The EMAC Primer Trainer

Originally designed by EMAC in the 1980s, when it was prototyped and tested. The EMAC Primer Trainer was first manufactured in the Early 1990s. This set the EMAC Primer Trainer system up as the bar by which many x86 Assembly Training Systems were measured. Simple and easy to use right out of the box; the EMAC primer trainer plus many learning materials support it. This made the Primer Trainer System the basis for many programming classes well into the 2000s when the Intel 8085 microprocessor was no longer available. While still desired today, the system as a physical entity is no longer available. However, as of late, it has been discovered that several projects have attempted to make a virtual clone of the EMAC Primer Trainer system, to continue to teach from the Texts and materials created for the original Primer Trainer. The PSIM85 project one seems to be the closest to the original EMAC primer trainer we have seen, congratulations on your virtualization of the product. As well as many 8085 trainer applications on Android that are available for download from the Google Play Store.

First offered as an assembled system or unassembled kit. The assembled Primer kit offered the user the ability to save cost by building their own board. While learning and practicing their PCB soldering skills and troubleshooting. The primer was then redesigned several times to update and renew its availability. In the early 1990s EMAC also designed the Univeral Trainer System, an expanded version of the Primer Trainer. The final version was a packaged learning product called the Primer PAK, which included a CD with materials, cables, power supply, with everything packaged in a reusable storage box. The Primer PAK included everything needed to start learning Assembly programming.

Archive of the EMAC Primer Trainer page

The Primer is a low-cost 8085 based training tool developed specifically for learning the operation of today’s microprocessor-based systems. Microwave ovens, stereos, TVs, and almost every other electronic product utilizes embedded microprocessor technology. The Primer Trainer demonstrates the principles used by those products, providing you the opportunity to program, interface, and control virtually any device. Whether you’re exploring climate control, data logging or just experimenting on your own, the Primer Trainer has the features needed to learn the necessary programming and interfacing skills required for today’s world.

The Primer Trainer has the ability to process analog signals (like temperature and Voltage) as well as digital signals (like switches and relays). Add the capability to process those signals at precisely timed, interrupt driven intervals, and now you’re talking real time embedded control. Maybe now is the time to replace those aging SDK85 trainers.

The Primer Trainer’s 8085 microprocessor is an ideal platform for learning microprocessor theory. The straightforward 8085 architecture is easy to understand and the instruction set is powerful allowing the use of programming techniques similar to those used for the PC, but much simpler to learn. The Primer Trainer is used as a sample 8085 system for learning and applying microprocessor knowledge in several text books published by Prentice-Hall. These text books are used in colleges and universities around the world to teach microprocessor architecture, programming, and applications based on the 8085.

The Primer Trainer’s low cost helps it fit into almost any curriculum. Its rugged construction allows it to be used by schools year after year. The Primer is affordable, allowing students to purchase it like a textbook to use and keep. For schools or individuals, the cost/performance ratio makes the Primer the most economical full-featured training system we know of.

Primer PAK!

Educational institutions have frequently asked whether or not EMAC, Inc. sells a comprehensive microprocessor training kit. The kit should include a lab manual, power supply to power the equipment, an interface to transfer programs to/from a desktop PC, and a case to store the equipment safely in a dust-free/static-free environment. In response to these inquiries, EMAC is now offering the Primer Academic Kit or Primer “PAK”. The Primer PAK provides an excellent comprehensive educational platform for students and hobbyists interested in computer programming, electronics, robotics, and automation.

Primer Self-Instruction Manual

Primer Application Manual

Primer Assembly Manual

Archive of the rest of the information from our trainer systems, including chip datasheets, software(that is no longer supported), and additional troubleshooting and learning materials.


    • Based On Popular INTEL IC’S.
      Knowledge gained on the Primer applies directly to computers that are widely used in engineering and business applications. ICs used include:

      • 8085 Microprocessor.
      • 8155 Programmable Peripheral interface with Timer and RAM.
      • 8279 Compatible Keypad and Display controller.
      • 8251 Optional UART Serial controller.
    • 20 Key, Keypad.
    • 6 Digit, 7 Segment, LED Display.
    • 8 Position Dipswitch Input Port With I/O Connector.
    • 8 Bit Output Port With Status LEDs And I/O Connector.
    • Analog To Digital Converter.
    • Digital To Analog Converter.
    • Timer Output With Speaker.
    • 14 Bit Timer With Interrupt Support.
    • System Reset Button.
    • 24 Pin I/O Access Connector Allows Connection to Breadboards.
    • 50 Pin Bus Expansion Connector Allows Interfacing Of Most Devices.
    • Self Instruction Manual (100+ pages) on CD-ROM.
    • Application Manual (70+ pages) on CD-ROM.
  • I.C. Reference Material on CD-ROM.
  • Rugged Construction To Stand Up To Heavy Use.
  • 30 Day Money Back Satisfaction Guarantee.
  • Ideal Replacement For Aging SDK85 Trainers.


  • Monitor Operating System (MOS) Allows The User To:
    • Display and edit memory
    • Display and edit registers.
    • Display and edit top of stack.
    • Single step by instruction.
    • Run full speed with breakpoint.
    • Run diagnostic to test board.
    • Utilize MOS internal subroutines for each I/O device as well as for multiply, divide, getkey, display number, and display ASCII.
  • Assembly Language
    • Commented Source Code Listing
    • With Addresses & Opcodes.
  • Self Instruction Manual on CD-ROM: Starting With Binary Number Systems All The Way Through Using Interrupts & Interfacing. Includes Numerous 8085 Programming Examples.
  • Built In Diagnostic Utility: Tests ROM, RAM, Keypad, Display, A/D, D/A, I/O Ports, Speaker & Serial Port


  • Standard Upgrade Option Includes: Allows for PC HEX File Download.
    • 32K battery backed RAM.
    • RS232 serial port.
    • Serial cable.
    • Assembler software.
  • Deluxe Upgrade Option Includes: Allows for PC HEX File Download.
    • Standard Upgrade Option
    • Battery Backed Real Time Clock/Calendar.
  • Enhanced Monitor Operating System (EMOS): Uses A PC Or Terminal For User Interface. When Used With A PC User Can Upload & Download Hex Files.
    • An enhanced version of standard MOS
    • Can be used standalone or connected to a PC.
    • Provides a degree of comfort and productivity not possible with MOS.
    • Utilizes the PC terminal for menu display.
    • Provides additional information that would not fit on the Primer LED display.
    • Help menu which describes the function of each command.
  • I/O Interface Cable
    • Connectivity to Experimenters Breadboard.
  • Wall Mount Power Supply
    • US and European Input Versions
    • 9 Volt, 500 mA Fixed Output
    • Polorized output connector.
  • Hard Shell Storage Case
    • Transport and storage protection
    • Dust free and static fee environment
  • MT-BASIC Compiler
    • 32 K EPROM and Manual
    • Floating Point & Trig. Functions.
    • Multitasking functionality
  • E-Forth Compiler
    • 32K EPROM and Manual
    • Assembler and Editor
    • Forth words and drivers
  • PC Based 8085 C Compiler
    • 3.5″ floppy disk
    • Integrated Development Environment
    • Windows or DOS compatible

While an alternative isn’t currently being manufactured, we invite you to look at our Embedded Development Kits, such as the DEV-IIOTC, and DEV-IOT6U. Or our Microcontroller boards, the MitiPy and CutiPy boards. These systems are based on the STM32 processor, offering an entry-level embedded Microcontroller system.