This computer was purchased by my Dad back in 1982. It was pre-ordered by him in 1981 but delivery delays meant it wasn’t shipped until something like June 1982. I remember it shipped with the pre-release OS1.0 ROMs (quickly upgraded to OS1.2) and a “Provisional User Guide”, which I still have.
It was originally a Model A and has a Revision 2 motherboard. The hole on the left side of the keyboard was supposedly for expansion ROMs and was delivered uncovered as in the pictures. Later models had this hole covered. Note the early style text (“bbc microcomputer”) on the clear plastic function key strip.
This machine was upgraded to [almost] Model B spec a little later – an additional 16K RAM was added (to total 32K) and the user port, 1MHz bus and Tube connectors fitted to the motherboard. I think it’s still missing a couple of logic chips for the Tube interface but I can’t quite remember. A little later still, a Solidisk DDFS disk upgrade was fitted along with a 5.25″ 40/80 track floppy drive. Then a Watford Electronics RAM/ROM board was fitted, with 3 banks of “sideways RAM” and a couple of extra ROM sockets.
I found this buried in the loft. It still has it’s original packaging which was just a plain brown box and poly inserts.
When I powered it up the PSU went pop due to old capacitors which had gone bad. Once they were changed it had some strange display problems which were eventually cured by replacing a couple of RAM chips. The Watford RAM/ROM board was rattling around inside the case so I had to remove it – I’ll leave fixing that for a later date.
I stripped the machine down completely and retr0bright’d the case and cleaned up the motherboard and keyboard.
It now works perfectly and looks nice and clean too. I’ve since sourced some joysticks and will set it up at some point to play Elite on it again.