1. Welcome to our site! Electro Tech is an online community (with over 170,000 members) who enjoy talking about and building electronic circuits, projects and gadgets. To participate you need to register. Registration is free. Click here to register now.
    Dismiss Notice

Z80 development board

Discussion in 'Microcontrollers' started by canadianpoet2012, Jul 8, 2004.

  1. canadianpoet2012

    canadianpoet2012 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    Messages:
    76
    Likes:
    0
    Location:
    UK
    In my time I have had a play with the Z80, and I would like to try and build a stand alone programmable computer out of one.

    I'm hoping someone can give me some information. I'm not entirely sure what devices the CPU and CTC needs as support but I am aware of DART, DMA, PIO, SIO and FIO ICs.

    So my first question is this; what are the above mentioned devices and how many of them do I need to support the Z80 CPU and CTC.
    My second question is; how do I connect them all up, and what other peripheral devices will I need in order to usefully control and program them?

    Any information would be greatly appreciated, as I am completely new to the fabrication of stand alone PCs.

    Thanks.
     
  2. bmcculla

    bmcculla New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2003
    Messages:
    898
    Likes:
    0
    Location:
    California, USA
    Zilog has a new Z80 called the Z80 Acclaim. The development board with programmer, debugger C compiler and a bunch of other peripherals is only $100. If you bought this board you would have a good place to start. Digikey.com should have it.

    Brent
     
  3. StupidDum

    StupidDum New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Messages:
    242
    Likes:
    0
    Location:
    Malaysia
    i was cheated.. i was told that they include ethernet hub..
    but then...
    nvm.. $100 only.. still worth it
     
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 1997
    Messages:
    -
    Likes:
    0


     
  5. laroche73

    laroche73 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    Messages:
    414
    Likes:
    0
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, MI

    Z80 peripheral chips

    First of all, the newer Z80 variants from Zilog have a much higher level of integration, and don't generally don't require the external peripheral chips. Still, the original Z80 series is a great place to start for learning about how microprocessor systems work (To learn about stand-alone microcontrollers, I'd go with a PIC, AVR or 8051). Old Z80 parts are also very inexpensive as surplus (Jameco lists a basic 2MHz Z80 for $0.50).

    You could try looking for an old Xerox "bigboard" or 820-II board, these were very popular with hobbyists during the 80's, and include the Z80 and most of the peripheral chips you mentioned. Very low performance by todays standards (4Mhz clock rate), but useful as a learning tool, especially if you want to probe signals with a scope or logic analyzer to get a better understanding of what's going on.

    If you want to build things from scratch, get a copy of "Z-80 Microcomputer Design Projects" by William Barden (1980, available used on Amazon for under $10). In it, he leads you through building a small Z80 based microprocessor system called the EZ-80. It doesn't include the Z80 peripheral chips, but provides a solid introduction to the Z80.

    Z80 CTC - counter/timer circuit
    Z80 PIO - parallel I/O interface controller
    Z80 SIO - serial I/O controller
    Z80 DMA - direct memory access controller
    Z80 DART - Dual asynchronous receiver/transmitter
    Z80 FIO - not sure about this one (FIFO maybe?)
     
  6. Nigel Goodwin

    Nigel Goodwin Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2003
    Messages:
    39,214
    Likes:
    640
    Location:
    Derbyshire, UK
    Re: Z80 peripheral chips

    I've got a copy of that somewhere?.

    I never did do anything with it though!, but it does look to be a nice introduction to Z80 - my experience at the time was 6502, so I bought it to learn about Z80 as well.
     
  7. canadianpoet2012

    canadianpoet2012 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    Messages:
    76
    Likes:
    0
    Location:
    UK
    Thank you all for the useful advice, especially laroche73. I will try to find that book I think.

    I wasn't thinking so much of getting a ready made board, I really want to try and build it myself. Etch all the PCBs and what have you. I thought that doing it with a Z80 would be easier than any other micro as they are so readily available, cheap, and fairly simple to understand. I'm not looking for anything too complex or sophisticated.

    Having thought about it a bit more though, it would be more useful for me to build a development board for a PIC or something like that, that I could program up and then integrate into another system. I'm guessing you can't really do that with a Z80.

    So, back to one of my first questions; does anyone know a website that shows a circuit diagram of a Z80 development board? Can anyone give me any help designing a simple PIC programming and testing board? One that can handle different (memory) sizes of PIC with the ability to test the I/Ps and O/Ps would be nice. I don't really want to fork out the cost of a ready made one for loads of reasons.

    Thanks again.
     
  8. laroche73

    laroche73 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    Messages:
    414
    Likes:
    0
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, MI
    These are two different animals; a Z80 CPU is part of a larger system, a PIC is designed to stand alone. Microprocessors (Z80) need external RAM, ROM, & peripherals and can generally handle a larger memory space. Microcontrollers (PIC, AVR, 8051) have integrated memory and peripherals, they're sized to fit the application. Microprocessors have more flexibility (as part of a system) and are better at large applications, at the expense of chip count. This is a dated description, today's microcontrollers = yesterdays microprocessor systems.
     
  9. Nigel Goodwin

    Nigel Goodwin Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2003
    Messages:
    39,214
    Likes:
    640
    Location:
    Derbyshire, UK
    A PIC development board is FAR easier to do, simply because of the smaller size of the chip, and the total lack of support components required.

    Have a look at my PIC tutorials, I use simple veroboard modules for them, and give all the layouts. The modular technique makes it far more versatile - and the boards are smaller.

    I give processor board layouts for 18, 28, and 40 pin PIC's. They all use a standard 10 pin MOLEX connector for each available port.
     

Share This Page