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Modding 4-Bit computer Aesthetic Pictures 56k

Discussion in 'Modding' started by Xiachunyi, 27 Apr 2005.

  1. Xiachunyi

    Xiachunyi What's a Dremel?

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    Hello, I just got done installing the tinted acrylic on my senior project and it looks pretty nice to me so I thought I would share the pictures with everyone.

    I would like to thank Macroman for giving me the idea to tint the sides. The tint actually serves another purpose other than to make the computer look good, it dims the brightness of the LED diodes and displays for the I/O of the computer so the user won't have his/her eyes burned by the intensity. The motherboard and I/O daughtercard, are missing because I am too lazy/working on them to include them in the pictures.

    Despite me documenting my senior project, I am still quite inept at the camera so there is the excuse, it is up to you whether you want to take it or not. :D

    Pictures speak a thousand words:

    Front:
    [​IMG]

    Back:
    [​IMG]

    Top 1
    [​IMG]

    Top 2
    [​IMG]

    Side
    [​IMG]

    I'll be writing a project log about this when I get the chance.
     
  2. Firehed

    Firehed Why not? I own a domain to match.

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    Looks well made... but what does it do? :hehe:

    Very nice work as far as modding goes anyways, looks like good soldering work and whatnot too.
     
  3. Xiachunyi

    Xiachunyi What's a Dremel?

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    :D Thank you for the comment.

    It is basically designed to simulate what a computer actually does in terms of carrying out a calculation. It can add, subtract, and do logic with four bit binary numbers. The processor is made from scratch utilizing the 74181 ALU.

    The computer's design has a design change from normal computers due to the fact that there are 3 operands instead of 2. Your normal two operands follow in the fashion of Accumulator A and Data Register B with the answer being output to Accumulator A - assembly people will be very familiar with this concept. The 4-bit computer has operand A, B, and C. Operand C is where the output shows up but since I had some space on the motherboard... I slapped an extra register and buffer package on.

    The system works basically the same way and no one would be able to tell due to the fact that the clock cycles are assigned active to both operand A and C. The memory for the computer would be the registers but if that taken into consideration... the total memory for the computer would be 13 bits, including one extra for the carry flag.

    The two ICs that you see on the right in Pic 1 are the QT140s that are used for user input so there will be no mechanical switch, save for the direct mains feed-in on the backside.

    The computer has two insetable modules for clock sources, one is a 555 IC timer and the other is a 10Mhz TTL Oscillator. The limiting factor of how fast information can be dealt with and obtained from the computer would be of course... the human user.
     
  4. Cheap Mod Wannabe

    Cheap Mod Wannabe What's a Dremel?

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    EHM... Could you explain it to simple people too. Looks nice and all, do you have software that runs it?
     
  5. bobmister

    bobmister What's a Dremel?

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    Ah, an Imsai 4004 version 2005. Needs more switches and lights :)

    Of course if u wanted to learn and build a computer from scratch I am pretty sure there are emulators these days that let you build such a device on screen. I mean the work is fun, I miss my building days, but the learning process this way is waaaaay slow.
     
  6. Xiachunyi

    Xiachunyi What's a Dremel?

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    Basically it can put two numbers together to form a bigger number, take the difference from two numbers, and or compare both of the numbers to one another to arrive at a conclusion if one is larger than the other or smaller.

    Look at page 2 of the 741LS81 datasheet for the function table and all it can do on its own.

    The functions are organized via a DIP switch so every function on there could be accessed if need be. Addition would be much more useful since as long as 2+2=4, there is no need to worry.

    Input is in the form of 4-bit binary via touch sensors but with a coupled 7-digit display so you could see what you are entering. Output is in the form of binary and two 7-digit displays for the needed place-value transfer from 0 to 15.

    In a sense the computer is programmable via the DIP switch but not electronically in the form of intangible code - most of it would be considered hard-wired.

    I was going to put water cooling but decided against it since that would be far too much to handle - overkill in more ways than one. The ALU does get hot though, two BGA package RAM sinks should be helpful.
     
  7. BjD

    BjD What's a Dremel?

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    Seriously cool :thumb: looking forward to the log
     
  8. kickarse

    kickarse What's a Dremel?

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    yeah besides the cool factor is it used for anything well useful?
     
  9. morishani

    morishani What's a Dremel?

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    RE

    Dont know what does it do , but it's looking good :thumb: .

