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Manufacturer Digital Equipment Corporation
Model Rainbow 100
Date Announced 1982
Date Canceled Unknown
Number Produced Tens of thousands, at least
Country of Origin USA
Price Approx. $2,500.00
Current Value $10-$100
Processor Z-80 and 8088
Speed 4 MHz
RAM 64K+
Storage Built in dual-floppy drive (about 400K each) and optionally 10 or 20 MB Hard Drives.
Expansion 3 expansion slots
Bus DEC Proprietary
Video Various text and graphics modes up through 132 columns and 800x240 resolution
I/O Parallel, Serial
OS Options CP/M-80, CP/M-86 and MS-DOS
Notes The DEC Rainbow was Digital's answer to the IBM PC that bridged the gap between the new standard and the old (MS-DOS and CP/M.) The Rainbow is the "little brother" of the DEC Pro 350.
Related Items in Collection A full set of manuals and some software.
Related Items Wanted A working power switch!

The DEC Rainbow was a very well engineered machine that incorporated both 8 and 16 bit processors in a multi-boot machine.

Since it was a VT-100 compatible terminal as well as a PC it was often sold as a terminal to bigger DEC equipment that doubled as a stand-alone PC.

This machine and all of the associated documentation and software were kindly donated by Tim Kuechler.

(Submitted December 7, 2015 07:36:56 by Richard Lee)

I have a set of instruction manuals for the Rainbow 100. Would anyone like them? Is there a market for these items?

(Submitted February 16, 2012 12:57:40 by Vincent)


I'm searching a: 1) Hard Disk controller board with cables 2) Hard disk 3) Color Monitor 4) Color Monitor Cable BCC17 5) Monochrome Monitor Cable BCC02 6) RX50 Double Floppy Driver

Thanks to send me an email if have any of these items to sell/give/offer.

Regards, Vincent

(Submitted January 14, 2012 17:48:26 by rfka01)

Over at

we're trying to get the Rainbow 100 running in the MESS emulation - you're most welcome to contribute knowledge and data (like the Rainbow 100A ROMS or the contents of other programmable chips).

Thanks, Robert

(Submitted November 9, 2011 19:58:36 by Mitchell Keffer )

Have Rainbow software if anyone interested let me know. Rainbow died a few years ago and had to go. Found boxes of software in original boxes. This too has to go. Remove the ABC's in email before sending.

(Submitted June 7, 2011 09:54:28 by sandy stein)

Looking to buy a Dec rainbow or an hp 150. If you have one please let me know. sandy

(Submitted February 26, 2011 14:46:57 by Chris)

I'm desirous of obtaining the COLOR graphics board and perhaps the COLOR monitor for a Rainbow 100. I have 3 of these already, all w/monitor (2 have screen rot). TMK no color capability though.

(Submitted December 23, 2010 08:43:30 by John)

I have a full working system, cpu, monitor, keyboard and printer all in orginal packing boxs. Need to clear out space. Free to a good home who can pick up from Rochester NY aera.

(Submitted December 20, 2010 05:20:11 by gordon100)

Media Master by Intersecting Concepts: Mark Graybill: excellent utility program [in a series of several excellent programs] which allowed files in one format to be converted into another format. As a result: both CP/M and MSDOS files on the Rainbow 100 could be transferred to and from IBM PC compatible microcomputers. More information available at

(Submitted January 18, 2010 18:44:17 by J. Michael Robbins)

I have two (2) Rainbow Computer systems and a printer. Is anyone interested in these?

(Submitted November 18, 2009 06:31:49 by Nick Giannikapanis)

Hello all.

I have an old DEC Rainbow 100 in working condition and i am looking for the cable that connects the main unit to the screen. Any suggestions anyone ?

Thank you in advance,


(Submitted May 10, 2009 20:37:18 by David Greene)

I have a complete Rainbow 100 with a 5 MB hard drive, color video card, color monitor, keyboard, lots of software, original manuals, cables, LA50 printer with stand.

