The TRS-80 System Carrying Case Set

written by Matthew Reed

The TRS-80 System Carrying Case Set (catalog number 26-500), also known as the Model I Carrying Case Set, was Radio Shack’s solution for transporting a TRS-80 Model I. It was introduced in late 1978 for a price of $69.95. Radio Shack increased the price to $75.00 on July 1, 1980 except for a brief sale price of $39.95 that ended December 31, 1980.

The TRS-80 System Carrying Cases

A description of the TRS-80 System Carrying Cases from a 1979 Radio Shack catalog

Although the Model I wasn’t a portable computer (by any stretch of the imagination), people often needed to move a Model I to a new location. For example, many people kept their Model I at work during the week and brought it back home for the weekend.

The TRS-80 System Carrying Case Set was two cases designed to hand transport a Model I keyboard unit, video display, and associated parts. Here is a description from the November 1978 issue of the TRS-80 Microcomputer News:

Now it’s easy to carry your TRS-80 system with you! Our new carrying cases do it all. One attache-like case houses the keyboard, recorder, power supply, and cassette tapes, while the other is a nice snug fit for the video monitor. Both are foam-lined and finished in black leatherette vinyl.

One limitation of the TRS-80 System Carrying Case was that it was designed only for a cassette Model I. There was no way to transport floppy drives and an Expansion Interface with the Model I.

One notable third-party alternative was the TRS-80 Executive Case, sold by Computer TEXTile of Los Angeles, California for $179.00. It weighed 17 pounds and, unlike the Radio Shack version, could transport a complete system consisting of a Model I keyboard unit, Expansion Interface, two disk drives, a power strip, two boxes of disks, and manuals. According to a product announcement in 80 Microcomputing, “most cabling does not need to be detached for packing, and the system may be operated in the case.”

Categories: Hardware


Ted Nelson says:

When the Model I arrived at RS stores, innovative farmers bought’em. They soon began begging Land Grand University Extension Seca lists for farm-useful software. So Farm Maagement specialists at MI St, Purdue, Oklahoma St, and others, hired undergrads in computer science to write cassette-based software for them. So I bought a Model I WITH carrying case to take it to the country to demonstrate and distribute the programs. I still habe it all (Model I, Cases, and many cassetts.) Spreadsheets soon rendered it all obsolete!