newbie building a scratch-built computer

river river at
Sat Aug 4 01:21:09 CDT 2007


There's plenty of free x-assemblers you can find on the net. I run
x-assemblers for 8080/85, 8086/88, 6800, 6809, Z80, 2650, SC/MP and 68000.
They all run on a Windows box. I use two old PCs for my development, one is
a 166Mhz Pentium running Win98 and the other is a 486SX (25Mhz) running
Win3.1. Those machines can run all the x-assemblers and editors necessary
for developing code for most old 8-bit processors.

If I need to get serious and require some ICE then I have an Intel MDS220
and an Intel MDS IV, which can do 8080 and 8085 ICE, respectively.

You can find basic processor schematics on the net and do your initial build
on some breadboard. Depending on the complexity, my final build is usually
wire-wrapped or soldered on veroboard.

Most of the x-assemblers will create an Intel Hex object code file, and you
program your home-brew system to be able to download these files and that's
how you load code into your system. Of course, unless you have a front
panel, you'll need to create a boot EPROM, so access to an EPROM burner is
required. I use an old Microprofessor MFP-1P, which has the EPROM burning
board connected and it burns 2516, 2716, 2532, 2732, 2732A and 2764 chips -
which is all I use on my home-brew systems.

One of the projects I am intending to do is to build a dedicated EPROM
burner, using some old 8-bit processor that can program the above chips as
well as the 2708. 


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