Daves Blog

Daves Blog - I post items about our "Land for Sale by Owner" & "Chantilly Farm" & "Tiny Homes " and my interest Historical Computers. This is a continuation of my Blog about my historical Computer Collection. All 13,000 items in the collection are now located at the "Computer Museum of America" in Roswell, GA. I will continue to post Computer Museum news about microcomputers, hobbyist, robotics, computing, Bugbooks, Computers in the Old Bugbook Historical Computer Museum collection, & amateur radio staion N4USA .

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Vintage Computer RCA COSMAC VIP 1977

Radio Corporation of America RCA
RCA Logo 
I always enjoy a look/walk though the computer museum warehouse. I was looking for more computers to display in our expanded  "Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum" and this COSMAC VIP was one that just seemed to say "TAKE ME". Our inventory is wrapped in a preservative material and it is not possible to tell the condition until the package is opened. This computer looks virtually new and the dates on it indicate it is 37 years old and been in our ware house for many of those years. I only wish I had time to turn it on and have it working for the video I made.  We will do this when it goes into the new museum this Spring.

The RCA COSMAC VIP is ssentially a COSMAC ELF with a supplementary CDP1861/CDP1864 video display chip. It was sold as a kit for $275 and the computer in this blog really is well built - a beautiful solder job on all the boards. The May 1977 Dr. Dobb's Journal featured and article about the design ideas used to make the computer and The December 1978 BYTE magazine featured an article about programming the COSMAC. It has 2 KB (2048 bytes) of RAM, which can be expanded to 4 KB on board, and 32 KB via an expansion slot. Above information from Wikipedia

"CLICK" on the photo's to expand
The CPU is the RCA 1802 microprocessor. This microprocessor never became a very popular device however it was used in many special applications.

To see Video for detail of the cards. Video "CLICK"

COSMAC Single Board Computer
Interface expansion  

Keyboard Interface 
Tiny Basic on ROM 

Audio Interface 
Simple Audio Sound card

Color Card 
Cards plugged into expansion interface

Hey Dave,

I was browsing some old issues of Kilobaud and saw this ad in the Jan. 1979 issue.Looks familiar. I grew up just outside Lancaster, PA and never knew RCA had any kind of business operation there.

Win Heagy

David G Larsen
David G Larsen

This is a beautiful Computer and it will be on display in our new expanded Computer Museum.  The "Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum" is located in the Village Green, Floyd Virginia. The Curator's invite you to come by and enjoy the microcomputer memorabilia.
"by David Larsen"  KK4WW Computer Collector Historian   
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  1. Wow Dave...that machine is in great condition, it looks brand new, and with all the add-on cards. Looking forward to seeing this one running. --Win

    1. Thank you for the comment Win - we are moving to the front of the building you visited with more room. I hope to have a few operating computers in the display. I sure need some help - I don't have any folks in our little community that are retro computer.


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