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Playlist "May Contain Hackers 2022"

Gigatron - creating a hobby kit


The Gigatron is a microcomputer without a microprocessor. It was made into a DIY electronics kit and sold over 1000 pieces from 2018 to 2020. It is now open source. In this talk, I will not go into the working of the kit, but explain what you need to think about when creating a kit and keeping it manageable. Think of what to design, sourcing components, testing, preventing too many support calls and more.

The Gigatron is a microcomputer without a microprocessor. During the design phase, a decision was made to maybe make it into a Do-It-Yourself electronics kit. Many design decisions have been influenced by that decision, as creating a unique prototype is a lot different from creating a succesful kit.

In this talk, I will go over some of these design decisions. I think the majority of them worked out very well, as over 1000 kits were sold between 2018 and 2020, before the Gigatron becoming open source. These design decisions were influenced by other kit builders, who had already gone through that process, like the people behind the PiDP-8 and Enigma-E.

I would like to share some of that knowledge, so you can also stand on the shoulders of the giants before me. And of course to also stimulate the attendees to make their hobby project into a kit.

No previous knowledge is needed. The talk is aimed at people wanting to turn their hobby project into a kit project.