Alphacom Terminal Computer
|by Bill Degnan
- 01/30/2013 18:16
Here's a good project for me. Nothing much is known about the operation of the Alphacom company or its products other than what the previous owner told me, and what I can deduce from the functions printed on the keyboard. I have located no documentation or advertising brochures, as of this writing. Is it just a terminal or did it perform some computing functions too? Probably wishful thinking. What was the storage capacity? Were any production units ever sold?
I was told by the seller that Alphacom was purchased by Dataram in the early 1970's.
I was told by the seller that it was used by his father as a sales/demo unit around 1970-1971. I confirmed this, as the chip dates are mostly from 1969 and a few from 1970. The seller called the Alphacom a "computer", and said it was somewhat recently a functional demo unit. He said that Alphacom would customize the terminal to store forms and transmit them at 110 or 300 baud using a phone coupler. He said that the password is "liam". Good to know, but that is all I have to go on.
From seller's Ebay listing:
"..This is a computer my fathers company ALPHACOM was manufacturing and selling from 1968-1973 until they were bought up by a company called Dataram. This was his personal display /showcase computer it was at the electronics show in Las Vegas in 1971 I feel it is a historical piece as they were the third company on the market it was generally sold to other business and companies.The condition is fantastic it still works!! .."
I have not been able to open the chassis yet, to get a good look inside. Here are some pictures of what I was able to get into so far by opening the back panel.
I did not want to leave the system on for more than a minute (just a quick test), but the results were promising. An old terminal like this could go up at any time, and will need a thorough electrical check-out before any serious work can be done to it. That said, it's in great shape because it came in a carrying case, you could take this thing on a plane as carry-on luggage.
More to Come!
Cover Removal Interior Inspection
|by Bill Degnan
- 11/21/2015 20:53
It was not easy to open the chassis without breaking anything. What a huge project, total customization here. It will take quite a lot of work to figure this one out, more questions now than before. Look at all of those extra add-on TTL chip clusters bound with tape, wires, and string. Wow.
New Photos are dated 11/21/2015.