The COSMAC “ELF” was a microcomputer design by Joseph Weisbecker that was announced in the pages of the August edition of Popular Electronics . This is an implementation of the COSMAC Elf, constructed in going by the issues of Popular Electronics, with additional articles in March and July Popular Electronics was famous for the article introducing the Altair ran on building a very simple computer called the COSMAC ELF.

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Fully static operation you can single-step the clock, or freeze it. The group’s bimonthly newsletter, Ipso Factoran up to several dozen pages in length and soon attracted an international following.

Fosmac speaking—the also hold up well against things like the Z They all have their niche and they all have their quirks. Mike has kindly granted permission to use these components in both the Elf and the Embedded Elf. The 80 Column Text Video Board replaces a separate terminal! Now, forty-something years later, he finally got around to it.

File dumps of these games can be found ocsmac the Internet. Once you’ve built your Elfdon’t stop there! It should be said that the did advance to the processor which improved the instruction set.


Bottom line is it all depends what you want to do. In AugustNuts and Volts magazine, along with Spare Time Gizmosreleased a project to build the “Cosmac Elf ,” based on the original Elf, with some newer and easier to find components and enhanced features, modules, and functionality, including the STG Pixie Graphics Replacement board that is functionally equivalent to the now-rare RCA CDP integrated circuit.


It is fun to play with, but the novelty of toggle switches wears off pretty quick. Other, similar information and hobbyist software projects can be found on the Internet. Check it out at http: While the has a lot more cool features, it lacks some of the advanced programming abilities that the has.

If you want the parts for the switch panel too, then you can order them separately. By manipulating the DMA pointer, software could create the appearance of lower vertical resolutions.

It lends itself to simple, low power, controller applications with no, or limited RAM. If you prefer not to control or time things, a simple LED can be used to indicate whether or not your program works.

An included CDP Pixie chip video display circuit. Fill epectronics your details below or click an icon to log in: The was an improved version of the which was modeled and made as a drop in replacement for the Inside the Galileo space probe and other satellites, pulse tiny wafers, forever securing this microprocessor a place in history. Pittman also wrote a small booklet about the titled “A Short Course In Programming”, which he has allowed to be published and made available online free of charge.


Worked fine, back in the day when digital timers cost hundreds of bucks. He even did a nice front panel using Front Panel Express.

Vintage COSMAC Elf is Pretty Close to Original | Hackaday

This permission does not extend to third parties, and if you want to redistribute Mike’s code, either separately or as part of the Elf EPROM, you will need to obtain his permission. Email required Address never made public. This is true for just about all microcomputers, new and old. So close, but one should be incrementing, other should be decrementing to really make it a stack-like operation. A lot of people, including me, built a COSMAC Elf as their first computer and still have fond memories of toggling in little programs with the front panel switches.

Vintage COSMAC Elf is Pretty Close to Original

It can be used to play games, sequence lights, control motors, generate test pulses, count or time events, monitor intruder-alert devices, etc. Swiss payphone manufacturer Sodeco-Saia used the for phones in France, Austria and many African and third world countries, where its low power allowed the unit electronifs work entirely from the power of the phone line.

Boards were bare and came with schematics, a parts list and a parts placement diagram.