AgonLight Open Source Hardware Retro Computer Running BBC Basic was captured in KiCad and updated by Olimex

AgonLight is a well-documented small computer based on the Z80 family and running BBC BASIC.

With a VGA output and a PS2 Keyboard this is a stand alone retro style computer.

The project is open source hardware and software.

AgonLight may be also seen as an embedded BASIC computer as it has plenty of GPIOs available to interact with other components and modules.

The AgonLight was designed by Bernardo Kastrup and the Quark firmware is developed by Dean Belfield.

The project has an active Facebook group

We got a few inquiries from customers asking if Olimex is interested in making this project and we hesitated at first due to having the bad experience in the past with Maximite pseudo open source project.

After exchanging a few words with Bernardo via Twitter, we became confident that this is a true open source hardware project.

We checked the schematic and decided to do some small changes.

  • We decided to re-capture the design in KiCad instead of EasyEDA
  • The power of the original AgonLight is delivered by a USB-A connector which is quite odd and USB-A to USB-A cables are less popular. We decided to replace it with USB-C connector which is used in all new phones, tablets and devices due to the new EU directive. Usually everyone has such a cable at home to charge and transfer files to their cell phone.
  • We replaced the Linear voltage regulator with DCDC which delivers up to 2A current.
  • We added a battery LiPo charger and step-up converter which allows operations even if external power supply is interrupted.
  • The original design had a PS2 connector for a keyboard and required a USB to PS2 adapter to operate with the more available USB keyboards. We replaced the PS2 connector with a USB-A connector so a normal USB keyboard (which supports PS2) can be directly plugged-in to AgonLight
  • We routed the AS7C34096A-10TCTR SRAM with 40 ohm impedance lines as per the datasheet
  • Fixed a wrong signal naming in the ESP32-PICO-D4, which now is updated in the original AgonLight documentation.
  • Replaced the bare header 32-pin connector with a plastic boxed 34-pin connector following the same layout and adding two additional signals Vbat and Vin which allow AgonLight to be powered by this connector too.
  • Added a UEXT connector ( which allows AgonLight to be connected to: temperature sensors, environmental air quality sensors, pressure, humidity, gyroscope, light, RS485, LCDs, LED matrix, relays, Bluettooth, Zigbee, Lora, GSM, RFID reader, GPS, Pulse, EKG, RTC etc.

We changed most of the components to our component base, which we source and stock in large quantities and allow us to bring the cost down.

The design was completed 1 week ago:

Today the first blank PCBs arrived:

Next week we will assemble 5 pcs to test by ourselves and then send to the original AgonLight developers.

AgonLight will be put on our web and available for pre-order next week with a special Christmas price of EUR 50 for a completely assembled, programmed and tested computer.

If the prottotypes are good mass production will follow and all pre-orders taken to 23.12.2022 will be shipped by the end of January.

We plan to make metal case and other accessories in the near future.

13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Daniel Chisholm
    Dec 09, 2022 @ 17:41:58

    Is the KiCAD project available yet? I assume (?) it eventually will be, I’d love to browse through and see how you’ve done it. It’s an interesting complexity level, vastly simpler (I’m assuming) than the A64, yet way way more than some breakout board. Can still remember how exciting it was to read through the schematic for the TRS-80 when it became available


  2. Russell Davis
    Dec 09, 2022 @ 19:09:41

    That’s great. I’d been looking for where i’d get my AgonLite and I think it’s from you now 🙂


  3. Richard Hallas
    Dec 09, 2022 @ 19:32:18

    Fantastic! How do I pre-order, please?


    • OLIMEX Ltd
      Dec 09, 2022 @ 19:39:54

      Next week we will upload the CAD files on GitHub and make product web page where pre-orders can be done.


      • Richard Hallas
        Dec 09, 2022 @ 19:42:16

        Splendid – thank you. NB It’d be nice if you’d take pre-orders for the metal case at the same time, as I’m sure many people will want one. (I certainly will.)

  4. Matej
    Dec 09, 2022 @ 20:18:32

    I am Your fan since Lime. As I owned Atari 800 and latter ZX128 as kid. Will buy this. Love idea of z80 raspberry pi like computer. I am sure in future there will be Philips SAA1099 or Opl2/3 soundcards. True 8bit with amazing graphics (like MSX or PCEngine). Plus it is ideal for robotics, home automation, Lego Technics, CNC etc etc projects. So will buy 2x. Also will do 3D printed case.


  5. Steve G
    Dec 12, 2022 @ 00:12:37

    I’m on this as soon as preorder links are up!


  6. OzRetrocomp (@OzRetrocomp)
    Dec 13, 2022 @ 00:40:55

    Shut up and take my money! (assuming that you can mail one to Australia)


  7. Tony Leff
    Dec 13, 2022 @ 10:14:36

    I’m definitely interested , please keep me updated when orders can be placed! 🙂


  8. Neil C
    Dec 13, 2022 @ 13:41:01

    When will the preorder links be available?


  9. Trackback: Olimex AgonLight2 8-bit open-source hardware computer sells for 50 Euros - CNX Software
  10. therogerv
    Dec 20, 2022 @ 05:44:11

    got my order in and confirmed – really looking forward to receiving this

    and is kind of my first exposure to Olimex – very interesting company


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: