Connecting my old 8-bit computer

Discussion in 'Apple Collectors' started by BarnacleGrim, Apr 21, 2010.

  1. BarnacleGrim macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2010
    I'm sure more collectors have even older computers as well, Apple or non-Apple.

    I have a Tiki-100, a Norwegian made Z80-based computer running a derivative of CP/M. It has two RS-232 ports.

    I want as many of my computers functional and connected to the internet as possible. I suppose I could re-enact the days when you would connect to a mainframe (in my case the G5) and use the Tiki-100 as a terminal. I believe the Mac serial port is both RS-232 and RS-422 compatible, so making a null modem cable would be the easy part. I have never used Kermit, but it does run on just about any imaginable system. Could I use it to connect to an old networked Mac, which then connects to the G5? Or is the only practical way to connect directly to the G5 with a USB-RS232 adapter?
  2. gr8tfly macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2006
    ~119W 34N
    An adapter and ZTerm or other terminal emulator should work fine. I use both IOGear and KeySpan with a variety of devices (ICOM amateur radio transceiver, CW Morse decoder, XMIT key, etc.)

    Hooking up my Altair 680b is on my list of "one of these days" projects.

    Good luck with the project! Sounds like fun.
  3. BarnacleGrim thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2010
    I guess the first step is to make that null modem cable and connect it directly to my G5 with my Keyspan and get it working. Then I'll think about doing it over the network, since I want to keep the Tiki-100 in the basement and the G5 in my study.

    It's time to renew my membership to my university's electronics society and see if I can find someone who can write to 5¼-inch floppies so I can get the software on the Tiki-100.

    Is ZTerm what I will have on the old Mac passing on the connection over the network? It seems to be a client only.
  4. kd5jos macrumors 6502


    Oct 28, 2007
    Denver, CO
    Might I recommend using an Arduino between the Tiki and the G5? An Arduino is a microcontroller with pinouts. You could connect it to an ethernet shield, and network the Tiki to the G5. The Arduino would act as a serial to ethernet converter. With this in place you just need a terminal program for the Tiki that will talk to the serial port. That would probably be where you would run ZTerm.
  5. dmr727 macrumors G3


    Dec 29, 2007
    I'll put another +1 out there for ZTerm and a USB/Serial adapter. I use a Keyspan version, and it works great on my MBP, even while running 10.6. I've had no trouble using my MBP to connect to any of my Sun and SGI workstations.
  6. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
  7. MacTech68, Apr 21, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011

    MacTech68 macrumors 68020


    Mar 16, 2008
    Australia, Perth
    If you balk at the price of the Keyspan adapter, check eBay for USB-Serial adapters that are know to use the Prolific PL2303. Drivers available for Mac here.
    iolite vaporizer

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