Category Archives: Hardware

ZIF sockets

If you want to fit a zero insertion force (ZIF) socket you might like to consider this strategy.

Most PCB designs do not allow for ZIF sockets to be soldered directly to the PCB. The holes are not usually big enough for the sturdy ZIF socket pins and there are usually other components too close for the ZIF socket’s larger footprint.

By raising the ZIF socket with an intermediate IC socket or two the ZIF socket is raised clear of most other components and the large ZIF socket pins do not need to fit the holes in the PCB or damage the soldered in IC socket. The ZIF socket pins can be jammed into cheap IC sockets but not turned pin sockets. This method has proven convenient and reliable. I guess it would not stand being shaken around but for development and static systems it is fine.

SC132 SIO/0 Released

SC132 is a two channel asynchronous serial port module designed for the RC2014 bus.

This module is based on the Z80 SIO/0 chip which is currently more readily available than the usual SIO/2 chip. It is software compatible with the SIO/2 and thus with existing software.

Details here.

Pocket RomWBW System

Today, I finally received the batch of PCBs I’ve been waiting for from China since January 14.

These boards are for my prototype pocket RomWBW system.

Front view.jpg
SC131 RomWBW CP/M Computer

I’ve got a few tweaks and some testing to do and then I intend to offer it as a kit. I plan to offer a choice of case colours and a choice of front and back panel colours.

SC131 circuit board


  • Z180 CPU running at 18.432MHz
  • 512k Flash
  • 512k RAM
  • 2 serial ports
  • MicroSD card slot
  • No further expansion if possible
Next to SC126 for scale
The case is available in several colours
Viewed with top of case removed
View of back panel
Top view next to SC126 (for scale)