As the retro craze has gone mainstream, we’ve grown used to seeing “mini” versions of classic hardware, preloaded with a selection of games and ready for a wallow in nostalgia. Unfortunately for fans of the less well known platforms, the only devices to get the mini treatment so far are popular ones such as the Nintendo consoles, or the Commodore 64. This is something [Svofski] is aiming to change for one classic micro, by producing a mini version of the Soviet Vector-06c. And unlike the Commodore with its fake keyboard, this one will work in its entirety and have a fully-functional keyboard.
It’s a build that’s not finished yet. But in this case that’s no bad thing, because such is the extreme attention to detail that you’ll want to stick around and watch it unfold. The electronics will come courtesy of an FPGA recreation of the hardware, while the Vector’s unique keyboard is being recreated in miniature, with keycaps designed to fit a particular Alps switch. These are 3D-printed, painted, and then marked with their decals using stencils carefully etched from copper sheet. Even if you have no interest in the Vector-06c, these techniques could find a place in so many other projects.
The wonderfully ingenious and diverse world of Soviet technology has found its way onto these pages many times over the years, including at least one other microcomputer, and even a supercomputer. If your interests extend behind the Iron Curtain though, you might wish to read our colleague [Voja Antonic]’s account of hacking in Communist Yugoslavia.