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Kiwi - a 68k Homebrew Computer

March 17th 2014
These pages describe Kiwi, a Motorola MC68008-based computer system which was developed and built as a hobby. The intention was rather to start another FPGA based project, but to design a classic computer with dedicated controllers and a count of 74 TTL chips. As for design, the goal was to create a computer system which could have existed in the 80ies. As for a typical homecomputer, the system needs some kind of input, output and mass storage. With this in mind, I started to draw schematics and created the printed circuit board (PCB) layout. In respect to the design goal, old and obsolete chips were not excluded, whereby chip brookers helped to get all needed parts. The PCB has been manufactured from my layout data by PCB-Pool. After soldering, I began porting Lee Davison's Enhanced Basic 68k to Kiwi. A Basic interpreter, which is free for personal or educational use. First, with interaction via a serial connection. Over the time, I wrote routines for the video controller and the keyboard interface. When the system ran stand-alone, I proceeded adding more functions. I ported an freely (GPL) available FAT filesystem library as well as a freely (BSD License) available TCP/IP stack.
For the future, my plans are to program some simple games.

Specifications:
CPUMC68008, clocked at 10MHz
RAM4MB DRAM, 512kB dedicated VRAM
VideoYamaha V9990 Video Display Processor
Audiodual SID stereo (MOS6581 or MOS8580)
Mass storageIDE/ATA and floppy disk interface (WD177x)
Time/DateRealtime clock Epson RTC72421
Network10base-T Ethernet (CS8900a)
InterfacesPS/2 compatible Keyboard and Mouse ports
Two Atari style Joystick ports
RS232 and parallel ports
ROM32KB EPROM with IDE/ATA Boot Code
Operating systemEnhanced Basic 68k or EmuTOS
 
 
 


The operating system is a modified version of Enhanced Basic 68k. When the system is switched on, the look and feel is as old school as it was intended to be. One can just start typing PRINT, GOTO, LIST, LOAD, RUN like used to do two decades ago.

As for development, only free tools and free software have been used. This includes the gEDA suite to create schematics and the printed circuit board layout. Critical lines have been routed by hand, while a major routing work has been done with the autorouter of freerouting.net. The development operating system is linux. The board has been manufactured by PCB-Pool. Everything is hand soldered.

The website as well as the project itself are work in progress! Follow Kiwi on YouTube or Facebook.
Get your Kiwi kit soon.

Latest Forum Posts

Hardware • Re: Updated UART (04/16/2014 10:32 AM)
Hardware • Re: Updated UART (04/16/2014 10:29 AM)
Hardware • Re: Who wants a Kiwi? (04/12/2014 02:32 PM)
Hardware • Re: Who wants a Kiwi? (04/11/2014 10:59 PM)
Hardware • Re: Who wants a Kiwi? (04/11/2014 10:55 PM)