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June 11, 2010 AT 4:41 pm

Homebrew Z80 Computer

What do you do if you love vintage electronics and have a nostalgic sweet spot for TTL logic? Well, if you’re GG, you build an awesome homebrew computer entirely on stripboard, and use as many vintage chips and displays as you can in the process. Then, because it’s just not ’80’s enough, you put the whole thing in a Cold War-style black briefcase.

Inspired by his love for 80’s technology, GG worked over a period of two years to build this rig, which he calls the Z80 NANO COMPUTER. It uses a number of period chips (many in ceramic DIP packages) and first-generation LED displays.

Be sure to check out the demo video.

Nice work, GG!

UPDATE: GG sent me a link to his project video, which is now at the top of this post. It has this character to it that makes it wonderful — the sound of clunky keys and muffled beeps.


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6 Comments

  1. Has anyone asked it to play Thermonuclear War yet? And does it keep asking Professor Falcon if he would like a nice game of chess?

  2. That borders on a work of art. Brings back so many good memories of growing up with computers that were the size of your washing machine – and then seeing something like the above and thinking "Oh Wow – that’s tiny". Makes you want to go and do it yourself. Hmmmmm.

  3. Go for it, John!

  4. This is simply gorgeous. The front reminds me of a mondrian painting, I don’t know what the back reminds me of, but those tidy point-to-point wires set my heart aflutter….

  5. It is still better than the IBM360 sitting in my basement…

  6. That brings back some fond memories. My first computer back in 1982 was a Z80. Timex Sinclair 1000 – A toy even back then, but still enough to learn BASIC and Z80 assembly.

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