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8-Bit Software

The BBC and Master Computer Public Domain Library


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This was the 8BS server, owl. Thanks to Jess for this (both the photo and the server)
This was a view of the 8BS desk. I now work on top of a cupboard in the loft
  See Kris Adcock's Big Blue 6502

System 1. Thanks to Hiro Tanaka for these photos
This 6502 modular system is the first computer produced by Acorn in 1979. 6502 mounted on a simple board, 1 line display and hexadecimal keyboard. It features an 8 digit seven-segment LED display, and a hexadecimal keyboard (25 keys) as there was no Basic built-in the computer, only machine-code. The System 1 is composed of two euro-card boards (one for the CPU and the other for the keypad and display) mounted one above the other, the two being connected by a ribbon cable.

SPEED 1 Mhz, RAM 1 kb, ROM 512 bytes, TEXT MODES 8 x 1 (8 digits seven-segment LED display). I/O PORTS Eurocard bus (100 x 160 mm cards), Tape interface (300 baud), RAM I/O (16 lines I/O). PERIPHERALS Memory expansion boards (4k / 8k), Video card, 4k Basic card, Assembler/desassembler card

Acorn 6502 processor board - with modifications for system 2+. Original Acorn 6502 processor board circuit diagram. Rack and card system and associated fittings. Rack and fittings is identical to advert - rack case is different. Thanks to the eBay seller for these photos

System 5. Thanks to Jules Richardson for these photos
  A separate page of Acorn Atom Photos from Wouter Scholten

Four photographs of an Acorn Atom. Thanks to Dave Sapp

Atom photographs thanks to Chris Frettsome

Pictures of an Atom. Thanks to Paul (ZX King)

Photographs of an Atom Courtesy Chris Frettsome

A few photographs of an Atom and packing. Thanks to Sergej

Thanks to Derek Kennedy for these photos of an Atom with disc drive

Thanks to Kris Adcock and Duncan Hewitt for these photos of Atoms
An Atom off eBay. Thanks to the seller for the photo

BBC Model A. Thanks to Richard Brain for these photos

BBC Model A on eBay. Thanks to the eBay seller for the photos

Thanks to eBay seller 'oldsid' for these photographs of a BBC Model A

Thanks to Chris Whytehead for these photos of a German BBC B

BBC B in Viglen case

BBC B in Viglen case. Bottom, the insides
A BBC placed into a PC tower and Viglen case
16K BBC. Probably link S25 has been put South to achieve this (North for 32k)
A 129 K size image of a BBC

Five pictures of a BBC B in a case.

Pictures of a U.S. Issue 1 BBC converted back to UK. Hover over the thumbnail for a minute for brief info

This is the motherboard of an issue 2 BBC B. 340K image
Below is a rear view of the case. This is a converted Model A This info thanks to Paras Sidapara: The issue 2 BBC B isn't really a model B; it's only a *part* upgraded model A because not all of the upgrades seem to have been done (some of the IDC connectors haven't been fitted).
BBC B Issue 2 Board. Thanks to Ken Hewson for this photo
This is the motherboard of an issue 3 BBC B. 341K image
BBC B issue 3. Thanks to Ken Hewson for this photo
This is the motherboard of an issue 4 BBC B. 330K image
This is the motherboard of an issue 7 BBC B. 340K image
BBC B issue 7 board. Very high quality (2.1meg). Thanks to John Kortink for this.
BBC B with Torch Z80 Fitted
BBC Micro Model B 19" rack mounted version by "Geophysical Systems Ltd". Includes DFS and 2 integrated 3" drives. Keyboard is slide away type on drawer. Usual base mounted connectors are on rear panel. It was used for automatic cable testing for a very large multi-way connectorised loom. There was a German cable testing unit unit connected to the loom and the beeb talked to that. Thanks to Pat Sanger for the photo and info

Home made BBC. Yes, that's right, totally home made. Case, motherboard and keyboard. All home made! It actually works as well! The top image is a photo of the inside. Below that is the case. Photo updated 09/11/1999. Below that are some very high quality photographs. Beware, they are very large in filesize (300k each). A page with many very large pictures of this machine

Thanks to Jon Murray for these photos of a BBC B in what looks like a home made case

Thanks to David Hawkins for these photos and the following info:
This is my original BBC-B bought in 1985. Has anyone managed to cram more into a BEEB? Watford Electronics 32k Shadow RAM board Solidisk Dual Floppy Disc Conroller Board (had to use a raised chip socket to fit it in) Switches change from 8271 to 1770 FDC and also allow: 8271:: Switched Acorn DNFS 1.2 // Watford 1.44 1770:: Switched Acorn: DFS 2.26 + ADFS 1.30 // Solidisk: DFS 2.1J + ADFS 2.1M ADFS is switched off with 8271 controller. ATPL ROM Board with 16k Sideways RAM A home built 16k Sideways RAM SRAM switches lock/unlock/(hide-ATPL) sideways RAM. A slow motion control + pause switch (? same as http://www.sprow.co.uk/bbc/buildit.htm) A volume control and external 3.5mm sound socket An external ZIF EPROM Socket Speech ROM upgrade Fully loaded ROM Sockets: ROM 0 - ATS 3.0 ROM 1 - LFS 1.2 (in External ZIF socket) ROM 2 - ENIGMA 1.07 ROM 3 - 16k Sideways RAM (Home built) ROM 4 - Commstar ROM 5 - Toolkit 1.20 ROM 6 - SciWays ROM 7 - ViewStore 1.1 ROM 8 - View ROM 9 - HELP 1.2 ROM 10- ADFS: Acorn 1.30/Solidisk 2.1M switchable (32k eprom) ROM 11- DFS: Acorn DNFS 1.2/Watford 1.44//Acorn 2.26/solidisk2.1J - switchable (64k eprom) ROM 12- Shadow RAM OS 2.4 ROM 13- Micron Plus Eprom Programmer 1.30 ROM 15- 16k Sideways RAM (ATPL) And even with this full BEEB I seem to be able to avoid compatibility problems! The only other thing I could get in would be an ECONET upgrade. The switching between DFS eprom images took a little thought - I wonder if anyone else has ever done this? I thought switching off the ADFS chip when using the 8271 was quite clever eh? Why did I do it? - compatibility originally but the final arrangement was a bit OTT. It was great fun filling it up. David Hawkins.

BBC B Issue 4. United Disc Memories DFS. BBC Replay. Thanks to Nick Button for these photos

A BBC B in a box. Thanks to the ebay seller for these photos

Thanks to Thomas Van Heck for these photos of a 'Special' BBC
BBC B + 64K. Thanks to Paul Jagger for this photo
BBC B + 128K. Thanks to Paras Sidapara for this
BBC B+ 128K with Cyrillic keyboard. Thanks to Victor Rozanov for this

This is a BBC B+ 128 with a sidewise + board fitted

Thanks to Richard Kilpatrick for these photos of a Acorn Cambridge Workstation. Thanks to Richard for the following text:
Acorn Cambridge Workstation

Acorn's Cambridge Workstation is the only model from the ABC (Acorn Business Computer) line first shown/marketed in 1984 to have actually been produced. Essentially the ABC 210 with 4Mb (+64K) RAM and a 20Mb HD in the colour monitor case, it arguably had less marketing than the ABCs. Nearly all that were sold (and it's hard to know how many were produced) went to Universities, mine originally came from Edinburgh University.
The ACW is really nothing more than a well-equipped BBC B+ with 32016 (or 'Cambridge', or 'Acorn Scientific') co-processor all in one box. Opening the case (two over centre catches on rear and an evil clipped on front panel that has snapped on mine) reveals very little, the monitor electronics (Microvitec CUB, of course) dominate. However, industrial design wins through, and the electronics are revealed in three very short stages:

