Want to learn more about the ELF and other 1802-based micros? Below are a few places you might enjoy visiting. If you happen to come across a site that might fit in here, please email me the URL and I'll have a look. Thanks!
Bill has been busy taking the 1802 where no 1802 has gone before: into the present! Starting with Lee Hart’s Membership Card, he’s added his own adapter to allow Arduino shields to be mounted on it and developed software to drive them. Not only that, he’s developed a C compiler for the 1802, and has even had the Membership Card act as a web server.
Yes, you can still order kits to build an ELF computer tiny enough to fit in an Altoids tin. Order from Lee’s site, and while you’re there have a look at his other projects. This is a fun and easy way to get your 8-bit groove on and join the community of COSMAC enthusiasts!
Herb Johnson has created a substantial body of documentation around Lee Hart's tiny Membership Card system that fits in an Altoids tin. From assembly tips to test programs and using the parallel port, this site covers it all. Be sure to explore the rest of Herb’s site, too: it is vast and well-researched!
Mike Riley's site with a focus on ELF emulation. If you're looking for an emulator or assembler that runs on Linux, Unix, or Windows, take a look at Mike's site. His emulator can take on the personality of a homebrew ELF, a Netronics ELF II, a Quest Super ELF, a Studio II, and more. Mike is also the author of the Elf/OS as found on the Elf 2000, and this site provides documentation.
The Elf 2000 manual is amazing and answers everything you need to know to build or operate the Spare Time Gizmos kit. This wiki is a great supplement if you're trying to find vendors for rare parts, and can grow to become a good resource for the community if you take the time to participate. Share your knowledge; it's fun!
The Parallax Propeller is a versatile chip, and this Big Brain project will use it to breathe life into a Netronics ELF II simulator. Sentience may follow soon after. Be sure to scroll down the page and check out the other linked resources, too.
RCA designed, but never released, a successor to the COSMAC VIP. Decades later Ed Keefe has resurrected the project on his own workbench, and has also created a surface-mount version of the VIP. Follow along as he details the process, and check his gallery of nearly 300 photos.
If it contained an 1802, there’s a good chance Emma 02 can emulate it! Built upon a core by Mike Riley, Marcel van Tongeren's Emma 02 has been grown to emulate a wide variety of CDP1802-based systems, and is now available for several operating systems.
You can run an original ELF right in your web browser with this brilliant piece of work by William Donnelly, featuring photo-real graphics. It's the next best thing to firing up your soldering iron and building your own. Bill’s version is based on the original by Maciej Szyc, but exterminates some bugs and adds many features. Maciej’s version can still be found here.
OS X users can emulate a Netronics ELF II with TinyELF, a free, native Cocoa program that takes advantage of the Mac's GUI goodness. New to the 1802? Tom Pittman's Short Course is embedded in the help system. FYI, cosmacelf.com is run by the guy who wrote TinyELF, so this is a shameless plug...
Like so many others in the discussion group, Robert's first computer had an 1802 for a brain. According to Robert, who was a big Lost in Space fan back in 1979, a gadget of Will Robinson's inspired him.
RCA used the 1802 to power their classic Studio 2 game console back in 1976. Paul's site is very thorough, and includes dumps of the cartridge ROMs, a nice CHIP-8 reference, and some emulators.
A pumped-up Finnish cousin of the ELF, the Telmac, gave Kustaa Nyholm a start in computing. Check out Down Memory Lane in his site's navigation bar for more on the Telmac and why in an alternate universe Kusti might have been in the position of Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. Be sure to check out his CHIP-8 page, too, for a Nokia phone version and one that'll run right in your web browser. Java is nifty!
Ken Rother put together a nice site detailing some of his 1802-based projects. Besides the usual ELF-like computer, Ken assembled a music box, a telephone dialer, an add-on for the Commodore 64, and a really tricked-out homebrew micro.
Dan has an interest in collecting and preserving all things 1802. Here he shares information and photos of the RCA Microtutor II, RCA's VIP, the Quest Super Elf, and a handheld gadget from Infocel (if you have more information on this unit, please send it Dan's way!). If you're wondering what those suffixes on the 1802 part number were all about, this page has a nice summary.
There's little information on the web about the COMX 35, but this page will give you a peek at this machine. One of the comments suggests that the machine had a 75% failure rate! Yikes! Don't blame the 1802, though, they can run for decades even in deep space.
Jim's page features one of the best photos of a classic ELF you'll find on the web, and a second photo showing off its wirewrap construction. Jim says it ran on the first try.
Looking for the Quest Super ELF manual? You've found it!
Good information here on the 1805/1806 microprocessors, which are a superset of the 1802. Herman also has C source and a Win32 build of a disassembler, and links to a UNIX-based, hobby-quality 1805 assembler.
Eat your heart out, Palm; take a number, Windows CE. Sandy Robson was building a handheld computer back in 1980, complete with a QWERTY keyboard and LCD display. 1802-based, naturally. The project is well documented on Sandy's website. We like!
Tom Pittman contributed a great deal to the modest popularity enjoyed by 1802-based computers. Tom wrote Tiny BASIC for the 1802, wrote the ELF II tutorial "A Short Course In Programming", and edited the newsletter put out by Netronics, amongst other things.
This one you've got to see. Together with Chris Radek, Bill created a beautiful ELF emulator for Windows with a ray-traced user interface. There is a small bug in that the 1802's STXD instruction doesn't decrement, but it's still fun to play with. Bill also has the original Popular Electronics articles online, complete with schematics... if you can find an 1802 somewhere you can still enjoy building one of these simple computers!
This article by Martin Meyer seems as though it may have been the basis for the Netronics ELF II and possibly the Quest Electronics ELF as well, though I don't know that for certain. In any case, it outlines the ELF II fairly well.
This is the best resource I've seen on the web for pictures and documentation of the RCA VIP 3300 series terminals, 1802-based TVTs that featured a membrane ASCII keyboard. The site also has a few high-res pictures of a Netronics ELF II worth checking out.
I like Jeff Duntemann. Years ago, I read an editorial he wrote (in PC Techniques, I think) suggesting that a good life might be had by living simply and marrying your best friend. He was right; it worked for me! This author, editor, ham radio enthusiast and programmer also built an ELF, as it turns out. Look in the bibliography on his website and you'll see he also wrote several articles on the ELF. Be sure to check out his Captain Cosmo’s Whizbang here on cosmacelf.com as well!
Call it modern art. There's not much for information, and the museum itself is now closed, but there is a nice picture of a Netronics ELF II with the optional cabinet and some expansion cards. The caption ("RCA COSMAC ELF") is somewhat misleading; some of the chips were manufactured by RCA, but that's definitely a Netronics machine.
Not a lot here, but the site has the best picture of a Comx 35 I was able to find on the web.
This site provides a hub for information about many Vintage Computer Festival events, but its coverage is not comprehensive: there are annual events in other regions that are not found here. VCF events are comprised of exhibits, talks, and sales, some of which may include 1802-based computers. Typically these events draw a few hundred people. If you don’t see a VCF event near you, keep searching — and if you find a VCF event link you’d like to see listed here, please send it in.
Home page of the Vintage Computer Festival Midwest. 2014 had a substantial COSMAC exhibit; check the past events link for photos.
Questions about the ELF or its relatives? Odds are good that someone on this large, very active mailing list can answer you! Collectors of all types of mini- and microcomputer equipment gather here.