In addition to the keyboard computers of the CBM B128/256-80 series, there was the CBM 7xx series with built-in monitor and detachable keyboard. The P500 was produced as a prototype in small series. These are very similar to the CBM B128-80 and also used the same case. The main difference is that the CPU 6509 was clocked with only 1 MHz, because the VIC-II graphic chip of the C64 was used. Two joystick ports have also been installed.
The computer has a rather unusual design and is thus different from all other Commodore computers as well as all previously produced CBM / PET business computers. For the first time in the PET/CBM series there was no monitor installed, but the device is still a business computer. It was designed by Ira Velinsky, who was awarded the "iF product design award" for the related CBM 700 series. The keyboard is mounted lower compared to the C64 that appeared at the same time making it more comfortable to use. There are also four individual cursor keys, but - as later on the C128 - also arranged in a row next to the F keys.
The underside of the CBM 610 with the name plate. Here is a version from the USA, where he was marketed as B128-80.
On the back, there are the following connections (from left to right): Reset button, RS-232C interface, audio / video jack, data cassette connector, cartridge, audio output (RCA), IEEE-488 for connecting the CBM drives and printers . Above this, the power supply is connected via a cold plug and an on / off switch.
The power supply (here 115 Volt, USA), a loudspeaker (not visible here) and the keyboard, which keys have a similar shape to the ones used on the C64.
The board contains 128 KB of memory in 16 chips at the bottom right. Above that, there is space for a further 16 chips - here unpopulated - for 256 KB memory in the B256-80 (CBM 620). In addition to some ROM chips and a PLA, the sound chip of the C64, the SID 6581, was also installed. A 6509 CPU is similar with the 6510 of the C64, but is clocked higher (at 2 MHz) and offers 1 MB address space (by bank switching). The I/O chip 6526 CIA (also known from the C64) as also used. In addition, a 6525 is responsible for the IEEE interface. The 6525 was later also used in the CDTV, A570 and 1551 floppy drive. Although the housing is extremely stable and leaves a very high quality impression, only a low-cost shielding is used (bottom).
Despite the higher version number BASIC 4.0 was released before BASIC 3.5 of the home computer C16 / C116 and Plus / 4. Probably the reason is marketing: The professional computers should have a higher number than the cheaper selling home computers. In this version, commands for floppy disk drives have been added.
The computers were designed by Ira Velinsky, who was awarded the "iF product design award" for the related CBM 700 series. Ira Velinsky was also awarded the if design award for the industry design of the Atari Computers STacy and Atari portfolio later.
A few prototypes of the P500 were produced. These are very similar to the CBM B128-80 and also use the same case. The main difference is that the CPU 6509 was clocked with only 1 MHz, because the VIC-II graphic chip of the C64 was used. Two joystick ports have also been installed.
|Processor:||MOS 6509 (2 MHz)|
|Operating system:||BASIC 4.0|
|Sound:||3 voices, mono|
|Size:||460 x 380 x 110 mm|
|expansions inside:||Zilog Z80 CPU (CP/M 2.2)
Intel 8088 (CP/M-86 or MS-DOS)
The above shown computers are in the collection!
Compatible drives for the computer PET 2001: