Briel Computers

Vince’s blog

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

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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.

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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

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Back from epic Kansas Fest

by on Jul.28, 2012, under News, Vince's blog

We just returned from our trip to Kansas and other locations. Kansas Fest is one of the best events you can attend as a fan of vintage computers. Nearly a week with seminars and hanging out with other like minded people too much to list. I’ll be there every chance I get to go. New experiments have been started with interfacing a Bluetooth dongle to an Apple II opening up new wireless possibilities in the near future. The cassette interface for the replica 1 will BETA test starting tomorrow with 25 units to be issued to those who can help with debugging and running other tests. I ran some tests while at Kansas Fest and everything appears to work great on a single 5V supply! Look for an order page on that tomorrow.

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Official Kansas Fest workshop information

by on Jun.30, 2012, under News, Vince's blog

The workload the last 2 weeks has been heavy and finding time to prepare for Kansas Fest 2012 has been difficult. I am hosting a workshop and participants can sign up and build a selected kit to build. I will be helping those who need guidance during the workshop to get their kits built. If you were there last year, you know how much fun it was. If you want to attend the workshop but can’t order a kit until Kansas Fest has started, drop me an email and I’ll put a kit aside for you.

The official website for the workshop is here: Workshop

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Maker Faire wrap up

by on May.22, 2012, under Vince's blog

Well, we are back from the Maker Faire and my head is still spinning from everything that there was going on there. I met so many great people there, my voice will require a couple days to recover.  There were more robots there than any other venue we have been to. Atmel was there and the guys running their display were really friendly. One of them got to see the Altair micro in action. We are getting a lot of orders from the show and may be running a little behind. If you are wondering about the status of your order, feel free to email and ask about it.

I hope that everybody at the Maker Faire had a good time and if anybody lost their flier just drop me an email at vbriel@yahoo.com and I’ll get you another copy or a link.

Vince

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Maker Faire this weekend

by on May.15, 2012, under News, Vince's blog

The time is almost here for the 7th annual Maker Faire in San Francisco.  With over 300 exhibits in the indoor building alone, this is a huge celebration of creating projects! Briel Computers will be in the Expo hall on Saturday and Sunday demonstrating the Altair 8800micro and CP/M. Please feel free to stop by and say hi. More information on the Maker Faire can be found here:

http://makerfaire.com/

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Maker Faire acceptance

by on Mar.31, 2012, under Vince's blog

We just got word that we have been accepted to appear at the Maker Faire San Francisco May 19th & 20th! This will be our first appearance at the Faire and I am really looking forward to going. Maker Faire is really a venue we should have been attending years ago. Our products promote fun, creation, and education. I hope to see you all there.

Click on the Events tab above and select Maker Faire to see more information on how to attend.

Vince

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My new blog page

by on May.09, 2010, under Vince's blog

Well, I’ve been cleaning up the webpage and I decided to start an actual blog page to discuss current and future products. This page will get updated as time permits but I hope to keep people up to date on the projects that I’ve taken from my head to boards. My current project is the SWTPcSBC a singleboard version of the computer systems created by South West Technical Products corp. Their 6800 and 6809 systems featured the S50 and S30 bus expansion and were a very versitale and highly expandable systems.

My project is a single board version that will have a 6809 or 6800 CPU with a SD card slot that uses disk images as a disk drive. I have a concept prototype but it is very early in the project and a lot of questions have to be answered before I decide to go forward with the project. For more information on SWTPc computers, visit this site here:

SWTPc

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