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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R-Kade Mini pictures

May 30, 2016

It’s been a while since I last wrote about R-Kade Mini so I thought I would share a couple of new-ish pictures. These were taken at Maker Faire UK in April.

R-Kade Mini Makerfaire2016-small

Instead of painting the cabinet I used black clothes dye instead. I’m please to report it work much better than I thought it would, giving it a nice flat black finish with no brush marks or paint smears. The decals were a mix of ones I printed off and some I bought off ebay. All in all I very pleased how it all turned out.

R-Kade Mini & Zero Makerfaire2016-small


Hackaday.io: R-Kade Zero

February 26, 2016

I forgot to mention, you can also find build details on hackaday.io:

https://hackaday.io/project/9844-r-kade-zero


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)


Raspberry Pi ArcadeIO board

March 30, 2015

Here’s the first build of the Raspberry Pi ArcadeIO board. It originally started as a requirement to upgrade my R-Kade Pi based mini cabinet.

 

RPi_ArcadeIO_small

You can find them on Tindie here.

https://www.tindie.com/stores/DTronixs/


R-Kade getting a upgrade

February 27, 2015

The wiring in my Raspberry Pi mini arcade cabinet is getting a much needed upgrade.

I originally build R-Kade for Maker Faire 2013 and its been at various other Faire’s around the country and at eDay for the last two years. It was quickly build out of a bookshelves, old VGA monitor, WII arcade controller and a raspberry pi. The control board was removed from the WII arcade controller and the joystick and buttons wired directly to a prototyping board on the Pi. Unfortunately, it’s this wiring which is becoming a problem and needs redoing.

Rather than just strip out the wires and rewire new, I decided to make myself a better solution and have designed a Pi ArcadeIO board. The ArcadeIO board has screw terminals for connecting the wires to the Pi’s GPIO signals. In addition the GPIO signals have in-line resistors to limited the effects of any short circuits. There are addition screw terminal positions for connecting common grounds for the arcade switches and joystick.


eDay2 – Saturday 7th September 2013

August 29, 2013

Last year Makerspace helped organised a special technology and digital skills event called eDay with Gateshead libraries which introduced the general public to new technologies such 3D Printers, Raspberry Pi’s, Arduinos, Lego Mindstorms etc.

eDay was a first for UK public libraries (and possibly the world). It was really well received with lots of other public libraries looking to emulate the event.

Here are some write-ups of the day:

http://www.makerspace.org.uk/blog/2012/09/gateshead-library-eday/
https://govx.socitm.gov.uk/spaces/twictpublic/discussion/messages/736926
http://www.gateshead.gov.uk/Council%20and%20Democracy/news/News%20Articles/E-Day-Is-A-Winner.aspx

This year eDay2 will be on Saturday 7th September 2103 and will take place as part of the British Science Festival.

It’s a free event but you’ll need a ticket to come along, details are here:

http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/event/5720145108

They’ll be Raspberry Pi workshops in the morning and afternoon. These will be delivered by Dr Alun Moon from Northumbria University, assisted by my good self.

As well as Makerspace, Vector76 will there again and this time they’ll be bringing their awesome Oculus Rift! There’ll be lots of other groups helping out so expect to find lots of other digital stuff going on during the day.

* 3D Printing,
* Raspberry Pi and Ardunio show and tell from Makerspace Newcastle
* Simple Maker activities
* Retro Gaming
* Makey Makey

Raspberry Pi Workshops

You can expect much of the same

Teachers and Adult Workshops

10am-10:40am

11am-11:40am

Workshops for age 8+

13:00pm -13:40pm

14:00pm – 14:40pm