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     Personal microcomputer HC-85 (1985)

   HC-85 personal microcomputer

Personal microcomputer HC-85 (1985)

   July 11, 2021 Dan Florian Alx Articles, General knowledge 22 comments
   Reading time: 4 minute

   The HC-85 microcomputer was designed by Prof. Adrian Petrescu and
   Francisc Iacob from the Department of Computers at the Polytechnic
   Institute of Bucharest.

   The technological preparation for the series production was made by
   Tudorel Domocos, Traian Mihu and Eugen Dobrovie, Sandu Anghel. The
   microcomputer belongs to the category of general purpose personal

   Its performance, software compatibility with the family SINCLAIR, low
   cost, portability, availability of user-oriented system and application
   software, gave it a use of wide interest, both in education and for
   home use by students, and people who wanted to become familiar with
   computer technology.

Technical characteristics of the HC-85

   In the complete configuration HC-85 contained: central processing unit,
   built with Z80 microprocessor, 16 KB permanent EPROM memory and 48 KB
   main RAM memory, 40-key keyboard, with alphanumeric, control and
   functional meanings.

   The display was made on black and white or color TV (PAL), RGB color
   monitor, and the storage of programs and data was done on audio
   cassette player.

   By interfacing a dual unit of 5 1/4 "floppy disk the performance and
   availability of the system have greatly increased. The inclusion of a
   standard serial interfaces (IF1) and connecting to an HC-85 personal
   computer network of up to 64 systems has greatly increased its range of

   The serial interface was used for serial communications, for serial
   coupling with equipment that has a serial interface, and for connecting
   a printer to the HC-85.

   In appearance, the HC85 computer was sold in 2 variants. The initial
   housings were metal, and the keys (40+ reset) were plastic.

   Below we present a image of the motherboard of the initial version
   (with metal housing). In the first copies, Soviet, ceramic (white)
   chips were used for ROM memory.

   After a while, the design of the computer was changed: plastic case, 34
   x 25 x 4 cm, 40 keys + reset. The plastic cases were of 2 colors: black
   and brown. This housing model has been preserved in later models, HC90,
   HC91 and HC91 +.

   For this variant, it was decided to use the chips produced by
   Microelectronics - MMN2616, plastic. Below we present a image of the
   motherboard for this variant (with plastic housing).

   A version with an additional board, HC85 + IF1, was also sold. The IF1
   interface is made on a different board, being connected to the
   motherboard through the extension connector.

   The expansion of the HC 85 system with the IF1 interface has led to a
   considerable expansion of the applications of this computer. Below we
   present a image of the IF1 board.

Programs running on the HC-85

   HC-85 used its own hardware solutions, different from those found in
   Sinclair Spectrum but in terms of software compatibility has been
   maintained. The system and application software from the Sinclair
   Spectrum system could run smoothly on the HC85 system.

   Among the existing programs for the SINCLAIR family that have been
   ported to HC85, we mention: The interpreter for the BASIC language,
   stored in EPROM, the interpreters / compilers for the languages LOGO,
   Forth, FORTRAN, PASCAL, C; programs for: word processing (Tasword 2),
   spreadsheet application (VU-CALC), database (Data Base), 3D graphics
   (VU-3D), games and

   The HC-85 microcomputer was accepted and desired by students, young
   people and adults for the variety of programs and the affordable price.

   It inspired the creation of similar systems within research and
   development units, among which we mention in Cluj-Napoca the system
   RESP, in Brasov system Cobra, in Timisoara TIM-S, at ICE systems
   HC-88/90, followed by developments regarding the implementation of the
   CP / M operating system.

   The computer can be seen at Retro IT Museum in Arad. Below, the room
   with Romanian computers and the collection of processors inside the





   Nicolae Tapus, Information Science and Technology in Romania, Romanian
   Academy, Romanian Academy Publishing House - Bucharest, 2018

Other educational materials about electronics and more ..

     * AMIC computer AMIC personal microcomputer (1984)

   Romanian computerHC-85 computerHC-85HC85 + IF1Z80
   microprocessorMMN2616Sinclair Spectrum

Navigation in articles

   Previous Post:DACICC-1 (Automatic Computing Device of the Cluj
   Computing Institute - 1963)
   Next Post:PRAE computer - 1980

