For those who thought your home-brew challenge was taking a very long time, [Jeroen Brinkman]’s MERCIA Relay Computer project in all probability has you beat. He started engaged on this spectacular laptop again in 2014, and has been at it ever since. In reality, the continuing nature of the challenge is embedded into the identify itself — the English translation of the acronym MERCIA is “My Easy Relay Laptop Beneath Building”. Being eager about previous analog and relay computer systems from an early age, [Jeroen] took on this challenge to teach college students about how computer systems work. The whole laptop is construct solely utilizing relays, diodes, and capacitors, to not point out color-coded wire primarily based on sign capabilities. Utilizing relays as the first switching parts is on the core of his academic objective — anybody can perceive how a relay works.
Understandably, this factor is massive. However he has cleverly packaged it to visually present the key constructing blocks of a pc. Whereas the precise dimension isn’t said, we are able to estimate primarily based on the photograph of [Jeroen] standing subsequent to the modules that these panels are about 1.5 m tall and maybe 60 cm huge. The entire laptop is 9 panels huge, making it about 5 meters lengthy. Apart from the ROM meeting, pairs of panels are hinged collectively they usually fold like a guide and carried like a suitcases when being moved. For those who benefit from the clickety-clack sound of relays, make sure to watch the relay longevity take a look at within the video under and try our article on the 1958 FACOM from final 12 months.
It is a fascinating challenge, however except you’ve gotten a pair thousand relays laying round and a decade of free time, it’s in all probability higher to only take pleasure in [Jeroen]’s work quite than construct your individual. We hope he releases schematics and different documentation as soon as the challenge is completed. You possibly can comply with his Facebook build log if you wish to maintain monitor of the progress. Due to [David Gustafik] for the tip.