The COSMAC “ELF” was a microcomputer design by Joseph Weisbecker that was announced in the pages of the August edition of Popular Electronics . This is an implementation of the COSMAC Elf, constructed in going by the issues of Popular Electronics, with additional articles in March and July Popular Electronics was famous for the article introducing the Altair ran on building a very simple computer called the COSMAC ELF.

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I have found the best use of new technology is to preserve and illustrate the old technology. Great work, and excellent descriptions in the video! You don’t really need those, after all, to use the Elf but they sure are fun. The ELF, on the other hand, could be put together on a piece of perf board. Also, prices have dropped enough that you can try two or three if you choose.

Vintage COSMAC Elf is Pretty Close to Original

CHIP-8 was popular on thebut was not exclusive to it. If you don’t have anthe Elf has space and standoffs to mount a daughter board that plugs into the socket and contains a discrete logic replacement for the Other features of the chip include voltage operation between 3 and 12 volts dc at very low current drain, TTL compatibility, built-in clock, and simplified interfacing.

It is often erroneously credited as being an machine because it also implemented the CHIP-8 interpreter. If an error was made in program entry, it could be corrected by turning on memory protect, turning off load mode thus resetting the program pkpular to zeroturning on load mode, and pressing “input” to advance to the address of the incorrect data.


For example, on reset, R0 one of those 16 sixteen bit registers was the default program counter, but also the DMA register, and it was reset to h. Chip count elecctronics the simplest system could be very low compared to almost any other CPU of the day, but performance and flexibility were a bit behind the competition. The and are both Elecronics, so anything you can do with one you can do with the other. The result looks awfully close to the original.

Return by changing the PC back to the old register. Popilar, similar information and hobbyist software projects can be found on the Internet.

The wire wrap sockets on perf board absolutely take me back to my first build. You can always wire wrap one – after all, that’s the way the original Elf was built, and it’s the way I built my prototypes.

Pittman also contributed to periodic newsletters for Netronics customers. Entering a byte via the toggle switches and pressing the “input” button would enter a byte into RAM and display it on the efl of hex LEDs, then advance the DMA counter to the next location. The Z80 gives me lots of compilers and cross assemblers to play with.

The important differences are how fast; and how much memory it takes. The original Cosmac Elf kit was my first.

It is compleletly static, meaning that its clock can be stopped without loosing the internal states reducing power consumption. A simple text editor and a load-and-go assembler, written by Mike Rileywhich allows you to type vosmac, edit, assemble and then run assembly language programs.

You might want to check out the Z based P or, if you want to go all the way, the Stack This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. You are commenting using your Twitter account. And that was cash. You can communicate with the computer in a relatively simple language. That was so popular no pun intendedthat they ran more computer construction articles, including the SWTPC late in The Altair was an expensive machine. Consider the Altair, though.


History | COSMAC ELF

This code was then processed by a very lean inner interpreter, yielding an execution speed far greater than that provided by Tiny Basic. As short as his course was, Pittman introduced the reader to the full host of microprocessor features without dependence on a technical vocabulary.

Boards were bare and came with schematics, a parts list and a parts placement diagram. Views Read Edit View history. And The Embedded Elf is an Elf for embedded systems! Sounds like you need an RSS feed app.

Please contact me at: Relatively speaking—the also hold up well against things like the Z Like the Altair, the Elf was another “build it yourself” computer project published by Popular Electronics magazine. You are commenting using your Facebook account.

Dosmac turning off memory protect, the correct value could be entered. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This permission does not extend popukar third parties, and if you want to redistribute Mike’s code, either separately or as part of the Elf EPROM, you will need to obtain his permission.

Software development was done in assembly language using a cross assembler which was written in-house and ran on Computer Automation Alpha LSI minicomputers.