• RC2014 SD Bootloader Update

    Just a quick update to about the SD Bootloader I designed a few posts ago.  Well, the PCBs have arrived and last week I took a soldering iron to one of them and gave it a quick test One side of the board is effectively an Arduino, so without plugging it in to the RC2014, I […]

  • Retro Challenge – Challenge Complete

    With over 24 hours to go before the end of July deadline the final piece of the puzzle fell in to place! But, first, a quick catchup from the last blog post;

  • Retro Challenge – Finishing Post Within Sight

    Despite a late start today, things have gone well so I actually feel like I’m ahead of the game right now.  Certainly not finished, but with most of the major hurdles now behind me, the only thing left is writing a bit of Z80 assembler code.  And even that is starting to look manageable.

  • Retro Challenge – PCBs arrived and built

    So, exactly 3 weeks after they were ordered, the PCBs from OSHPark arrived today.  It’s just as well, as I was running low on things to do without them, and with just 6 days left of the Retro Challenge I would have struggled to finish in time. Well, that’s my weekend planned out for me […]

  • Retro Challenge – Matrix Interface Finished

    Just a little update as I’ve only done a little bit of work on the Z80 this evening; The LED matrix board now plugs in to my Z80 backplane!

  • Retro Challenge – The Matrix Reloaded

    The 5 matrix board has now been finished. And no one could be more relieved than me.  There’s a LOT of soldering going on in there!

  • Retro Challenge – Keep Calm and Solder On

    The mounting of the LED matrix has probably caused me the biggest turmoil so far on the Retro Challenge.  First, I was going to design a custom PCB for them, but I missed the window of opportunity to get it manufactured at a reasonable price.  So, for simplicity, I decided to use breadboard until I […]

  • Retro Challenge – Half-time Catch-up

    We’re at the halfway mark of the Retro Challenge, and there’s a slight lull in activity, so this seems like a good chance to catch up on what’s been done so far, and what’s still to come. Firstly, a quick review of the challenge I set myself; write my name in LED lights.  These must, […]

  • Retro Challenge – A Glitch In The Matrix

    I knew there would be some stumbling blocks with this Retro Challenge, but, hey, it wouldn’t be a challenge if everything was just nice and simple.  However, I seem to be beset by little stupid technical issues that aren’t necessarily retro in nature. However, the fact that you’re reading this does at least mean that my […]

  • Retro Challenge – The inbetween days

    So, after a flurry of activity, blog posts and updates at the start of the month, things have got a bit quiet. That’s not to say I haven’t been doing anything.  I have.  Lots.  But nothing really specific or bloggable. Until the batch of PCBs arrive, I am kind of in limbo land.  However, I’ve […]

  • Retro Challenge – Getting inside the matrix

    So, today I finally did some hands-on retro wires and programming stuff instead of sitting at a PC doing CAD stuff. I thought I knew how the LED matrix modules would work, in theory, but before I commit anything to copper and fibreglass, I’d like to test things out a bit.  So I dug out […]

  • Retro Challenge – Day Off

    So, having had a few fairly intensive days working on PCB design for my RC2014 computer, today was pretty much a day off.  Apart from daily household chores, all I got done today was this; Now, to the untrained eye, that may look like a schematic layout for 4 8×8 LED matrix displayed connected to […]

  • Pre-RetroChallenge – The story so far

    Ok, so tomorrow the Summer RetroChallenge 2014 starts, so I thought it would be a good idea to bring you up to speed with what I’ve got so far so that you know where I’m starting from. I will also outline where I’ll be taking things for the RetroChallenge as well as where this project […]

  • Retro Challenge 2014

    I have always wanted to enter Retro Challenge, ever since I first heard of it nearly 24 hours ago. I followed a link that took me to http://retrochallenge.net/ and I read up on what it was all about, scrutinised the rules and checked out what others were doing. I quickly came to the conclusion that […]

  • Home built Z80 video on Computerphile

    In posts to come I’ll go in to some details about the breadboard Z80 computer I built recently, but, in the mean time, here’s a video that Computerphile made about it Be sure to check out Computerphiles Youtube channel too!

  • Arduino Powered Ikea Xmas Lights

    As regular followers of the blog will know, I love Arduinos and all the stuff they can do. Those that know me will also know that I don’t love Christmas, particularly the seasonal decoration stuff. So this project was a nice mix of the two! I decided to make myself some Arduino powered Xmas lights […]