View Full Version : Replica I

June 9th, 2006, 07:40 AM
For those that are interested in getting an Apple I, it is difficult and expensive to acquire a genuine model. However, there is something called Replica I which uses modern components in it, but stays true to the original design of the Apple I. You can get more information on it by looking it up in the wikipedia, but it certainly is more affordable than the real thing- and it does the exact same thing too!

June 9th, 2006, 07:58 AM
Yeah, the thing that sucks about those are

1)They're overpriced, &
2)(The last time I checked) The software that comes w/ the kit only works on Macs, unless through emulation of course...

Still, I wouldn't mind having one of thos kits!

June 9th, 2006, 08:16 AM
I'm not sure about the software, but why would you say they are overpriced?

The folks that make these kits aren't really making any money off of them. I know that Steve's Mark-8 kit made him next to nothing and Vince is really doing the Apple I and other kits more for the challenge than for profit.

PCBs and components cost money. . .

June 9th, 2006, 08:43 AM
Yes...Well...VICTORY IS MINE!! *Runs off*

& I haven't really looked into the Replica 1 for the past 1-2 years. How much do they go for now? (The LAST time I checked, I thought they where overpriced :p)

June 9th, 2006, 09:38 AM
Probably the kits are manufactured only in small series, so it is nowhere possible to obtain large-scale pricing. There are similar issues with 3rd party/homemade devices for other computers; often the inventor freely publishes schematics and software, but can't afford to sell manufactured units as the end price would scare most people off.

June 9th, 2006, 12:40 PM
I hadn't heard about that one before, but it sounds like a fun project! When I visited Bletchley Park, they sold kits to replicate the German Enigma machine - very tempted in getting one of those!

June 9th, 2006, 01:00 PM
There should be like a miniature Babbage engine kit or something...

June 9th, 2006, 01:22 PM
If you have enough Meccano kit... it's doable :D


The original is very impressive, a few years ago the Science Museum in London built the actual machine from Babbage's original plans. Babbage never actually got the funding to make the full machine, only a very small version. It's very impressive to watch it in action.

June 9th, 2006, 01:24 PM

June 9th, 2006, 01:31 PM
Babbage designed 2 machines, & 2 models of each (or maybe it was just 2 models of the Differential engine), The Differential engine & the Analytical engine. The one that the London museum built was the Differential Engine #2. I'm not sure, but if I remember correctly, Babbage was better recognized for the Analytical engine, though his work wasn't even known of (side the people involved in the progect back in the 19th century) until the '70's.

Plus, in America, we don't have Meccano, we have Erectaset (or however it's spelt). Basically the same thing, but RadioShack charges too much for it (As it always does with everything else *ZING*), & I don't know where else to buy it.

June 10th, 2006, 05:11 AM
As far as I have read, Babbage never finished (building) the differential engine to full function, partly due to he was ahead of time, but also because he moved onto the more advanced analytical engine. There were a couple of Swedes though, father and son Scheutz in the 19th century who digged up docs about the differential engine and built a couple to full function, and even sold one or two. But after that, both Babbage and his followers' work seems to have been forgotten or misplaced until maybe the 70'ties as you say.. probably the early computer development in the 20-30'ties could had a boost if they had access to the other information.

June 10th, 2006, 04:08 PM
Just imagine it... the Babbage XT!

Well.. it could have been :lol:

June 10th, 2006, 04:32 PM
Plus, in America, we don't have Meccano, we have Erectaset (or however it's spelt). Basically the same thing, but RadioShack charges too much for it (As it always does with everything else *ZING*), & I don't know where else to buy it.

RS doesn't sell the Erector Set ( Erector Set def on wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erector_Set)) but they sell the Vex robotics kits (which is kinda like them...) . They are now permanently 1/2 off from their original price.



March 7th, 2007, 10:41 PM
Around here, we're just about to start a small self-study group in how to build and modify computers. We have applied for a small grant and currently are considering which project to start with. It seems we will order a bunch of Replica 1 kits. I don't know much about how difficult they are to assemble and which parts are not included, but we'll see... :-)

In any case, I heard a price quote of approx 1000 SEK per kit, which equals $150. If that quote was correct, it seems rather cheap even if you need to do all the assembly work yourself and perhaps add a few items (keyboard?) not included. I haven't looked it up further, as someone else has taken the administrative responsibility.

