TRS-80 model 3. The final lap

A quick update.

I have removed the broken remains of the plastic brackets on the onside of the lid and replaced them with the 3d printed ones made for me by a friend at work.

150829-IMG_20150829_102220955_HDRI have also re-glued the two weaker CRT pillars. This time I’ve bought some epoxy that claims to be specifically designed to glue hard plastics such as ABS.

I really hope it lasts.

So there you have it. My TRS-80 model 3 is done.


Further forward. Model 3 reassembly.

150823-IMG_20150823_204254173I gave the key tops a quick ride in the dish washer and they had come out clean and splendid. So now, get everything back together.

Power up time.

The first go… 150823-IMG_20150823_204149751

Take two.

Jiggle the cables a bit…

150824-IMG_20150824_195819351Tada! Ta bloody da!

I’m feeling a bit pleased with myself, but I’m not quite done.

Two of the CRT pillars are a little shaky and will need some attention. Also, three of the plastic clips that help to hold the case closed were smashed. The good news is that a friend of mine at work has 3d printed me some new ones!. The bad news is that the remains of the old ones are very well attached and so I’ll need to strip out the bezel again to be sure of getting them out without risking the tube coming down on me and to repair the pillars.

We’re very close though.

Look how shiny it is.150823-IMG_20150823_204313296

On with the repairs.

The base.

In the previous post I fixed up the bezel and primed the base.

150821-IMG_20150821_165446717Well now the base has had its top coat. The closest paint I could find at Halfords was Vauxhall Platinum silver. It’s not an exact match but it is very close so I’m going with that.

The top of the case.

The top of the case had been a bit battered. There was a crack running down one of the back corners and plenty of dings and dents.

150822-IMG_20150822_141046239_HDRHere it is having been glued, filled and sprayed with white primer.

Now for the silver.


Putting the bezel back.

150822-IMG_20150822_174325213Here we have the bezel back in place and next to go in is the tube.

This is a bit worrying because the pillars don’t seem to be as secure as I’d like. there is a bit of “give” in them. Even though the glue has had several days to cure. I’ve put the tube back and left the case the right way up but with some padding beneath the tube.


I’ll take a look in the morning and see if it’s given way.

Starting repairs.

In my previous post post I wrote about my ailing TRS-80 Model 3, damaged by transport with inadequate packaging.

Here I’m going to start a repair job on it. I don’t normally do any cosmetic work on my machines, a bit of wear and taer is par for the course and is to be expected but this machine has been so beaten up that my repairs are unlikely to reduce its value any and will make things better.

Repairing the bezel

My first job, after taking the lid off for a look around, was to take the black bezel out so that the pillars that hold the CRT can be repaired.

150816-IMG_20150816_181229487Next, how to repair the pillars? I think that just some glue, any glue that I can get, will probably give way when I refit the tube and tighten the nuts (even lightly). So, I used epoxy glue to hold the pillars together for a start. Then I glued carbon fibre strands around each pillar (left over from the hovercraft projects) and piled epoxy on top of that. Hopefully that will hold.



Preparing for painting

Normally I wouldn’t touch the paint of an old computer as I said above but this one needs it more than it needs to be kept original.

First the base got a sanding, masking and a spray with white primer…

150817-IMG_20150817_211837726looking good. Top coat to follow then repairs to the top of the case. That’s the bit that really needs it.

TRS-80 Model 3. A bad start.

Sometimes, a machine that’s on my “back burner” will show up on ebay with a buy-it-now that puts it in my price range and if I’m quick I can get it before it goes.

So it was with this non-functioning TRS-80 model 3.

On the listing I could see that there was a key missing, the paint is worn in front of the space bar and it had some blobs of paint on it but I can cope with that. It’s a model 3 after all.

Good news so far.


This is what I found when I opened the box.

IMG_20150815_182549919Nearly no packing. A few sheets of newspaper that’s all. My heart sank and it didn’t float again for some time.


When I got the machine out of the box this is the sorry sight I saw.


It didn’t get a lot better.

IMG_20150815_183748264The tube has broken loose and been  flapping around inside the box with nothing to slow it down. Fortunately the CPU board is behind a metal shield but that’s but much of a bonus really. I struggle to imagine how the seller thought it would be OK with so little packaging.


LEO tape

IMG_20150806_174327679Recently came across a reel of tape for sale that purported to come from a LEO computer.

If you are not familiar with the LEO, check out the wikipedia article, you’ll be glad you did. The LEO was the first general business computer and it was developed by J. Lyons and Co. Lyons who ran a chain of tea rooms (selling their own cakes) and needed help with the logistics of supplying food to their shops.

I can’t really stress how important and crazy this is. A chain of cake shops developed the business computer. Imagine hearing that Mac Donald’s had developed the communication satellite to aid message passing between their restaurants or the the Coca Cola Company pioneered the helicopter. It’s that left-field.

So, having been familiar with the story of the LEO machines, when this tape came up for sale, I had to try and get it.

It’s on an aluminium reel approximately 10.5 inches in diameter and kept in a plastic case. You rotate the handle to removed the cover and get to the reel. It’s very 1960’s and I like it immensely.

I haven’t been able to find an information saying that any LEOs survive which is something of a shame. I hope I’m wrong and that there is one in a barn somewhere.



Retrochallenge… Final score.

As another Retrochallenge comes to an end it’s time to see how I got on.

Close but no cigar.

This last week has not seen a lot of progress. Plenty of things happened under the skin of CellarScramble but nothing that shows.

I have split the code out from its monolithic file into a number of modules and started using Monkey Studio IDE for editing the code.

I have functions for rooms and tiles as before. I have added provision for multiple sprites and added vSync detection for controlling the timing.

Rather enjoyed this. I may continue with it of perhaps leave it until RC2016/01. I’m not short of retro projects to get on with in the mean time.