Briel Computers

Products

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

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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.

 

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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

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a2mp3 added to store

by on Aug.07, 2011, under a2mp3, News

Due to an oversite, the apple II mp3 player was never added to the store. That error has been fixed and you can order yours from the store.

Briel Computers Store

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A2MP3 workshop a huge success!

by on Jul.23, 2011, under a2mp3, News

I’m am please to report that the largest workshop that I have conducted concluded with all 17 units functioning. There are now 17+ KFest special edition 2011 a2mp3 cards out there playing all kinds of mp3 files. Really cool to hear podcasts on your apple II. Next month we will tidy up a few loose ends and get the card release to the general public. The code included is an open source demo program found on a prodos 140K image file here:

a2mp3

True programmers will be at work soon after KFest to write a better mp3 player program for both 8 bit models and the GSOS!

Vince

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Apple II MP3 card nears completion

by on May.24, 2011, under a2mp3, News

After a year on the shelf, the Apple II MP3 is nearing initial completion. The card is designed to work with most Apple II’s except the IIc line and allows you to play MP3′s from your flash pen drive. There are limitations to the device but it will play songs from the root directory of the flash drive. Other uses may include file transfer from flash drive to Apple II and sounds and songs for gaming applications. I’ll see if I can write up a blog before the workshop at KFest this year where you can build the MP3 kit in a workshop setting. Kansas jFest gets exclusive custom MP3 cards in a first time ever custom logo format. The Kansas Fest logo will be on the card and only available at the show.  The attendee’s will get first crack to make awesome software programs for the player and with all the outstanding bunch of programmers there, I’m sure it won’t be long before there are several apps available for the MP3 card. More information on KFest can be found on the website here:   KFest

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apple ll Super Encoder

by on Apr.03, 2010, under a2se

 

The apple ][ super encoder is a replacement board for the apple II and II plus computer keyboards that have the seperate encoder on an attached board on the keyboard. This product is not designed to work with the apple IIe/IIc or IIgs computers. If you have an original apple II or apple II plus you can open the lid and look under the keyboard. If there is a smaller board attached to the keyboard pcb than the super encoder board will replace it. Click on the Ordering tab to the left to order yours. This is a limited edition board.

 

So, what is the big deal with this super encoder? Well, it makes a nice replacement for those keyboards that have bad encoders. The other advantage is that it has a ps/2 keyboard port. With this port you can have 2 keyboards, the built in apple II keyboard and a standard pc keyboard. You can use both at the same time so it will be easier for two player games. Please note that the cable is NOT included. You can use the cable that is currently on the keyboard.

To install, you must unplug your apple II. Remove the screws around the outside of the case and carefully open up until you can access the keyboard cable. Carefully unplug the cable paying attention to the orientation so you don’t plug it back in backwards. Now you can lay the lid upside down on your work area to access the keyboard encoder. To seperate the encoder from the keyboard you must squeeze the white plastic tab of the post and gently seperate the two boards until the encoder slides all the way out. Remove the cable and install it on the new super encoder board. Install the super encoder as shown in the picture above so the chip is facing toward you and the pins face into the keyboard until the spacers lock into the holes. At this time you can attach a ps/2 keyboard cable or attach one at a later time if you wish.

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Altair 8800micro

by on Apr.03, 2010, under Altair 8800micro

altair 8800micro

System specs

Processor:    8080A emulated by ATmega8515 microcontroller

Speed:           16MHz emulating 8MHz processor

Power:          DC wall wart power supply

RAM:           32K Static expandable to 64K with 88-DSK RAM board

ROM:           none

Case:           Aluminum front/rear panels painted front with silkscreen artwork. Plastic top/bottom

Term:         VT-100 emulated terminal onboard (can be disabled to run external terminal)

Video:           80×40 VGA and 40×25 composite (can use both at the same time)

I/O:              Keyboard port, expansion slot, SD card slot for program storage

OS:               Altair 4K,  8K BASIC, Enhanced BASIC and CP/M (with 88-DSK RAM board)

Always wanted to build your own Altair but missed out during the 70′s? Well, now you can with the Altair 8800micro kit. It is a reduced size replica of the famous machine that inspired Bill Gates to start Microsoft. Program the emulated 8080 processor right from the front panel or run programs from a SDHC memory card!

Can’t solder, no problem. We offer a fully assembled and tested version for those who want to get started right away. Visit the store page to order yours.

The new 88-DSK RAM Drive gives your Altair 8800micro the capability to run CP/M in a virtual disk drive setting. The board contains 2 512K RAM drives that are battery backed. You can now load disk images stored on the SD card into the RAM drives and run CP/M software right on the Altair micro.

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4Meg GS RAM Card

by on Apr.03, 2010, under 4megGS

This is the 4MB RAM card for the Apple II GS. This card is the original and I am the original designer of these cards. It is a similar design to a card that was developed for Garberstreet Enterprizes a few years ago. After several requests to produce this card, the result is this new card. There is one minor difference between the Garberstreet card and this new design. They are tested on ROM01 GS systems with CFFA cards. They are not tested with speed enhanced systems or systems with SCSI cards. Boards have not been tested with other cards installed. The price of the card is $89 plus shipping for an assembled and tested board with RAM included.

Recently Juiced.GS did a review of the card
The Test:
  • Conducted by: Ewen Wannop
  • Tested system setup
  • Computer: Apple IIGS ROM 03
  • Acceleration: 12.49MHz Transwarp card
  • Storage: Apple High-Speed SCSI card, and CFFA card

 

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PockeTerm

by on Apr.03, 2010, under PockeTerm

The PockeTerm is a 4″ X 2.5″ single board terminal that uses a VGA monitor and a PS/2 keyboard for its input and output. Dual serial ports gives the user the option of transferring data to/from a PC while still connected to the host device. This terminal was designed to work with vintage computers but is compatible with most systems including Unix and Linux systems. A low cost color choice terminal that has VT-100 compatible commands for controlling cursor and screen functions. Want to program the propeller microcontroller or install an update to the firmware? No problem, just connect the PockeTerm to your PC, run the Propeller Tools software and you can program it from your PC, no expensive Prop Plug required.

New PockeTerm Case

For only $24.95 you can assemble this nice looking case to complete your PockeTerm kit. Hurry, limited supply onhand. The kits come with all mounting hardware to mount your PockeTerm to the case. (PockeTerm is sold seperately).

The PockeTerm has a full featured screen with Function key status at the bottom of the screen. Click on the image for a full size photograph of the screenshot. The PockeTerm is a work in progress and we are trying to add as many features as possible. Updates can be emailed to the user or posted on the website.

  • CTRL-F1 Selects Baud Rate
  • CTRL-F2 Changes text color of the main display section
  • CTRL-F3 Turns on/off the 2nd serial port that connects to a PC.
  • CTRL-F4 Force incoming data to 7 bit ASCII. Strips the 8th bit, required for some systems
  • CTRL=F5 Change cursor type. Choose from underscore, solid block, or none. Also, choose from blinking or not.
  • CTRL-F6 Add line-feed to carriage returns

PockeTerm File Downloads

PockeTerm Firmware

This software is given on the hopes that it will be improved by the public. All revisioins show acknowldgement to the author of the changes. Please help make this a better product for all to enjoy.

PockeTerm firmware revision 0.905 http://www.brielcomputers.com/files/PTfirmware.zip NEW updated 4/6***

How to program firmware updates

Download and install the propeller tools from here (requires Windows 2000 or higher):

http://www.parallax.com/Portals/0/Downloads/sw/propeller/Setup-Propeller-Tool-v1.2.5.exe

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