8049 Spy using pic microcontroller

What do you do when you have to read the internal ROM contents of a 8048 or 8049 processor and you don’t own a programmer for those devices? You simply build this 8049 spy of course!
That is exactly what I did when I wanted to know how my Philips Frequency Counter PM 6668 worked. With this knowledge I was able to add some interesting features to that beautiful counter. You can find a description of the SB-6668 project elsewhere on this site.

8049 SpyThis 8049 Spy is not a stand alone project. It is designed as an I/O expansion to my 6802 Nano Computer. So if you’re interested in this 8049 Spy, you should start building the 6802 Nano Computer first. Basically you could connect this device to any micro controller with enough I/O, but then you’ll have to write the reading routine yourself, which is not particularly difficult though.
As an alternative you can connect the 8049 Spy to just about any other micro controller that has about 12 I/O lines free (or 11 and one serial output). But then you’ll have to write the program that reads the ROM contents yourself, something that is not that difficult really.

Operation of the 8049 Spy is not difficult. Simply insert the 8048 or 8049 processor you want to read, apply the 12V power supply and the contents of the ROM will be transferred through the serial link to your PC. The file is transferred in Intel Hex format, and the communication is set to 9600 baud, 8 data bits, no parity, 1 stop bit.
A total of 4 kb is transferred this way. Originally the 8048 only has 1 kb of ROM, and the 8049 contains 2 kb of ROM. But since the addressing mechanism of the 8048 family was designed to accommodate a maximum of 4 kb, I decided to read the entire 4 kb address space. You can simply ignore or delete the part of the file that you’re not interested in.

Circuit Description

As you can see in this diagram you don’t need too much hardware to read the ROM contents of an 8049. The main part in the diagram is the 8049 (or 8048) that you want to read. Apart from that you only need a voltage regulator, an inverter circuit and a crystal oscillator.

8049 SpyThe voltage regulator is needed here, because you also need a 12V supply to connect to the EA line of the 8049, which places it in programming mode.
Warning: This 12V must be a regulated 12V, and not a roughly rectified 12V originating from a cheap mains adapter!
The 5V output of the 7805 is used to supply the 8049 under test and the 6802 Nano Computer.


For more detail: 8049 Spy

Current Project / Post can also be found using:

  • 8049 microcontroller

Leave a Comment

= 4 + 8

Read previous post:
Low Power ESP8266 – Sleeping at 78 micro Amps

I recently bumped into NodeMCU firmware for the ESP8266. It’s an Lua interpreter, making tinkering with IoT ideas really simple....

Scroll to top