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July 30, 2012

Olduino: A small computer loosely based on the Arduino but using one of the early microprocessors from the first years of hobby and home-brew computing.  In this case, the RCA Cosmac 1802 processor.


The Olduino salutes its roots.

Back in the dawn of the microcomputer era I spent a lot of time working with computers based on the RCA Cosmac 1802 processor. The 1802 ELF computers got a lot of people started with small computers and there’s still a fair trade in parts and a number of active web sites and mailing lists.

A while ago, a fellow named Lee Hart put together a nice little credit-card sized 1802 system he called the Membership Card. It has processor, memory, and latched I/O on one card and a little front panel that sits on top with toggle switches and hex displays. I, of course, put one together and spent some time blinking the lights.
Membership card with front panel.

It occurred to me, though, that I could turn this into a sort of retro-arduino – an “Olduino” so to speak. I had visions of it running my wall-racer car and talking to LCDs and generally taking advantage of the bits and pieces of hardware and knowledge that have grown up around the AVR-based arduino


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