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Month: July 2020

6502 breadboard computer

I finally had a few days off over the holiday weekend and was able to follow along with Ben Eater’s 6502 computer series on youtube.

The videos series is well done and the build was pretty straight forward. The schematic for the final computer is below.

I didn’t take too many pictures of the build process. I did start out with a different breadboard layout, but it was getting a bit cramped, so I built out the address and data buses down one side of the breadboard which made things much easier.

I also bought some of the actual busboard brand breadboards this time. My last few breadboard computers were plagued with flaky connections, but so far the busboard breadboards have been working great.

The arduino mega was used as a poor man’s logic analyzer and was really helpful during troubleshooting.

I started out with the 555 clock module from my other breadboard computer.

The final computer is shown below with a 1MHz can oscillator.

The computer is programmed with 6502 assembly. The code for the hello world program is below.

PORTB = $6000
PORTA = $6001
DDRB = $6002
DDRA = $6003

E  = %10000000
RW = %01000000
RS = %00100000

  .org $8000

reset:
  ldx #$ff
  txs

  lda #%11111111 ; Set all pins on port B to output
  sta DDRB
  lda #%11100000 ; Set top 3 pins on port A to output
  sta DDRA

  lda #%00111000 ; Set 8-bit mode; 2-line display; 5x8 font
  jsr lcd_instruction
  lda #%00001110 ; Display on; cursor on; blink off
  jsr lcd_instruction
  lda #%00000110 ; Increment and shift cursor; don't shift display
  jsr lcd_instruction
  lda #$00000001 ; Clear display
  jsr lcd_instruction

  ldx #0
print:
  lda message,x
  beq loop
  jsr print_char
  inx
  jmp print

loop:
  jmp loop

message: .asciiz "Hello, world!"

lcd_wait:
  pha
  lda #%00000000  ; Port B is input
  sta DDRB
lcdbusy:
  lda #RW
  sta PORTA
  lda #(RW | E)
  sta PORTA
  lda PORTB
  and #%10000000
  bne lcdbusy

  lda #RW
  sta PORTA
  lda #%11111111  ; Port B is output
  sta DDRB
  pla
  rts

lcd_instruction:
  jsr lcd_wait
  sta PORTB
  lda #0         ; Clear RS/RW/E bits
  sta PORTA
  lda #E         ; Set E bit to send instruction
  sta PORTA
  lda #0         ; Clear RS/RW/E bits
  sta PORTA
  rts

print_char:
  jsr lcd_wait
  sta PORTB
  lda #RS         ; Set RS; Clear RW/E bits
  sta PORTA
  lda #(RS | E)   ; Set E bit to send instruction
  sta PORTA
  lda #RS         ; Clear E bits
  sta PORTA
  rts

  .org $fffc
  .word reset
  .word $0000

 

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