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The Kyocera FAQ

Updated - 97/08

 

This FAQ is provided to help owners or users of the Kyocera pre-MSDOS portable computers. While much of it is specific to the NEC models PC8201a and PC8300 computers most is applicable to all the Kyocera based machines.

All information is as accurate as I could make it. However no guarantee is made that this information is 100% accurate. It is based on 9 years experience with the NEC model PC8201a, old magazines, and notes taken through the years. Please send me any corrections, updates, or technical information at my E-mail address above.

In this FAQ different manufacturer's models will be referenced by the abbreviations listed with the description of each. For example N82 stands for the NEC PC-8201a.

 


Contents

 Q. What is a Kyocera? (All)

Kyocera KC85
NEC PC8201a
NEC PC8300
Olivetti M10(US) and M10(Euro)
Tandy Model 100
Tandy Model 102
Tandy Model 200

Q. What are the STAT settings? (N82 N83)

Q. Can I get online support for a Kyocera? (All)

On the Internet
Online Services:
Bulletin Boards (BBS):

Q. Can I get a manual anywhere? (N82 N83 M100 M102 M200)

Q. Are there any magazines currently covering Kyocera? (All)

Q. Is anyone still selling stuff for these machines? (N82 N83 M100 M102 M200)

Q. How do I keep my text file from running over the perforations when I print using the LIST on the main menu? (All)

FORM.BA - Print formatting program

Q. My Kyocera used to remember files when I turned it off. Now it doesn't. What can I do? (All)

Q. How can I run my Kyocera for six weeks in the desert without all those AA batteries? (All)

Q. What's the good of a print formatter if I can't hook up a printer? (All)

Q. How do I get more than just ASCII text in my documents? (All)

Q. How do I connect my Kyocera to the Outside World? (All)

RS-232c Pinout (All)

SIO Ports (N82 N83

External Modem (All)

Q. A BCR? Isn’t that some kind of weapon? (All)

Q. What’s a CMT? (N82 N83)

CMT Pinout

 


Q. What is a Kyocera?

A. In 1983 Kyoto Ceramics, Kyocera, started manufacture of a series of light weight battery powered computers based on Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) microprocessor called the 80c85. There were eight variations produced under four brand names. All were available in the United States and other parts of the world at various times.

All eight variants shared certain features:

 

The models are listed below with their individual variations.

Kyocera KC-85 (KC85) NEC PC8201a (N82) NEC PC8300 (N83)
  • 16k RAM installed expandable to 32k
  • 8 line display
  • Simple database & scheduler included
  • 16k RAM installed, expandable to 2 banks of 32k each
  • 8 line display
  • Redefinable screen character set
  • Could take memory cartridges of up to 128k in special slot
  • Video monitor interface available
  • Portable disk drive available
  • Portable printer available
  • Slanted keyboard and screen for easier typing
  • Built by NEC under license from Kyocera
  • 32k RAM installed, expandable to 2 banks of 32k each or 1 bank of 64k.
  • 8 line display
  • Redefinable screen character set
  • Could take memory cartridges of up to 128k in special slot
  • Video monitor interface available
  • Portable disk drive available
  • Portable printer available
  • Able to emulate PC8201
  • Internal modem optional with Bell standard Berg connectors
  • Advanced TEXT with printer formatting
  • Advanced TELCOM with X-Modem file transfer
Olivetti M10 US version and M10 European version (O10) Tandy Model 100 (M100) Tandy Model 102 (M102)
(These machines differed internally as to memory addresses and in software for conventions for the two markets. Otherwise they are identical in operation and features.)
  • 16k RAM installed expandable to 32k
  • 8 line display
  • Simple database & scheduler included
  • Tilt up 8 line display
  • 300 baud Modem built in, connection method to line unknown
  • Originally 8k and later 24k of RAM installed expandable to 32k
  • 8 line display
  • Simple database & scheduler included
  • 300 baud Modem built in
  • Modem required special adapter to connect to a phone line or acoustic cup
  • Lighter weight than M100
  • 24k of RAM installed expandable to 32k.
  • 8 line display
  • Simple database & scheduler included
  • 300 baud Modem built in
  • Modem required special adapter to connect to a phone line or acoustic cups
  • Minor bugs from Model 100 fixed
  • Slimmer and lighter than M100
Tandy Model 200 (M200)
  • 24k of RAM installed expandable to 3 banks of 24k each
  • 16 line clam shell type display
  • Simple database & scheduler included
  • Expanded Tandy BASIC.
  • Modem included.
  • Heaviest and largest of all the machines.

