VCF-80 Model 100
A modern revision of the Tandy TRS-80
It is a popular trend among makers to re-purpose old electronics as housings for modern single-board computers. Many call them “cyberdecks,” based on William Gibson’s concept of a portable computer from his 1984 book, Neuromancer. I have wanted to undertake a similar project for some time using a Raspberry Pi to develop a portable and functional development platform for programming microcontrollers and other projects with Python. I recently acquired an original Tandy TRS-80 Model 100 with the intention of converting it for that purpose. The unit, listed as “for-parts and not functioning,” arrived at my house last week. I opened it and discovered a very clean, well-cared for, unit which seemed odd. So, I opened it and got to work with my multimeter. With minimal troubleshooting, I found and replaced a few damaged components on the main board. Next thing you know, I had the computer booting into its pre-loaded operating system, TRSDOS (Tandy Radio Shack Disk Operating System).
Now, these computers are considered by many to be one of the first versions of the modern-day laptop and have become somewhat of a collector’s item. The Model 100 was even considered one of Bill Gates’s favorite machines to write code for while he was on the development team at Microsoft. These computers have a rich history, and I just can’t bring myself to destroy a perfectly functional (if not ungodly slow and quirky) unit. SO… I decided to revise the original model and make a “modern” version of the TRS-80. A project I named the VCF-80 Model 100 (VladCraftForge).