I am absolutely thrilled by the HIVE Project. A kind of minimalistic self-construction computer with 3 Parallax propeller chips. Per chip 8 processors each 32 bit-wide , so you have 3 x 160Mips – a lot of computing power – but only little RAM.  With minimal effort you have a TV or VGA graphics, sound, mouse and keyboard. A simple program runs in minutes. There is the SPIN programming language, FORTH and BASIC. A kind of hypermodern retro computer.
The HIVE Project – this is software and microprocessing technology which is really FUN!
After I once again had laid an ARM-32Bit-Evalboard frustrated into the corner, I have  reminded me of the 2008 already tested propeller chip, which had been fun. In the Internet search later I then was lucky with the HIVE project. The motives which lead to the drohne235 I can fully understand !

HIVE was initially developed by a  Ingo Kripahle alias drohne235 and published by him as an open-source project. The blank board is available in the shop for little money, there you can also get propeller chips and programming adapter, the rest is easy available.

What you see in the photos is a first part with a chip and has lasted with soldering only a few hours – and all this is sooo cool! When everything is finished he is called HIVE-number-0393!

If you just want something complete like a plug-and-play Linux computer, you should better look for example for the Rasperry PI for currently around 30€ , but that’s not the same. Why the HIVE Project fits 100% for me:

  • A complete system which I really like, it is manageable by one person
  • The propeller chip was developed by one person
  • The HIVE project was first developed by one person
  • It is a complete and manageable system
  • The propeller development environment is small and free
  • One can develop INTERACTIVE
  • With just a few commands, you can make things which make sense
  • You can work in SPIN or in FORTH or BASIC
  • You can develop your own operating system
  • Although you have only little memory, you have huge calculation power
  • The tiny memory is a challenge and an alternative in times of gigabyte waste!
  • There are no interrupts – what I like !
  • Creativity that makes FUN
  • There is still a lot to discover and develop!


HIVE-Project Developer:  HIVE-PROJECT.DE

Parallax Site: PARALLAX

HIVE – Number 0393 lives!

I was really looking forward to the weekend to continue soldering and testing on the HIVE. After the VGA graphics now also the TV graphics works, the mouse and the keyboard. The BELLATRIX is now ready.

Step 2 is the ADMINISTRA among others. With their sound part. Amazing what is possible with such simple means. This music is integrated into the program code – but you can also play all sorts of sound files from SD card, for example midi files.

Actually, on the board are 3 × 8 = 24 Risc processors and for the most part only simple resistors and capacitors – cool!   A  genuine part  this parallax propeller chip.

Later the system will also run with FORTH, a great programming language or a complete operating system. The reasons why you should still deal with FORTH today I have just read in this book:  “Masterminds of Programming – Conversations with the Creators of Maj0r Programming Languages”
I find the interview with Chuck Moore about FORTH more exciting than every  thriller.


HIVE – Number 0393 finished!

I’s done, the HIVE-0339 is finished! And it all worked out right away! Now up to 24 x parallax 32bit processors work simultaneously on the board – great!

On the one hand almost a bit a pity, the construction was really fun, on the other hand it is now really going on with applications of the HIVE system. Have a lot to know and a lot of possibilities:

  • TriOS
  • SPIN
  • Forth
  • 2D graphics
  • Simulations – Drives – Electronics
  • Printing – At least to SD card export
  • The game LIFE
  • If everything works my 2D wall plotter control
  • A 3D plotter?
  • Heating and solar control systems ..
  • An SMD board variant with FTDI-USB on board
  • Maybe an adapter to Arduino Shields


MENTAL is a kind of experimental FORTH system for the HIVE board of Ingo Kripahle alias drone235 (in progress). It’s programming language and operating system in one – the size with under 5 kilobytes tiny – the memory requirement is about a thousandth of an mp3 song !!
The vision is clearly to develop own programs on the HIVE without PC and without the Parallax development environment to use. More details here: MENTAL

 cnt abc cnt dtms
Cnt == current systemcounter on the stack, 1s = 80,000,000 cnts
Abc == Display alphabet on screen as single characters
Cnt == current systemcounter after the “abc” output (cnt1 cnt2) on stack
Dtms == give delta in ms off == duration for “abc” command

And here the tachyon comparison from the mental description measured:

Chuck Moore, the developer of FORTH, writes that Forth is writing programs like SUDOKU.
The goal is to get the software smaller, easier, faster and more manageable, he believes today applications can be brought to less than 1% of their size with Forth!

My goal is clear, the first steps are difficult, but it is always better. With the above-mentioned type of time measurement with MENTAL on the HIVE one can compare already times different solutions.

Chuck Moore – one of my heroes, here are some interesting links:




If the HIVE with its 24-Risc processors times is no longer sufficient, it goes to the GreenArrays with 144 processors for about $ 20

This is on of my projects from 2014 and it’s the summary and the new translation of my old German tech-relaxed blog posts ( December 4, 2016 didi)