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This is an obscure computer, not very well known. It's a rugged field computer, conceived to be used outdoor, and resistant to extreme conditions (it was used in the British Army for example).

In 1981, responding to a request from Severn Trent Water, DVW designed and manufactured the first rugged handheld computer - the Husky, dramatically featured on the BBC TV programme 'Tomorrow's World'. This caught the attention of the UK Ministry of Defence, who subsequently awarded DVW a contract to supply the MOD with rugged handheld computers as part of the Rapier missile project.

Husky (it will become the name of the company some years later) has become since a familiar name in the niche market for rugged field hardware.

The Husky was the first, or at least one of the first real portable computer. And as it was waterproof against accidental immersion and rugged, it was very expensive (~5600 Euros).

The Husky had a small LCD screen (32 x 4) and a flat membrane keyboard, just like the Sinclair ZX-81.

It has a basic interpreter, an onboard clock (unsurprisingly lacking in millennium compliency), onboard routines for communicating through what looks like a serial port interface, as well as a menu option for "cloning husky". This must be used to clone multiple Husky systems that will all be used for the same purpose, rather than re-entering the BASIC code for each unit.

The unit stores programmed entered into the basic interpreter in some kind of solid state memory which must be powered by the backup battery (since when you take the backup battery out, you lose the basic code).

In 1983, the Husky Hunter is launched. DVW changes its name to Husky Computers Limited and moves to the Courtaulds site in Coventry.

We need more info about this computer ! If you designed, used, or have more info about this system, please send us pictures or anything you might find useful.



I have one of these - anybody interested?

Wednesday 18th March 2015
david (UK)

Would like to know if it could display any type of graphics (simple line graphs, etc...). anything similar to the epson hx20?

Saturday 9th November 2013
felix graber

After opening the DVW Husky and measuring the clock crystal and researching the NSC800 CPU I can confirm that the DVW Husky has a CPU clock speed of 1MHz. The internal clock crystal for the CPU runs at 2MHz so it will be going through some kind of divide circuit before it reaches the CPU.

Link to datasheet:

Saturday 18th May 2013
Simon Lyne (United Kingdom)
TheEPROM9 Home


NAME  Husky
MANUFACTURER  DVW Micro-electronics
TYPE  Portable
ORIGIN  United Kingdom
YEAR  1981
KEYBOARD  Flat membrane keyboard (40 keys)
CPU  NSC 800 - Z80 low power clone from National Semiconductors
SPEED  Unknown
RAM  32 KB
ROM  16 KB
TEXT MODES  32 chars x 4 lines (LCD screen)
COLORS  Black & white
SOUND  Beeper
SIZE / WEIGHT  24 x 19.5 x 4 cm / 2kg
I/O PORTS  Serial port, Barecode reader
BUILT IN MEDIA  Battery backup
PRICE  5335 (France, 83)


Very innovative system, not well knwown though. You could even take your bath with it !




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