View Full Version : Olsen's Original BASIC program

01-06-2012, 05:17 PM

I have a fascination for the '595' chip and done some research on it's use here. However, I couldn't find a reference to Peter Olsen's original BASIC program he used. I did find a snippet of code that illustrates how to use the LPT port. I tried that code snippet in DOS and it worked for me.

Did he ever publish a more complete BASIC program?
A 1024 port version? If so, any links?

p.s I still dabble with an old DOS machine on occasions.....

01-06-2012, 10:48 PM
If it anywere its on http://computerchristmas.com


01-06-2012, 11:35 PM
I had already seen that website but only saw a portion of the BASIC code.
Just curious if there was a complete version, which I didn't find.

01-07-2012, 12:12 AM
computer christmas is were we all started out in this hobby, Peter Olsen did not follow us away from there when the vixen sites started.

Any work he has done is on that site,you could try to email him.
I know he used
to drive alot of his display

01-07-2012, 01:32 AM
I never saw any other code for this from peter. I believe most of what he did was using a PICAXE micro, though he used a form of BASIC for programming them, in a stand alone configuration.

Shortly after he posted this idea, he sold most of his display. I don't believe he does anything anymore.

01-07-2012, 08:37 AM
David (of Lithgow Lights fame) met Peter a few years ago and purchased a number of items from the sale.

Peter kept the original Olsen 64.

01-07-2012, 10:00 AM
There should be a DIYC Hall of Fame for stuff like that. Brian could have it in his house and every year, thousands of DIYC'ers could "migrate to mecca" and camp out in his yard, listen to Christmas music on iPods, chant the DIYC mantra ("mmmmore lights.... mmmmore lights...") and pay homage to those who started the revolution....

And Brian could make pancakes for everyone each morning...


01-07-2012, 11:59 AM
I have purchased a number of 74HC595 chips to experiment with. I was interested in the Olsen595 concept and am working on an experimental unit for my development of a mini-Holdman star. I'm using 168 lights of the 2.5V variety, but want to dim each light.
I now have Olsen's BASIC code snippet working from the LPT port. Next I'll add some 595s and see what I get.
Having an oscilloscope (old GOULD dual channel 60MHZ) sure helps get the initial bugs out of my BASIC program.:thup:
Eventually I plan to have 21 595s running to provide 168 ports/channels for my experimental star. I don't have any blinky lights yet but do like to tinker. I want to use the BASIC code just as a proof of concept. Later I may get into using a micro and add DMX to the star. Baby steps for now....

I also read some old threads on Computer Christmas by Ernie and PShort about their journey with the olsen595 - so I'm a johnny-come-lately. Fascinating reading for an old tech like me.

01-07-2012, 02:34 PM
I still have the original 8-channel Dimmable Olsen 595 and 8-channel Renard controllers that I prototyped. They both still work too. :)