Computer enthusiasts interested in building a computer system similar to those available in the early 1980s may be interested in the homebrew modular Z80 computer kit created by RFC2795 Ltd based in the United Kingdom. The RC2014 Pro computer kit consists of a z80 2.1 CPU Module, Pageable ROM Module, 64k RAM Module, Dual Serial SIO/2 Module, Compact Flash Storage Module, Dual Clock Module and Backplane Pro.
When assembled, the RC2014 Pro boots straight in to Microsoft BASIC or CP/M 2.2. This can be accessed through an FTDI cable and a terminal program (PuTTY, TeraTerm, Screen, etc) on your PC or laptop. Alternatively, you can use a Pi Zero Serial Terminal to plug in directly to monitor and keyboard.
Its creators explain a little more about the inspiration behind the retro computer kit and its design. “RC2014 is a range of homebrew computer kits reminiscent of what was available in the late 70s / early 80s. They are not a clone of anything specific, but there are suggestions of the ZX81, UK101, S100, Superboard II and Apple I in there.”
“The RC2014 Pro is a modular computer with an 12 slot enhanced backplane. It has a Z80 CPU running at 7.3728MHz, 64k RAM, Microsoft BASIC on ROM, or CP/M 2.2 on Compact Flash and communicates over serial at 115,200bps via a Zilog SIO/2 UART. The backplane allows expansion modules such as official RC2014 Modules or a selection of 3rd party “Designed for RC2014″ modules. The design is simple, and the standard 0.1” pitch headers encourages building your own add-ons.
RC2014 Pro is the only RC2014 computer that includes all the components needed to run CP/M. With 64k RAM, Pageable ROM, Compact Flash Storage, Dual Serial and Multi-Speed Clock and 12 slot Backplane, it is the highest spec RC2014 currently available.”
For more information on the Z80 Computer Kit jump over to the Tindie website where it is now available to purchase priced at $199.