This board is now about to be available in it’s third reproduction version. The original board was a near-replica of Dragon 200E daughterboard made by Eurohard – only one of which is known to survive. The board was relatively easy to reverse engineer from photos, and a little extra information found on the World of Dragon forums.
This first board worked well, and several were sold – but it had a couple of drawbacks. Firstly, it was a bulky board. It would not fit into Dragon 32s without modifications to the board and/or the Dragon. Secondly the board relied on the rather old 2732 EPROM (though the original Eurohard one used the even older 2532). The 2732 is getting harder to acquire – especially at the speeds required for this board – 300ns or faster. Therefore a new board was developed which solved both of these issues, as well as also adding in additional functionality.
Version 2.0 of the board brought several enhancements:
- Reduced board size – achieved by overlaying the IC socket and board connector, as well as by use of surface mount components.
- Support for any 27-series EPROM (300ns or faster) from 2732 to 27512.
- Switchable fonts using DIP switches.
Due to the popularity of the board, another version is on the way. This is identical in size to v2.0, but includes an empty set of through-holes to connect a header for font switching if required. Also added is an empty 2-pin header to disconnect pin 20 of the 6847 from pin 20 of the Dragon motherboard. This ‘fix’ is to cater for some Dragon 32 motherboards where pin 20 seems to have been mistakenly grounded. The original factory fix on some machines seems to have been to snip pin 20 after installation. As pin 20 (DA11) is never used on a Dragon, it is safe to break the link on this board, but the unpopulated header is provided in case required.