Author Topic: I want to make my own CPC 8bit  (Read 23558 times)

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Offline cpc4eva

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I want to make my own CPC 8bit
« on: 23:01, 04 February 11 »
would it be possible to make my very own cpc 8bit computer ?


what would i need to do ?


how would it or could it be done ?


how could i make it so computer enthusiasts would develop software for the machine ?




Offline TFM

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Re: I want to make my own CPC 8bit
« Reply #1 on: 23:16, 04 February 11 »
What do you like to do?
 
- A clone (1:1) or...
 
- A kind of next generation CPC with superior features
 
Well, if the hardware has a good concept, I know at least one guy who would port an OS to it  ;)
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Offline steve

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Re: I want to make my own CPC 8bit
« Reply #2 on: 14:25, 05 February 11 »
There is no point in making an exact copy of a CPC as it is much cheaper to buy one, but a faster, better CPC is a good thing to do.

How about using a 16mhz z80 so it runs 4 times faster.

Fit 4 MB ram and 4MB flash rom.

IDE disk interface for hard drive or flash card.

The z180 processor includes DMA and serial ports to enhance the machine.

Could you program an FPGA to replicate the PLUS ULA and add extra sound channels and a Blitter.

An ethernet port would be useful.

Offline steve

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Re: I want to make my own CPC 8bit
« Reply #3 on: 14:27, 05 February 11 »
What do you like to do?
 
- A clone (1:1) or...
 
- A kind of next generation CPC with superior features
 
Well, if the hardware has a good concept, I know at least one guy who would port an OS to it  ;)

Are you talking about Prodatron and SymbOS? ;) :laugh:

Offline Devilmarkus

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Re: I want to make my own CPC 8bit
« Reply #4 on: 14:40, 05 February 11 »
Are you talking about Prodatron and SymbOS? ;) :laugh:

No. He surely means Bill Gates... And adapt Windows 7 to this CPC ;)
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Re: I want to make my own CPC 8bit
« Reply #5 on: 15:03, 05 February 11 »
It's awesome to see such motivation. Someone here able to build A COMPUTER on his own.


What I would love : someone with such abilities (creating a computer) could potentially create an awesome custom hardware piece for the CPC.


So, cpc4eva, don't you want to build the next HxC, the next RAM expansion, the next ACID hack, the next RAMCARD ? That would help so much the CPC hardware community !


Think small but feasible, instead for big and hardly doable...  8)

Offline Bryce

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Re: I want to make my own CPC 8bit
« Reply #6 on: 15:53, 05 February 11 »
I've designed complete systems in the past, but they're usually 16 or 32 bit and the PCBs are produced commercially, definitely not something I'd consider a DIY project. The difference is, the devices I design have a fixed OS / function and aren't user programmable, so they don't have user RAM and they usually don't have a screen or keyboard :D But these are minor additions, the biggest problem with something like this, is that not enough people would buy one, so the support would be minimal.
The C-One ( http://www.c64upgra.de/c-one/ ) was a similar idea, they did a really good job of the design and managed to make it really flexible, but who owns one? And how much purpose-written software was ever released for it?


Bryce.

Offline steve

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Re: I want to make my own CPC 8bit
« Reply #7 on: 18:21, 05 February 11 »
No. He surely means Bill Gates... And adapt Windows 7 to this CPC ;)

I can imagine it, a 4Ghz core i7 with 12GB ram to run windows and a z80 with 128k ram on a pci card to run the applications. 8)

Offline TFM

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Re: I want to make my own CPC 8bit
« Reply #8 on: 02:58, 06 February 11 »
There is no point in making an exact copy of a CPC as it is much cheaper to buy one, but a faster, better CPC is a good thing to do.

Well, there is, since Amstrad does not produce the 6128(plus) any longer, one day (soon?) it will be hard to get a new one. Today it's already hard to get a color monitor.

How about using a 16mhz z80 so it runs 4 times faster.
Fit 4 MB ram and 4MB flash rom.
IDE disk interface for hard drive or flash card.
The z180 processor includes DMA and serial ports to enhance the machine.
Could you program an FPGA to replicate the PLUS ULA and add extra sound channels and a Blitter.
An ethernet port would be useful.

