My latest retro acquisition, an Allen Bradley PLC5/40B industrial controller. While this thing was new while I was still in high school, it is still in active use in many industrial sites.

Unless you overheat them, or do something terrible with the power, they will continue to run plants and facilities for years to come.

The last PLC5’s were retired from Rockwell support in the early 2010’s with the PLC5/80 being the last of the line. Not bad for a line of industrial controllers first released in the 1980’s.

The programming software has updated periodically, mostly to keep it compatible with the latest operating systems. You can still run RSLogix 5 in windows 10.

This PLC is destined as a development machine for testing control and code for some of the facilities I look after that are still running PLC 5 controllers.

48KB for life!

Program like it’s 1994

AI 5 Programming Software
Program like its 2005! RSlogix 5

PlipBox and MiamiDX

| September 2nd, 2020
The PlipBox is a budget ethernet adapter for the Amiga that plugs into the parallel port. While far from the fastest, it offers about an 8 to 10 times speed increase over using serial. I found an .ADF image that would take 8 to 10 minutes to download over serial (19200 was the maximum reliable speed I could get), would be transfered in about a minute and a half over the plipbox. The total cost for the hardware was under $20 for the arduino nano, and the network shield.

Constructing the PlipBox

Once you’ve built the hardware, and have the firmware loaded:

From the command line:

copy plipbox.device devs:networks/plipbox.device  echo "NOBURST" > sys:Prefs/Env-Archive/sana2/plipbox.config

My PlipBox would not run with out the NOBURST parameter.

MiamiDx Install

Original SourceLocalDescription TCP Stack User Interface Keys

From the command line:

lha x MiamiDx10cmain.lha ram:
lha x MiamiDx10c-Mui.lha ram:
lha x MiamiDxKeys.lha ram:

Open Ram Disk on the desktop, and the MiamiDx folder inside.

Run Install_MiamiDx.

From the command line:

copy #?.key#? miami:

MiamiDx and PlipBox

  • Launch MiamiDX
  • Select Hardware Tab and click New:
    • In Select Hardware Type pick Ethernet
    • Enter a name for the hardware, e.g. Name: plipbox
    • Keep Type: SANA II
    • Pick plipbox.device: Driver: devs:networks/plipbox.device
    • Confirm with Ok
  • Select Interfaces Tab and click New:
    • Pick Interface Type: Ethernet
    • Pick Interface connection: LAN
    • Select your hardware: plipbox
    • You can either configure your Amiga statically or with DHCP: Select static or dynamic in IP Type, Netmask Type, Gateway Type. Enter your network parameters in static mode. (You will need to move the slider next to gateway to ‘un-gray’ the box to make an entry)
    •  Multicast: disabled.
  • In Databases Tab select Table DNS servers and add your static DNS server IPs (if you don’t use dynamic DNS via DHCP)
  • Do not forget to save your settings with Amiga+S or Menu: Settings -> Save
  • Now you can go online with your new interface plipbox

You can test your interface is talking with the network with miamiping:

cd miami:
miamiping 192.168.x.x

Adventures in Amiga Land

| August 31st, 2020
Yet another sporadic entry in my vintage computing blog. I have an old big-box 2000 that I bought some 20 years ago. I finally decided to take it off of the shelf, watch a bunch of Amiga documentaries to get pumped up, and use probably the most interesting & capable machine I have in my hoard.

As it came as a empty boring beige box, I’ve been slowly adding bits and pieces to make it more useful, as I find affordable upgrade parts. Amiga parts are obscenely expensive, especially for the big box units.

So far, I’ve added a GVP G-Force 25mhz 68030, 3 sticks of 4mb ram, SCSI2SD scsi drive, GBAPII++ RTG video card, 3.14 kickstart roms, workbench 3.14, and Plipbox ethernet.

The plan is to document how I set up the Amiga (for other people and myself in the future):

  • Bare Metal Set Up
  • AExplorer
  • Utilities and Applications
  • GVP Tools
  • Plipbox ethernet using Miami DX 
  • Backing up your working configuration for when shit goes sideways.
  • WHDLoad’ing Games