8031 Wire Wrap Board

In 1994 second semester, I lectured Digital Systems and C programming at the Port Elizabeth Technikon. After a few discussions with a collegue who took the microcontroller class, we identified several student projects that needed a small processor card for standard HMI functions—16 key keypad, 8-bit LCD panel, 16 status LEDs, 16 configuration switches and a RS-485 serial port. Ideal for a single chip microcontroller. The software (C compiler, assembler) available at the Technikon could program MicroChip PICs and 8031/8051 processors.

There was a prototype 8051 PCB available with a large wire wrap area, so being the ‘meister’ of wire wrapping, a small board was knocked together. Sample code from one of my earlier 68000 interfaces (27th May, 1994) was given as an application note with a short lecture on keyboard scanning. It was not long before a keen student brought the working keyboard and LCD which shows that placing something useful into an inquisitive student’s hands is a quicker way to teach than force feeding pages of dusty text books for reproducing during a three hour “closed book” exam.

8031/51 prototype board

8031 Man-Machine Interface. The schematic was dated 8th August, 1994.