1980s Vintage Computers

Transam Tuscan

Transam Tuscan

The Transam Tuscan was launched in the UK in 1980, and developed into a full system in 1981. It was sold as a range of systems starting from a kit of parts based on a motherboard, up to a complete system with floppy and hard disks. It had a Z80 processor and RAM on a motherboard, which also had five S-100 bus slots for expansion. The motherboard contains up to 8KB of static RAM, and four EPROM sockets each of 2KB each. According to the manual there were three options for the EPROMs:

  • 8KB Basic
  • 2KB Monitor  

The cased version had a built in keyboard with a separate numeric keypad and drove a text-only monitor directly.  My machine has twin 5" floppy drives, but does not currently boot up. I received a CP/M boot disk for it in May 2007 so hope to have it up and running soon. 

My Tuscan has three S-100 cards:

  • Video board VB4 (in addition to basic text produced by motherboard, labelled S100 Video PCB, Transam).
  • Floppy disk controller (labelled Interactive Data Systems).
  • RAM memory (labelled Transam ME3), containing 52KB of static RAM.

These machines are now incredibly rare, if you have either a Tuscan (or the earlier Triton) or know where one is please e-mail me to help preserve their history.


Tuscan advert

I have made contact with a few other Tuscan owners, and we now have a Yahoo group http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/tuscans100/info. New members are welcome, please email me if you would like to join.

Here are some photos of my machine:


Here is the boot screen, without a working system disk this is as far as it gets:

Update - I have been given a second Tuscan S100 with boot disks, but now both machines have problems with their display adapters :-(






This page was last revised on: 28/12/07