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Thread: IMSAI 8080 System For Sale

  1. #1

    Default IMSAI 8080 System For Sale

    I've decided it's time to part with my IMSAI 8080 system. It's been sitting in the basement for a long time, and I've kept promising it that I would bring it back up and relive the golden days of computing. Unfortunately, Real Life(tm) has a way of interfering, and I've got more pressing projects than I can handle. Here's what's I have:

    • IMSAI 8080 22-slot chassis
    • Northstar 8MHz Z80-H CPU
    • 64K static memory card
    • Tarbell DSDD floppy controller
    • 256K DRAM card (as a virtual disk)
    • 4-port serial card
    • IMSAI GPIO card
    • S-100 extender card
    • (2) Qume Datatrak-8 8" floppy drives in a chassis w/ PSU
    • (1) Qume Datatrak-8 8" spare (possibly more)
    • Spare toggle switch covers
    • Several hundred diskettes, much software (assuming diskettes are still readable).
    • Tons of documentation

    The system hasn't been powered up in *ages*, and I'm a little concerned about not doing that properly. Last thing I want to do is dump 8V into the 5V rail and watch everything go up in smoke, or watch a couple of 22,000uf caps grenade. The front panel can't single step or examine memory at 8MHz. If I remember correctly, dropping the CPU speed via the switch on the CPU card will put the clock into a range where the front panel works correctly. You can, of course, stop/reset/run the CPU at 8MHz.

    The front panel is *perfect*. I think there's a minor scratch on the cover. It does still have the suicide power switch. Anyone who's been around IMSAIs know they should be reworked to put the power switch on the back, and optionally use the front panel power switch to drive a relay.

    I'm pretty sure the floppies need the belts replaced.

    I haven't done a lot of research so I don't know what they're going for these days. I'm looking to get a fair price, and while I'd love to get $2500 for everything, I'm not sure that's realistic. I know that shipping costs would be insane, so I'm willing to drive 200 miles from Flowery Branch, GA to meet.

    I have some sentimental attachment to this system, as I spent thousands of hours in front of it. I built the motherboard myself, soldering all 2200+ connections. It wasn't my first computer, but it was my most prized computer. I can't remember if I paid $900/ea or $900 for the pair for the Datatrak 8 drives, but it was a major chunk of change at the time. The GPIO card was for a Diablo Hytype I daisy wheel printer. I wrote the first set of drives in assembly, where each of the motions was sequential. I rewrote it in Aztec C so that the platen, print head, and wheel motions overlapped, and sped up printing dramatically. I wrote a rather complicated utility for managing Televideo 950 terminals, and a bunch of other utilities for Hayes Chronographs, some checkbook software before Quicken existed, lots of stuff. So yeah, a bit sentimental

    If there's interest expressed, I'll take a bunch of pictures and post them. Pulling everything out to take them is a little painful

  2. #2


    Hey jcwren,

    I am a vintage computer collector and I am looking for a nice IMSAI to add to my collection. I live in North Florida, so it is a possibility, that we could meet up, if we can get the system into
    a fair price range. I do not have any experience with the IMSAI, so if you could take a day or two off or on the weekend, you could stay here with me. That way we could go over the ins and
    out of this system.

    I think you scared everyone away with that over the top estimate. The way I see it, the Altair is the top name computer to have and the IMSAI is second along with the SOL-20 would be my next choice.

    You can take a look at a few of the items that I have collected in the video at the bottom of my website. I think you will enjoy it. I also collect vintage game systems, as I figured out early,
    that most people, especially your people, do not care about the old computers. So, I wanted something that everyone could enjoy.

  3. #3


    I'm interested in your IMSAI 8080. If it is still around and for sale please call [removed by mod] .... or if anyone else sees this and has one for sale please call.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Dublin, CA USA
    Blog Entries


    Quote Originally Posted by headbozo View Post
    I'm interested in your IMSAI 8080. If it is still around and for sale please call [removed by mod] .... or if anyone else sees this and has one for sale please call.

