Rockwell AIM 65
Released:1977
Price:US $375 w/1K RAM
CPU:Rockwell 6502 @ 1MHz
RAM:1K or 4K
Ports:Two edge-card expansion ports
Display:20-digit alpha-numeric LED
Built-in thermal printer
Storage:External audio cassette
OS:"Monitor" built-in

For low cost prototypes or low to medium volume production, Rockwell offers an extended family of board level "blue collar" products, easy to design-in and implement.

The AIM 65 (R6500 based Advanced Interactive Microcomputer) is an under $500 microcomputer, complete with keyboard, display and hard copy printer. It has extensive options, many interfaces and expansion capabilities.

The AIM 65 is also a mini-development system at the price of most evaluation boards. In addition to bare board blue-coller versions, the AIM 65 is available in an enclosure, complete with power supply, for use as a desk top computer.

Whatever your application, for a learning tool, evaluation system, or industrial controller, a blue-collar AIM 65 is an economical solution.


Potential applications listed in the AIM 65 user manual include:
  • Factory data collection
  • Instrument controller
  • Navigation controller
  • Data logger
  • Power line monitor
  • Energy monitor
  • Alarm logger
  • Data acquisition
  • Transformer or motor controller
  • Solar heating controller
  • Security monitor



  • Numerous different cases were available for the AIM 65, two of which are shown here. The black case seen above is a two piece, inexpensive plastic molded case. The tan case to the left is all metal with a built-in power supply.

    An external +5vdc is all that is required to run the AIM 65, although +24vdc is required for printer and TTY operation.

    1K or 4K of RAM can be installed, just be sure to use R2114 static RAM chips.


    This AIM 65 is a world traveler. It's a demo unit in its own suitcase, and has traveled the world-over extolling the virtues of the Rockwell AIM 65 computer system. It is retired now, but lead a successful life and career.
    There are 5 ROM sockets available for program installation, but 2 of them are normally occupied by the Monitor/Text Editor. The Monitor can be considered the Operating System, since it provides the over-all system control.

    The three remaining ROM sockets can be used for user-defined programs to be installed. BASIC, PASCAL, FORTH, or an Assembler/disassembler can also be installed, although the PASCAL ROMS require an additional expansion module.

    The AIM 65 can directly interface with external peripherals with its two 8-bit bi-directional parallel ports, a 9600 baud serial port, 4 control lines, and 2 timers.

    An interface for 2 audio cassette recorders is provided for data storage.

    For TTY (teletype) operation, there is a 4-wire, 20mA current loop interface. With a TTY, a paper-tape punch and reader can be used to store and retrieve your program information on paper tape. A faster and larger TTY printer can also be used instead of the AIM 65 on-board 40 cps (characters-per-second) thermal printer.



    External expansion can be realized with the Rockwell "Microflex 65" expansion chassis, seen to the right.

    The adapter board plugs into the expansion port on the AIM 65, and up to 3 additional modules can be installed into the external card cage.

    Available modules include:
  • Single board computer (SBC).
  • 8K static RAM.
  • 32K dynamic RAM.
  • 16K PROM/ROM.
  • Floppy disk controller.
  • CRT controller.
  • General purpose I/O and timer.
  • Asynchronous communcations interface adapter.
  • IEEE 488 bus controller.


  • To the left, you can see another external expansion board for the AIM.

    The Rockwell "AIM 65 Expansion Motherboard" supports all cards designed for Rockwell's System 65 or Motorola's Exorcisor, as well as other cards offered by Rockwell, Motorola, Burr-Brown, and other manufacturers.

    Yes, it's plugged into the correct expansion slot!

    Below is the Rockwell RMS-122 bubble memory expansion card for the Expansion Motherbord. Add this card to increase your RAM by a total of 64K bytes (512K bits, non-volatile).



    A "RACO little board - circuit lab" can been installed in the Z9 (CPU) socket on the motherboard.

    Designed by the Rockwell Anaheim Computer Organization (RACO), the "Little-Board" is a Z-80A based high performance microcomputer system designed to run with the CP/M operating system. This board will work with almost any 6502 based system which has the necessary I/O capabilites. The board contains 64K bytes of dynamic RAM, all of which is available to the user, and a 256 byte PROM is used to "boot" the system up.

    The "Little-Board" came with software for the AIM 65, or the Commodore PET using BASIC 3.0 or 4.0, and a 4040 disk drive.


    The following AIM 65 was used by a Rockwell engineer, and it has been expanded beyond its original configuration.
    Underneath the AIM 65 motherboard, there is another board, even larger.
    This is the "VIDEO-1" video card by Rines Engineering. Design engineer Robert Wilson talks about its development.

    More than just a video card, it offers:
  • 11 alphanumeric, semigraphic, and graphic modes.
  • Up to 8 colors of display on either a standard TV or a video monitor.
  • Light pen operation.
  • 1 of 8 input A to D converter with 8 levels of input scaling (110 Khz conversion rate).
  • 2 of 8 output D to A converters (up to 1 MHz conversion rate for single output, 500 kHz rate for 2 outputs).
  • Space for up to 34 K of auxiliary memory (including up to 6 K for video use).
  • 2K of 82S2708 PROM space available for system control or additional user programs.



  • Other interesting attributes of this system:





    Prototype Rockwell chips!

    Must have got these Rockwell RAM chips from the reject bin...


    A great system, the AIM 65, but an even better and improved AIM 65/40 was released four years later in 1981.

    Related Links

  • Complete manual set for the Rockwell AIM 65
  • AIM 65 from "old-computers.com"
  • Read about ROSE the Reprogrammable Observer for Solar Eclipses







  • Return to the Obsolete Technology Homepage