The Game Plan

A project log for Sol-20 Reproduction

I am making a full sized Sol-20 reproduction, the first fully assembled microcomputer with a built-in keyboard and television output.

michael-gardiMichael Gardi 09/14/2021 at 22:492 Comments

So my plan is to make a full size case that will be as authentic looking as possible, with beautiful walnut sides for sure. I may 3D print the blue panels instead of using sheet metal so the build would be accessible to more people should they decide to make one.  

For the keyboard I have been in touch with Dave from who has designed a complete replacement keyboard for the Sol-20 using modern Cherry key switches. From the Unified Retro Keyboard Project:

The keyboard is not a replica of the original. It doesn't use the same capacitive circuit or keys. But it does have exactly the same layout with the same functionality, including the 3 LEDs (UPPER CASE, SHIFT LOCK, LOCAL) and 3 outputs (RESET, BREAK, LOCAL). It uses cherry MX or Futaba MD-4PCs keys. Neither has quite the same feel as the capacitive keys, but the Futaba keys approach the travel of the keytronic switches, and do have a nice feel.

I'm getting the keyboard as a kit and looking forward to putting it together.

On the inside I'm going to emulate the Sol-20 hardware on a Raspberry Pi 4. To that end I have a working (very basic at this point) Python based emulator I'm going to post to GitHub shortly. 

I haven't decided what to do for a monitor yet. Certainly a CRT of some sort would be ideal, but I may have to go with a LCD.


aidenmark788 wrote 4 days ago point

How to register there? Can you please reply with more information? Thank you!

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Dave's Dev Lab wrote 09/15/2021 at 01:59 point

how about laser cut blue acrylic? has some really good selections and you can share the design files on the website so people can easily order them....

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