We’ve all witnessed emulated Apple II and Commodore 64 boards about the area. Couple of of us have listened to of the Romanian ZX Spectrum clone acknowledged as the Cobra, enable by itself any attempts to replicate a person. Nevertheless, [Thomas Sowell] has accomplished just that, and has shared the tale with us on-line.
The Cobra was named for its origins in the city of Brasov – hence, COmputer BRasov. The replica undertaking was spawned for a simple reason. Supplied that sourcing an unique Romanian Cobra would be challenging, [Thomas] recognized that he could in its place develop his personal, just as many Romanians did in the 1980s. He established about studying the very best on-line sources about the Cobra, and received down to do the job.
The construct started off with board visuals sourced from Cobrasov.com, and these ended up employed to get a PCB produced. [Thomas] made the decision to only use classic ICs sourced from the Japanese Bloc for authenticity’s sake, way too. Most arrived from the former USSR, however some components ended up of East German, Romanian, or Czechoslovakian manufacture. The challenge took place prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, so there weren’t any hassles transport across borders.
With almost everything hooked up and the EEPROMs specified a real Cobra ROM picture, the laptop burst into lifestyle. There have been some hiccups, with an overheating video clip IC and some memory glitches. Nonetheless, with some nifty tweaks and replacements subbed in, the computer arrived superior. Other work associated introducing a personalized keyboard and modifying 3.5″ floppy drives to do the job with the program.
Total, the develop is a trustworthy tribute to what was an impressive piece of engineering from at the rear of the Iron Curtain. [Thomas]’s do the job also embodies the Do it yourself ethos guiding lots of homebrew Cobra personal computers developed back in the working day.
If all this discuss has bought you curious about the whole record of the Cobra and Romania’s underground personal computer motion, we have anything you’re wanting for appropriate here!