Briel Computers

Author Archive

Superboard III Products

by on Aug.01, 2014, under Superboard III Products

Superboard III KIT where you solder itaddtocart $199

Superboard III ASSEMBLED (ONLY 5 AVAILABLE) $249addtocart

PLEASE NOTE: THERE IS A 4-6 WEEK DELAY ON ORDERS RIGHT NOW. IF YOU ARE ORDERING FOR A BIRTHDAY OR HOLIDAY, PLEASE EMAIL US WITH DEADLINE REQUIREMENTS.

Comments Off more...

Superboard III

by on Jun.03, 2014, under Superboard III

superboard3Coming July 2014 KIT PRICE $199 (not assembled)

 

Introducing the Superboard ///. This new board is based on the Ohio Scientific Superboard II also known as the OSI 600 or the OSI C1P when installed in a case. It comes with 32K RAM, 1K video RAM, a full 53 key matrix keyboard and a USB port for loading and storing programs to a PC or Mac.

The system is based on the WDC65C02 running a 1MHz in a low power setup running at 3.3V. The video and ROM is stored in the Parallax Propeller chip and firmware updates are easy with the free Parallax programming tools included with the CD or from the Parallax web site.

Video is 25×25 with standard text and graphic characters. This character set and the video mode exactly match the OSI Superboard II and has been tested next to a working original unit for the most accurate video emulation possible. A 32×32 mode is available by simply holding the BREAK key on power up.

BREAK key: The original Superboard II had a real issue with the break key. It is located next to the return key and was very easy to press by accident. When pressed a cold RESET is performed and all data is lost! The fix was to make the BREAK key held for 3 seconds before a RESET is performed. This prevents accidental RESET of the system board and data loss.

The cassette interface section was removed and just the serial port retained. The serial port is programmed at 9600 BAUD but no handshaking is involved so delay’s are required when sending data. Still, this is faster than cassette and really a great way to load and store programs. A cassette interface may be possible in the future and all signals for making a cassette interface are on a port header.

The keyboard: This was the heart and soul of the Superboard III project. What made the OSI Superboard II so unique is that it was an all-in-one board with video and keyboard built on. The onboard keyboard really gave the board a complete system look. Thanks to WASD, we are able to have custom key caps made that closely match the original key caps. These are not pulled off some new keyboard, these are custom made caps. Pay close attention to some of the special keys like “RETURN” and “line feed” for example. The caps top off one of the industries best know switches, the Cherry MX series switches. These switches give the Superboard III that vintage feel and are actually higher quality switches then those used on the OSI Superboard II.

The USB port: This is not only a power port, but a serial communication port. Plug this into your PC or Mac and you can not only power your Superboard III from the port, but you can have transfer programs using a terminal program such as Hyperterminal, Tera Term, and ZTerm. Using the cassette interface commands LOAD and STORE activates the terminal modes and you can actually type on the PC and see the results on the Superboard III display. This allows you to send files to the System board with ease. Type STORE on the Superboard and anything that is goes to the screen, now also goes to the serial port. Use this to save programs!

Expansion: The 40 pin expansion port matches the 40 pin port of the original Superboard except an IDC header was used instead of a chip socket. This was intentional so that original boards are not just plugged in. There needs to be voltage line buffering to be compatible with 5V signals. In the near future, a buffer board will be available for those that need one.

DIGITAL CAMERAMy OSI 600 Superboard II used during the design process

Comments Off more...

replica 1 plus

by on May.27, 2014, under replica 1

replica1plus_medThe new replica 1 plus

For the newcomer, the replica 1 is a functional replica of the original apple 1. Design changes allow for more memory with fewer components. Build a computer like they did in 1976! Play games and programs from the early days of computing.

The replica 1 is back! Based on the the fastest selling replica, the replica 1 tenth anniversary edition, the plus has improvements over the TE that make programming and power issues a thing of the past. Now you can power your replica 1 right off your PC or Mac or Tablet with the USB interface. With drivers installed, you can use a terminal program for sending/receiving programs or just use the terminal interface as your display and keyboard if you want. For those who prefer the stand alone feature, you can still use a composite monitor or TV and PS/2 keyboard. The ASCII keyboard port has been retained but for Apple II keyboards, a -12V supply or a Super Encoder board enhanced Apple II keyboard is required. Firmware changes now allow backspace or the original _ to be used just by selecting CTRL and F1. No more fighting backspace issues. Two versions of ROM’s onboard to select from! Yes, the original apple 1 with BASIC and now the Woz monitor and Applesoft lite can be used by adding a jumper! Enjoy floating point BASIC ported from the Apple II. To order yours, go to the STORE, the select replica 1.

 

Comments Off more...

Kansas Fest 2014

by on Feb.13, 2014, under News

We are pleased to announce that we will be hosting a workshop at this years Kansas Fest. The Kansas Fest is one of the largest Apple II gatherings in the USA. Please join us starting July 22nd for a fun filled week.

 

REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED. THANKS TO THOSE WHO SIGNED UP. IF YOU MISSED THE REGISTRATION DEADLINE AND WANT TO PARTICIPATE, CONTACT VINCE AT VBRIEL@YAHOO.COM

 

vcf

Now is your chance to build a kit in a classroom environment with the designer! Not only do you get the workshop for free, you get personalized attention from the designer. Pre-registration is requested but if you have a firm commitment to do the workshop and want to pay at on the day of the workshop, you can email me at vince@brielcomputers.com and I will get your information and have a kit for you. We request pre-registration because we have to plan for the event and how many kits to pack. We will bring a few extras but there is no guarantee if prepayment is not made. Kits will be issued at the workshop unless you wish to get them early when Kansas Fest starts.

Registration will close, Thursday July 10th so we can have everything ready for the workshop.

Tools needed:

soldering iron (25-35 watt), solder, wire cutters. Pliers are optional. For those who can’t bring tools, I will have a few extra soldering irons available.

Kits for the workshop are:

NEW! Superboard III

Based on the Ohio Scientific Superboard II AKA OSI 600 or C1P in the case, the new Superboard III is a singleboard computer with a built in video display and keyboard. Power is taken from a USB source such as a PC, Mac, power supply or tablet with USB interface! These are not available to the public until July but you can be one of the first to get one with the workshop. This is actually an easy kit to build so it is classified as beginner to intermediate builder kit. The kit price is $199.

replica 1

The replica 1 is a functional clone of the apple 1 and uses some of the original chips like the 6502 and 6821. With the help a micro-controller the kit has only 10 chips and is a great kit for the beginner to intermediate builder. The kit price is $149. This is for the standard replica 1 plus edition similar to the tenth anniversary edition.

PockeTerm

The PockeTerm is a single board terminal that uses a Parallax Propeller micro-controller to emulate a VT100 terminal. With a special pass-thru serial port you can connect a PC to the PockeTerm and download data right to the host device. Just add your own PS/2 keyboard and VGA monitor and you have a powerful terminal in a small compact size. Perfect kit for the beginner. Kit price is only $69

The Micro-KIM

The Micro-KIM is a reduced sized replica of the KIM-1. The KIM-1 was a single board computer designed to help aide with 6502 engineering development. The Micro-KIM has a reduced chip count with no micro-controllers and much of the original design. A few changes were made for more RAM and 6532 and EPROM replace the 6530. This kit has many components and is recommended for intermediate builders. List price on the Micro-KIM is $109 but the workshop special price is only $99! This is the original selling price from 2007 when the Micro-KIM was released.



Comments Off more...

replica 1 tenth anniversary edition

by on Nov.28, 2013, under replica 1

R110As previously mentioned in A2central.com the new replica 1 tenth anniversary edition is here. It’s hard to believe it has been 10 years since the replica 1 was created. In celebration of 10 years of kits, we have a limited edition replica 1 ten board. The new design is our sleekest and most modern design ever. The mini USB interface is not only a power source, but has a built in USB to serial interface allowing you to have a virtual COMM port on your PC. You can run your entire replica 1 from a USB port on your PC or from a USB power supply.R110 kit

The new replica 1 ten limited edition has a unique red color distinguishing it from prior versions. As such, we are limiting it to only 50 hand serial numbered units. Why 50? Well, that is the number of apple 1 computers believed to still be in existence. In order to maintain an economical kit with today’s rising component prices, we found ways to reduce components and made some hard choices too. Gone is the ATX power supply option along with the 40 pin replica 1 header, however, there will be ways to get these features as needed. Don’t have a USB power supply, we now offer a universal USB power supply R110 DIAGRAM

The new design allowed us to eliminate the 1MHz oscillator and now the Parallax Propeller controller generates the system clock. We added a larger EPROM so you can now select between the original BASIC or the new Applesoft lite. We were also able to reduce chip count using the Propeller to handle critical I/O glue logic processing.  All these changes makes it possible to not only maintain the price, but also makes a smaller, more efficient board.

