I am new to hardware in general; I have a couple Apple IIe's I am interested in learn more about, and I will hit that topic heavy as I find my way around here...
But I have a specific hardware hacking question: Has anyone on this forum bought/used the TL866II chip burner? I found it on Jameco's online catalog, and it is a heck of a deal if it will just allow me to burn 2716/32/64 EPROMs....I am looking to backup the ones in my IIe and then do some firmware mods on them, so....
I followed the link from Jameco's catalog to download the user manual (very promising) and the software for the device (scary); for the latter I was directed to a 'Lab One' blog/forum site that required a login in order for me to make the download link. I did all that, downloaded, virus-scanned and installed the software (no problem there) and then asked (what I thought was) and innocent question on this site, the gist of which was: Has anyone used this new device and does it work as advertised, more or less.
All good so far. I attempted to log back in to this 'Lab One' site this morning, and i was told I was 'banned for life'. I'll probably followup with Jameco on that link, find out where they got it....but it does make me nervous about actually purchasing the device.
So my question....? Has anyone bought a TL866II burner lately (Jameco has a lot of them in stock certainly) and have they had luck with the software and at least the older EPROMs?
I have one, but it only will do 12.5V CMOS type EPROMS. So cannot do the old ones, but just buy CMOS type 27XX EPROMS (27CXX) and you should be fine.
This is a universal type programmer, can burn almost every type known to man but only 12.5V maximum voltage.
There's a good amount of engrish on the website and manual, but it works very good compared to another programmer I had that couldn't even erase. https://jiofilocalhtml.run https://forpc.onl
I like mine alright, but I mostly only use it for programming GALs. Like the others said, it won't program the grody old PROMS that require odd voltages. But you can make adapter boards to use newer PROMs in older machines if that is an issue (assuming there's no direct replacement). It's just kind of a pain to wire them up.
If you are specifically looking to burn period-correct ROMs for old boxen, you might want to get the TL866 as well as some kind of older used programmer that can handle the odd voltages. Many of the old programmers only work with DOS, so you'd need an old 486 or something and some way to transfer files to it (a gotek or something) too.
I have an old Willem that does do the higher voltages. I know it does 21V through a voltage doubler. I think it may still have trouble with 25V EPROMS, but maybe if I used higher than a 12V adapter or one with more current it would be OK.
Thanks for all your comments; considering the price really wanted to make sure this thing worked for someone...
....yep, after reading the spec sheets I know I will need an older programmer for the non-CMOS 27xx chips; looks like 27C32 and 27C64 are still available here and there so that will at least allow me to backup my ROMs on my IIe's.
Also will need something to produce ROMs for my 65C02 single board project, so I will get this thing ordered in a few weeks and post my experience with it.
If you're looking to do firmware mods to your Apple II then take a look at ROMX
Neat..I plan on getting a II or II+ down the road, and that will be a nice gadget to have.
I've had a few "do-it-all" chip programmers including the TL866 and the most useful feature on that device was the ability to od rudimentary checks on a few common logic chips. I was not capable of burning 2716 EPROMs regualrly.
Most sub-$150 do-it-all USB programmers are similarly hamstrung.
I currently use a Stager VSpeed VS8000 do-it-all programmer and it's marginally better than the TL866 and worse at the same time.
For old EPROMS, especially 2716, 2732, 2764 I have a trusty old card-slot programmer I stick in my II+. Works every time.
I think that there is a really good reason why the TL866 is $59.95 and the TopMaxIII is $895 over at Jameco.
Oh, and wyrdchao , you're not the first to have a similar run-in with the creator of the TL866.
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I have the original (not II) version of the TL866. I do not use the Windows software supplied with it (I don't have Windows). I use an Open Source package on Linux. I have been able to burn 2716, 2732, 2764, etc., with it without problems. Ones from several different brands. I've heard however that the II version can do less of the older versions of the chips.
I think I paid around $55 for it. I also bought a UV EPROM erasor for about $20. I got mine through Aliexpress. JameCo is a place I've orderd from for years though, so you can't go wrong with them albeit they will probably be a little more expensive.
If you are specifically looking to burn period-correct ROMs for old boxen, you might want to get the TL866 as well as some kind of older used programmer that can handle the odd voltages. vidmate save insta
The one chip I'd really like to be able to burn that the TL866 can't do is the 2708.