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This mini forum is intended to provide a simple means of discussion about the Synertek SYM1 computer. If you want to share your own experience or memories, or add relevant information about this system: post a message!

  Click Here to add a message in the forum


Monday 24th October 2022
Ray Holt (United States)

Thanks to everyone for the nice comments on the SYM-1. It had a good life and I hear some are still using it. Ray Holt SYM-1, Jolt, Super Jolt Designer

Saturday 18th May 2013
Ray Holt (USA)
First Microprocessor

~rob ... thanks for your kind words.
~ everyone - I see ebay has a couple of SYM-1''s for sale for around $400-$500. Probably not too bad considering the original was around $249.

SYM-1 Designer

Wednesday 4th January 2023
Rob Ward (Australia)

Ray Holt, I am about to publish a youtube video on using the Sym-1 to Oscilloscope driver. I struggled to find it demoed anywhere else. Do you know who wrote that chapter in the manual. Was it you? I would like to give an attribute to the author if possible. Check out my Hackaday site on the Sym-1 to see what I have been up to.

Monday 24th June 2019
Dave K (USA)

The description as "quite a copy of the MOS KIM 1" sells the SYM-1 short - its enhanced features went well beyond those of the original. I vaguely remember the cassette modulation being many times faster (maybe 1600 bps vs. 300?), but one of the coolest features I vividly remember was the built-in raster-scan alphanumeric display. The manual had a driver that would generate 1 line x 32 characters, but I modified it to generate 4 lines of text. One resistor, one capacitor, and some software - now that is elegant design!

I''ve still got my SYM-1 sitting in the closet, and I''m not about to part with it.

Tuesday 18th October 2016
Sibo Buringa (Nederland)

I still got one Sym1 with all documentation as well as seperate keyboard, cassettedeck and expansion card (more memory)
Status needs to be checked as I didn''t use it for a long time.
Pictures when wanted can be provided later on.
Availble to be sold.

Sibo Buringa

Saturday 23rd November 2013

Je vends un SYM1 de Synertek complet et en etat de marche.
Mis en vente aujourd''hui sur

Wednesday 11th September 2013
Dave T. (USA)

I have a Synertek SYM-1 Model one in very good condition. It has 4K of memory (the only upgrade).

Anyone interested, please email me. Thanks, Dave

Monday 2nd September 2013
michele (italy)

if anyone want the sym1 with basic program too and most of the manual that was printed about can write me at my email

Sunday 1st September 2013
Philippe Elie (Paris / France)

Hello, I collect SBCs (i currently have a KIM1, AIM65, MFP1P,...), I''m looking for a SYM1 (and also a TM990/189 BTW...), if some of you fols have to sell, please let me know. Thanks ! Philippe

Friday 10th May 2013

I actually learned a lot on this board. besides the MAE (Macro Assembler Editor) in ROM there was a somewhat limited BASIC in ROM as well. Synertek also released a companion terminal board with full keyboard a serial interface and a composite video output. The terminal board actually had 2 processors as I recall. Sure beat the old teletype I had previously been using. The SYM-1 also interfaced to a cassette tape deck fairly easily. I remember creating my first programming language on the SYM-1. It turned out to be almost identical to Forth (as I realized halfway through). 21 cassette tapes assembling to 2k of machine code...had to key things modular :)

Probably the best thing about the SYM-1 was the plethora of I/O pins. At one juncture I was driving a prototype bit slice CPU board with the SYM emulating the microcode and control logic!

Saturday 16th March 2013
Rene Lefebrve (FRANCE)

Hi, this is my FIRST computer. I learn to code in assembler on it, and I made some code for des-assemble the 6502 and 8080 program.
Now , I''m retired from my jobs of electronician and soft embedded engineer.
I play with Arduino, but it''s less fun ...
Sorry for my poor english, but I''m a frog eater near Paris.Bye

Saturday 9th March 2013
Woody Baker (USA)

In 1979 I took a class at Rosario Beach Marine research station, in Washington state. It was a summer class "Applications of Microprocessors in Biology". Taught by Nelson Edwards, who actually wrote the SYM monitor, we used the SYM-1 for our lab work. My first computer however, was a Motorola DK-2. 1 mhz 6800 with 256 BYTES of ram and 512 BYTES of rom with micbug in it. The SYM-1 was a super neat computer, and would I ever love to have one now!

Monday 24th September 2012
Shelly (USA)

Hi, wondering what one of these might be worth? The one I have is called a trainer I believe $ is mounted on a wooden box with knobs. I''m not very techy, just helping a friend unload his treasures. Any help would be much appreciated

Thursday 13rd September 2012
Simon Favre (USA)

I have a SYM-1. I worked at Synertek, and used one as a memory chip tester. I bought one for home with employee discount, along with the KTM2-80 single board keyboard module. They worked well together. I used to load programs on it from a reel-to-reel audio tape deck rather than cassettes. I got the BASIC ROM for it. I used the I/O chips to make an EPROM programmer and wrote an assembly program to burn EPROMS. I have full manuals and schematics. I also found that with some mods, S100 static RAM cards would work with it''s I/O connectors.

Thursday 14th June 2012

Whoa that dude is hard. core.

Monday 5th April 2010
Rob Ward (Australia)
Lake Tyers Beach Information

Hi Folks,
I bought a SYM-1 and worked with it for about 4 years. During that time I added an EEPROM writer and began work on my own keyboard and screen drivers. My previous experience was the NS-SCMP kit and the monitor in that was extremely kludgy compared to the versatile SYM-1''s SYM-MON. I managed to find a 110 Baud Teletype machine I was able to design my keyboard drivers for the scanned keyboard I built and designed and built my own discrete logic video display of 64 characters wide and 32 line high.
I wrote the video driver from scratch and it was integrated into the system to vector into these drivers on start up. This was just so cool and because of the elegance of the original SYN-MON it looked seamless! The EEPROM burner was also used to design a character set for the video display as well with 256 custom 8x8 characters. I eventually had the Microsoft 8k ROM BASIC hooked into it, and I just switched it on and the BASIC, screen and keyboard were "live"!!
However rather than be satisfied with an AppleII, the SYM-1 had whetted my appetite for a decently written system and that at the time was the other 6502 masterpiece, the 32kBBC Micro. Unlike the AppleII it was much more like the SYM-1 and had its vectoring and modularity of code worked out very nicely. The tape interface was also very clever. I worked on all these machines at home and at school, and the AppleII was not in the race. However popularity in market economies only reflect consumer sentiment not necessarily the elegance of a particular design, anyone who looked closely at the AppleII DOS would probably agree with me.. However the SYM-1 in my formative years was a fantastic eye opener on how to elegantly design a computer system that could grow the user''s experience. Well done Ray, a beautiful bit of work.

I sold it lock stock and barrel to a person from Sydney University into Astronomy I think, he sent a mate form Melbourne to check it did all I claimed and he bought on the spot.


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