That sounds all nice, but please NOT the Z180, it's not completly (undocumented opcodes, don't even talk about illegal opcodes) compatible to the Z80.
 
 
Are you talking about Prodatron and SymbOS? ;) :laugh:

Yes  ::)  just ask him, he will be probably interrested  ;)
« Last Edit: 03:00, 06 February 11 by TFM/FS »
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Offline TFM

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Re: I want to make my own CPC 8bit
« Reply #9 on: 03:04, 06 February 11 »
I've designed complete systems in the past, but they're usually 16 or 32 bit and the PCBs are produced commercially, definitely not something I'd consider a DIY project. The difference is, the devices I design have a fixed OS / function and aren't user programmable, so they don't have user RAM and they usually don't have a screen or keyboard :D But these are minor additions, the biggest problem with something like this, is that not enough people would buy one, so the support would be minimal.
The C-One ( http://www.c64upgra.de/c-one/ ) was a similar idea, they did a really good job of the design and managed to make it really flexible, but who owns one? And how much purpose-written software was ever released for it?


Bryce.

Hmm, right. The C-One was (is?) to expensive. The T-Rex1 was a great thing for a while, soon it was't possible to get one (changed laws  >:( ). But I guess with a fair price and some updates, while maintaining 99% compatibility would make sense. However this is a huge task to do.
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Offline AMSDOS

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Re: I want to make my own CPC 8bit
« Reply #10 on: 04:42, 06 February 11 »
cpc4eva wrote:

would it be possible to make my very own cpc 8bit computer ?


Theoretically with the right knowledge, skills & time.

what would i need to do ?


Make a main-board (schematics would have to be drawn up) , obtain some chips, resistors, capacitors, other components. Program some chips with the kind of programs which run and allow use of the computer.

how would it or could it be done ?


Circuit boards come as one big metal sheet, usually you'd burn it down leaving the plastic underneath, naturally there's a process for what bits remain and what's removed, leaving a circuit board. You may decide you want to simply build a CPC from a Bread Board. Otherwise, maybe you can convince Dick Smith to make a CPC from a Electronics DIY project, you can simply go down to a DSE store and find all sorts of Electronic Project boards which have an emphasis on "Fun with Electronics", building your own computer could simply be another concept though Dick Smith would probably want to take one of his own 8bit computers (VZ-300T for example) and transform it into that.
To program the chips, bread board, wire, voltage current, perhaps an EPROM programmer.

how could i make it so computer enthusiasts would develop software for the machine ?


Firmware was made for the original computers to allow software companies to quickly make games for it, naturally there are some good features about it, features though do take up memory though!  :)
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Offline cpc4eva

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Re: I want to make my own CPC 8bit
« Reply #11 on: 09:31, 06 February 11 »
not looking to make any cash from it just fun


really frustrating theres no hobby or enthusiasts computers these days you get rammed down your throat you have to have an ibm compaitble pc with windows as the os


(i know linux and apple etc not much of a choice out there)


a real enthusiats personal computer that has one or many os if possible and the motherboard can be moded so users can devise their own add on devices (hardware) and (software) games / utilities / programs


so instead of how its become with pc's and xbox, nintendo, ps3 controlling manufacture it will be the reverse where users can have control.....

Offline steve

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Re: I want to make my own CPC 8bit
« Reply #12 on: 10:55, 06 February 11 »
Here's a site that documents a project to build an 8-bit computer on several PCB's, which are available for sale, it won't be cheap, but all the design work and PCB production has been done.

http://n8vem-sbc.pcbworks.com/w/page/4200908/frontpage

Alternatively you could get a CPC 464 and "improve" it by building "add-ons" to plug into the expansion port.

Offline robcfg

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Re: I want to make my own CPC 8bit
« Reply #13 on: 13:23, 06 February 11 »
At the Zona de Pruebas forum, a guy managed to get the Jupiter Ace schematics and after some work on them, sent the final design to a PCB maker (futurlec, makepcb, expresspcb or eastpcb to name a few), we got a working Jupiter Ace clone:






The PCB costed us around 25-30 euros and the full populated PCB around 45-50 euros.

