Jump to content


Dacta Interface A 1093


  • Please log in to reply
36 replies to this topic

#1 Burf2000

Burf2000

    Posts: 993
    Joined: 08-July 09
    Member: 6615
    Country: England

Posted 21 September 2011 - 01:19 PM

Hello there

I finally managed to get my Interface A working with Visual Basic 6.  A friend of mine helped provide the ground work and Cable

Does anyone else have the slightest interest in this device?  It can run 3 x 4.5v motors and 2 sensors.

I can send you the code if interested

#2 DLuders

DLuders

  • Technic Technician


    Posts: 5817
    Joined: 17-October 09
    Member: 7868
    Country: USA (WA State)

Posted 21 September 2011 - 01:51 PM

Hmmm, the Lego Interface A (#1093) is a bit mysterious.  Could you describe how it works?  Do you have any pictures that are better than the Bricklink one below?  

Posted Image

#3 Burf2000

Burf2000

    Posts: 993
    Joined: 08-July 09
    Member: 6615
    Country: England

Posted 21 September 2011 - 02:41 PM

Hey there what would you like to know.  I can take some pictures when I get home but there is not much to it

it has 3 output ports which can be split to run 6 motors (4.5 volts) in 1 direction or 3 motors in both directions.  It has 2 sensor ports which support touch and light type sensor.  This can become a rotation sensor of types using a round disk with white/black parts which are in sets like 1090 1092.

I think people have got the release date wrong as some people list it as 1992 but its stamped with 1986.  It was used with the BBC computer I believe, and used a older version of the parallel port.  A friend of mine just created a cable that converted the old port to a new parallel port (just a cable)

I have made a simple little vb app that talks to it via NTPort.dll which you can see sensor readings or turn motors on and off.

This reminds me, I must finish the Interface B software as not worked out the rotation sensor yet

#4 RohanBeckett

RohanBeckett

    Posts: 229
    Joined: 17-December 09
    Member: 8616
    Country: Australia

Posted 23 September 2011 - 02:44 PM

The High School I went to, had several of these sets.. I used to go into a spare teachers' office, many a lunchtime, and play with them.. hooked up to an old Apple ][e to control them!

Would love to get one again, just to see if I remember how it all worked!

I do remember the 4.5v motors, and the black sensor discs. If you geared them down a bit, you could get it to measure x amount of rotations, and get reasonably accurate control of the motors...
They could also be used to sense black and white bricks... so I remember building conveyor systems that could sort pieces...

RB

#5 Rook

Rook

  • BW2013 MEGA Creation "Winner"


    Posts: 1240
    Joined: 18-March 08
    Member: 2903
    Country: Canada

Posted 23 September 2011 - 03:30 PM

Wow, now there’s a collectors item.
Posted Image
Signature by RΟΟK, on Flickr

#6 Tom Cook

Tom Cook

    Posts: 4
    Joined: 07-October 11
    Member: 20839

Posted 07 October 2011 - 07:27 PM

I also have acquired an Interface A, and I am very interested in your parallel port "re-wiring" and the VB code to control it.  Thanks.

#7 skaako

skaako

    Posts: 98
    Joined: 13-March 10
    Member: 9897
    Country: New Zealand

Posted 08 October 2011 - 10:26 AM

Wow, thats cool.. i didnt even know there was an interface A until now.  Now i know why the interface B is called the interface B  Posted Image

Yea.. More pics would be great  Posted Image

Edited by skaako, 08 October 2011 - 10:27 AM.


#8 Burf2000

Burf2000

    Posts: 993
    Joined: 08-July 09
    Member: 6615
    Country: England

Posted 08 October 2011 - 02:59 PM

View Postskaako, on 08 October 2011 - 10:26 AM, said:

Wow, thats cool.. i didnt even know there was an interface A until now.  Now i know why the interface B is called the interface B  Posted Image

Yea.. More pics would be great  Posted Image

I take some pictures of the cable and post up the code soon

#9 CP5670

CP5670

  • In search of litmus paper


    Posts: 2483
    Joined: 02-February 08
    Member: 2646
    Country: United States

Posted 08 October 2011 - 04:01 PM

This thing looks very interesting. :thumbup: What is the Interface B? Is that the 9V Control Lab Interface?

