Final Thoughts

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 11/28/2021 at 22:060 Comments

Well it's been about 45 years since that poor college student version of me saw his first Sol-20 at that small computer store on Queen Street in Toronto. It was something that I never forgot. For me the wait is over. I now have a working Sol-20 and have been having a ball running all of the cool programs that were written for it those many years ago. 

I have to thank Dave from who designed the complete replacement keyboard for the Sol-20 using modern Cherry key switches. He was a great help throughout the project. Without this great piece of kit to build on I may not have even attempted this project. 

This was the first project I can remember where I didn't have to scour the far corners of the internet for information about the Sol-20. Jim Battle has done an amazing job of gathering a huge treasure trove of Sol-20 materials into one site, A one stop shop for the would be Sol-20 replicator, or anyone with an interest in this wonderful retro computer. 

Rick Downs (redjr16), who actually owns a Sol-20 (I'm totally jealous), was kind enough to take the time to answer my many questions, take pictures, and more. Thanks Rick!

When he saw my project Nyles sent me a huge pile of original manuals that he had been keeping. 

Once the hardware and emulator were done, these have been invaluable resources for helping me figure out how to run the software that's out there. Thank you Nyles.

It's been a lot fun learning about this wonderful machine. I'll leave you with a side-by-side of my Sol-20 reproduction and the original.