Offline Gryzor

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Re: I want to make my own CPC 8bit
« Reply #14 on: 18:41, 06 February 11 »
I'm not familiar with the Ace, but would it be as easy to find the elements to populate a CPC board today?

Still,so cool!

Offline cpc4eva

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Re: I want to make my own CPC 8bit
« Reply #15 on: 21:32, 06 February 11 »
I'm not familiar with the Ace, but would it be as easy to find the elements to populate a CPC board today?

Still,so cool!




so cool indeed


imagine a cpc running faster, increased memory, more features, better sound, improved gfx, users being in control of it to the limit of their imaginations......

Offline Gryzor

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Re: I want to make my own CPC 8bit
« Reply #16 on: 10:42, 07 February 11 »
Whoa. As I understand it, this ACE model is the exact replica but built today. Building something faster etc. etc. is an entirely different beast...

Offline ukmarkh

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Re: I want to make my own CPC 8bit
« Reply #17 on: 16:10, 08 February 11 »
I wanna make a CPC dedicated site that looks something like this?
 
http://yogibear.warnerbros.com/#/map

Offline Gryzor

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Re: I want to make my own CPC 8bit
« Reply #18 on: 10:48, 11 February 11 »
I can't see what's special about it??

Offline Amstari

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Re: I want to make my own CPC 8bit
« Reply #19 on: 15:33, 11 February 11 »
There is some 8 bit consoles you can make yourself like the Uzebox 8-bit console. http://belogic.com/uzebox/
 
It might be possible that something like this could adapted to use a keyboard and be used as an 8 bit computer. Or do you only want to use parts that exisited during the 8 bit computer era?
 

Offline redbox

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Re: I want to make my own CPC 8bit
« Reply #20 on: 15:35, 11 February 11 »
There is some 8 bit consoles you can make yourself like the Uzebox 8-bit console. http://belogic.com/uzebox/


I want one of these.  Doesn't seem to be many people writing for it though, despite the comprehensive development engine.

Offline steve

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Re: I want to make my own CPC 8bit
« Reply #21 on: 18:12, 11 February 11 »
The video output is NTSC or S-Video, so you should check that your TV or monitor can handle it, most should be S-Video capable but maybe not older TV's.

Offline redbox

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Re: I want to make my own CPC 8bit
« Reply #22 on: 19:43, 11 February 11 »
The video output is NTSC or S-Video, so you should check that your TV or monitor can handle it, most should be S-Video capable but maybe not older TV's.

They have made a SCART version too, but S-Video would be fine for most modern TVs.

Offline TFM

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Re: I want to make my own CPC 8bit
« Reply #23 on: 23:28, 11 February 11 »
Let's come back to the topic - a CPC clone, maybe with expanded hardware.
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Offline AMSDOS

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Re: I want to make my own CPC 8bit
« Reply #24 on: 00:00, 12 February 11 »
I always thought it was interesting how a CPC had something like an IBM Format one could select to format your discs with. This format is apparently compatible with the Disk Format used with CP/M-86. Perhaps they were hoping CP/M-86 was going to come out as the top dog since it was more advanced than DOS prior to DOS 2. DOS 2 was obviously more advanced than DOS 1, and won out simply because it was cheaper than CP/M-86. 3" Discs weren't standard drives (obviously) and PCs obviously didn't adapt it, but I'm guessing that someone out there was hoping for CP/M-86 to win out and 3" Disc Drives to become standard.
 
I sort of wondered though what a CPC would be like had the Plus' machines had some 16bit architecture, by 1990 Windows 3.0 had arrived and people were moving towards those sorts of platforms. I played around with an Amstrad PC 1512 I think it was which I don't recall having any Hard Disks and was a machine which had an emphasis on CP/M-86 v4.1 which was also known as DOS Plus, came with the GUI GEM 3.x, which sadly by that stage had been crippled by Apple since they sued DR years before for producing GEM 1.2 which felt like an Apple GUI though based for a 8088 computer and on that machine there was an updated version of Locomotive BASIC v2.x, which ran in the GEM Operating Environment.
 
Perhaps it was too much to build an 8088 based computer and Incorporate CPC components in with it. Might have been interesting had it happened given GEM has become another Open Source program with the possibilities of adding Internet support to it.
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