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PC532 & ET532 (Best address @ 2017-06-16)
= www . berklix . com /~ jhs / pc532 /
= www . berklix . com /~ jhs / txt / pc532 . html (Old address for decades pre 2017-06-16)

Linked from

Page by Julian Stacey

If you have questions, please do Not first email the author, instead join the mail list, then mail that list and the author.

The original page in grey box below double lines was pretty much frozen for posterity.
More Recent History (oldest first newest/lower ) including new @ 2017 Mail List: Chip site by Udo: Frozen Below - Top Of Page
2024-03-04: has pointers to pc532cd.iso as reported on Mail List





The PC532 is a self build kit computer, NSC32532 based, that run NetBSD Mach & Minix, & is most probably more publicly documented than any other computer: Circuit diagrams, PCB Gerbers, PALS, EPROM, Kernel, Device Drivers, Operating System, Utilities.
NSC 32532 (mmu in cpu), fpu, all at 25MHz, 2 SCSI chips (asynch & synch), 8 tty @ <= 38400, 4-32M Ram 80nS 0/1 wait, no cache, PC/AT form factor, 8 RAM Slots of 9 ICs, taking 1M or 4M.

There are only 187 pc532 main boards out in the world. (source "Matthias Pfaller", 11 Jun 1996). There are many less running NetBSD (a couple of dozen is my (jhs) guess).

Timings from Matthias Pfaller Full recompile (pc532@30mhz with 16mb of ram and a fast disk). Time to build an installation floppy or the file sets is *not* included.

    depend:   6797.48 real      4377.93 user      2082.08 sys
    all:     52206.59 real     41291.15 user      8978.00 sys
    install:  4044.18 real      1765.41 user      1441.80 sys

    depend:    709.73 real       515.50 user       134.38 sys
    all:      4261.23 real      3698.84 user       409.30 sys
Detail on the scsi_floppy controller I bought at VCFE 2003.05 I have not tried connecting it to anything yet. I see another Dayna discussed on, & that netbsd has man rz for scsi floppy
        1 50 way scsi,
        2 floppy connectors, J2 was to a 5.25" drive. J3 was unused
        Jumper blocks:
                J 4 pin3=pin5 7=9 4=6 8=10  11=12
                J 6 0,0,1,0     1 means jumper on, o means off
                J 9 0,0,0,0,0,0,0,1
                J 5 0,0,0,0,0
                J10 Closed
        Rom Rev Daynafile 2.1 1987
                SCSI: AM5380PC, 8737FM, c. 1986 AMD
                P 8031AH, D 8724 FM, M C Intel 1980
                X05 V D870S, VL:2793-PC, Korea A
        Serial DF 02760


To enrol on the
  • generic hardware list (irrespective of op. system) , mail
  • list , mail
  • Mach list exists, can't remember address
  • Minix list doesn't exist.

RESOURCES (Where / who has various things )

    • Site: ftp :// netbsd . ping . de
      • pub / NetBSD / ports / pc532 / snap - 970125/
      • pub / NetBSD / ports / pc532 / XFree86- 3 . 2 / XFree86 - 3 . 2 .tar .gz
        I have compiled X11R6.1 with the XFree86-3.2 patch kit applied. It's only 4.5mb in size. The tar file does not contain fonts.
    • Site: Dead link
    • Person: Antti-Pekka Virtanen antsu_ERASE@sandra.
    • Description: /usr/X11R6 8,552,833 bytes Machine was maybe for sale
      Lemminkaisenkatu 15 A 8, FIN-20520 Turku, Finland.
      Cell. : Intl. +358 400 789 753 <- Preferred
      Tel. : Intl. +358 21 236 0025
      Packet: OH1YF_ERASE@OH1RBU.TKU.FIN.EU (Ham Radio)
    • Description:Potential Buyers
    • Jeff Johnson KE4QWX Date: May 1996
    • Site: Dead link ftp :// ftp . funet . fi :/ pub / misc / pc532/ Culbertson /mon . auto . tar . Z
    • Description: eprom image.hex.* files
    • Site: Old dead URL ftp :// alpha . gnu . ai . mit . edu / budne / pc532/
      • scn.shar.gz ... [tty stuff] 9606: I also merged in the latest changes in -current (under ifdef's I can't test, since I'm still running 1.1ALPHA).
      • newmon.tar.gz & forth.tar.gz ... May 1997: I've tweaked the sources for Jordan's Forth and Phil's auto boot monitor to build under NetBSD.
    • Person: Phil Budne budd_ERASE@cs.
    • Site:
    • Description: src/32k/PC532 news

