Messing about with
a fluke 9100

last updated December 20, 2013


Most of the fluke resources that are mentioned on this page have come
from the Flippers FTP site, without it, I would be completely stuck, so I thank John
at for collating and hosting such a resource for the rest of us, and for
the wider tech community for contributing to it!

Task 1:

This is harder than it sounds. First off, system v6.0 is the newest tested working distribution that works, 6.1 doesn't work because the images were made from bad disks, don't bother with it. You need to get hold of
Now get Teledisk v2.23, I found that this program can be very picky about which combination of OS/PC speed/floppy drive you use, so, YMMV on this, but the ONLY setup I got to work after lots and lots of trying was an old Toshiba T2110 486 DX4-75 mono laptop, booting DOS 7.0 (windows 98 boot emergency disk with no frills)
You should be using low-density (DD) disks, but I didn't find a problem using high density disks, but others tell me that if your floppy drive in your fluke is picky, it may not read HD disks properly. I have the Canon MD350 in my 9100 and doesn't give me trouble with HD disks.
Task 2:

I removed the old v3.0 EPROMs at u46 and u47 from inside my machine, and burned new v5.0 u46/u47 ROMs from the binaries found in the v6 archive
My old ROMs were 27256 v3.0, the new v5.0 ROMs are 27c512, and so I needed to cut the link at W2 for the 9100 to read the new larger ROMs.
task 5
If your system is hosed for whatever reason and you need to boot from floppies, put the disk you want to boot from in the drive, power on, just press [softkeys|F2|F4] before the memory test finishes, the fluke will now seek and load from DR1. Even if your hard disk is buggered, you can boot from floppies made in task 1 and still use your system, or at least make a start at the recovery process.
task 4
Its quite simple to upgrade your system software - simply put disk 1 of the new system disks in the drive, and hit [main menu|Softkeys|COPY disk from DR1 to HDR] it will sit and buzz for a bit, then say completed... replace system disk 1 with 2 and do the above key sequence again, do the same with disk 3....
VERY IMPORTANT - go to task 7 before installing any more disks!!!
task 5

Task 4 failed spectacularly for me, after copying v6.1 system disks across and rebooting, I got lots of errors because of the bad images the disks were taken from. No biggie, thought I'd just put v6.0 on there instead, until I tried to copy the disks over and hit a WRITE ERROR every time anything tried to write to the hard drive. This included saving user settings when the fluke was in normal operating mode, so, either the hard disk or the controller was bad. Time to change the hard disk.
You aren't easily going to find another MFM hard drive, nor would you probably want to, so crack open the fluke, remove the hard drive/floppy cage and take a look. As I understand it, all 9100's have a SCSI interface, but were fitted with MFM hard disks with an adapter card. In my case it was a Western Digital MFM->SCSI card and a 20mb Miniscribe 8425 MFM hard disk. I removed the adapter card and the drive, and set about finding a SCSI hard drive. It is wise to find a SCSI 1 hard drive that is below 400mb in size to keep the programs from fritzing out with large numbers. I chose an Apple Mac SE as a hard disk donor, wasn't sure on the drive size, but I bought it off eBay and went to pick it up from south London. I get it home and it sounded a lot like the fluke did booting up... interesting.. upon opening up, I find that it has a 20mb MiniScribe 8425S ! the same size and type of drive I just removed apart from this being the SCSI flavor of the drive.. What are the chances eh?.... anyhow, fitted the new drive in the cradle and removed the old WD interface.
UPDATE - Summer of 2007 I changed the hard drive for a Quantum Prodrive LPS that I got from eBay from an Apple Mac seller as i didn't trust the miniscribe.
UPDATE - December 2010 - I changed the hard drive for a Compact flash setup! see Task 9 for details!
task 6
Formatting the hard drive

You need to format the drive to prep it for copying the system software over. This took a while to figure out, the earlier versions of the service disks do have format utilities, but they only list specific hard disks and interfaces that the 9100 was fitted with. They do not cater for any scsi disks, so none of the service disks on flippers ftp would work.
With help and big thanks to Al Sacco, i got the v1.4 service disk . Shortly after, Corey Stup sent me the same disk image, just a matter of timing and emails, a big thanks to both :) This disk allows you to format a 512bytes/sector SCSI drive, or a 256bytes/sector drive. Most drives are 512bytes/sector, so select that, and you are away... once done and verified, do task 4.

task 7
Installing software in the right order!