March 8th, 2007, 05:22 PM
I've thought about expanding the focus of the replica more towards education and learning in both the history aspect and the entry engineering areas. Feel free to contact me anytime with questions.

$150 is correct for the kits but for quantity orders I might be able to get the price lower.

A standard ps/2 keyboard, composite TV or monitor and a small 7-9V wall power supply is all you need to get going.

In November I hosted a workshop at the Vintage Computer Festival and I can tell you that every kit was working by the end of the workshop.

If your study group doesn't want to get involved in soldering we can work something out.



March 8th, 2007, 11:03 PM
But it is for the soldering practise we got together in the first place! :-) At first we were scheduled to be 10 people, but as of today there might only be five of us willing to invest in kits. Still everyone can join and learn from the assembly process.

March 9th, 2007, 03:02 AM
Yes, building kits are the best fun. I've had groups buy before and I've had groups buy 1 kit for 2 people. You might consider that. This would make it more affordable.


Al Kossow
March 9th, 2007, 09:41 AM

Alan Turing knew of it.

And the books on Babbage publised before the 70's were not
written by time-traveling aliens.

April 15th, 2007, 08:41 PM
Don't know how the conversation got from Replica I to Turing machines... :D

I got the Replica I for Xmas and have been playing around with it for a while, it's great fun.
I really like the fact that the Replica I/Apple I is so simple you can actually understand how it works without getting an aneurysm...
I guess the most complicated part is the Video section which I only know in theory how it works...
On the Replica, this section was replaced by an Atmega, I guess the original components were pretty impossible to get.

So far I've pimped it out with two ACAI (6551) for serial communication, one VIA (6522) for I/O and yesterday I got a SID (6581) for sound to work with it...

Have a look at the Replica I forums if you are interested...


Have fun...

Terry Yager
April 15th, 2007, 08:56 PM
I'd prob'ly upgrade my SDK-85, but I don't know what I'd do with a whole 512 bytes of RAM...


April 15th, 2007, 11:29 PM
In any case, some of the members of this group found the Replica (as well as competing products) too expensive for what we would get out of it, so in the end we never ordered any kits. Perhaps a few of us will do it later, but privately.

April 16th, 2007, 05:25 AM
Anders, have you ever considered the Sinclair ZX81 kits? You can get them for $100.00 or less. Add a $20.00 fleabay NOS cassette recorder and you have a complete system.

April 16th, 2007, 05:37 AM
Actually, after a majority decision we decided to start with ZX divIDE kits, which cost ~20 Euro each, plus shipping. Of course that doesn't compare to a complete computer. Building a ZX80 or ZX81 from a kit may be fun too, but most people already have a complete or even boxed one.

May 29th, 2007, 12:05 PM
And a little more than one month later, the first IDE kits have been assembled and tested. Actually, four out of seven participants finished soldering our kits two-three weeks ago, but nobody has bothered to test their interface.

Tonight, we brought a 48K ZX Spectrum to the "course", and a portable TV. The TV didn't work well with RF input, so the Spectrum was quickly modified to output composite video instead. It seems the hack is so simple that Sinclair could've put a toggle switch on the side and had the computer output both RF and composite from the factory. Perhaps they would've done it if composite output had been common in 1982.

My IDE interface and one more, both assembled by us die-hard Commodore freaks, worked out of the box. The third interface, built by a Sinclair fan, didn't boot up to his great despair. The fourth student didn't show up, so it is uncertain whether his kit is working or not. The final three who yet are not done will have to wait and see.

Now, I need to get me a ZX Spectrum, now that I have cool hardware for it. Or perhaps sell the assembled IDE interface. For the summer/fall term, we are again considering Replica 1, at least the few of us who can justify the price. There are a number of ideas about kits, repair projects etc, so we'll figure out something to do.