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PAL 16R6APC .....

Discussion in 'Microcontrollers, Programming and IoT' started by Fish4Fun, Jan 15, 2020.

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  1. Fish4Fun

    Fish4Fun So long, and Thanks for all the Fish!

    Aug 27, 2013
    Have a ton of work I really need to be doing, so I thought I would look through some of my "miscellaneous" IC Bins and see what forgotten treasures they might contain ...

    I vaguely remember reading about PALs sometime back in the last millennium .... they were going to replace "Standard" logic gates or some such .... I feel confident I never actually used any .... I have absolutely no idea how//why I am in possession of a dozen or so of them .... but for a moment they seemed an interesting alternative to work ....

    So far I have located a datasheet (circa 1985!) ... While the datasheet explains the electrical specifications and Timing details in detail, it doesn't offer any insights into how one might go about actually "developing the code" or even clues to what the addressing procedure is beyond this:

    PAL16R6APC Programming Instructions.jpg

    Even ATMEL includes a few "programming examples" in the data sheets for the AVR family of microcontrollers .... granted the chances of developing a functional program based solely on the programming examples is pretty small, but there are clues!

    Of course in 1985 IBM was still convinced it was the customer's responsibility to write not only their own programs, but also their own operating system .... so I guess the mindset of hardware MFGs was similar ... if the customer couldn't figure out how to use it then he shouldn't have bought it !?!

    Hrmmm, perhaps I should do some actual work .... (or check a different bin? LoL)

    If anyone has any insights into these devices that might warrant further investigation, by all means share your thoughts/anecdotes! Otherwise I will simply return them to their little bin ...


  2. JWHassler


    Dec 22, 2014
    There were/are the applications ABEL and PALASM for PAL development. They show up as freeware now and then.
    I remember feeling like the king of nerds when several pages of logic equations and wishful-thinking were burned into a breadboard of those things.
  3. Harald Kapp

    Harald Kapp Moderator Moderator

    Nov 17, 2011
    This page could be relevant to your search.
    bertus likes this.
  4. Fish4Fun

    Fish4Fun So long, and Thanks for all the Fish!

    Aug 27, 2013
    @Harald Kapp


    That is actually the collection of pages from which I was able to (eventually) find a link to the data sheet referenced above ...

    Further reading made me realize that the entire "PAL Family" from the 80's & early nineties were (best I can tell) One-Time-Programmable .... takes a great deal of the fun out of "playing" with something that is essentially "broken" when you are finished ... so I put them back in their bin, undamaged ;-)

    Somewhere in that same collection of pages he (the Author) states that manufacturers of PALs and other electronic devices in that era felt it prudent to keep programming tools/software/firmware/device specifications etc proprietary to prevent hobbyist from flooding them with small orders and requests for literature!

    Thinking back on it, I remember how difficult it was in the 70's / 80's / 90's to obtain books, catalogs and specification sheets from anywhere other than Radio Shack (and articles/features in the periodical "Popular Electronics"). And by the 80's even Radio Shack employees generally ignored customers who browsed the "components" areas. (I worked for a couple different Radio Shack stores in the 80's, and was told at various times by several different managers that I should not waste time with customers looking for components.)

    My point being as a hobbyist in the 70's / 80's & 90's I always felt like Electronic Component manufacturers were secretive and exceedingly difficult to approach ... it wasn't until I read the a fore mentioned blurb that I put it all together ... It was a conspiracy! It wasn't just my imagination, they were trying to exclude me!

    It wasn't personal, they were trying to exclude all hobbyist.... So it seems in the "bad old days" hardware manufacturers use to have to print data sheets and data sheet catalogs, store them in some vast, centralized filing system and then send a real live person to fetch requested sheets/catalogs and ferret them to the US Post Office to mail them to properly vetted customers ... or in some cases send a (chain-smoking, day-drinking, leisure-suit-wearing ???) sales representative to deliver the sheets/catalogs in person. The very economic survival of a electronic component manufacturer might have hinged on their ability to efficiently vet potential customers .... ie weed-out me (and other hobbyist).

    Somehow it just never really dawned on me that as a hobbyist I was a real and present danger that global corporations pro-actively plotted against! This epiphany actually makes me feel much better about the large number of "grey market" purchases I have made over the past two decades ... By buying "grey market" components directly from Asia I have been helping global corporations avoid the "hobbyist problem" :)


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