TRS-80 Colour Computer 2

The TRS-80 Color Computer started out as a joint venture between Tandy Corporation of Fort Worth, Texas and Motorola Semiconductor, Inc. of Austin, to develop a low cost home computer in 1977.

The Color Computer, with its Motorola 6809E processor, was a radical departure from the Z80-based TRS-80 Models. Indeed the "80" in "TRS-80" stood for "Z80". For a time, the CoCo was referred to internally as the TRS-90 in reference to the "9" in "6809". However this was dropped and all CoCos sold as Radio Shack computers were called TRS-80 in spite of the processor change.

Color Computer 2 (1983–1986) Final production 64K Tandy Color Computer 2, showing full-travel keyboard (26-3127B)

During the CoCo 1 production run, much of the discrete support circuitry had been re-engineered into a handful of custom integrated circuits, leaving much of the circuit board area of the CoCo 1 as empty space. To cut production costs, the case was shortened by about 25% and a new, smaller power supply and motherboard were designed. The "melted" keyboard from the white CoCo 1 and the TDP-100 style ventilation slots were carried over. Aside from the new look and the deletion of the 12 volt power supply to the expansion connector, the computer was essentially 100% compatible with the previous generation. The deletion of the 12 volt power supply crippled some peripherals such as the original floppy disk controller, which then needed to be upgraded, installed in a Multi-Pak interface, or supplied with external power.

Production was also partially moved to Korea during the CoCo 2's life-span, and many owners of the Korean-built systems referred to them as "KoKos". Production in the USA and Korea happened in parallel using the same part numbers; very few, if any, differences exist between the USA built and Korean built CoCo 2 machines.

Upgraded BASIC ROMs were also produced, adding a few minor features and correcting some bugs. A redesigned 5-volt disk controller was introduced with its own new Disk BASIC ROM (v1.1). This controller added the "DOS" command which was used to boot the OS-9 operating system by Microware.

Later in the production run, the "melted" keyboard was replaced with a new, full-travel, typewriter-style keyboard.

The final significant change in the life of the CoCo 2 was made for the models 26-3134B, 26-3136B, and 26-3127B (16K standard, 16K extended, and 64K extended respectively). Internally this model was redesigned to use the enhanced VDG, the MC6847T1. This enhanced VDG allowed the use of lower case characters and the ability to change the text screen border color. However, for compatibility reasons neither of these features were used and are not enabled in BASIC. Midway during the production run of these final CoCo 2s, the nameplate was changed from "Radio Shack TRS-80 Color Computer 2" to "Tandy Color Computer 2". The red, green, and blue shapes were replaced with red, green, and blue parallelograms.

KEYBOARD   Full-stroke keyboard, 53 keys. Arrow keys, BREAK, CLEAR, SHIFT (x2)
CPU   Motorola 6809E
SPEED   0,89 Mhz (1,8 Mhz by programming the clock generator)
RAM   16 KB, 32 KB or 64 KB, depending on models
ROM   8 KB (Color Basic), but later models had 16 KB (Extended Color Basic)
TEXT MODES   32 x 16
GRAPHIC MODES   256 x 192 (2 colors), 128 x 192 (2 and 4 colors), 128 x 96 (4 and 2 colors), 32 x 64 (8 colors)
COLOrsc   9
SOUND   1 voice (6-bit DAC)
SIZE / WEIGHT   9 x 35 x 37,5 cm
I/O PORTS   Expansion/Cartridge connector, two analog joystick connectors, cassette interface (1500 bauds), RS232 serial port, TV RF connector
OS   OS9 Level 1 with disk-drives

Our model number is the final production 64K version and has a model number of 26-3136A with a serial number of 2004824 and was very kindly donated by Ian Jones.

Ian who also wrote software for the machine gave us the following notes:

"I bought the computer from the Tandy store in Wolverhampton around 1985 / 1986 new but not working for £5 spares or repairs. It was the last one they had in the store, probably the last one anywhere in the country. I bought it as I had been using a Dragon 32 I had been given and the Tahdy was 64KB so could do more but did everything the dragon could using the same programs and hardware.

I took it home, took it to bits and found that someone had spilt coffee in the key board. I cleaned it out and it has worked fine ever since.

I spent many happy hours writing programs (games) until the early hours of the morning and finally decided to put it into storage when I found myself still writing programs as the dawn chorus came up and I still had to go to work the next day. I did not touch another computer until 1995 when Microsoft introduced something new.

Many of the programs I wrote such as golf, moon Lander, helicopter rescue etc are in the tapes I have sent you. Have fun with them, they still load."

