Paul Bleisch



From Breadboard to Protoboard

The time has come to clear some space on my breadboard so I can continue to build out the remainder of the system. I’ve collected a few prototype boards from Futurlec by tossing a few in each order over a few months. I bought a few different flavors of boards (PROTO777, PRBRDLG, and EXPBRD) to see which worked best for my random projects.

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Starting a Retro PC using The 8088 Project Book

Several months ago, I purchased a copy of Robert Grossblatt’s classic The 8088 Project Book in hopes of building a retro 8088 computer. My plan was to scavenge the parts from craigslist, ebay, and a couple Seattle area used computer junk stores. My adventures locally didn’t result in many parts though I did have much fun finding all those old ISA cards. I did manage to buy quite a few intel parts (8259s, 8255s, etc…) and a bunch of 74xx TTL parts from a gentleman in the area who was clearing out old stuff. But I still didn’t have an 8088 and a couple other necessary support parts. My queries to craigslist resulted in offers to sell me old 8088 PCs for crazy prices. Eventually, I gave up on finding the parts locally and started adding the remaining pieces to various digikey and futurlec purchases. This past weekend the final piece – the 8284 – arrived which is good because it is pretty important being that it drives the clock for the entire system.

Continue reading “Starting a Retro PC using The 8088 Project Book”

Futurlec’s value packs

I’ve decided to invest in some component “staples” so I can more easily do simple projects with the kids.  After looking around a bit, I decided to get a few  value packs from Futurelec.  Specifically, the 1/4W resistor pack, a ceramic cap pack, mylar cap pack, a diode pack, and the linear ic pack.  They shipped quickly and the pre-sorted and labeled nature made it easy to pop into my cheapo Home Depot containers.  Great stuff.

I left the resistors in their shipping package since they were labelled for me.
I left the resistors in their shipping package since they were labelled for me.

I came upon Futurlec while looking for 8088 related parts for another project. If you haven’t tried them they seem to have great prices for 74LSxx stuff and the like (compared to digikey and jameco) and ship small orders.

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