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South West Technical Products Corporation 6800 Computer

Manufacturer Southwest Technical Products Corporation
Model 6800
Date Announced 1976
Date Canceled Unknown
Number Produced Tens of Thousands
Country of Origin USA
Price $400 in kit form
Current Value $100 and up
Processor Motorola 6800
Speed 1 Mhz
Storage Paper tape, cassette tape, disk all as options
Expansion SS-50 and SS-30 cards
Bus SS-50, SS-30
Video Terminal Based
I/O Optional Parallel and Serial
OS Options Unknown
Notes SWTPC made their name selling electronics kits, mainly for audio equipment. Shortly after the success of the MITS Altair 8800 they entered the computer arena with the 6800. Ads in a variety of appropriate magazines made the machine, as well as many of the peripherals they offered, a big success.
Related Items in Collection CT-1024 Terminal, AC-30 Cassette Interface, documentation, software on cassette.
Related Items Wanted Drives, drive controller card, a replacement case, additional software, ROMs.

South West Technical Products Corporation 6800 Computer with added front panel

The first SWTPC 6800 in my collection is a bit different from most. The original owner set it up to have a front panel similar to the MITS Altair complete with all of the appropriate lights and switches. Once he had it set up for mass storage (tape via the AC-30 interface) and a terminal (the CT-1024) he disconnected the front panel.

South West Technical Products Corporation AC-30 Cassette Tape Interface

The AC-30 tape interface is complete but hasn't yet been tested.

As part of the transformation(s) the ROMs were pulled from the machine.

This machine was kindly donated, along with several other items, by George Davis.

The second SWTPC 6800 in my collection, pictured at the top of the page, is a more traditional machine. It has been modified some but it retains the basic form of the shipped computer including the normal front panel (inverted button notwithstanding) and case.

South West Technical Products Corporation 6800 Computer interior

The interior of this machine is also fairly standard.

South West Technical Products Corporation 6800 Computer Processor Card

This machine came with a fairly standard processor card.

South West Technical Products Corporation 6800 Computer SIO card

It also came with an SIO card used to drive a terminal, amongst other things.

South West Technical Products Corporation 6800 Computer RAM card

The system also came with a single 8K memory card.

This machine was kindly donated by Ed Fair.

(Submitted March 6, 2012 00:21:37 by Rex)

Anyone interested in a number of SWTPC Computors 6800 6809 disk units tape drive terminals icluding one which talks and manuals

(Submitted January 13, 2010 10:08:06 by Jan Wyckoff)

Do you have any SWPT 6800 system or modules for sale?

(Submitted June 27, 2007 21:44:04 by Mike Gregory)

Current value needs to be updated. Examles in good condition on Ebay consistantly sell for around $550.00 and up


(Submitted April 16, 2007 15:22:37 by Ed Fair)

Glad to see Farstar displayed. My original 6800 came with no memory. ByteShop Atlanta had robbed the card and John Jay made me a deal to take it. Ended up buying 3 2K boards from SWTP and socketed the whole bunch. Got it running on a DecWriter for I/O. In all the soldering I missed 1 pin on one of the memory cards. Farstar was a backup machine that I purchased from someone in the 68xx(x) user group so development work wouldn't stop if my main system crashed. By the end of their useful life the 6800s were running with 40Kb and up to 3 8Mb hard drives via a hardware hacked MPC card driving a Western Digital 1002-08 SASI hard & floppy controller.

(Submitted April 14, 2007 23:06:37 by Matt)

I have several SWTPC 6800 and 6809 systems up and running; and can copy the MIKBUG, SWTBUG or SBUG monitors; send me a note if you still need one.

(Submitted April 5, 2007 01:52:07 by Chuck Gould)

Saw your picture of the SWTPC AC-30. I built one for my Altair 680b. I'm hoping to get it and the Altair out of storage one of these days.

(Submitted November 28, 2004 06:21:12 by Kevin Lawton)

I've got about one-and-a-half SWTPC systems - including the 'till roll' printer, all the manuals (I think) and the 6809 upgrade card to allow Flex-9 to be run (and the 8 Flex-9 system disks). Everything checks out electrically, but the system goes nowhere - I suspect the ROMs have self-erased with age. SO, I'm in a similar position to yourself. Have recently found that someone is making (to order) brand new 3.5 disk drive interfaces for this kit. I'm based in Manchester, UK. If anyone is able to help with additional SWTPC kit and/or images of the ROMs I'd be gratefull but, unfortunately, not able to pay. Would be happy to 'look after' any surplus SWTPC kit and/or get together to set up some sort of archive/library of the ROM images so we can get these beasties running again. Cheers, Kevin.

(Submitted October 19, 2004 12:39:01 by Bill)

I think I ran a UniFLEX OS on this beast back in the day and a bazillion lines of code in UniFLEX BASIC. Cut my teeth on this bad boy and later the 68020 and 68030.

(Submitted October 19, 2004 10:01:54 by Joe Zellers)

I had SWTPC units when they were popular. Wrote OS software that multitasked the 6800, time- sliced the 4k memory boards, result was we had 4 CT1024 terminals running 4 users from 1 box. I wrote total software package for an Indiana school corporation that used the SWTPC with large diameter removeable hard drives for storage. Worked great until it was finally superceded by new technology.

(Submitted June 14, 2004 15:12:56 by Erik)

I'm in the San Fransisco Bay Area, California, USA.

If you'd like to mail the Webmaster account I'm sure we can figure something out.


(Submitted June 14, 2004 14:40:24 by Dr Brian Styles)

I can probably fix you up with quite a bit of SWTPC kit, but where are you? I'm in Cambridge, UK. I've also got a Sun 1, but you seem not to be into Sun...



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