CB2 micro KIT - Build your own BASIC color microcomputer within 30 minutes.

ZX80 / ZX81 hardware and software offered for sale or swapping
neazoi
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CB2 micro KIT - Build your own BASIC color microcomputer within 30 minutes.

Post by neazoi » Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:30 am

Hi, and excuse me, I know that this forum is mainly for sinclair machines, but I couldn't resist sharing this with you!

You want to build your own BASIC color microcomputer within 30 minutes? You can do it with the CB2 micro KIT. It is easy, quick and cheap!

What is it?
The CB2 micro, is perhaps, the cheapest and easiest to build opensource microcomputer in the world!
You can assemble it within 30 minutes.

Features:

- Standalone, no need for a PC to program and display.
- 16 foreground and background colors on TV SCART (PAL/NTSC), pseudographics and composite B/W. HDMI/VGA support with external adapters.
- Sound with envelope and volume adjustment.
- PS/2 keyboard (or suitable USB with adapter), RS232, 2x serial TTL, LPT, 8x A/D inputs and I2C, all BASIC controlled.
- Tiny-BASIC with featured embedded editor, Chip8, SCHIP, 8080 and AVR-native binaries supported.
- 8 programs storage in internal flash, cross programs calls, external flash and EEPROM options.
- Terminal program, color terminal, X-modem transfer, PC connectivity.
- Games, applications and libraries available. Automatic program execute option on boot.
- Easy and quick to assemble, through hole components and cheap!

And much much more to discover yourself on the project website http://cb2.qrp.gr


Why did I make it?
I designed this KIT for people that cannot afford buying a commercial retro computer, but want to have fun with such technology and learn programming in a simple language the BASIC.
It is a KIT so easy to be built, that you can even build it with your kids!
The project is opensource, I have only redesigned the hardware part for this KIT, plus some BASIC applications for it.


What makes it special?
The CB2 micro, is special for a number of reasons:

- It works like an 80s micro but it is much much easier, cheaper and quicker to assemble than these old kits.
- It does not require any PC for it's operation. Just connect it to your TV and a keyboard, and you are ready to go, like the old good times.
- It can be used as a completely self contained microcomputer (eg. running classic games or programs), but also as a standalone automation control system (eg. control sensors with or without a monitor or keyboard attached etc). It can also be used as a measurement instrument for the hobbyist laboratory.
- It can communicate with other devices (eg. control modems, PC communication etc) as it has standard interfaces such as RS-232, UART, LPT, I2C etc.
- It is designed in purpose to be affordable for anyone and easy to build.


I advise you to visit the project website http://cb2.qrp.gr and learn more about the machine and the possibilities that it offers. Extensive documentation has been written there, assembly manual, usage manual, basic reference manual, as well as games and applications listings, hardware extensions etc.

I am sure you will enjoy the project, just as I did!

KOS
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DSC01868.png

McKlaud
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Re: CB2 micro KIT - Build your own BASIC color microcomputer within 30 minutes.

Post by McKlaud » Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:30 pm

Impressive work! I would be interested in bare PCB if possible.
Claudius
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neazoi
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Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:59 am

Re: CB2 micro KIT - Build your own BASIC color microcomputer within 30 minutes.

Post by neazoi » Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:49 pm

McKlaud wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:30 pm
Impressive work! I would be interested in bare PCB if possible.
Hi there, I've sent you a PM. :)

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mrtinb
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Re: CB2 micro KIT - Build your own BASIC color microcomputer within 30 minutes.

Post by mrtinb » Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:50 pm

Very impressive.

I can't find any info on your page, how to connect VGA or HDMI.
Martin
ZX81, Lambda 8300, Commodore 64, Mac G4 Cube

neazoi
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Re: CB2 micro KIT - Build your own BASIC color microcomputer within 30 minutes.

Post by neazoi » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:58 pm

mrtinb wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:50 pm
Very impressive.

I can't find any info on your page, how to connect VGA or HDMI.
The KIT output is SCART (PAL/NTSC). If your TV has not got SCART inputs you may use one of these https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R ... c&LH_BIN=1
They are very cheap. Same for VGA.
Or just dig out your old CRT TV, which is most likely to have SCART input.


The KIT is as cheap as can get, if you were to buy all the components yourself you would probably pay more, including postage for each of them. Some parts, like the SCART connector are of very high quality and you won't find them easily alone. I bought these directly from Grundig stocks.

I just finished a 2-CB micros setup with two CRT TVs connected together through RS-232 and played my first networked game ;)
See the attached image, the two prototypes are running my screensaver programs there.
Attachments
cb2.jpg

neazoi
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Re: CB2 micro KIT - Build your own BASIC color microcomputer within 30 minutes.

Post by neazoi » Wed Nov 20, 2019 12:01 am

I have added quite a few extensions in the extensions page of the CB2 micro. All of the presented extensions have been tested. More to come :)
http://cb2.qrp.gr/extensions

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msch
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Re: CB2 micro KIT - Build your own BASIC color microcomputer within 30 minutes.

Post by msch » Wed Nov 20, 2019 7:45 am

Well done! Any plans to integrate those extensions to a single pcb? A CB2 „Pro“?
Mathias

ZX-Team, classic computer collector

neazoi
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Re: CB2 micro KIT - Build your own BASIC color microcomputer within 30 minutes.

Post by neazoi » Wed Nov 20, 2019 11:35 am

msch wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 7:45 am
Well done! Any plans to integrate those extensions to a single pcb? A CB2 „Pro“?
Would you really want to do that?
It would increase the cost and although some people may like it, some others may not. I mean If I have a scart TV why should I use composite, since scart is by far superior? Or for example I do not have a vintage printer with LPT, why should I get charged the extra cost if I wanted to buy the KIT?
Also, this would end up in many versions of the PCB, since more extensions may be added later on. Some people may have PCBs with the newest features and some others may not.
It's these kind of challenges that you face up as a designer when you built a KIT for people, any KIT actually including these nice zx80/81 I have seen on the net.
The idea I had was to make the KIT as simple and cheap as possible (which would also make it easy and quick to build), but with most of the features people would want (at least to my opinion). Then put some extensions on the site, for people that want more, so each one can extend their system the way they need.
I do not know, it might be nonsense, but at least that was the way I thought about it.
I would be glad to talk on this though :)

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mrtinb
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Re: CB2 micro KIT - Build your own BASIC color microcomputer within 30 minutes.

Post by mrtinb » Wed Nov 20, 2019 12:41 pm

Well if there's a pin header on the board, you would be able to stack shields on it like the Arduino.
Martin
ZX81, Lambda 8300, Commodore 64, Mac G4 Cube

neazoi
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Re: CB2 micro KIT - Build your own BASIC color microcomputer within 30 minutes.

Post by neazoi » Wed Nov 20, 2019 12:54 pm

mrtinb wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 12:41 pm
Well if there's a pin header on the board, you would be able to stack shields on it like the Arduino.
Nice idea! Now there are just pads on the board in different places, but I could bring all the connections to a single "bus". It would require a total re-design of the PCB thought, I am not going to do it for the time being, since I spend most of the time in the networking features of it.
If you see in the extensions I develop the "LAN" scenarios. Everything is tested before posted there, so I wait for testing the scenarios and then I will post them.
I have also started experimenting in "Wide area networking", so more than one CB2 micros can exchange data through "something", which I won't tell you yet, as I am keeping it for surprise when it is released ;)
My first experiments were successful but I have to go more on the hardware when I finish the LAN thing.
But you will definitely like it, especially people that want to experience the true dial-up pre-internet years :)

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