.:[S-100 Systems Repair (Altair, IMSAI, SOL-20, et c.)]:.

Topic: S-100 Systems Repair Services
Date:  2016 FEB 09

The Glitch Works offers several services related to S-100 system repair, maintenance, and improvement. We have direct hands-on experience with:

  • MITS Altair 8800 systems (original 8800, 8800A, 8800B, and 8800B Turnkey)
  • IMSAI 8080 systems
  • Cromemco Z-2 line
  • CompuPro (Godbout) 8/16 IEEE-696 multiprocessor systems
  • NorthStar Horizon systems
  • Vector Graphic systems
  • Solid State Music products
  • SOL-20 Terminal Computer systems

Please visit the S-100 section of the site for a look at a few of the boards we’ve repaired, documented, assembled, or designed. Contact us for more information and pricing on our S-100 services.

While the majority of this work has been provided to individuals or small companies, we’ve also repaired and rebuilt boards for the Vintage Computer Federation east coast museum at the InfoAge Science Center in Wall, NJ. We are happy to help museums and other historical preservation efforts at reduced cost.

Board Repair

Any S-100 board is repairable, given enough time and effort. If you have the schematics for your board, or we’re able to acquire the schematics, the repair process is greatly simplified, as no reverse engineering is required. Boards are cleaned, tested, and repaired in systems as close to the target system as possible – if you send us Altair boards, they’ll be debugged with a MITS board set and final tested in an Altair.

Typically newer components are used in S-100 repairs, but if you’d like us to source period-correct components for a historical system, we’re happy to do so. We have access to a large supply of New Old Stock (NOS) and socket-pull inventory, as well as a network of suppliers specializing in NOS components.

We’ve repaired some real messes: boards with extensive damage from previous owners’ repair attempts, blown traces from catastrophic component failures, and chemical damage from improper initial assembly (use of organic acid core flux without proper cleaning, for example). Many boards have required full or partial resocketing, when single-wipe IC sockets were used in initial assembly.

Full System Refurbishing

We’re more than happy to take on full system repairs, rebuilds, and refurbishing. We work with customer-provided hardware, as well as on-hand inventory. We can also source boards and components through our network of suppliers. At the end of a full system refurb, you will receive a system guaranteed to operate with its current board set to your design specification.

Board Exchange and Purchasing

We maintain an inventory of S-100 boards in-house, both tested and awaiting test/repair. If you’d like to exchange your nonworking S-100 board for a tested, working unit, we can provide a reduced cost based on the condition of your nonworking board(s).

If you have S-100 boards to sell, we’re interested in purchasing them.

Custom Board Design and Assembly

We can design and assemble custom S-100 boards, from one-off point-to-point or wire wrap prototypes to small run PC board fabrication. Design services will include a copy of any and all schematics, board layouts, and/or software involved in the project.

For custom board design, we work primarily in EAGLE CAD and KiCAD.

Reverse Engineering and Duplication

Need a board repaired for which schematics or documentation does not exist? We offer reverse engineering services and can provide schematics for your board, in addition to repair services. We also offer board duplication services from original PC board layouts (digital or hardcopy), or directly from the original board. Do note that, if you require duplicated boards as professionally fabricated PC boards, but only have the actual board to source for artwork, we’ll have to disassemble the board for scanning and digital conversion.

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