Are you a fan of vintage computing or simply curious about the roots of modern technology? Building a retro computer like the PC-Kharon-386 can be a rewarding experience, blending nostalgia with hands-on learning. This guide will take you through the process of assembling your own PC-Kharon-386, a tribute to the classic 386 architecture that laid the groundwork for today’s powerful systems.

In this blog post, I will cover everything you need to know—from sourcing components to assembly tips. Whether you’re a seasoned builder or a newcomer to retro hardware, this guide will help you create a piece of computing history that’s both functional and fun to use. Let’s dive into the world of vintage PCs and bring a piece of the past back to life!

Bill of Materials

The table below lists the components needed to build the computer, along with links to purchase each item. Please note that I do not endorse any of these sellers; the links are provided solely for your convenience.

Main PCB

BT11775485-1 or S8401-463V Button Battery Base 2032 Direct-Inserted Battery Box1AliExpress
C1, C5, C59, C60, C61, C6210uF0805 10uF Ceramic Capacitor (106)
C247uFTantalum Capacitor SMD Case B 16V 47uF (476C)1AliExpress
C3220pF0603 220pF Ceramic Capacitor (221)1
C42.2uF0805 2.2uF Ceramic Capacitor (225)1AliExpress
C48, C49, C50, C51, C52, C53, C54, C55, C56, C57, C581uF0603 1uF Ceramic Capacitor (105)11AliExpress
C6220uFTantalum Capacitor SMD Case D 10V 220uF1AliExpress
C63, C64, C65, C6647pF0603 47pF Ceramic Capacitor (470)4AliExpress
C67, C7210nF0603 10nF Ceramic Capacitor (103)2AliExpress
C68, C6915pF0603 15pF Ceramic Capacitor (150)2AliExpress
C10, C11, C12, C13, C14, C15, C16, C17, C18, C19, C20, C21, C22, C23,
C24, C25, C26, C27, C28, C29, C30,
C31, C32, C33, C34, C35, C36, C37,
C38, C39, C40, C41, C42, C43, C44,
C45, C46, C47, C7
100nF0603 100nF Ceramic Capacitor (104)39AliExpress
C70, C7122pF0603 22pF Ceramic Capacitor (220)2AliExpress
C73, C7410uFTantalum Capacitor SMD Case B 16V 10uF (106C)2AliExpress
C8100nF0805 100nF Ceramic Capacitor (104)1AliExpress
C91uF0805 1uF Ceramic Capacitor (105)1AliExpress
CON13-1734451-1CF Card Slot1AliExpress
D1, D5, D6MBR0520MBR0520 SOD-123 SMD Schottky diode3AliExpress
D2BAT54CSOT-23 SMD Transistor1AliExpress
D3BZV55C5V6Zener Diode1AliExpress
D4BT168GWEncapsulated SOT223 thyristor1AliExpress
D7BlueLed 3mm PTH Blue Rounded1AliExpress
D8RedLed 3mm PTH RedRounded1AliExpress
D9GreenLed 3mm PTH Green Rounded1AliExpress
F12ASMD Resettable Fuse PPTC Self-Recovery Fuse1AliExpress
J1MicroUSBMicro USB connector 5pin seat Jack Micro usb Four legs 5P Inserting plate seat Mini usb connector1AliExpress
J8, J10COM1, COM2Double Pin Header 2.54 2×52AliExpress
J11Single Pin Header 2.54 1×41
J12ESPPDouble Pin Header 2.54 2×51AliExpress
J2PC104_16Double Pin Socket 2.54 2×201AliExpress
J3PC104Double Pin Socket 2.54 2×321AliExpress
J4PJ-320PJ320 3.5MM Headphone Audio Interface Jack SMD1AliExpress
J5Female Double Pin Header 2.54 2×81AliExpress
J6VGADH15 DR15 VGA Adapter Socket 3Rows Blue Parallel Port 15 Pin D Sub 15 Way PCB 90 Degree Female Connector1AliExpress
J7, J9Mini DIN-6Mini DIN 6P black socket 6-pin Connector2AliExpress
L110uH10uH SMD Inductor1AliExpress
LS1Buzzer5v Buzzer Magnetic Long Continous Beep Tone Universal buzzer 12×8.5mm1AliExpress
Q1, Q3BC856SOT-23 Transistor2AliExpress
Q2BC817SOT-23 Transistor1AliExpress
R1117KR(!)0603 Resistor1AliExpress
R1610MR0603 Resistor1AliExpress
R17, R18, R19470R0603 Resistor3AliExpress
R10, R13, R14, R15, R2, R94.7KR0603 Resistor6AliExpress
R2033R0603 Resistor1AliExpress
R225.6KR0603 Resistor1AliExpress
R351KR0603 Resistor1AliExpress
R21, R24, R41KR0603 Resistor3AliExpress
R513KR0603 Resistor1AliExpress
R11, R12, R622R0603 Resistor3AliExpress
R23, R25, R26, R27, R710KR0603 Resistor5AliExpress
R80R0603 Resistor1AliExpress
RN1, RN2, RN3, RN64.7KR0603*4 8P4R 2*4P Network Resistor SMD4AliExpress
RN4, RN5330R0603*4 8P4R 2*4P Network Resistor SMD2AliExpress
RN71KR0603*4 8P4R 2*4P Network Resistor SMD1AliExpress
SW1Single Male Pin Header 2.54 1×21AliExpress
SW2Right Angle Mounting Tactile Tact Switch SPST 1AliExpress
SW3Slide Type DIP Switch Module 1Pin Position Way 2.54mm Pitch Red Toggle Switch Snap Switch Dial Switch1AliExpress
U10ST16C554D16C554 TQFP64 Quad UART with 16-Byte FIFO1AliExpress
U12, U13MSM5118160F-JSSOJ-42 Memory2AliExpress
U1439SF040PLCC32 4 Megabit (512K x 8) Multi-Purpose Flash1AliExpress
U15TXS0104PWTSSOP-14 Four-bit bidirectional voltage-level shifter for open-drain and push-pull applications1AliExpress
U16ESP-12FESP12F – Low cost/Low power WI-FI/BL module for IOT1AliExpress
U17ICL7660ASOIC8 Voltage Converter IC 1AliExpress
U18, U19IP4220CZ6TSOP-6 Dual USB 2.0 integrated ESD protection IC2AliExpress
U2LMR62014SOT-23-5 SIMPLE SWITCHER 2.7V to 14V, 1.4A Step-Up Regulator in SOT-23 Package 5-SOT-23 -40 to 1251AliExpress
U4M6117DPQFP-208 low-power, integrated single-chip processor based on the Intel 386 architecture for embedded systems1AliExpress
U574HCT32PWTSSOP Quadruple 2-Input Positive-OR Gates1AliExpress
U6, U774HCT138PWTSSOP 3-Line To 8-Line Decoders/Demultiplexers 2AliExpress
U11, U8GD75232PWTSSOP-20 5-V multichannel 120kbps RS-232 line driver/receiver with +/-7.5V output & +/-1.5-kV ESD protection2AliExpress
U9CH340GSOIC-16 USB to Serial IC1AliExpress
X114.318 MHzSMD 7050 Active Crystal Oscillator1AliExpress
X280 MHzSMD 7050 Active Crystal Oscillator1AliExpress
X31.8432 MhzSMD 7050 Active Crystal Oscillator1AliExpress
Y132.768 KHz32.768 KHz SMD Passive Crystal Oscillator ± 20ppm 12.5Pf 8.0*3.2 8.0×3.21AliExpress
Y212 Mhz3225 4PIN 3.2*2.5mm 12MHZ Passive SMD Quartz Resonator Crystal1AliExpress