    B.T.W Nice Cooling :]
     
  10. bobmister

    bobmister What's a Dremel?

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    I like the piano-black but not so kin about the window. Maybe it's just too many people doing it, the exclusivity is long lost.
     
  11. Nath

    Nath Your appeal has already been filed.

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    Looks very nice indeed, and also are those panasonic headphones you've got there?
     
  12. Xiachunyi

    Xiachunyi What's a Dremel?

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    Thanks everyone for the comments so far.

    As far as being really useful?... no, it is simply an oversized calculator that can add and subtract to/from 15. Though the prime reason for building is to illustrate the basic computer. Every computer in the entire world has the same basic setup as this, though they have more "stuff" so they can handle larger bunches of information.

    32-bit, 64-bit? Mine is 4-bit, you can see how far back it goes. One thing comes to mind are the 8-bit Motorola processors, the 68k; then 16-bit processors, the Intel 8086; then 32-bit processors, the Pentium 4s; the 64-bit processors, the Athlon 64s; the 128-bit processors, ummm don't know "yet".

    Yes they are :D Something to entertain my mind while I route wires.
     
  13. star882

    star882 What's a Dremel?

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    A 4 bit ALU is running hot? I'm guessing that it's bipolar TTL.
    Your "computer" reminded me of some 8 bit Ashlee Simpson CPUs that I currently have stored in a box. 4kB of RAM and 8kB of Flash now sound a little impressive, given that it's all packed into one chip and the whole CPU uses only 2mA or so at 5v and 20MHz.
    BTW, at one time, I used an Ashlee Simpson CPU to reflash the ROM in a broken wireless router.
     
  14. technomancer

    technomancer What's a Dremel?

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    Damn, that's cool.

    Transmeta's chips are actually 128-bit VLIW machines under the emulation layer :naughty:
     
  15. star882

    star882 What's a Dremel?

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    And many new wireless routers have a chip that contains a 32-bit Jessica Simpson CPU and a 256-bit encryption coprocessor. To top this all off, the chip only runs warm without a heatsink.
     
  16. technomancer

    technomancer What's a Dremel?

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    Transmetas Crusoes use 128-bit VLIWs, the Efficions use 256-bit VLIWs. Granted they're not true 128-bit or 256-bit cpus, but VLIW is an interesting architecture and I wasn't spewing nonsense :eyebrow:
     
  17. Zephyr

    Zephyr Go V-Boy, Go!

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    Why the horrible pop-singer terms? And I would assume the reason these run hot are because they aren't made using advanced, 130/90 nanometer processing, the whole thing is a collection of parts put together to form a processor, afaik.

    Looking quite cool. Should make quite the senior project :)
     
  18. Xiachunyi

    Xiachunyi What's a Dremel?

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    I presented my senior project to three electrical engineering professors at UTD.
    This is what they had to say about it: :D

    • Besides Excellent, Good, and so forth
    • One professor said that the construction of a 4-bit computer from scratch takes place during the junior year of a college student under an electrical engineering major
    • During question/comment time, they asked me to sit down instead of standing up
    • All three of the professors told me that I would feel bored during my freshman and sophmore year of my electrical engineering major but I would be more than welcome to play in the labs any time I want to relieve my boredom.
    • Laughed and joked when I mentioned that even if I measured three times and cut once, I still would be a quarter of an inch off. One exclaimed that I probably am not a mechanical engineer. I concur
    • They asked a variety of questions about my computer BUT the question that stood out was "Can you explain to me why computer's in space utilize old technology?" I told them I recently read the article from Bit-Tech.
    • Helped me on some of the issues of production costs, digital clock stepping from 12 to 1, and overall told me they more than welcome me.
    • They also told me I would be getting more money for a scholarship but I already have a full scholarship from the school itself.

    Those professors were pretty nice, no castigation of any kind and seemed quite pleased I was going to attend their school.

    Oh yeah, pics of the actual mobo:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    One of the professors who said that I was more than welcome to play in their labs. He was the one who contacted us back with a comply for my presentation one day after my teacher and I sent off the request.
     
  19. technomancer

    technomancer What's a Dremel?

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    Congratulations on the successful presentation.

    Beautiful work. :thumb:
     
  20. TTmodder

    TTmodder Hammertime

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    cool. how about next time making a mp3 player from scratch :dremel: . hope it's a challenge for you
     

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