Hackaday Prize 2023: 65uino 6502 Learning In A Familiar Package

[Anders Nielsen] presents his entry for the 2023 Hackaday Prize: The 65uino. Which as you might be able to guess, is a 6502-based microcomputer wedged into an Arduino Uno form factor (well, almost wedged in, but we’ll let it slide) The premise is simple, older micros are easier to understand, the board can be build up from new-old or salvaged stock, and that’s more chips on boards and less sitting on a dusty shelf. After all, even though the 6502 in its original form is long obsolete, it’s far better to be pushing some electrons around, than sitting there decaying.

Hackaday Prize 2023: 65uino 6502 Learning In A Familiar Package
The OLED frame buffer is bigger than the host’s entire RAM. No problem!

From an educational perspective, the first lesson is the hand-soldering of through-hole DIP components and a smattering of straightforward surface mount parts in their supporting roles.  Then on to setting up the cc65 toolchain. To say this is a pure 6502 system is a little misleading, it actually uses the 6507 device variant, which is a die-bond variant of the same device but with only 28 of the pins utilized.

The use of the 6532 RIOT (RAM-I/O-Timer) chip provides two 8-bit ports of GPIO as well as a timer and 128 bytes of SRAM, making the design more compact. There is a socket that will accept a 24 or 28-pin E(E)PROM device, with the extra four pins removable and the PCB snapped off if fitment into a standard ‘Uno case is desirable. Neat!

Full hardware build and PCB design (using KiCAD) are available on the 65uino GitHub page. Just remember folks, with everything minimal 6502 related — some assembly required 😀

We see the 6502 a lot, let’s be fair. But why not? Here’s a slightly more practical board with a bit more resources, an absolute beast of a luggable dual-6502 machine, and yet another 6502 verilog implementation ready to be dropped into a spare corner of a FPGA project that needs a little extra.

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