Relay Computer

My journey in constructing an 8 bit relay computer from scratch ... made from of a ton of solder, wires, lights, relays, sweat, tears, swearing and money.

It begins

31 Oct 2013     video , musings

… although being as I’m already a couple of months in on my little project then perhaps that should be ‘it began’.

If I do see this project all the way through to the end, and I’ve plenty of half finished projects littering the place by the way, then I’ll have created an 8 bit computer from scratch. No, not a PC assembled from off the shelf parts — a CPU, motherboard, memory, power supply, case, etc — but made out of a ton of solder, wires, lights, relays, sweat, tears, swearing and money.

This will be an electromechanical computer with a (very, very) rough nod to the original relay computers that pre-dated valves, transistors and ICs. There’ll be a lot of relays — really lots — so it’ll be very ‘clicky’ when it’s running and there’ll be lots of LEDs so it’ll also be very ‘flashy’. With any luck alongside all the clicking and flashing it’ll be capable of actually running simple (or maybe even not so simple) programs.

There’s a fair bit of blogging I’ll have to do to catch up with where I’ve got to so hopefully that’ll start appearing over the next week or so but in the meanwhile here’s a taster with the result of this evenings solder fest …