Preordering is over, orders are being filled.

replica 1ten limited edition kit $149

replica 1ten limited edition assembled and tested $199

replica 1ten universal power supply and cable $19

Leave a Comment more...

Hard at work designing the next platform

by on Mar.31, 2013, under Vince's blog

I’ve been spending my free time working on a new project. This platform system will have a 65C02 and emulate the OSI 600 Superboard II or Challenger C1P. Visit the forums for pictures I’ve posted of my messy wire-wrap board with tactile buttons for a keyboard. The final version will have larger buttons but I’m having a difficult time getting buttons that are the right size, right price and has different sizes for SHIFT, RETURN, ENTER, and SPACE BAR. I’ll come up with something but I’m open to any ideas. Just email me at vbriel@yahoo.com and I’ll look at your suggestions.

What’s great is the wire-wrap board is actually really stable, almost as good as a PCB and yet I don’t have any caps on the chips for noise. Right now, I’m ready to implement the serial interface. I’m not going to do the cassette interface as they are just a real pain to deal with. After I have that working and an external keyboard option, I’ll lay down a board and see how things look. If you are interested in me going into production on this, email me and let me know so I can get an idea of how many people might want one.

Vince

Leave a Comment more...

by on Mar.06, 2013, under Vince's blog

Well, my wirewrap project has been on standby while the design details get worked out. It appears that I’m running out of I/O pins on a micro controller and I’m having to dance around that a bit. I should be starting today. This may be my first board that is all 3.3V based. My other boards all use standard TTL 5V logic levels for most of the work and 3.3V where needed. This causes interfacing issues so I may think outside the box again. I like having all my projects do something a little different. The replica 1 TE was the first kit I used the Propeller on. The Micro-KIM was the first kit I kept most of the original design. The Altair 8800micro was the first CPU emulation I wrote. What’s next? Hopefully I can post pictures soon, but I don’t want to show something that is years away, so I’ll post updates when I have a board working.

What I can say is that with the help of Jac Goudsmit I have a Propeller micro controller connected to a 6502 bus using the Propellers onboard memory as video RAM. This means I can connect a Propeller controller to a 6502 system and directly address video RAM at 1MHz speed. We also have the ability to eliminate ROM this way but the project I’m working on also has a serial port and keyboard. This is where aspirin gets applied. We need to shuffle 1 or 2 pins to give us the I/O required for everything. Once this is done, the project will make a nice single controller I/O package for 8 bit processor systems.

Leave a Comment more...

Wire wrap

by on Feb.27, 2013, under Vince's blog

I’m going to wire wrap a project that I’m working on starting today. It takes a few days for me to do a board this way because I like to do it in small sections at a time so I don’t make mistakes. If this project works, it’s one I’ve wanted to do for a while but never had the time (still don’t). Without too much information I can say that I’m working with another 6502, this time the WDC65C02 at 3.3V and the whole circuit will be 3.3V, a change from my other designs. In the past I’ve kept my circuits at 5 volts just like vintage machines, but this project is a little different because of the video interface. As soon as I have a working wire wrap version I’ll post pictures and details.

Vince

Leave a Comment more...

Altair micro S/N 1 goes to auction for charity

by on Dec.02, 2012, under News

We finally have the Altair micro serial number 1 up for auction on Ebay. 50% of the proceeds go to the Wounded Warrior Project. I have friends who have used the services offered by Wounded Warriors and this is my chance to give back. Please help support this project. The auction can be found here:

Altair 8800micro S/N 1

2 Comments more...

Altair 8800micro RAM Drive added to store

by on Sep.23, 2012, under News

The long awaited RAM drive for the Altair 8800micro is now available to order. We are ordering boards this week and orders will ship in about 2 weeks when the boards arrive. You can choose from kit or assembled as is with most of our products. If you have an Altair now is your chance to get a RAM drive and have a full operating system (CP/M) with 2 virtual RAM drives. To load CP/M simply load a disk image onto the SD card, then transfer it over to the RAM drive A or B and run the bootloader to boot from the RAM drive. visit the store or the Altair 8800micro order page to order yours now.

Leave a Comment more...

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!

Blogroll

A few highly recommended websites...