Epson Dot Matrix Printer, Model LX-400, and associated parts, used with the TRS-80 microcomputer system (HT 1839).

This printer and its associated items are part of a collection of hardware, software, personal notes, trade literature and promotional material that was donated by their owner to Museum Victoria in 2003. He is representative of the generation that fully embraced computing when it became accessible economically but before general acceptance by the wider community. He used the TRS80 for his hobby in the 1980s. It was his first bought computer.

The donor started to build up his computer system in 1980. The basic set-up consisted of a keyboard, which contained the brains of the machine, a monitor in black and white with only upper case letters, and a cassette recorder for loading available marketed programs or saving one's own. This item turned out to be very temperamental as the volume setting needed to be adjusted for each type of tape used. Initially there was no printer.

After about one year of learning how to program the machine, the donor decided the programs needed to be printed out to find logic errors, as they were too difficult to spot on the monitor alone. Also, there was a need to eliminate the time consuming tape recorder and its idiosyncrasies. Tandy came to the rescue with a device that was a called an EXPANSION INTERFACE, which came with printer, disk drive and extra memory.
He also used the Tandy model 100 (notebook sized) when he was on the move. He could move files from this to the TRS80 for storage.

He stopped using the Tandy system circa 1988 - 1990; but, it was a gradual change to other systems, such as IBM. He changed because Tandy systems were affected by spikes in the power supply, and because Tandy programs were too slow. To counteract the slowness, he adapted Tandy program code to IBM code. He had to change the Tandy BASIC into IBM BASIC (10 times faster) because Tandy and IBM machines were not compatible.

Physical Description

9 pin impact dot matrix printer. Paper feeder on top of printer, indicator lights on label on bottom right hand corner of machine,black power switch on left hand side of printer. Manual: booklet with white cover and turquoise text and graphics. Transparent and cardboard package containing black plastic ribbon cartridge. Black plastic ribbon cartridge Connector lead

More Information