  • Undo each side panel clip - 2 per side - and lift the sides up. They should hinge over and support themselves, though they detached on mine. It may be that some additional screws are missing.
  • Undo the two rear clips.
  • Lift the monitor cage, being careful to not catch any of the cables.
The monitor will support itself at a fairly drastic angle, also lifting the drive bays, and revealing the Acorn's 'I/O Processor' - or a BBC B+ with some minor parts omitted. The RF modulator and associated components are left off, as is the header for the BBC B+ 128K shadow RAM board and the BBC B 'PHROM' socket cable. Econet is fitted (I suspect, without collision detection), and sockets are present for TMS5220 and 6100 Speech system. The B+'s Volume control header is used here.
The main BBC connections have upright instead of flat connectors. Chris once found himself in possession of one of these boards and fitted it into a B casing, so somewhere, someone has 1/2 an ACW!
Connections for the 1Mhz Bus, User Port and Printer port are duplicated on the rear panel - the 1Mhz Bus cable goes 'through' the BBC and on to the right board carrier, where it connects to the mouse interface and hard disks controller. There is a connector and space for a 4th board (the hard disk has an Acorn SCSI? controller and Adaptec MFM controller). There is a space for the disk drive port to be duplicated on the back, I suspect the standard for that would be the same as a Master Compact. The tube connection remains internal and goes to the left hand board carrier which is dominated by the 32016 co-processor. Finally, the normal BBC B keyboard connector is used, joined to a rear panel connector with an additional wire that goes to the 32016 and allows the keyboard selection of BBC or Cambridge modes.

And there you have it - the Acorn Cambridge Workstation - a rarely seen beast - crudely explained! If anyone reading has parts, manuals or software for this (or the 32016), or more solid information on options, numbers produced etc, please email me at abc210@dmc12.demon.co.uk

Electron with Plus 1 and Plus 3 (Joystick, cartridge, printer interface and 3.5" disc drive)
Electron Plus 1 with original box

Electron (Turbo) with Slogger Board fitted. Note the switch on the side to switch from 32K to 64K. Thanks to Bri Thackeray for providing the Electron for the photos.

Thanks to Paras Sidapara for this info: The turbo design originated from Acorn themselves; Slogger just made it reality!Normal programs will see overlayed "turbo" RAM running at 2MHz, but a custom sub-OS ROM permits the electron OS to access the real (original) RAM for the screen display. Apparently Acorn struck some deal with slogger to dispose of their last electron stocks (slogger then bumped them up with these boards)

Thanks to Rik Steenwinkel for these two photographs of the inside of an Electron with Plus 1 and Plus 3

Thanks to Michael Foot for these photos of an Electron with Plus 1, Plus 3 and JAFA Shadow RAM Board. Info from Michael:
This board provides 3 modes for the Electron selectable via a switch in the side. The modes are Standard, Turbo and 64K.

An Electron as produced by British Telecom.

Photos and info supplied by Jason Daniels & Steve Fisher of jayedan Ltd. (ebay user id = jayedan) and are Copyright 2002 jayedan Ltd

Information on the system is a little thin on the ground but, as far as I can tell, this computer was manufactured by Acorn for BT Merlin as a smart telecoms terminal for small businesses. Strictly speaking it seems to be a stock (I think) Electron with a rather large expansion module attached to its rear expansion port. However, the unit was supplied complete (computer and expansion) and not just as an Electron upgrade (the box proves this beyond a doubt). So the whole thing can be legitimately considered as an Electron variant rather than just an upgraded Electron. Also, the Electron computer has some additional graphics on the case - there is a BT Merlin address sticker on the underside and, as can be seen in the picture, this particular system was used by Interflora as it has a stuck-on function guide for the function keys that make up the top row of the keyboard.

The Expansion unit is a large flat box made from identical cream-coloured plastic as the computer. It contains a large circuit board (which fills the entire box area). There is a speaker inside the box that connects to the circuit board. Presumably this is the output for the hardware speech-synthesizer. The speech synthesizer looks like it uses a couple of Texas Instrument chips. There are a series of ROM chips down one side of the board which I assume contain the operating system, application and control firmware for the modem, speech synth and interfaces. There is also a battery on the board (for a real-time clock maybe?) which will need to be replaced. There is a cable with a standard BT phone connector that emerges from the rear of the box. Also at the rear of the unit (as can be seen in the photo) are two ports - I am not 100% sure what they are but I am pretty certain that the left one is some sort of disk-drive interface and the right one is a printer interface.

