Apple 1 point-to-point wiring replica, based on Vince Briel's Replica 1 Plus.

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CWJ_Wilko's picture
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Apple 1 point-to-point wiring replica, based on Vince Briel's Replica 1 Plus.

Thanks to some help from members here, I was able to complete my point-to-point wiring replica of the Apple 1, using Vince Briel's Replica 1 Plus schematics:

https://imgur.com/a/yepLZ

I made this album before I fixed the duplicate character issue, which was solved by extra grounding. I have loaded many programs, including the Apple 30th Anniversary Graphics Demo (which is just too damn cool) and they are working great.

I'm not really sure what compelled me to make this. Many years ago, the unavailability of the Replica 1 forced me to consider making a replica from scratch, based off Vince's schematics. It has taken three attempts to get where I am today, with a working computer. Along the way I have learnt a lot about 8 bit computing, and I've come to appreciate the 'theory' behind every other modern technological miracle that can trace their lineage back to this special time in the 1970s. These days, cheaper replicas are now available, but I still pushed myself to learn how to make this computer from scratch as a personal challenge.

My replica is a mess of wire, with very dodgy soldering, questionable aesthetics and a disregard for pre-planning. While I still want to get my hands on a Mimeo 1 or other faithful PCB replica, I'm really proud of what I have done here. This was a huge learning curve for me.

My take-away from this experience is an overwhelming appreciation for the modern technological miracles that we carry around in our pockets. The computers that we have today are infinitely more complex, and I'm still studying up on what exactly makes the Apple 1 tick. It was an inspiration in 1976, and it still is today.

I should also give credit to the 'Back to the Garage' compendium by Tom Owad. The plain-English style of this document really came in handy from time to time, and I am going to continue referencing it as I learn 6502 assembly and re-learn BASIC.

cbmeeks's picture
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Re: Apple 1 point-to-point wiring replica, based on Vince ...

That's awesome! Great work.

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Joined: Oct 9 2011 - 12:54
Re: Apple 1 point-to-point wiring replica, based on Vince ...

Pretty cool, but a question, why did you wire above the board? Usually everyone hides all their "spaghetti" underneath so you can mount the board and prevent accidental wire damage.

Cheers,
Corey

CWJ_Wilko's picture
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Re: Apple 1 point-to-point wiring replica, based on Vince ...

I decided to have the majority of the wiring above the board as an exercise in aesthetics - yes, it's a mess, but I think it speaks volumes about the complexity that was required to build these first computers (and the Briel replica is simplified quite a lot with the Propeller microcontroller, compared to the original). It's a telling mess, and it's easier to see unlike being hidden underneath.

I also just found it easier to work this way, I'm not crash-hot with a soldering iron, and I had less chance of melting wire insulation by keeping the wires on top of the board, and the soldering underneath.

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Re: Apple 1 point-to-point wiring replica, based on Vince ...

You really want to see complexity, take a look at one of the wire wrapped Apple-1 replicas. Corey Little’s is on display at the Large Scale Systems Museum in Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh. Corey used to have pictures on be web of it in his C/PM museum website, but I can’t seem to find it now.

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Re: Apple 1 point-to-point wiring replica, based on Vince ...

nice project!

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