(Submitted March 3, 2009 22:42:31 by Bill Fisher)

I have a DEC Rainbow 100. I would like to transfer data from an internal hard drive on to a modern IBM compatable computer. Any suggestions?

(Submitted January 25, 2009 15:09:52 by Stormin Norm)

Looking to sell three dec rainbow 100A computers with screens & keyboards. Floppies include CPM, MS-DOS, multiplan, lotus 1-2-3, dbase II, wps-80, kermit, media master, winchester diag util, mBasic, turbo pascal

PLUS-DEC Rainbow tech spec & schematic guide. Large format grey guide

Save on shipping if you live in NJ!

(Submitted December 12, 2008 18:50:04 by jo ash)

there may be some Rainbow documentation, hardware, software still available for sale, let us know what you want and we check, thanks, joe

(Submitted December 11, 2008 14:35:04 by Chris)

be sure and remove the farts before e-mailing me

I'm looking for Rainbow related hardwarez - color monitor and card. Other stuff. Let me know. Thanks. Remember though no farting LOL

(Submitted October 22, 2008 03:57:36 by (a

I was looking around the internet for a game called Empire and remember it had support for Regis+ graphics. So, I looked for other versions, and looking for the save file 'EMSAVE.DAT' I came across a large archive of DEC Rainbow 100 software, and a version of Empire I had never seen before. Imagine that!

(Submitted October 20, 2008 11:02:24 by (a

There are some odds and end items for the Rainbow system, Hardware/Software/Documentation/etc, let us know what you are looking for and we try to find them for you. Thanks

(Submitted November 4, 2007 17:52:18 by David Anderson)

I have a complete Rainbow 100 with a hard drive, color video card, b&w monitor, keyboard, vertical floor stand, lots of software, original manuals, cables, LA50 printer with stand. Let me know if you're interested. I used to work for DEC in the good old days.

Minneapolis, MN area

(Submitted October 16, 2007 06:57:17 by tom morrison)

Would a Kayrpo 16 run Rainbow sofeware? the Kaypro 16 used Dos 2.11. The floppy7 drives were probably different. Any info would be appreciated. thank you

(Submitted August 23, 2007 20:21:11 by Matt)

I remember using a DEC Rainbow back in 1984 to 1987. A friend wrote a pack of BASIC routines to use the Rainbow's line drawing character set as graphics. We wrote a few games in BASIC that had graphics in them that had line graphics in them. Too bad they all were lost.

(Submitted March 23, 2007 05:56:42 by asbesto)

Hi, we at our computer museum ( have a dec rainbow with hard disk but unfortunately the hard disk controller board is MISSING, so we can't use the hard disk :(

can someone help us? We need a controller board for the Dec Rainbow hard disk. Some details and images here:

Also we have disks, operating systems and manuals, so maybe we can exchange stuff with others in need.

please help us!

asbesto/freaknet medialab/dyne d0t org

(Submitted March 8, 2007 09:17:37 by Tom Clutts)

I am looking for the original manuals that came with the DEC Rainbow 100. My mother is retiring and started with the rainbow in her career. Wanting to give her a heirloom.

Will pay for product and shipping.

(Submitted January 19, 2007 07:48:23 by Dixon Lee)

Looking for three (3) used/refurbished DEC terminal VT-100 with keyboard.

(Submitted October 17, 2006 15:33:32 by Don)

I, too have some DEC museum pieces if anyone values them.

(Submitted September 27, 2006 21:03:43 by Paul)

I grew up using a DEC Rainbow (my father worked for DEC). There was a text adventure game I simply know as Escape that ran on it but when my father and uncle got rid of the systems they neglected to tell me and I have lost access to any other information about it. It would describe the room like you have entered a triangular shaped room and there was a gelatinous creature that I believe you obtained some sot of wand when you killed it. The executable file was and it may have actually been written by someone at DEC and was probably obtained from their early online file system (I believe that it was referred to as GateKeeper or something to the effect). I believe that escape was the only the first word in the actual title. I would appreciate any information relating to this game (full title, author, date of publishing, etc...).