C1, C11, C14, C30, C32, C33, C37,
C43, C47, C48, C54, C55, C57, C58,
C59, C60, C61, C62, C63, C64, C65,
C66, C67, C68, C69, C70, C71, C72,
100nF0603 100nF Ceramic Capacitor (104)29AliExpress
C1047uF/6.3VTantalum Capacitor SMD Case B 6.3V 47uF (476J)1AliExpress
C12, C31, C34, C4410uF0603 10uF Ceramic Capacitor (106)4AliExpress
C1310nF0603 10nF Ceramic Capacitor (103)1AliExpress
C15, C2147uFTantalum Capacitor SMD Case B 16V 47uF (476C)2AliExpress
C17, C191nF0603 1nF Ceramic Capacitor (102)2AliExpress
C24.7nF0603 4.7nF Ceramic Capacitor (472)1AliExpress
C20, C24, C25, C38, C46, C50, C51, C52, C531uF0603 1uF Ceramic Capacitor (105)9AliExpress
C28100pF0603 100pF Ceramic Capacitor (101)1AliExpress
C16, C18, C3, C4, C5, C6220nF0603 220nF Ceramic Capacitor6AliExpress
C35, C3622pF0603 22pF Ceramic Capacitor2AliExpress
C39, C40, C42, C45, C4910uFTantalum Capacitor SMD Case A 10V 10UF 106A5AliExpress
C41470pF0603 22pF Ceramic Capacitor (471)1AliExpress
C56100uFTantalum Capacitor SMD Case C 16V 100uF1AliExpress
C22, C23, C26, C27, C29, C7, C8, C947pF0603 47pF Ceramic Capacitor (470)8AliExpress
C74100uFTantalum Capacitor SMD Case D 16V 100uF1AliExpress
FB1, FB2, FB3, FB4, FB5, FB60805 Ferrite Bead6AliExpress
J1PJ-320PJ320 3.5MM Headphone Audio Interface Jack SMD1AliExpress
J2Vol BtnsDouble Pin Header 2.54 2×31AliExpress
J3Double Pin Header 2.54 2×81AliExpress
J4ESPDouble Pin Socket 2.54 2×51AliExpress
J5PC104_16Double Pin Socket 2.54 2×201AliExpress
J6PC104Double Pin Socket 2.54 2×321AliExpress
L1, L2, L3, L4, L5Ferrite Bead 330R 0805 1LN5AliExpress
L62.7uH2.7uH 0805 Inductor1AliExpress
L7, L8, L9, L105.6uH1210 SMD High Frequency Wirewound Inductor 3225 5.6uH 4AliExpress
R1, R10, R1247KR0603 47K Ohms Resistor3AliExpress
R17, R18, R31, R3233R0603 33R Ohms Resistor4AliExpress
R19, R2, R21, R22, R23, R24, R25, R84.7KR0603 4.7K Ohms Resistor8AliExpress
R20100R0603 100 Ohms Resistor1AliExpress
R26, R27, R29, R361KR0603 1K Ohms Resistor4AliExpress
R3, R34, R4, R5150R0603 150 Ohms Resistor4AliExpress
R38, R40, R410R0603 0 Ohms Resistor3AliExpress
R11, R13, R16, R28, R30, R33, R35, R6, R7, R910KR0603 10K Ohms Resistor10AliExpress
SW1Slide Type DIP Switch Module 2Pin Position Way 2.54mm Pitch Red Toggle Switch Snap Switch Dial Switch1AliExpress
U11, U12, U13, U14MT4C4256DIP-20 256K X 4RAM(FAST PAGE MODE)4UTSource
U374HCT138PWTSSOP 3-Line To 8-Line Decoders/Demultiplexers1AliExpress
U4ES1868FOPL3 16-bit stereo sound and FM music synthesis SoC 1AliExpress
Y140 Mhz3225 4PIN 3.2*2.5mm 40MHZ Passive SMD Quartz Resonator Crystal1AliExpress
Y212 Mhz
3225 4PIN 3.2*2.5mm 12MHZ Passive SMD Quartz Resonator Crystal