ET532 Periodic Posting

Subject: ET532 Project Progress Report
Reply-To: jhs_ERASE_@
Cc:,stuart@                  ,Gary J,

        by Julian H. Stacey  jhs_ERASE_@

Latest Photo-plot Info.:
    Main Board photo-plot is done
        (George, anything I should check for ?)
    Serial piggy back Board photo-plot not done yet.

PCB Quotes:
    Anyone who feels like getting us quotes from board manufacturers,
    please go ahead, all the information is up for ftp, help yourself :-)

    Thanks to Phil, NetBSD now runs on the PC532 :-) ....
    If we increase the number of ET532 boards made, it's cheaper, so:
    2 Scenarios:
        1)  Us `good old guys' owning PC532s can buy cheap GX32 CPUs
            (with no MMU) to drive the card as an ethernet peripheral.
        2)  Maybe some of the software guys in the Net & FreeBSD
            worlds might also like to buy a card, equip it with
            a full 32532, & build a truly fully sourced
            (hardware & software) system, that has
            CPU & MMU (but no ICU or FPU), has ethernet &
            up to 16 serial ports & a SCSI bus.
    No doubt the class (2) guy might prefer an ICU & FPU too,
    but nobody's doing a PC532 PCB run so that option is not available
    Anyway, maybe class (2) folk might increase total board quantity
    & reduce prices for us class(1) folk ?
    Is this daft ? or Should we offer it to the Net & Free BSD lists ?
    Comments Please.
        KHE asked "Where'd the power go in ?"
        Answer: Connect power wires to an edge connector socket
            plugging on board; & use CONN2 for SCSI ribbon.
        Question from me: "Would class (2) users _need_ an ICU & FPU ?

    George's gerber info is available via ftp from[gerber & schema]
    George wrote to me:
        Drill tapes depend on the PCB house. At the very least
        they will want the film of the drill gerber layer,
        at the most they will want a drill tape. If they want a
        drill tape, the photo shop can extract the drill gerber
        file layer and generate a drill tape - at least my photo
        shop did that.
    Files available include:
            ether.cfg schema.cfg ser.cfg
            copeth.doc dramc.doc
            dec32.doc dramen.doc ether.txt wait.doc
            ether1.gbr ether4.gbr etherdrl.gbr ser1.gbr serslk.gbr
            ether2.gbr ether5.gbr etherslk.gbr ser2.gbr sersmk.gbr
            ether3.gbr ether6.gbr ethersmk.gbr serdrl.gbr
            copeth.jed dec32.jed dramc.jed dramen.jed wait.jed
            copeth.tdl dec32.tdl dramc.tdl dramen.tdl wait.tdl
            ether.s01 ether.s03 ether.s05 ether.s07 ser.s01
            ether.s02 ether.s04 ether.s06 ether.s08 ser.s02
            ether.p01 ether.p03 ether.p05 ether.p07 ser.p01
            ether.p02 ether.p04 ether.p06 ether.p08 ser.p02

    George long ago wrote:
        The et532 is a 6 layer PC/AT sized (but with 62 pin SCSI)
        board.  The piggyback board (after a bit of a fight with
        the CAD software) is a 2 layer board and is around 5.5" x 3.5".
        It plugs into the middle area of the et532 on two connectors
        that carry all the serial (TTL) signals up from the 2 OCTARTs.
        There are also 3 sets of holes on both boards that line up
        and enable nylon stand-offs to support the piggyback board.
        Michael Hermann & Steve Liggett asked stats on PCBS, to get us prices,
        well I haven't counted number of holes on PCB (frequent Q. that), but
    ET532 Layers:
        Silk screen
        Solder mask
        Component layer
        Inner layer #1
        Ground Layer
        Power Layer
        Inner Layer #2
        Solder Layer
        Solder Mask
        No surface mount devices as per PC532 (I assume George ?)
        I presume we call this `6 layer' as far as PCB manufacturers
        are concerned ?
    Daughter Board:
        Silk screen
        Solder mask
        Component layer
        Solder layer
        Solder mask