Thanks to Carl for these photos of an Electron and packing

Thanks to the ebay user that provided these photos of an Electron setup with Plus 3 and Rombox

An unused Electron still in its wrapper. Thanks to the eBay seller for this photo

Full Electron Setup with Plus 1 and Plus 3. Thanks to the eBay seller for these photos
Electron with Plus 1 and an ACP Advanced Plus 4 Disc interface

Thanks to Chris Wytehead for these photos of a German Electron
Thanks to Richard Hall for this photo of an Electron Slogger Plus 2 board

Thanks to Dethmer Kupers mail dkupers nospam at dds.nl for these photos of an Electron with expansion. Info by Dethmer:

Picture 1: Electron from the front. The switches are used for en/disabling the speedup and writeprotecting the Sideways RAM.
Picture 2: Top right the powersupply (wow, just cables lying around, did i do that?). Bottom left a piece of the Electron, blue (under the discdrive-housing) the speedup. Green PCB on top (under the drive-cable) is the expansion.
Picture 3: The expansion. From left to right, bottom: the disc-logic. The first 28p is the WD1770, then the DFS/ADFS in 1 EPROM (32K) appearing as ROM 0/1. Two empty EPROM slots (2/3 and 4/5). The Pres +1 replacement rom. 2x8K Ram (6264). Decoding logic and fuse. Middle row: the ADC (gameport, ADC0844), some logic for the printerport and the serial port (8533), jumpers for the baudrate selection. Top row: ADC-connector, printerconnection, a 'general' expansion port (replication of the Electron Expansion port) and the serial port.
Picture 4: Closeup of a piece of the speedup (developed by Elektuur, a Dutch electronics magazine). It maps a piece of memory to a 6264 instead of the 'slow' default Electron RAM chips. For the 6264 the Electron doesn't have to slow down.
Pictures 5 and 6: Closeups of the speedup

Master in Viglen case. Note the nice buttons on the front allowing you to control the power of all your peripherals from the front.
This is a Master 128 controlling dispensing of chemicals in a factory which produces products well known to all of us.
A 232 K size image of a Master 128

Three pictures of a Master 128 in a Viglen case supplied by Nigel Burne.

Master ET. Thanks to Michael Foot

Thanks to Richard Hall for this info. Dotted lines where I cut bits out:

......Its a Master 128 ET (Econet Terminal).......... they really are terminals ie all the non essential insides have been left out, even the CMOS battery I presume because it uses the Econet clock. ........... So the Master ET is a cutdown 128 with Econet board, The Master Turbo has the 65c102 pre installed and is basically a "full" master. But what about the Master Scientific? how big was that 32016 board? the only ones Ive seen are fitted into an old BBC-b Style co-pro box, did the master 128 version fit inside?

Thanks to Richard Hobbis for these photos of a Master ET
Domesday Machine. A page to itself
Inside a Master 128. It is a Master 512 with 1 Megabyte upgrade. Notice the Replay board to the right hand side containing a BBC operating system
This Master 128 is being used in a factory (Roundhouse Living Steam) to control a lathe. The factory makes excellent model steam trains, one of which I intend to own some day

Master 128 with 3.5" drive fitted. Thanks to Reece for this one
Thanks to Richard Hall for this photo of a Master 128 Turbo with AA board fitted
Thanks to Jason Thacker for this. Anyone recognise it?
Thanks to Richard Perrins for sending this photo of a Master 128 with the original CMOS battery backup
Master 128 Motherboard. Thanks to John Kortink for this high quality photo

A Master Compact complete with covers. Notice the twin drive (rare) and the writing on the cover
Master Compact with User Port and Joystick expansion

Acorn Filestore E01S+E60S. Thanks to Michael Foot

The Olivetti PC128S (Master Compact)

Thanks to Richard Brain for these Master Compact Photos
Olivetti Prodest PC128S, the Italian version of the Master Compact.
Here is a youtube video of startup and Welcome Disc
Torch setup

