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1976 DATAC 1000 6502 Training Computer


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  1976 DATAC 1000 6502 Training Computer by Bill Degnan - 05/01/2022 00:43
The DATAC 1000 was designed by Philadelphia Area Computing Society (PACS) members Carmen DiCamillo and Roland James in 1976. In its original form the DATAC 1000 was a single board 6502 microcomputer trainer that included a training course for beginning computer engineering students to use to learn about 6502 microprocessor systems design. Click image for larger view.

It is likely the DATAC 1000 was demoed by PACS at the PC'76 personal computing consumer trade fair in Atlantic City, NJ, alongside the Apple, MITS, Processor Technologies and other pioneering vendors of the time (AUG 28-29 1976). PACS would also host instruction sessions internally that featured the DATAC 1000 and at least one local college (Drexel University) used them, possibly other schools as well.


MOS, the original producer of the 6502 microprocessor, had their corporate headquarters nearby and they (and/or possibly Rockwell) would have likely partnered with PACS to support the DATAC project by supplying chips, hardware and expertise. After PC'76 Carmen DiCamillo and Roland James formed DATEC Engineering to produce their system commercially (Southampton, PA USA). They eventually produced three DATAC 1000 models, the 1000T (kit/trainer) 1000C (controller version), and the 1000E (complete computer system). Byte Magazine published a brief article about the DATAC 1000 in their July 1977 issue, where they described it as "A Tutorial Training Computer". It is not known how many units of each version (T, C, E) were produced. The unit pictured here appears to have been a 1000T but there is no "T" printed on the board. Many of the chips have silkscreen dates of 1978 indicating that the DATAC was being produced through 1978.

DATAC Engineering promoted their 1000 model as an instantly usable without need of a terminal, but for those who wanted to use peripherals the DATAC 1000 came with a TIM ROM chip resident monitor program, RS232 or 20 mA current loop interface for the console device, and expansion features including a 72-pin bus expansion connector and PROM/EPROM sockets.

This particular DATAC included a homebrew Hexidecimal keypad, used for data entry. The HexPad was built and possibly designed by Roy Brader. Click image for larger view.

Pictured is Roy Brader, sitting behind his DATAC system. Note also the speaker for audio output. Click image for larger view. (NOTE: The QWERTY keyboard next to the HEX keyboard is also his design but was NOT part of the DATAC system).

More photos

The system still works! More to come...



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