    The 2 serial chips go on the piggy back serial card.
    I asked George Scolaro:
    > > - Do we also need to make piggy back octart PCBs ?
    > Only if you want to have more serial ports.
    Looking at George's ET532 schematics:
        The ET532 can take 2 * SCC2698, each 2698 supports
        EIGHT serial ports ! The optional `piggy back' board
        has 16 * 145406, 16 * DIL Headers, Caps, & 2 Long DILs
        to connect to ET532 main board.
    For the ET532 to function just as an ethernet card, it should not be
    necessary to populate the 2698 sockets, nor to have a piggy back card.
    I do however foresee need for a few of us to have one serial port,
    as I guess software development will probably go in 3 stages:
        1 Write/debug eprom for ET532 to talk to a serial port
          (& prove hardware design works)
        2 Extend ET532 monitor to talk over SCSI bus to some kind
          of software interface on the PC532, so PC532 can download
          code to ET532 & set breakpoints etc ?.
        3 Develop ET532 ethernet code & ET532/PC532 higher level
          protocols etc.
    Main thing is to get the ET532 PCBs fabricated :-) .
    Daniel Berglund wrote 3-94:
    > > > It's probably not hard to temporarily wire in a 2681
    > > >  (or whatever they are called,
    > > SCC 2698
    > Nope. I mean a 2681, they are cheaper.  That's my point: if you
    > want only one serial port for debugging until the firmware is done,
    > then you probably want to avoid expensive octuarts (2698).

    All these are very old figures, & need to be confirmed:
    Bryan Davis said
        > from the Bay Area....
        >  Hamilton/Avnet (a distributor for National)
        >        1-24    25-99   100+
        > NS32GX32-ANU20  $110.00 $95.00  $86.50
        > NS32532-25      $825.00 $685.00 $595.00 said
        > Bell Industries, a Nat-Semi distributor in California,
        >         QTY1-24     QTY25-99    QTY100-999
        > NS32GX32U-20      90.00    78.50         71.00
        > NS32GX32U-25     100.00    91.00         83.00
        > NS32GX32U-30     120.00   105.00         95.00
    johnc_ERASE@manatee.UUCP (john connin) Wed, 7 Oct 1992 19:16:47 GMT said:
        > it might be easier and cheaper to pull the ethernet
        > related parts from a no-name 8-bit ethernet card.
        Are the parts the same as I posted in George's build list ?

    Could someone please ask at a US West Coast IC shop, what an IC kit
    price would cost, as per build list (presumably a) excluding GX32,
    b) 1 off & ~25 off pricing ).
    ( I believe can provide
    names of California IC shops for someone in the USA to phone. )

    The ether-bom (Bill Of Materials) is available via ftp
    to enable pricing exercises.
    Don't ask me, I'm in the wrong country for cheap or easily available

    This PCB order list does NOT commit you to IC purchase,
    If short of cash, you can enrol on what will be a once
    only ET532 cheap PCB fabrication run, then some time later buy the ICs.
    I don't know board cost yet, as soon as I do I'll post the info,
    As always, no one's done a chip costing exercise,
    so as always, before people ask, Nope ! I don't know !
    Photo plots will were free (I'll probably buy the guy a meal to say thanks)

    Hopefully someone(s) will consider doing IC bulk purchase & kit
    distribution. (doesn't need to be same person who does pricing
    investigations, but shouldn't be me, USA should be better purchase
    & distribution point than Germany)
    Steve Liggett maybe ?

    Dave Rand mailed to say
    > I have the software for the Ethernet already done, including
    > an Ethernet-based monitor, and DOS client. I'll do the low-level
    > Ethernet driver (tricky, 'cause you have to handle the special cases).
    (so I assume you want 3 PCBs bdale ? )
    Rennolet (Kumar)" said  Wed Oct  7
    > I will help write the drivers.
    21 May 1996: Mark Mason interested in helping.

    Please don't anyone mail me private questions about:
    - the ET532 architecture: I'm Not the designer - George Scolaro is.
    - PCB or Total project pricings: What I know is presented here.
    More can be learnt by looking at the Gerber diagrams.
    George long ago wrote:
    20MHz 32gx32, no FPU.
    1M/4M DRAM (256kx4 or 1mx4) 100ns or faster, fast page mode.
        same performance as pc532 (except at 20MHz, i.e. 40M bytes /sec)
    128kx8 EPROM (200ns or faster) Boot EPROM, runtime code is downloaded
        from pc532 etc. into DRAM.
    16 serial channels with full modem control (Signetics SCN2698B octart)
        RX,TX,RTS,CTS,DTR,DCD  (modem support)
    Ethernet, thin (cheapernet) and thick (DB15 connector) NS chip set
    SCSI, DP8490 (via 62pin edge connector and 50 pin SCSI connector)

    - would everyone who's not responded in 1994 please email me with
      a new updated single line entry for the list below, thanks.
    - We need to confirm IC (inc CPU) pricings & project costs
      if you want a new build list posted, let me know.
    - Please do Not distract by saying
      "wouldn't it be nice with the new super duper WIBNI ether chip"
      unless you're prepared to design & deliver Gerbers to me
      using that design.
    - If true, Please Do feel free to say "ET532 is obsolete,
      the CPU price is horrendous, I say abort project"
    IE "GO"/NO GO" but no WIBNIs (Wouldn't It Be Nice If's) please,
    Thanks :-)
    This periodic bulletin is produced by me to coordinate us, but
    the cards will not be produced without much help though,
    I'm too lazy/busy for anyone to rely on me pushing it
    as a one man band; right now next thing we need to do is
    confirm IC pricings.
    I shall ignore any email that asks `how much will the whole thing cost'
    (I've been asked before, often) - It's a valid & important question,
    but as I've said before, I don't know, I'd like to, but I don't.
    Please help us by getting quotes on 25 off chip sets !

    Corrections to this file are welcomed, please mail me.

    Please hand forward this notice to dormant pc532 friends who may have
    fallen off the pc532 list, or changed their mail address.


A = Number of ET532 PCBs you will pay for, ie
B = Number of optional Serial piggy back PCBS you will pay for
C = Number of glue chip IC kits you will later want.
D = Number of GX32 CPUs you will want
E = Email
F = Real Name
G = Date of last communication
H = Comment
_ERASE@ = Date person last confirmed PCB order info.

# PCBs ; EMAIL shown by "From:" ; .signature EMAIL NAME ; HUMAN NAME ; COMMENT

A B C D E               F       G   H
1 1 1 1 jhs                             Julian H. Stacey   _ERASE@May96  $ Dependent
1 1 1 1      Eyal Lebedinsky _ERASE@May96  $ Dependent
1 1 1 1     Mark Geisert    _ERASE@May96
1 ? ? 0         Mathias Pfaller _ERASE@May96 will swap 32532 chip for PCB
1 ? ? ?          Phil Nelson _ERASE@May96 PCB less than $100
1 1 1 1           Mark Mason  _ERASE@May96 PCB less than $100
1 1 1 1            Stuart Arnold    _ERASE@May96  conditional. on $
1 ? 1 1       Sverre Froyen   _ERASE@Apr96  cond. on $
? ? ? ?          Jon Loeliger    _ERASE@May96
1 1 0 0       Antti-Pekka _ERASE@May96
1 0 1 1 Ian Dall    _ERASE@May96
1 0 1 1     Rick Rodman _ERASE@May96
1 1 1 1          Karl Swartz _ERASE@May96
From (Philip A Zimmermann)
Name        email           quant   date    comment
Dave Rand  1   20May96 can src files
Robert Vincent  1?  20May96 maybe. $;parts avail?
P. Zimmermann    1   20May96 do fab?
Lee Damon 1   20May96 two hands, tho'.
Julian H. Stacey   jhs_ERASE_@                        ?   21May96 ET proponent
Sverre Froyen  1?  21May96 if less than $?, parts avail?
Raymond Wiker   1?  21May96 if bare pcb less than $100
Mark Mason       1   21May96 write drivers for...
Eyal Lebedinsky  1   22May96 want serial also

