Tandy TPDD-2 Backpack Drive Plus

The Backpack is a small SD card ‘disk drive’ for your Model T that runs from a single AA battery
Manufacturer: StarDust


The venerable TRS-80 Model 100, Tandy 102 and other members of this family line are still much loved and used today. The size, portability and wonderful keyboard make them very nice machine to use. The drawback, as with many vintage computers, is exchanging data with a modern computer.

There are a lot of Model 100 programs available for download but how to transfer them from your PC to the M100? There are ways to do so serially but this requires being tethered to a PC or Android device which negates the portability of our wonderful old ‘Model T’ computers.

Enter the ‘Backpack’. The Backpack is a small SD card ‘disk drive’ for your Model T that runs from a single AA battery. It works like the original Tandy Portable Disk Drive 2 (TPPD-2) from back in the day. When used with TS-DOS, Teeny, etc. it provides an easy and convenient way to transfer files to/from your Model T. The Backpack is also the perfect companion for your REX/REX-CPM allowing you to backup and restore REX images to/from the SD card.

The Backpack also has a powerful ‘Command Line Interface’, CLI, mode which you can use from the M100 TELCOM application (or similar). Using the CLI you can set the Time/Date for the real time clock on the Backpack, set the Backpack to work in ‘WP2’ mode for use with the Tandy WP-2 portable word processor.

When a firmware update is available for the Backpack installing the update is as simple as copying the file to your SD card and using the CLI to start the update process. No complicated programmers or external wiring required.

Based on feedback from customers we have added a few optional extras as well. While just about any 16gb or less micro-SD card can be used you can add an 8gb card that is preloaded with the required file set. This helps get you up and running very quickly. The real time clock in the Backpack runs from a CR1025 coin cell battery which will last for many months. We are offering spare clock batteries as a convenience.

If you wish to use the Backpack with a Tandy WP-2 you will need a DB9 to DB25 adapter, available as an option. If you wish to use the Backpack with a Sincliar Z88 you will need a DB9 to DB25 adapter, available as an option. The WP-2 and Z88 adapters look the same but are wired diffrently.

There is a new firmware that will allow the Backpack to work with the Epson PX-8 and HX-20. An adapter is required which is available as an option. Both CLI and Drive mode work on the PX-8 but as no termainal program could be found for the HX-20 only the drive mode will work. Since Espon used Mini DIN connectors on these machines you will need two Mini DIN cables for the PX-8: https://www.ebay.com/itm/372702390151 . For the HX-20 you will need an 8-pin DIN to 8-pin Mini DIN cable. There are also pinout of the connectors in the manual if you want to build your own cables.

The documentation, SD card file set, etc. can be found from the Documentation tab below.



All of the documentation and SD card files are on GitHub at the link below. Soon we will have a folder for user created M100 programs that leverage the Backpack's capabilities like setting the computers time/date from the Backpack's RTC.

Click HERE for th eBackPack GitHub page.



This is a 'Quick Start' video showing basic Backpack operations.

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