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The IMSAI Series Two project...

UPDATE - May 2010

The Series Two project development went into limbo when software and hardware collaboration with several others evaporated in 2005.  Interest has been expressed by many folks over the past five years, and some very generous and supportive people have donated  funds to help get the project back on track.  A major revision of the front panel system architecture is underway.  The critical design elements including metal, power supply, and basic board designs have mostly been completed.  The following information and photos are provided to show progress to date:

Series Two Overview -

Our focus has been to make the Series Two line compatible with legacy IMSAI hardware wherever practical.  As such, much of the new sheet metal is generally compatible with the original IMSAI 8080 Microcomputer system and variants, so users can upgrade their older systems as they see a need or application.

The unique programmable front panel brings control and display extensions via switches and LEDs to the user environment.  This, plus the ability to accommodate a contemporary PC motherboard and peripherals, as well as the benefit of USB and ethernet connectivity makes the IMSAI Series Two system a powerful and flexible platform with which to build a personal computer customized to YOUR needs and demands

Since we first announced our intentions to build and offer the IMSAI Series Two system, feedback from potential users have suggested  a number of applications including:

Educational applications-  The IMSAI Series Two provides a powerful environment for teaching computer basics, embedded controller design and testing, tactile display and control for emulation, and more...

The Hobbyist market-  Experimenters and hobbyists wishing to have a reliable and customizable platform for testing, debugging, and implementing embedded control designs, legacy, and custom hardware will find the IMSAI Series Two to be a viable and capable system to help meet their goals

Industrial and Commercial Control-  The unique programmable front panel of the IMSAI Series Two affords OEMs and designers an adaptable and easily customized interface for PC-based and custom controller designs in an industrial grade cabinet capable of rack-mount and stand-alone configurations.  The front panel film mask may be easily modified to meet the needs and branding that might be required for a specific application

The "Vanity" market-  Think of it as a new "skin" for your computer!  The IMSAI Series Two offers an unique, attractive, and practical alternative to housing your PC hardware.  Programmable front panel LED displays and switches allow for user-configurable control and display.  Flip a switch to bring up a specific application, flash one or more LEDs to indicate an alert or process.  Limitless possibilities exist, bound only by your imagination!

These goals and others will be developed as we work with new resources and opportunities.  Stay tuned!

The new IMSAI Series Two full-length chassis shown with an original IMSAI CPA Programmers Front Panel to illustrate compatibility with legacy hardware.  The lower image is a view from the top showing the EXT-9AT motherboard (less components), and an ASUS ATX motherboard.  Not shown is the S-100 bus  power supply and control board which occupies the space just behind the standard PC-AT power supply.

Prototype version of the IMSAI Series Two USB

Rear View of the IMSAI Series Two SE

Note that power supply is optional and representative only; not necessarily the style that will be supplied.

Side view of a typical ATX (PC) style motherboard installed in our SE "short" chassis

All IMSAI Series Two SE base plates allow mounting of an ATX-style motherboard OR an optional IMSAI 9-slot  EXP-9/AT (S-100 bus) motherboard for legacy system builders and owners.  User-installed Hard Drive is seen attached to back of sub-panel for fully contained system.

Note that full length (standard IMSAI Series Two) base plates will accommodate both ATX and EXP-9/AT motherboards in the same enclosure.

Back panel view of an example of an ATX (PC) style motherboard installation (user-installed option) showing typical I/O panel cover plate (originally supplied with most motherboards) and card expansion panel detail.

Prototype of the Series Two USB model built in 2005.  A USB 3-port hub links the front panel to an 8051-style microcontroller for interface between the S100 and PC systems.


Two versions of our IMSAI Series Two SE "short" chassis.  This configuration is 6 1/2" shorter in depth than the full-length IMSAI Series Two and original IMSAI 8080.  It is otherwise identical in height and width dimensions.

Lower Left:  Configured for S-100 bus with IDE hard drive
Lower Right:  Configured for ATX motherboard with IDE hard drive

Some older variations of design:

Top - Prototype version of minimal USB version
Middle - Prototype version with extended front panel
Bottom - Top view of the active-termination 9-slot S-100 bus motherboard