(Submitted September 11, 2006 20:22:15 by Al)

Hi, I drified to this page and see people still have data on their Rainbows they want to keep(!)

One way I used to use was a simple serial lead - you can simply hook one directly between a PC and the Rainbow.

You can use a 3 wire cable using TX, RX and Ground pins (so Pins 2, 3 and 7 on the Rainbow RS-232 connector To pins 3, 2 and 5 respectively on the 9-pin PC's RS-232 port) or can just buy a cable.

Then run Kermit or other file transfer program (using XON/XOFF handshaking) - I seem to remember there were lots for the Rainbow - to send the data to the PC.

Now this isnt in any way fast but you just leave it for a while and all your data will be transferred.

If you still need help post back - I may give it a try for the 'fun' of it!


(Submitted August 12, 2006 13:15:43 by Jack)

Someone out there must have a full solution to transferring files from Rainbow 100 5.25 floppies (Rainbow MSDOS files) to PC (Dell Inspiron 9400 running XP Pro). I still have a working Rainbow with the dual floppy drives, if that makes a difference, but I don't have a 5.25 drive for the PC. The files are important, so I'm prepared to acquire what I need.

What I need most, though, is instruction. Can anyone help?

(Submitted July 23, 2006 08:50:19 by suraj)

Just to know if u still have 't for sale. i wll like u to send the full picx to me. and i wll also want to know the last price r u going to sale 't. and were is 't now. i am interested in buying it , i wll like to hear from you as soon as possible. ,



(Submitted July 1, 2006 18:49:06 by John Meyersremove spamnot from email)

If you have a PC machine that has a 5-1/4 drive (which it seems you do ) you can transfer the files usinga 160K floppy format which is supported by both. use the command FORMAT A: /F:160

(Submitted June 17, 2006 06:22:21 by Heinz)

(remove spamnot from email address) I built the network cable myself now (Twisted-pair, 2x100ohm resistors, some Molex connectors). And it works! But how can I now get all of those precious files off the hard disk into todays world? It seems that the 5.25in floppies used a different file system format, so my PC cannot read them. Is there maybe a Modem solution or anything else??? Thank You for any ideas!

(Submitted June 17, 2006 06:22:16 by Heinz)

(remove spamnot from email address) I built the network cable myself now (Twisted-pair, 2x100ohm resistors, some Molex connectors). And it works! But how can I now get all of those precious files off the hard disk into todays world? It seems that the 5.25in floppies used a different file system format, so my PC cannot read them. Is there maybe a Modem solution or anything else??? Thank You for any ideas!

(Submitted June 6, 2006 11:27:10 by Heinz)

(remove spamnot from email address) (Not for sale) I have a working Rainbow 100, plus a Corvus Disk Server with some other units. But I'm missing the network cables (like trunk cable with resistors, tap cables and tap boxes) to connect everything. If somebody could help me get it all work again so that I could get files of that disk...Thank You! God be with you all!

(Submitted April 30, 2006 18:32:09 by John Vandervort)

I have a complete 100A system. It has a 10M HD and I think 256K mem. I have some software - basic Dec plus dBase II and III. I also have an LA50 printer. The system still works. I am wanting to sell for (something??) It should have a bit of value to someone.

(Submitted January 10, 2006 17:53:42 by Allan)

I have a bunch of DEC Rainbow parts and cables

(Submitted January 10, 2006 17:51:44 by Allan)

wanted: ms-dos version of OS for DEC Rainbow 100

(Submitted December 20, 2005 17:33:41 by Mike)

I've found a few more systems, manuals, boards, software and spare parts if anyone wants them Check and edit the email address for spam avoidance, don't just click and send.

