segunda-feira, outubro 2, 2023

Trevor Flowers’ Miniature TRS-80 Microcomputer Homes an Adafruit QT Py for a Working Show

Maker and classic computing fanatic Trevor Flowers has put collectively an ultra-compact clone of the Tandy-Radio Shack TRS-80 microcomputer — powered by an Adafruit QT Py board working CircuitPython.

Launched in 1977 by Tandy via its Radio Shack retailer fronts, the unique TRS-80 — later rebadged to the Mannequin I — kicked off a household of microcomputing gadgets which might run the gamut from all-in-one programs with floppy drives and CRT shows to the favored TRS-80 Mannequin 100 transportable. The TRS-80 Mannequin II, launched in 1980, got here with the aforementioned show, as much as two 180kB floppy drives, as much as 48kB of RAM, and a Zilog Z80A processor working at 2MHz.

This tiny TRS-80 packs an Adafruit QT Py S3 microcontroller board, giving it specs far in extra of full-size originals. (📹: Trevor Flowers)

Flowers’ miniature recreation, although, has very totally different specs. Contained in the 3D-printed chassis lies an Adafruit QT Py S3 microcontroller improvement board, which regardless of its diminutive dimension boasts an Espressif ESP32-S3 chip with two Tensilica Xtensa LX7 cores working at as much as 240MHz, 512kB of static RAM (SRAM), 2MB of pseudo-static RAM (PSRAM), and 4MB of flash storage — all upgrades on the TRS-80 by a number of orders of magnitude.

“This [miniature] is pushed by this QT Py working CircuitPython or Arduino,” Flowers explains. “So, there’s not an correct TRSDOS or VDOS emulator for it. Then again it has Wi-Fi, BLE [Bluetooth Low Energy], and extra reminiscence and pixels than the unique.”

The venture builds on Flowers early display-only TRS-80 miniature mannequin, which lacked electronics and as a substitute used swappable playing cards to simulate a static show. “As shipped,” Flowers defined of the unique, which was created to a 1:6 scale, “it can present a brief BASIC program.” The brand new variant, although, can show animations — and even double as a practical Web of Issues (IoT) linked show system in a retro-themed chassis.

Extra data on the venture is accessible on Flowers’ Mastodon thread, whereas the non-functional variant is listed on the market on his Transmutable retailer at $42.

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