- 'pod name does not match data base name'
- 'POD selftest failure code = 38'
- 'INTERNAL ERROR 5243: Trying to copy a file over a directory'

I got the first error message when I hooked up a 6502 pod and I had only copied system and programmer disks to the fresh hdr... the second message is when I ran the selftest on the pod from the main menu. After copying a master/user disk 2 over successfully, the error went away and the pod worked. Upon using an 8080 pod, I got the same error, but my system fails to copy the master/user disk 1 over without failing on a 'file not accessible' error. I have tried both 4.1 and v6 user disks.

I decided to install system 4.1 and copy the user disks over again and see if the problem was the same... and it at least confirmed what I thought, its not actually a floppy fault, its something on the hard disk. With the system 4.1 I got 'INTERNAL ERROR 5243: Trying to copy a file over a directory'.

I managed to fix this problem, but only by formatting the hard drive, and installing the disks in the following order, it appears that this is very important to follow the order or you get errors like I did! :

- System disks in the order 1-2-3
- master/user disks in the order 1-2
- programmer disk
- other option disks
- UUT disks 1-2

task 8

My system had 2mb ram to start with, two 1MB SIMMs installed in banks U13 and U14, my dip switches at U83 were set to mask 21h, so dips 1-8 were 00100001. Dips 1 and 2 appear to be used for something else, leave them switched OFF or it wont boot. FYI Dip 8 is nearest the display/keypad.
I put in two more 1mb simms at U15 and U16 and set the dips to mask 31h = 00110001 and rebooted, changed the systems config using the 1.4 service disk to ram size 4mb, rebooted, et voila!
The original simms fitted were Toshiba THM91000AS 10 - with TC511000AJ 10 Ram IC's.
The additional rams I found on eBay and added were Toshiba with TC511000AJ 70
ram IC's, virtually the same as the originals.
NOTES - the PDF manual I got from flippers appears to label the ram banks incorrectly in the memory size table headings.

task 9
Change the hard drive for a CompactFlash card!



There really isn't any rocket science to this task, its a case of getting hold of the right hardware, which I can tell you might be quite tricky. Following on from the success story I heard from Martin White, I managed to track down the same stuff he used, it wasn't cheap, and it wasn't easy to find, but I got it in the end. After having the hardware sit around for several years (literally) I decided one cold December night to attack the task.

1) Find a Spyrus MCDisk standalone pcmcia->SCSI adapter
2) gut it, you end up with a 3.5" bay unit
3) crack open your 9100
4) remove old hard disk, install PCMCIA adapter, it used different sized screws to the old hard drive, so I had to put in some alternative ones that worked. The mounting holes of course lined up, sweet!

task 9B - UPDATE 16/09/13
Change the hard drive for a CompactFlash card!

There has now appeared on the market a SCSI->CF card adapter made by a guy in Japan who sells these on eBay They are called AztecMonster CF card adapters - eBay user 'artmix'. These are nice and compact, but you will have to get creative mounting it in the 9100 so that you can exchange cards. It is intended for a static mounted solution internally. I have tried this on 9100A and 9100FT and it works great on systems that used native SCSI hard drives of the old CF card setup described in Task9.

1) Get a CF AztecMonster adapter card
2) remove the jumper at position JP4 (this sets the adapter to 0 SCSI termination)
3) crack open your 9100
4) remove old hard disk, install it!
5) put the software onto a CF card and switch it on!
6) see TASK 14 for hints on new software!

task 10
Modify the case to accept the PCMCIA ports

5) Ping off the plastic grille, you might still find the low density air filter still in place, the last time I went into my 9100 this fell to pieces in a crappy disintegrated mess, so I got rid of any trace of it ages ago.

6) Mark out where the ports will be, you can simply count the perforations where I cut, its a perfect size. I used side-cutters to snip the thin aluminium grille, then bent the flap downwards.

7) see the reverse side photo, I had to crimp the fold tight so that the ports were not obstructed, but also make sure the lid would go on the case again, so they can't poke out the bottom too much.

8) I used a big file to take off the finger-slicing shards that were spiking out the freshly cut aluminium grille.