Quote

I think people have got the release date wrong as some people list it as 1992 but its stamped with 1986.

That makes more sense anyway. The 4.5V system was replaced by the 9V one in 1990, so these units would have been obsolete by that point.

#10 skaako

skaako

    Posts: 98
    Joined: 13-March 10
    Member: 9897
    Country: New Zealand

Posted 09 October 2011 - 10:48 AM

View PostCP5670, on 08 October 2011 - 04:01 PM, said:

This thing looks very interesting. :thumbup: What is the Interface B? Is that the 9V Control Lab Interface?

Yea, the interface B is the later 9V control lab.




#11 Tom Cook

Tom Cook

    Posts: 4
    Joined: 07-October 11
    Member: 20839

Posted 15 October 2011 - 12:24 AM

View PostBurf2000, on 08 October 2011 - 02:59 PM, said:

I take some pictures of the cable and post up the code soon

Thanks.  I have made a cable based on documentation and created some C# code, but am anxious to try before comparing to your success.

#12 Burf2000

Burf2000

    Posts: 993
    Joined: 08-July 09
    Member: 6615
    Country: England

Posted 17 October 2011 - 09:00 PM

OOO very cool, I am in Budapest with work at the mo but once back I sort something out for you

#13 Tom Cook

Tom Cook

    Posts: 4
    Joined: 07-October 11
    Member: 20839

Posted 21 October 2011 - 09:05 PM

View PostBurf2000, on 17 October 2011 - 09:00 PM, said:

OOO very cool, I am in Budapest with work at the mo but once back I sort something out for you

I have successfully constructed my custom cable and interfaced via a small C# Windows App.  I can also provide pics and code, if anyone is interested.
Attached File  LEGO Technic Interface A.png   24.27K   117 downloads

Edited by Tom Cook, 21 October 2011 - 09:06 PM.


#14 Burf2000

Burf2000

    Posts: 993
    Joined: 08-July 09
    Member: 6615
    Country: England

Posted 24 October 2011 - 08:48 AM

View PostTom Cook, on 21 October 2011 - 09:05 PM, said:

I have successfully constructed my custom cable and interfaced via a small C# Windows App.  I can also provide pics and code, if anyone is interested.
Attachment LEGO Technic Interface A.png

Sorry I have been lame at getting the stuff to you, I had a show at the weekend.

I would be interested in your code if thats ok?

#15 Tom Cook

Tom Cook

    Posts: 4
    Joined: 07-October 11
    Member: 20839

Posted 24 October 2011 - 02:24 PM

View PostBurf2000, on 24 October 2011 - 08:48 AM, said:

Sorry I have been lame at getting the stuff to you, I had a show at the weekend.

I would be interested in your code if thats ok?

I have created a brief page at http://lgauge.com describing the Parallel Port cable and software (source code included) - look for "Technic Interface A".

#16 Dial222

Dial222

    Posts: 7
    Joined: 22-August 11
    Member: 19938

Posted 06 November 2011 - 06:08 PM

View PostTom Cook, on 24 October 2011 - 02:24 PM, said:

I have created a brief page at http://lgauge.com describing the Parallel Port cable and software (source code included) - look for "Technic Interface A".

I now have six of the Interface A units having 0 just over two weeks ago.  I also have a raft of the Bs.  I'm keen to get the As up and running and would welcome the opportunity to discuss the wheres and whys if thats possible.

