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Tandy 3000 on ebay

tipc

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eswan

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Wandering around google for 'Digitrend Systems controller' looks like they made floppy/io controllers? Some sort of isa card with a bios. Don't think a normal AT motherboard will fit, didn't that thing have something like 12 isa slots? I had a 3000 as the 4th computer I owned, and think I had to replace it completely when I went to 386 due to the case being non-standard.
 

animekenji

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Did RS outsource their computer production then slap a TRS-80 badge on them?

Also, that one has a conventional hard drive. Mine has a hard drive on a card with 5.25 and 3.5 inch floppies in the drive bays. Did they sell them both ways?

Oh, and the filth on the keyboard suggest to me that someone recovered this machine on a dumpster dive or from someone's garbage cans on collection day. While I've found lots of good stuff myself that way, I've also found a lot of junk that wasn't worth dragging home.
 
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kb2syd

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Did RS outsource their computer production then slap a TRS-80 badge on them?
They did on some stuff, but not the 3000.

Also, that one has a conventional hard drive. Mine has a hard drive on a card with 5.25 and 3.5 inch floppies in the drive bays. Did they sell them both ways?
No, the 3000hd did not look like that. I suspect some shenanigans are afoot.

All Tandy boot screens in this generation would have referenced Tandy Corp.
 
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Dokken

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is the 3000 rare? i stumbled upon one complete in the box at a flea market a couple of years ago and bought it relatively cheap. not a lot of activity on this model i could find back then.
 

animekenji

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is the 3000 rare? i stumbled upon one complete in the box at a flea market a couple of years ago and bought it relatively cheap. not a lot of activity on this model i could find back then.

It depends. The HL and NL are a lot more common than the HD because they were less than half the price and targeted at the home market. The HD was a business class machine. The thing about business class machines machines is that they were often leased, rather than bought outright, and returned when the lease expired. Vendors would then either strip them for parts to service machines still in the field, or else landfill them and take a tax write off for the residual value because they were obsolete. Not a lot of them would survive into the future. I did an HVAC job at A,T,&T many years ago and they had two pallets of 6300 computers on the loading dock. I asked about them and was told they couldn't give away or sell any of them because they were scrapping them for tax purposes. I've been trying to locate a Compaq SystemPro for a long time, with no luck, and it's because of the leasing issue. I've seen a few parts here and there, but never enough to build a complete system.

The 3000HD was also the heart of a multi-user Xenix system. I presume that's why they had 10 ISA slots, to plug in some dumb terminals using cards so that many users could use the 3000HD at the the same time.
 
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kc8eyt

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I asked the seller to post a few pictures of the motherboard and they are up there now. It is indeed a Tandy motherboard.
 

animekenji

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I don't like the memory error and configuration error messages that it gives on post. Swapping out bad memory chips on 286 systems isn't as straightforward as swapping memory sticks until much later, near the end of the 286 era. I wouldn't relish the thought of having to figure out which chip(s) are generating the error message and then swapping those memory chips directly off the motherboard with a soldering iron, if you can even get correct replacement chips at all anymore. It looks like a potential nightmare to me.
 

Chuck(G)

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Replacement DRAM should not be a problem. One can even find 4116s on the surplus market as well as 2102s.

Soldering is a bummer, however. I like socketed RAM.
 

eswan

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Here's what I'm seeing in slots in the new pics-

modem
empty
busmouse
vga
empty
empty
ram board with 4 simms (probably the source of the memory error)
empty
floppy/mfm controller cabled for 2 hard drives
something with a crystal, serial/parallel wouldn't have that would it?
 

Eudimorphodon

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Soldering is a bummer, however. I like socketed RAM.

The picture's a bit blurry but it looks to me like the motherboard only has 512k of socketed 41256s on it. Error is probably from the SIMM expansion card, unless the machine has a separate 128k backfill on one of the other cards. (Like you'd sometimes find in original IBM ATs.)
 

kb2syd

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I'm wondering about this as well. Could it have a different BIOS chip installed?

I've been digging because something doesn't smell right to me. According to the documentation I could find for the 3000 it shipped with:

CURRENT BIOS ROM Version: 01.03.03
 

Eudimorphodon

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The Phoenix BIOS copyright date is 1988, which post-dates that revision of the Tandy 3000. (The original "3000 HD" with the 8mhz/512k motherboard as pictured was replaced in the 1988 Tandy catalog with a 12mhz version that took 640k on the motherboard, was listed as having nine expansion slots instead of ten, and had a keylock on the front.) It does seem very unlikely that's the original BIOS chip.

It's possible they replaced it to support additional hard disk types or something.
 

animekenji

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Trying to reverse that hack job is going to be more trouble than it's worth, I think. Where would you even get the correct BIOS ROM from this many years later? That's probably why it throws errors on boot. The BIOS is not completely compatible with the motherboard.
 
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tipc

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I managed to pull mine out, seems to "boot" up or rather attempt to. Floppy is never accessed, but small diode at lower left front comes on briefly, I think it's for hard drive activity. Tomorrow I *may* be able to find a suitable monitor and video card combination that may shed some light on this situation. I think the only working monitor appropriate to this is a Taxan 635? Iirc. Don't even know where a vga card is, that would be the easiest solution.
 

animekenji

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I managed to pull mine out, seems to "boot" up or rather attempt to. Floppy is never accessed, but small diode at lower left front comes on briefly, I think it's for hard drive activity. Tomorrow I *may* be able to find a suitable monitor and video card combination that may shed some light on this situation. I think the only working monitor appropriate to this is a Taxan 635? Iirc. Don't even know where a vga card is, that would be the easiest solution.

Mine is in storage, or I'd double check myself. I'm glad someone else has one that can check. It's really hard to find other people who have one of these or the 4000 & 5000 models. If 3000's are rare, 4000's and 5000's are practically non-existent.
 
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