[Photos] Exidy Sorcerer - Hi-Tek High Profile

Over the holiday break, I didn't have much time but I did manage to restore an Exidy Sorcerer. Exidy was an arcade video game manufacturer that ventured into the personal computer market with the Exidy Sorcerer. This is the Exidy Sorcerer 1. I also have the Exidy Sorcerer 2. Normally, I just show the keyboard pics but some people may appreciate the hand drawn traces used through out the internal PCB boards so I'm posting a little more.

This particular keyboard is the only example I've seen that actually has Hi-Tek imprinted on the waffle. It is from 1978 and has two particular items of interest. First, although it used cassettes as it's main software input, it also had a cartridge slot that normally held the BASIC programming language. The cartridge boards were put into hollowed out 8-track tape cartridges. Second, this has PETSCII key caps. It wasn't just the Commodore PET and later 8-bit computer line that had that.

Anyway, here are some pics.

Exidy Sorcerer - computer.JPG
Exidy Sorcerer - computer


Exidy Sorcerer - top underside.JPG
Exidy Sorcerer - top underside


Exidy Sorcerer - computer internals.JPG
Exidy Sorcerer - computer internals


Exidy Sorcerer - memory.JPG
Exidy Sorcerer - memory


Exidy Sorcerer - Exidy Monitor ROM.JPG
Exidy Sorcerer - Exidy Monitor ROM


Exidy Sorcerer - UART chip.JPG
Exidy Sorcerer - UART chip


Exidy Sorcerer - keyboard mechanism top.JPG
Exidy Sorcerer - keyboard mechanism top


Exidy Sorcerer - keyboard mechanism bottom.JPG
Exidy Sorcerer - keyboard mechanism bottom


Exidy Sorcerer - keyboard controller from 1978.JPG
Exidy Sorcerer - keyboard controller from 1978


Exidy Sorcerer - Hi-Tek markings.JPG
Exidy Sorcerer - Hi-Tek markings


Exidy Sorcerer - key switch close up.JPG
Exidy Sorcerer - key switch close up


Exidy Sorcerer - caps lock.JPG
Exidy Sorcerer - caps lock


Exidy Sorcerer - key caps.JPG
Exidy Sorcerer - key caps


Exidy Sorcerer I - data cassettes.JPG
Exidy Sorcerer I - data cassettes


Exidy Sorcerer - BASIC 8-track tape cartridge internals.JPG
Exidy Sorcerer - BASIC 8-track tape cartridge internals
snuci
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Unread post02 Jan 2018, 23:51

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snuci
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ah, yes, good old cassette loading. There's a great BBC Micro emulator online that lets you experience the ear-splitting joys of cassette loading without needing to install any software, but it's hard to use due to the way the keys are laid out, as well as not catering for helping people through loading cassette games.

I see it's those strange black plungers again, with the little islands in the middle. I'm curious how long it will take to get a definitive idea on what they do. I'm guessing that they increase the pretravel slightly, but what would that achieve?

These days, we truly can never say never!
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Unread post03 Jan 2018, 00:03

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This was/is an amazing machine. The I love the old tinned pcbs; who needs soldermask! The 8 track cart is pretty ingenious. It looks like they used actually 8 track tape housings. According to what I read, there was a S-100 expansion unit for this. Did you manage to get a hold of that as well? The late 70's was such an interesting time for personal computers.
Engicoder

Unread post03 Jan 2018, 05:21

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Love the 1970's look with that logo and the color-scheme. Nice how you got the tapes with it too. Thanks for sharing.
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Unread post03 Jan 2018, 07:27

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Engicoder wrote:According to what I read, there was a S-100 expansion unit for this. Did you manage to get a hold of that as well?

There are actually two S-100 expansion solutions. One is an S-100 expansion unit made by Exidy that included an enclosure (I don't have this). The other was an S-100 bridge card that you could plug into a an existing S-100 bus and plug the other side into the Sorcerer Expansion port and it acted like the S-100 expansion unit. I have this documented here. I haven't yet tried to power up this system yet but I posted a picture on Reddit a few months ago shown below. It has the S-100 expansion in a home-made expansion unit plus two 8" floppy drives and either a 5 or 10 MB hard drive. That would have been super expensive back then!

Spoiler:
Exidy Sorcerer.jpg
snuci
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Unread post03 Jan 2018, 12:33

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That is a really neat little S-100 unit. I would never guessed it was an S-100 bus from the outside. Is that an IBM external hard drive on the right? I don't think I have seen one of those before. I assume it works with the hard drive controller in the S-100 unit? What a cool old system. A great example of how people put together systems back then.
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Unread post03 Jan 2018, 14:53

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Engicoder wrote:Is that an IBM external hard drive on the right?

No. Certainly looks like the IBM 5150 PC case but it's an aftermarket enclosure with a ST-506 type full size hard drive.
Engicoder wrote:I assume it works with the hard drive controller in the S-100 unit?

Yes. I was just missing the ribbon cable for the hard drive and floppy drives so that's why I haven't tried them yet. I bought the ends but still need to pony up the money for the 50 pin ribbon cable.
Engicoder wrote:What a cool old system. A great example of how people put together systems back then.

My most favourite systems are the "home brew" variety and that's why I have gravitated to the older S-100 systems. Most of my systems including my earlier MITS Altairs were hand assembled from kits and I find it extremely interested in how they were constructed (even the soldering technique used or lack of one).
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Unread post03 Jan 2018, 16:34

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snuci wrote:My most favourite systems are the "home brew" variety and that's why I have gravitated to the older S-100 systems. Most of my systems including my earlier MITS Altairs were hand assembled from kits and I find it extremely interested in how they were constructed (even the soldering technique used or lack of one).

Yes, kits were big back then. I have a few 70's era CW/RTTY keyboards from Hal Communications. Hal offered them in factory built and kit form of which I have both. It is interesting to compare the two.
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Unread post03 Jan 2018, 18:31

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I had no idea Exidy made personal computers! I thought they really only stuck to the arcade market. I wonder what arcade games of theirs got ports, if any. Chiller would be... interesting...
Spoiler:
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Vecktrex
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Unread post04 Jan 2018, 18:57

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Very nice! Just love those systems from back in the day. They make great accessories too:


exidy-kids.jpg



Came across another site about this system as well: http://oldcomputers.net/sorcerer.html
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Unread post10 Jan 2018, 04:10

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