Retro Computing with the RC2014 Bus

November 29, 2017

I have very fond memories of using and building 8-bit computers during the 1980’s, so I’ve been following Spencer Owen’s RC2014 modular 8-bit computer project with some interest. For those interest the RC2104 is a simple but very modular 8-bit microcomputer based around the Z80 microprocessor.

In its most basic form it uses a number of single row 40-pin headers (or sometimes a 39-pin header) to make a computer backplane and which takes various “computer” and add-on cards to build a system. The add-on cards currently have a choice from various Z80 CPU cards, a 6502 CPU, various sizes of RAM and ROM memory cards, serial I/O and digital I/O cards.

I was fortunate to meet Spencer at Maker Faire UK back in April 2017 and chat with him first hand about the RC2014 project and he was very open and enthusiastic about sharing all aspects of his project. So much so, a small community of fellow builders has popped up and added to the project with their own add-on cards.

 

I’ve put together a short list of RX2014 related web-sites:

https://rc2014.co.uk/
https://github.com/semachthemonkey/RC2014
https://github.com/RC2014Z80
http://www.sowen.com/tag/retro-challenge/
https://github.com/RFC2795

http://www.smbaker.com/
https://github.com/sbelectronics/rc2014

http://ancientcomputing.blogspot.co.uk/
https://github.com/ancientcomputing/rc2014

https://github.com/electrified/rc2014-ym2149

https://github.com/mattybigback/RC2014

https://github.com/anachrocomputer/RC2014tester
https://github.com/mooped/rc2014_bank_switcher
https://github.com/mooped/rc2014_tools
https://github.com/trcwm/rocket2014

Other Platforms
http://www.ndr-nkc.de/compo/index.htm //very similar system from 1980’s
http://hschuetz.selfhost.eu/ndr/doku/buch/index.html
https://www.retrobrewcomputers.org/forum/index.php?t=msg&goto=2148&
https://www.funkenzupfer.de/CMSimple_4-7-2/?NDR-Klein-Computer

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Maker Faire UK 2017 report

April 26, 2017

Maker Faire UK was another great success this year


Countdown to Maker Faire UK 2017

March 28, 2017

It’s hard to believe but Maker Faire UK is almost upon us again.

It’s on this Saturday and Sunday 1st and 2nd April at the Centre for Life in Newcastle.

Full details are here:

http://www.makerfaireuk.com/

I’m planning on taking my latest Raspberry Pi Synth along, something I’ve called unimaginatively PiZynth. As well as the pi synth I’ll have my Pi based R-Kade Mini.

So two full days of maker stuff to look ahead too. 🙂


Maker Faire UK 2016

April 29, 2016

Some 10,000 visitors and 300 stands, workshops and talks later Maker Faire UK 2016 is over for another year.

As usually it was great to meet up again with Aaron of Oomlout, Mike of Grumpy Mike fame, Mitch Altman, Dominic and Martin from Just Add Sharks, David from abx-labs and Simon from ClarksArcade. As well as the old faces I also got to meet the guys from Leed’s Hackspace and also the guys from York Hackspace for the first time.

I was on the Maker Space (Newcastle) stand again this year. Lots of cool members projects on display. Myself I had my Raspberry Pi based R-Kade Mini arcade and the R-Kade Zero. Both were received very positive comments from the people playing on them.

Takeoff-RC had their drones on display in the open air exhibitor space.

A special mention must go to Iain, Chris, Alistair and Tommy from Maker Space for their truly awesome Penguin Run project. It deservedly won the Maker Merit prize from the Maker Faire UK organisers.

Only 12-months to the next one.


Edinburgh’s Mini Maker Faire 2016

April 21, 2016

A little bit late, but we went to Edinburgh’s Mini Maker Faire earlier in the month (10th April). It’s been running now for 4-years and I glad to say we’ve been to all four.

For the third year now, we were active participants and we had a Maker Space stand. Glen took his Egg-Bot and drones, whilst I had brought various R-Kade Zero prototypes and R-Kade Mini, my 7″ LCD mini bar arcade.

The faire was well attended both by exhibitors and visitors. With the drones, egg-bot and R-Kade’s being popular.

We meet up with the guys and gals from MakLab and Edinburgh’s HackLab again. We also met the makers from the Dundee Maker Space for the first time and I also met Laura from Raspberry Pi Foundation for the first time. She’s also wrote a nice blog on the faire and you can read it here. I actually get a mention :-).

Next one, is my local faire Maker Faire UK in Newcastle on 23/24 April.


Son of R-Kade

September 29, 2015

Sequels are always an interesting proposition. Some are as good or better than the original, for me the film Aliens is a great example of this. Some sequels take things in a different direction, again I’ll use Aliens as an example for this: action vs. horror. But in reality most sequels are just pants 🙂

R-Kade_eDay4_1_small
So when the Raspberry Pi foundation announced their 7″ Touch LCD Screen, I knew I wanted to make a sequel to my Raspberry Pi powered bar top arcade cabinet: R-Kade.

I designed R-Kade for the Raspberry Pi way back in December 2012 after wanting to build an Arcade Cabinet but never having the space for a full size cab and the Pi’s small size offered me a chance to make something on a smaller scale. It was built it in early 2013 and took it to the Maker Faire UK in Newcastle in April of that year. It’s been to every Maker Faire UK since, Edinburgh Mini Maker Fire twice, eDay three times and numerous other maker events. I finally got around to updating its wiring earlier this year by designing and making “ArcadeIO”, an joystick and button input interface HAT-like board. Whilst it is built like a tank and has taken almost every abuse the eager punters have thrown at it, it was always a big and cumbersome thing to carry to events. So with new 7″ LCD in hand here goes…

opening sequence:

Son of R-Kade

R-Kade7_1_small

R-Kade7_2_small

p.s. Here’s hoping its not as bad as Phantom Menace (oh wait a minute that was that a prequel)


Maker Faire UK 2015

April 27, 2015

Maker Faire UK 2015 is over for another year 😦

But it was another great weekend of meeting fellow makers and creatives from around the UK and the world.

With my fellow local makers, I was on the Maker Space stand with various great projects on display. Ed’s 1D Pong, my R-Kade, Jon’s Over Eng’d, Iain, Tommy and Alistair’s Christmas window (I know we’re into April), Glen’s 3D Printer and EggBot, Chris B’s LED cubes, Chris D’ custom retro console, Rosie with her sewing.

Hightlights of the weekend for me where:

Meeting up [again :-)] with Aaron from Oomlout was there again.

Likewise meeting up with Mitch Altman of TV-B-Gone fame and co-founder of Noisebridge was there again.

low cost pick n place machine from http://www.liteplacer.com/

mini cnc from http://www.minimillcnc.com/

LinkIT one from MediaTek and Seeed http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/LinkIt-ONE-p-2017.html

and meeting a great number of other makers from the UK, Europe and rest of the world was great was well.

The Saturday night meet up in the Union Rooms for food and beer was a great night out. Lots and lots of people showed up and a few didn’t get back home until the very early hours on Sunday morning 🙂