Acorn Computers

Welcome to my Acorn collection.

This page is a repository for all of the Acorn systems, peripherals, and accessories in my collection – it’s currently a work-in-progress, and I’ll continue to add things as and when I have the time.

Acorn Atom

TypeHome computer
Release dateMarch 1980
DiscontinuedJuly 1982
Operating systemAtom BASIC
CPUMOS 6502 @ 1 MHz
Memory2 KB (12KB max.)

The Acorn Atom is a home computer made by Acorn Computers Ltd from 1980 to 1982, when it was replaced by the BBC Micro. The Atom was a progression of the MOS Technology 6502-based machines that the company had been making from 1979, a cut-down Acorn System 3 without a disk drive but with an integral keyboard and cassette tape interface, sold in either kit or complete form.

Acorn BBC Model B

TypeHome computer
Release dateDecember 1981
DiscontinuedFebruary 1994
Operating systemAcorn MOS
CPUMOS 6502 @ 2 MHz
Memory32 KB

The British Broadcasting Corporation Microcomputer System, or BBC Micro, is a series of microcomputers and associated peripherals designed and built by Acorn Computers Ltd in the 1980s for the BBC Computer Literacy Project. Designed with an emphasis on education, it was notable for its ruggedness and expandability. The Micro began life as an upgrade to the Atom, originally known as the Proton.

Acorn BBC Micro 6502 Second Processor

TypeComputer Peripheral
Release dateMarch 1984
DiscontinuedUnknown
Operating systemHi-BASIC
CPUWDC 65C02 @ 3 MHz
Memory64 KB

The 6502 Second Processor was an expansion unit for the BBC Model B and Master, which used the proprietary Acorn “Tube” interface to add a coprocessor to the computer in a “host-parasite” model, where the external processor takes overall control. These kind of expansion units had a case with the same profile and styling as the main computer, which became affectionately known as the “cheese wedge”.

Acorn Electron

TypeHome computer
Release dateAugust 1983
DiscontinuedJuly 1985
Operating systemAcorn MOS v1.0
CPUSynertek SY6502A @ 1/2 MHz
Memory32 KB

The Acorn Electron is a budget version of the BBC Micro educational computer introduced by Acorn Computers Ltd on 25 August 1983. It has 32 KB RAM, and its ROM includes BBC BASIC v2 along with its operating system. The Electron was one of the best selling microcomputers in the UK, and is estimated to have sold between 200,000 and 250,000 machines over its commercial lifespan.

Acorn Electron Plus 1

TypeComputer peripheral
Release dateAugust 1983
DiscontinuedNovember 1985
Operating systemN/A
CPUN/A
MemoryN/A

The Acorn Plus 1 added two ROM cartridge slots, an analogue interface (supporting four channels) and a parallel port to the Electron. The analogue interface was normally used for joysticks, and the parallel interface was typically used to connect a printer. Cartridge games would boot automatically; language cartridges would take precedence over BASIC. Six ROM cartridge titles were announced for the launch of the Plus 1.

Acorn Electron Plus 3

TypeComputer peripheral
Release dateOctober 1984
DiscontinuedUnknown
Operating systemN/A
CPUN/A
MemoryN/A

The Acorn Plus 3 was a hardware module that connected to the Acorn Electron and provided a “self contained disc interface and 3.5 inch single sided disc drive” offering over 300 KB of storage per disc using the newly introduced Advanced Disc Filing System (ADFS). The original Electron edge connector was repeated on the back of the Plus 3, allowing the Plus 1 to be used in conjunction with the Plus 3.

Acorn Archimedes A3000

TypeHome computer
Release dateMay 1989
DiscontinuedUnknown
Operating systemRISC OS 2
CPUARM2 @ 8 MHz
Memory1 MB (4 MB max.)

In May 1989, the Acorn 300 series was phased out in favour of the new A3000, reported to be the first home microcomputer to use SMD technology in its construction. The A3000 featured an 8 MHz ARM2 CPU, 1 MB of RAM, and RISC OS on 512 KB of ROM. Unlike the previous models, the A3000 came in a single-part case similar to the Amiga 500 and Atari ST, with the keyboard and disc drive integrated into the base unit.

Acorn AKF-17 CRT Monitor

TypeComputer display
Release dateJune 1989
DiscontinuedUnknown
Operating systemN/A
CPUN/A
MemoryN/A

The Acorn AKF-17 is a 14″ 15KHz CRT colour monitor, often bundled together with an Acorn Archimedes computer in electronics stores. These are compatible with the A3000, A3010, A3020, A4000, and A5000 computers, featuring a DB9 RGB video connector.

Microvitec CUB 653 CRT Monitor

TypeComputer display
Release dateMarch 1983
DiscontinuedUnknown
Operating systemN/A
CPUN/A
MemoryN/A

The Microvitec CUB CRT was the 14″ medium-resolution option from the range of Microvitec CUB range of colour displays. The 653 incorporates a medium-resolution CRT with 653 addressable pixels horizontally by 585 addressable pixels vertically; many systems were supported, including the BBC Micro.

Opus 5802 5.25″ FDD

Type5.25″ Floppy Disk Drive
Release dateOctober 1983
DiscontinuedUnknown
Operating systemN/A
CPUN/A
MemoryN/A

The Opus 5802 is a 5.25″ floppy disk drive (FDD), which supports double-sided single density disks (1MB unformatted, 800KB formatted), and is switchable between 40 track and 80 track operation. The drive can be controlled and powered from a BBC Micro.

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