Planning Ahead: Freerunning MC68030

A project log for Mackerel 68k Computer

A computer engineering journey through the Motorola 68k CPU family

Colin MaykishColin Maykish 08/24/2022 at 14:140 Comments

I've been slowly making progress toward booting Linux on the 68008 and I have some updates to share there soon, but in the meantime, I wanted to start planning for the future. As part of a recent PCB order, I made a breakout board for the 68030 CPU. I already have a pair of the processors in my collection, but no good way to to test them. Wiring up 100+ pins by hand is not my idea of fun, so I put together this simple design:

It's hard to get much simpler. This board breaks out all the (useful) control lines and the address and data bus. Combined with a big pile of jumper wires, it's a useful test to show that my CPUs actually work. I could not find any sockets that perfectly match the 68030 footprint, so I used single row machined pin headers packed together. The CPU pins fit nicely in these and they can be arranged in a grid pattern.

Here's a quick video of the 68030 freerunning: