8-bit computers collection

8-bit microcomputers were common in 80s and early 90s. They were relatively cheap and easier to buy than professional machines such as ones powered by CP/M or PC compatibles. They were used mostly as home computers (Commodore 64) or educational computers (Elwro 800 Junior, ZX Spectrum), but sometimes they were adapted to work as industrial process control computers (Meritum) or terminals (Robotron). They usually have 8-bit processor like Z80, MOS 65xx or Intel 8080.

Early 16-bit home or semi-professional computers, such as Amiga or Atari ST, traditionally included in "8-bit" group, were much more expensive but they gave more power, graphics, sound capabilities and better computing experience - in 8-bit ones you had BASIC interpreter and sometimes a operating environment pretending GUI (such as C64 GEOS). The main storage was a normal audio cassette, and floppy drives were as expensive as computers themselves. In Amiga and Atari ST you got a complete graphical interface, usually mouse-driven, with good file management on floppy disks, which were a main storage for programs and data.


Click a computer to get information, photos and tips...

Manufacturer Model Origin Year*
Acorn Electron UK 1984
Acorn BBC Master UK 1986
Acorn BBC Master Compact UK 1986
Acorn BBC Micro Model B UK 1984
Amstrad PCW8256 UK 1986
Amstrad PCW9512 UK 1987
Amstrad/Schneider CPC-464 W. Germany 1987
Amstrad/Schneider CPC-6128 W. Germany 1988
Apple Computers Apple IIc USA 1986
Ronex/Sanco TPC-8300 Japan 1984
Atari Atari 800XL USA 1983
Atari Atari 65XE USA 1986
Atari Atari 130XE USA 1987
Atari Atari 800XE USA 1990
Atari Atari 520STm USA 1988
Atari Atari 1040STf USA 1989
Basis BASIS 108 W. Germany 1983
Commodore Business Machines VIC-20 USA 1985
Commodore Business Machines Commodore 64 USA 1984
Commodore Business Machines Commodore 16 USA 1985
Commodore Business Machines Commodore 16 / PLUS 4 USA 1986
Commodore Business Machines Commodore 128 USA 1987
Commodore Business Machines Commodore 128D (DCR) USA 1987
Commodore Business Machines Amiga 500 USA 1991
Commodore Business Machines Amiga 600 USA 1993
Didaktik Skalica Didaktik Gama Czechoslovakia 1989
Didaktik Skalica Didaktik M Czechoslovakia 1992
Signal Sintez 2 USSR/Moldova 1991
Dnepropetrovsk Machine-building plant Orel BK-08 (Орель БК-08) USSR/Ukraine 1994
Dragon Data Ltd Dragon 32 UK 1982
Elwro Elwro 800 Junior Poland 1988
LSI Computers Ltd. (as Hilger Analytical) LSI Octopus (Hilger AB6089 Mk. 1) UK 1986
Mera-Elzab Meritum Poland 1986
Microtrol Microtrol? W. Germany? 1985
Philips Videopac G7000 France 1984
Philips VG8000 France 1983
Robotron Robotron PC1715 E. Germany 1986
Robotron Robotron KC85/3 E. Germany 1986
Robotron Robotron KC87 (Z9001, KC85/1) E. Germany 1987
Robotron Robotron KC85/4 E. Germany 1988
Robotron Robotron A5105 (BIC) E. Germany 1989
Robotron Robotron K8915 E. Germany 1990
Alcatel (AES?) Alcatel 7100 France 1984
Sharp MZ-800 Japan 1986
Sinclair Research ZX81 UK 1982
Sinclair Research ZX Spectrum UK 1983
Sinclair Research ZX Spectrum + UK 1986
Sinclair Research ZX Spectrum +2 A UK 1988
Spectravideo Spectravideo XPress (SVI-738) Hong Kong 1987
Texas Instruments TI-99/4A USA 1984
Elektronska Industrija Niš PECOM 64 Yugoslavia/Serbia 1987
Tesla PMD 85-3 Czechoslovakia 1988
Timex-Sinclair Timex Sinclair 1000 USA 1982
Timex computers Timex TC 2048 Portugal 1986
Unipolbrit/Unimor/Timex Unipolbrit Komputer 2086 Poland/Portugal 1986
Unimor Bosman 8 (terminal only) Poland 1989

* The year is production year of my probably oldest unit, not manufacturing start year. Sometimes it's only estimated using chip mf. dates.

