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L > LUCAS  > Nascom 1   

LUCAS   Lucas
Nascom 1

The Nascom 1 was the most popular British made computer kit in the U.K. It was an affordable single board Z80 based computer with a keyboard attached by cable. It came as a kit or ready-built.

Why Nascom? Because the idea of a low cost computer intended for U.K. hobbysts was originated by an American company called Nasco. However, the board was designed in the U.K. by Shelton Instruments Ltd that, later, also designed and sold the Sig-Net

The minimum configuration featured 2 KB RAM and 1 KB ROM monitor, but the Nascom could be gradually extended into a system that was powerful enough to compete with many home computers of the time, Pet, Apple or Tandy.

Actually, the RAM area was divided into two parts: 1 KB for user program and data and 1 KB for storing characters displayed to the television. The ROM monitor provided basic functions: enter program and data, display memory content and processor registers, save and load programs from a tape recorder.

A whole range of peripherals and expansions were available from independant suppliers, as well as a vast range of software and many user groups. Several magazines dedicated to the Nascom and its relatives, the Gemini computers, were published. Many languages were available including BASIC, PASCAL, C, FORTH, etc.

NAME  Nascom 1
TYPE  Home Computer
ORIGIN  United Kingdom
YEAR  1978
KEYBOARD  Full stroke 47 keys
CPU  Z80
SPEED  1 or 2 MHz.
ROM  1 or 2 KB
TEXT MODES  48 chars. x 16 lines
COLORS  Monochrome
SOUND  Unknown
SIZE / WEIGHT  30.5 (L) x 19.2 (W) cm. (8 x 12 in)
I/O PORTS  TV-UHF video interface, selectable serial port (Tape recorder or RS232 or Teletype current loop)
BUILT IN MEDIA  Cassette tape
OS  Monitor in ROM
POWER SUPPLY  Separate power supply unit (sold as option)
PERIPHERALS  Memory boards and various I/O interfaces
PRICE  £199 in kit form

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