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Thread: Value of Rainbow 100 and LQP-02

  1. #1
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    Default Value of Rainbow 100 and LQP-02

    I am usually over in the Unix forum discussing Sun stuff since I sold my VAX ...

    I rescued a Rainbow 100, which came with a LQP-02 daisy wheel printer. This isn't the kind of stuff that I collect, so the plan was to go through it, see if it ran, clean it up and sell it (to pay for more of the stuff that I do collect). Hopefully, I will have it sorted out by VCF PNW, where I am exhibit SPARC stuff, in a bit over two weeks.

    However, since I don't collect this stuff, I don't know what to ask for it, so I am looking for help.

    The Rainbow is a B model. Just floppies, no HDD. It booted the first time that I tried, but the VR201 had a bad case of PVA deterioration. I removed the PVA, but, when I connected things back up and tried to boot again, the PSU started throwing its breaker. It now does that even when nothing else is attached to it. I have a "working" PSU on its way. In addition to the VR201 display, it has the desk side case to put the Rainbow. Aesthetically, the desk side case is in great condition.

    The LQP-02 works, but could use some adjustment or maybe a sensor (or similar) replaced. The print head seems to slam into the left side of the carriage pretty hard. When I got it, the belt was so deteriorated that the teeth on it would dissolve if you touched it. Luckily, the belt is the same size as a common 3D printer belt, so I was able to replace it. I was also to get replacement NOS ink cartridges (I bought one, but the seller sent me three - guess they had plenty). I connected it to my Mac through a serial terminal application and was able to send characters to it and it printed fine.

    The guy that I got it from was the original buyer. He needed MS-DOS for a project and bought the Rainbow for that. The copy of CP/M was never unsealed from its box. It has the DOS and CP/M slip cover boxes. The system had been sitting in his "barn" since 1986, but, given the lack of dust and dirt on things, it must have been a cleaner barn than I am used to. I did have to spend a lot of time cleaning leaking PVA from the display and this took the remaining paint off of the 'digital' logo on the front of the display. The system unit chassis is mostly clean.

    Any idea what is reasonable to ask for this, as it is now and, if the replacement power supply works, it is running condition?

    Thanks,

    alan

  2. #2
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    Default

    Well, in working condition I would hesitate to say an RX50-only 100B with printer, VR201, LK201, the tower cabinet and documentation/disks would probably make $200 if directed at someone who wanted an overly large VT220 compatible terminal with a modest CP/M system and a DOS-Compatible PC under the same hood.
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  3. #3
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    Default

    That is about what I was thinking as well. Anyone really wanting a Rainbow will wait / pay for a machine with Drive W:. Good luck finding the option by itself.

    Lou

  4. #4
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    Default

    OK. Interesting.

    I am more concerned about it getting in the way of me getting more of the stuff that I collect and that they don't get scrapped.

    Having said that, what is the basis of those prices? Ball park guess or what these items have sold for recently?

    alan

  5. #5
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    Rainbows are not particularly desireable. They aren't entirely common but there is very low demand either for a nice and complete unit outside of the DEC userbase who for the most part see both CP/M and MS-DOS as rather alien given what DEC's primary offerings are. Likewise because it's a DOS-compatible PC and not PC-compatible it is severely limited mainly to software that does not use graphics and hardware modes unless specifically coded for the Rainbow.
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  6. #6
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    There is a lot of warez out there despite the incompatibility factor. Few computers had as thriving a community of stalwart defenders. It's just kind of a odd looking contraption. I hesitate to call it alien. It's just odd. I think DEC stuff largely has a following due to it's artsy fartsy look. The Rainbow though is just funky looking. Not alien, just sort of mutated, in a degenerate sort of way.

  7. #7
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    Another factor that is pulling the value of your Rainbow down Alan, is that it also likely lacks the color graphics option. Since you only have the VR201 and not VR241, your machine is likely monochrome only. Color is helpful for the really good Rainbow games like SCRAM.

    Since you have an LQP-02, I think your machine was only used for word processing.

    As for the "funky look", the DECMateII and PRO are all in similar (same for DECMate, bigger fro the PRO) cases. They certainly look better when in the tower enclosure.

    Lou

  8. #8
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    OK the bow is one of a few mutated degenerate contraptions in the DEC lineup. Thanks for pointing that out . I think the Pro is larger though iinm, giving it less of that skulking troll look.

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