The Web Site to Remember National Semiconductor's Series 32000 Family

Unknown System

In February 2021 I got an email from Steven. He asked me whether I know the board which he has bought at ebay in December 2020. I was surprised by the photo which showed me a system which I have never seen before.

It is an impressive pcb. The design looks very professional. The CPU of the board is the NS32032 running at 10 MHz. There is no RAM. This was obviously located on another board. The board has two connectors for a system bus.

Unfortunately no hint for the manufacturer can be found. This is unusual and may be a hint for an industrial control system. The board may be designed by a small design company and build by a big industrial equipment provider.

The previous owner of the board lives in Germany. After some time I got in contact with him. He told me that he saved this board and an IO board from the scrapyard 20 years ago at the University of Tübingen. I asked the head of the electronic laboratory there whether he can remember anything. But the answer was no - no big surprise after 20 years...

Now the last hope are the EPROMs on the CPU board. Maybe there is a text string which tells us more.

Fig. 1. This nice CPU board was for sure not build only once. If you remember this board please tell me!

The photo above is available in higher resolution here.

Fig. 2. The front side of the CPU board: two full-size serial connectors, a led display for status and a red (of course) reset button are placed there.

Fig. 3. The backside of the CPU board looks perfect: no wire was necessary to get the desired functionality.

The backside is also available in higher resolution here.

As an add-on Steven got an IO board obviously from the same company like the CPU board. Also there is no hint of the manufacturer.

The processor of the IO board is an Intel P8040AHL from 1982. It uses 8 kBytes of EPROM and 2 kBytes of SRAM. The text on the board says that this is a tape and disk controller. But none of the typical controller chips can be found on the board.

Fig. 4. This board is a disk interface. But it has not the typical connectors for a disk...

The photo of the IO board is available in higher resolution here. The text "B-Seite" at the upper right connector can be a hint that the board is being made in Germany.

Fig. 5. According to the text one can connect a tape drive here. But why has the IO board a red reset button? Only for the IO board? Unusual...

Thanks to Steven for providing me the high quality photos.

Next chapter: Vince