Regards
Carl

brickmaster@aharddaysbrick.com

#17 DLuders

DLuders

  • Technic Technician


    Posts: 5817
    Joined: 17-October 09
    Member: 7868
    Country: USA (WA State)

Posted 06 November 2011 - 06:50 PM

@ Dial222:  Welcome to Eurobricks!   :classic:   Have you seen these instructions on how to get the interfaces up and running?  What are you going to do with so many of them?   :oh:

Posted Image

#18 Dial222

Dial222

    Posts: 7
    Joined: 22-August 11
    Member: 19938

Posted 08 November 2011 - 07:36 PM

View PostDLuders, on 06 November 2011 - 06:50 PM, said:

@ Dial222:  Welcome to Eurobricks!   :classic:   Have you seen these instructions on how to get the interfaces up and running?  What are you going to do with so many of them?   :oh:

<snip>

No idea, but I do have both a 1090 and a 1092 set with a raft of 1030/32/34s to hookup!  Balance are for sale on bricklink in my shop A Hard Days Brick.

Edited by Dial222, 08 November 2011 - 07:37 PM.


#19 Burf2000

Burf2000

    Posts: 993
    Joined: 08-July 09
    Member: 6615
    Country: England

Posted 09 November 2011 - 10:57 AM

View PostDial222, on 06 November 2011 - 06:08 PM, said:

I now have six of the Interface A units having 0 just over two weeks ago.  I also have a raft of the Bs.  I'm keen to get the As up and running and would welcome the opportunity to discuss the wheres and whys if thats possible.

Regards
Carl

brickmaster@aharddaysbrick.com

Hey there how are you going to get multiple a's running as most USB to Parallel cables don't work?  I be interested in how your going to do this.

I have VB code for Interface a and some for interface b, just not had chance to finish it

#20 Dial222

Dial222

    Posts: 7
    Joined: 22-August 11
    Member: 19938

Posted 14 November 2011 - 01:06 PM

View PostBurf2000, on 09 November 2011 - 10:57 AM, said:

Hey there how are you going to get multiple a's running as most USB to Parallel cables don't work?  I be interested in how your going to do this.

I have VB code for Interface a and some for interface b, just not had chance to finish it

I am hoping the Startech USB to Parrallel Adapter will do the trick.  Otherwise I am a little scuppered since I have no means of connecting the D25M to 20pin ribbon cable to my laptop.

Once this is tested I can then figure out how to write something like the Original Lego Lines app that I have seen referenced in my 1455 Teachers pack.

C

#21 Dial222

Dial222

    Posts: 7
    Joined: 22-August 11
    Member: 19938

Posted 21 November 2011 - 11:24 AM

View PostDial222, on 14 November 2011 - 01:06 PM, said:

I am hoping the Startech USB to Parrallel Adapter will do the trick.  Otherwise I am a little scuppered since I have no means of connecting the D25M to 20pin ribbon cable to my laptop.

Once this is tested I can then figure out how to write something like the Original Lego Lines app that I have seen referenced in my 1455 Teachers pack.

C

That plan of attack failed now to try one of these converters:  

http://www-user.tu-c...PT/liste.en.htm

#22 Burf2000

Burf2000

    Posts: 993
    Joined: 08-July 09
    Member: 6615
    Country: England

Posted 21 November 2011 - 11:28 AM

View PostDial222, on 21 November 2011 - 11:24 AM, said:

That plan of attack failed now to try one of these converters:  

http://www-user.tu-c...PT/liste.en.htm

Let me know if you find one mate :)

#23 Jacko

Jacko

    Posts: 10
    Joined: 11-September 12
    Member: 31777

Posted 11 September 2012 - 08:36 PM

Hi - Newbie to the site
Recently given an almost new Lego Technic 9700 Set and Interface A for beeb, for my son
Have taken on challenge to get interface linked to my old PC (fortunately with a parallel port)
Interested in VB source code to see how you have handled the "input" signlas from the sensor blocks - I have managed to work out most of the rest from first principles and a bit of GOG (good old google)
Thanks

#24 Burf2000

Burf2000

    Posts: 993
    Joined: 08-July 09
    Member: 6615
    Country: England

Posted 19 September 2012 - 09:43 AM

HI there, remind me and I will try and dig this out for you.

#25 Jacko

Jacko

    Posts: 10
    Joined: 11-September 12
    Member: 31777

Posted 20 September 2012 - 11:15 PM

brilliant - still struggling to get the interface to work - any help much appreciated




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users