Retro Chip Tester Professional (RCT) (English)

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The Retro Chip Tester (RCT) was developed to test „old“ memory chips from the 1970s and 1980s, which are often no longer recognized by today’s programming devices. It is often recommended to use chips in the same device to test the functionality. It is forgotten that the rest of the hardware is also correspondingly old and frequent switching on and off can provoke further errors.

An ideal memory tester should of course regognize

  • Defective memory cells,,
  • Timing errors due to material fatigue (e.g. with DRAMs) and
  • Incorrect signal levels due to material fatigue.

Unfortunately, such a tester cannot be produced at an acceptable price, a real tester will always be a compromise between the detection rate of defective chips and the price. The Retro Chip Tester Professional is able to identify defective memory cells very reliably. A memory card can even be used to precisely determine the defective memory cells. In addition, the Retro Chip Tester has many other useful functions for repairing retro hardware.

The RCT can save the contents of ROMs, PROMs and EPROMs to a memory card. If the memory chip is known, the name is shown directly on the display. A database with 300,000 entries is available for this purpose.

For questions about the tester, I can be reached via the contact form.

If you are interested, I am happy to give you a board pre-assembled with the ATmega2560 at cost price (⇒contact form).

Instructions and compatibility lists

Manual Rev.1 (German)
Manual Rev.1 (English)
Overview supported DRAMs
Overview supported SRAMs
Overview supported ROMs, PROMs, etc.
Overview supported Logic ICs
Required components (BOM)
There is a large bundle of documentation. Including a detailed BOM, shopping carts for various distributors, sample code for your own experiments, etc.). Here is an overview of the required components in advance. All components are easy to get. The BOM also contains replacement types for the critical components (relays, transistors, Zener diodes). All of these components cost between 40-60 EUR in total.

Capacitors: 100uF, 22pF, 100nF, 470nF, 220nF

Resistors: 1k0, 470, 4k7, 10k, 4.7, 220, 1M

Zener: 5V1 1W, 1N4733 (or similar, replacement types available)

Rectifier: 1N5817

ICs: ULN2003A

Power regulators: L7805, 1A

Crystal: 16MHz

Polyfuse: 1.1A

Buttons: 6mm

Buzzer: passive

Optional: Barrel Jackand/or USB and/or USB-B

Potentiometer: 10k, 1k0

Relais: G6K-2P 5V (or similar, replacement types available)

Mosfets: IRF5305P (or similar, replacement types available)

Transistors: MPSA56, MPSA06, BC547C

Sockets: ZIF32, some socket header for Display, DC/DC Modul, pin header for ISP

Display: Standard LCD2004 („Arduino like“)


Video about the Retro Chip Tester Professional (Rev.1)

The Retro Chip Tester has now become very extensive in its functions. The video from beginning of 2021 still talks about 400 supported logic ICs, currently there are over 1200 ICs supported. The number of supported DRAMs and SRAMs as well as ROMs has also multiplied.

The following video shows the basic functions:

YouTube: Introduction Retro Chip Tester Professional Rev.1

In the meantime, the firmware has been significantly expanded. Among other things, the possibility of reading out protected PALs and GALs (under certain conditions) has been added. Even some exotic EPROMs can be programmed.

Examples for supported memory components (SRAMs and DRAMs)

The following (and a few more) and all pin-compatible SRAMs can be tested:

4×4: 74170, 74670
4×8: TC4036, TC4039
8×2: 74172
16×1: 7481, 7484, K155RU1, …
16×4: D3101, 7489, 74189, 74219, …
16×9: 74F211, 74F311, …
16×12: 74F213, 74F313, …
32×8: 74LS218, 74LS318, …
64×1: 4505
64×4: 74C910, 74LS216, 74LS316, …
64×9: 82S09, 93419, …
128×8: 6810, …
256×1: 8216, 2116, 8217, 2700, 2701, 3106, 3107, 93410, K155RU5, …
256×4: D2101A, D2111, D2112A, 74921, 6561, CY7C123, …
256×8: 81C50, 81C51, 81C52, 82S08, …
256×9: 82S10, 82S12, …
512×4: D2113, …
512×8: 81C54, …
1k x 1: 2102, 8102, 2115, 2511, …
1k x 4: 2114, 2148, 2149, 4045, 5114, 6514, C214, U224, …
1k x 4: 6550
1k x 8: 4118, 4801, 8185, …
2k x 8: 2016, 2416, 4016, 4802, 4812, 6116, 6512, 5516, …
4k x 1: 2147, MK4104, …
4k x 4: 7C168, 6168, 5416, P4C168, P4C169, …
8k x 8: 2064, 2464, 6264, 2465, …
8k x 9: P4C163, IMS1695, …
16k x 1: 8167, 6267, 6167, 2167, P4C167, …
16k x 4: P4C188, P4C198, …
32k x 8: 20256, 61256, 62256, 71256, …
32k x 9: CY7C188, …
64k x 1: P4C187, …
64k x 4: P4C1258, P4C1281, P4C1298, …
64k x 8: 61512, 24512, …
128k x 8: 621024, 431000, …
128k x 9: CY7C1088, …
256k x 1: P4C1257, …
256k x 4: P4C1026, …
256k x 8: AS5C2008, …
512k x 8: BS62LV4006, CYM1464, CYM1465, P4C1048, …
1024k x 1: CY7C107, …

The following (and a few more) and all pin-compatible DRAMs can be tested:

1k x 1; MK4006, MK4008
4k x 1: 2104A, 4015, 4027, 7027, 2107, …
8k x 1: 4108-x0, 4108-x1, 2108H, 2108L
8k x 4: 4408NLT/NLB
16k x 1: 4116, 2117, 6116, 8116, 416, 2116, 3716, U256, …
16k x 1: 2118, K565RU6, …
16k x 4: 4416, 2620
16k x 1 x 2: 4132, 4332
32k x 1: 3732H (4532-L4) und 3732L (4532-L3), 4532
64k x 1: 4164, 2600, K565RU5, 8264, 3764, …
64k x 1 x 2: 41128
64k x 4: 4464, 41464, 50464, …
256k x 1: 41256, 53256, 81256, MT1259, …
256k x 4: 44256, 514256, …
1024k x 1: 41024, 411000, …
256k x 8: SIMM 30 and SIPP 30
1024k x 8: SIMM 30 and SIPP 30
64k x 4: ZIP 20
256k x 1: ZIP 16
256k x 4: ZIP 20
1024k x 1: ZIP 20
1024k x 4: ZIP 20

these (and pin-compatible) FIFO RAMs (still in development):

16 x 4: 40105, 74LS222, 74LS224, 74LS227, 74LS228, 74LS232
16 x 5: 74S225, 74ALS229, 74ALS233
64 x 4: 74ALS234, 74ALS236, 74F413
64 x 5: 74HC7403 und 74ALS235

these (and pin-compatible) NOVRAMs:

64 x 4: X2210
256 x 4: X2212
512 x 8: X20C04, X20C05
2k x 8: X20C16, X20C17

Comparison lists with the supported memory chips can be downloaded above.

SIMM/SIPP modules

30-pin SIMM and SIPP modules (via a simple adapter) can be tested.

Since the test is quite slow, only 256k x 8 (256 kByte) and 1024k x 8 (1 MByte) modules are currently supported. Should there be demand, 4 Mbytes and 16 Mbytes could also be implemented in the future.

Memory modules with parity bit can also be tested.

Bipolar SRAMs 7481 und 7484

The bipolar SRAMs 7481 and 7484 (16 bit) can also be tested with the usage of an adapter.

The adapter for these chips is a little more complex, but it can be built inexpensively due to the simple components.

This memory is so small that it could be tested manually on a breadboard if necessary, but the Retro Chip Tester is much faster.

Multivibrators 74121,122,123 et. al

Starting with the upcoming firmware, the RCT will also be able to test multivibrators in such a way that the duration of the triggered impulse is checked. No „pseudo“ tests are performed.

