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Thread: Nascom

  1. #1
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    Default Nascom

    Kind of want to fill out more of my UK stuff here and was looking at Nascom stuff. A Nascom 2 just sold recently (with case) for about $500US. Is that typical? Are Nascoms particularly rare?

  2. #2
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    Some of the history of the NASCOM is described here https://nascom.wordpress.com/history/.

    The $500 is fairly typical. It's not that they are rare (they come up quite often on a certain auction website) it is just that when they do they are snapped up in a frenzy of bidding (presumably by enthusiasts who built one when they were 'young', disposed of it and now want one again).

    I myself built a NASCOM 1 from a kit. It was brilliant, because it had a real keyboard and TV output; had a Z80 microprocessor and was reasonably affordable to someone who had just started work and couldn't afford a PET or an Apple. It was a great little (expandable) machine.

    I eventually traded it in to a friend at University and purchased a NASCOM 2 kit. That was expanded to support disk drive interfaces and I wrote my own BIOS to support CP/M.

    I sold my NASCOM 2 (to another friend) when I moved on to other things and was not using it anymore.

    We had a University re-union a few years ago and my friend still has the NASCOM 1. It still works. One of the problems with the NASCOM 1 was unreliability (especially with the buffer board required to expand the system) - hence we ended up calling her "amnesia'... [she used to 'forget' her programs occasionally!]

    My second friend also has my NASCOM 2 - although it has developed a fault and is insisting on fixing it himself...

    I have just helped one person in the UK bring a NASCOM 2 back to health. One of the basic problems with a NASCOM is timing. I have yet another friend who used to repair NASCOMs many years ago - most of the problems were video related and were down to timing (or at least the nasty problems were at any rate).

    You will find a lot of things NASCOM over at http://www.nascomhomepage.com.

    Dave

  3. #3
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    Default

    Hi,

    I am currently trying to fix my newly acquired Nascom-1 (you can read about it here... http://www.randomorbit.co.uk/?cat=129) and I am looking forward to getting this machine going.

    Dave is right about the pull of these machines in the UK. I was on the verge of buying one back in the day but was lead astray but the allure of the Sinclair ZX Spectrum. I've only just got my hands on one after all of these years.

    Best of luck finding one. They do pop up from time to time.


    Cheers,

    Andy.

  4. #4
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    Default

    If you are referring to the blue Nascom-2 that sold the other day, that listing was mine. A similar one sold a few weeks ago for around 600 but that had disk controller cards and a few other bits. Plus it hadn't been resprayed to look like a poor man's SOL-20!

    Nascom-1's do tend to pop up now and then and are usually a bit cheaper although they are a lot more limited unless you get the buffered IO expansion board. (A stock Nascom-1 only has 1k RAM for programs and no BASIC in ROM)

    There is currently one on Ebay here... (No connection to seller)
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/292302953614

    They are great little machines with a fantastic keyboard (Hall effect switches I think)

    Cheers,
    Dave

  5. #5
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    Cool! For years I wasn't all that interested in UK computing.. until I got addicted to Nostalgia Nerd's videos and made the mistake of watching Micro Men. I've always had a few Sinclairs and just got a BBC Micro. But there's something about the Nascom that really appeals to me.

    That's interesting that a Nascom 1 would be cheaper than a 2.. usually in vintage computing the earlier the product the more valuable it is. Do we know rough production numbers for these? Tens of thousands?

  6. #6
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    Default

    Whilst perhaps not "Rare" I think NASCOMs are pretty scarce. As some one says they pop up from time to time, but not so often as say the BBC-B, Apple II, Dragon 32 or CoCo 2. Again as per the person above often they were passed on as people upgraded and as you actually had to build them, folks perhaps have more nostalgia for them. I built a Nascom II for the Manchester Computer Club and so would buy one if one cam up at < 100.
    Dave
    G4UGM

    Looking for Analog Computers, Drum Plotters, and Graphics Terminals

  7. #7
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by acollins22 View Post
    Hi,

    I am currently trying to fix my newly acquired Nascom-1 (you can read about it here... http://www.randomorbit.co.uk/?cat=129) and I am looking forward to getting this machine going.
    Just wondering if you were aware of this thread:http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthrea...roubleshooting

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lurch666 View Post
    Just wondering if you were aware of this thread:http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthrea...roubleshooting
    Thanks for the suggestion.

    I think the N1 and N2 are quite different in their address decoding though.

    I have made some progress but not fixed it yet.


    Cheers,

    Andy.

  9. #9
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    Well, looks like I'm a Nascom 1 owner!

    http://www.ebay.ca/itm/NASCOM-1-Micr...72.m2748.l2649

    The winning bidder flaked (feedback of 5, not surprising) so it's mine. Kind of excited about this one. Relevant to our previous discussions, I'm assuming the power supply expects 220v, so I guess I'd better get hopping on a converter. Curiously I don't see a plug anywhere amongst the wires there.

  10. #10
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    Well done that man!

    I had better dig out the N1 schematics then...

    Check the transformer primary when it arrives, it may be 240V or 2*110V. If it is a dual 110V, you can put the two separate windings in parallel rather than in series. I am not sure why there are three separate transformers though? I only remember a single transformer.

    My suggestion would be to get the power supply going first and then move on to the N1 on its own (i.e. remove the buffer board and everything else). You should be able to get the N1 to run with the Nasbug or Nassys monitor.

    A word of caution - do NOT plug the keyboard cable in the wrong way round. You will kill something... Guessing will not work!

    Dave
    Last edited by daver2; November 4th, 2017 at 04:04 AM.

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