TRS-80 Mannequin 100 Will get Arduino Coronary heart Transplant | Murderer Tech

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When [Stephen Cass] got here throughout a damaged Tandy TRS-80 Mannequin 100 laptop computer, the best answer was to purchase one other damaged one and make a working pc out of two non-working computer systems. Nevertheless, this left him with a dilemma: what to do with the (now much more) damaged left over?

LCD show format is uncommon by fashionable requirements, however optimized for fast updates

Naturally, it did what a number of us would do and used fashionable {hardware} to interface with the unique components that also work. On this case he meant changing the motherboard with an Arduino Mega 2560.

Luckily, the Mannequin 100 has a big following and there’s a lot of helpful info out there on-line, together with the detailed service handbook, which helped. [Stephen] to know learn how to drive the weird display. The LCD display has a decision of 240×64 pixels, that are divided into eight zones of fifty×32 pixels and two zones of 40×42 pixels. Every zone is then divided into 4 banks, eight pixels excessive, so that every column of eight pixels corresponds to a single byte.

Every of the ten zones is managed by a person HD44102 controller IC, linked to a 30-bit huge bus to pick out the proper chip, financial institution and column.

With Arduino dealing with the info, the previous LCD display nonetheless wanted a -5V provide for distinction and an RC filter to easy the PWM sign. [Stephen] you’re utilizing to regulate the angle of view.

With the brand new interface, [Stephen] you possibly can entry all pixels of the unique display and use fashionable graphics libraries like displayio. With the show challenge resolved, he intends to make use of a separate Teensy 4.1 to interface with the keyboard matrix and supply a VT100 terminal interface.

HD44102 Driver Circuit Schematic

Recycling previous and damaged {hardware} may be a number of enjoyable and is at all times academic. Understanding why sure design choices have been made at a time when engineering trade-offs have been completely different can result in insights which might be instantly related to fashionable designs when assets are scarce. On this case, fancy LCD drivers have been a solution to make textual content show as environment friendly as potential, in order to not overload the processor.

TRS-80 computer systems are prepared for hacking, with their “constructed for obligation” designs, and we have featured just a few prior to now. Some have changed the motherboard with one thing newer, like [Stephen]whereas others have additionally changed the display or linked them to the cell phone community.

Have you ever discovered new methods to make previous {hardware} work? Inform us within the feedback under or ship us a message on the Hackaday tip line.

Due to [nb0x0308] for the tip!

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TRS-80 Model 100 Gets Arduino Heart Transplant