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Re: [midatlanticretro] Because Someone Up There Thinks It's Funny to Mess with Me...

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  • Jim Scheef
    Bill, Amazing! Your story is even better than my experience a couple weeks back when someone gave me a Tandy 200 in perfect working condition - totally out of
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 22, 2008

      Amazing! Your story is even better than my experience a couple weeks back when someone gave me a Tandy 200 in perfect working condition - totally out of the blue! The only thing wrong with the 200 is some sun yellowing from when the machine sat on someone's desk. Some time soon I need to get out my stringy floppy and see if it still works and if it works with the Model 200.

      Does anyone know if Model 100 expansion RAMs will work in a M200?


      ----- Original Message ----
      From: B. Degnan <billdeg@...>
      To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Saturday, March 22, 2008 11:03:06 PM
      Subject: [midatlanticretro] Because Someone Up There Thinks It's Funny to Mess with Me...

      As you may or may not know last year my VCF exhibit was supposed to be on the Exatron Stringy Floppy. A month before the show all my drive's belts snapped, and I had to switch my exhibit to a different subject.  And that's why I did the TRS 80 Model 1 30th anniversary exhibit.  Not my first choice, but that's the way it goes. hoo haa. 

      Since then I found a company to engineer replacement belts.  It took 4 belt size/width attempts to finally get it right.  Great, 6 months late but I finally had a working drive.  I given the parts and such I accumulated I was able to assemble 3 working drives and I was able to use the belt for another related project that uses the same motor/belt.  It pays to stick with things.

      "A donation story"

      Around lunchtime Friday I was working down stairs at my office in Wilmington, on the IBM Series 1 Bryan helped me move around Christmas time. 

      The phone rings.

      The unidentified voice on the other end says. "Hey the TRS 80 I told you about is here, but you have to take it today"

      A spoke as if I knew what he was talking about.  I had no idea who this was or what he was talking about but I played along..."Great, (who) where are you?"

      "Trolley Square..."  (which is down the road from me at work)

      I still had no idea who this was.

      "OK...What's your address?" I asked, still having no idea who this was or when we spoke about a TRS 80.  For that matter what model, etc.

      "You have to come today," he said.  "They're cleaning out my dad's house in an hour, but I remember you said that you'd take the TRS 80"

      "OK, see you in a few..."  ???

      So I went to his house.  Free TRS 80 of some sort, what the heck.  It turns out that the called used to work for a client of my business.  It must have been years ago that we discussed this.

      This wasn't just a normal TRS 80 model 1 (26-1006D) system.  It was upgraded to 48K.  It also had a special cable attached to the expansion slot.  The cable provided the following functionality:
      1) a port for a system clock device
      2) a port for a Commodore/Atari-type joystick
      3) ports for two Exatron Stringy Floppy drives! 

      Following the cable through a slot in the desk and then along the underside it led to a little compartment that held the drives.    Oh boy, a holy grail / white whale - a drive "1" Exatron stringy floppy drive.  Amazing.   

      The lot also included a brand-new ~'80 Epson line printer and a kit for adding a parallel printer to a TRS 80 system.  There was a tape drive, cables, etc.  The only thing that was missing was software. 

      Oh and ...also included in the lot: Odyssey II game system and games, all still in the boxes.  AND a CollecoVision system with a ton a weird control paddles that I had never seen before.

      The TRS 80 system had been packed away nicely for 25 years with the original plastic covers. 

      I took everything home.  It took about three hours to clean all the equipment thoroughly, take apart the Exatron "0" and "1" drives, and to replace the drive belt in drive "0."  Drive 1 had a different kind of motor that needed no belt.  Nice.

      I powered on the TRS 80 system and did some testing.  After some of my patent pending "exercising" techniques for restoring old electronics - Everything works!   I was even able to format wafers in both the 0 and 1 drives, trade data, etc.  Awesome.

      This stuff was free.  I will post pictures when I get the chance.

      I am quite thankful for such good fortune, what a difference a year makes.  If I had only gotten the call last year, but that's life.

      Happy Easter.


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