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Homebuilt PCs

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New Member
Do they still have PC kits available? I know heathkit had one at one point, years ago. Something very low-end, like an 8080 with 4k memory. If not a kit, how about instructions to build one with currently available parts?


New Member
By "build one", do you mean (1) mounting a motherboard and drives into a cabinet and pluging in some memory chips and power supply OR (2) soldering individual parts and sockets onto a large piece of circuitboard?


Active Member
I remember that Sinclair (or similar name) made a kit. I presume that it would run BASIC but that might be wrong.

My observation: a low end PC contains an awful lot of parts leaving a gazillion or more opportunities for error if wired by hand - would be fairly large too. I've not seen any kits in years - in terms of solder parts on board kind.

I am not sure what you intend to do but microcontrollers seem to be within reach of many hobbyists - PICs and BASIC STAMPs might be some examples of these - though there are others. You might want to take a look at this stuff - it may be what you are looking for. It appears that PICs and similar microcontrollers run machine type language that is compiled on a PC then downloaded for execution by the micro and companion memory. A BASIC STAMP, as I understand it, contains the lines of BASIC code on board. The nice thing is that the parts are low cost. I have no experience (yet) but the technology is robust enough for even the most basic experimenter or hobbyist.


New Member
I built a Sinclair ZX81 kit [back in 1980], but I doubt they still exist.
You could get a microcontroller experimenter board from places like:
If you want a chip similar to the 8080,
Jameco still sells the 8052BASIC micro controller.
An excellent book about the 8052 is Jan Axelson's
The Microcontroller Idea Book
Not for newbies but my fav is
they have a 8051 kit that is only $40.
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