Electromechanical User Interface : the Assembler board

A project log for YGREC-РЭС15-bis

YG's 16bits Relay Electric Computer, rebooted

Yann Guidon / YGDES 04/12/2017 at 03:480 Comments

See log#4: Assembler and disassembler

Try to do that with a x86 !

The YGREC's instruction format is so simple that 9 hexadecimal rotary encoders and a few other switches are enough to "assemble" one instruction word. With the help of some diodes, I admit, but nothing crazy and no weird encoding table...

Luckily I have 4-positions slider switches in stock :-)

There is the question of how to encode the IMM5 field : with the IMM16 or with SRC+CRSW fields ? In either case, a 2-diodes drop is inevitable. However the IMM16 encoders can't be "split" so I Keep It Simple and remain with the SRC+CRSW solution. Simpler and easier though maybe a bit confusing. You'll get used to it ;-)

The switches and diodes are soldered. I have chosen a 26 positions connector for ribbon cable, a handy size to transmit 24 bits of instruction, one supply/enable bit and a key (not implemented).

The 4-positions slide switches are encoded to 2 bits with 4 diodes each.

I'd like to test the board while it is being wired but I'll have to wait for the build of the disassembly board.

I notice that I have enough room to add a few DIP chips. I'd easily put some 74HCT595 but they don't provide enough current. Amplifying devices would use much room and need to be "high side". Maybe LED drivers ?

Whatever solution I imagine, the board should sink the current, because the input voltage is unknown. Electronics needs a ground reference. I also have the STP16DP05B1R in mind, a 16-ports constant current sink LED driver, that can get up to 80mA (I need 60-70mA). It's like a dual 74HC595 on steroids.

However I have planned from the beginning to have the sense relays ground-based so a higher voltage is required (at least 3V), and I have already bought the dual-diodes for the ROM matrix, connected in the direction of the grounded coils...

I can spend a bit of time reversing the 40 diodes of the assembler board but the PROM boards will still have the wrong diodes, or require more efforts during soldering...

Unlike the rest of the system, the instruction input is using unipolar signals, with disconnected=0 and 1 is signaled by a pull-up (through diodes). The current and voltage must be enough to trip 2 relays in series because the disassembler board must intercept the instructions.

20170413 : I think I've found the solution, see the next log :-)