 

 Q. What are the STAT settings? (N82 N83)

A. The STAT settings are the way you configure the COM or communications port on an N82 or N83. This is doen by typing a six character code. An example would be as follows.

 8N81XS
||||||
123456

 Each character represents a specific parameter for the COM (RS-232 COMmunications port on the back of the N82 and N83. The N83 added parameters for the optional internal modem that I do not have.

Character position 1 is Baud Rate (speed in bits per second)
Baud rate: 1=75 2=110 3=300 4=600 5=1200 6=2400 7=4800 8=9600
Character position 2 is Parity
Parity: N=None E=Equal O=Odd I=Ignore
Character position 3 is Word Length
Word Length: 8=8 bits 7=7 bits 6=6bits 5=5 bits
Character position 4 is number of Stop Bits
Character position 5 is SI/SO flow control
SI/SO flow control: S=On N=Off
Character position 5 is Xon/Xoff flow control
Xon/Xoff flow control: X=On N=Off

 

 

 Q. Can I get online support for a Kyocera? (All)

A. Yes.

On the Internet:

 Newsgroups

There are two newsgroups where you can post questions. The first is comp.sys.laptops and the second is comp.sys.tandy. Comp.sys.tandy has many participants who have old magazines, etc. and who sometimes answer posted questions. You are more likely to get at least some help on comp.sys.tandy. Many things are applicable to all Kyocera machines so even if something doesn't work exactly the same often things are similar.

 

World Wide Web

Andy Diller's Web100 pages (http://www.dillernet.com/m100) and Rick Hansen's Club 100 (http://www.the-dock.com/club100.html) are your best bets. Web 100 has software. Club 100 often has hardware and software for sale. In addition Hopkins-Lutz Publishing will be posting software and other information on The Personal Office Pages starting in September, 1997. The URL will appear in the Kyocera FAQ at the Web100 site and also be announced in the newsgroups comp.sys.tandy and comp.sys.laptops.

 

FTP

There are FTP sites that have some M100 and other Kyocera software. Unfortunately I do not currently have addresses.

 Online Services:

 If you are on America Online there is a support area run by NEC. It has a message board that has a topic area for older and no longer supported portable NEC computers.

 If you are on Compuserve there are archives in the Tandy area that include text files and programs for all the Kyoceras. Most of the software is for the Tandy machines. Software in BASIC that does not use machine language calls (EXEC command) or the PEEK or POKE commands usually can be converted between machines without too much trouble. There are also files on how to use these on an different machines.

 If you are on GEnie there were archives in the Tandy Roundtable that include text files and programs for various machines. Now that IDT has taken over GEnie I do not know if these archives have been preserved.

 I do not know what the status is on Delphi or Prodigy, but if you are members there it won't hurt to look.

 

 Bulletin Boards (BBS):

 The Daily Planet BBS used to offer files for these machines and was a contact for Daniel Cohen, a dealer who supported the N82 and N83 machines. You can still use it to contact Daniel. No files were listed for the N82 or N83 when I phoned in June of 1997. However it is worth contacting TDP or Daniel to inquire. Not to mention it's a very nice BBS.

 How To Contact The Daily Planet BBS (TDP)
Modem: 808-572-4857 or 808-572-4856
Fidonet: 1:345/111
Internet: sysop@tdp.org
Mail: Daniel Cohen, The Daily Planet BBS, Box 237, Plymouth, NH 03264 (USA)
Voice: 603-536-8218 (Support), 800-338-1839 (Sales)

 

 Q. Can I get a manual anywhere? (N82 N83 M100 M102 M200)

A. Hmmm...

NEC parts used to have manuals. They ran about $35 with shipping. Last person I know of who ordered one, was still able to get one in early 1993. Please let me know if you get one.

 If you you can't find a manual, about 90% of the operations of the 82 and 75% of the 83 were identical with the same areas on a Tandy Model 100/102. Old books on those machines should help. Pinouts of the cassette port is available by E-mail from me at my address above. Pinouts of the printer port are in this FAQ, The serial (RS-232) port was pretty much standard.

 Also Marvin Malloy wrote a book called "Exploring the Nec PC-8201a." It is out of print, but sometimes Club 100 or others have copies. This was nice because it summarized the NEC manual and was small enough to slip inside the case. It included port pinouts, among other things.

 Tandy has had manuals at central parts for the M100, M102, and M200, including technical manuals. Which are still available can be determined by contacting them through the number provided by your local Radio Shack.

 Malloy also wrote a book about the Tandy machines that is as useful as the one he did on the NEC machines. There were numerous books on the Tandy machines, and many can be gotten through larger libraries.

 For the O10 and KC85 machines you appear to be out of luck. I recommend getting an M100 book and starting from there. Club 100 is a good place to start for old copies of books.

 

 Q. Are there any magazines currently covering Kyocera? (All)

A. No. However the following magzines did cover the machine in the past. Back issues may be available through libraries, etc.

 PICO - Wayne Green Publications - Included programs, technical articles on most portable machines. Many articles on the NEC machines.

 Portable 100 - (IDG?) - Originally for the Tandy machine, it later covered the other Kyocera machines. Many articles applied to all or were partially applicable to all.

 Terry Kepner's Portable News - (Portable Computing International Corporation) - This tabloid size newsletter started up in January of 1993. It took over the archives and mailing list of Portable 100. It advertised back issues of Portable 100 as available.

 

Q. Is anyone still selling stuff for these machines? (N82 N83 M100 M102 M200)

A. Yes, believe it or not.

 

Memory is still available from:

Purple Computing
2048 Southside Road
Murphy, OR 97533
(800) 732-5012
8k RAM chips, Memory cartridges up to 128k

 

Other miscellaneous stuff can be found from time to time from the following vendors:

Club 100, P.O. Box 23438, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
Internet: http://www.the-dock.com/club100.html
Also have a classifieds area on web site with occasional things.

 

Pacific Computer Exchange, 1031 S.E. Mill St., Suite # B, Portland, OR 97214
Phone: (503) 236-2949
Buys and sells Tandy and NEC equipment, sometimes has stuff.

 

Daniel Cohen, see above under online support.

Mr. Cohen has been supporting the NEC machines for years and had many,special products not available elsewhere. He may have stocks still remaining. Let me know if he does. He provided full support so his prices were reasonable but do not expect garage sale prices. People who have dealt with him report they are very pleased.

 

 Q. How do I keep my text file from running over the perforations when I print using the LIST command on the main menu? (All)

A. You need a print formatter, the LIST option from the main screen was designed to list programs. A simple print formatting program came on a cassette with the N82. If you have the cassette you can try it. The N83 came with a print formatter built in, so just use it

 There were several excellent formatting programs in the archive on GEnie and Compuserve.

 Here is a simple formatter. It is printed in a special format to make it easy to understand how to modify it. Type it in like any other BASIC program though. For example line 21 should be typed as

 21FILES:PRINT

 You must eliminate the comments.

 It is written for the N82, however it should work on any Kyocera machine, with one caution. If you have a machine that does not automatically add a linefeed (LF or ASCII character 12 also called Control-L) after sending a carriage return character return to the printer you may get lines printing on top of one another. If that happens modify line 35 if it is the header, and line 51 if it is the body of the document to send a line feed. The text of the header is changes by modifying line 35, unless you want my name on the top of every page that is. <GRIN>

 

======== Program Listing Begins ========

FORM.BA
=======
Print formatting program
from PICO Magazine - June, 1988
Page 8 - Letters column
---------------------------------------

 

1 CLS :'Clear screen
21 FILES :'list files:PRINT :'extra screen line
22 W=64 :'set print width:G=8 :'left margin:J=1 :'line spacing:C=INT(49/J):O=W :'print width temp
23 INPUT "*.DO file";C$ :'file to print:OPEN C$ FOR INPUT AS 1 :'open file
30 INPUT "Page # [Y/N]";E$ :'number pages?
34 IF E$<>"Y" AND E$<>"y" THEN GOTO 36 :'if no jump over #
35 A=A+1 :'page number count:LPRINT TAB(39);"Ron Hopkins-Lutz, Page ";A :'print page #/name
36 K=1 :'position on page
37 FOR M=1 TO O :'get line of text
38 H$=INPUT$(1,1):IF EOF(1) THEN GOTO 51
40 I$=I$+H$:IF H$=CHR$(10) THEN N=W:GOTO 46
41 NEXT M
42 FOR N=W TO 1 STEP -1
43 IF MID$(I$,N,1)=CHR$(32) THEN GOTO 45
44 NEXT N:N=W
45 J$=RIGHT$(I$,W-N):I$=LEFT$(I$,N):GOTO 47
46 I$=LEFT$(I$,LEN(I$)-2):J$=""
47 LPRINT TAB(G);I$; :'print margin:FOR X=1 TO J :'do line spacing:LPRINT:NEXT X:K=K+1 :'line count
49 I$=J$:O=N
50 IF K>C+1 THEN GOTO 52 ELSE GOTO 37 :'end of page?
51 LPRINT TAB(G);I$ :'print text line:K=K+1 :'line count
52 IF NOT EOF(1) THEN LPRINT CHR$(12) :'end of last page?:GOTO 34 :'if no new page
53 LPRINT CHR$(12) :'end of last page
56 CLOSE 1 :'close file:MENU :'leave program

 ======== Program Listing Ends ========

 

Q. My Kyocera used to remember files when I turned it off. Now it doesn't. What can I do? (All)

A. Your Machine has a small Nickel-Cadmium battery in it. It is recharged by the AC adapter or the penlight batteries when the machine is not in use. They were designed with about a five year life before they wouldn't charge anymore. Yours just died.

