N8VEM Single Board Computer Project

The N8VEM single board computer is a collaborative project, which I believe was started by Andrew Lynch. There is a google group called N8VEM and a wiki maintained by the group members. The google group has all of the discussions pertaining to the N8VEM and all of its peripheral boards. The wiki site contains all of the schematics and files associated with the project. Both the N8VEM and the mini N8VEM contain Z80 CPUs and run an operating system called Control Program/Monitor, CP/M for short. This was the first sucessful operating system popular during the late 1970's to mid 1980's. As of April 2009, there are three additional boards available that can expand the functionality of the n8vem: the Disk I/O board, the ECB Bus monitor and the ECB prototyping board. The Disk I/O board allows you to connect a hard disk drive or a compact flash drive and a floppy drive. The ECB backplane connects all of these cards together. I believe that there are two more boards currently in developement: the 6809 board and the Z80 peripheral board. The Z80 peripheral board adds two more serial ports and a few more parallel busses.

The n8vem uses the same processor as in my Z80 microcomputer , the only difference is that it runs at 8Mhz instead of 2Mhz. The n8vem also has 512Kb ram and 1Mb eprom. I also added on an eprom programmer to my Z80 microcomputer specifically for programming eproms for the n8vem. As you can see below, there is a piece of blue tape covering the window on the eprom to prevent accidental erasure.

Here are a few screenshots of the CP/M operating system. As you can see, everything is text based.

 

 

 

N8VEM with the Disk I/O Board connected to the ECB Backplane. A Compact Flash card is being used here.

The boards before soldering the components.

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