Tiny ELF, ELF2K, EELF2K, Membership Card. Which to choose...
- I'm looking for some direction to point a friend of mine in who has a specific need for a small controller and perhaps wants to get his feet wet with the ELF.
A friend of mine was asking me about ELF microcomputers the other day. He is a hardware guy who owns an outfit that repairs amongst other things photocopier power supplies. The power supplies he's been working on recently are somewhat smart and have several stages that will power up or down depending on the circumstances; paper jams, etc.... I believe the idea is to power down only the mechanism that is affected by some sort of error, rather than shut down the entire machine which would then end up in a reboot.
Never-the-less, he wants to build a no-nonsense micro that he can program to start up the stages of the power supplies and run routines to test them for proper operation.
I know he could likely write something that runs on a laptop to achieve this in less time with less hassle but I have a sneaking suspicion that he wants to play with an old 8-bit processor like the 1802.
I'm going to donate the 1802 + support chips that I have for the project but I wonder what direction I should point him towards.... I think the ELF2K might be overkill for what he needs. Maybe one of Lee's DEV circuits from 2005 for the membership card with inputs and outputs? I also think a hex pad would be handy for programming.
Any thoughts would be more than welcome.
- CamelForth looks interesting. It seems to be designed specifically for small implemented microcomputers.
I was looking at the source and it seems to be really well written code. It is documented well and has a number of nifty additional WORDS including some debugging ones.
--- In email@example.com, jporubek <jporubek@...> wrote:
> Very good summary of the current state of the hobbyist micro world,
> Mark. I'm usually a lurker in this group, but I couldn't resist the
> urge to weigh in with my opinions.
> I, too, don't particularly care for PIC micros and I'm not entirely
> sure why. Maybe it's because the original chips had next to no
> hardware support for a decent stack. I'm a big fan of programming in
> Forth for micros, and you can't do Forth without a real stack. Or
> maybe it was the weird, non-standard assembly language mnemonics,
> especially if you were used to the 6502/6800 style of mnemonics (or
> even 808x mnemonics). I know that PICs have come a long way since
> those early days, but I still feel a small sense of disappointment
> when I read an article in Circuit Cellar and discover that the project
> is based on a PIC. It's also a big reason why I keep telling myself
> I'm going to let my subscription to Nuts and Volts run out next time
> it's due.
> Like most people in this group, I got my start in micros with the RCA
> 1802, building my own improved version of the ELF with muxed data AND
> address displays and a hex keypad. I was enamored with all things
> COSMAC and acquired a VIP, a Studio II, and even an RCA Micromonitor.
> I then progressed to 6502-based computers with an AIM-65 and a
> Commodore 64 before assembling my first PC. I dabbled a little with
> the 8085 via a Radio Shack Model 100 and a Kyocera 85. I'd like to get
> back to all of them someday as part of my own mini-museum - maybe if I
> can ever retire!
> I like AVRs from what I've read about them, although I don't have any
> hands-on experience. A brief professional exposure to an 8051 project
> was painful, although this may not have been the 8051's fault - it was
> being over-taxed with bank-switched memory and the code I had to
> interface with was badly-written C spaghetti code. I have mostly
> pleasant experiences with 68HC05s, 680x0s and Coldfires.
> However, my current processor of choice is the TI MSP430. In some ways
> it could be claimed to be the cultural descendant of the 1802. Like
> the 1802, the MSP430 is designed for low-power applications, although
> modern semiconductor process technologies make the MSP430 a far lower
> power device than the 1802 could ever have hoped to have been. Like
> the 1802, the MSP430 architecture is based on 16 16-bit registers,
> although the program counter and stack pointer registers are fixed for
> the MSP430, unlike the 1802! There are versions of Forth available for
> both the MSP430 and the 1802 at http://www.camelforth.com There's
> even a version there that I ported for the TI eZ430-RF2500T low-cost
> USB stick development tool.
> Mark, your website looks really interesting, especially your
> 8085-based micro trainer. I plan to spend some spare time looking
> through all that's available there. Thanks for putting it up on the