 You can try one of these things.

 1. You can keep it plugged in or AA batteries in it when not plugged in. A set of AA batteries will keep the memory for about a year if you don't run the machine itself off them. If you do, plug it in when changing batteries.

 2. Open up the case and take out the little Ni-Cad. Some versions had a single wafer, others two wafers together with heat shrink around them. Go to your favorite electronics parts catalog or service man and see if you can find a match.

 3. Take out the old one. Install a small battery holder (the old cell was soldered in) and replace with any Ni-Cad that will fit and is the right voltage and a similar amperage. There's really quite a bit of room in the case where the battery goes.

 

 Q. How can I run my Kyocera for six weeks in the desert without all those AA batteries? (All)

A. Because any 6 volt DC circuit can run the thing if it has the right plug, just make a battery pack with 4 D cells in it. Take along a set of AAs as a backup. You could also try something fancy with solar cells to recharge batteries, etc., but the size of 4 D cells is more practical. For emergencies, take along a couple of wires with alligator clips and run it off the 6 volt battery in your camp lantern. For the N82 and N83 I recommend you consider a 9 volt or 7.5 volt circuit. This will increase battery life as many of them had 3 volt NiCads for the memory backup, which drain the main batteries a little faster.

 

Q. What's the good of a print formatter if I can't hook up a printer? (All)

A. Yes you can. There is a port on the back of your machine labelled "Printer" or "LPT" and that is what it's for.

 It uses the same type of dual inline ribbon cable connector as a floppy or hard drive, but with 26 pins. You can get them from large electronics suppliers, such as Aztec.

 Looking at the connector on the back of the machine you have two rows of 13 pins.

key slot in center
25 | 1
| | |
ooooooooooooo
ooooooooooooo
| |
26 2

 The top row is all odd numbered pins with number 25 on the left and number 1 being on the right.

 The bottom row is all even numbered pins with number 26 being on the left and number 2 being on the right.

 

Printer Port Pinouts - All Kyoceras

Pin Number Signal Name  

Remarks

 

I/O

Pin Number Signal Name  

Remarks

 

I/O

1 STROBE Write Strobe  

O

2 GND Signal Ground  

I

3 DATA 0 Parallel Data 0  

O

4 DATA 0 Parallel Data 0  

I

5 DATA 1 Parallel Data 1  

O

6 DATA 1 Parallel Data 1  

I

7 DATA 2 Parallel Data 2  

O

8 DATA 2 Parallel Data 2  

I

9 DATA 3 Parallel Data 3  

O

10 DATA 3 Parallel Data 3  

I

11 DATA 4 Parallel Data 4  

O

12 DATA 4 Parallel Data 4  

I

13 DATA 5 Parallel Data 5  

O

14 DATA 5 Parallel Data 5  

I

15 DATA 6 Parallel Data 6  

O

16 DATA 6 Parallel Data 6  

I

17 DATA 7 Parallel Data 7  

O

18 DATA 7 Parallel Data 7  

I

19   not connected   20 GND Signal Ground  
21 BUSY    

O

22 GND Signal Ground  
23   not connected   24 GND Signal Ground  
25   not connected   26   not connected  

STROBE is LOW active

 

 

Q. How do I get more than just ASCII text in my documents? (All)

A. There are several ways to do this.

 One way is to embed printer codes in your text. Write a simple BASIC program to print to a text file all the control codes. Then copy that document under a new name as the start of any new document. Copy and paste them as needed to send commands to the printer for bold, underline, printer fonts, etc. Dlete thebeginning of the file with the codes beforer you print. This should work with any print formatter you have with no trouble.

 A second and more exciting way is to use a mark up language in combination with your desktop computer. I recommend you use HTML, the language used for web pages. At even a very simple level it allows everything from variable sized headers to embedded graphics. And it is pure ASCII texr. Most online web browsers and offline readers can load a page that has been transferred as an ASCII file and print it with the formatting indicated.

