View Full Version : How do i get cover off tr-80

August 26th, 2005, 05:54 PM
Gday. i don't normaly play around with old computers but have found a Tandy model 3 dual disk drive computer.

I don't wan't to burn my house down when i turn it on.
I was wondering how i get the cover off? so i can check it internally for burns or charing.

Terry Yager
August 26th, 2005, 07:54 PM
Get a long extension cord and smoke-test it out in the back yard...

Seriously, it's best to bring it up slowly, using a variable AC power source (variac). I've just spent the past two days booting a TeleVideo 802 that has been in storage for several years, but I got it booted to CP/M last night without mishap, so I musta done sum'n right, eh? I smoke-tested it today for 8 hours, and it's still going strong. (Got it sold already too).

But, back to your question. I don't recall how the Model III comes apart, but I do know the best place to look for that information -- Ira's page at:


Just about anything you want to know can be found there, but it might take a little digging to find it.


August 27th, 2005, 02:51 AM
Cheers man.I'll have a look at the link.I have removed all the screws and it doesn't wan't to come appart,it's got me stuffed.

Are they worth anything? If not i was going to build my P4 in it and put a 15inch lcd on it for lan gaming.
But if it's worth anything to anyone i'd rather see it go to a good home.

Terry Yager
August 27th, 2005, 06:02 AM
The last one I saw on eBay about 2 - 3 weeks ago sold for about $26.00, so they arent all that valuable, unless it's in exceptionally good shape, but even then, they don't bring in that much. I recently sold a "museum-grade" unit, and only got $43.00 for it. I like your idea of using the case, sounds like a kewl project, and you could still sell the parts from the inside. You might actually make some money from it that way, since I suspect that shipping cost is one major reason that they don't sell well on eBay. They're common enough that the collecting world won't miss one lil' ol' case.


August 28th, 2005, 04:44 PM
If you're having trouble taking the cover off, perhaps you did not notice that there is a screw behind the purple sticker that warns you about opening the computer and voiding the warrantee. That's done on purpose because back in the old days this was Tandy's way of telling when someone unauthorized opened the unit, voiding the warrantee.

Personally I would just go for it and turn it on without opening it because there's a much higher risk that you'll do damage to the computer if you open it AND if the purple seal has not yet been punctured, the value of the computer would be reduced. When I do something risky I wear safety goggles (seriously). If you smell "electric burning" smell after about 10 seconds, turn of the computer.

If you must take the cover off, be especially careful to not stress the wires that attach to the monitor. There are Model III user guides on the web, and they definately have instructions for removing the cover. Follow them.

Computer Collector
August 28th, 2005, 09:36 PM
speaking of smell, My TRS-80 model 4 has always had its own distinct smell; especially when using it. :D

August 29th, 2005, 01:46 AM
I think a screw behind a seal or sticker was and still is very common. Even factory repaired machines would get a new sticker to ensure that the user did not open it after repair.