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Tpapp54321

Trs-80 functionality? (Sans Disk Drives)

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Ive recently come across a Trs-80 model III (one of my dream computers) for $100 but the problem is that its a model that doesnt have any disk drives. My question is what can you even do with this computer if it doesnt have the disk drives? I know that you can load programs through a cassette drive, but I thought that most of the software (including the OS) was included on diskette? As a result, is this a fair price?

-Tom Pappas

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It has been a LONG time since I last touched a Model III, but I understand that you will be limited to using the built-in BASIC. This will very seriously limit what you can do with the machine.

 

Personally, I would not pay US$100 for such a limited machine, but that's just me.

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Ive recently come across a Trs-80 model III (one of my dream computers) for $100 but the problem is that its a model that doesnt have any disk drives. My question is what can you even do with this computer if it doesnt have the disk drives? I know that you can load programs through a cassette drive, but I thought that most of the software (including the OS) was included on diskette? As a result, is this a fair price?

-Tom Pappas

 

There is a piece of software where you can use Windows to act as a cassette player and hook up your TRS-80 to it via the headphone jack.

 

http://www.trs-80.com/wordpress/disk-and-tape-conversion-utilities

 

scroll down to "Outputting CAS files" and you'll find the download link.

 

There is always FreHD:

 

But they are not necessarily cheap. Also, the same guy in that video sells RAM on eBay to upgrade your Model III to 32 or 48K and of course, he sells the FreHD. There is another guy in Texas that is selling FreHDs now as well on eBay.

 

You'll need a modified ROM to make FreHD work with your diskless machine and again, they are for sale.

 

Another, more expensive option is the M3SE from http://bartlettlabs.com/M3SE/index.html

 

So a Model III without disk drives is not useless. You have a lot of options here.

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Incredibly boring. It most likely won't have an RS232 board either.

 

Radio Shack used to sell an 8 pack of RAM chips for $8. Two sets would get you to 48K. I can't remember the # but they're probably still common and cheap. Funny thing, buying the "official" kit from the RS computer center would set you back $200 EACH...$400 to get up to 48K! Plus installation cost.

 

Finding a disk controller board will be an issue. Up until a few months ago someone was selling off a huge stash of aftermarket boards on ebay for $30 but I think they are all gone.

Full height disk drives are always available on ebay but no longer cheap and almost guaranteed to need an alignment. I have two systems and it took some time with a scope to get all 4 drives happy. 1/2 heights are more reliable but look stupid and ruin originality.

Lastly, the base model has no "towers" to mount the drives to and the power supply won't handle even one drive. You'd have to fab up some towers out of sheet metal and add a separate power supple for the drive(s).

 

RS232 board will be needed to download software from your PC using a null modem. I also love using mine to call BBSs using a 1200 baud modem. I've seen 1 or 2 board kits show up within the last year on ebay...you need the kit as it also includes the very hard to find mylar flex cable.

 

$100 is a fair price but it'll mostly be a display piece for a collector. To have fun, you want a minimum of 32K and one drive. If you're patient, a disk based system will turn up for a good price.

I have my original that I've owned since age 12 and it started off as a 16K base model. I first added memory, then the RS232 board to call Compuserve, an Orchestra 90 and eventually a single aftermarket drive kit. A bit later it was upgraded again to two double sided Tandons. Lots of $$ invested into it by 1985.

About 2 years ago I picked up another Model III off Craigslist. It's an original top of the line 48K 2 drive system that's a real museum piece. I gave $25 for it and it also included and equally nice DMP-100 printer.

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For a TRS-80 Model III without a disk controller FreHD is a cool option. For a Mod III with a floppy controller, I'd go with a Lotharek HxC.

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Ram is easy 4116s like every other 8bit around then. You can get 4164s and modify them to work as 4116s which is more reliable and cooler than the 4116s

 

They are a couple bucks ea on jameco..

 

Greg

 

Sent from my LG-H830 using Tapatalk

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