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C > CENTRAL DATA  > 2650   


The 2650 was first reviewed in the US magazine Radio-Electronics, in the April 1977 issue.

This computer was supplied in assembled form with an Editor / Assembler. A 12K BASIC was also available on cassette tape or floppy if you had the HD interface.

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In 1977, I was interested in amateur radio and Morse code and wished to build a keyboard to transmit Morse. Designs I had seen seemed to use a lot of ICs and I thought that it would be better to use one of these new-fangled microprocessors which I could program to send Morse and also use for other things.

Most microprocessor board designs seemed to require a separate terminal with even more ICs. However I remembered seeing a design in Radio-Electronics which combined the terminal and processor on the one board and should be cheaper to build.

So I copied the three articles from the April - June issues and read them thoroughly. I did not have enough money to buy all the parts at once, but I ordered the bare circuit board in December 1977 and it took me a year and about $500 to obtain all the parts. Thirty years later I suppose that would be equivalent to about $5000, which seems a lot of money for a computer with 768 bytes of memory! At the time, I recall saying to a friend that I had spent the year building a money sink.

Learning to program took a while and hand assembling with its need for counting relative offsets in hexadecimal led to me counting other things as . . . 8, 9, A, B, bugger . . .

I took me until May 1979 before I first used the 2650 system to send Morse code, but alas, I found that using two hands and the large keyboard on the operating desk were inconveniences which led me to go back to my old keyer.

But I found many other entertainments associated with the computer, building homebrew dynamic memory, NRZ recorder and floppy disk controller.

I later used a Tandy Color Computer before succumbing to the PC. However I later started using PIC16C84s as I remembered having so much fun with assembler with the 2650.

73 VK7RO

Wednesday 3rd December 2008
Richard Rogers (Australila)

I just bought the board, and injected the RF into the innerds of a TV, Got a keyboard, and got going with the machine code. I remember I stole display memory for program execution and took advantage of half bytes that were identical. I think it could automatically adapt to speed of the morse code, but I can''t remember if it was for receiving for transmitting... I''d like to get one again. Pitched it.

Thursday 4th January 2018
Peter Wotherspoon (Peterborough, Ontario Canada)

The Ami/WinArcadia emulator is the only emulator of this machine. You can get it from

Monday 2nd February 2009
James Jacobs (Canberra/Australia)
Emerson Arcadia 2001 Central


NAME  2650
YEAR  1977
CPU  Signetics 2650
BUTTONS  1.18MHz (Xtal of 14Mhz divided by 12), later increased to 4.73Mhz with improved 2650 chips
SCORE  2 KB (up to 32 KB)
TEXT MODES  80 chars. x 16 lines
COLORS  Monochrome
I/O PORTS  S-100 BUS, one parallel input port
PRICE  2650 board : $275
16 KB RAM board $289
24 KB RAM board $395
32 KB RAM board $475
Editor/Assembler $20 - Basic language $20

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