ZIP RAM

Using an adapter you can also test ZIP RAM.

ZIP RAM was only manufactured for a short time and is e.g. been used in the Amiga 3000.

This memory can be tested in sizes 64k x 4, 256k x 1, 256k x 4, 1024k x 1 and 1024k x 4.

Intel 2107

With this adapter the Intel 2107 and compatible ICs such as MM5280 and TMS4060 can be tested.

 

MK4006/MK4008

The MK4006/MK4008 is a DRAM that is organized 1k x 1 and requires +5V and -12V as power supply. This memory can be tested with the help of the MK4006/MK4008 adapter (the MK4006 has not yet been tested).

 

EPROM CDP18U42

An adapter for the RCA CDP18U42 EPROM (256 x 8) is currently tested.

 

 

EPROM Intel 1702

With this adapter the Intel 1702 EPROM (256 x 8) or Intel 1602 PROM can be read.

A special feature of this memory chip is a supply voltage of +5V and -9V.

 

EPROMs MM4204/5204, ROM uPD454/464 and ROM 2513

Adapters for the National Semiconductor MM4208/MM5208 EPROM (512 x 8) and for the 2513 ROM (512 x 5) are also available.

A special feature of these memory chips is a supply voltage of +5V and -12V.

 

C64, VC20 and VCS/2600 Cartridge Adapter

With these adapters, Commodore C64 cartridges (2x 8 kByte), VC20 Cartridges (up to 64 kByte) and Atari VCS/2600 cartridges (2 kByte, 4 kByte and 8 kByte) can be dumped.

 

 

Programming Adapter

Even if the Retro Chip Tester is not a programmer, as a little extra it can program some EPROMs with the help of an inexpensive adapter. The EPROMs 2708, 2716, TMS2716, 2532, 2732 and 2564 are supported, which are no longer supported by current programming devices due to the high programming voltage.

Breakout Adapter

A breadboard or oscilloscope can be conveniently connected with the breakout adapter.

With the help of this 28 pol. adapter, both the chip and the output of the Tester can be easily contacted. The direct connection between the tester and the IC to be tested can be interrupted via jumpers.

 

Examples for supported memory chips (EPROMs and (P)ROMs)

The firmware also allows the identification of countless (E)(P)ROMs (e.g. from Commodore, Sinclair and other manufacturers). The following chips, among others, are supported here:

(P)ROM: 2308, 2316, 2332, 2364, 23128, 23256, 23512, 231000/231001, 232000, 234000, 6540, 2513
EPROM: 4202/5202, 2704, 2708, 2716, TMS2716, 2732, 2764, 27128, 27256, 27512, 271001, 272001, 274001
bipolare (P)ROM: 7488, 188, 288, 187, 287, 387, S271, S371, 470, 471, S270, S370, 570, 571, 472, 473, 476, 477, 572, 573, S450, S451, 82S23, 82S123, 82S126, 82S129, 93426, 93427, K155PE23, HM-7648, HM-7649 (nicht getestet)

If you connect an inexpensive micro SD card adapter to the Retro Chip Tester, the contents of the memory chips can also be saved on an SD card. A binary file is created with the contents of the memory chip. If the ROM is known, a text file with the known information is also created.

Supported logic ICs (TTL and CMOS)

It is also possible to test logic ICs. The following ICs are currently implemented (not all have been tested so far):

