Click Here to visit our Sponsor
The History of Computing The Magazine Have Fun there ! Buy goodies to support us
  Mistake ? You have mr info ? Click here !Add Info     Search     Click here use the advanced search engine
Browse console museumBrowse pong museum


ZX Spectrum T-shirts!

see details
ZX81 T-shirts!

see details
Ready prompt T-shirts!

see details
Arcade cherry T-shirts!

see details
Spiral program T-shirts!

see details
Atari joystick T-shirts!

see details
Battle Zone T-shirts!

see details
Vectrex ship T-shirts!

see details
Atari ST bombs T-shirts!

see details
C64 maze generator T-shirts!

see details
Elite spaceship t-shirt T-shirts!

see details
Moon Lander T-shirts!

see details
Competition Pro Joystick T-shirts!

see details
Pak Pak Monster T-shirts!

see details
BASIC code T-shirts!

see details
Breakout T-shirts!

see details
Vector ship T-shirts!

see details
Pixel adventure T-shirts!

see details


Acorn Computer
ABC 310

Acorn's ABC-310 was to be the flagship of the Acorn business computer range. As far as I can tell, the 310 is the rarest variant, and it is the only one to have no direct equivalent available via a 2nd Processor card.

When the ABC range was dissolved, Acorn already had 2nd Processors (a method of adding a new CPU to the BBC, similar to adding a Z80 on a card to an Apple II, but very different in execution and with far more applications) - the 65C02, the Z80, the Acorn Scientific 16032 (1MB RAM, compared to 4MB in the Cambridge Workstation/ABC-210).

However, the 80286 board in the 310 would never surface outside of these prototype machines. Acorn would indulge in Intel-based co-processors later, the 80186 in the BBC Master 512, and various 486/586 based cards for the Archimedes (3rd party, perhaps?) and the RiscPC.

Technically speaking, the 286 had more direct application support, was potentially faster, and was a smaller package than the ageing 16032. It was also more easily obtained. Why it was never released is beyond me - except that the 286 was a very new CPU at the time, and may have been expensive.

Running ABC-310s seem to be very hard to find, and information on them is scarce. They look identical, from the outside, to the ABC-110 and any other of the Cambridge Workstations.


Text and info by Richard Kilpatrick. Thanks a LOT !

Jules Richardson comments:
I'm told by an ex-Acorn engineer that only a handful of boards were commissioned - but that not all of these were assembled into complete machines. The design and code for the 80286 board fed into the later Master 512 coprocessor.

I'm only aware of two surviving machines - the one pictured here and one other in private hands, although one or two of the coprocessor boards themselves are known to have survived.

I *assume* that it just wasn't cost-effective to market the 310 machines - and that the 80286 board was never released as a separate coprocessor because Acorn wanted to protect their Master 512 interests, and a faster rival board that wasn't internal to the Master would not have helped this.

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.
Please consider donating your old computer / videogame system to or one of our partners from anywhere in the world (Europe, America, Asia, etc.).


I recently had the opportunity to collect and own and large collection of BBC equipment which included a number of 2nd processors including a working 80286 Issue 0 board also a 30Mb acorn hard drive unit full of master 512 type files and applications

Sunday 7th March 2021
David Wheeldon (United Kingdom)

Acorn came very close to releasing an 80286 Second Processor$ I''ve seen one in the traditional 2P case, complete with correct labelling, which surfaced during one of Acorn''s clear-outs.

Saturday 3rd July 2010
Tim Boyd


MANUFACTURER  Acorn Computer
TYPE  Professional Computer
ORIGIN  United Kingdom
YEAR  October 1984
END OF PRODUCTION  1984, never mass produced
BUILT IN LANGUAGE  BBC Basic?, DR-DOS (Richard Kilpatrick's model appears to have no language)
KEYBOARD  Standard QWERTY, 10 function keys + arrows, plus numeric keypad and Tube switch
CPU  PLCC 80286
SPEED  Unknown
CO-PROCESSOR  MOS 65C02 (I/O board, essentially a BBC B+)
RAM  1Mb 286, 64K I/O Board
VRAM  Taken from main RAM, up to 44K?
ROM  32K, expandable
TEXT MODES  80 x 32/25 (2 colors) / 40 x 32/25 (2 or 4 colors) / 20 x 32 (16 colors) / 40 x 25 (Teletext display)
GRAPHIC MODES  640 x 256 (2 colors) / 320 x 256 (4 colors) / 160 x 256 (16 colors)
COLORS  16 (8 colors + flashing option)
SOUND  3 channels + noise & envelope control, 7 octaves, optional TMS5220 speech
SIZE / WEIGHT  A little larger than a 17'' monitor!
I/O PORTS  1MHz BUS, Analogue, RGB, Disk, RS423, Mouse (option), BT Link (option; modem?), User port, Econet, internally SCSI may be available
BUILT IN MEDIA  10Mb SCSI-MFM HD subsystem, 5.25'' FD
POWER SUPPLY  Built-in PSU, 240V AC - split to monitor power and a switch mode PSU to supply power to the computer and expansion boards.
PERIPHERALS  Most BBC accessories are suitable
PRICE  Unknown

Please buy a t-shirt to support us !
Ready prompt
ZX Spectrum
Arcade cherry
Spiral program
Atari joystick
Battle Zone
Vectrex ship
C64 maze generator
Moon Lander
Competition Pro Joystick
Atari ST bombs
Elite spaceship t-shirt
Commodore 64 prompt
Pak Pak Monster
Pixel Deer
BASIC code
Shooting gallery
3D Cubes
Pixel adventure
Vector ship

Related Ebay auctions in real time - click to buy yours

see more Acorn Computer  ABC 310 Ebay auctions !

Click here to go to the top of the page   
Contact us | members | about | donate old-systems | FAQ
OLD-COMPUTERS.COM is hosted by - NYI (New York Internet) -