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Crawford
November 19th, 2008, 02:50 AM
Folks,

I know this is slightly off-topic, but I am trying to revive the SBC6120 project. For those not familiar, Spare Time Gizmos sold a kit, that when built is a PDP/8e in single board form, capable of running OS/8 and most PDP-8 software. More details - just google for it.

I have communicated with the guy behind the SBC6120, and he is willing to get the boards made as long as he has 4 or more firm orders. The boards will be $50 for the minimum batch of 4, and decrease in price as more are ordered. I'm in for one or two. PM me if you are interested (would buy one eventually) or committed (willing to buy a board now at $50).

To be fair, this is not a project to learn soldering with. I am trying to line up the more difficult-to-find chips - CPU, RAM, UART. Also, this is likely to be more expensive than the original kits, somewhere in the $150-200 range.

Let me know your interest in getting this rolling.

Thanks,
Crawford

pontus
November 19th, 2008, 06:14 AM
I would most certainly be interested in a kit. I would be more interested if the nice looking front panel would be included, will it be?

But for the 50 dollars I assume it is just the circuit board? The chips would cost the extra 150-200? (Is everything needed easily available?)

vbriel
November 19th, 2008, 12:05 PM
If I remember right from Bob's kit, the CPU is the hard part to source, right? Uarts, RAM, should be no issue. I would help support the cause and be on the for sure list if we can source the CPU.

Vince

ahm
November 19th, 2008, 02:30 PM
I'd rather have a Life game, made with 8x8 LED matrices :)

Lou - N2MIY
November 19th, 2008, 04:18 PM
As I was driving to work this morning, I had an idea. If Crawford can get enough people to go in on this (and yes, I've PM'd him to go in), I'll take the front panel off my 8/e and scan it in color at high resolution to provide a file for whoever wants to build a replica front panel. I'll probably make one myself...

Lou

Crawford
November 19th, 2008, 05:02 PM
Just a quick followup/clarifications:

I think it will be about $150-200 total. The initial $50 would be only for the main printed circuit board. The front panel is a whole other project...

I like Lou's idea of a front panel, but a full sized one, as well as a tiny one scaled to the board.

CPU's are hard to find, RAM a little easier, and UARTS fairly easy to find.

Agree that it is all contingent on the parts being available. Bob may stock the parts if I can hook him up with the source(s).

-Crawford

Crawford
November 25th, 2008, 01:45 PM
Folks,

Just an update. I located a source for the 6120 CPUs, and Bob from Spare Time Gizmos will be gearing up for more PC Boards and partial kits for the SBC6120! Current timeframe points to around the first of the year (with holidays, plant shutdowns, etc.).

Stay tuned and I'll report further progress back here.

Thanks to all who expressed interest,
C

vbriel
December 4th, 2008, 08:51 AM
Great news! I've been meaning to see about building one of these for a while, now I can get the chance. It's about time I built somebody else's kit for a change.

Vince

pontus
December 5th, 2008, 12:20 AM
Sounds great.

How many CPU's have you found? I could probably find a few more interested but I don't want to make to many promises.

Crawford
December 19th, 2008, 04:35 AM
Folks,

I got word from Bob that the first batch of SBC6120 boards are in. I've PM'd all that have expressed interest in this.

Look for an announcement of general availability at Spare Time Gizmos at the first of the year.

-Crawford

Crawford
December 24th, 2008, 03:14 AM
Folks,

For those that expressed an interest in building this kit, check your PM's for the group buy on parts.

Hopefully the new year will see the birth of several new PDP/8e clones!

Happy holidays to all!

-Crawford

vbriel
December 26th, 2008, 06:51 AM
Ordered my partial kits from sparetime today! Been wanting one of these for a few years now.

Vince

Crawford
January 6th, 2009, 06:13 PM
Folks,

I just built and started my SBC6120 !

It reports:

SBC6120 ROM Monitor V271 Checksum 3732 7602 6243 04-NOV-04 20:03:35
Copyright (C) 1983-2004 Spare Time Gizmos. All rights reserved.

NVR: 0KB - Battery FAIL
IDE: Not detected

>

I was hoping to write a Focal '69 version of 'Hello World', but this will do for now.

