

All buttons and switches are debounced with MC14490 debounce chips before multiplexing and conveyance onto the Nexys2 board, just because it seemed simpler to do this at the time.

The Nexys2 operates at 3.3V but some of the chips, for example the MAX7219, require 5V signals (TTL levels), thus level shifters are placed at appropriate points on my boards - the MCP23x17 chips operate at 3.3V while the others run at 5V. 74HC4050 and 74HCT00 chips are used for the level shifting.

The console printer is essentially the 1053 console of the S/360 line, a Selectric modified by the addition of solenoids and microswitches to convert the purely mechanical Selectric typewriter to a device that can print data transferred from a computer. The Selectric is a very complex bit of machinery, requiring many solenoids and very, very precise timing of activation to avoid jamming the mechanism. Microswitches communicate the rotary position of various mechanisms as they operate to print, shift, tab, return the carriage, space and other tasks of the typewriter, controlling the timing of solenoids and used to interlock some operations that cannot overlap others. The adapter logic in the 1130 contains everything needed to interact with the switches and solenoids, if one could only find a 1053 or the IO Selectric or 2741 devices that are very similar.

It is one of the goals of this project to implement a Selectric as the console output printer. I have acquired a Selectric and a pile of solenoids, but also recently bought an IBM Electronic 50 which was a hybrid machine combining the Selectric mechanism with some electronics for limited editing and composition. it has the solenoids and switches already installed, thus should be fairly easy to interface as a console printer. I am waiting to receive scanned diagrams and documentation on the E50 from someone I came to meet on the GolfBallTypewriter group that has members interested in Selectrics and related machines - Dave Handyman (not sure if the surname is a nom de plume or his real world name) is a former CE who has quite a few documents and tools that he shares with the group.

I acquired a paper tape reader device which I intend to interface to the Nexys2 board to perform just like the 1130 paper tape reader. I have not found a suitable PT punch but did buy the punch block assembly for a Teletype, the physical part that punches the holes themselves, which I can connect to solenoids and build along with a sprocket drive to produce a paper tape punch that interfaces right to the 1130. No emulation will be necessary on either of these peripherals, just as no emulation is needed for the console printer.

Line printer support will be emulated, with code in the FPGA producing the signals and timing that woudl be seen if a real 1132 and/or 1403 where hooked to the 1130 adapter circuits. I have modeled the rotation of the print disc wheel and the timing and operation of the carriage and brushes, thus it should produce lines of output at the same speed as an actual 1132 without modification to the 1130 adapter logic. The 1403 is intended to be modeled, but i do not have full documentation of the printer adapter for that device yet, thus it is conditional.

Card reader and punch support is also emulated, with code in the FPGA modeling the physical mechanism, timing and behavior of both the 1442 and the 2501 devices. It is quite accurate to the timing of the real devices, with virtual card images transferred from the PC to a FIFO in the FPGA with all 12 holes state for all 80 columns. This means the cards coming in over the USB link with the hgih speed streaming mode are in Hollerith mode, boot card mode, binary mode, or any other mode that exists on the 1130. They are only converted to and from ASCII in the PC, the adapter logic remains unmodified.

The disk drive emulation is faithful to the timing and behavior of the single drive installed in most 1130 systems. I model the rotation of the drive, generate index and other pulses, generate and check the four parity bits, model the zeroes and sync word and all the other signals that are seen by the adapter, at the actual timing experienced on a real disk drive. This means that the programs will experience the same times to seek, read, write and even down to the same rotational delay waiting for a sector from one IO to the next.

If a real card reader can be acquired at a reasonable price, a future stage of this project would interface that reader to appear as a 1442 or 2501 to allow use of real cards. I have a Wright manual keypunch device and a few thousand blank cards, just in case.

I may, in later stages, acquire a DEC RK-05 drive or similar cartridge disk drive as several firms licensed and produced virtually the same drive as the 1130. I own two cartridges for RK-05, for use if a drive can be found at reasonable price and modified to interface fully with the unmodified 1130 adapter.

Physically, I intend to construct the recreation 1130 as a tabletop unit, with the slanted formica top of the real 1130, the Selectric mechanism, keyboard, operator light panel and other gear at full size and as accurate as possible, but not build the remainder of the cabinet down to the floor as that would be almost totally empty wasted space in this implementation.

While not a standard peripheral used with the 1130, magnetic tape is a contemporaneous technology which I might interface to the machine, as I have a tape drive from an IBM p-series system on hand. I would need to invent the adapter, simplifying aspects of tape operation to bring it within the capabilities of the 1130 IO approach, as well as writing a device driver for DMS2, but that would be an interesting project after the system is fully operating.

My most recent acquisition (through Craigslist) is an HP Designjet 750C plotter, a monster that produces 36" wide printed output of both plots and pictures. I will use that as the plotter output for the 1130, generating plots from programs I write or copy from others. Since it also accepts sheet media, I have some 13 x 16 paper that I can use for smaller output. The designjet accepts HP/GL commands, which are produced by the interface unit built by Richard Stofer. That consists of an mbed microcontroller device that links to the fpga, converting the simple plotter operations from the 1130 into HP/GL and sending that over ethernet to a printer. He used it with a laser printer that includes HP/GL support, but I will point the unit to the Designjet 750C for added realism. Unfortunately, this monster unit will not look like the small plotter, which IBM OEMed from CalComp and sold as the 1627 peripheral for 1130 systems.

Another aspiration for a later stage is to record the sounds of a real 1130, separate out the sounds of the basic fans/hum, the disk drive seek sound, line printer sound, card reader and card punch sounds, etc, so these can be mixed and output on a PC speaker at appropriate times to further bolster the experiential fidelity of my recreated 1130.

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