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US BBC Microcomputer (converted for UK)

[BBC Micro ]      [Computers ]


In the autumn 1984 Acorn planned an assault on the American education market with a fully specified BBC Micro (i.e. it had the Disc, Econet and Speech upgrades as standard) and with a version of BBC Basic with American spelling. Acorn signed up Wong Electronics to produce 50,000 BBC Micros for the US with the first shipment in October 1984.

Acorn's foray into the US Market with the BBC Microcomputer was not a success and unsold stock was returned to the UK and converted to UK standard. This one of those ex-US BBC Micros. The main differences from the UK models are Disc and Econet interfaces and speech system were included as standard. Also the whole case is shielded (see photographs).

For the conversion to UK standard, the ROMs are changed to UK standard and (I think) the power supply replaced.

Manuals and documents

See BBC Micro .

 BBC Model B US Version (converted for UK)

I bought this BBC on ebay in July 2003.

US BBC converted for UK  

US BBC Micro (converted for UK)

US BBC converted for UK rear  

US BBC (converted for UK) rear view

The US BBC Micro has the FCC approval in the middle between the cassette and analogue port. The Econet port is installed as standard on US BBCs.

US BBC converted for UK bottom

 US BBC (converted for UK) bottom

The additional RF shielding is clearly visible around the ports. The serial number is visible above the Tube (02-UNB09-1009723)

US BBC converted for UK open

US BBC Micro (converted for UK) case open

The US BBC Micro has RF shielding on keyboard and around the ports and power supply. The sideways ROMs have been moved from under the keyboard to the middle of the right hand side. The cartridge sockets are installed on the left of the keyboard, below the speaker.

US BBC converted for UK motherboard

US BBC Micro (converted for UK) motherboard

The US BBC Micro has, as standard:

  1. The Econet interface in the top left,
  2. The Speech chips beneath the red wires on the middle left,
  3. The Intel 8271 disc interface next to the speech ROMs

The ROM sockets are moved to the middle right, half way up the board. The ports at the back are shielded. as are those underneath the computer.


Serial No.02-UNB09-1009723
Motherboard223,000 Issue 1
CPU Clock2MHz
ROM32MB (16KB +
16KB sideway ROM)
Disc ControllerIntel 8271
Disc Filing SystemDFS 0.90
Add-in/UpgradesSpeech System