[Eric Schlaepfer] tends to turn up to Maker Faire with projects you simply don’t want to miss. This year is no different. Twelve months ago we delighted in seeing his 6502 processor built from an enormous reel of discrete MOSFETs. At the time it was freshly built and running random code to happily blink the LEDs reflecting activity in the registers. This year he’s given that blinking meaning and is running real programs on his Monster 6502 processor.
A processor isn’t a computer until the peripherals are built up around it. He’s done that with a new board called the MIM-1 for Monster Interface Module. It includes a keypad for input and six 7-segment displays for immediate output. This gives the user direct control over the processor to peek and poke at registers, set breakpoints, and manage the operation of the processor. It also brings audio connectivity, VGA, and PS/2 keyboard connectivity so that the user can interact with code running on the 6502 using a screen and a keyboard.
There is even a Y-modem protocol built into the MIM-1 that allows you to save and load programs. This is satisfyingly shown off in the video when [Eric] loads up a game he wrote himself. The audio and video hit your right away — it turns out that [Eric’s] brother is a pixel artist and was happy to jump in and help out with the project. But don’t be fooled by the cheap trick of running a game… the real mastery her is first in the Monster 6502 itself, and second in the MIM-1 board which emulates all of the computer peripherals around it by using an STM32. This is truly spectacular work.
Keep your eye on the Monster 6502 page as we suspect [Eric] will document the MIM-1 once the excitement of BAMF is past.