I sure picked an impossibly huge project for Retrochallenge! There’s no chance of finishing the whole project during the month of Retrochallenge, but I’ve made a good start.
After three weeks of off-and-on work with frequent interruptions by my day job, I have routed the main controller PCB.
I don’t know how much more I will complete by the end of the month, but even if this is it, I’m pretty pleased with this progress. While designing this PCB was a big effort, there’s still a lot more to do:
- Proofread the PCB design, and send it off to be fabricated.
- Design another small PCB to terminate the end of the drive bus, and make it.
- Design the disk formatter, to be implemented in the FPGA. This will by far be the biggest task in this project.
- Write the firmware to control the whole thing, and make it turn into a USB mass storage device.
- Design a 3D-printable case for the controller.
Realistically, I’ll probably get distracted by other shiny objects by the end of October. For example, I just bought a SOL-20, which will certainly demand some attention! I also have a couple of TRS-80 Color Computer projects in the works. But even if this project ends up on the shelf for a while, the work in progress is all available on GitLab.