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Thread: Bruce Culbertson NS32016 design

  1. #1

    Default Bruce Culbertson NS32016 design

    Is anyone familiar with the background on the Bruce Culbertson NS32016 single board computer?

    Was this a "one off" build or was it commonly available at some point? Were PCBs ever made or is this project wire-wrap only?

    It is mixed in with the PC532 design information but appears to be a completely separate board. Unfortunately, only the netlist and partlist documents remain plus the PAL JEDEC files and various software. No photos or schematics that I know about.

    Does anyone remember this system? Is it related to the Symmetric 375 in some fashion?

    Thanks, Andrew Lynch

  2. #2


    David Fry and myself have decided to attempt to recreate this vintage home brew computer project as a modern recreation in KiCAD. The plan is to capture a schematic from the netlist and partlist files and then create a PCB.

    Neither David nor I have any experience with NS32K so this is quite an adventure so far. I like the NS32K because from a hardware perspective it is similar to the 8086 design and is too much to be a coincidence. Almost like they are close relatives or share common heritage in some fashion. From a software perspective I've seen it described as "VAX-like" and similar to 68K ISA. I am not familiar with it so I'll leave it to others comments.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Blog Entries


    Quote Originally Posted by lynchaj View Post
    From a software perspective I've seen it described as "VAX-like" and similar to 68K ISA. I am not familiar with it so I'll leave it to others comments.
    Yes, the 32K is a very regular architecture that does remind me of the Vax. Very easy to write an assembler for, and it looks like I still have the source for one from 1988 that assembles to a listing, but it doesn't produce an object file. I used it to improve my Yacc and Lex skills.

  4. #4


    David and I have created an NS32016-BC schematic and PCB layout. If you are interested in this project please post here or let me know. PCB is MicroATX form factor designed to use a commodity ATX case & power supply. Thanks, Andrew Lynch

  5. #5


    Hi Andrew,

    Is is possible to get the Kicad version of the NS32016-BC schematic?

    All documents about the 68K family that I found:
    French magazines and documentation:

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Atlanta, GA, USA


    Andrew disconnected himself from the online vintage community years ago. He raised a big stink here that he couldn't delete all of his prior posts on this forum (not account, but posts and threads like those above). In doing so, he burned more bridges on top of the previous meltdown act over N8VEM - insisting those involved in the project release the name (his HAM call-sign), immediately migrate the wiki and mailing list to some other name, and never use N8VEM in reference to it's namesake project ever again despite thousands of on-line references. I have a pretty rip opinion of him. But I'll keep that to myself.

    I don't have any of the collateral for the NS32016 design. But I did recapture the Scolaro/Rand designed PC532 motherboard in Eagle 7.x from some Gerbers Andrew found; including complete forward/back annotation with the schematic. I can share that if anyone is interested.
    "Good engineers keep thick authoritative books on their shelf. Not for their own reference, but to throw at people who ask stupid questions; hoping a small fragment of knowledge will osmotically transfer with each cranial impact." - Me


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