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Original 4K CoCo 1

tandy TRS-80 Color Computer

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#1 simbalion OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 8, 2016 9:41 PM

I just bought this unit today. It is an original 4K version of the Color Computer 1. After fiddling with the inner RF box, I finally got a nice picture and the unit does seem pretty much untouched, even though the tamper sticker and screw under it was missing. I've tried a few cartridges I had laying around, but so far it doesn't want to play them. At most I get garbage on the screen or just a green screen, even after cleaning a few times. I'm hoping it's just a case the carts I am trying are too big for this unit's 4K of RAM. I have a slightly later unit with the 32K of RAM, but I always figured I would pick up an early 4K version if I found one in decent shape. And yes, it is only running Color Basic 1.0!

 

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#2 JamesD OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 9, 2016 12:54 AM

Only the first couple years worth of carts work with a 4K system.



#3 Charlie_ OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 10, 2016 12:41 PM

I like how the surround of the KB is all black unlike later models. I wonder if the guts of a late model 64K version would mount up in the early case.

I have a well working spare 64K coco1 with no case. :)



#4 Ransom OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 10, 2016 12:55 PM

Nice! I love those early computers that came with just a few K of RAM. It's amazing what you can get done with just a little bit of RAM, and how much fun you can have programming those computers...even today.



#5 JamesD OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 10, 2016 1:19 PM

I like how the surround of the KB is all black unlike later models. I wonder if the guts of a late model 64K version would mount up in the early case.

I have a well working spare 64K coco1 with no case. :)

I think there are some differences in the cases and keyboard connectors.
That doesn't mean you shouldn't try.

The 4K boards can be expanded to 64K, it just requires more work.
 



#6 jhd OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 10, 2016 2:34 PM

Cool! I have never actually seen one (in person) with the RAM-amount sticker; by the time I bought my Coco in mid-1983, they had switched to the later case design. I think that the 4K model had been discontinued by then, too -- mine was 16K (later upgraded to 64K at a local shop).



#7 BassGuitari OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 10, 2016 8:41 PM

I've tried a few cartridges I had laying around, but so far it doesn't want to play them. At most I get garbage on the screen or just a green screen, even after cleaning a few times. I'm hoping it's just a case the carts I am trying are too big for this unit's 4K of RAM.

That's probably what it is. A lot of carts still need 8K or 16K. What carts do you have?

(Sidebar: hit me up it you ever want to sell those joysticks. I've been looking for a pair of those really early joysticks with the tapered sticks and gray cords. :) )



#8 MarkO OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 11, 2016 11:34 AM

I just bought this unit today. It is an original 4K version of the Color Computer 1. After fiddling with the inner RF box, I finally got a nice picture and the unit does seem pretty much untouched, even though the tamper sticker and screw under it was missing. I've tried a few cartridges I had laying around, but so far it doesn't want to play them. At most I get garbage on the screen or just a green screen, even after cleaning a few times. I'm hoping it's just a case the carts I am trying are too big for this unit's 4K of RAM. I have a slightly later unit with the 32K of RAM, but I always figured I would pick up an early 4K version if I found one in decent shape. And yes, it is only running Color Basic 1.0!


Hello, and Welcome to the 4K CoCo 1 Club...
 

I received a 4K CoCo 1 as Non-Working Computer with a CoCo 2 Purchase about 6 months ago...  It turns out the CoCo 1 works fine... 
 
Here are some Photos of when I Broke the Seal and took a look inside...
 
I have a few photos here on AtariAge too...


My CoCo 1 has jumpers for 4K or 16K, but it's set for 4K. I plan on leaving this CoCo 1 just as it is.. It is the first, in a Legacy of CoCo Computers..

MarkO

Edited by MarkO, Mon Jan 11, 2016 11:34 AM.


#9 simbalion OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 11, 2016 5:56 PM

Thanks for the link to the pictures. My 4K is serial number 0024545 and is in decent shape. After looking at your pictures and looking at mine, I can tell someone has been in mine sometime during its life. For one thing, the top of the RF shield is missing. That's not a major issue and everything else inside looks untouched. Unfortunately, whoever had this unit apart lost the two short screws that go on the front by the keyboard. So, they just moved two of the long screws up and... well they are up through the surround by the keyboard. Makes me wonder if it was a curious kid that looked inside this thing to see what made it tick. Mine has the jumpers for 4K and 16K too and both are set for 4K. I tried fiddling around with them, but setting them for 16K just gives the computer double vision (two identical command lines right above one another) and it still won't boot a cart. Oh well, it is a surviver. I did try the joysticks on my 32K CoCo one and the early sticks are so smooth and have much better quality than the later ones.

 

P.S. Found out I will need to get into my 32K unit and adjust its RF box as well. That will be done on another day as lion has headache from work.



#10 MarkO OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 14, 2016 11:20 AM

Thanks for the link to the pictures. My 4K is serial number 0024545 and is in decent shape. After looking at your pictures and looking at mine, I can tell someone has been in mine sometime during its life. For one thing, the top of the RF shield is missing. That's not a major issue and everything else inside looks untouched. Unfortunately, whoever had this unit apart lost the two short screws that go on the front by the keyboard. So, they just moved two of the long screws up and... well they are up through the surround by the keyboard. Makes me wonder if it was a curious kid that looked inside this thing to see what made it tick. Mine has the jumpers for 4K and 16K too and both are set for 4K. I tried fiddling around with them, but setting them for 16K just gives the computer double vision (two identical command lines right above one another) and it still won't boot a cart. Oh well, it is a surviver. I did try the joysticks on my 32K CoCo one and the early sticks are so smooth and have much better quality than the later ones.
 
P.S. Found out I will need to get into my 32K unit and adjust its RF box as well. That will be done on another day as lion has headache from work.


Do you get the Startup Screen with the BASIC Version and Copyright Info?? Can you type a small BASIC Program in and have it run??

If so, I would guess that your Cartridges need more RAM to run....

Changing the Jumpers only tells the System how much RAM is installed.. Otherwise the System would have to Write and Read until it can't modify a memory location, indicating the Max amount of RAM available..

MarkO

#11 simbalion OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 14, 2016 6:47 PM

Yes, with it on 4K RAM, it runs just fine. Shows the Startup Screen with the BASIC version and I can type in and run BASIC programs fine. First thing I always do with an old computer is try to make it say  "HELLO" multiple times with a short BASIC program. That usually tells me the 'BASIC's are working. :)







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