Back again with another retro computer kit from the same creator as THE ALTAIR-DUINO, a small quick kit in the µKENBAK-1. The µKENBAK-1 with the µ in front denotes one of the earlier versions of the kit. This is smaller than the original computer kit, compared to the full-sized replica or nanoKENBAK-1 now offered by the creator. This is a small, and simple kit. Running off an Atmel processor (same as Arduino), this little recreation offers a fun, simple front panel, and relatively quick assembly.
Compared to some of the other kits that have been posted here, this one is straight forward to put together. While you have the classic soldering, the kit is all through hole components and is a pleasant hour or so to put together. The most time for me in putting the kit together actually came down to getting the PCB with the stand-offs in the case and lined up with the back holes. This proved to be a difficult, and time-consuming process. You need to pre tighten them on the front panel, which then slides into the case, and line them up with the back holes. Between the standoffs being plastic and wanting to strip, and them wanting to wiggle all over, most of my time went into this instead of soldering. In the end, I got 5/6 in place and called it a day.
The creator of this kit shows his experience in creating these kits, in little details, which make the kit a nice experience; one example is the usb extension cable which gives you an easy connection out the back is the perfect length to do the job but not be in your way. Another is the instruction booklet coming with a bunch of examples on how to use the computer, right after the assembly instructions. These instructions come in a nice spiral book included in the box.
The creators website, https://adwaterandstir.com/kenbak/ also goes into detail about the creator of this machine, (the original one in the 1970’s), and its history.
This is one of the easier kits I have done, but enjoyable in its ease to put together. I would recommend this kit to someone who is looking to get started with these kits.