9) refit the cradle to the lid, make sure you can press the PCMCIA slot eject levers without obstructions.

10) line up the plastic grille overlay, use your side cutters again to snip away the bars that surround the slots, once again use a file to take off the sharp edges that you invariably get.


task 11
Format the card and load the software

11) Now Format the drive using the service disk and install software like you would on a normal SCSI drive as described in Task 6 + Task 7!

12) I used a 128MB CF card, and it formatted to 122.24MB which is more than the system can see anyway, so it will report as 0 bytes disk space in the editor, don't panic!

Sit back and bask in the glory of having a removable CF card rather than a mechanical spinning disk of death!
See Task 13 for backing up and restoring your CF card!

task 12
Change the system fan

The Fluke system fan is pretty damn big, and pretty damn noisy. It has a very high flow rate because it needs it. The fan drags air through the grille by the floppy drive and hard drive, then across the PSU and exhausts it at the rear.

Now, if (like me) you hate noisy equipment, and you've got rid of the old hard drive, then you don't have as much need for such massive airflow.

I bought a silent PC case fan off eBay, I didn't skimp, and I got the highest airflow and quietest one I could find, its pretty damn silent. The original fan runs off the line voltage, the replacement I'm using is a 12v that simply hooks into the existing power connectors for the hard-drive. The airflow that the replacement can drag is still less than a third of the original fan, and when it was put up against the old grille, it halved its effectiveness again. Seeing as the unit sits on my bench all of the time, totally out of the way of inquisitive fingers, I decided to chop out the airflow restricting grille. I'll just be careful myself in future.

It might not look too elegant, but it pulls air through nicely, keeping the PSU cool which is now the biggest heat generator. Should think it has to work a lot less harder now it has a silly little CF card to power instead of the behemoth hard disks of yesteryear!

Now, my fluke 9100 is virtually silent, which is great because you need to have it switched on for long periods of time as it is when programming the damn thing!

task 13
Backup/Restore your CF card image

You need to boot to Linux to do this, I downloaded a small (200mb) Slackware Live CD and ran it on my laptop. I first tried to do this using the PCMCIA adapter in the slot on my laptop, but not knowing enough about Linux I quickly abandoned this for an easier method...

1) get a USB->CF card reader, plug it into a USB port

2) Boot with the Linux Live CD in your computer - Select text mode from the boot menu, you just need to get to a prompt, don't need the graphical interface - Login as root, and password as 'toor' (default)

3) type 'fdisk -l' you should see the hard disks listed first, then the USB CF card underneath, in my case I have hda1 and hda2 plus /dev/sda its showing up as a 128mb compactflash card, and it tells me I don't have a valid partition table on it.

4) so, to copy from your CF card to your hard disk root directory, you should type:
dd bs=5120 if=/dev/sda/ of=/mnt/hda2/mybackup

5) Be patient!! it will sit there and wont say anything, when its done it will report on the number of records in and records out and speed of transfer... I'd suggest using 64mb or 128mb CF cards in all honesty, much quicker than massive cards, and the fluke can't see anything above 100mb anyway!

6) to copy from a backupfile on your harddrive, type the following:
dd bs=5120 if=/mnt/hda2/mybackup of=/dev/sda

7) Be patient again! it will report much like step 5

8) type 'shutdown' and unplug, reinstall into your fluke, bingo!

task 14
New software images!
UPDATE 16/09/13

So, getting Fluke software to install by floppy is a bit of a pain in the arse, and there's quite a bit of uncertainty over what works and what doesn't, what has bugs and what doesn't..

So if you want the shortcut, DOWNLOAD THIS for a full suite of v6.1 software and v6.1 editor working on a 64mb compactflash card. Its a bare-bones install of software and pod libraries, no user programs or UUT's provided. Thanks again to Martin White for facilitating this. Shhhhh. Don't shout it from the rooftops in case Fluke is listening. This image will work on a 9100A and a 9100FT, I've tested it fully on both.

Task 13-6 will help you install this.


Fluke 9100 TL/1 Programming routines


Here is a routine I wrote that calculates the CRC-32 of a given address space. This is a good way of verifying ROMs in-circuit without having to remove them and dump on an EPROM programmer. Hopefully the bones of what you need you can work out from what you see, I wont go into detail describing each line.