    Please don't post phone numbers in the open forum. If you are interested in the thing, then send a PM (but don't announce that you have done so).

    IBM 5160 - 360k, 1.44Mb Floppies, NEC V20, 8087-3, 45MB MFM Hard Drive, Vega 7 Graphics, IBM 5154 Monitor running MS-DOS 5.00
    IBM PCJr Model 48360 640kb RAM, NEC V20,, jrIDE Side Cart, 360kb Floppy drives running MS-DOS 5.00
    Evergreen Am5x86-133 64Mb Ram, 8gb HDD, SB16 in a modified ATX case running IBM PC-DOS 7.10

  5. #5


    I have a IMSAI 8080 for sale. original 8080 with 32 k mem 8k rom and programmer(eraser seperate) sp+3 io, CUTS tape i/o , vdm-1+ 9 inch monitor vintage, vintage keyboard.

    Working and running, library of tapes, Original paper tape for monitor.

  6. #6


    That sounds great. I have an Altair 8800a, with all Processor Technology boards as well. So, I am familiar with the boards that you have as well.
    I would love to see some pics or a video if you can load one up on Youtube.

    Here is a video of my Altair.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Central VA


    For a system like that, $2500 is not an unreasonable price. It's a very nice setup, top-of-the-line for an unbanked Z80 system!

    You're right to be worried about just flipping the switch and powering it up. Especially with a North Star card in there -- I've had significantly higher tantalum cap failure rates on North Star boards, even though they're otherwise very high quality boards.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Livermore, California


    Most of the replies to this listing are a god-awful mess. Perhaps folks can take a moment to compose themselves before deciding whether a reply is appropriate, and if so, spend a few more moments composing an appropriate reply.

    It is never appropriate to post a reply about something you have for sale to a for sale posting. FFS.

    I'll second that $2,500 is an entirely reasonable price for this system, if not a bargain to some extent.


  9. #9


    Why are people throwing out prices, to items they do not have for sale? An IMSAI is not worth as much as anyone here is saying.

    I just picked up a fully working Altair 8800a, with a full complement of working Processor Technology Boards, and a dual 5 1/4 drive unit, all in excelent condition and I only paid $1900
    So, please do not throw out prices, that are not yours to throw out in the first place. Unless you are making an offer for this item or any other item, then that is your right to spend as much
    as you would like... but I would not start off making an offer for an item that is over the value of this item to start with.

    Here is something I hate to admit to, but I recently almost had an IMSAI in my hands for $350, but the seller ended up selling it to someone else for $400. I could kick myself every time I think about it.
    Oh well, it has taught me a lesson, to be patient. There is a good deal just around the corner. I have picked up two original Apple II computers for around $300 each, after I bought my first one, for $2100.
    I sold the other two, so that made up for the one I spent too much money on. Plus I kept the best parts for myself.

    Anyway, nice chatting with you all, Keep it real !!!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Livermore, California


    Congratulations on your experiences. I once loaded the entire trunk and the backseat of my Honda Civic with an IMSAI 8080, (2) Vector Graphics 1, (2) PerSci dual 8" floppy drives (voicecoil) in mahogany enclosures, a dumb terminal, and some other miscellany, for $50. By my experience, you way overpaid.

    I can't even remember how many times I've hashed through this pointless discussion on the CC mailing list (that eventually erupted into major arguments). Bottom line: it's worth what the seller is willing to take and what the buyer is willing to pay (offer/acceptance) on any given sale, whether than's 1 penny or 50 gajillion 1ozt gold coins.

    But as someone who sells quite a bit, and who has been a collector and curator of fine vintage computers for about 30 years now, my assessment is not one that was drawn directly from a personal rectal cavity.

    Your input is acknowledged, thank you, but at the same time as you want to practice the privilege to proffer your own opinions about price, others want to retain their right to reckon and recite their appraisal as well.

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