The Exidy Sorcerer Mystery

I acquired a computer lot from the niece of a fascinating engineer from California. He had an interesting collection of hardware, software and odds and ends. Without being able to speak to him, one needs be be a digital sleuth and put things together; especially with this eclectic collection.

One item in the lot was an Exidy Sorcerer II. It looks like a wonderful example complete in the box but other pieces that came with it makes it even more interesting.

First off were two unpopulated boards that were manufactured by Exidy. The first is an Exidy Sorcerer Memory expansion board. I’ve see pictures of this board populated and I should also have the schematics in the Exidy Sorcerer Technical manual.

Exidy Sorcerer Memory Expansion - front

Exidy Sorcerer Memory Expansion – front

Exidy Sorcerer Memory Expansion - Back

Exidy Sorcerer Memory Expansion – Back

Close up of Memory Expansion board

Close up of Memory Expansion board

The other unpopulated board was more of a mystery.  I believe this to be an Exidy Sorcerer I/O Expansion Kit board because it’s clearly an S-100 card and the top edge connector is 50 pins that is the same number of pins in the cable that mates the optional S-100 Expansion Unit to the Exidy Sorcerer.

Exidy Sorcerer I/O Expansion Kit board? Front

Exidy Sorcerer I/O Expansion Kit board? Front

Exidy Sorcerer I/O Expansion Kit board? Back

Exidy Sorcerer I/O Expansion Kit board? Back

Exidy Sorcerer I/O Expansion Kit board? Close-up

Exidy Sorcerer I/O Expansion Kit board? Close-up

As stated in the Exidy Sorcerer manual:

Exidy I/O Expansion Kit (not needed with the Exidy S-100 Expansion Unit)
The I/O Expansion Kit contains an S-100 interface card and a cable
which attaches the card to the Sorcerer’s 50-pin edge connector. The
interface card has the same bus controllers and buffers as the Exidy
S-100 Expansion Unit; it fits into any other S-100 mother board and
allows the Sorcerer to control the bus.

This board would act like a bridgeboard between the Exidy Sorcerer and the S-100 backplane so that the Exidy could utilize a generic S-100 backplane much like the S-100 Expansion Unit.  The lot I acquired also includes a 11 slot Vector Electronics S-100 backplane.

Clearly this board was not used because it was never populated but it was probably one of those projects that lingers and is never quite done.  Within the lot was the California Computer Systems 2422 Floppy Controller for the S-100 bus that worked with 5.25″ floppy drives and 8″ floppy drives.

CCS 2422 Floppy Controller - front

CCS 2422 Floppy Controller – front

CCS 2422 Floppy controller - back

CCS 2422 Floppy controller – back

Sadly, it’s missing the 2716 EPROM chip and one logic chip but more on that in a moment.  In the lot was an external dual 8″ floppy drive enclosure complete with drives and  I also found 8″ disks marked as follows (so this controller must have been for 8″ disks):

8" CP/M disk 1

8″ CP/M disk 1

8" CP/M Disk 2

8″ CP/M Disk 2

Along with these and several other 8″ disks from SIG/M was the Exidy Sorcerer CP/M Manual.

 

Exidy Sorcerer CP/M Manual

And lastly, in the documentation that I have was a program listing that appears to tie everything together.  It’s the source code entitled “CCS 2422 Standard BIOS for CP/M 2.2” “Modified for the Exidy Sorcerer”.  I am assuming this would be on the missing 2716 EPROM so I may have to create one at some point.

It’s an interesting mystery but the Exidy I/O board was never used.  It must have been a project that was “to be done soon”.  If I can find the proper schematics for this board or even a picture of a similar board so I can determine the components, it might live to see some electricity through it.

If you have any ideas around this, please leave a comment.

 

Edit:  Here are links to scans of the Exidy S-100 I/O board.

http://vintagecomputer.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Exidy-top.jpg

http://vintagecomputer.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Exidy-bottom.jpg

 

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