April/May 1980 · Issue 7

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Cheap add-ons

We’ve Seen It So We Know It Exists

Nascom 1 is two years old about now, and when it was announced, a keyboard cabinet was announced at the same time. Well Nascom 1 is still a firm favourite (although sales of Nascom 2 are going even better), but what ever did become of the keyboard cabinet ?

We don’t know why Nascom have been so slow in producing this item, and by now it’s probably a bit too late as all those keyboards are glued immovably inside wooden boxes, or balanced on small flower pots or something. Still, we’ve actually seen it !!! The same attractive blue colour as the IMP, the one piece plastic moulding is pre-cut for a Nascom 1 keyboard and is moulded with ‘knock-outs’ for the extra keys on a Nascom 2. The top has a rake of about 1 in 6 which is just right for keyboards with sloped keys, and not too much for the earlier flat topped keys. There is no bottom to the box, but this is hardly necessary. The keyboard is fixed from the inside of the case by screws which enter blind moulded projections on the inside, there are no screws visible on the top side.

In a fit of unnatural embarassment Nascom have announced that the price will be the same as first advertised, and at about 4.00, only a modified cornflakes box comes cheaper.

Econographics Board

Another late arrival from Nascom is the graphics add-on kit for Nascom 1. This small board adds the Nascom 2 graphics facilities to the Nascom 1.

The card is about 5″ by 2″ and is intended to be mounted immediately above the existing character generator. The character generator comes out of the main pcb, and along with the PISO, is fitted to the new board which already contains the other chips needed to decode bit 7 which enables the graphics. A few wire links are required under the Nascom 1 pcb, and two 24 pin plugs and a 24 way cable assembly connects the Nascom 1 to the graphics card. The kit is supplied with a plastic bracket which is bolted to the graphics card, and attached to the Nascom board by ‘double-sided sticky’. This latter led to doubts as to how long the card would stay in place, but these doubts were dispelled when we tried to remove the card. It wouldn’t come off !!!

The graphics set is the same as supplied for the Nascom 2, with 64 ‘useful’ characters and 64 block characters which in conjunction with the 8K Basic form a block graphics set with a resolution of 96 x 48 points. It was interesting to note, that for the first time the little ‘robot’ characters in the set, actually have feet. This is because a Nascom 1 uses 16 TV lines to display a character, whereas the Nascom 2 only uses 14 lines.

The above items haven’t got to your dealer yet, but will do soon. Ask him about prices and availability, or if he doesn’t know, have a go at Nascom Sales.

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