STEbus 68000

68000 processor board renovation

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Renovation of a tried and tested commercial design. Not my own design!

So far I only have a photograph of this board!

I recently saw one for sale on eBay, for $995. After postage, VAT, import duty, it will cost even more (as I found out with my 80C188 board!). Alas, I can't afford it. The vendor says the price is firm.

This was not a best seller.

I suspect the PAL chips are a lot more complex than the 68008 or 68020 designs. They must interface the CPU's 16-bit data bus to the 8-bit STEbus. There is a 74LS646 instead of the usual 74LS245 bus data buffer.

This project is shelved until I can get one at an affordable price....

From the ASCII text in the firmware, I believe this board came from an OS-9/68000 system made by VG Elemental, and a product called the PlasmaQuad.

VG Elemental seem to have been absorbed by Thermo Scientific.


Hexdump of firmware reveals text: OS-9/68000 V2.2 VG Elemental System Control

plain - 1.23 MB - 02/25/2021 at 01:28



Hexdump of firmware reveals text: VG Elemental System Control VG PlasmaQuad

plain - 2.44 MB - 02/25/2021 at 01:26



Firmware, even and odd bytes.

octet-stream - 256.00 kB - 02/25/2021 at 01:19



Firmware, even and odd bytes.

octet-stream - 512.00 kB - 02/25/2021 at 01:18


  • About the PlasmaQuad 3

    Keith02/25/2021 at 13:35 0 comments

    According to

    The new VG PlasmaQuad 3 system is the "highest performance quadrupole ICPMS ever built, and the most automated" claims the company.  It introduces a range of new features, including a fully automated dual-mode plasma torch designed to operate in the standard mode for the majority of elemental determinations, and in a cool plasma mode for the determination of selected elements; the "S" option interface to dramatically increase sensitivity allowing routine determination of sub ppq levels; Super-Quant to automatically provide accurate, interference-corrected concentrations; and, AutoRange plus, an advanced detector system providing a linear dynamic range of eight orders of magnitude, increases accuracy and productivity.

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