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Soviet computer Orion-128

The Orion-128 (Russian: Орион-128) is a DIY computer designed in Soviet Union. It was featured in the Radio magazine in 1990,[1][2][3][4] other materials for the computer were published until 1996. It was the last Intel 8080-based DIY computer in Russia. It used the same concepts as the Specialist and had similar specifications, with both advances and flaws. It gained more popularity because it was supported by a more popular magazine. In the early 1990s the computer was produced industrially at the Livny pilot plant of machine graphics means in Oryol Oblast.[5] Much of the software for the Orion-128 was ported by hobbyists from the Specialist and the ZX Spectrum.

Technical specifications[edit]

  • CPU: KR580VM80A (Intel 8080A clone) clocked at 2.5 MHz.
  • RAM — 128 KiB in original version, expandable to 256 KiB. A bank switching scheme was used.[1][2]
  • ROM — 2 KiB contains monitor firmware
  • Video: three graphics modes with the same image resolution 384 × 256 pixels. Text can be displayed using 64 columns × 25 rows of characters. Images for the upper case Cyrillic and Latin characters in KOI-7 N2 encoding are built in the Monitor ROM. List of graphics modes includes:
    • monochrome mode (two color palettes available: black and green, yellow and blue)
    • 4 color mode (each pixel has its own color, two palettes available)
    • 16 color mode (each group of 8 horizontal pixels can use one of 16 foreground colors and one of 16 background colors)
  • Storage media: cassette tape, ROM drive (a special board containing a set of ROM chips). In later years a floppy disk controller and an ATA hard disk controller were developed
  • Keyboard: 67 keys. The keyboard matrix is attached via programmable peripheral interface chip KR580VV55 (Intel 8255 clone) and scanned by CPU


  1. ^ a b Сугоняко, В.; Сафронов, В.; Коненков, К. (1990). "Персональный радиолюбительский компьютер "Орион-128"" [Personal radio ham's computer "Orion-128"]. «Радио» (in Russian). No. 1. p. 37. ISSN 0033-765X.
  2. ^ a b Сугоняко, В.; Сафронов, В.; Коненков, К. (1990). "Программное обеспечение персонального радиолюбительского компьютера "Орион-128"" [Software for the personal radio ham's computer "Orion-128"]. «Радио» (in Russian). No. 2. p. 46. ISSN 0033-765X.
  3. ^ Сугоняко, В.; Сафронов, В.; Коненков, К. (1990). "ПРК "Орион-128". Топология печатной платы" [The personal radio ham's computer "Orion-128". A printed circuit board topology]. «Радио» (in Russian). No. 4. p. 44. ISSN 0033-765X.
  4. ^ Сугоняко, В.; Сафронов, В. (1990). "Наладка ПРК "Орион-128"" [Testing process of the personal radio ham's computer "Orion-128"]. «Радио» (in Russian). No. 5. p. 33. ISSN 0033-765X.
  5. ^ "Soviet Digital Electronics Museum - Orion-128".