BBC Model B micro

IMG_20150308_165922022Now be honest. Is there anyone aged between 35 and 55 in the UK who hasn’t used a BBC micro? This little machine was massive over here. They were everywhere, Rugged, dependable, terrific BASIC interpreter, in-line assembler. The list goes on and on.

This machine came to me from my friend Tris. He is another retro-computer collector but unlike most of us, knows when enough is enough and decided the his BBC Master would be enough and gave me this non-functioning unit.

Under the lid.

An Issue 4 mother board.
An Issue 4 mother board.

The machine has an Issue 4 mother board. I think this is a bit unusual. From memory I think Issue 3 and Issue 7 were the most numerous. Another thing it has is a lid lined with aluminium foil. Curious. I wonder if it gave out too much interference for the TV or somesuch.

Aluminium foil inside the lid. RFI problems perhaps. Or just to keep it fresh?
Aluminium foil inside the lid. RFI problems perhaps. Or just to keep it fresh?

Power up.

When power is applied, I here one beep. There should be two. With a monitor connected there is a nice raster on the screen and a flashing cursor. Nothing more.

The keyboard connector has seen better days.
The keyboard connector has seen better days.

A look inside shows that the keyboard connector is very tired, with a number of connections broken. I tried to reconnect the broken ones. There was a brief bit of activity as the words “BBC Micro…” started appearing on the screen. _VERY_ Slowly. I tried a reset and things got worse. The beep didn’t end.

Now I’ve seen that the machine is close to working and so my strategy is this.

  1. Replace the keyboard cable – I have one on order.
  2. Replace the capacitors in the power supply – It won’t hurt.
  3. Re-asses the situation.