It’s true that this TRS-80 Model 4P “luggable” was in better shape than many of the vintage machines that pass through the hands of [Drygol], but that doesn’t make the end result of its refurbishment and upgrade process any less impressive. After all, not every rebuild has to be a once-in-a-lifetime achievement.
No, the case didn’t have to get pieced back together by hand, and the board didn’t need to have half of its traces recreated. But the outer plastic was certainly in need of a good retrobright treatment, the keyboard was overdue for a cleaning, and the capacitors in the PSU were predictably due for retirement. After [Drygol] got through with it, the machine was back in like-new condition. But then, we can do a little better than that…
So into the refreshed computer went several community-developed modifications, including a M3SE expander that adds Compact Flash and Ethernet support to the TRS-80 and a high-resolution Grafyx video board. In classic [Drygol] style, every effort was made to integrate these upgrades as seamlessly as possible. After struggling for a bit to find a 5.25″ drive that would write a disk the TRS-80 would actually read, all the necessary files to get the upgrades working were transferred over, and the system was booting into TRSDOS.
We’ve covered a lot of [Drygol]’s restorations, and never get tired of seeing how these old and broken machines get a new lease on life once they come out the other end. Whether it’s a relatively easy task of swapping out some dud chips, or using every trick in the book to piece together what’s left of a computer’s case, they always show an incredible level of dedication and attention to detail that you can’t help but admire.