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Author Topic: Programing Z80 cpu, DOS or MK6116N with a Mega?  (Read 1900 times)
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I have a few old Z80 series chips that i found..1 being Z8400AB1 is there anyway i can play with this with an arduino mega?



Also have some DOS chips


and
MK6116N






is there anything i can do with any of these..?
« Last Edit: September 02, 2011, 02:10:42 pm by zer044 » Logged

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I have fond memories of the Z80 - I built my first computer around it! However, the Z80A that you have is quite a lot less powerful than the processor in the Arduino. AFAIR the Z80A is clocked at 4MHz maximum and takes 4+ clock cycles per instruction. The atmega328p in the Arduino is clocked at 16MHz (although it can go up to 20) and executes most instructions in a single cycle. So it's around 16 times faster. Also, you need to interface the Z80 with RAM (such as your MK6116N) and ROM (such as the ROM chips you have) to get it to do anything useful, whereas the atmega328p has RAM (although not very much) and flash ROM on chip. You need some TTL logic to do the interfacing. Also you need to provide a clock signal.

So, unless your aim is to reconstruct something historical, it's a lot easier to write programs for the Arduino than to try to run anything on the Z80.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2011, 02:27:17 pm by dc42 » Logged

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hmm my goal was to find something i can use as a standalone circuits, that all connect to the arduino as the central processor.
I was hoping to have something from ancients set of chips but might as well buy new if its easier
I want something that can do simple things like 1 chip controls some motors another Leds.. another sensor inputs.
I am trying to stay cheap and also have ease in programing. (< unfortunately there will have to be compromise).

So i was thinking should i go for PicAxe chips or ATmega chips?
Also would a picaxe chip require a clock signal?

I saw a vid on youtube on how to program picaxe with arduino..


and im sure theres alot of tuts on standalone Arduino's so what would be my best option for something cheap and easy.

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My approach to non-commercial microcontroller projects is to prototype them on Arduino + breadboard, then build a stripboard or pcb design around a blank atmega328p and program the sketch directly into it via ICSP.

The Z80 had no hub or bridge chipsets to glue the various pieces together - you had to use TTL (although in small systems the amount you needed was minimal). Also, you had to use separate chips for I/O, e.g. Z80-SIO for serial I/O, Z80-PIO for parallel I/O, and Z80-CTC for counter/timer functions.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2011, 04:09:18 pm by dc42 » Logged

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You have a nice set of OLD chips. ( Z80 is from 1983 and EPROM is 1988 ) I see you have a few 2764 and 27128 EPROM. To use them, you have to "erase" the chip with a UV lamp.  And you have some RAM chips and a few TTL chips. The EPROM ,  the RAM chip and the TTL chip can be use with the Arduino - ATMega. You have to loop it up and check the datasheet of the chips you have.

Here my understanding about microcontrollers. It contain CPU, RAM, ROM, UART, ADC, PIA   The Z80 is only a CPU. The Arduino - ATMega328 or others with the Arduino bootloader loader is a very VERSATILE chip ( using C and 32K flash and 2 K RAM but need a 16 MHz crystal ) . The PICAXE is less versatile and they have a differents chips set ex: PICAXE 08, 08M, 14, 20 ( I bought a few of them ) The language use is BASIC ( a form of it ). As for memory, it is limited ex: PICAXE-08 is only 256 bytes <-- Flash memory. As for clock, some of the chips don't need a crystal, internal clock.

As for what chip to use --> Arduino vs PICAXE, it depend of you project and application. Price wise, they are cheap chips ( under $10 can )  And both use FREE IDE. 

My opinion.   
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I can see no practical use for those chips, you would need probably 20+ chips and a square foot of breadboard to even get close to what a single Mega328 can do, so unless as mentioned you want to make something historical just for the heck of it or as a learning experience I'd move on smiley

As for the Picaxe, it's good for what it is and I've seen many good projects done with it, but there's no upgrade path, when you get more experienced you'll have to learn a stack of new stuff. With Arduino you just add to what you've learned.

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« Last Edit: September 03, 2011, 02:43:59 am by Graynomad » Logged

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You have a nice set of OLD chips.

Oh thats just a small amount of them.. my farthers friend does some work in some kind of telecommunications, he gave me all his old electronics equipment to learn from a few years back, i was looking for some ttl shift registers and i found a brief case full of these chips (didnt find any shift registers though). I have alot of various 74ls chips like ls645, ls133, ls244 and lots of others..

Quote from: Graynomad
I can see no practical use for those chips, you would need probably 20+ chips and a square foot of breadboard to even get close to what a single Mega328 can do, so unless as mentioned you want to make something historical just for the heck of it or as a learning experience I'd move on

I am sure i have enough and i have a hell of an amount of free time as a student smiley-grin
Might give making this out of date pc a go if i can find all the info on it.. should be out there on the net.

Quote from: Graynomad
As for the Picaxe, it's good for what it is and I've seen many good projects done with it, but there's no upgrade path, when you get more experienced you'll have to learn a stack of new stuff. With Arduino you just add to what you've learned.

I already have an arduino mega i was looking for cheap alternatives so i dont have to buy a whole new board for something that is just used for oscillation
(e.g. replacing a 555 + NAND gate that makes a modulated 38khz signal or something that can read the signal).
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I already have an arduino mega i was looking for cheap alternatives so i dont have to buy a whole new board for something that is just used for oscillation
(e.g. replacing a 555 + NAND gate that makes a modulated 38khz signal or something that can read the signal).

How about an atmega328p or atmega168p on a stripboard?
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Quote
replacing a 555 + NAND gate
ATtiny85 + 0.1uF cap, total cost about $2.50 smiley

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The Z80 was a nice processor. It was object code compatible to the Intel 8080 and had some extra index registers and instructions that used them so you could do some interesting pointer operations in assembler. There was also a single instruction that would load from an address pointed to by an index register and store to an address pointed to by another index register, automatically incrementing the registers and comparing them to another value and branching on the result. That instruction allowed you to write a bootstrap loader for a floppy disk controller that would fit in 32 bytes. Very handy at the time.

While those older processors were indeed slower than an Atmega, they were capable of doing some pretty powerful computing and had a far more versatile interrupt handling system. The Z80 in particular would interface with dynamic ram without having to use the controller chips that were common at that time. If you could find 8 64K dynamic ram chips in that pile of goodies and a way to reprogram one of those EPROMs, you could build a nice controller with very few parts. There are available Z80 cross assemblers that run on Windows and you could even bring up a CPM system without too much work.

If there happen to be some Motorola 68XX chips kicking around in that briefcase, I would gladly take them off your hands.
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