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Getting to grips with EPROM programming, and having the gear to do it, is worthwhile if you want to maintain a vintage computer collection. If things are OK, you’re done.

These are explained in this Google Groups postingwhich also elaborates on the and series and how they differ from or, in the case of theare the same as 27xx EPROMS of the same size.

However the programming devices mentioned below do handle these other chips. Epro, the chip in place, the first step is to load the code into a buffer prior to burning it into the EPROM.

/ EPROM Adapter | Elektor Magazine

Rather it provides enough practical tips and information for readers to attempt an EPROM eprrom of failed compatible parts. This article is just a basic primer.

Don’t look directly at the bulb when the door is open. It seems to work well, although at the time of writing the manual for this Chinese device appears to have been epro, using an early version of Google Translator!

Beware though, as many modern ones will not handle the smaller capacity ICs like the and ones found in very old microcomputers. The ICs hold code, often an auxiliary program such as an application, utility or game which can be loaded immediately on startup.


The incorrect voltage can kill it. Typically, my eraser will blank a chip in wprom 20 minutes.

2532/2732 EPROM Adapter

Typical values are 25v, 21v or These are inexpensive devices that can be found on eBay. It’s almost completely unreadable. There are 8 kilobits in a kilobyte.

After the prefix is a number such as 16, or 32, 64, etc. Once reprogrammed or “burned”they can hold their data for many years.

There are fundamental differences between the “non-standard” TMS made by Texas Instruments and ‘standard” s made by others. Make sure you know the specs you’re dealing with. For your average vintage microcomputer, EPROMS can be recognised by their clear transparent windows, normally covered by some kind of label. This is why the ICs have a clear window in them; to allow the UV light to penetrate and erase the data.

It may even check automatically. The code needs to be a binary file. Otherwise there is great risk of zapping the ROM because voltage is applied to the wrong pin! Figure 4 shows a screen shot of my programmer with a 4k System 80 ROM image loaded.

In particular make sure the Vpp is correct and that the IC is oriented correctly and in the right position on the IC holder.

2732 EPROM

From time to time those of us with the passion to preserve ancient computers from the and s will come across the need to replace a failed masked ROM or EPROM. Usually these ICs start with either a or a prefix but there may be others.


Not all ROM images are available on the Web and it’s a good idea to extract the code for posterity and possible future use! There are a number of programmers on the market. One is the READ voltage.

Usually a status bar shows progress. What you need to do will differ depending the machine.

If you know the basics though the software is easy enough to follow. It is not the harmless UV found in disco lights. The UV wavelength used is the same as that used for sterilizing equipment. Here is an important piece of advice.

Once complete, most software allows you to verify that the image in the EPROM is now the same as the one in the buffer. Modern programmers use menu-based interfaces that are easy to use. They are cheap and flexible but have a bewildering array of jumpers and switches to set. Often the pin-outs of the mask ROM will be different to the EPROM and some kind of “adapter” needs to be made to switch the pins around or the board circuitry altered.

It’s also inexpensive, is completely software driven and can supply all necessary programming voltages from a USB link. The other voltage is the programming voltage Vpp. These have a “C” between the prefix and size number e. This is applied to the Vcc pin and is typically 5 volts. TOPS software showing a binary loaded into the buffer and ready to go!

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