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Thread: Tiny, Wireless 8008 Emulator

  1. #1

    Default Tiny, Wireless 8008 Emulator

    I just finished this up well enough to show:

    https://hackaday.io/project/28227-es...i8008-emulator

    This is an ESP8266-based Intel 8008 emulator, running SCELBAL and the Shooting Stars game from flash. It's only about 1" x 2" x 1.5" in size, and housed in a dollhouse-sized walnut case somewhat reminiscent of 1970's hobby machines. No front panel, though. not bad for $5.00 or so of parts. The wood cost more!

  2. #2
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    Default

    Looks cool, where is the code available from?

    Len

  3. #3
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    Default

    Neat! Way cheaper than the real thing, and a lot less annoying to interface with, I bet

  4. #4

    Default Source Code available

    Quote Originally Posted by 8008guy View Post
    Looks cool, where is the code available from?

    Len
    I've put the code in the Hackaday project. It includes and runs:
    Galaxy
    Shooting Stars
    Mike Willegal's mini-monitor
    Microsystems International Monitor

    I hope that I've given appropriate credit to all who help preserve this code, including, but not limited to:
    Dave Dunfield
    Herb Johnson
    Mike Willegal (who I'm fairly certain peruses this site)

    All in all, I'm pleased with the results although the code is icky. I've been doing this.."for a while"...and I still can't believe how this was done with about $5.00 of parts.

  5. #5
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    Hi Steve,

    Is the code for you "Companion Terminal for 8008 Emulator" available?

    len
    Spread the joy of Vintage Addiction

    -->www.chronworks.com/<--->www.i8008.net/<--

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 8008guy View Post
    Hi Steve,

    Is the code for you "Companion Terminal for 8008 Emulator" available?

    len
    Actually, the PIC32 terminal design and code isnít mine, its at:

    http://geoffg.net/terminal.html

    This was designed to work with a ps/2 keyboard and as written, using a ps/2 keyboard is the only way to easily set it up.

    The ti99/4a*to serial ASCII keyboard, for a cheaper PIC, I can put up in a few days if you are interested. Ugly code, but it works well and is pretty easy to build.

    *PLEASE donít anyone hate me. That keyboard came from a nonworking machine in poor physical condition that I got cheap.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slob View Post
    *PLEASE don’t anyone hate me. That keyboard came from a nonworking machine in poor physical condition that I got cheap.
    It'd be hard to pick a more fitting donor Seriously though, these are super common, they have little value, and a dead one is at this point hardly worth fixing.

  8. #8
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    Posting the code would be awesome.

    Len
    Spread the joy of Vintage Addiction

    -->www.chronworks.com/<--->www.i8008.net/<--

  9. Default

    I love all these micro-controller based emulators that keep surfacing - very cool project.


    "My" mini-monitor is really a port of Bob Cook's Basic CREED Monitor that was described in the May, 1975, volume 1, issue 7, of the "Micro-8" newsletter. The original was written for Baudot character code. I wanted to keep it at 256 bytes, and aside from changing it to ASCII, my peripherals were slightly different, so it took quite a bit of work to port it over to the SCELBI. However, the basic user interface semantics are nearly the same as the original. I found the practical usability to be surprisingly impressive for an implementation with so many hardware constraints. In fact, I would have been very proud of it, had I come up with that design, myself. Anyone with a recent generation Macintosh can try it out with my OS/X based SCELBI emulator: http://www.willegal.net/scelbi/scelbiapp.html.

    The source for the ported monitor is here:http://www.willegal.net/scelbi/MCMON.html

    regards,
    Mike Willegal

    Quote Originally Posted by Slob View Post
    I've put the code in the Hackaday project. It includes and runs:
    Galaxy
    Shooting Stars
    Mike Willegal's mini-monitor
    Microsystems International Monitor

    I hope that I've given appropriate credit to all who help preserve this code, including, but not limited to:
    Dave Dunfield
    Herb Johnson
    Mike Willegal (who I'm fairly certain peruses this site)

    All in all, I'm pleased with the results although the code is icky. I've been doing this.."for a while"...and I still can't believe how this was done with about $5.00 of parts.

  10. #10

    Default 99/4A Keyboard to Serial Chip Code

    This code reads a TI 99/4A keyboard and emits serial ASCII. For some reason, I could not attach it as a .C file, but it is C, for PIC MPLAB Version 8.x. The chip is a fairly cheap 16F883, and you don't need a crystal for it (at least not up to 9600 baud) because the programming system trims the onboard oscillator for you. The draw at +5 or 3.3 is only a very small # of milliamps. As written, it was designed to work with an RS-232 converter but the output could be inverted in port setup, I believe. I mention that it really should have a "transmit buffer empty" interrupt and ring buffer for the serial output, but at fast bauds, this really doesn't matter. The baud is hard-coded, but an enterprising person could use jumpers or better yet, "power on keystrokes" to set the baud and store it into the chip's onboard EEPROM.

    The keyboard should handle all common ASCII and control characters, although you may have to do odd things to get to them (note the weird "function" requirement for brackets, for example). Note that I use "alpha lock" for "caps lock". Of course, if you don't like it..you can change it. And, please don't laugh at the code. The only code I've written commercially in 20+ years is PL/SQL.

    The keyboard itself is very compact and cramped, but it has a pretty good, old-timey stiff feel. I wonder if they made the keyboard specifically for smaller (kids?) hands. It's pad-printed, but it seems to have held up very well over time.

    The way it works is simple; it scans the 8 (+1) x 6 matrix of keys and debounces them by adding /subtracting a threshold counter until it is hit (COUNTLIMIT). A second threshold (REPEATLIMIT) permits auto-repeat. I wouldn't try typing 100WPM (if that's even physically possible) but it shouldn't have ghosting problems, etc.

    I don't mention the pinouts and port assignments, but it should be fairly obvious; I used the very nice schematic on the following page to design it.

    http://www.mainbyte.com/ti99/keyboard/keyboard.html

    If this is a problem, I'll buzz it out for you. I did this as kind of a "one-time-off" project, so, no schematic.

    The keyboard is very easy to mount into a box; I used a scroll saw and my woodsman-quality woodworking skills to cut it out.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by Slob; February 17th, 2019 at 11:49 AM.

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