The Busch 2090 Microtronic Computer System was released in 1981 in (West) Germany. It was my first computer on which I learned the basics of (machine language) programming and computer interfacing. This is the original: 

The following picture shows my Microtronic. It was extended with the very rare 2095 Cassette Interface Module (on the left) to allow for cassette tape storage:

In 2016, I had created a talking Arduino-based emulator of the Microtronic system:

This predecessor project - The Talking Microtronic Emulator - also has a page here on Hackaday. Background info about the Microtronic (i.e., details about its virtual CPU and its instruction set) are provided as well:

Even though the Microtronic uses a TMS 1600 CPU, it was actually not programmed in TMS machine language. Rather, the (mask-programmed) TMS 1600 was running a monitor program that emulated a much more versatile, powerful, and flexible CPU architecture much more suitable for an education system. It even included high-level instructions / op-codes for multiplication, division, time / clock functions, random numbers, display, digital input & output, keyboard input, etc. A very nice instruction set.

Back to 2020: The Next Generation Microtronic project (these pages) is the continuation, culmination and wrap up of this work. This time, I have a proper PCB with greater reliability and durability than my previous breadboard big-mess-of-wires prototypes, hence preserving my efforts for the future. 

PCB Version 1 for the Nokia 5110:

PCB Version 2 for the SH1106 SPI OLED Display: 

* Really* Final PCB Version 2 for the SH1106 SPI OLED Display with Pulldown Resistors & Proper Feet: 

So, what has changed over the 2016 version? In a nutshell:

Prototype with 3 different displays for evaluation purposes (Nokia 5110, SH1106 I2C, SH1106 SPI):


The GitHub page contains the firmware of the Next Generation Microtronic, for three different displays - the Nokia 5110, the SH-1106 I2C version, and the SH-1106 SPI version:

Which one is best? Well, we actually had to experiment. As we learned in the following video, the SPI version of the SH-1106 is MUCH faster and less laggy than the Nokia 5110, so this is going to be our preferred display for the next iteration of the project:

My renewed interest in this project was triggered by a group of like-minded Microtronic enthusiasts, Frank from Belgium & Manfred from Germany, who contacted me this summer and who invited me to collaborate. We are collaborating (over the internet) on similar projects since Summer 2020.

I am very thankful for the inspiring and fruitful collaboration that we have.

Frank had the idea to use the Nokia 5110 display, and he also suggested to use the ATMega 2560 Pro Mini module instead of the full-size ATMega 2560 that I had used in my 2016 version. He also inspired me to design a PCB for the Next Generation Microtronic (I had mused about this before in order to make the prototypes more durable and professional, but never carried through until now).

Frank & Manfred's Microtronic 2nd Generation professionally installs into a real Busch electronics kit console, and it uses the same firmware (with minor adaptations) as the Next Generation Microtronic / Nokia 5110 version:

More details about the great Microtronic 2nd Generation "sister project" can be found in Frank's YouTube videos:

Please contact Frank & Manfred if you are interested in the Microtronic 2nd Generation project.