68k Mentat

The Socrates is a home video game console released by VTech in 1988.


The following ICs are on my Socrates board:

  • a Z80 CPU clocked at 3.58Mhz (TMP Z84C00AP-6)
  • two 32KB DRAM chips (Sharp LH2464-12)
  • a custom ROM containing 6 built-in games (VTech 27-00817-002-000)
  • a Toshiba A/V controller (VTEL 27-0769 TC17G032AF 0248)
  • an I/O controller (TMP 42C40P 1844)


There are slight differences between versions of this board, such as compatible Z80 clones used for the CPU. A different graphics chip is used in the German Prof. Weis-Alles and the French Professeur Saitout, which use PAL and SECAM video respectively. The speech synthesizer module appears to have used a Toshiba TC88802AF.

The Socrates uses an RF modulator for video output, but this can be easily bypassed to composite A/V, as documented by modelrail.otenko.

Preservationist Team Europe has developed a flash cartridge that fits all 8 separate Socrates games on an 8MB eprom. The above article also links to Team Europe’s post selling a kit for the video mod, and the files to 3D print a case Socrates cartridges.