SABUS Z8002 Card


Basic Electronics card cage with Z8002 card

The Z8002 CPU and 16-bit memory card in a Basic Electronics card cage (on extender boards).

The processor card had an AMD clock generator, the Z8002 CPU, address latches, data bus buffers, and some decoding logic to generate read/ write strobes. There was also single step on the front panel (plus reset button)

Z8002 CPU and memory card

We had done some work for Basic Electronics before, and had always been given excellent prices when we were students. Basic Electronics was based in Durban and wanted a 16-bit upgrade to their 8-bit Z80 card. We had done a lot of work with the Z80 as well as the Z8001/2, and offered to design a board. The SABUS was a backplane used by several companies in South Africa with many vendors supplying low-cost boards. I don’t recall when the boards were designed— most likely in 1984.

They did not want memory on the card as they had their own boards and wanted one function per slot. We also designed a memory card, as the Z8001/2 had a 16-bit data bus, whereas most of the SABUS cards were 8-bit (did have 16-bits on the bus).

SABUS Z8002 CPU and memory board

The Z8002 board was laid out using two colour mylar tape. The memory card was partially wire wrapped and the regular memory layout was still from the days of a Tektronix BASIC computer in the Navy (1981) with a very crude layout program, but good for regular patterns like memory arrays and grids of pads.