1 1 1 1                  Tom Rushworth   _ERASE@Feb94
1 1 1 1 Raymond Wiker   _ERASE@Feb94 Bdless than $300 ex RAM
1 ? ? ?     Pete Carah  _ERASE@Feb94 Bd less than $300 NoMain532 FreeBSD
1 1 1 1                  David Fellows   _ERASE@Feb94
1 ? ? 0 via     Tjeerd Mulder   _ERASE@Feb94
1 0 1 1        Neil Johnson    _ERASE@Feb94
1 1 1 ?        Marc Boschma    _ERASE@Mar94
1 1 1 0      Dave Rand   _ERASE@Mar94
1 1 1 1          Robbin Johnson  _ERASE@Mar94 cond. on $
1 1 1 0 nomad_ERASE@CASTLE.ORG     Lee Damon   _ERASE@Mar94 less than  $100/pcb
1 1 1 1 KarlHeinz Eckmeier _ERASE@Apr94
1 1 1 1        Jon Buller  _ERASE@May96   BD less than $100
    ( Jon Buller, 2301 Pebble Vale #2121, Plano, TX 75075, (214) 422-3051 )
    ( email goes away between semesters, but really wants one! )
    ( email address from a 11-94 posting)
2 ? ? ?        Bryan Davis _ERASE@Dec93

0 ? ? ? Gary Jennejohn
1 ? ? ?       Jordan K. Hubbard
0 0 0 0         George Scolaro
1 0 ? ? Michael Hermann
3 ? ? ? + Fred & John  Bdale Garbee    If drvr
1 ? ? ?      Kumar Rennolet
1 ? ? ? john.connin_ERASE@OAU.ORG      John Connin
1 ? ? ? John James Ackley
0 0 0 0 sef_ERASE@kithrup.COM          Sean Eric Fagan
0 0 0 0      Gary Lowell
0 0 0 0     Victor Frank
0 0 0 0          Mark Mallett
0 0 0 0        Randy Hyde
0 0 0 0 montana!asgard_ERASE@convex        J.R. Stoner
0 0 0 0       David Magnay
0 0 0 0     Joe Burger

0 0 0 0        Johannes Helander _ERASE@ 21 May 1996
0 0 0 0          Tom Javen   _ERASE@Mar94
0 0 0 0       Mattias Olofsson _ERASE@Mar94
0 0 0 0           Grant Waldram   _ERASE@Apr94 (info from marcb
--  --

From: (Philip A Zimmermann)
Subject: ET532 news.
Date: Wed, 22 May 1996 14:48:50 GMT

I started compiling a list of interested parties; I have to append
Julian's list from when things went dormant and contact those people to
see if they're still interested. Here's what I've got so far:


I'm currently working on the BOM, trying to source the difficult parts.
I'll get pricing when the number of participants is firmed up. I am
willing to help source the difficult parts (doing a quantity buy on the
'GX, etc. will probably help costs), but would rather not source the
popcorn & glue. Offhand, I'd say that it would be worthwhile to have
ET532 go to fab if the lot size is ~25.

I've had a good deal of experience dealing with pcb vendors over the
years, and especially lately. I appreciate the concern for keeping the
pcb fab cost down. My experiences lately have been with some vendors
who've done quick-turn jobs for us. Some of the consequences besides
higher costs have been poor quality, e.g. over-etching (where traces
disappear and the reappear an inch or so away), under-etching (causing
shorts between traces) and warpage (a problem if the product is a card to
be inserted into a cage). I know of companies which do high-quality work
and am hopeful that if we accept a longer delivery time, an acceptable,
affordable and reliable product will result. No one likes finding out
AFTER paying for and constructing a six-layer pcb that a few traces on
some buried (inner) layer are open-circuited or shorted out due to poor
fab quality. (Gets off soap-box.)

Some things are sketchy on the BOM; I'm hoping to submit my questions to
Dave Rand off-list for clarification, then add sourceing info to BOM.

I'm only interested in doing smaller step at a time, i.e., ET532 first, if
it's still practical. Then, if that works out and there's enough interest,
I may be prepared to help out with the serial daughter card. I just don't
want to be overwhelmed with too much all at one time.


Cabletron Ethernet

From: Phil Budne

    > Philip Zimmerman found a little (6"x1"x3.25") Cabletron EA419 SCSI to
    > ethernet box, and I found documentation on how to speak to it.