7400, 01, 01(H), 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 51(LS), 52, 53, 53(H), 54, 54(H), 54(LS), 55(H), 55(LS), 56, 57, 58, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 68, 69, 70, 71(H), 71(L), 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 76(LS), 77, 78(H), 78(L), 78(LS), 79, 80, 82, 83, 85, 85(C), 86, 86(L), 87, 90, 91, 92, 93, 93(C), 93(L), 94, 95, 95(C), 95(L), 96, 97, 98, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 125, 126, 128, 130, 131, 132, 133, 133+, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141, 142, 143, 144, 145, 147, 148, 149, 150, 151, 152, 153, 154, 155, 156, 157, 158, 159, 160, 161, 162, 163, 164, 165, 166, 167, 168, 169, 171, 172, 173, 174, 175, 176, 177, 178, 179, 180, 181, 182, 183, 184, 185, 190, 191, 192, 193, 194, 195, 196, 197, 198, 199, 221, 230, 231, 237, 238, 240, 241, 242, 243, 244, 245, 246, 247, 248, 249, 251, 253, 256, 257, 258, 259, 260, 261, 265, 266, 269, 273, 275, 276, 278, 279, 280, 283, 284, 285, 286, 290, 292, 293, 294, 295, 298, 299, 322, 323, 347, 348, 350, 351, 352, 353, 354, 355, 356, 357, 363, 364, 365, 366, 367, 368, 373, 374, 375, 376, 377, 378, 379, 381, 382, 384, 385, 386, 388, 390, 393, 395, 396, 398, 399, 405, 412, 416(S), 422, 423, 425, 426, 432, 436, 437, 440, 441, 442, 443, 444, 445, 446, 447, 448, 449, 456, 461, 465, 466, 467, 468, 490, 518, 519, 520, 521, 522, 524, 526, 527, 528, 533, 534, 537, 538, 539, 540, 541, 543, 544, 545, 546, 547, 547(F), 548(F), 560, 561, 563, 564, 566, 567, 568, 569, 573(LS), 574, 575, 576, 577, 579, 580, 583, 588, 589, 590, 591, 592, 593, 594, 595, 596, 597, 598, 599, 604, 605, 606, 607, 620, 621, 622, 623, 638, 639, 640, 641, 642, 643, 644, 645, 646, 647, 648, 649, 651, 652, 653, 654, 657, 666, 667, 668, 669, 671, 672, 673, 674, 677, 678, 679, 680, 681, 682, 683, 684, 685, 686, 687, 688, 689, 690, 691, 692, 693, 696, 697, 698, 699, 740, 741, 744, 748, 756, 757, 758, 759, 760, 762, 763, 793, 794, 795, 796, 797, 798, 800, 802, 804, 805, 808, 810, 821, 822, 823, 824, 825, 826, 832, 841, 842, 843, 844, 845, 846, 848, 850, 851, 857, 867, 869, 873, 874, 876, 878, 879, 880, 885, 900(ALS), 901(C), 902(ALS), 902(C), 903(ALS), 903(C), 904(C), 906(C), 914(C), 915(C), 940, 941, 990, 991, 992, 993, 994, 995, 996, 3037, 7001, 7002, 7014, 7032, 7266, 8541, 9034, 9035, 9114, 9115, 9134, 9135, 9240, 9244, 9245

4000, 01, 02, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 32, 33, 34, 35, 38, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 59, 60, 63, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 75, 76, 77, 78, 81, 82, 85, 86, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 014, 097, 098, 101, 102, 103, 104, 106, 107, 109, 110, 116, 147, 160, 161, 162, 163, 174, 175, 192, 193, 194, 240, 244, 245, 257, 373, 374, 511

4316, 4428, 4501, 02, 03, 04, 06, 07, 08, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 22, 26, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 38, 39, 43, 55, 56, 58, 60, 61, 72, 74, 84, 85, 98, 4723, 4724, 4929, 4930, 4931, 4934, 4935, 49700, 49701, 49702, 49703, 49704, 49705, 49710, 49711, 49713, 49714

75121, 75122, 75123, 75124, 75125, 75127, 75138, 75140, 75154, 75160, 75172, 75173, 75189, 75450, 75451, 75452, 75453, 75454, 75460, 75461, 75462, 75463, 75464, 75466, 75467, 75468, 75469, 75470, 75471, 75472, 75473, 75474, 75491, 75492, 75494, 75497, 75498,