(Submitted November 25, 2005 10:13:39 by Jay)

I worked in the factory building all the Rainbows and Pro 350s (Albuquerque NM). If anyone has any questions, feel free to write.

(Submitted October 31, 2005 03:04:44 by Johan)

I need the connections of the monitorcable for a DEC Rainbow100. The computer works ok but i lost the cable ...

(Submitted October 7, 2005 19:28:18 by Sam)

I'm looking for a DEC Rainbow 100 system so if anyone has one they're going to junk I'm willing to pay shipping for it. Feel free to send me an email. Thanks!

(Submitted July 18, 2005 15:52:17 by (a href=mailto:)1ajs(/a))

doh i mised out a a great thing arrg forgot about this site anyways it just coleting dust runs shame thoughs got tosed was busy for while trying to fix are car .... has hole bunch of the rb100 manuals and books colecting dust also.... gues i just gota go to the local computer salvage place never know what they got syrotec winnipeg hehe 93 gomez

(Submitted May 26, 2005 21:41:16 by (a href=mailto:)1ajs(/a))

has a dec 100 monitor died otherwise it works was won as a door prize from a computer convetion in la the year nasa laid off the guys who programed galiao my dad had gon there to it and won it he won all the goodies with it back in the day we he lived in northen manitoba

(Submitted May 24, 2005 11:39:41 by Mike)

(remove spamnot from email address) I have 5-6 Dec Rainbow's, including at least one with the memory expansion board, a graphics board, I think a color monitor and several regular monitors (various colors). At least one has a hard disk. I probably have a week to 10 days before they go off to the dump. 4 or so of them I got from a salvage place 15 years ago and I don't know the condition (working or not). The other 2 are mine and worked last time they were powered on.

(Submitted May 14, 2005 12:28:51 by Dave Anderson)

I have a complete Rainbow 100 with a hard drive, color video card, b&w monitor, keyboard, vertical floor stand, lots of software, manuals, cables, LA50 printer with stand. Let me know if you're interested. I used to work for DEC in the good old days.

Minneapolis, MN area

(Submitted February 18, 2005 17:22:15 by John Hiett)

Hi all, I have a DEC rainbow 100B+ with the 896K ram, 32 meg HD, MSDOS loaded, tons of software. Even the color moon game Scram. I have small mono and larger color monitors, many boxes of software, docs and disks. An RX-50 printer and DEC lucite stand, etc etc. I have all the old Rainbow User Group stuff too.

I have a friend that has a matching model with green monitor.

All Free to a good home if you'll cover shipping!!

-=john=- Feb 2005

(Submitted December 9, 2004 18:49:53 by Phil DeProtine)

Have found a home for my DEC Rainbow system.

(Submitted October 28, 2004 20:44:09 by Phil DeProtine)

I have a complete Dec Rainbow A system plus LA 100 printer, floppies, manuals, etc. System finally failed to power up. Don't knwo what failed. Does this equipment have any value to anyone in the Dec Rainbow world?

(Submitted October 21, 2004 06:48:59 by PGN)

DEC Rainbows were recycled by Digital Equipment Corp. in the late '80s and early '90s as smart consoles for the 8500 series minicomputer. Problem is, if the internal hard-drive failed to boot, your minicomputer was toast!

(Submitted September 20, 2004 18:04:26 by Don Wood)

I just put a Corvus Constellation II 10 mb hard disk designed for the DEC 100 for sale on Ebay, if anyone is interested. I bought it in '83 or '84 when 10 mb was worth the $2000+ it cost, and could support a LAN.

(Submitted September 20, 2004 14:10:23 by John Leavy)

I just scored a Rainbow at my local Goodwill for $15.15. I have the CPU, keyboard and original doc (DOS 2.01 and some application s/w) I'm missing the monitor. Do you have any leads?

(Submitted June 29, 2004 23:35:54 by Squidster)

I was wondering whether you could make PDFs out of your docs and floppy images for the RB100 software so other enthusiasts could share.

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