OK, let's get started. I want to welcome Spencer Owen to the Hack Chat today to discuss his retro-clone of the ZX80, the RC2014. And anything else that comes up, of course.
Spencer, can you tell us a little about how you ended up in the retrocomputing world?
I have built up two CPU boards for the 09 and one control board.
Hi! Yeah, I'm Spencer, and the RC2014 is my little Z80 based retro computer kit
For me, it started out as my own project to see if I could build a computer on a breadboard... and it kind of went off the rails from there :)
Ow yeah another project I am dying to pick up is my diy ZX80 but with more RAM :)
Was that the first working version?
When the Retro Challenge came around in 2014, I decided to enter the challenge by converting the breadboard computer to a PCB based computer
Looks a bit like the Z8001 computer I built in the early '80s, Spencer. (Wasn't retro, then, though!)
good to see other people messing around with Z80 and 6500 series
Yes, that's the first working one. Technically, the top 3 breadboards were the first one, and the lower ones were expansions
@marblypup Got any photos of the Z8001?
Were you working from docs or did you reverse engineer it?
Thats ambitious doing that on a breadboard.
There's a LOT of information out there via Google, although my board was hugely influenced by Grant Searles design.
I am always amazed to see people do complex builds like that on breadboard.
@spencer Good question! I used to cross-assemble for it from an Amstrad PCW, which gives an idea of how long ago I last used it! Still have it, housed in a cigar box :-)
Love to know the split between old'ns who were doing this stuff first time round and coming back (if they ever went away!) for the nostalgia, and those getting in to retro stuff for the first time. (I'm in the first category).
I love doing stuff on breadboard :)
My main limitation is software, so I made sure it was compatible with Grants design so that I could run his implementation of Microsoft BASIC on it.
I do but usually smaller items.
If we really had to prototype something in the old days we used wirewrap... now hard to get cheap ww sockets, connectors, etc.
@Linker3000 I got into digital electronics when I was 14: 1980.
hehe wow I wasn't even born then
I need to try wirewrap one day. I've heard lots of good stuff about it, although in my mind, it still looks fragile and unreliable.
My 1802 CPU board I designed and built 39 years ago was built on real breadboard and is half point to point and half ww sockets.
born in 85. grew up with the C64 as my main loved system
@Bil Herd: Can be done with regular sockets: https://github.com/linker3000/Z80-Board
@Linker3000 I started with a Sinclair ZX80 when I was 13 in 1980
wirewrap has pretty well known impedances done right and there is no "loose" wires such as an inserted wire in a breadboard, many wraps around each post
I was born in 71, and grew up as a Sinclair fanboy (Sorry Bill!). It's that Sinclair link that I chose the Z80...
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