Grundy NewBrain AD

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The Grundy NewBrain was a microcomputer sold in the early 1980s by Grundy Business Systems Ltd of Teddington and Cambridge, England.

The NewBrain project was started in 1978 when Sinclair Radionics began design work with Mike Wakefield as the designer and Basil Smith as the software engineer. This project was intended to provide competition for Apple and hardly fitted in with Sinclair's focus on inexpensive consumer-oriented products. When it became obvious to Sinclair that the NewBrain could not be made for the sub-£100 price he envisaged his thoughts turned to the ZX80 that was to be developed by his other company, Science of Cambridge Ltd.

The NewBrain project was moved to Newbury Laboratories by the National Enterprise Board (NEB), the owner of both Sinclair Radionics and Newbury Labs, following the closure of Sinclair Radionics. In 1980 Newbury announced the imminent release of three NewBrain models, including a battery-powered portable computer. In August 1981 Newbury Labs sold the project to Grundy Business Systems.

In 1982 two main models were released by Grundy Business Systems. The model 'A' had display to either a TV or a monitor, and originally sold for £199. The 'AD' model also included a one-line, 16-character, vacuum fluorescent (VF) display on the unit which permitted operation with or without a TV screen or monitor - the VF display responded to the cursor keys and scrolled around the screen display area. The Model AD originally sold for £229. One additional model was released, but this was a custom version for a pharmaceutical chain, with no screen display - only the VF display - and was never generally discussed.

The NewBrain was based around the Z-80A CPU, which ran at 4MHz. It had 32K RAM, which was expandable to 2MB, and 29K ROM. The QWERTY keyboard contained 62 keys. The computer had two cassette ports (1200 Baud), Composite video, 50-pin expansion bus, 2x RS-232 (to 19,000 Baud), and UHF TV output.

Keyboard and one-line VF display chip: COP420 MCU
Graphics modes: 256x256, 320x256, 512x256, 640x256
Text modes: 32x25, 32x30, 40x25, 40x30, 64x25, 64x30, 80x25, 80x30

Our unit is in superb condition and is complete with power supply unit.

Manufacturer: Grundy
Date: 1982

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Other Systems Related To Grundy NewBrain AD:

Item Manufacturer Date
Grundy NewBrain AD system with 'oil rig' and disk expansion. Grundy Business Systems 1981
Grundy NewBrain AD (Transparent Case) Grundy 1982
Newbrain Model MD Grundy Business Systems 1st January 1982

This exhibit has a reference ID of CH37923. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.


Grundy NewBrain AD

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