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The Innovative retro DIY 8-bit Computer from nichemachines, for only £19.95 as featured on the BBC!

Around 180 FIGnition computers have been sold in the first month of release and many people have built theirs already, producing working machines; having fun with Forth and contributing ideas! This is the sixth Batch 2 Ebay ad, the second batch to go out with the new Forth interpreter, which runs at near native 8-bit machine code speeds!

Build It

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 and even people who have never soldered before have successfully built a FIGnition: Parts have standard 0.1" spacings, the instructions are clear and care has been taken to make the machine easy to put together.

Code It

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 Flash Storage. You can edit your programs and store them for later use, building up your own libraries of code.
  • 16 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 - which can be downloaded from the Fignition website and uploaded to your FIGnition via USB (over 8 upgrades since early May including bug-fixes and new features)
  • A fantastic 4 spare I/O ports for you to attach your own electronics! Control your own power station eh?
  • FIGnition now uses the high-speed interpreter and runs 12 x faster than the definitive Forth computer, the Jupiter-Ace (which routinely sells on Ebay for hundreds of pounds) and several times faster than any early 80s home computer running Forth.

Understand It

FIGnition will be completely open-sourced and will be fully documented as soon as is possible:
  • Discover how to create a real video image using nothing more than two resistors and two diodes.
  • Understand how FIGnition uploads new firmware.
  • Explore the complexities of Flash storage.
  • Get to grips with keypads and LEDs.
  • Learn how a real computer language works and how it converts text into programs.

So Buy It

FIGnition was at the Computer History Museum's Hacker's Delight event last weekend (August 6-8) and caused a stir at the UK's Retro Computer Museum's Open Weekender on Saturday, May 7. To quote the show's founder (and FIGnition customer):

“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!” Andy Spencer.

Don't wait 12 months for a sub £20 computer that you can't even build - buy FIGnition now and enjoy exploring a new retro DIY computer platform!

Note#1: All kits for the current batch are in stock.

Note#2: Soldering involves the use of hot substances and building electronics components involves an element of risk, whose responsibility rests solely with the person who builds the kit; not nichemachines.

Note#3: A RevD board is shown and has staggered keys to make building and typing on it easier.