Daves Old Computers - RadioShack-Tandy Color Computer/Dragon

The Color Computer is one of my favorite "console" computers because it is based on the Motorola 6809, one of the most powerful 8-bit microprocessors ever produced. The Color Computer series has had a loyal following of users since it was first introduced in 1980, and many Color Computers remain in use today.

Although initally marketed under the TRS-80 name, this machine was a completely different architecture than the original Z80 based machines.

The white 64k CoCo1 was donated by Rob McFadden, The TRS-80 CoCo2 was donated by Carol Dunfield. One CoCo3 was donated by Allen Dunfield, another CoCo3 was donated by Chris Witkowski.

Click any photo to view a large high-resolution image.

Left: Original 4K silver TRS-80 Color Computer. (Information Label)
Right: Last edition of the CoCo1, the white 64K Color Computer. (Information Label)

Left: TRS-80 labeled Color Computer 2, (Information Label)
Right: Tandy labeled Color Computer 2. (Information Label)

Here is a Tandy Color Computer 3. It was a significant improvement over the CoCo2 in several ways. It came with 128k (expanded to 512k), and provided baseband video output (big improvement). It also supported an 80 column display, and had a number of other architectural improvements. (Information Label)

CoCo 1, 2 & 3 from back (left to right):
CoCo1: Reset button, RF out, RF Channel selector, Cassette port, Serial Port, Joystick ports (2), Power switch
CoCo2: RESET buttom, Cassette port, Serial port, Joystick ports (2), RF channel selector, RF out, Power switch
CoCo3: RESET button, Audio/Video jacks, RF channel selector, RF out, Cassette port, Serial port, Joystick ports (2), Power switch

Right side view. Note how much larger the CoCo 1 is. At the right is the door covering the opening where cartridges are inserted. All three models accept the same cartridges, although some cartridges require features of the newer CoCo2 or 3.

Clockwise from upper left: Boxed cartridges, Original TRS-80 CoCo(1) box, Joysticks with box, TRS-80 Cassette machine and box, TRS-80 CoCo Operation manual, original keyboard on top of dust cover, 32k CoCo(1) machine with upgraded keyboard installed.

Clockwise from upper left: Original TRS-80 CoCo2 box, FD-500 box, FD-500 disk drive. Several cartridges, TRS-80 CoCo2 with Tandy dust cover and FD-500 disk controller installed.

Clockwise from upper left: Original RS single sided diskette drive (from a system upgraded to a double sided drive), Diskette controller cartridge, Assembler cartridge manual, Original CoCo3 box. Original RS cover plate from diskette drive enclosure, French manuals, Box and manual from 512k RAM upgrade kit, English manuals (Cartridges over top), Cassette interface cable, CoCo "Plug n' Power" X10 controller, Standard CoCo joystick, Deluxe CoCo joystick.

A pair of CoCo diskette drives. In the left is the official RadioShack FD-500 drive and controller. On the right is an "Owl" drive and controller made by Owl Computer Services. Here is a look inside the FD-500 drive enclosure.

CoCo1/2 books.

More CoCo Software.

The Dragon Data Ltd. (Wales) "Dragon32" is pretty much an exact clone of the Tandy CoCo - with a few minor ROM variations. Common in the U.K., this machine is fairly rare in North America.

Here are views of: Right and Left sides, Back and Bottom

CoCo1 page from 1983 RS catalog. (170k JPG)
CoCo2 page from 1984 RS catalog. (190k JPG)
CoCo3 page from 1987 RS catalog. (165k JPG)
CoCo Accessories from 1987 RS catalog. (150k JPG)
1982 CoCo Advertisement with Isaac Asimov (140k JPG)
Whats inside the Coco - Byte Mar81 (2.8M PDF)
6809E CPU Data Sheet (2M PDF)
MC6809/E Microprocessor Programming Manual (2.5M PDF)
CoCo2 simulator
CoCo3 simulator
Dragon/CoCo simulator

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Copyright 2004-2005 Dave Dunfield.