Posts in the “Hardware” Category - page 2

The Aerocomp DDC

The Aerocomp DDC was a popular double-density add-on for the TRS‑80 Model I. It was introduced in 1981 by Aerocomp Inc. of Dallas, Texas, a company founded by John Lancione. Aerocomp was one of the longest lasting TRS‑80 companies and the Aerocomp DDC was sold for almost a decade.

When it was introduced, the Aerocomp DDC cost $149.95. This was $20 cheaper than its primary competitor, the Percom Doubler II.

The Freedom Option

The Freedom Option was a CP/M add-on for the TRS‑80 Model I, Model III, and compatibles. It was introduced in early 1980 by Field Engineering Consultants (better known as FEC) of Woburn, Massachusetts.

Originally, FEC sold two Freedom boards, both for a 48K Model I with disk drives:

The Freedom Option allowed CP/M (or the included T8/OS) to run by disabling the Model I ROM. It cost $245.00.

Pion’s Interstellar Drive

The Interstellar Drive, also known as Pion’s Interstellar Drive, was a solid state disk drive emulator that was sold by Pion, Inc. of Arlington (later Watertown), Massachusetts. It was introduced in 1982 for a base price of $1,095.00 for the 256K version.

The Interstellar Drive was an external 9″ by 8 1/2″ by 4″ unit with its own power supply. It was compatible with the TRS‑80 Model III and Model 4 and included drivers for the TRSDOS and LDOS disk operating systems.”

The FPS-3

The FPS-3 was an unusual hardware add-on for the TRS‑80 Model III and Model 4 that gave users the ability to make backup copies of their copy protected TRS‑80 programs. It was created by Steve Sawyer and sold for $50.00 through his company J.E.S. Graphics of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Most products that could defeat TRS‑80 copy protection, such as Super Utility or Trackcess, were software that used the TRS‑80 hardware to make exact copies of protected disks or tapes.

The TRS‑80 Micro Computer System Desk

The TRS‑80 Micro Computer System Desk (catalog number 26-1301), also known as the TRS‑80 System Desk, was Radio Shack’s recommended desk for the TRS‑80 Model I. It was introduced in 1978 for a price of $199.00.

The TRS‑80 System Desk was designed to hold a Model I, monitor, Radio Shack Expansion Interface, up to four floppy drives, and a TRS‑80 Quick Printer, with all wiring hidden inside the desk.

The Hurricane Labs Compactor

The Hurricane Labs Compactor was part of a series of products that modified the TRS‑80 Model III to allow it to run CP/M programs. Hurricane Laboratories, better known as Hurricane Labs, was founded by Ronald L. Jones, a member of the Homebrew Computer Club who had a great deal of experience with CP/M.

There were three Compactor products for the TRS‑80 from Hurricane Labs, all designed by Ron Jones:

The Compactor I, introduced in late 1981, sold for $450.

Plug ‘n Power

Plug ‘n Power was Radio Shack’s brand name for products that used the X10 power line communications protocol. X10 was developed in 1975 by Pico Electronics, Ltd. of Glenrothes, Scotland. Radio Shack, along with Sears, Roebuck & Co. (with the Sears Home Control System) and BSR (with the BSR System X-10), was among the first sellers of X10 compatible products.

Radio Shack introduced their first Plug ‘n Power products in late 1979. Most of the products were appliance and light modules.

The Shuffleboard

The Shuffleboard and Shuffleboard III were CP/M hardware add-ons for the TRS‑80 Model I and Model III. Although somewhat different products, each allowed unmodified CP/M programs to run on the TRS‑80 by “shuffling” the TRS‑80 memory map into one acceptable to CP/M.

Both the Shuffleboard and Shuffleboard III were created by Parasitic Engineering, but the Shuffleboard III achieved most of its popularity after Memory Merchant took over the product.

The MISOSYS Hard Drive Kit

The MISOSYS Hard Drive Kit was a hard drive interface for the TRS‑80 Model III, Model 4, and Lobo MAX‑80. (There was no version for the TRS‑80 Model I.) It was announced in the Spring/Summer 1989 issue of The MISOSYS Quarterly and began shipping in September 1989. It came in in two configurations: 20 MB and 40 MB.

Although Roy Soltoff described the MISOSYS Hard Drive Kit as a “pre-assembled kit,” it came fully assembled, tested, and ready to connect to the TRS‑80.

The Holmes Sprinter

The Holmes Sprinter was a family of speed-up boards for the TRS‑80 Model I and III. They were created and sold by Holmes Engineering, Inc., a company responsible for many hardware add-ons for the TRS‑80, such as the Expansion Mainframe, the VID-80, and the Internal Memory. The Sprinter models were probably the most popular speed-up boards available for the Model I and III.

The Sprinter I for the TRS‑80 Model I was introduced in late 1981. It cost $99.