What is FIGnition?
In around an hour with just a soldering iron, some solder and a multimeter you can build your own retro computer from 46 simple parts! Connect it to a TV and experience the retro vibe all over again in 8Kb of RAM and wonderful monochrome graphics! FIGnition comes with a full set of parts including the PCB, Chip sockets; a fully-programmed, ready to go processor, and mind-blowingly clever keypad 🙂 !
FIGnition is designed to be built by novices so you really can build it: Parts have standard 0.1″ spacings and care has been taken to make the machine easy to put together.
FIGnition runs a simple language – Forth. It comes ready to be programmed in-situ with an editor better than most early 80s computers. It offers the following features:
- A Boot-up time of <1s!
- 8Kb of RAM, enough for around 2000 lines of Forth code.
- At least 384Kb of Storage. You can edit your programs and store them for later use, building up your own libraries of code.
- User-defined graphics! – FIGnition is designed to be used practically (within its hardware limitations), it’s not a crippled machine designed to let you print “Hello World.” FIGnition allows you to write a variety of games using your own graphic designs.
- Upgradeable firmware – simply download the latest firmware from the Fignition website and upload it on your FIGnition via USB and avrdude.
- A fantastic 4 spare I/O ports for you to attach your own electronics! Control your own power station eh?
- FIGnition is already 4x faster than the definitive Forth computer, the Jupiter-Ace (which routinely sells on Ebay for hundreds of pounds) and seriously faster when running Forth than any early 80s home computer. It’s fast enough to run some classic games and it’s not even optimised yet!
- Programmable in-situ using an efficient 8-key keypad!
Andy Spencer, one of the owners of the Retro Computer Museum says the following about the device.
FIGnition is a fantastic bit of educational kit! Something I can build and use with my children and great for the Retro Computer Museum for learning Electronics and of course programming!
Where can I order one?
There are a few kits available on eBay.; Check out this link.