TRS-80 PC-2 Pocket Computer
Introduced:January 1982
Price:US $280
Weight:400g / 14 oz
CPU:Sharp LH5801 @ 1.3Mhz
Memory:~2K RAM, ~10K max.
Display:26 character LCD display
Power:4 "AA" batteries
Storage:Optional audio cassette
Peripherals:Optional printer

Radio Shack's second "pocket computer" is no pocket computer - it is much too large and heavy. Like the smaller and lighter original PC-1, the PC-2 was also designed by Sharp, who released their own version, the PC-1500.

With physical dimension which seem like a disadvantage, the software and additional features make up for it.

The PC-2 has a faster and more powerful CPU, a better BASIC programming language (built-in), and expansion capabilities beyond those of the PC-1.

All of these improvements impose a high penalty - power consumption. The PC-2 requires 10X the power to operate than the PC-1. As a result, it requires 4 "AA" batteries as opposed to the tiny button-cell batteries of the PC-1.

The RAM/ROM module slot on the back also adds greatly to its size. Application modules can be installed here for instant access.
These include:
  • Games
  • Statistics
  • Personal Finance
  • Business Finance
  • Investment Analysis
  • Chemistry Math
  • and more.

  • Alternately, addition memory (RAM) can be installed for memory-intensive applications. Radio Shack sold 4K and 8K RAM modules for the PC-2.

    While the PC-1 had an attachable dot-matrix printer for application print-outs and listings, the PC-2 has a exciting 4-color plotter capable of printing both text and graphics. An example is seen to the right.
    Above, you see the print-out magnified about 8X. The word "COMPUTER" is actually 20mm (3/4 inch) wide. This is just one example, as the plotter can print text in 9 different sizes. The plotter draws the letters with tiny ink pens.

    The plotter attachment also provides program loading, data storage and retrieval through a cassette interface.

    The next pocket computer in the family, the PC-3 is truly a pocket computer.
    Substantially smaller and lighter than the original PC-1, the PC-3 will easily fit in a shirt pocket for maximum portability.

    Related Links

  • Sharp PC-1500 computer (TRS-80 PC-2) resource page
  • TRS-80 Hardware Manual Download Page
  • Radio Shack PC-2 from R/S Programmable Calculators

  • History of the Radio Shack Computers

    • 1921: - Radio Shack begins as a one-store retail and mail-order company catering to ham operators and electronics buffs.
    • 1963: - Charles Tandy buys the chain of stores, and within two years turned a $4 million dollar loss into a $20 million dollar profit.
    • 1977: August - Radio Shack announces the TRS-80 Model I microcomputer for US$600.
    • 1977: September - One month after launching the TRS-80, 10,000 are sold.
    • 1979: May - Tandy/Radio Shack announces the TRS-80 Model II.
    • 1979: October - Radio Shack begins shipping the TRS-80 Model II to users.
    • 1980: July - Radio Shack introduces the TRS-80 Model III, priced from US$700 to US$2500.
    • 1980: July - Radio Shack introduces the TRS-80 Color Computer, and sells for US$400.
    • 1980: July - Radio Shack introduces the TRS-80 Pocket Computer. Price is US$230.
    • 1981: January - Radio Shack ceases production of the TRS-80 Model I, and recalls units from the US market, due to failure to meet new FCC radio-frequency interference regulations.
    • 1982: January - Radio Shack introduces the TRS-80 Model 16, with 8-inch floppy drives, and optional 8-MB hard drive.
    • 1982: January - Radio Shack introduces the TRS-80 Pocket Computer, Model PC-2, for US$280.
    • 1983: March - Radio Shack announces its TRS-80 Model 100 portable computer. Price is US$799 for 8KB version, to US$1134 for the 32KB version.
    • 1983: May - Radio Shack introduces the TRS-80 Model 4, for US$2000.
    • 1983: June - Radio Shack introduces the TRS-80 PC-3, for US$99.95.
    • 1983: October - Tandy/Radio Shack announces the "transportable" TRS-80 Model 4P, for US$1800.
    • 1983: Radio Shack introduces the TRS-80 Pocket Computer, Model PC-4, replacing the PC-1, for US$70.
    • 1983: Tandy releases the TRS-80 Model 2000, which uses the Intel 80186 microprocessor.
    • 1983: Radio Shack unveils the TRS-80 Model 12 at the CP/M '83 Show. Price is US$3200.
    • 1985: March - Radio Shack introduces the Tandy 6000 multiuser system. It features Z80A and 68000 processors, 512 KB RAM, 80x24 text, graphics, 1.2-MB 8-inch disk, optional 15 MB hard drive, TRS-DOS, or XENIX 3.0. It supports up to 9 users.
      Source: Chronology of Events in the History of Microcomputers

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