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ADAM Computer Proto Serial-Parallel Interface Pics & Info

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I had the good fortune recently to get back in touch with a former Coleco employee and old friend from the Users Group days. In our talks he informed/reminded me that he is still in possession of 1 of the only 2 prototype ADAM Serial/Parallel Interfaces ever made. Suffice it to say, I asked if he was thinking of selling the unit and just like 25 years ago the response was "NO"... maybe in another 25 years I'll have better luck. Thankfully, however, he was willing to take a large number of pictures of the unit as well as provide a little description of how it works and attaches to the ADAM. So here you are:

 

The Interface is installed between the ADAM Printer and Memory Console (either the Stand-Alone or Exp. Mod. #3) and is powered by the power supply in the ADAM Printer. The ADAM Printer power/data cable that usually plugs into the Memory Console now plugs into one of the 9-Pin connectors on the Interface and then a new cable plugs into the second 9-Pin connector on the Interface and then plugs into the Memory Console. There is a 3-way switch on the front of the Interface that allows the user to select which of up to three printers (ADAM Printer, Serial Printer or Parallel Printer) will be used for output (he states, "one way for the ADAM Printer, one way for a Parallel Printer and the other way for another printer... not sure what type of connector it is"). The final two connectors you will notice in the pictures are a 25-Pin Serial and a Parallel connector.

 

As far as using the Interface, again the toggle switch selects which printer output will be sent to, but the unique part of this Interface is that Parallel or Serial driver software is not required like all 3rd-Party/Homebrew Interface cards required that installed internally in Slot#1 or Slot #2 or externally in the Expansion Bus. Now that would have been very convenient to have back in the day instead of always having to load driver software/patches to the Operating System to gain access to alternative printers.

 

I hope I got that all right.

 

Again, there are only two of these units known to exist. Thanks to P.K. for providing the pictures and information.

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That's cool. I'm envious, I wish I could have a sit-down with your friend and learn a thing or two about what it was like to work there.

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That looks cool, but also kinda big. With the glass cover, was this designed to sit under the ADAM printer?

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Coleco indeed did have BIG visions and even bigger realities! :D When I first got the pictures, my first thought was look at how huge that PCB is and then my second was how would I have been able to setup this unit on a desk that I had already heavily customized back in the day. Your idea of placing it under the ADAM Printer is a good one, but I could only imagine the extra noise and deafening echo that would probably be produced when used to print... a printer sound enclosure made by Data Backup would have been a necessity.

 

As far as the plexiglass enclosure, don't really know, but the other prototype that exists is contained in a black enclosure (probably plastic).

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That's cool. I'm envious, I wish I could have a sit-down with your friend and learn a thing or two about what it was like to work there.

I am going to send PK a link to this thread to see if he will join in and can further discuss this proto as well as anything else that he feels like discussing... I'm always up for hearing stories about former employees Coleco experiences. He has told me that he has a good amount of items left over from his ADAM repair business and mail-order days, so maybe we'll see these items become available as well when he has the time to sort through everything.

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To add further to this thread, I have come across a picture of the "proposed" case for this ADAM Interface in the recently acquired Coleco Sales Press Kit from the 1984 C.E.S. Note that the name listed on the nameplate has changed to "ADAM Universal Interface". Would have been interesting to see how the back of the unit would have been laid out, what with all the port connectors that would have had to be included (see pics from the first post).

 

Enjoy the picture.

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Edited by NIAD
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