Manufacturer: Radio Shack Tandy
Date: 1983

TRS-80 Colour Computer 2 Manuals:

Item Manufacturer Date
TRS-80 Colour Graphic Printer Manual Radio Shack
TRS Model I conversion for TRS-80 Radio Shack August 1980
TRS-80 Model I/III Series 1 Editor Assembler Radio Shack 1981
TRS-80 Model 100 Portable Computer Owners Manual Radio shack 1983
Tandy TRS-80 Model 100 Quick Reference Guide Tandy 1983

Magazines RELATED to TRS-80 Colour Computer 2 in our Library

Item Manufacturer Date
REM 80 - Volume 3, Issue 4 The North West TRS-80 USers Group
REM 80 - Volume 4, Issue 2 The North West TRS-80 USers Group
REM 80 - Volume 4, Issue 4 The North West TRS-80 USers Group
REM 80 - Volume 5, Issue 2 The North West TRS-80 USers Group
REM 80 - Volume 5, Issue 3 The North West TRS-80 USers Group
REM 80 - Volume 5, Issue 4 The North West TRS-80 USers Group
REM 80 - Volume 6, Issue 5 The North West TRS-80 USers Group
REM 80 - Volume 7, Issue 1 The North West TRS-80 USers Group
REM 80 - Volume 8, Issue 4 The North West TRS-80 USers Group
REM 80 - Volume 9, Issue 4/5 The North West TRS-80 USers Group
REM 80 - Volume 8, Issue 3 The North West TRS-80 USers Group
REM 80 - Volume 11, Issue 1 The North West TRS-80 USers Group
REM 80 - Volume 6, Issue 1 The North West TRS-80 USers Group
REM 80 - Volume 7, Issue 4 The North West TRS-80 USers Group
REM 80 - Volume 9, Issue 6 The North West TRS-80 USers Group
REM 80 - Volume 6, Issue 3 The North West TRS-80 USers Group
REM 80 - Volume 9, Issue 1 The North West TRS-80 USers Group
REM 80 - Volume 9, Issue 2 The North West TRS-80 USers Group
Popular Electronics - October 1977 October 1977
Personal Computer World - August 1978 August 1978
Personal Computer World - September 1978 September 1978
Practical Computing - October 1978 October 1978
Personal Computer World - October 1978 October 1978
Practical Computing - November 1978 November 1978
Practical Computing - December 1978 December 1978
TRS--80 Computing Volume 1 Number 1 Radio Shack - Tandy 1979
Practical Computing - August 1979 August 1979
Practical Computing - November 1979 November 1979
Practical Computing - January 1980 January 1980
Personal Computer World - June 1980 June 1980
REM 80 - Volume 3, Issue 1 The North West TRS-80 USers Group 1981
REM 80 - Volume 3, Issue 3 The North West TRS-80 USers Group 1981
Personal Computer World - July 1981 July 1981
Personal Computer World - September 1981 September 1981
Your Computer - December 1981 December 1981
TRS-80 Microcomputer News Volume 1 Number 1 Radio Shack - Tandy January 1982
TRS-80 Microcomputer News Volume 1 Number 2 Radio Shack - Tandy February 1982
Personal Computer World - May 1982 May 1982
Personal Computer World - December 1982 December 1982
REM 80 - Volume 5, Issue 5 The North West TRS-80 USers Group 1983
REM 80 - Volume 5, Issue 6 The North West TRS-80 USers Group 1983
REM 80 - Volume 6, Issue 2 The North West TRS-80 USers Group 1983
Practical Computing - April 1983 April 1983
Personal Computer World - August 1983 August 1983
TRS-80 Microcomputer News October 1983 October 1983
Practical Computing - October 1983 October 1983
Call-A.P.P.L.E. - November 1983 November 1983
REM 80 - Volume 7, Issue 2 The North West TRS-80 USers Group 1984
REM 80 - Volume 6, Issue 4 The North West TRS-80 USers Group 1984
Personal Computer World - February 1984 February 1984
Personal Computer World - May 1984 May 1984
Byte May 1984 May 1984
Personal Computer World - August 1984 August 1984
Byte March 1984 October 1984
REM 80 - Volume 7, Issue 5 The North West TRS-80 USers Group 1985
REM 80 - Volume 8, Issue 1/2 The North West TRS-80 USers Group 1986
Practical Computing - April 1980 25-08-2009
Practical Computing - January 1981 09-09-2009

This exhibit has a reference ID of CH18510. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.

 

TRS-80 Colour Computer 2

  Book Archive   [9]
  Games Archive   [58]
  Software Archive   [19]
  Peripherals   [17]

Click on the Image(s) For Detail


User Submitted Articles


Add Your Article >>>

Founding Sponsors
redgate Google ARM Real VNC Microsoft Research
Heritage Lottery Funded
Heritage Lottery Fund