/ Technical Reference Manual
/ Chapter 4
TOP SLOT BOARD
The Organiser interfaces to the outside world through three slots:-
1. SLOT 1. Side entry, top (nearest display)
2. SLOT 2. Side entry, bottom
3. SLOT 3. Top entry
Slots 1 and 2 are generally used for memory devices such as datapacks and
rampacks, and slot 3 is normally used for communications or other
interfaces. Electrically all three slots are very similar, and the
distinction is for ergonomic reasons. Internally the three slots are
connected together as a bus, carrying 8 bit bi-directional data, power and
control lines to select and control devices plugged in.
This section describes the bus hardware in general terms, and should
be read together with the sections on specific devices and control software
to gain a full understanding of its operation.
____ _______ ___
4.2 SLOT CONTROL BUS
Figure 3.1 is a schematic of the slot control circuitry. All three slots
have 16 connections. In general they are connected as a bus, but there are
some minor differences in signals particularly to slot 3. The slot signals
and their functions are listed below :-
1. power rails
0volts (all slots) system ground
Vcc3 (all slots) 5 volt rail, switched under
Vpp (slots 1,2) 21 volt rail for programming
Vb (slot 3) system power rail for power
in or out. 5.5 to 11 volts.
2. data bus
SD7-SD0 (all slots) 8 bit data bus from processor
3. control bus
SCK (all slots) 4 general control lines
SMR (all slots) from processor port 6
SOE_B (all slots)
SPGM_B (slots 1,2)
4. slot selection
SS1_B (slot 1) 3 control lines from processor
SS2_B (slot 2) port 6, used to select the
SS3_B (slot 3) current active slot
AC_B (slot 3) Input for external Organiser
4.3 POWER RAILS
A detailed description of the power supply circuitry is included in chapter
3. The main properties of the externally available power rails are
included here for reference.
1. Vb (slot 3 only)
This is the main Organiser system power rail, and is fed by
the Organiser battery via a forward diode. All Organiser
regulated power rails are derived from this rail. Vb can be used
as a power output or as an external power input. As a power
output, the battery voltage minus a diode drop will appear at this
pin (5.5 to 8.5 volts dependant on battery condition). As a power
input, the voltage applied should be higher than the battery
voltage to ensure no current drain from the battery. It is
recommended that an external power source also feeds the Vb pin
through a forward diode, to ensure no reverse current to the
external source when it is powered off. In this configuration
power for the system is drawn from either the internal battery or
the external power source, whichever is supplying the higher
voltage. Vb should be between 5.5 and 11.0 volts under a maximum
system load of 175 mA. The lower limit is determined by the
dropout voltage of the 5 volt pass regulators (the low battery
indicator is triggered at approx. 5.3 volts on Vb). The upper
limit is defined primarily by the Vcc3 pass regulator - see below.
2. Vcc3 (all slots)
This is the main power rail to the slots, and is regulated to
5 volts +/-5%. It is derived from the Vb rail above. The
regulator is a low-dropout type with a PNP pass transistor rated
at 1 watt. At a Vb voltage of 11 volts the maximum DC current
capacity of Vcc3 is therefore 167 mA (167*(11-5)=1000 mW). In
practice 150 mA should be used as the rating of this rail,
remembering that all three slots are powered in parallel. The
power budget allocated to each slot is 40 mA for an idle device
and 70 mA for an active selected device. Only one slot should be
active at any one time, giving 40+40+70=150 mA as the peak power
drain with three devices present and one active.
Vcc3 is switched on and off by the PACON_B signal from the
processor port 6, bit 7. When this bit is defined as input the
PACON_B signal is pulled high to leave the regulator in the off
state. (When off, only leakage current of a few nA will be
supplied to the Vcc3 rail). To switch Vcc3 on, port 6 bit 7
should be defined as output and low (0).
3. Vpp (slots 1,2)
This rail is designed specifically for programming of
datapack eproms, and may assume one of three voltages :-
1. 0 volts when Vcc3 is off
2. 4.5 volts when Vcc3 is on (diode drop below Vcc3)
3. 21 volts +/-2% when the 21 volt regulator is on
The 21 volt state is normally used in a pulsed mode under software control,
for programming eproms with defined algorithms. This is discussed further
in the Datapack section of the manual.
4.4 DATA BUS (PROCESSOR PORT 2)
The data bus SD0-SD7 is an 8 bit bi-directional bus to all three slots, and
is controlled from the processor I/O port 2. The notes below summarise
port 2 operation in the context of the Organiser system.
1. The primary use of port 2 is as an eight bit parallel I/O port.
Two registers control this function :-
Port 2 data register $0003
Port 2 DDR $0001
The DDR determines the I/O direction of the port bits (0 for
input, 1 for output). Only 2 bits of the DDR are active :-
Bit 0 defines the direction of SD0
Bit 1 defines the direction of SD1-SD7
The DDR is a write-only register, and read-modify-write
instructions should be used with caution.
