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Major_Tom_coming_home

It doesn't get much more 'classic' than hhis

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I had this fall into my lap at a garage sale for $20. It is a Heathkit H8 Computer and H9 terminal. I thought at first it was some sort of specialty computer for business / industrial use, but it was actually an early home computer sold to hobbiests like the Altair 8080.  I have all of the documentation and diagrams that came with it. The H8 unit doesn't power up, but I got some advice in vintage computer groups on facebook from people who are familiar with it and it probably just has a blown power supply fuse. I plan to investigate further when I get the time to do so. I plan to keep it and add it to my collection. Hopefully my Amiga 1200 won't be jealous of me spending time with another computer.

 

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I'm happy for you.  Sad though, because its one of the few machines on my "want" list and you just got the deal of the century.  What a sweet score!

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Wow! Nice that it found a home with an enthusiast. 

 

I just looked this up, the computer part was surprisingly inexpensive for a computer, for the time, probably because it was initially sold as a kit. 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heathkit_H8

 

But the terminal part was over $500 1970s bucks, so it wasn't cheap ...especially considering what was coming up soon in home computing. 

 

Did you happen to learn anything about the original owner?

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Wow, I have never seen any hardware of that vintage outside of a museum. Great find! What cards are included?

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It's not clear if the base H8 includes any ram that makes it work without buying the ram card (sold seperately).  The Altair includes a small amount of ram on the processor card.  And the Apple computer had ram and other components on board that made it a good buy.

 

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From the photo I see four cards.  The default processor card, an 8k ram card, a 16k ram card (must have been expensive).  I'm guessing the fourth card is an rs232 serial card.

Edited by mr_me

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On 8/6/2019 at 10:59 AM, Major_Tom_coming_home said:

I had this fall into my lap at a garage sale for $20. 

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Awwwww Maaaaaan some guys have all the luck!

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On 8/7/2019 at 6:42 AM, LoTonah said:

I'm happy for you.  Sad though, because its one of the few machines on my "want" list and you just got the deal of the century.  What a sweet score!

I will prey to the yard sale gods to send one your way. 

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1 hour ago, --- Ω --- said:

Awwwww Maaaaaan some guys have all the luck!

Perseverance, my friend, My two hobbies are yard sales and old computers

 

On 8/7/2019 at 3:12 PM, jhd said:

 

Wow, I have never seen any hardware of that vintage outside of a museum. Great find! What cards are included?

The CPU is an 8080 and it is on one of the cards. There is an 8KB and a 16KB Memory board, the last one is for the terminal interface.  It uses a propriety bus that is similar to the s-100

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On 8/7/2019 at 6:16 PM, mr_me said:

It's not clear if the base H8 includes any ram that makes it work without buying the ram card (sold seperately).  The Altair includes a small amount of ram on the processor card.  And the Apple computer had ram and other components on board that made it a good buy.

 

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From the photo I see four cards.  The default processor card, an 8k ram card, a 16k ram card (must have been expensive).  I'm guessing the fourth card is an rs232 serial card.

You are correct about the four cards - and I am impressed. I don't know much about computing before the PET / Apple II / TRS-80 were released. I didn't think it was intended for home use at first partly because it was such a big, heavy, expensive in 1977 beast 

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The rs232 card doubles as a tape drive interface.  You can see the two audio cables in the photo.

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19 hours ago, --- Ω --- said:

What about a Disk drive controller card?  Is one still available for it?  That thing would rock with a Lotharek HxC!

 

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I found a PDF of a controller card from a few years back...

 

H8-Z37_FLOPPY_CONTROLLER V1_2.pdf 4.68 MB · 0 downloads

There was an external disk drive available for $675 or it can use audio cassettes for storage.

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10 hours ago, --- Ω --- said:

I'd love to see a couple more photos once it's all cleaned up and working.

I will be happy to do so. It's clean now and was actually much worse when I got it than what you see in the photo. It was in a guys basement in Maine for an unknown number of years. I guess that is either really good or really bad, I'm a life long Florida resident and we don't have basements since the water table is only a few feet from the surface.  

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