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simbalion

TRS-80 PC2 Pocket Computer

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As I mentioned in the comments section of the forum earlier, I finally scored a very nice TRS-80 PC2 Pocket Computer Friday at a thrift shop. Only been trying to find one of the pocket computers for 20 years! It does work, but I lack the power brick to test the printer with.

 

post-8339-0-08794400-1538956502.jpg

 

I should get out my model 100 and 102 laptops and show them some love later on. This little Pocket Computer even came with the optional 4K RAM cart installed in it. Someone put a lot of money into this unit and must have still been using it in the 90's as the old batteries I pulled from it (ick!) had 1998 out-dates on them.

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As I mentioned in the comments section of the forum earlier, I finally scored a very nice TRS-80 PC2 Pocket Computer Friday at a thrift shop. Only been trying to find one of the pocket computers for 20 years! It does work, but I lack the power brick to test the printer with.

 

attachicon.gif100_1785.JPG

 

I should get out my model 100 and 102 laptops and show them some love later on. This little Pocket Computer even came with the optional 4K RAM cart installed in it. Someone put a lot of money into this unit and must have still been using it in the 90's as the old batteries I pulled from it (ick!) had 1998 out-dates on them.

 

Looks good! I keep seeing these on eBay and have come close to making a purchase myself, but I'm trying to resist. I have too many systems already and lack of space ;)

 

Let us know how it works out. You think that printer will still work?

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I have the Sharp version of this and found something interesting tonight.

It would be a good idea to take the PC apart and remove the thick rubber strip stuck to one side of the case. I'm not sure what the purpose of it is, but mine turned to a gel that looks like coagulated blood and it got everywhere. It flowed around the housing sections and stuck them together like glue and covered certain areas of the circuit boards. It was really odd, a number of ICs were encased in it and one vertical strip of solder joints was also covered, yet areas around them were clean. It may may migrate to heat like the blob?

Very sticky and took a long time to remove with q-tips and alcohol. I had video problems with extra pixels and keyboard issues which is why I took it apart. Video issues went away after cleaning...there's also a pot in there to adjust the contrast if you want. Keyboard worked great after cleaning all the gold contact pads (luckily the goo didn't make it there).

 

There's also a YouTube video on how to disassemble the printer and remove the internal batteries which are probably already leaking and destroying things. That's on my to do list this week.

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Looks good! I keep seeing these on eBay and have come close to making a purchase myself, but I'm trying to resist. I have too many systems already and lack of space ;)

 

I'm in the same boat. The Pocket Computer is the last of the major TRS-80 "lines" not represented in my collection yet (except for the PC-compatible that was briefly badged as a TRS-80)--I've got a Model I, Model II, Color Computer, MC-10, Model 100, even an unused Tano Dragon...but no Pocket Computer. They're tempting enough...but at this point I know I'll probably never do anything with it (*cough*Model 100*cough*), and I always find other things/bills to spend the money on instead.

 

The PC-2 is the one I'd go with, though. :)

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Do you have a link to the video, Turbo-Torch? Getting those old batteries out of there definitely sounds like a good idea! As far as that rubber bit goes, it's a good heads-up on what to check out if I ever have to crack my unit open. Right now it seems to be 100% functional and the screen is pretty sharp, so I am leaving it alone. One thing I have learned is that if this stuff is working, let it be unless it actually requires repairs. Sometimes you can cause yourself more headaches by fiddling around with an already working piece of electronics.

While I would have been happy with any nice example of the TRS-80 pocket computer line, the PC2 has always been my favorite of the batch. It seems to have been the best of the line, even though it was the second one released. Also, I like the bigger form factor. It just feels very solid and LOOKS like it can do the job.The fact you could expand it also helps. Somewhere in my stuff, I have a battered Sharp pocket computer that I think is the same as the PC1 or PC3. It was cute, but all too easily lost and limited. I still need to find it again. I found it a couple months ago and did the 'put it away somewhere safe' bit. We all know how that goes! I can't remember where I put it now! Grrrrr! :mad:

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This thread reminded me I had one of these sitting on the shelf that I got for free a few years ago and haven't done anything with it since.

 

This is the youtube video:

It comes apart very easily, shouldn't take more than 10 minutes to remove the battery pack.

 

He is correct that it won't work with a stock power supply when the internal batteries are removed. When I hooked it up to my bench supply, the printer worked fine.

The battery pack appears to be 5 AA NiCads, so will be easy enough to make a new one.

 

I have a total of 3 printers and pulled the battery packs out of 2 this evening. The one that works, I got to just in time and had no board damage. The other has some slight damage and doesn't work, but should be easy enough to repair. The 3rd unit is for parts and I haven't opened it yet.

 

I would get the battery pack out asap.

sharp5.jpg

 

This is that WTF thing that bled all over the insides. Incredibly sticky and hard to get off your skin.

 

sharp6.jpg

 

 

This is my Sharp PC-1500.

It currently has a 32K RAM expansion module with battery installed (impressive for the year) and I have another standard 8K module. Lots of extra pens, cassette cables, etc.

sharp7.jpg

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I finally watched the video today and got the battery out. Everything inside was clean and almost looked like brand new. I'm glad I pulled the battery pack though as it is just starting to seep at the one end where the two rows of cells are connected together.

Edited by simbalion

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I have a PC-2 and I bought a PC-1500 bundle just to get the printer/cassette interface. I've used the cassette part but the printer isn't working at all. Opening it up to deal with the battery is on my todo list. I've also got a PC-2, PC-3A, and PC-4. I love the pocket computer line.

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Posted (edited)

Hello, I have a rather peculiar PC-2 I'm hoping someone can help me identify. I purchased it a few months ago on eBay and it came with everything (printer, books, larger leather case, pens, etc..). The auction stated nothing about it containing the 8KB chip so I was happily surprised to find it had one installed. The first thing I did was power the unit up and issue the "PRINT MEM" command to see the 10KB, but instead it reported 24576 (24KB)? I can't find anything on the net about PC-2s coming with 16KB pre-installed. Does anyone know if there were PC-2s made with 16KB base RAM, perhaps as engineering samples or for in-house use by Tandy employees/engineers only? It has a rather low serial number of B0004806. Any info on this beast would be appreciated.

Edited by RitchCraft
sentence clarification

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7 hours ago, RitchCraft said:

Hello, I have a rather peculiar PC-2 I'm hoping someone can help me identify. I purchased it a few months ago on eBay and it came with everything (printer, books, larger leather case, pens, etc..). The auction stated nothing about it containing the 8KB chip so I was happily surprised to find it had one installed. The first thing I did was power the unit up and issue the "PRINT MEM" command to see the 10KB, but instead it reported 24576 (24KB)? I can't find anything on the net about PC-2s coming with 16KB pre-installed. Does anyone know if there were PC-2s made with 16KB base RAM, perhaps as engineering samples or for in-house use by Tandy employees/engineers only? It has a rather low serial number of B0004806. Any info on this beast would be appreciated.

 

It may be including the ROM which is 16K total?  Add your 8K and you're up to 24K.  Also, are you sure the memory card is only 8K?  I have one that's 32K.

 

See how Radio Shacks lists the memory here.

http://www.radioshackcatalogs.com/html/catalogs_extra/1984_rsc-10/hr057.html

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