New MOnSter6502 updates, with video!

12:29 am Uncategorized

It’s been a while since we’ve had an update to the MOnSter6502 project–we’ve been very busy getting the second revision ready. At the same time, I’ve been designing a simple yet powerful 6502-based computer that can operate at the slow clock speeds required by the MOnSter6502.

But before I go into detail about that, take a look at this video update. It’s one thing to see photos of the MOnSter6502, but the video really brings out just how awesome this thing is in person! (Shameless plug for Maker Faire Bay Area 2017 where you should come visit us.)


The MOnSter6502 runs up to about 60KHz clock, which is quite a bit slower than the original. The computer I’ve designed for it uses another microcontroller to simulate hardware peripherals, inspired by capabilities of various ’80s computers and gaming consoles. The idea is to offload CPU-intensive video and sound tasks to the microcontroller, freeing up the 6502 so that it can be used in real time despite the slow clock.

Right now, I’ve implemented several software-defined peripherals

  • VGA video output with 256 color graphics, tiles, and sprites
  • Multichannel stereo sound synthesizer
  • PS/2 keyboard interface
  • KIM-1 style front-panel debugging keypad and LED display
  • USB-CDC interface with a 6502-accessible UART for communications with a host PC

The computer can also run a full validation suite on the connected 6502, which has been quite useful troubleshooting the highly complex MOnSter6502 boards.

The computer is still a prototype, but you can see some shots of it in the video above.

You can find more updates and information at the project site.

One Response
  1. Ranayna :

    Date: May 19, 2017 @ 2:05 pm

    Great work!
    When I saw last years version published in a German Magazine (www.heise.de), I was already totally fascinated by this thing.
    And now you have made it even better…

    Now, I am sure I am not the first to ask…
    I want one, and I would like to build one myself. I think I have the soldering skill, and I definitely have the time 😉 But I doubt I have the skill to design it.
    I know from the FAQ that you will not create a DIY kit for this, but would you be willing to sell the board and provide a BOM?

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