HPIM1894a

Nascom-Lucas finally decided to try to compete in the desktop market, apparently,  but it proved to be too little too late. This was a Nascom-2 rather neatly (for a Nascom anyway) squeezed into a case with enough space for three expansion boards.

HPIM1898aThe power supply PCB is the standard 3A unit, but the big 5V regulator and heat sink have been moved off the board and onto the rear panel for better cooling. The custom rack is fitted with a cooling fan on the right-hand side.HPIM1899a

The Nascom-2 is right down at the bottom, plugged into the bottom slot of the card rack and extending forwards under the keyboard. The case is moulded in high density polyurathane foam, so is quite heavy. The backplate is metal.

HPIM1900a

All the above photos kindly supplied by Nick Coleman. Thanks Nick! 🙂

This view shows the “rainbow” keyboard lead looping back over the keyboard to reach the Nascom-2 connector underneath. The grey ribbon cable is connected to a Lucas floppy disk control card – you can see the EPROMs labeled NAS DOS on the Nascom-2 – for connection to external floppy disk drives. Just beneath the floppy disk card is a RAM expansion card. One of these was usually used with a Nascom-2 as few were supplied with RAM on board due to a worldwide shortage of RAM chips.

For the full specification see the NASCOM-2 computer.

A floppy disk interface and colour graphics were offered by Lucas as optional extras. The colour graphic option used the AVC card, which was fitted immediately above the NASCOM-2. It projected from the card frame by two inches, but fitted neatly behind the keyboard.

 

The case is interesting. It appears that it was originally just a design and manufacturing exercise by another company in the Lucas group. However, once this had been done, no-one would sanction the design of a better one so it was put into production anyway! The Nascom-3s were produced in modest numbers. There are only a small number known to have survived, unfortunately.

 

 

Nascom 2  computer, September 1981

Here’s a rather nice Nascom-3 setup, photographed at the 4th PCW show in London, 1981. The case on top is one of the original ones designed for the Lucas full-height disk drive system, but with the left-hand drive replaced by a little monitor.


Pages