Building A Replica Of An Obscure Romanian Computer

We’ve all found emulated Apple II and Commodore 64 boards about the place. Number of of us have read of the Romanian ZX Spectrum clone acknowledged as the Cobra, let on your own any efforts to replicate just one. Nonetheless, [Thomas Sowell] has obtained just that, and has shared the tale with us on the net.

The Cobra was named for its origins in the city of Brasov – for this reason, COmputer BRasov. The replica task was spawned for a easy motive. Offered that sourcing an primary Romanian Cobra would be challenging, [Thomas] understood that he could rather make his have, just as a lot of Romanians did in the 1980s. He established about finding out the greatest on line sources about the Cobra, and received down to function.

The create commenced with board images sourced from, and these had been used to get a PCB manufactured. [Thomas] decided to only use classic ICs sourced from the Japanese Bloc for authenticity’s sake, as well. Most came from the former USSR, however some elements ended up of East German, Romanian, or Czechoslovakian manufacture. The job took location prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, so there weren’t any hassles shipping and delivery throughout borders.

With every thing hooked up and the EEPROMs given a genuine Cobra ROM impression, the computer burst into lifetime. There had been some hiccups, with an overheating movie IC and some memory glitches. Even so, with some nifty tweaks and replacements subbed in, the personal computer arrived good. Other function involved including a tailor made keyboard and modifying 3.5″ floppy drives to work with the method.

Over-all, the create is a trustworthy tribute to what was an amazing piece of engineering from powering the Iron Curtain. [Thomas]’s get the job done also embodies the Do-it-yourself ethos at the rear of a lot of homebrew Cobra pcs designed again in the working day.

If all this talk has obtained you curious about the whole heritage of the Cobra and Romania’s underground laptop motion, we have everything you’re hunting for proper listed here!

By lita

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