The Super Elf is from 1977. It was a training kit for teaching people how to program. In its basic form it is a Single-Board computer, but it can be expanded to include a S-100 bus, additional RAM, ROM, Take cassette interface etc. Very simiar in design to the KIM-1.
You could buy the Elf I for $106.95 which is $412 (£312) in 2019. It has a built-in RCA CDP1861 graphics chip to allow you to connect to an external video modulator to connect to a TV. The system comes with a 24-Hex keyboard. This is 16-Hex keys plus additional I/O Control and memory access buttons. The 4k RAM could be expanded up to 64k with sufficient cards. A ROM Monitor is included with the Elf, and allows the user to use more than 256 Bytes of RAM. The ROM Monitor allows you to examin any byte in memory, load anywhere in the memory, and run a program from any memory location.
The Elf was available as just the computer board, or you could buy it with a wood grain cabinet, or a larger “super cabinet”. There were also a large amount of expansion options. The standard Super Expansion came with an extra 4k RAM, and the ability to load 6k of EPROM chips, allowing the Super Monitor or Tiny Basic to be loaded, or a custom program. Also included on the Super Expansion is a Parallel Input and Output ports (for ASCII Keyboard, printer, casette control), RS232, Teletype, two S-100 slots. An additional 16k of Dynamic RAM was also available, with automatic Refresh (Static RAM does not require a Refresh).
A Stringy Floppy Drive was also available with the Super Expansion board. What is a Stringy floppy? It is an endless casette tape, i.e. in a continuous loop, which looks more like a floppy disk. Typically holds 80kBytes and runs at 14,000 baud. This was much faster than a casette tape, and holds more data.
A 1200 Baud 40-column printer was also available. For a bit more money you could get a 40/64-column printer. It would print 1.25 Lines a second. For a bit more money still you could get a 120-character 3-Line buffered memory version.
In addition to all this, a Gremlin Colour Video card was available, using the Motorola MC6847 chip. It has 1k of Video Memory, and could achieve 64×64 resolution. This card will only work with the RCA CDP1802 CPU.
A Super Colour Video card was also available, with resulution to 256×192 with 8 colours (requires 6k Video RAM). This card still uses the Motorola MC6847 chip, but is compliant to the latest S-100 IEEE standards and will work on any S-100 Computer operating the same standards.
Some of the more popular items available: Kit Print (Assembled Price)
Standard Wooden Case Kit $24.95 (Assembled $32.95)
Super Woodgrain Case $47 ($55)
Video Modulator $8.95 (£12.95)
Super Expansion Board $89.95 ($129.95)
Expansion PSU Basic $29.95
Parallel I/O Port Kit $9.85 ($12.95)
Video Interface Kit S-100 $139
8k Static RAM (S-100) $135 ($155)
Gremlin Colour Video Board $69.95 ($85)
Super Colour Video Board $129.95 ($159)
16k RAM Dynamic $149.95 ($199)
LRC7000 Printer 40 Col $389 Assembled
– Printer with 120 Char Buffer £405 Assembled
– 64/40 Col Printer $405 Assembled
Stringy Floppy Drive $249 ($299)
Tiny Basic on Casette $10
Tiny Basic ROM Chip $38
Super Basic Casette $40
Multiply these prices by 2.9 to get prices of 2019. And remember, the Elf was a low-cost computer!
|Make & Model||Quest, Super Elf|
|RAM & ROM||4k RAM|