BASICare Modular Expansion System

BASICare Modular Expansion System
Platform(s): TS 1000
Date: 1983
Price: $59
Rarity: uncommon

This modular system was designed to expand a ZX81, TS 1000 or TS 1500 computer into machine capable of handling advanced applications.

The cornerstone is the PERSONA, a module that is the interface between the computer and the other modules. With the PERSONA and other modules, the TS 1000 could be expanded to one megabyte of memory, add sound, use an 80-column printer and add user-definable characters.

Memory Map

The BASICare system arranges memory in 64K pages. The Minimap module redefines the basic 64K of address space into vertical pages, each of which contains 64K of RAM. Within the 64K are four 16K blocks, arranged in vertical pages. Each page then has another 40K of address space for other BASICare modules.

C000-FFFFh FILE B (16K)
B000-BFFFh SLOT (4K)
A000-AFFFh PATH (4k)
8000-9FFFh DATA (8K)
4000-7FFFh FILE A (16K)
2000-3FFFh TOOL (8K)
0000-1FFFh Sinclair ROM (8K) (present in all pages)

FILE A is the normal location for BASIC programs.

The display file is mapped to FILE B; it can be used for BASIC if no display is used.

TOOL is for machine language routines or data. The Toolkit module is designed to reside in this space. It accepts up to four 2K EPROMs, for a total of 8K. Regular RAM memory can occupy the TOOL region, giving volatile, but accessible RAM memory much like a standard 64K RAM. RAM 08, which accepts up to four 2K RAM chips, can be used in the TOOL segment. The TOOL segment can contain character set definitions created with USERFONT.

DATA is extra space for data and can be used for very long BASIC programs. File A can spill over into the 8K of DATA, giving a total of 24K of available memory to File A.

PATH is for future applications. SLOT is used in connection with the peripheral (Pericon) modules.


Planned Expansion

Future modules included high-resolution color graphics, a 16-bit microprocessor, high speed tape controller, serial module, memory expansion to 4 megabytes and a floppy disk interface.

Gladstone planned to introduce a PERSONA module for the TS 2068, probably based on the PERSONA module for the Spectrum.

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