Old computer benchmarks - if you want to see how fast they are

Peripherals and accessories

Interfaces:
Name Type Computer
Timex Controller FDD Controller Timex 2048
DIY Spectrum Kempston interface Joystick interface ZX Spectrum
AtariLab Interface ADC interface Atari 8-bit

 

Tape recorders:
Name Type Computer
SVI-767TP Cassette recorder All with 3.5mm Jack mono
Texas Instruments Program Recorder Cassette recorder All with 3.5mm Jack mono
MK-450 Cassette recorder All with 3.5mm Jack mono
Atari XCA-12 Cassette recorder Atari 8-bit
Atari XC-12 Cassette recorder Atari 8-bit
Atari CA-12 Cassette recorder Atari 8-bit
TurboCorder Data Recorder Cassette recorder Commodore 64/128
Commodore Datassette Cassette recorder Commodore 61/128
Datassette clone Cassette recorder Commodore 64/128
Atari 1010 Cassette recorder Atari 8-bit
Noris Datenrekorder DR-1535 Cassette recorder Commodore 64/128
Commodore C16 / C16 Plus4 Datassette Cassette recorder Commodore 16 / Plus 4
MK-433 Cassette recorder All with sound i/o
LCR-C Data Cassette recorder All with sound i/o

 

Floppy drives:
Name Type Computer
Atari 1050 5.25" 127K Serial Atari 8-bit
Indus GT 5.25" 180K Serial Atari 8-bit
Commodore 1551 5.25" System bus Commodore 16/Plus4
Commodore 1541-II 5.25" 170K Serial Commodore 64/128
Commodore 1541 5.25" 170K Serial Commodore 64/128
??Germany?? 3.5" 880K Amiga Amiga 500/600
Commodore 1571 5.25" 2x170K Serial Commodore 64/128
Datalux SV-702 3.5" 880K Amiga Amiga
Acorn BBC Master floppy drive 5.25" 160K Acorn BBC Master
Acorn BBC Master Compact floppy drive 3.5" Acorn BBC Micro
RFT KC85 drive and controller 5.25" RFT KC85/3 and /4

 

Cartridges:
Name Type Computer
Black Box 1 Software cartridge Commodore 64/128
Final 1 Software cartridge Commodore 64/128
Black Box v.3 (OSHIN) Software cartridge Commodore 64/128
Bis Plus (Micro-Luc) Software cartridge Commodore 64/128
Cosmic Cruncher Software cartridge Commodore VIC-20
Black Box v.3 (Domainsoft) Software cartridge Commodore 64/128

Cartridge clones I built - some hints if you build your own.

Printers:
Name Type Computer
Commodore MPS 803 Dot matrix Commodore 64/128
Timex Sinclair 2040 Electrospark Timex Sinclair 1000
Robotron K6313 Dot matrix PC1715 and other

 

Joysticks:
Name Type Computer / Standard
Atari GameStick 2 Joystick Atari
Atari Joystick (classic) Joystick Atari
QuickShot QS-129f Joystick Atari/Amstrad/MSX/Sega
QuickShot QS-130f Joystick Atari/Amstrad/MSX/Sega
QuickShot QS-131 Joystick Atari
Sinclair Joystick Joystick ZX Spectrum +x series
Spectravideo SV-102 Joystick Atari
 Spectravideo SV-102 Plus Joystick Atari
 Spectravideo SV-121 Joystick Atari
 Spectravideo SV-123 Joystick Atari/Amstrad
 Spectravideo SV-126 Joystick Atari/Amstrad
Spectravideo SV-111 Joystick Atari/Amstrad
QuickJoy Superboard V SV-125 Joystick Atari/Amstrad
QuickJoy II Turbo SV-124 Joystick Atari/Amstrad

 

Displays
Name Type Computer
Unimor M4902 Mono (green) All with composite/luma out
Neptun M156/156B Mono (green) All with composite/luma out
Unitra TWM-315 Mono (green) All with composite/luma/RGB out
Packard Bell PB1518DT Mono (white) Proprietary graphics card
Commodore 1084ST Color All with composite/luma/RGB out
Commodore 1402 (see Commodore PC10) Mono (white) Commodore PC20-II
Commodore 1404 Mono (amber) Commodore PC10
Commodore 1084 Color All with Composite/Luma/RGB out
Commodore 1084S-d2 Color All with Composite/Luma/RGB out
Schneider GT65 Mono (green) Schneider/Amstrad CPC
Schneider CTM644 Color Schneider/Amstrad CPC
Philips Computer Monitor 80 Mono (green) All with composite/luma/RGB out
Biazet MMK-127 Mono (white) All with composite/luma out
Peacock AI-100 Mono (green) All with composite/luma out
Atari SM-124 Mono (white) Atari ST

 

Other devices:
Name Type Computer
Datalux SV-703 Cartridge switch Commodore 64/128
Sinclair Magnum Light gun ZX Spectrum +2
Amiga Sampler Sound capture Amiga
Mustek Matador 105 Scanner Amiga
VideoTXT Teletext decoder Amiga
Joystick Tester Diagnostic Amiga/C64/Atari (Atari standard)
16K Memory expansion RAM expansion Timex Sinclair 1000 / ZX81