[Coco] Novel Commercial Uses of the Coco

John Donaldson johnadonaldson at sbcglobal.net
Fri Sep 30 21:51:34 EDT 2011

There use to be an aviation unit that went into a plane that would 
display weather radar using semigraphic mode. I got a chance to look 
into the electronics and found it really was a repackaged COCO2. It was 
repackaged into two boards, stacked one on top of the other. The reason 
I knew it was a repackaged COCO2 was the VDG chip was the one with 
lowercase built in and it had the Advance Basic ROM, alone with another 
ROM. It would listen to a sub channel of FM broadcast stations. The sub 
channel broadcasted a signal similar to a SSTV signal. The signal was 
decoded and displayed onto a 3" color screen using SemiGraphics. I 
looked up the codes that were printed on the Advance ROM chip and the 
number matched the number that Tandy used for the Basic ROM chip.

John Donaldson

On 9/30/2011 4:52 PM, Steve Ostrom wrote:
> Today I received a box containing a Coco3 relabeled as a Thermopatch 
> Label Writer 401.  It came with a RomPack labeled the same, and a 
> cable, which probably connected the computer to an actual label maker 
> of some sort.  The RomPack shows a 1987 copyright by Thermopatch, but 
> no other citations as for author, etc.  The RomPack uses gold plated 
> connectors, and is a snug fit into the RomPack slot.
> This unit is really cool to an all-things-Coco collector like me, but 
> I was wondering how many different non-Coco commercial uses were made 
> of the Coco? I can think of two others - the VideoTex unit and the 
> blue Agrivision unit both made from a Coco1, sort of.  Have there been 
> quite a few others?  I wonder how much of a market was there for the 
> Thermopatch Label Writer, and who actually wrote the software and 
> burned it into a RomPack.
> -Steve-
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