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Burn Your DataPaks
the Datapaker Concept is here!

By David J. Woolnough.

Burning Datapak!

Sorry if I have mislead you, but, as you read on you will realise that this hardware project is not simple in construction. A mistake with the delicate wiring required could render your Organiser useless!
The Datapaker project is a concept, that is; it is my idea for a replacement for 16k Datapaks which, way back in 1989, were very highly priced.
So as you read this article please decide for yourself if this device is really necessary now-a-days when surplus Datapaks are fairly easy to obtain and at a relatively low cost compared to 1989 prices.

When I first acquired my Psion Organiser XP the cost of a Datapak was approximately 1 UK pound per kilobyte! At the time, this was very expensive.
I had been reading quite a bit about the Organiser and had learnt that the chips used in Datapaks were a fairly standard type of EPROM of the 21 volt programming pulse variety. The other programming voltage type, which was becoming more common at the time, was the 12 volt version. Incidentally Psion started using the lower voltage EPROM's in the later years of manufacture of Datapaks and to overcome the problem of the Organiser producing a 21 volt programming pulse, which of course could seriously harm the lower
voltage device they added a voltage regulator chip to reduce the voltage to the lower level.
Datapaker External View.

Datapaker External View.

this rather strange looking gizmo saved me a small fortune in Datapaks! If you look closely you can see dust around the EPROM socket, this shows how little use it gets now-a-days!

Datapaker Internal View.

Datapaker Internal View.

The wiring of the patch board and the old Datapak was extremely fiddly. I must admit to being quite anxious when I plugged the completed device into my Organiser and switched on.

I had a big problem with where to store programs and data which where beginning to fill up the 32kb of my XP. I didn't own or have access to a PC and I couldn't afford to buy enough Datapaks. I had an idea though for the device illustrated.

I discovered an electronics company which was selling 16k EPROM's for £1.50p (1.5 UKP) each (!) and I purchased 10 together with a LIF ( low insertion force) socket. I had a 8kb Datapak which I was prepared to sacrifice - I carefully
unsoldered the EPROM which incidentally still functions as it too can be plugged into the EPROM socket just the same as its 16k cousins, and, after drilling the case and carefully soldering a length of ribbon cable to the patch board from the empty Datapak PCB, my very inexpensive and innovative Datapaker was born!

As can be seen the construction of Datapaker is not for the faint hearted. The Datapaker contains no fancy electronics! It is basically an old DataPak with the EPROM removed and wires soldered in its place. The wires are lead out of the DataPak, via a slot cut in the plastic case, to a small plastic box with a low insertion force IC socket fitted. The wires are attached to the IC socket in the form of just a wired extension of the original DataPak. Anyone with a fine tipped soldering iron and a steady hand can build it!

Please contact me with any comment or queries: Dave Woolnough.

Disclaimer Please Read.

Before you start to operate on your Psion Organiser II please be aware that I accept no responsibility what-so-ever if you spoil/damage/destroy any part of your Psion Organiser, Organiser accessories, or any other item!

Please read these instructions carefully and be sure that you are able to follow them to the letter and can complete the procedure successfully before you embark upon this project.

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