A Somewhat Rare Local Commodore Find

I woke up to an email notice of a local estate sale, already open, with a “Commodore computer.”  That usually means a C64 and the Clowns cartridge, but the photos revealed an item of quite another level.  I couldn’t make it until the afternoon, and anything rare/ebayable is usually gone minutes after opening, but luck was with me today.  We have:

– Commodore B128-80 computer, in-box
– Commodore 8050 IEEE floppy drive, in-box
– Commodore 4023 LQ dot-matrix printer, in-box
– CA (Computer Associates) monochrome display.  This is an odd one; I thought they only made power strips and mainframe tape racks and such.

No manuals for anything.  They were either lost somewhere in the house or these items were purchased non-retail with no docs.

The B128 is fairly rare in the US but was blown out at a discount in the late 80s by the famous Protecto Computer Direct in Barrington, IL.  I’m betting that’s where this one came from – in fact it could be the very “computer/drive/monitor/printer bundle” they advertised.  It was just like Protecto to sub in a cheap 3rd-party monitor like this one.

So the original owner got a bargain.  And as soon the old man discovered there was zero software for it, back in the box it went.

Update: I guess this is indeed the “Protecto Special.”  This reddit user found the same combo, albeit with a different no-name display.

Hamfest score!

It’s a flight simulator control panel. The yoke is mounted on a hydraulic rod, the slides on the right pull out, and although the gauges are fake, the buttons around them are not. The back has some mystery connectors, but I think it was meant for a PC. Time to hit Google for the answers.

Today’s ‘fest (Peotone, IL) was good to me, as it was the last time. Got the flight trainer, a box of Western Electric handset cords and wall jacks, all in plastic, some brand new Trimline bases and handsets in their Bell boxes, a grey(!) 2-line 2500 set, Bell 50a conference phone, a Dec VT330 terminal that came with 2m radio and FMJ packet box (all for $5!) and a few other $1 items here and there. The car is once again full (since I haven’t emptied it from the TRS-80 pickup yesterday.)

I’m at least giving serious consideration to renting a storage unit. I said I’d never do it, because I wanted to draw the line at paying a monthly fee for my collecting habit, but I’ve got enough boxable stuff now (magazines, sofware, books, small hardware) that I could free up a good deal of space at home and get my house back again.

Wow, storage is expensive. Min. $150/mo for the kind of space I need? Ouch.