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I've built my Gigatron

Posted: 16 May 2021, 09:12
by kopizoli
First of all I would like to congratulate to the founders of Gigatron (I know that Marcel has passed in last year :-() and say thank you that they’ve shared it and made it open source.
About a year ago, my younger brother sent me a link about Gigatron, the official website. From that time I’ve decided that I will build one for myself. :-) Approx. 2-3 months ago, I’ve started to order the PCB of Gigatron, simultaneously the Pluggy McPlugface’s PCB and the electronic parts. The hardest part was the 6.25 MHz crystal, which I found only at Mouser, so I’ve ordered it from there, together with some other parts. If I build an electronic with ICs, I always use IC sockets, because it makes easier if any of the ICs need to be changed. Also, I’ve found a picture somewhere that someone has used a 40-pin ZIF socket for the EPROM IC in order to easier remove the IC and reprogram it with a newer firmware, so I also ordered a 40-pin ZIF socket. When all the parts have arrived, I’ve started to build it. There were some challenges, the first time, it didn’t start, sometimes all the four LEDs were lighting and sometimes, random 2-3-4 pcs. Finally, I found the problem, and fixed it.
To find a proper wooden box was also a challenge, I’ve tried to find a similar size than the main PCB. Finally, I found a good one, but I had to remove the separators from it and it was a nature wood, so I’ve used a spot-glaze 2 times and used one layer of varnish. Certainly, I had to drill and cut the backside of it for the connectors. For keeping the PCB in the wood box, I’ve used 4 pcs Nylon Hex spacers which I glued to the bottom of the box.
Last, but not least, I’ve assembled the Pluggy McPlugface which certainly didn’t work on the first time. I had the same issue which Aaron had in last November (viewtopic.php?f=3&t=272), when I attached a PS/2 keyboard, Gigatron had recognize it, the lights were up, but none of the buttons worked, only sometimes, if I pushed a bunch of buttons, Snake were started. The problem was that when I programmed the ATTiny85 with my TL866 II Plus EPROM burner, I didn’t change the Fuse Low Byte to the proper value. When I fixed this mistake, my PS/2 keyboard with the Pluggy McPlugface interface worked like a charm.
I’m still waiting for the delivery of the gamepad from Aliexpress, but until that, I can use the PS/2 keyboard instead.
The future plan is to extend it to 128kb with the RAM & IO Expansion board, I’ve already ordered the PCB from China.

Re: I've built my Gigatron

Posted: 16 May 2021, 09:48
by kopizoli
And some more pictures :

Re: I've built my Gigatron

Posted: 23 May 2021, 02:55
by Vyvvyan
Excellent, very nice, looks very much like an original Gigatron in that box!

Re: I've built my Gigatron

Posted: 24 May 2021, 07:47
by kopizoli
Vyvvyan wrote: 23 May 2021, 02:55 Excellent, very nice, looks very much like an original Gigatron in that box!
Thank you. :-)