Building the PCBs

To begin building the PC-Kharon, follow these steps for assembling the PCBs:

Gather Materials:

  • Ensure you have all necessary components listed in the BOM (Bill of Materials) documented above.
  • Obtain quality PCBs from a trusted manufacturer using the provided Gerber files.

Prepare Your Workspace:

  • Set up a clean, well-lit workspace with all necessary tools: soldering iron, multimeter, tweezers, and magnifying glass/microscope.
  • Ensure proper ventilation for safety while soldering.

Soldering Components:

  • Start with the smallest components like resistors and capacitors. Use the interactive BoM page available on GitHub to correctly place each component.
  • Progress to larger components, such as ICs and connectors, ensuring correct orientation and placement.
  • Double-check polarities and orientations before soldering to avoid errors.

Inspect and Test:

  • After soldering each section, visually inspect for solder bridges or cold joints.
  • Use a multimeter to test continuity and ensure proper connections.

Install the WiFi Module:

  • Connect the WiFi module to COM4 as described in the documentation.
  • Choose between Zimodem or ESP SLIP Router based on your network needs.

MIDI and Sound Mixer Configuration:

  • Connect the MIDI synthesizer to the AUXB input of the ES1868F.
  • Connect the PC speaker to the AUXA input.
  • Adjust mixer settings to minimize noise by disabling unnecessary inputs.

Final Checks:

  • Review the entire assembly for any overlooked steps.
  • Power up the board and test all functionalities as outlined in the repository documentation.


  • Refer to the GitHub issues page or community forums for troubleshooting tips if you encounter any problems.

By carefully following these steps, you’ll successfully assemble and test your PC-Kharon PCBs. For further details, refer to the full documentation on the PC-Kharon GitHub repository.


The project was created to use G738 or G706 standard plastic enclosures. Those are not widely available in Brazil so I decided to print the model using my 3D printer and then assembly the PC.

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