This weekend I was very grateful to Urbancamo who as promised built me a suitable cable to connect my PX-8 to my DOS box. To connect the RS232C port on the PX-8 to a PC Com port I needed a male 8 pin mini din to female DB9 connector. I found an open ended 8 pin mini din cable on Ebay and Urbancamo kindly added the required female DB9 connector wired with the following configuration.
Having trawled through a load of old machines that were piled up at work, most butchered for parts I found one venerable Fujitsu, Pentium based machine running Windows 95. Apart from a system fan that sounds like it’s rubbing up against a cheese grater it’s in good working order. Most importantly it had a suitable Com port and a working CD drive.
I grabbed a load of PX-8 files from F J Kraan’s excellent PX-8 resource and transferred them by CD to the Fujitsu. I cleared up the autoexec.bat file and added a line to set the Com port’s parameters to match the PX-8’s (Mode COM1:4800,N,8,2,P) with the knowledge that Filink seems to find any excuse to hang and that several reboots were probably on the cards.
Once the two machines were connected I loaded up Filink on both and set about transferring some files. Oddly the transfer would begin and then Filink would attempt to access the floppy drive on the DOS box (which had no disk in it as I’d booted from the hard drive and not used the floppy for anything) causing the transfer to fail.
I dug out an old floppy disk put it in the drive, it was formatted but empty and tried again. This time the transfer worked with the floppy drive access light flashing momentarily. Quite what difference having a blank disk in the drive made I’ve no idea but Filink won’t work without it there, weird!
Now I have a working method of transferring files and, excitingly (if you like that sort of thing) I found a PF-10 on Ebay and it should be here within the week. Fingers crossed it works.