Other RC2014 owners

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Elminster
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Other RC2014 owners

Post by Elminster » Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:33 am

Just wondered how many other RC2014 owners live on stardot?, I know of at least one other but there are probably more.

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Elminster
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Re: Other RC2014 owners

Post by Elminster » Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:13 pm

Built this at abug south but got over excited and put 12v through it without the 7805 rectifier.

It didn’t work and didn’t know if build issue or went pop.

Luckily they are small. I manually all the glue logic (learning some stuff along the way), swapped SRAM with electron, put Rom in reader and saved it to a file. Then pumped file into rc2014 emulator etc.

Long and the short is it now works. Corrected one build issue, a dead RAM chip and a dead Z80. So in the end not paying attention cost £6, time I can right off as learning.

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Elminster
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Re: Other RC2014 owners

Post by Elminster » Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:20 am

Promised BigEd some pictures ages ago. Not got one of RC2014 in original form but the following has most of the expansion cards replaced with Stephen Cousins 'everything except serial' board. i.e. this replaces clock, ROM, RAM and CPU board. So still using the original serial board.

This allowed me to butcher the original ROM board (see the next post)
Attachments
IMG_4431.jpg
IMG_4433.jpg

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Elminster
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Re: Other RC2014 owners

Post by Elminster » Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:24 am

These pictures show RC2014 running Ben Chong's 6502 & serial card (the serial works unmodified with 6502 card where I would have had to butcher the original RC2014 serial card to make it work). The original RC2014 has a few hardware hacks to make it work with 6502 and a different ROM image.
I also have Ben Chong 6809 board, not tested that yet.

The end came is a little board I can swap out the card and have a small form factor computer (desk space a premium) that can be eitehr 6502, 6809 or Z80 for playing with.
Attachments
rc2014 6502.jpg
IMG_4432.jpg

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hoglet
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Re: Other RC2014 owners

Post by hoglet » Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:30 am

I'm vaguely thinking about building one of these, as I've recently got quite interested in the Z80. It does seem a nice platform for experimentation.

I've got quite a lot of Z80 parts, so I'l probably just buy the bare boards.

I also note there is possibly a meeting coming up in Bristol in September 11th:
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic ... 3ZNimhgWvQ

Dave

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Elminster
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Re: Other RC2014 owners

Post by Elminster » Sat Sep 01, 2018 10:10 am

I have a load of unbuilt rc2014 boards as well, might build them at Cambridge. And should get the compact flash board soon so I can fire up CPM.

Bristol is only the second meeting that Spencer has done, both have been to far for me.

I do occasionally post to the google group. But not a huge fan of google groups, it is clunky.

Edit: will try to fit it in the car, and you can have a play if you like.
Last edited by Elminster on Sat Sep 01, 2018 10:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Other RC2014 owners

Post by BigEd » Sat Sep 01, 2018 10:49 am

Nice photos - thanks! Looks like a flexible and interesting machine.

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Elminster
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Re: Other RC2014 owners

Post by Elminster » Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:20 pm

More brownie points to you all.

Putting Ben's 6502 board in the front slot of RC2014 and then the ICE-T 65 fits likes a glove. Just tracked down what I thought was an issue which would have been a nightmare trying to use a logic analyser to prove.

Which reminds me, on the back plane 8 you have to put in links to make half the slots fully functional (he Pro has them all functional out of the box), when I did the links I also stuck in head pins, so that if all the slots are used I can still easy get a logic analyser onto the address and data lines. (Shown with an arrow for address lines).
IMG_4434.jpg

Also initially I didnt fit a 7805, thought I picked up a 5v brick (it was 12v) and blew up the Z80 and the SRAM (was a pain to track down as I had never used the board so didnt know it was even soldered correctly). I did get it all fixed, but those were darks days; and It does have a voltage regulator now!
IMG_4435 (1).jpg

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Re: Other RC2014 owners

Post by bprosman » Sun Sep 02, 2018 7:52 am

First of all I like the RC2014 design, its flexibility etc. However i dont like the wobbly single row connector design.
RDK used it as well in his early NDR computer design.
http://www.ndr-nkc.de/compo/z80/cpuz80.htm

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Elminster
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Re: Other RC2014 owners

Post by Elminster » Sun Sep 02, 2018 9:21 am

You will find it is surprisingly stable. You will notice the original board have a hole in the corner. This was so a frame could be added to give better support when Spencer original designed it but it was never used as it turned out the be fine without it.

