Reproduction MicroBee?

Has there been a MicroBee reproduction project? I mean in terms of hobbyist, or retrocomputer, or someone’s hobby project?

Sometimes I think every conceivable hobby project has already been done. Often more than once. However, I’ve not seen a MicroBee clone before. Does one exist?

There’s a forum (accessible only if you’re logged in) with
FreeBee - an inexpensive, easy to build microbee compatible

I see design files were shared a few months ago but the link is 404 for me.

There are photos here of the built system:

I see also there’s a “coming soon” kit from a reincarnated MicrobeeTechnology (it was in that state in 2016 but is also the recently updated banner photo on their facebook page.)



The ACMS forum might be a good place to ask

(There’s an AusVintage facebook group (but that’s not my thing so I haven’t investigated) but it turns out to be the ACMS again.)


Where did they get the REAL keyboard?

OK, so it looks like there is already a MicroBee replica. Maybe two.

Are there any remaining computers from that era that should have a replica but don’t?

I could name a few, but the audiences are probably just a bit too small, or originals are still available. So, if in search for any ideas:

  • Dragon 32 / Tandy CoCo (really the Motorola reference design in its real-world incarnations)
  • are there any TRS-80 reproductions? (Model 1, 2, 4, 100…)
  • Oric 1 / Atmos (this could be Tynemouth Software territory)
  • Thompson MO and TO series (popular in France)
  • Sharp MZ series
  • any of the popular Japanese Computers (but mostly unknown in “the West”)
  • Atari 8-bits are getting their “mini”, but are there any true reproductions?

How about:

  • Micro-Professor MPF-I
  • Elenco Micro-Master MM8000K (8085). Elenco only stopped selling this kit a few years ago. Its manual is still online. Elenco used to be a fairly worthy kit manufacturer, but they were recently sold to private investors and a whole bunch of their kit is now made in Myanmar

I know there is a Dragon 32/Tandy CoCo replica since Dan Werner did it. I am most of the way through building one myself. It is an awesome kit

Not sure about the TRS-80 model 1 replica but I’d be shocked if there weren’t one already

Don’t know anything about the Oric 1. I have heard the name but that’s about it.

Also no info on the Thomson MO and TO computers. They look interesting.

I do recall the Sharp MZ series as they were quite popular and memorable. I’d be amazed if someone has not made replicas of them already. I recall at one point they had an 80 column video board which used the SY6545 (a modified MC6845 CRTC). They are very nice and I like them. Definitely a strong candidate.

Aren’t the Japanese home computers mostly MSX/MSX2? I think they’ve been done to death already. It would be quite a feat to top the Omega MSX, if that’s even possible. Sergey is an excellent engineer. He really is that good.

The Atari 8-bit machines are packed with multiple custom gate array chips. I would be sincerely impressed if someone could replicate them at all. It would be quite an accomplishment and it well exceeds my skill level. Does the IP to replicate them even still exist? Maybe locked away in a vault somewhere. A shame to be sure.

Both the Micro-Professor MPF-1 and the MM8000K are excellent candidates. Neither of them have replicas? I find that very surprising.

Especially the MM8000K, which appears to be quite simple in its layout and low part count. The keyboard might be a challenge but could probably be replaced with Cherry type keys and custom keycaps.

Surprisingly for a 40+ year old computer design, it appears the Micro-Professor MPF-1 is still in production! (according to the wikipedia article and the company website). Yikes, that really is some long term support. I imagine they wouldn’t take kindly to me making a replica of their current product.

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Yes, the Cosmac ELF fans have been making clones of the more complicated 1802 variants, and they have some very nice new key matrices. I’d share links, but it’s all behind a discord firewall so isn’t public

There some gems, like the NEC PC 8001 (Z80 compatible from 1979). Usagi Electric just made a restoration video:
There are also some notable Futjisu computers, like the TFC 3450 (I believe, this is thought to be the inspiration for the orange function keys of the VIC-20) and the FM series (the Micro 8 was popular) leading up to the FM Towns.

The Exelvision line, especially the EXL 100 are particular passion machines of mine and I don’t believe there’s a reproduction yet

There are a bunch of really interesting Japanese machines - they had a similar computer renaissance as the UK with companies popping up, spitting out a system and then disappearing.

With that said, Bandai, Sharp, NEC, Fujitsu and Casio all made odd little systems that don’t get much attention now, some are barely emulated - let alone cloned :slight_smile: