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Z-80 Update

Unfortunately, it has been a long time since I could work on my  Z-80 homebrew; it has been in storage for many months. However, my setup is active once more and I have built the processor board. It consists of a power supply, clock, reset logic and buffers for the data, address and control busses. Unlike the I/O board, whose schematic is only in my head, I have used KiCad to design the circuitry and I will upload that separately. On a separate board lives the I/O decoding and memory, on which I’ve made a start (see picture above). It’s…

Z-80 I/O

Z-80 Homebrew: I/O board!

The next step on my Z-80 journey is building the I/O. I decided to do this before building the processor circuit itself as it doubles up as a handy test device. There are three output ports that use TIL311 displays; I got these cheap off eBay from Hong Kong. They take a four-bit input and display it as a hexadecimal value. Therefore, in pairs, they can display binary data from the data bus as a hexadecimal number 00h – FFh. They aren’t all connected to the data bus; I’ve kept them separate, so if necessary I can connect them to…

Z-80 Homebrew – First Update

I’ve always wanted to build my own computer from the circuit up; so inspired by Steve Ciarcia’s Build Your Own Z-80 Computer and my success building a computer from CMOS Logic I thought it was time to have a go! Most of the components are no longer available, but the Z-80 CPU itself is still in production. So with a bit of re-designing it should be easy to build a computer following Ciarcia’s design. First up: the power supply. It’s a simple design based around a 7805 regulator that takes a 9V supply from an old transformer and reduces it…

CMOS Logic Computer

8-bit CMOS Logic Computer

This is my 8-bit computer built from CMOS logic gates, based on the SAP-1 in Albert Paul Malvino’s Digital Computer Electronics. It was hard to avoid creating a rats’ nest of wires, but there is (surprisingly) about 40m of wire in total. Its hard to gauge the amount of detail to describe this project in; there’s enough for a whole book’s worth describing it from the logic gates up, so I’ve provided a brief overview and a video that shows how it works in action! The computer is fully programmable and it can add and subtract numbers from 0 to 255. The computer…