BBC Micro

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Acorn beat Sinclair to provide a computer the BBC could use in education programs about computers. The BBC Micro was a much later addition to my collection but I used one regularly as I spent many an evening round a school friend’s house playing Elite. It is truly the best of a generation. The ability to expand it and program it was second to none and suppliers provided all manner of equipment to use with it. I even used one at college for CAD work. It included a second processor and mouse.

The model B I have now was given to me by a friend. It had been upgraded somewhat with extra ROM and RAM boards. I have returned it to a standard model B but retained the DFS to allow the use of the two 5 ” floppy disks.

I recently purchased a SD Card disk emulator to allow the quick saving of files to SD card instead of the bulky 5 ” disk drives. However, while testing the drive the BBC went bang!! It was a typical power supply problem caused by age. There is a high voltage capacitor on the input side of the power supply and these break down over time. The old ones had paper insulators, which catch fire when the capacitor breaks down causing a lot of smoke. I bought a replacement from Maplin and after changing it for the new one the BBC sprang back to life.

Perry Andrews 2017