The 6502 is an 8-bit microprocessor introduced in 1975 for $25. At the time, the 6502’s competition, the Intel 8080 and the Motorola 6800 were each selling for $179. The processor was an immediate success. It found its way into many iconic consumer electronics, such as the Apple I, Apple II, Atari 2600, Commodore 64, and a version of the chip is the brains in the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).
Thankfully, the 6502 is still being produced today, and there is a large group of home computer makers who are ready to share their knowledge with you. Over at 6502.org, user Garth Wilson put together a primer for making your own 6502 computer. Garth will walk you through sourcing components, construction, programing, and debugging your own 6502 computer.
Garth’s goal with this primer is to “give a good grasp of computer design basics, so that with good construction, you can make a computer that works on first try, with no hardware troubleshooting.”
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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.