2. With the DDR set to input, data present on the bus can be read
through the data register. If no slot is active a $00 will be
returned, defined by the eight pull-down resistors on the data
When the Organiser is off (processor in standby mode) the DDR is
automatically set to input, and remains in this state on system
initialisation. In subsequent operation this should be used as
the rest state, and in particular should always be set to input
whenever Vcc3 is switched off.
3. With the DDR set to output, data can be set onto the bus by a
write to the data register. Data is latched into the register,
and will remain on the bus until a further write. Note that data
can be written to the data register with the DDR set to input, and
this data will be set onto the bus when the DDR is turned round.
4. Control of the bus and bus direction is entirely under software
control. Control of devices in the slots is described further in
the next section, but it is important to stress here that control
of the port 2 DDR is vital for proper bus operation. A condition
where the DDR is set to output and a slot device is also
outputting to the bus should not be allowed to occur if bus
contention and possible device damage are to be avoided.
5. In addition to the data bit I/O function, each bit of port 2 has a
secondary function which may be selected under software control.
When selected, the relevant bits assume their secondary function,
overriding the DDR setting where necessary. The secondary
functions are described in the processor manual. An example of
their use is the Organiser RS232 interface, which uses the
internal serial communications interface and the port 2 Tx and Rx
bits. Note that in special cases such as this, various bits of
the data bus may separately be defined as inputs and outputs
4.5 CONTROL LINES (PROCESSOR PORT 6)
Port 6 of the processor is an 8 bit I/O port controlled by two
Port 6 data register $0017
Port 6 DDR $0016
The DDR determines the direction of the port bits (0 for input, 1 for
output). Each bit of the DDR determines the direction of the corresponding
bit of the data register. The DDR is a write only register, and
read-modify-write instructions should be used with caution.
When the Organiser is off (processor in standby mode), the DDR is
automatically set to input and remains in this state on system
initialisation. In this case the lines from the ports will take up states
defined by the relevant external pull-up and pull-down resistors.
The port bits are defined as follows :-
bit 7 PACON_B
This bit is used to switch the main Vcc3 power rail to the
slots as described in section 4.3.
bit 6 SS3_B
bit 5 SS2_B
bit 4 SS1_B
These three bits are used to select the current active
slot. The rest state should be with all three bits set high
i.e. with all slots inactive. Note that when the relevant
port bits are set to input, these lines are pulled high by
external 6k8 ohm pull up resistors to the Vcc1 voltage
rail. Vcc1 is the supply rail to the processor board and is
present at all times (including when the Organiser is off).
Of particular importance, these lines are pulled high
whether or not the Vcc3 rail is on. This has been designed
so that a small amount of power - of the order of 10
micro-amps -can be drawn by each of the slots through the
slot select line when the slots are otherwise powered down.
Rampacks are an example of the use of this facility. To
protect against unwanted power drain through this line, a
blocking diode or transistor are normally employed in each
device between the slot select input and the device
circuit. A slot is selected by setting a "0" onto one of
the three lines. Only one should be selected at any one
time, and the software is responsible for ensuring this.
Each device should be designed so that it can only output
to the bus when its slot select line is pulled low.
bit 3 SOE_B
bit 2 SPGM_B
bit 1 SMR
bit 0 SCK
These are four general purpose control lines used to
control devices in the slots. All four are wired to slots 1
and 2, but the SPGM_B signal is not available on slot 3.
With the port bits defined as input, the rest state of all
except SPGM_B is low. SPGM_B is pulled to the Vcc3 rail via
a resistor, and so will be low with Vcc3 off and high with
The way these lines are used is to some extent dependent
on the type of device currently selected. They are normally
used as outputs to control devices, but under special
circumstances one or more of the lines may be defined as
input. The four signal names are related to the functions
of the lines when used to control 8 or 16k datapacks :-
SOE_B directly controls the datapack eprom OE_B signal
SPGM_B directly controls the datapack eprom PGM_B signal
SMR resets the datapack address counters
SCK clocks the datapack address counters
These meanings are not fixed and the lines can be used in
different ways depending on the particular active device.
4.6 AC_B INPUT
The AC_B signal from slot 3 can be used by a top slot device to switch
the Organiser on. Its function is the same as pressing the Organiser AC
key, but it is only effective when the machine is off.
To activate this function, the AC_B signal should be pulled low by the
external device, by an open-collector npn transistor or other means
(internally the signal is pulled up to Vcc1 by a 47k ohm resistor). The
RS232 interface is an example of the use of this.
If the Organiser is off, pulling the AC_B line low will switch it on.
When the Organiser is on the AC_B signal is disconnected and has no effect.
Note that if the line is pulled low permanently the Organiser will re-start
whenever it tries to switch off.