MOS: 7707, 7708, 7709, 7711, 7712, 7713, 7714, 7715

80C95, 80C96, 80C97, 80C98, 81LS95, 81LS96, 81LS97, 81LS98, 82C19, 8205, 8212, 8216, 8226, 8235, 8241, 8242, 8250, 8251, 8252, 8263, 8264, 8266, 8267, 8270, 8271, 8282, 8283, 8286, 8287, 8290, 8291, 8415A, 8455A, 8470A, 8471A, 8480A, 8481A, 8490A, 8708 MOS, 8713 MOS, 8808A, 8815A, 8816A, 8829A, 8840A, 8848A, 8855A, 8870A, 8875A, 8880A, 8881A, 8885A, 8890A, 8891A, 8H16, 8H70, 8H80, 8H90, 8T10, 8T13, 8T14, 8T22, 8T23, 8T24, 8T26/MC6880, 8T28/MC6889, 8T37, 8T38, 8T93, 8T94, 8T95/MC6885, 8T96/MC6886, 8T97/MC6887, 8T98/MC6888, 8T125, 8T245, Am25LS07, Am25LS08, Am25LS09, Am25S10, Am25LS15, Am25LS22, Am25LS23, Am25LS2518, Am25LS2519, Am25LS2521, Am7303, Am7304, Am7307, Am7308, AmZ8121, Am8303, Am8304, Am8307, Am8308, Am93S10, Am93S16, Am9341, DM8093, DM8094, DM8098, DM8121, DM8123, DM8131, DM8160, DM8530, DM8532, DM8533, DM8560, DM8563, DM8570, DM8590, DM8830, DM8837/7837, DM8838/7838, DM9002, DM9003, DM9004, DM9009, DM9012, DM9016, DM9024, DM9300, DM9301, DM9314, DM9322, DM9368, DM9370, DS1630, DS1631, DS1632, DS1633, DS1634, DS3630, DS3631, DS3632, DS3633, DS3634, DS3662, DS8640/7640, DS8641/7641, DS8810/7810, DS8811/7811, DS8812/7812, DS8819/7819, DS8837/7837, DS8838/7838

DL000, 002, 003, 004, 008, 010, 011, 014, 020, 021, 030, 032, 037, 038, 040, 051, 074, 086, 090, 093, 112, 123, 132, 155, 164, 175, 192, 193, 194, 251, 253, 257, 259, 374, 540, 541, 299

BA12003, CA3045, CA3046, CA3081, CA3082, CA3083, CA3086, CA3161, L20x, L70x, QS3384, TD6208x, TD6278xRev8, ULN200x, ULN201x, ULN202x, ULN2064, ULN2074/76, ULN280x, ULN282x, UDN6118, UDN298xRev8, LMx39, uA741, FCJ121Rev, D345, D346, D492, D718, K155IP1, KR559IP1, KR559IP2, SNG4xRev5, SNG6xRev5, SNG9xRev5, SNG13xRev5, SNG14xRev5, SNG15xRev5, SNG16xRev5, SNG19xRev5, SNG22xRev5, SNG23xRev5, SNG24xRev5, SNG26xRev5, SNG32xRev5, SP302A, SP304A, SP305A, SP306A, SP314A, SP317A, SP334A, SP337A, SP357A, SP358A, SP370A, SP374A, SP375A, SP377A, SP380A, SP381A, SP384A, SP387A, SP391A, CBM251641-02, CBM906114-01

DIS1417, DL1414, DL2416Rev1, HP730x, HP7340, TIL306/307, TIL308/309, TIL311, VQB76, LED1x7Seg., LED1x7Seg., LED1x7Seg., LED1x7Seg., LED1x7Seg., LED1x7Seg., LED2x7Seg., LED2x7Seg., LED2x7Seg., LED2x7Seg., LED2x7Seg., LED2x7Seg., LED2x7Seg., LED2x7Seg., LED3x7Seg., LED3x7Seg., LED4x7Seg., LED4x7Seg., 8x8DotMatrix, 8x8DotMatrix

