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Z80 Retrocomputing 15 – CP/M on RC2014 Revisted, Using RomWBW

Z80 Retrocomputing 15 – CP/M on RC2014 Revisted, Using RomWBW

In this video, I build a new Flash ROM / RAM board and use it to install the RomWBW CP/M distribution on the RC2014:

I’ve already done one video on CP/M on the RC2014, but when I built the Zeta 2 Single Board Computer, I liked Sergey Kiselev’s design so much that I thought I’d try to adapt it over to the RC2014.

Overview of the new design

The new design, based on the Zeta 2 by Serget Kislev, uses a 512 KB Flash ROM and a 512 KB static RAM. There are two register file chips that implement a 7-bit paging register. This allows you to slice up the Z80’s 64 KB address space into four windows, each of which can point to any 16 KB page in ROM or RAM.

There are several advantages to the new design:

  • The CP/M operating system and BIOS is built into ROM
  • ROM disk allows over a dozen CP/M applications and tools
  • RAM disk allows programs to be downloaded, assembled, etc.
  • No external storage (CompactFlash or Floppy) is needed for a basic CP/M system
  • Flash ROM can be reprogrammed without needing to be erased

Schematic

Here’s a picture of the schematic

RC2014 Flash ROM / RAM Schematic

Implementation

Here’s the board I built

rc2014 Flash ROM and RAM board

Modifying RomWBW

The CP/M distribution that runs on the Zeta 2 is called RomWBW by Wayne Warthen. Since the RC2014 is not exactly a Zeta2, I had to make a few modifications:

  • Added support for the Z80 SIO/2 chip
  • Added support for the ICAI chip (for those using the original RC2014 serial board)

Github makes it very easy to fork an existing project and make available your own changes. My fork of RomWBW is located at https://github.com/sbelectronics/RomWBW

 




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