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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.
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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.

Monday 24th June 2019
Dave K (USA)

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

Tuesday 18th October 2016
Sibo Buringa (Nederland)

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

Saturday 23rd November 2013


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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