Augosto Baffa's Baffa-2+ Is a 3D-Printed Retro-Themed Eight-Bit All-in-One Based on a Custom SBC

Building on an earlier modular design, this single-board computer drives a 3D-printed ode to vintage video terminals.

Gareth Halfacree
15 days ago β€’ Retro Tech / 3D Printing / HW101

Vintage computing enthusiast Augusto Baffa has created a a Zilog Z80-based single-board computer (SBC) for educational and nostalgic purposes, and to prove its capabilities has used the board to put together a 3D-printed all-in-one inspired by the rounded CRT terminals of old: the Baffa-2+ Computer.

"[The] Baffa-2+ Computer is an SBC [Single-Board Computer] based on [the] Baffa-2+ Homebrew Microcomputer," Baffa explains. "Baffa-2 is an educational and personal project with the aim of understanding how computers work through 80's 8-bit commercial machine designs. It has a modular concept with boards that can be combined to develop your own design and configuration."

The Baffa-2+ is a retro love-letter to computers and terminals of a bygone era. (πŸ“Ή: Augusto Baffa)

Where the original Baffa-2 design is modular β€” putting a main board and any number of peripheral boards on a backplane board for communication β€” the Baffa-2+ Computer shrinks things down into a single circuit board. At its heart is a Zilog Z180, the successor to the popular eight-bit Z80, running at 18MHz, along with 512kB of RAM and 512kB of ROM. For storage there's an SD card, for communication to external devices serial-over-Wi-Fi connectivity, and there's even a General Instrument AY-3-8910 programmable sound generator (PSG) for audio.

There is one little shortcut on the project, however: while most of the components, bar the microSD card and Wi-Fi breakouts, are period-appropriate, eagle eyed viewers will notice a Raspberry Pi Pico microcontroller board, which is used to provide a terminal β€” though Baffa says a "minimal terminal" can be used without the Raspberry Pi Pico.

While the SBC is usable stand-alone, Baffa has used it to put together an all-in-one, with keyboard and display, inspired by the rounded edges of 1970s and 1980s video terminal systems β€” borrowing LowBudgetTech's existing 3D-printable Callisto 2 model and housing his own components inside.

More information is available on Baffa's Hackaday.io project page.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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