In case anyone else actually reads these, this may be helpful.
I finally got my K8048 going by replacing the 4MHz crystal and 18pF caps with a 4 MHz “canned” oscillator (4.000MHz ESC-100AC) I got it from DigiKey, but there are other sources.
The oscillator has four pins, but only three are needed. Pin 4 is Vcc, Pin 2 is ground and Pin 3 is the clock output that connects to Pin 16 of the PICs. Pin 1 of the oscillator is not connected.
Pin 15 of the PIC can be left unconnected. (This is how the canned oscillator is used on a PIC Demo board I have).
Carefully remove the crystal and two caps. The oscillator device can be “dead bugged” onto the board where the crystal and bypass caps used to live. I used double-sided mounting tape to secure the oscillator to the board, and connected it using #30 wire-wrap wire.
I also found that I needed the correct 9-pin serial cable. One of the cables I used caused the “K8048 not found on Com 2” message. I found that pins 1, 6, 8 and 9 did not connect through from end-to-end.
Fortunately, I had another cable that worked- all 9 pins go through. Now to learn about programming…
Hope this helps! Dave.