    What does that box cost (approx.) ?

It doesn't look like this box is sold any more; However Philip Z.  may
have a line on two different sources. But in both cases it may boil
down to "how much are you willing to pay".  Since similar devices sell
new for $200, I would hope it would be under $100.


From: Philip A Zimmermann
To: Phil Budne
Date: Tue, 2 Jul 1996 00:55:33 -0400 (EDT)

I'll look into sources. More
may even pop up from the other subscribers out there; what I basically
scared up, at Phil B.'s description, was a box which we used to use on
older-style MacIntosh-es which had a SCSI port on the rear panel. This
Cabletron box has a DB25 on one side and an RJ45 on the other side and a
socket for a wall wart to provide power.

I have chased a few leads today; the only positive response was from
Cabletron Systems so far. They have 11 in stock right now in their "Good
as New" department. They want US$175 each. Order info:

(per Mike Orr)

Cabletron Systems
Good as New Dept
PO Box 5005
Rochester, NH 03866-5005

Mike can be reached at:

He said they trickle in occasionally. I'm still searching for other

From: paz
Date: Wed, 12 Feb 1997 11:59:28 -0500 (EST)

The network "card" I'm using is a Cabletron EA419. It's probably the same
device you've seen discussed on the mail list. It's a box with an RJ45 on
one side and a DB25 on the other. It was originally intended to provide a
network interface to MacIntosh-es with a SCSI interface which came out of
the Mac at a DB25, I think. Cabletron has a "good as new" department where
refurbs of this unit can be gotten for ~US$150, if memory serves
correctly. I'm uncertain how many pc532s are so equipped right now; I just
hacked mine onto a Vector ISA prototyping card so it would plug into the
pc532 SCSI expansion bus. I got it running over the past weekend. Seems to
be working fine.


Date: Thu, 29 Feb 1996 09:47:28 -0800
From: Phil Nelson
To: port-pc532_ERASE@NetBSD.ORG
Subject: New BSDisc from InfoMagic
The BSDisc from InfoMagic that has NetBSD-1.1 includes the full pc532 binary distribution If you like that idea ... you just might order one and let them know that it was the pc532 binaries that made the difference! See:


Sundry Odd Notes

Cost    $200 PCB + CPU/FPU approx 700 DM,
    Bill Smith,
    Product Marketing Manager, Imaging Group, NSC Europe,
    National Semiconductor GmbH,
    Industrie-strasse 10,
    8080 Fuerstenfeldbruck,
    Tel: +49 8141 104 412
    Fax: +49 8141 103 554
    Tlx: (whatever for germany +) 527 649 nsc d
    Email: cbisge (or CBISGE ?) on some as yet unknown IBM mainframe system.
Electronic 2000 GmbH
    Herr Brenner (& Frau Jahnse),
    Stahlgruberring 12,
    D 8000 Munich 82,
    Tel:+49 89 42001 106
    Fax:+49 89 42001 129
chip kit assembler
Steve Ligett        E.I.N.  03-0284293
    Schoolhouse Design Laboratories
    Rural Route #3, Box 451
    451 Isaac Perkins Road
    Lyme, New Hampshire  03768
    Telephone:  603 795-2244
Date: Wed, 22 May 1996 15:54:26 -0400 (EDT)
I get boards made at ABC Fabricators
Laconia, NH
800 370 6185
Be sure to have the boards tested
From Thu Nov 30 19:16:12 1995
> A part that has both an ethernet and SCSI controller could be very interesting
It's American Micro Devices.  It's called the "SCSINet" or "PCNet"
The version I've seen expects to be on a PCI bus, so you might need
an ISA/PCI bridge (I have no idea what bus you are running on the PC532).
The Ethernet "half" is an AMD Lance.  The SCSI is apparently an oddball
of some kind (I thought it was ST02? -- Apparently someone on the -hackers
list claims that they have programming doc for it).
It was in Computer Shopper in the new products section some time back
(between Dec 1994 and Apr 1995, I believe).
Am79C974    PCnet-SCSI Combination Ethernet and
        SCSI Controller for PCI Systems
Data sheet order #18681.
Check out:


The PC532 was exhibited at a Vintage Computer Fest

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