There are a lot of owners on the google and face book group (I believe over 2000 kits sold) and I don’t remember anyone ever having an issue with the connector. (Probably have, I just don’t remember).

There are 100 or so boards designs now, everything from sounds and graphics to WiFi.

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Re: Other RC2014 owners

Post by BigEd » Sun Sep 02, 2018 10:32 am

I noticed elsewhere Spencer says he now earns a living from RC2014 sales - that's both amazing and great. That there are so many people queuing up to buy into retrocomputing - retrocomputing in the sense of fresh computing and not just revisiting their 1980s - is very encouraging indeed. We need both - we need nostalgia, and we need creativity. There's more to enjoy that way!

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Elminster
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Re: Other RC2014 owners

Post by Elminster » Mon Oct 01, 2018 10:25 am

For those interested there is an RC2014 meetup in Cambridge. Being a school night I am not sure I can make it. But here are the details, you can pick up your RC2014 at the event if you wish to go down that route.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/rc2014-ret ... 0824529536

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Re: Other RC2014 owners

Post by BigEd » Mon Oct 01, 2018 10:29 am

Sounds like about half a dozen people turned up at the Bristol event and there was some good chat. Unfortunately I couldn't make it. These do seem to be good events to meet people who share interests and are reasonably local. As well as for getting all excited about the RC2014!

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Re: Other RC2014 owners

Post by nudelooney » Mon Oct 01, 2018 12:34 pm

My homemade 6502-based computer started out with some of Spencer's boards. My writeups are WAY behind, but anyway:

http://danceswithferrets.org/geekblog/?page_id=915

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Re: Other RC2014 owners

Post by Elminster » Mon Oct 01, 2018 12:54 pm

So should be easy to port what you have done to Ben Chong 6502/6522 boards on RC2014 then? As he is in the US, BBC Micro's were not high on his development list.

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Re: Other RC2014 owners

Post by nudelooney » Mon Oct 01, 2018 1:15 pm

It looks like his pinouts differ to mine (address lines and data lines are the same, but the others aren't) so no, they wouldn't be compatible. I'd never intended mine to be "RC2014 compatible" or anything like that - I just wanted to build my own machine around a 6502, and using Spencer's boards got me up-and-running quicker.

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Elminster
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Re: Other RC2014 owners

Post by Elminster » Mon Oct 01, 2018 1:33 pm

nudelooney wrote:
Mon Oct 01, 2018 1:15 pm
It looks like his pinouts differ to mine (address lines and data lines are the same, but the others aren't) so no, they wouldn't be compatible. I'd never intended mine to be "RC2014 compatible" or anything like that - I just wanted to build my own machine around a 6502, and using Spencer's boards got me up-and-running quicker.
No I didnt expect it to work without effort, what I meant was minimum effort compared to starting from scratch. Was something I had toyed with in my mind but not put any effort in, was just thinking perhaps yours would be a better starting point. Not that I would have the time to do either way really.

I shall have to read your blog entries, were you thinking of releasing anything? Either closed or open. I did find Ben's a little confusing when building his boards. i.e. there werent really any instructions you had to flick between 4 or 5 blog entries to get it to work, got there in the end though.

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Re: Other RC2014 owners

Post by nudelooney » Mon Oct 01, 2018 2:33 pm

Elminster wrote:
Mon Oct 01, 2018 1:33 pm
Not that I would have the time to do either way really.
Yeah, I know that feeling! :D
Elminster wrote:
Mon Oct 01, 2018 1:33 pm
I shall have to read your blog entries, were you thinking of releasing anything? Either closed or open. I did find Ben's a little confusing when building his boards. i.e. there werent really any instructions you had to flick between 4 or 5 blog entries to get it to work, got there in the end though.
I wouldn't say it's good enough for me to sell (yet) - it's mostly the ramblings of a deranged old man with a soldering iron. But if you're keen to give it a go and willing to accept absolutely-no-warranty, then I might have some spare prototype boards left over.

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