[Archimedes] [Computers] [Unix ]
The BBC A3000 was launched in May 1989, just before the A4x0/1 range. It was designed to be a "cheap" computer with limited expansion and a combined keyboard and sytem unit. It had an ARM2, RISCOS 2.00 and the MEMC1a. Once again Acorn omitted the RS232 port to save money and expansion is limited to a single mini-podule and a single external podule. There is no option of a hard drive, except on an external SCSI or IDE controller podule. The A3000 was the last "BBC Microcomputer" with a BBC logo on the keyboard.
Here is an Acorn publicity photograph of the A3000:
The A3000 and its successors the A3010 , A3020 and A4000 were very popular in schools and 3rd parties made a wide range of add-ons and upgrades including:
The following models were launched [as far as I know]:
Here is the Acorn product brochure for the A3000:
Here is the A3000 Welcome Guide .
Here is the Acorn A3000 Service Manual.
Here is the Acorn A3000 Technical Reference Manual and technical drawings .
In July 1989 PCW published a review of the A3000 titled "Acorn A3000 ".
I bought this A3000 with an Issue A motherboard in 2007 as part of a lot of ex-school Acorn equipment. Unfortunately this computer is faulty so I have no benchmark data.
BBC A3000 (front)
This is an ex-school computer and you can see where security labels were stuck. I have cleaned it up a bit. Also note the "British Broadcasting Corporation Microcomputer System" label on the right of the keyboard.
BBC A3000 (right side)
This picture shows the 800K single density 3/5" floppy disc drive and the Reset switch underneath it.
BBC A3000 (back)
This picture shows the A3000 interfaces, from left to right:
BBC A3000 (bottom)
This picture shows the bottom of the A3000 with the mouse socket on the left. The serial number is 01-AKB01-1004071.
BBC A3000 with case top removed
This picture shows the keyboard with the power supply on the top left and the floppy disc drive on the top right.
BBC A3000 with keyboard removed
Thios picture shows the left and right speakers (connected by black and white wires).
BBC A3000 with floppy disc drive removed
BBC A3000 motherboard (issue A)
The picture shows, from left to right:
1. There is some corrosion at the bottom left corner which may explain why the computer is not working.
2. The CPU is the VLSI VL2333-QC CPU which is the earlier version of the ARM2.
Here is a HiRes picture of the A3000 motherboard (Issue A)
I bought this A3000 with an Issue 3 motherboard in 2002. As you can see from the pictures it came from a local school. It has been upgraded from 1 to 2MB with a Cumana 1MEG A3000 memory upgrade . It has an Acorn AKA12 Midi and User Port mini-podule and an Econet interface . The OS has been upgraded from RISC OS 2 to RISC OS 3.11.
Acorn A3000 running RISC OS 3.11
The working A3000 running RISC OS 3.11
A3000 right hand side showing the floppy disc drive
The right hand side of the A3000, showing the floppy disc drive.
A3000 rear view
The back of the A3000. On the top of the case you can just see the Hoe Bridge School security marking. On the back, at the top centre, is the AKA12 MIDI/user port mini podule with 3 MIDI DIN sockets. Below are the A3000 interfaces, from left to right: expansion, RGB Monitor, Mono video, headphones, parallel, serial and econet. The serial upgrade is filled in spite of the sticker above the serial port.
A3000 left hand side, showing the power on/off switch (and school safety test sticker)
The left hand side of the A3000, showing the On/Off switch and a safety check sticker.
A3000 case bottom
The bottom of the A3000, showing the serial number label in the middle at the top and the socket for the mouse in the middle on the right. Interestingly, to the right of the mouse connector is the cover (with a screw in the middle) to an unused battery compartment.
A3000 with to cover off
The A3000 with the top cover removed, showing at the front is the keyboard. In the top left is the power supply and the floppy disc drive is in the top right. Between the power supply and the floppy drive at the top is the AKA12 MIDI/User port mini podule . Below the AKA12, next to the power supply is the Econet Module and below that is the ribbon connector between the keyboard and the motherboard. In the middle between the floppy disc drive and the keyboard is the Cumana 1MEG A3000 memory upgrade .
A3000 with keyboard removed
The A3000 with the keyboard removed, showing in the top left is the Acorn AKA12 MIDI/User port mini-podule. Below the AKA12 is the Econet Module. Below the Econet Module is the socket for the keybard ribbon cables and below that is the battery for the CMOS RAM. To its right are the 4 ROMs with the RISC OS 3.11 Operating System. In the middle below the floppy disc drive is the Cumana 1MEG A3000 memory upgrade.
A3000 motherboard, with all the addons removed.
The A3000 motherboard (Issue 3).
|Motherboard part no.||0280,000 Issue A||0180,000 Issue 3|
|Motherboard serial no.||AV-299-5367||AV-301-8590|
Cumana 1MEG A3000
Issue 1 fitted
|Floppy Disc Drive||Citizen OSDC-65C||Citizen OSDC-65C|
|Podule 0||n/a||AKA12 User port/|
0180,300 Issue 1
0259,200 issue 1
|Other upgrades||n/a||Serial Upgrade fitted|
|OS||RISC OS 2||RISC OS 3.11|