Later,
Crawford

vbriel
January 7th, 2009, 11:08 AM
Good job Crawford. I know people have been asking Bob for a while to sell these again and I think that with a little push from Crawford, they are once again for sale! See the SBC6120 site to buy yours!

http://www.sparetimegizmos.com/Hardware/SBC6120-2.htm

I've seen these in person a few years ago and they are fantastic boards.

Vince

vbriel
January 13th, 2009, 11:35 AM
SOLD OUT! Amazing what 2 years off the market does for business. Good job everybody promoting and pushing this deal thru. I have mine built waiting for a CF adapter to install OS/8. I tried the dump onto a HD but it won't boot.

Vince

Crawford
January 14th, 2009, 03:30 AM
Vince,

Good luck with your build. You know where to find me if you need help ;)

There are people at the SpareTimeGizmos yahoo group reviving the IOB6120 ( i/o interface board) as well as the FP6120 (front panel with switches and blinkenlights).

-Crawford

miles
January 14th, 2009, 06:00 AM
Hi Folks,

Just wondering who is trying to revive the IOB6120?

Sounds very interesting.

cheers

John

Crawford
January 15th, 2009, 02:52 AM
John,

Dennis Boone over at the SpareTimeGizmos Yahoo group is restarting the IOB6120.

Looks like you joined and registered your interest. Just wanted anyone else that wanted to know - where to go.

BTW, this looks like a much more challenging kit than the SBC6120. Most, maybe all of the IOB6120 parts (FPGA, flash) are fine-pitch surface mount. It's not impossible to solder, but will be harder than normal. I've soldered surface mount with a regular soldering iron - there are some tricks to it.

-Crawford

Lallander
February 13th, 2009, 04:04 PM
I hate that I missed this. I only recently learned about the SBC-6120. I'm no good with soldering anywho and would only be able to get into it if they offered a prebuilt unit.

Lou - N2MIY
February 13th, 2009, 04:15 PM
It wasn't a huge challenge to solder, but plenty of practice, a good steady hand, and a sharp clean iron tip did make the job go well.

Everyone needs to get soldering practice eventually and I think it's never too late to start. I highly recommend that you get started on some simple kits like the ones from Ramsey Electronics (the first ones I built as a teenager. Yup, I'm too young for Heathkit. :( )

Lou

Crawford
February 14th, 2009, 03:39 AM
Lallander,

Don't give up, you haven't missed anything but the initial 'second wave' order of SBC-6120's. Bob Armstrong was going to re-order more printed circuit boards and keep selling partial kits.

I know for a fact (having done a group buy for parts for 10 kits) that everything else can be ordered online from the likes of Digikey, JDR, Jameco and Mouser.

-Crawford

Lallander
February 14th, 2009, 05:01 AM
What are the chances of them doing the front panel again?

Crawford
February 15th, 2009, 09:45 AM
Lallander,

There is a Yahoo group that covers the SBC6120...

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sparetimegizmos/

... more current info will be there. Spare Time Gizmos monitors that group and is pretty responsive.

If I understand correctly they are making/just have made the front panel again. There is also a project underway to replicate the IOB6120 (I/O board with VT-52, compact flash, parallel & serial I/O.

-Crawford

Lallander
February 16th, 2009, 09:22 AM
Emailed him to get some clarity, That yahoo group is a bit hard to make heads or tails of. " The run of kits from December/January is sold out. There may be more -" I'm not sure if he was talking about the main board or the front panel or both. I'm only really interested in a kit if I can get the front panel as well. So I suppose I have two questions. Has a completed kit ever shown up for resale? How much does a complete kit all parts and front panel go for? I know the price from a previous set might be a bit off but I'm just trying to get a close estimate so that I can try and budget it in.

Edit:

I've been able to track down a source for one of the SBC6120 (assembled thank you kind benefactors), the question now is where I'm going to get my hands on the FP6120. I highly doubt anyone would be willing to part with one or by some odd miracle has a second lying around unloved. Thought it might be worth asking at least.

Crawford
February 17th, 2009, 06:12 PM
The FP6120 full kits were going for around $400, and I think the SBC6120 full kit was around $300. Being more of a do-it-yourselfer, I just bought the PC Board, roms and GALS, and sourced the rest of the parts myself.

The Yahoo group has a very low signal to noise ratio sometimes, but that's the official group for the makers of the SBC/FP 6120's...

-C