So I tried to build a prototype and it was almost finished in a day :-)
32 instructions, 64 DIP-switches with 16 pins each, that's already 1024 soldering joints.
Then 512 diodes (LL4148), linked in 8 rows, make another kilojoints :
but it's not as hard as it sounds.
What is still missing is the 64 column wires and the connectors. I'll also add one LED per line.
Of course a dedicated PCB would ease assembly but this
- would be very costly
- I have more important other expenses
- I already have these parts in stock
- I don't want to waste money with a flawed PCB design that a prototype could solve.
Anyway with 32 instructions I'll have enough room to test interesting things and it's not as hard as it looks.
I want to make the board design modular, each board can be relocated physically on a backplane to change the address. There are 2 decoders, large MUXes for the lines and columns, that will not need changes, while the data boards can be of any type (DIP switches, solder joints or anything else I come up with).