Thanks to Dave Fordham for these photos of a Torch setup
Acorn Communicator. Thanks to Stephan Richardson for this photo

Thanks to Philip Mulrane for these photos. What a setup!
Info from Philip:
Top: First the big view
Second: First column:VIC20, TS268, ZX80, Jupiter Ace, Acorn Atom, Oric Atmos, Amiga, BBC B with 32016 Second processor. Second: ZX81, TS1000, C128, Apple IIc, Electron. Third: CPC 6128, Spectrum+, Master 512 with Music 5000 and Technomtics 10Mb hdd, RS260, BBC B+ with Z80 second processor.
Third: Moving to the right: Column to the left of the CPC monitor. Sord M5,Spectrum +128, TS1500, Watford Copro adadp. with a Master Turbo board, Music 4000 keyboard, Bitstick, Sam Coupe. Next col.: Thinkpad 720, Spectrum +3, 48K Speccy, QL, Master compact. Not visible under the Master compact are an Acorn A4 and a PX-8. Next col.Atari Mega ST2, Atari 65XE, Dragon 32, ZX81, Spectrum+2 and +2a.
Bottom: And under the desk you can see my home made Econet socket box:

Thanks to David Hawkins for photos of this LTM Portable machine. Info from David:
This is a BBC-B+ put into a case by Lawrie T&M Ltd. It has a built in green screen monitor but an external monitor can also be used. It has both a 5.25" (40/80) and 3.5" drive each of which can be switched to drive 0/2. It runs from a mains supply but I think a battery upgrade was available (?removable panel). It has had an HCR Eprom Programmer built into the case at a latter date. 32k Eproms have been used for: Acorn DFS2.26 / ADFS 1.30 Toolkit Plus / Advanced Disc Toolkit View / Viewstore 1.2 Micron Plus Eprom Programmer 1.30 / HELP 1.2 It is in great condition and works like a dream after 18 years of use. David Hawkins.

LTM Machine. Thanks to the eBay seller for the photos and this info:
This unit was manufactured by LTM Ltd in the UK circa. 1986. Its previous owner was the Radiocommunications Agency Serial no 008064. The keyboard folds up so that all components are protected in storage. It comprises the following components :- Standard BBC master PCB Acorn 6502 internal 2nd CPU card Large switchmode power supply 12-24Vdc vehicle power supply Two 40 / 80 (switchable) 5 1/4" drives Green screen monitor (good contrast, no burn) All standard BBC ports are available on rear of the case. *ROMS reveals the following Terminal 01 View 04 Acorn ADFS 50 Basic 04 Edit 01 Viewsheet 02 DFS 79 PS232 01 Manufacturers address :- Laurie T & M Ltd Mercury House Mercury Row Otley West Yorkshire LS21 3HE

Thanks to Tom Moffat for these photos of Master and Master related items

Thanks to James Randall for these photos of what appears to be a Master 128 with an adapted keyboard (interface on the front of the motherboard I think). Entitled a KBL 128 PC. If you know any more about this, please let us know! The lower of the 6 thumbnails here lead to large high quality photos

Thanks to Chris Whytehead for these photos of an Acorn Business Machine

Thanks to Chris Whytehead for these photos of a Reuters board

Thanks to Andy Coulthard for these photographs of an Arbiter Jukebox. He write this:

'I have an Arbiter Jukebox that uses the Master to control the loader and store cd titles. This is done using a cartridge. Is it possible to copy the info from the cartridge to a floppy in case the battery in the cartridge goes flat? Thanks in advance for your time.'

You can pass your help on (or ask Andy a question) to Andy through me using the form on this page

Info here thanks to Andy:
This machine Uses the BBC Master to control the Sony CD loader, store the CD titles and track list. CD Info and price of play are stored on a 32kb ram cartridge. On shut down power is supplied to the cartridge by an internal battery. The CD contents are viewed on the internal monitor. Selections are made by scrolling and selecting. Sound is provided by an A.M.S Amplifier which will provide stereo sound to 3 separate zones each with independent volume and cancel controls