KENBAK-1 Assembler and Emulator

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Apr 11, 2021, 4:16:30 PM4/11/21
to uKenbak-1

Not sure if this is an appropriate post for this group but here goes. I'm in the process of making a KENBAK-1 reproduction. I'm calling mine KENBAK-2/5 because it is a 40% scale model.  You can see details of my build so far on Hackaday: 

The KENBAK-2/5 will run on a Raspberry Pi 4. I know this seems like overkill but my intention is to run a simple Integrated Development Environment on it . You will still be able to operate the device through the front panel buttons and switches.  In addition you will be able to hook up a monitor, keyboard, and mouse (or my preference VNC into the machine) and key in programs with a built in Assembler, then run them via the front panel. I'm hoping to have breakpoint debugging as well. 

So I have just finished my first pass at writing an Assembler and an Emulator for my build. They are written in Python and available on GitHub: 

I guess I'm hoping that this group of KENBAK-1 experts might be interested in giving them a try.  I have done some testing, and my emulator can run the byte codes  generated by the assembler, but that doesn't mean that I haven't misunderstood some details. I would very much appreciate any feedback and suggestions. If you would be willing to share programs that I could run on my emulator that would be great too, but so far it only supports stock instruction based on the Programming Reference Manual. 

In return, these programs will always be available for your use and  I will try to incorporate your suggestions. 

Thanks in advance for hearing me out.


Apr 11, 2021, 4:40:56 PM4/11/21
to uKenbak-1
There's also Tom Crosley's assembler written in Python that I use for all my programs now. Here (very last post for version 2.01): TomCrosley'sAssembler
Wish it had hex and richer arithmetic expressions.

Robert Gallup

Aug 29, 2021, 12:15:35 PM8/29/21
to uKenbak-1
Hi Mike,

I ran across your assembler/emulator and have enjoyed using it with my new µKENBAK-1. I especially appreciate real-time assembly and the emulator which saved me a bunch of time working out code issues without having to upload each errant iteration! One question, it looks like the assembler's output is a .bin file, is that right? (I wrote a utility to convert .bin to .txt so I can paste code through the µKENBAK-1's serial connection, but thought I'd ask)


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