I love it. Last year someone, I think on the orange site, suggested the SC126 to me and in an afternoon of soldering I had a working Z80 machine and CPM. I picked up a used older edition of Gaonkar’s The Z80 Microprocessor and re-educated myself. It’s more limited than the RC2014 but very usable and gave me a good 1980’s nostalgia feeling.
I received my SC131 “pocket-sized Z180” kit this week and am looking forward to putting it together.
I have lots of fond memories of the Z80-based TI-83+ we all had to have in high school. I programmed that constantly during class to escape from boring lectures.
The slightly annoying thing about these computers is that there are few good serial terminals available cheaply. I’m currently breadboarding a PS/2 to UART using an AT89C2051 microcontroller for serial input. It will have 11 GPIO pins left, so I should have plenty of room to drive an LCD module. The hard parts are getting it all to fit in 2KiB flash/256B RAM, and learning how to handle the various timings as I’ve never actually programmed a serial port or a PS/2 port at this low of a level.
Cool. I hadn’t noticed that there was another (fewer chips!) version now. Enjoy it.
You’re right there are very few terminals around. I personally gave up on the nostalgia and recycled my VT220 a couple years ago. I use an existing laptop or PC and a FTDI-based usb/serial and picocom (or on OSX, Decisive Tactics Serial.app which was worth the ~$40 at the time for the convenience). I bought a bunch of the MicroFTX a while back and use jumpers or snips of ribbon cable. If I were going to develop a standalone terminal along these lines I’d probably start with a Teensy LC or Teensy 3.2 (5v tolerant) and an OLED display to keep my parts cost under $30.