Portable AA battery powered PCMCIA flash card storage device for the RadioShack Tandy M102.
a.k.a. connecting RadioShack Tandy M102 to HP 200LX Palmtop

Memory is a very scarce resource for the Tandy M102 and a portable storage is even harder to find.  Most of what's available for the M102 is large, bulky and use hard to find proprietary storage media.  You can read all about the Tandy here at Rick's web site.

Here's where another classic machine comes to the rescue.  The Hewlett Packard HP 200LX Palmtop.  You can read all about it here at Daniel's web site.  Briefly the HP 200LX Palmtop is a pocket size IBM PC that runs 25 hours on two alkaline AA batteries and supports modern PCMCIA storage and Compact Flash cards.  It has the full Lotus123 and HP financial calculator amongst other useful PIM and DataComms programs in its ROM.

You can buy one off eBay.com at about US$50-200 depending on its condition or if you want a guaranteed working Palmtop, you can buy from Thaddeus Computing.  Thaddeus is a professional honest vendor that has been supporting the Palmtop since the Palmtop came into being.  They service customers world wide.


What you need:

  1. HP connectivity cable F1015-80002.  That is the black cable shown above.  It is a "cross cable" with a rectangular 10 pin female plug that goes into the HP200LX and a DB9 female connector at the other end.
  2. DB9 male to DB25 male converter HP F181-6640.  It is shown as the beige plug in the above picture.  It has a "straight through" pinning.
  3. LapDOS which you can get from www.club100.org  here
  4. HP200LX or HP100LX or HP1000CX or HP Omnigo 700LX.
  5. PCMCIA Flash cards or Compact Flash in a PCMCIA II holder.


What to do:

Download LapDOS and transfer to the HP Palmtop.  I use a laptop so I just extract out the file onto a PCMCIA flash card and slot it into the HP Palmtop.  If you use a PC to transfer files to the Palmtop, go here.

Next connect the cable to the HP Palmtop and the M102.

On the HP Palmtop, first make sure that "Com1 Port power in DOS" is On.
Alt-E (if there is no tick in the check box)

Then exit to MSDOS on the HP Palmtop.

Still on the HP Palmtop, CD to the directory containing the LapDOS software and type:   loader

On the Tandy M102, move the cursor to BASIC, press return and type: run "com:88n1en"

Press a key on the HP Palmtop.  In a short while, you will see the LapDOS screen on the HP Palmtop and the Tandy files on the right side of the screen.


Use the cursor keys on the HP Palmtop to go the file you want to transfer, press C followed by <ENTER>.  For details on how to use LapDOS, go here.

For subsequent transfers, once LapDOS has been transferred to the Tandy M102, just run the lapdos program.  On the HP Palmtop run LAP.EXE

That's it!
kenneth at leewm dot com Jan 2004


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