Acorn Atom Project
by Dick Blom.
(Ook gepubliceerd in AN 2001 nr2 bladz. 2).
(Bewerkt door H.v.d.H)

I am also an old computer collector. The most interesting thing for me to do is to (re)build those little machines from the past.

When I recently discovered  some original printed circuit boards for the Acorn Atom the idea was born to build the Acorn Atom how it was some 20 years ago. The printed circuit boards covered with dust were found in a warehouse and they were never been used so far.

Here are some pictures from the original PCB's. If you click on the pictures they will enlarge.

PCB component side.
PCB solder side.

The next thing to do was to gather some information how to build the Acorn Atom. Almost everything can be found on the internet. Most important was the Technical Reference Manual. This booklet includes also the complete parts list. As I wanted to build the Acorn Atom as original as possible I tried to find all electronic parts and the original case and keyboard. Most parts can still easily be purchased at the local electronic shop, expect for the buffer IC's and the 2114 RAM ic's. The buffer IC's can be replaced by some more modern types and the RAM can be replaced by a single 32K ram IC. My wish to build the Acorn Atom in its original shape came through when I made contact with some members of the Dutch Acorn Atom Club. They were so kind to sell or swap a lot of IC's, the manuals and two cases and keyboards.

The cases and keyboards were thoroughly cleaned and all other parts were bought including quality IC sockets. Here are some pictures of the components, manuals, keyboard and case.

completeset.gifThe complete Acorn Atom kit!
All components.

When everything was complete the most important and nicest part of the project started. I actually could build the Acorn Atom. After a few evenings of soldering an exciting moment came when I plugged in the power supply and connected the Atom to a televsion set. After pushing the break key the words


could be viewed on the screen. It worked in one time!  I typed in some programs and tested the cassette interface. Everything looks fine. Here are the pictures of the complete mounted PCB.

PCB component side with basic set of IC's.
PCB solder side with keyboard mounted.

The finished Acorn Atom.

The next step will be to test some programs and make screen shots of it. That's all for the moment!