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quarkx
4th March 2010, 01:24
I copied some of this first post over from the "Post here" thread:
Brace yourselves, this will be a bit long.
The kit is made by Gord Clink of APATCO Technologies. There is a forum for you there and Gord is always on hand to answer any questions and help in any way.
I got in my NCS 2056T Kit today. For those that do not know, the NCS kit is a complete 6502 Computer kit that is assembled from scratch, loosely based on Commodore Computers.
It comes with everything you need for a "Basic" computer, a 65C02 CPU @2 Mhz, 8K ROM, 32 K RAM, PS/2 keyboard interface and LCD screen.
At first, I was a bit leery of ordering this kit, At $180, it seemed a bit pricey for a kit. I was wrong. It comes with 3 manuals. Each is not just a photocopied sheet, but a nicely printed and bound manual. The techical manual if filled, not only with all the information on the 6502, but a nice chunk of Commodore history (including the Amiga) and the history of MOS Tec up until 2004, and of course the Western Design Center. I will be posting a complete thread, but here are some (crappy) photos from my camera. It also comes with 3 Eproms for the ROM, 1 blank, so you can burn your own, one already burned with basic, and 1 for the LCD display.

The first thing you have to do is "assemble" the terminals on the bread board for the power supply. This is straight forward, but there is step by step instructions. It also comes with 5 little rubber feet. At first the feet look like they snap on to the nuts on the bottom of the teminal, but they are too small. There is no mention of them in the manual, so I just space them on the bottom of the bread board. I just want to take a moment and say 2 things: first this breadboard is mounted on a good steel plate, therefore if you wanted to, you can mount this into a nice case after and use it as a regular machine.
Second, this kit is from Canada, so the power supply is 120W. I am sure it will be no problem to get a power adaptor for Europe, as all it is, is just a small wall wort with the end cut off and the wires striped. Gord has even soldered the tips, so no fraying will occur on the power cord.

Some gripes on the components (not Gord's fault) the silk-screening on the IC's is very faint. My old eyes need a good light and magnifying glass to see what they are. What happened to the good old days, when they used florecent paint and you could see at least the logo's a mile away, in the dark. (I remember AMD, you could see the logo so clearly, sometimes the logo looked bigger than the chip it was on).

More later, when I have something to show.

quarkx
4th March 2010, 04:42
So, I started with the first project. I have power hooked up and the power LED lights. I had a stumbling block, If you see the green blue wires, I had one set in the wrong holes (one over) and with it that way , no power. Went over everything again, and now she works. The next step is programing the EPROM with just wires (OMG!:blink:) on the board. This ought to be fun! (circled in second photo). At least there is no soldering in this kit.

tom2215
4th March 2010, 12:05
Ahh the good old days when computers came in kits...

good luck, can't wait to see the results :thumbsup:

quarkx
9th March 2010, 07:06
Ok, so here is an update: I had to work over the last few days, so I had not got back to the kit until tonight, after working a few more hours coding the on-line store.
On Wednesday night, I had hooked up the power supply. Tonight, I hooked up all the wires to program the EEPROM. Yes, I KNOW I can just use an Eprom burnner, and the kit even came with another fully programed EEPROM, but if I am to learn this, I must program this EEProm by hand.. In Binary, 1 address line at a time. It took the whole weekend of reading and re-reading the theory and instructions, to wrap my head around how this actually works. I suspect, that I was hung up on the fact that I really need an expensive Burner, hooked up to the PC to program this properly,once I figured out that I didn't need just one wire to be hooked up to the Chip (I don't know why I thought that) and to understand the "High and Low" Grounded and Ungrounded, and how that translates to binary, that was the "hard" part. now on to actually program this thing.

quarkx
19th March 2010, 07:00
Here is a quick update. I have been fighting a really bad Internet connection here so no pictures today kiddies. I DID NOT flash the EEPROM by hand. I leaned all the Theory behind it, but everyone, and I mean everyone even a Computer Science Teacher, said it would be a total waist of time. I had a lot of offers to burn it, and we are even getting a EEPROM burner "Kit" to build a complete burner by hand.
I have wired up the CPU to the EEPROM. In the original kit, the EEPROM was moved over to make room for the LCD screen, so the "Recommended" wires (orange and yellow), some of the orange would not reach, so I had to substitute a few green ones (I will post pictures when I can).
Tonight I am working on the system clock. I will post pictures when I can get back here

Commodoriano
19th March 2010, 10:58
great!!!

includes some type of software ?

thanks

quarkx
19th March 2010, 21:32
The only Softwhere is a small program to make the lights blink in sequence, the second part of the kit has a new EEPROM with the software to drive the LCD and Keyboard. Its all assembly language for now unless I flash basic on to the blank EEPROM.

quarkx
25th March 2010, 01:46
as promised (if my internet connection holds out) more pictures, I am now working on the system clock

Chuckt
10th April 2010, 21:38
I saw your post and this is an area that I'm interested as I've become interested in microcontrollers because I see the need for a new hobbyist computer.

Are you involved with 6502.org at all? The users there have a lot of experience.

I'm also on several forums for microcontrollers as I am reviewing different parts that I want to use.

I'm an old C-64, 128 and Amiga 500 user. I realize that Commodore isn't coming back so I'm going to work at making something better in my spare time.

quarkx
12th April 2010, 21:32
Sorry for not getting back sooner, I have been forced by Blogger to re-do my Amigalounge.com website.
I do lurk over at 6502.org getting ideas for my SBC I wish to build.
For those that care:
I did finish the kit, but I am starting from scratch again, as something is no quite rite and the led's don't light.
On top of everything else, I am getting an oscilloscope kit in this week (yes build your own pocket oscilloscope) (an E-bay kit from Canada only about $60USD) and I am also going to get my HAM licence after I complete my electronics courses. this year is booked.