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Building a Tiny Commodore PET

by Paul Strauss
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The Commodore PET 2001 was one of the very first personal computers I remember ever seeing. The green-screened 8-bit system wasn’t very powerful, but I always loved its iconic all-in-one design. I always wanted to own one if just to put it on display, but I don’t really have the space to spare. Then I saw The Ruiz Brothers and Phillip Burgess’ awesome build – a tiny PET that I could finally own.

tiny_commodore_pet_1zoom in

This miniature replica of the PET was made using a custom 3D-printed case, along with a green CharliePlex LED Matrix, which allows it to display tiny messages or images on the screen.

tiny_commodore_pet_2zoom in

The tiny screen has 144 LEDs, and is controlled using the Adafruit Feather, a teensy and lightweight prototyping board. I wonder if it would be possible to get a PET emulator running on this thing. After all, it runs at 48 MHz and has 256kB of flash RAM. The original PET 2001 had a 6502 that ran at 1MHz and had a maximum of 32kB of RAM.

If you want to build a tiny PET for yourself, head on over to Adafruit’s website to see all the parts you need, along with detailed instructions.

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