In addition to collecting old home computers from the 80s, I am spending a lot of time in different vintage computer projects, ie. I also like to play with the soldering iron 🙂
This is usually very necessary, since most computers of the 80s do not really end up on my desk in a workable condition, i. e. unscrew, look inside, scare - and repair or rebuild ...
Since the retro community is very active - in Germany, Europe and overseas - there are also up-to-date hardware extensions for almost all systems available. Like memory expansions, more modern mass storage systems (eg CF or SD cards), replacements for very old and unreliable floppy drives (3.5 "or 5.25") by USB sticks or SD cards, etc.
What you should definitely inspect in a 25-30 year old computer is:
- Built-in batteries - they tend to leak and can destroy a computer completely. In any case: throw them out, immediately!
- Electrolytic capacitors (especially some SMD variants) sometimes leak or at least lose their rated capacity after 20-30 years and cause "problems". In particular internal power supplies either do not work at all or with reduced power (for example, they no longer reach their rated voltage under load). This is usually one of my first actions, especially with the internal power supplies of the Atari ST series.
But sometimes it is nice to start a project "from scratch", e.g.
- to build a single-board computer based on the Z80 processor (Grant Searle, NV8EM Project),
- or completely rebuild a 8bit Atari computer (Atari XL / XE) (1088XEL Project).
I will use this blog entry as a table of contents for the different project descriptions. At some point I will create a suitable overview page. but this must evolve first ...
- my "first" Atari ST
- a Z80 SBC: the Z80-MBC2 with uTerm
- RC2014 - Stephen C Cousins version and extensions
- further Z80 SBC (as per designs from Grant Searle)
- The Chip Tester Pro from the 8-Bit Museum
- Gigatron - a TTL Microcomputer
- SBC-85 - a 8085 based SBC
- 1088XEL in Realan H80 case
- 1088XEL in Realan H60 case
- Mounting Sophia DVI in 1088XEL
- DIY of a Arcade Joystick for Atari
- SDrive-Max (incl. SIO Mod)
- GBS8200 Video-Board
- Re-work of a Atari 3.5" Floppy (SF314) for Atari XL/XE (as SF551)
- MIDI for 1088XEL
- PiHole for my home network
- OMV5 for my home network (with Nextcloud, Letsencrypt as Docker Containers)
- Mounting UAV inside Atari VCS 2600 (A/V-Mod)
- Mounting UAV inside Atari 7800 ProSystem (A/V-Mod)
- Mounting UAV inside Atari XL/XE
- Mounting U1MB inside Atari XL/XE
…more to come…
BTW: some of these projects I have already started, some of them are even already finished, but not yet documented. At least I have most of the parts/components for all of the above projects ready at hand.
…more to come…