PFU | 1995 | 68030 @ 20MHz (Main CPU) + 2x 6809E @ 2MHz (I/O Card) + 68000 @ 8MHz and 6809E @ 2MHz (SCSI, LAN, Parallel Card) + 6303 @ 1MHz (?? Card) | At least 4MB RAM | ??? Video via ???
Ever since seeing the old FACOM computer setups, doubled up by getting my 9450-II which I absolutely love the look of, I've really wanted to find some later hardware. This is exactly that.
A month or so ago (I'm starting writing this on October 13th, 2023) I got pretty lucky. I was browsing Yahoo Auctions and this entirely unknown system showed up for 4,000 yen. It's pretty obviously a descendant of the PFU A-series minicomputers, why else would PFU make something called an A-MICRO, and it's inside the Operate 7000MkII case. Even crazier to me, it's got a label from 1995 on the back!
I spent a solid week trying to find anything about this system online but I had no luck. I knew that this must not have been made for very long, the PFU A-series systems were to the best of my knowledge only "fresh" from '87 to '90 before other things just took over and it seemed obvious by the '95 date alongside the "SER. NO. 000028" that they probably just didn't make many of these. Still, usually I have at least some luck finding info on things as old as the early '70s Seiko systems!
For a quick little bit of info in case you don't know much about Japanese minicomputers, the Panafacom ACE systems were a series of 32-bit minis that ran a UNIX System V variant and sold in all sorts of neat configurations. I've been loving the idea of owning one for a while now, the A-70 would be a dream because the "custom CPU" is most likely a final decendant of the MN1610, one of the first single-chip 16-bit CPUs, but of course I'd also gladly take a funky 68K-based system!
So yeah, needless to say I paid my 4,000 yen then paid the 20,000 yen shipping for two-day UPS to my house. It showed up yesterday so let's start documenting this thing!
|Front||Back||Card Cage||Main CPU|
Let's start off with the intiial unboxing photos. It's a pretty clean look in my opinion, very plain and beige but that's okay 'cause I enjoy that. We've got a 5.25" floppy drive (is that odd for '95? I assume it's because this thing is supposed to be able to run like '87-era software that was proably on those disks...) and a pretty thin power button next to a switch cover on the front. The back has some neat info, again note the thing about this being Serial 28 (again I assume they didn't make many) and the July '95 manufacturing date. 18kg is true, this thing is really dense, and check out those three-prong daisychain outlets!
The card cage is where stuff gets cool to me. This is exactly like my Operate 7000mkII (of which (as-of October 13th, 2023) I don't have a page on yet), a pair of thumb screws removes a simple cover that you open to find a stack of boards. Said boards all have simple box headers to connect all sorts of things, really nice 'cause making cables will be easy but really sucky 'cause there are no other ports and I don't have pinouts.
I had to start out by pulling the CPU card, I was dying to know what this thing was powered by, and check that thing out! We've got a 20MHz 68030, a 68882 to go with it, a pair of 28C64 ROMs, a fair few Fujitsu customs, 40x 81C4257s (256Kx4 I think?) in PZIP packages, and all sorts of bodge wires. Pretty sweet!
I've already dumped those 28C64 ROMs out, I want to preserve as much of this system as possible for the future.
DOWNLOAD: J557F (Three Passes)
DOWNLOAD: J558F (Three Passes)
I'm breaking right here for now as I need to get working on some other stuff.
I'll be back later with info about the rest of the boards, some more ROM dumps, and a start on my journeys to dump some weirdo 24-pin 8Kx8 EEPROMs as well as the SCSI hard disk that I'm really hoping still works!
Once I get everything organized, notably after I dump the last two ROMs + the SCSI disk, I'll make an archive.org page with as much as possible.