The following is a list of my fluke 9100 test equipment,
[its more of a reference for myself than for anyone else]

Fluke part # description
9100A -
digital test system
4mb ram, 122mb CF card, v6 software, editing suite, programmer keyboard, video card, hooked up to regular arcade monitor.
9100A probe works
9100A - Clock Module  
9132A-100 (845693) L7173 personality module?
9132A-100 (845693) L7168 personality module?
9132A - 024 24 pin ROM Clip Module
9132A - 028 28 pin ROM Clip Module
9132A - 032 32 pin ROM Clip Module
Y9100A-14D 14pin Dip Clip Module NOS unused
Y9100A-16D 16pin Dip Clip Module
Y9100A-18D 18pin Dip Clip Module NOS unopened
Y9100A-20D 20pin Dip Clip Module [incoming]
Y9100A-24D 24pin Dip Clip Module NOS unopened
Y9100A-28D 28pin Dip Clip Module
Y9100A-017 Vector Output I/O Module
Y9100A-102 Card Edge Interface module
? EXT. SWITCH probes? x3
9000A-8085 - UUT Adapter Accesory to improve clock signal quality
9000A-Z80 z80 pod
9000A-Z80 z80 pod
9000A-6502 6502 pod
9000A-6502 6502 pod
9000A-8080 8080 pod
9000A-8080 8080 pod working but broken pin 21
9000A-6800 6800 pod
9000A-6802 6802 pod
9000A-8085 8085 pod
9000A-8085 8085 pod
9000A-8088 8088 pod
9000A-8088 8088 pod faulty
9000A-6809 6809/6809E pod
9000A-80186 186 pod
9000A-80286 286 pod faulty
9000A-68000 68k pod.


Fluke manuals and paperwork: [check]
9000A-1802 interface pod instruction manual december 1982
9000A-6502 interface pod instruction manual june 1981
9000A-6800 interface pod instruction manual june 1984
9000A-68000 interface pod instruction manual april 1983 rev 1 3/84
9000A-6802 interface pod instruction manual may 1982
9000A-6809 interface pod instruction manual october 1982
9000A-80186 interface pod getting started manual  
9000A-80186 interface pod instruction manual june 1985
9000A-80186 Quick Reference Card  
9000A-80188 interface pod getting started manual  
9000A-80188 interface pod instruction manual august 1985
9000A-80188 Quick Reference Card  
9000A-80286H interface pod instruction manual feb 1988 rev. 2 3/89
9000A-8085 interface pod instruction manual june 1981 rev 2 6/87
9000A-8086 interface pod instruction manual september 1984
9000A-8088 interface pod instruction manual february 1984
9000A-Z80 interface pod instruction manual june 1981
9010A Micro-System Troubleshooter Operator Manual june 1981
9100 Series Applications manual feb 1988 plus hard case
9100 Series Automated Operations Manual April 1987 rev.2, 2/89 plus hard case
9100 Series Service Manual may 1988 with supplement
9100 Series Technical Users Manual April 1987 rev 3, 12/88 plus hard case
Supplemental Pod Information for 9100A/9105A Users July 1987 Rev 2 3/88


Fluke 9100FT stuff
Line filters replace them! they short out, blowing your house fuse. may need to add nuts to the rear of the screws, work it out. cut the brown and blue wire from the old line filter enar where it enters the device. solder 0.187 space terminals to these and heatshrink them or use covers.
psu connector earth pin fell out!
RAM! dip switch photo 1 meg 2,4
2 meg 2,3
4 meg 1,3
1 bank 6
2 bank 5
watchdog 7
1 bank / 2 bank - these two dips work in conjunction, you need 5 ON 6 off for using both banks, 5OFF 6ON for one bank only.

for 32mb - dip 5,6 must be both ON - but this always seems to fail the self-test?
I only got 16mb working with 4x4m*9 simms in bank 1 with DIP settings :


case fan papst variofan 8412GV
12V DC 2,2W
8-14V DC






Comments? Suggestions? Insults? Death threats? Go on, e-mail them to me.

These pages are (C) Andy Welburn 1996-2006. I cannot be held responsible if the information supplied herein results in a blown monitor/power supply/house fuse/mind. Oh yeah, have a nice day :)