RC2014 Retrocomputing

I’ve recently had some success digging into the RC2014 z80 retrocomputing world. VHS is a great venue to help with this, we have a decent array of older components.

I have spare PCBs for many of these items, ping me if you’re interested.

First up I built the easyz80 from GitHub - skiselev/easy_z80: An easy to build Zilog Z80 based single board computer - whilst this isn’t an RC2014 device, it does have the RC2014 connector. I think it’s a good choice as it combines several of the rc2014 boards into one board. I have 4 spare PCBs for this project.

It actually took me a year to get this board working (or to realise that it was working). The usb rs232 cable I bought on ali turned out not to be linux compatible. Note that the easyz80 has a true rs232 interface with level converters - you could bypass them but I wanted to assemble the board in it’s pure form.

It runs the RomWBW firmware from GitHub - wwarthen/RomWBW: System Software for Z80/Z180 Computers with lots of cool stuff like CP/M.

I found none of the backplanes available particularly interesting so I made my own. It’s fed 5V from two small smps. Files are at prj-pcb-experiments/rc2014-compat-backplane at master · TomKeddie/prj-pcb-experiments · GitHub - I have 4 spare PCBs for this project. I designed it to fit a case but I screwed up the measurements.

You can see all 3 boards installed in this photo - I’m using an external level converter board on the serial port too (with the zip tie).

The easyz80 board has no persistent storage so I selected a compactflash storage board as my next project. The files are at GitHub - PickledDog/rc-cfcard: Buffered CompactFlash card for RC2014, I have 4 spare boards. You can see it listed in the RomWBW screenshot above as IDE0. I’m using 128MB CF cards from ebay.

The RomWBW boot listing is like a shopping list for devices you’d like to have so I selected an RTC as my next project. The files are at GitHub - electrified/rc2014-ds1302-rtc: DS1302 Real Time Clock for the RC2014 computer - I have 4 spare boards for this project. You can see the RTC showing the time in the RomWBW boot log above.

I haven’t tested them yet but I built 3 more boards last night at vhs - almost entirely from parts at the space. These boards are not open hardware so I bought individual pcbs from Expansion Module PCBs - Enhance your retro computer Z80 Kits - I don’t have any spares.

ESP8266 remote serial port from ESP8266 Wifi Module « RC2014

Digital IO from Digital I/O « RC2014

8x8 LED Matrix from 8x8 LED Matrix Display Module - Z80 Kits

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@TomKeddie - if you have spare easyz80 boards I’ll buy one from you…
And a CF card board…
And…

I have a fair pile of Z80 era chips…
Not to mention a Z80 based Osborne1 luggable…

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I ended up buying a few since the easyz80 plans to run everything at 10MHz and most of the parts I had laying around were 4MHz.

I had good success with used parts on Ali.

The purple solder mask is remarkably unusual but in a good way.