Related articles

   HC88, HC90, HC91 and HC2000 computers

HC 88 / HC90 / HC91 / HC91 + / HC2000. Home Computer systems produced at ICE

   July 14, 2021 Dan Florian Alx

   1980 PRAE computer

PRAE computer - 1980

   July 13, 2021 Dan Florian Alx


   Cornel A. say:
       July 11, 2021 at 11:01 am
       Yeah Al that sounds pretty crap to me, Looks like BT aint for me
   Cristian B. say:
       July 11, 2021 at 11:02 am
       In the 80's, having such a thing was a dream. The production was
       tiny, the price was intentionally kept prohibitive, and to buy
       anything with a keyboard was subject to the approval of party and
       state bodies.
       However, those of my generation have learned programming on these
       computers. Who wanted, the rest played Chuckie Egg, Video Pool,
       Rastan, Chronos, Saboteur
        Michael E. say:
            July 11, 2021 at 11:34 am
            There was no state policy on approvals! They just weren't in
            stock! But they were for sale in the publications of the time,
            such as Romania Libera.
             Cristian B. say:
                 July 11, 2021 at 3:37 p.m.
                 Typewriters and printers had to be registered with the
                 Militia. With fingerprint card. A printer could be
                 attached to the computer, so it was the keyboard half of
                 a typewriter.
                 It is just one of the many reasons why no computers were
                 available for sale to individuals. No typewriters. Both
                 devices could be used for subversive purposes. As
                 illogical as it may seem.
   mirceacluj say:
       July 11, 2021 at 2:09 p.m.
       Everything is history now.
   Cristian B. say:
       July 11, 2021 at 3:41 p.m.
       It wasn't until 1991 that I had a poor "JET" (short for "TV screen
       games"), produced at Electromagnetica. Mounted in a case that was
       also used for office telephone exchanges, with some black plastic
       masks where the receiver was supposed to be.
       It had a fairly modern keyboard with a rubber membrane, but the
       keys needed some force to be pressed, and it made a sharp click
       when pressed. But at least they didn't fail. Made almost entirely
       with Russian TTLs, it is a bit flawed. Mine broke down once, after
       about a year of operation.
       The image was off-center and elongated and the address of the lower
       RAM bench was a bit strange, the car seemed to be stuck on the
       reverse frame rate, I do not know why.
       Because of this, some copy programs saved "whirling". The header,
       instead of producing a continuous tone, was somehow in the form of
       "salvos." But programs saved this way could be loaded onto a normal
       Even when the code ran from the top 32 kB, or EPROM, the computer
       still seemed slower. It is said that the frequency would have been
       2,5 MHz instead of 3,5 (stability problems?) I had the white
       version http://retroit.ro/product/jet/
   Konstantin M. say:
       July 11, 2021 at 3:43 p.m.
       You could copy Sunday games from TV. It was a special show. If you
       had a good cassette player or found games in Tehnium magazine, you
       had to type the "compiler" all day.
        Cristian B. say:
            July 11, 2021 at 5:26 p.m.
            I remember when Tehnium published a program for calculating
            transformers, one piece at a time, how much space they had. It
            spread over 5-6 numbers.
             Constantine M. say:
                 July 11, 2021 at 5:29 p.m.
                 Yes, they sometimes published in fragments, sometimes
                 they didn't have much space... that ..nah, they had to
                 put in the technological achievements of the party. They
                 also praised an electronic engineer that you could not
                 invent something yourself. You also needed an engineer
                 next to you, but in general the publication was
                  Cristian B. say:
                      July 11, 2021 at 5:40 p.m.
                      I was a student in the 80's, when the above
                      happened, I didn't know much about electronics or
                      programming. Later, in college, I noticed a tendency
                      to make fun of the magazine, telling myself that a
                      lot of the published schemes were either "toys" or
                      wrong, and that the magazine was "amateur." She was
                      not very popular in academia. I didn't get to see if
                      that was the case, or not, times had already
                      changed, after a number of accidental appearances,
                      Tehnium completely ceased to exist. In those years,
                      the publication was the only media outlet that
                      addressed those hobbies. Now, it would be useless,
                      there are thousands of sites, blogs, forums, etc.
                      All this has made the time for specialized magazines
                      come to an end.
                      But, yes, even today, it is good in some areas to
                      have the "engineer" next to you... And not
                      necessarily these things happen only in the
                      technical field
   MV say:
       July 11, 2021 at 3:43 p.m.
       The drawing sheet is missing from this documentation.
   Nick C. say:
       July 11, 2021 at 3:44 p.m.
       I had COBRA, bought as a kit, from the students from Regie, I glued
       all the components on the motherboard and I assembled the turrets
       on the keys. The coolest thing was the troubleshooting at
       commissioning. I think it was around 1985. I still have him in a
       warehouse, my son taught him programming in Basic.
   Marius M. say:
       July 11, 2021 at 3:45 p.m.
       Yes, it was my first achievement as a passionate electronics
   GabrielJ. say:
       July 11, 2021 at 3:46 p.m.
       As far as I can remember, most of them used the Romanian clone of
       Z80, meaning MMN80, which worked somewhere around 3.3 MHz...
   John I. say:
       July 11, 2021 at 3:47 p.m.
       With a pretty good approximation they were all more or less
       successful Zx-82 clones.
   No T. say:
       July 11, 2021 at 3:49 p.m.
       I have, and I think it's still functional. The power supply is like
       an anvil!
   Valerica Z. say:
       July 11, 2021 at 6:01 p.m.
       I think it appeared a little later or in a few copies in 1985....
       I had barely heard of it then and took my "sinclair spectrum" from
       the FRG.
   Vince S. say:
       July 11, 2021 at 6:03 p.m.
       In the complete configuration you also needed a TV, and a cassette
       player to load or download programs, games in particular, apart
       from circles and dashes I didn't do anything else with the hc...
        Valerica Z. say:
            July 11, 2021 at 6:04 p.m.
            They were very helpful.
            Both for builders and beginners in programming.
   Costache E. say:
       July 12, 2021 at 7:10 am
       None of the factories producing electronic products and components
       Some exist by name, while others produce something else.
       For example, the former Electromures produces signal lamps for the
       automotive industry, while Tehnoton produces stoves and street
   Costache E. say:
       July 12, 2021 at 7:57 am
       It is interesting that a variant of Z80 was produced in Romania, as
       if at IPRS. Also memory chips, but also other logic integrated
       circuits. We could probably have even produced 386 or 486, so that
       the production lines existed. But IPRS fell into the hands of
       businessman Haissam, who bought the factory at a ridiculous price,
       lying that he owns a company. IPRS, still exists today,
       accumulating debts of millions of euros.
   Cosmin D. say:
       July 14, 2021 at 7:27 am
       I had something similar. After 7 hours of typing, at a septic game,
       when I saved the tape, the power went out, I broke my nerves.

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