March 27, 2015

Explore early computing with a Digital PDP-8/I replica

Oscar from Obsolescence Guaranteed has once again demonstrated an excellent example of creating a replica vintage computer with contemporary hardware. His latest example is a Digital PDP-8/I replica powered by a Raspberry Pi Model A+, called the "PiDP-8/I".

Software to emulate the original already exisits (see the Computer History Simulation Project) and runs nicely on the Pi, however as you can see from the image below the standout is the replica front panel. This is much more than looking good - the LEDs and switches do function thanks to a lot of multiplexing that interfaces the Pi's GPIO with 92 LEDs and 26 switches

For further realism Oscar is working on a paper tape reader, however the enture project is still a work in progress. Nevertheless it's quite fascinating and you can follow the updates from his project website. And for more, we're on facebookGoogle+, and twitter - so follow us for news and product updates as well.

If you're looking for a neat way to add external circuitry to your Raspberry Pi model A+, B+ or 2 model B then check out our new PiBreak Plus Raspberry Pi Prototyping Board:

This is a great way to add your own electronic components, circuitry, sensors or other devices to your Raspberry Pi model A+, B+ or 2 Model B - any of the current Raspberry Pis with a 40 pin GPIO header. The PiBreak Plus also includes a GPIO female header to solder yourself, and a pair of nuts, bolts, washers and spacers to ensure a a great fit.

And in the Freetronics fashion we've used a quality gold-plated (ENIG) PCB for durability, brought out all the power rails along with the GPIO next to the prototyping area to make adding circuits a breeze. Furthermore the pinouts are labelled on both the top and bottom of the PCB to save time referencing the right GPIO pins. For more information and to order - visit the PiBreak plus page now!

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