For those who thought your home-brew mission was taking a very long time, [Jeroen Brinkman]’s MERCIA Relay Laptop mission in all probability has you beat. He started engaged on this spectacular pc again in 2014, and has been at it ever since. In reality, the continued nature of the mission is embedded into the title itself — the English translation of the acronym MERCIA is “My Easy Relay Laptop Underneath Development”. Being focused on previous analog and relay computer systems from an early age, [Jeroen] took on this mission to teach college students about how computer systems work. Your complete pc is construct solely utilizing relays, diodes, and capacitors, to not point out color-coded wire primarily based on sign features. Utilizing relays as the first switching components is on the core of his instructional purpose — anybody can perceive how a relay works.
Understandably, this factor is huge. However he has cleverly packaged it to visually present the main constructing blocks of a pc. Whereas the precise dimension isn’t acknowledged, we will estimate primarily based on the picture of [Jeroen] standing subsequent to the modules that these panels are about 1.5 m tall and maybe 60 cm huge. The entire pc 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 e book and carried like a suitcases when being moved. For those who benefit from the clickety-clack sound of relays, remember to watch the relay longevity take a look at within the video beneath and try our article on the 1958 FACOM from final yr.
This can be a fascinating mission, however except you’ve got a pair thousand relays laying round and a decade of free time, it’s in all probability higher to simply take pleasure in [Jeroen]’s work somewhat than construct your personal. We hope he releases schematics and different documentation as soon as the mission is completed. You’ll be able to observe his Fb construct log if you wish to maintain observe of the progress. Due to [David Gustafik] for the tip.