Coming out of hibernation...

A project log for Resto-Mod 8 bit microcomputer

Retro-Futuristic 8-bit AVR based computer with 5" TTL CRT, PS-2 Keyboard, Serial Thermal Printer, PCM sound, and flash file system

john-andersonJohn Anderson 04/18/2020 at 06:270 Comments

I'm excited about the new AVR128DA28 processors Microchip recently released. I have several on pre-order and expect to receive them next week. These little 28 pin AVR processors are available in an easy to prototype through-hole SDIP package (same form factor as the ATMEGA328 SDIP). They have 128K of FLASH (application space), 16K of RAM, a wealth of peripherals, and the I/O pins are highly configurable. So, I've decided to do re-spin of the original Resto-Mod 8 bit Microcomputer to show off just how much you can do with one of these little controllers and a minimal amount of support logic/circuits.

The new Resto-Mod 8 bit Microcomputer will be similar to the original with some new features and a truly "home-built" case. The case will integrate the CRT display, audio, thermal printer, switches, knobs, keyboard, serial port connector, SD Card slot, and power supply in one case. The CRT will be a 5" green phosphor CRT salvaged from an old serial protocol analyzer. The keyboard will be an NOS unit from an Oric Atmos home computer. Back in the 80's Radio Shack purchased unused stock from defunct PC models and resold the parts under their Archer brand. You can still find some of these components at vintage computer/equipment shows and online auction sites. 

A full list of peripherals and functions for this spin of the Resto-Mod Micro Computer include:

 I've already collected most of the parts required for this build.

An old Telebyte Netscope serial protocol analyzer will provide the 5" CRT, CRT bezel, power supply, power cord, power relay and fuse, case cooling fan, case feet, and case handle. I might even use some of the sheet metal from the Netscope case to build the "home-built" case for the final system.