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General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: bsisko on July 07, 2019, 02:27:07 AM

Title: Hooking up Tandy 1000TL to internet
Post by: bsisko on July 07, 2019, 02:27:07 AM
I have an old Tandy 1000 TL computer collecting dust.  With all this resurgence into retro computing movement going on, it has piqued my interest into jumping on the bandwagon. I know it has an old dial-up modem that works, because I used to use it to log onto Prodigy back in the day.  My question is can it be used to dial up into present day internet, (currently I have cable internet with my TV cable provider).   There are some old programs I want to scrape off of there to update, etc. etc.
Plus I also have an interest into retro biting the system.  I appreciate any help from anyone!
Title: Re: Hooking up Tandy 1000TL to internet
Post by: dawlane on July 07, 2019, 10:50:06 AM
I'm not familiar with PC hardware that old, but a quick google did turn up one or two things.
According to one source ( a Intel 8/16 Ethernet card should work in a Tandy 1000SX. But if I remember, Tandy 1000 systems were like the evolution of the Commodore 8bit computers; some look the same, use many of the same components and peripherals, but are incompatible.

Once you have managed to find hardware, you have to find software to use it. You may find something here. (

There are a number of techniques to Retro Bright a system and there should be plenty of YouTube videos ( on the subject (checkout 8bit guys videos ( and there is this one (, but the man is an idiot when it comes to the safety side of using the salon ingredient, so ignore what he says. The basics boil down to a hydrogen peroxide solution (12%), uv light, time and some kind of sealer to protect the result for uv damage. Results tend to vary. There have also been tests just leaving things out in the sun over a number of days without using any chemicals. (
Note: Hydrogen peroxide is a highly hazardous substance. You should check out the the hydrogen peroxide Wikipedia  ( You may also find that there will be regulation on transport and use.

Another video you should see before considering to do a retro bright, (

Safety tips:
Work in a well ventilated area.
Wear coveralls to protect clothes.
Wear rubber gloves that cover the lower arms.
Wear eye protection and follow the advice on any of the ingredient containers in the event if you get any on your skin or in your eyes. In the case of getting any in your eyes, wash the eye with plenty of cold, clean water or eye wash and seek medical advice.
Title: Re: Hooking up Tandy 1000TL to internet
Post by: bsisko on July 08, 2019, 01:43:08 AM
Ahh Dawlene,  thanks for the advice.  It was the 8-bit guys videos that gave me the idea to retrobrite my machine.  Leaving things out in the sun is out, since I live in a apartment complex.
One of the things i do want to retrobrite is a CRT monitor.  I noticed when I watch the 8-bit guys, he takes things apart and leave them in a solution.  My question is, which sounds stupid, do yo have to take the CRT apart, or can it be retrobrited in the case  Secondly, is it cheaper to buy a new keyboard than to try to repair the keyboard that came with the machine.  It needs to be retrobrited, and some of the keys you have to press several times for it to register a click.
Title: Re: Hooking up Tandy 1000TL to internet
Post by: dawlane on July 08, 2019, 09:18:17 AM
You should strip things down if you want to Retro Bright. It stops the solution from causing damage to components and metals. Take plenty of pictures during dismantling so you know how to put it back together. Getting hold of a service manual would be a big help in how to dismantle and rebuild.

If you haven't got access to direct sun light, you can create a Retro Bright box. Basically a big container lined with a reflective material and a UV light. I did come across another YouTube video ( showing a new method using a Sous Vide (usually used in professional restaurants). The Sous Vide looks to be the best solution as it gives better control and results. Just boiling the parts in a pan would be too risky.

Keyboards can be tricky to repair. It all comes down to the type of mechanism and it's design. According to Deskthority (, the Tandy 1000 used third generation Fujitsu Leaf Spring ( switches. There would be no easy solution to repair these, so getting hold of a keyboard for spares would be a more viable solution. But first you should try and give them a clean.

When you start maintaining old computers; be prepared to have to start buying a few electrician tools:
Soldering Iron
Desoldering iron
Multi-meter with various leads and clamps.
Wire strippers and snipers
Various pliers
A screw driver set
A small spanner set
A small socket set.
An Oscilloscope.
Work stands with magnifying glass.
Any relevant service manuals.
And some knowledge of electrical circuits and safety.

Another tip: Before even powering up any old electrical hardware you should test all components with a multi-meter. The last thing you want to do is electrocute yourself, cause a fire, or damage an irreplaceable component due to a bad capacitor or voltage regulator. Again there are plenty of YouTube videos on how to test components, but a service manual would be a must.

Side note: It may be worth considering connecting a modern pc to old hardware via the serial port or the printer port (
Title: Re: Hooking up Tandy 1000TL to internet
Post by: bsisko on July 10, 2019, 02:19:26 AM

Are there any videos on connecting modern pcs via the serial or printer port?
Title: Re: Hooking up Tandy 1000TL to internet
Post by: dawlane on July 10, 2019, 10:03:00 AM
I have not seen any videos for serial or printer port connection. Both of these methods rely on there being MS-DOS being installed and a bit of scripting/programming using either a custom cable (for printer connection) or a serial/usb-to-serial cable with additional male/female DB9 adaptor. The latter cable and adaptors can be purchased from Amazon or any good Electronics outlet that deals with electronics.

Another possible method is to upgrade the floppy disk to using a floppy emulator.
You will need to see Adrian Black ('s videos and any others video or articles that you can find.

You may even be able to use a flash drive as a hard drive ( This more than likely will be down to the capabilities of the computer model.

You will find some useful reference manuals here (
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