About the rosco_m68k

The brand-new old computer you can build yourself

The Really Old School Computer (M68K) is a completely new Motorola 68000-based 16/32-bit computer. We've taken the best technology that the late twentieth century has to offer and combined it with modern design techniques to create a single board self-assembly computer kit that's fun, powerful and very capable.

Our four-layer design and exclusive use of through-hole components allow us to deliver a high-quality, easy to assemble kit that's suitable for seasoned pros and novices alike, and because we only work with the highest quality PCB manufacturers and component suppliers you'll find putting your rosco_m68k together is an absolute breeze!

The Kit

Every rosco_m68k kit contains the latest Revision 1 PCB, and optionally all the components you need to build a working computer. Starting at just $40, you select only the components you need to build exactly the kit that you want to build. We are immensely proud of our product and take great care to ensure that every single kit we ship is perfect in every way.

Our PCBs are manufactured using the latest techniques in the finest fabs the far-east has to offer, and we work with suppliers to select only the highest-quality components we can get our hands on.

Some of the ICs we use are no longer being manufactured and can be tricky to find, but we work day and night and leave no stone unturned in our endless quest to source these. By necessity, many of these parts are new-old stock, surplus and sometimes just plain used, but we thoroughly test every one of them before shipping them out in one of our kits.

Just add solder and a couple of hours of your time and you'll be ready to power up in no time!

Speaking of power, we use USB wall warts and are planning to offer ready-made cables soon, but in the meantime it's easy to modify any USB cable to suit.

You'll also want an FTDI cable (or USB->Serial converter) to allow your old, modern computer to talk to your new, old one. If you don't have one you can add one to your order for just $5 extra.

The Specs

We get it, you want numbers, right? Well, how about these:

  • MC68010 CPU @ 8MHz
  • 1MB RAM
  • 16KB ROM
  • 24-bit Address Bus
  • 16-bit Data Bus
  • Built-in 9600BPS UART
  • 5 interrupt capable programmable GPIOs
  • 2 full-service programmable timers
  • 16-pin IO connector
  • 64-pin Expansion connector

The Contents

The kit comprises:

  • 1x Revision 1 PCB
  • 1x MC68010 CPU
  • 1x MC68901 MFP
  • 2x AS6C4008 4MBIT SRAM
  • 2x AT28C64B 128KBIT ROM(*)
  • 2x ATF16V8BQL PLD(*)
  • 4x 74LSxx Logic ICs
  • 1x NE555 Timer IC
  • All capacitors, resistors, LEDs etc

Because we know that you probably already have a parts bin thats bursting with stuff, the base option on Tindie is for the PCB only. You then select the rest as options according to your needs. This way we only ship the parts you need and you don't pay for anything you don't.

(*) These ICs are supplied pre-programmed but unprotected so you can reprogram them if you wish!

Proud to be Open Source

And we put our money where our mouth is...

We're proud, outspoken supporters of Open Source so it naturally follows that all aspects of the rosco_m68k, from the hardware schematics and the PCB design to the firmware code and the documentation* are open-source, under the permissive CERN OHL (hardware), MIT (software) and CC-BY (documentation) licences.

Buying hardware and kits from us helps to support our open source efforts, but you're totally free to go your own way and have your own hardware made from scratch using our designs. And of course having the designs available means everyone can learn and benefit from all the information and knowledge contained within.

* Documentation in our Github projects and on our community site at http://roscom68k.org is open-source licensed. Content on this site (rosco-m68k.com) is subject to copyright and may not be reproduced without permission.