Vanessa (Vanessaira)

The Throttle Blaster from Scrap Computing

The YouTube Channel Scrap Computing has recently released details and part 2 video on their new project, the “Throttle Blaster”.  The Throttle Blaster is a hardware solution using a Raspberry Pi Pico to functionally act as what a “Turbo Button” did for older IBM Compatible machines from the mid 80s to mid 90s DOS Era.  In part 1 of Scrap Computing’s video they showcased the functionality of the project, and with part two they further tested the concept as well as released the project files to their GitHub.  Furthermore they intend to release a custom PCB to help ease the installation process.  Soldering looks to be required with this project.

This project is exciting to see and has the possibility to remove multiple barriers of entry that exist in the vintage computing scene.  The reason for this is multifaceted.  First being the availability of hardware which has been increasingly harder to source. Many 2, 3, and 486 computers with Turbo Button functionality fetch a premium price.  Let alone the issues of age and the degree to which they will continue to function. Second being the desire to have a vintage or retro computer that can cover multiple era’s of DOS gaming. 

For any individual wanting to truly enjoy the breadth of DOS gaming, they have to make a choice.  Choose an early DOS era that cannot run the later period games, or choose a late DOS/Windows 98 era machine that might have issues or not be able to run the early era games.  Which are incredibly speed sensitive and need slower processors to even play.  However it should be noted that there has been other solutions developed over the years to address this.

Until now users who wanted to use real vintage computer hardware that covered multiple era’s of DOS gaming.  The available solutions were to use software options like CPUSPD or SETMUL on a system like a Super Socket 7 motherboard for example.  Using an AMD K6 or Intel Pentium MMX to set a processors speed by limited cache etc on boot.  Doing this could achieve the desired goal on one computer to play multiple era’s of DOS gaming.  However prices for Super Socket 7 or similar capable systems have skyrocketed in price over the years and availability is also getting slim.  Making this hobby increasingly price prohibitive for many who want to enter. 

The Throttle Blaster opens up the availability options to many more motherboards and processor combination that previously could not have achieved this goal.  This means that hardware that used to be largely deemed undesirable for these purposes in the retro computing scene.  Can now be usable in the “All Era’s in One” builds, thanks in part to the Throttle Blasters ability to literally dial in specific desired processor speeds with a physical knob.  This all works by sending interrupting delay pulses to the processor causing it to slow down.  The greater influx of pulses, the slower the processor speed gets.  Thus achieving the desired results to slow a system down.  Scrap Computing is also working on an option that will bypass the physical knob for those who want an enclosed hidden solution. 

This is not the first project from Scrap Computing, as they have been providing multiple hardware solutions for different issues that have plagued the vintage computer scene.  Their Voltage, Barrel Battery, ISA, Serial Mouse, and Display line of “Blaster” solutions have all added unique or cost effective approaches to users who want to still use real hardware. Especially as replacement parts and/or other solutions are just not available.

It should be noted that if one wants to enjoy classic DOS based computer gaming. They do not need to pursue real hardware . There are plenty of emulation options like ExoDOS, DOSBOX, PCEm, virtual machines, etc and even the MISTer Project, Which has been improving its x86/DOS based gaming core. These solutions provide an easy entry into the world of DOS gaming without breaking the bank. Real hardware computer options, like using real hardware in the console realm provide a tangle hands on nature to the overall experience that cannot be replicated via emulation alone.

On a personal writers note. This YouTuber’s channel is criminally underrated and should have significantly more views and subscribers. if you are into vintage computing. Please check out this channel and support.  Links list below:



Scrap Computing’s YouTube Channel  |

Scrap Computing’s GitHub  |

Throttle Blaster Part 1:

Throttle Blaster Part 2: