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T > TANDY RADIO SHACK  > Color Computer 2   

Tandy Radio Shack
Color Computer 2

The Color Computer 2 (coco2) replaced the Color Computer "Model 1" in 1983. It has the same characteristics than the Model 1 but has a better keyboard and a more integrated circuitry.

There were several models of the Coco2, some with only 8k ROM (Color Basic) called Standard Color Computer 2, and others with 16k ROM (Extended Color Basic) called the Extended Color Computer 2. Some later models differ also in RAM capacity (16k, 32k or 64k).

It was replaced with the Color Computer 3 in 1986.


About the double speed, Gary Clouse specifies:
The double speed mode was not really accomplished by changing the clock speed. The Synchronous address multiplexor (SAM) chip by default generated memory refresh cycles for the entire address space. the "double speed poke" disabled the refresh cycle for the upper 32k memory address, where the ROM was mapped. Since the ROM was static, it didn't need this and since BASIC spent most of its time in the rom routines, it would appear to nearly double the speed. The flip side of this was that many I/O functions that relied on timing loops would be unusable, such as saving data to a tape. Also if you were using the upper 32k of ram, the double speed poke would wipe the memory.

Please consider donating your old computer / videogame system to or one of our partners from anywhere in the world (Europe, America, Asia, etc.).


This is the one that started it all for me. I moved to a new school in the fall of ''86 and in the back of the classroom was a CoCo. I stayed after school typing programs into that thing so often that my teacher finally got frustrated and told me to become a paperboy and buy my own computer... so I did, I got an Atari 800xl, then a 400, a C64 and Vic-20 and a bunch of other machines.... Now I am a computer technician at a major university looking back at these tiny machines with their kilobytes of ram and mhz processors. Those were the days :)

Tuesday 21st June 2016
Tim Norton (USA)

I have a Tandy 64 Color Computer 2 still in the original box and packing, with the original books and cords including a tv/coax slide adaptor. It has a slot for a rom drive but there are no rom drives with the computer

The box says 64K EXTENDED Basic on the end with the serial number and cat. no. on the box as well.

the cords have never been out of their original plastic packaging but I took the computer out of the plastic to look at it. from the looks of the packing I doubt it has ever been plugged into a wall outlet.

It is just like the first TRS 80 that I started out with about 30 years ago... Except this one is "Brand New"!

Wednesday 20th November 2013
Ron (Missouri)

The CoCo2 was my first computer I ever had. I actually had 2 CoCo2s, the first was one I borrowed back in 1990 from a family friend who wasn''t really using it much at the time, and that machine provided my first real personal computer experience. I remember spending hours on it typing in BASIC programs from books about the CoCo that I''d check out from the library (I even still have one program saved on cassette laying about somewhere).

The second CoCo2 I had I bought in 1992 at a local hamfest flea market (I then returned the borrowed CoCo2 I first had, since I had my own now). The fellow I bought it from actually modified the unit to have additional composite video and line audio outputs (the CoCo2 only has a stock RF output for the video), albeit the video only being black $ white. But it was still a super machine, and even came with some program cartridges (one of them was the "Audio Spectrum Analyzer" cartridge, which allowed the CoCo to function as such in real-time using the audio in from the cassette cable!).

I later acquired that same year a CoCo3 with dot-matrix printer, floppy software, and floppy drives $ controller cart from a neighbor''s rummage sale. I was rolling in the CoCo clover, so to speak! I later had also acquired from a friend a VT-100 clone terminal and a modem around the same time to access the local BBSes and the then-nascent Internet through a dial-up service offered through school. I took the printer that came with the CoCo3 and hooked it up to the terminal to make hardcopies of what I would access online!

In 1993, I got my first PC, a true-blue IBM XT, and ended up selling all my CoCo gear at one of our own family garage sales that year (something I do regret doing :-( ). But the CoCo helped me to ignite the strong interest I have in computing, and hopefully I can find another CoCo system again on eBay or elsewhere (or run an emulator otherwise), just for old time''s sake!!!

Tuesday 21st December 2010
Ryan Schweitzer (ND, USA)


NAME  Color Computer 2
MANUFACTURER  Tandy Radio Shack
TYPE  Home Computer
YEAR  1983
KEYBOARD  Full-stroke keyboard, 53 keys.
Arrow keys, BREAK, CLEAR, SHIFT (x2)
CPU  Motorola 6809E
SPEED  0,89 Mhz (1,8 Mhz by programming the clock generator)
RAM  16 KB, 32 KB or 64 KB, depending on models
ROM  8 KB (Color Basic), but later models had 16 KB (Extended Color Basic)
TEXT MODES  32 x 16
GRAPHIC MODES  256 x 192 (2 colors), 128 x 192 (2 and 4 colors), 128 x 96 (4 and 2 colors), 32 x 64 (8 colors)
SOUND  1 voice (6-bit DAC)
SIZE / WEIGHT  9 x 35 x 37,5 cm
I/O PORTS  Expansion/Cartridge connector, two analog joystick connectors, cassette interface (1500 bauds), RS232 serial port, TV RF connector
OS  OS9 Level 1 with disk-drives
PRICE  16k standard model : $159.95 (USA, 84)
16k extended model : $199.95 (USA, 84)
64k extended model : $259.95 (USA, 84)

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