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SYNERTEK  Synertek

Synertek was one of the suppliers of the 6502 processor, and the SYM-1 was intended as a chip evaluation board for hardware developers that were interested in programming and interfacing a 6502.

The SYM-1 was a single board computer. It had a hexadecimal display and a hex keypad for programs and data entry. It was originally called the VIM-1 until MOS Technology objected to the name.

It was actually quite a copy of the MOS KIM 1 offering same fonctionalities plus some enhanced features and connection capabilities, including a true serial RS232 interface instead of a 20mA current loop in the KIM. It also shared same I/O connectors with another 6502 development system, the Rockwell AIM-65

A ROM chip contained the hexadecimal monitor (written by Manny Lemas, the co-founder of Microcomputer Associates) as well as standard I/O routines. Several programming language and utility software were later released. Among them: RAE-1 (Resident Assembler and Editor), FORTH and various flavors of BASIC, of which a powerful single precision version that needed the use of a video terminal.

Like other evaluation boards of the times, the SYM-1 was delivered with a full set of documentations which covered all of the 6502 hardware and software capabilities.

It was reported to us that the Sym card also came in a 6809 version that supported Motorola compatibility.


Ray Holt, the designer of the SYM card, sent us this note:
I was the designer of the SYM and JOLT in 1974-78. The JOLT sold about 5000 units worldwide and the SYM sold 50,000. Today the Super Jolt, an enhanced version, is still in manufacturing and is being use in an audio tester for the deft. The SYM is still in operation at the Navy lab in San Diego in the Robart robot.

My earlier microprocessor design for the F14 fightjet can be viewed at:

Regards, Ray

We need more info about this computer ! If you designed, used, or have more info about this system, please send us pictures or anything you might find useful.
Please consider donating your old computer / videogame system to or one of our partners from anywhere in the world (Europe, America, Asia, etc.).


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

Monday 24th October 2022
Ray Holt (United States)

~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

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

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.

Wednesday 4th January 2023
Rob Ward (Australia)


TYPE  Home Computer
YEAR  1978
BUILT IN LANGUAGE  Hexadecimal monitor - Assembler
KEYBOARD  29 'sensitive' keys
CPU  Synertek 6502
RAM  1 KB expandable to 4 KB on board
TEXT MODES  6 digit LED display
SOUND  Built-in loudspeaker
I/O PORTS  Tape recorder, Serial RS232, 51 I/O lines connector
OS  Supermon monitor
POWER SUPPLY  External 5V - 1.5A power supply unit
PERIPHERALS  ASCII Keyboard, expansion slots card
PRICE  $239

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