 

If you do this, some hints.

 

 

Q. How do I connect my Kyocera to the Outside World?

A. You use the serial ports, especially the RS-232c port.

 

RS-232c Pinout

The RS-232c port on all Kyocera machines consist of a standard DB-25 connector on the back of the machines. Some had a male connector and other brands had a femal connecot, so pay attention to whether you need a gender changer to connect a standard cable.

 

 RS-232c Pinout - All Kyocera machines

 

13 1
| |
o o o o o o o o o o o o o
o o o o o o o o o o o o
| |
25 14

 

RS-232c Pinout - All Kyocera machines

Pin Number Signal Name Remarks I/O
1 GND Signal ground  
2 TxD Transmit Data O
3 RxD Receive Data I
4 RTS Request to Send O
5 CTS Clear To Send I
6 DSR Data Set Ready I
7 GND Signal ground  
8 DCD Data Carrier Detect I
9 not connected    
10 not connected    
11 not connected    
12 not connected    
13 not connected    
14 not connected    
15 not connected    
16 not connected    
17 RxC Receive Clock I
18 not connected    
19 not connected    
20 DTR Data Terminal Ready O
21 not connected    
22 not connected    
23 not connected    
24 TxC Transmit Clock O
25 not connected    

TxD RxD are LOW active.

 

This information is believed to apply to all machines, send corrections if it does not apply to yours.

 

SIO Ports (N82 N83)

The N82 and N83 had two Berg connectors on the back for connecting an RJ-11 (telepphone type) plug and an 8-pin similar connector. SIO1 is the same as COM1, the RS-232c connector, so anything connected to it is using the same port. SIO2 is COM2. I have no pinouts for these at this time. I am expecting to at some point and will add them to the FAQ when I do.

 

External Modem (All)

While some machines had a modem built in, it required special adapters to connect to the phone lines. (I don’t have the pinouts, so don’t ask, but others may have them.)

 However except for a gender changer for some models, any DB25 type modem cable should work. Attach a null modem to connect to the cable if you want ot go to the serial port of another computer.

 The LCD screens of these machines just can’t keep up with a fast modem, so a 1200 or 2400 bps is probably the most practical. The data keeps up, just not the screens.

 Xmodem programs for transfer of binary data were written and cehcking some of the places above will probably yield good results.

 

Q. A BCR? Isn’t that some kind of weapon? (All)

A. No, it’s a Bar Code Reader port. One magazine (PCM) actually printed program listings in bar code for the M100/200/102. I don’t have much information on this, but a nice guy named Asa Cannell emailed me the following mrssage. I present it as is. The information may apply to other machines...or not.

 

 

From: Asa Cannell tdr@4dcomm.com
To: Ronald M Hopkins-Lutz ronhl@juno.com
Subject: Re[2]: Pin out for model 100 bar code reader

Hi!

I figured it out!

There are only three active pins on the 9 pin bar code reader plug.

Pin 7 is ground.
Pin 9 is +5 volts to power the bar code reader laser led.
Pin 2 is the status pin. 

Note: 

I could be wrong about pin 7 and 9, because I pulled the plug out and
all three wires popped out of the plug! If I am wrong they just need to
be reversed. but anyway, I was successful in getting my pc/ibm laptop to
read from the bar code reader. That is, the paralell port powers the
reader, and I use pin 10 of the paralell port for status, and pin 25 for
ground. I could scan something, and with a simple basic program, it
would flash 0 or 1 for white or black. I havent been able to make it
decode completely to actual numbers from the UPC barcode however.

 

Asa Cannell
tdr@4dcomm.com

 

 

 

 

Q. What’s a CMT? (N82 N83)

A. It’s the casette port on an N82/N83. While the plug is the same on other machines, the pinout is not.

 CMT Pinout

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This unit uses an 8-pin DIN plug.

Pin Number Signal line Remarks I/O
1 TEST Testing signal for testing audio cassette recorder  
2 GND Signal ground  
3 GND Signal ground  
4 REC Write cassette audio signal  

O

5 MON Read cassette audio signal  

I

6 REM + Cassette remote control plug - positive  

O

7 REM - Cassette remote control plug - negative  

O

8 not connected    

 

 END OF FAQ

 

Sometimes you get more done on the simple machines. There's no complexity to slow you down and they're always ready to go.
 COPYRIGHT 1997 by Ron Hopkins-Lutz
All rights reserved. may be distributed freely electronically as long as content is not modified.


The peace of Allah be with you and in your heart.

Ron Hopkins-Lutz - ronhl@juno.com

 


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