155: AP3, AP4, AP5, AP6, AP9, AP10(K1102), AP10, AP11P6(K1102), AP12P6(K1102), AP13P6(K1102), AP14P6(K1102), AP14, AP15, AP16, AP17, AP24, AP26, ID1, ID3, ID4, ID5, ID6, ID7, ID10, ID14, ID18, ID22, ID24, IE1, IE2, IE4, IE5, IE6, IE7, IE8, IE9, IE10, IE11, IE12, IE13, IE14, IE15, IE16, IE17, IE18, IE19, IE20, IK2, IM1, IM2, IM3, IM5, IM6, IM7, IP1(KR559), IP2(KR559), IP2, IP3, IP4, IP5, IP6, IP7, IP8, IP9, IR1, IR2, IR5, IR8, IR9, IR10, IR11, IR12, IR13, IR15, IR16, IR22, IR23, IR24, IR25, IR27, IR28, IR29, IR30, IR33, IR34, IR35, IR37, IR38, IR40, IR41, IR42, IR43, IR52, IV1, IV2, IV3, KP1, KP2, KP5, KP7, KP11, KP12, KP13, KP14, KP15, KP16, KP17, KP18, KP19, KP20, KT1(K1010), LA1, LA2, LA3, LA4, LA6, LA7, LA8, LA9, LA10, LA11, LA12, LA13, LA16, LA18P6(K1102), LA19, LD1, LE1, LE2, LE3, LE4, LE5, LE6, LE7, LE8, LE11, LI1, LI2, LI3, LI4, LI5P6(K1102), LI6, LI7, LI9, LL1, LL2P6(K1102), LL3, LN1, LN2, LN3, LN4, LN5, LN6, LN7, LP5, LP8, LP9, LP10, LP11, LP12, LP13, LP14, LR1, LR3, LR4, LR9, LR10, LR11, LR13, PP4, PR6, PR7, SP1, SP2, TL1, TL2, TL3, TM2, TM5, TM7, TM8, TM9, TM10, TR2, TV1, TV6, TV9, TV10, TV11, TV15,

561: IID1, ID6, ID7, ID23, IE4, IE5, IE8, IE9, IE10, IE11, IE14, IE16, IE19, IE20, IE21, IM1, IP2, IP6, IR2, IR6, IR9, IR14, KP1, KP2, KP3, KP4, KP5, KT1, KT3, LA7, LA8, LA9, LA10, LE5, LE6, LE10, LI2, LN1, LN2, LN3, LP1, LP2, LP4, LP14, LS2, PR1, PU2, PU3, PU4, PU6, PU7, PU9, SA1, TL1, TM2, TM3, TR2, TV1, UM1

Supported PALs and GALs

The 20/24-pin ICs of the PAL and GAL families have a security bit which is supposed to prevent the chip from being copied. However, the underlying logic equations can be reconstructed with more or less effort if all possible input combinations are gone through and the associated outputs are logged and then analyzed. In this way a copy can be made that is logically identical to the original.

However, this approach does not work with the following ICs:

  • all „registered“ PALs (PAL16R4, PAL16R6, PAL16R8 etc.)
  • all GALs that have been configured as „registered“ (GAL16V8 etc.)

Basically only pure combinatorial logic ICs can be analyzed in this way. Purely combinatorial logic ICs that implement latches using combinatorial logic cannot be analyzed either.

Power supply

The tester offers the following options for power supply:

  1. With a DC/DC converter as a plug-in module. This module can then be used to test 4116/4108 chips. Power is supplied via USB or a barrel connector (6-9V).
  2. Without DC/DC converter, using a barrel connector (then a linear regulator must be fitted).
  3. Without DC/DC converter, via USB.
  4. The three supply voltages 5V, -5V and 12V can also be supplied from e.g. a PC power supply unit. 4116/4108 chips can also be tested in this way.

If no 4116/4108 DRAMs or 2704/2708 EPROMs are to be tested, you save a few more Euros by eliminating the DC/DC converter.


Current firmware Pro Rev.1

The current firmware for the Pro Rev.1 can be downloaded from this page. The archives only contain the binary files that can be written using an ISP burner. There are no source files included!

Perma-Link to this page: http://8bit-museum.de/rct