Exciting new things!

A project log for rosco_m68k

A full-featured Motorola 68k retro computer, starring a 68010 running at 8MHz

Ross BamfordRoss Bamford 05/30/2020 at 19:130 Comments

There's so much going on with the rosco_m68k at the moment, it's hard to keep up! Not just the stuff that I'm planning (of which there is lots!) - it's really exciting to see what the growing community are doing too. There's always a ton of conversation going on over on the discord server, with new and cool projects (both software and hardware) being worked on.

In no particular order, we've got a floppy-drive controller @henk.gooijen is planning (to go alongside the absolutely awesome monitor software / firmware he's created - screenshot below), a real-time-clock integration thanks to @RTS4E75 (and an IDE interface in the works). Some people are even working on some amazing FPGA stuff that's totally beyond me at this point - @Claude is working on interfacing the M68k bus to an ice40up5k (on a upduino 2.0) and @Xark has made some amazing progress on his VGA video card. I'm not going to talk too much about that as I don't want to spoil the surprise, Xark tells me he's planning to write up a Hackaday project about it, so keep an eye out for that - it's exciting stuff (we've already seen some amazing output from it on a VGA monitor!).

As I've said before it's pretty humbling that people are finding so many cool things to do with this little project that started out on breadboard as a "I wonder if I can do that" thing about 18 months ago. I love that people are picking this up and running with it, and having so much fun :)

Of course, the community is great for finding things that could be improved, and there's a whole bunch of things that have already been earmarked for a future board revision. Everything from better bus connectors to tighter IO Space decoding and bigger ROM is in the works, and as well as the V9958 video I talked about in the last log I'm also working on sound (YM2149F) and some firmware/software improvements. 

I've also ordered a bunch of ICs today for various expansions I'm planning - including some much-needed MC68681 DUARTs and *lots* of 7400 series bus transceivers, some 22V8 GALs and various other support chips. Things have taken off so quickly that I've not had as much time as usual for hardware lately - I'm really looking forward to diving back in!

If you want to get involved, or even if you just want one to play with (we now have a bunch of precompiled example programs, including a BASIC interpreter!) I've just received fresh stocks, so grab yours on Tindie.

As promised, here's a screenshot of Henk's frankly awesome monitor. Keep your eyes peeled for an upcoming post from Xark in which he tells me he'll be showing some really cool pics too :)