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The Frankin Ace 1200

Manufacturer Franklin
Model Ace 1200
Date Announced 1983
Date Canceled 1984
Number Produced Tens of thousands
Country of Origin USA
Price $2,200
Current Value $25-$100
Processor MOS/Commodore 6502
Speed 1 MHz
Storage 2 5.25" floppy drives
Expansion 7 slots
Bus Apple ][ compatible
Video Built in video, various resolutions to 320x192x16 color. Composite monitor or RF Modulator to TV supported
I/O Parallel, Serial
OS Options Apple DOS, ProDOS, CP/M
Notes The Ace 1200 was an upgrade to the Ace 1000 that came with built-in dual drives and the CP/M Softcard as standard features.
Related Items in Collection Franklin Ace 1000, Apple II Plus, manuals, software, extra cards, keyboards and other items.
Related Items Wanted Additional software

This Ace 1200 in my collection was donated by Juan Soto. The machine suffered some fairly severe jarring during transit which knocked most of the boards out of their slots and even popped several chips out of their sockets. After disassembling the machine and reseating everything that was loose the machine booted up like a champ.

Ace 1200 manuals, software and other items

The documentation, software and an additional Ace 80 (Z80/CP/M card.)

(Submitted July 14, 2012 19:58:20 by Jan Lind)

I came across my long lost Franklin Ace 1200 I seem to remember the monitor card not working in the last attempt 20 years ago to see if the thing was functioning. It goes whir, squish, boom and jiggle along the floor. Have the Manual too. dual discs. jan@jan- if you are interested in the unit.

(Submitted July 17, 2010 07:29:10 by Alan)

I just resurrected my Ace 1200 from my ex-wife's home along with some software. However, the monitor seems to be missing and can't figure out yet whether or not I can hook up a more modern monitor. I think she also has the manuals somewhere in her house - that will help!

(Submitted April 7, 2009 22:58:01 by Tom E.)

I started with a Commodore 64 in 1982, but sometime in 1983 I bought the Franklin ACE 1200 with a 64KB CP/M card. I only used the Apple DOS to play a game called Computer Quarterback (I and two friends had a league and played every Saturday for almost two years). I did all my work (mostly WordStar) on CP/M. The Franklin served me through my last three years of college and into my first year of graduate school when I replaced it in 1987 with an Epson Equity I XT clone. The Epson had a 20MB Seagate HDD, and the difference between fixed disks and floppies was the most dramatic upgrade I've ever experienced in computing. Still, my Franklin served me reliably and well for several years, and I've never used a better piece of software than WordStar.

(Submitted September 4, 2007 16:40:05 by Bob Applegate)

I was the second software engineer at Franklin in the early 80s.

The 1200 is a 1000 with a different lid that had two of the ACE-10 disk drives pre-installed. The drives bolted to a metal plate and that was mounted to the lid. The plate prevented proper air flow, so the 1200s had a nasty habit of overheating, at least early in the production cycle.

In Engineering you'd see the software guys preferred to have their 1000s, but the hardware guys had 1200s with the lid propped open in the back for better cooling.

(Submitted September 2, 2007 11:02:00 by Reggie Wright)

I used to work at the Franklin Mfg. plant in Pennsauken, NJ in the early 80's. Worked my way up from board stuffer (yes we actually inserted the chips in the sockets) to Test Tech then Bench Tech (all the while going to Lincoln Tech at night to get My E.T cert) That was some of the best times in My career! I worked on nearly all of the product lines except for the ACE 100. The 1000, 1100 and 1200 came into production when I started. During my time there I actually saw a working Apple lisa and our own response to the Apple //c.

(Submitted May 27, 2007 22:37:12 by KEITH RUSH)


(Submitted February 6, 2007 03:36:17 by Theo)

The Franklin Ace 1200 was my family's first computer as well. I remember feeling some embarrassment about having an Apple clone as our first system but ended up really liking it. I learned to program in Basic at quite an early age and was coding high-res animation at around 14 yrs old. I loved playing the original Ultima series, Zork I&II, Wiz-type, and original Castle Wolfenstein. It also came in handy for school being able to avoid that ancient typewriter and hear the sweet sound of the Panasonic dot-matrix printer.

(Submitted January 22, 2007 09:13:31 by Greg)

This was the first system my family owned (though my parents were teaches and used to borrow Apple II's from their job). Lasted for a long time, but ended up in the closet with some sort of motherboard issue, and then all hope of reviving was lost when it took a dive in the 1994 Northridge Earthquake.

I learned to code in BASIC, played Oregon Trail, Zork, Burger Time, and other random games. Man do I miss it. Even the photos of those binders with the manuals brings back memories.

(Submitted May 5, 2006 10:49:13 by Larry Monson)

I used this one in my high school computer class. Rember playing oregon trail.

(Submitted December 27, 2005 16:49:01 by Allan Adelson)

My first computer was also a Franklin Ace 1200. I have software, together with the manuals for: Franklin Time is Money Franklin Data Perfect Franklin AceCalc

(Submitted October 11, 2005 08:41:09 by John Adams)

I had an Ace 1200 as my first computer. I donated it to a Museum in Paris a couple years ago. It still worked fine.

(Submitted April 17, 2005 05:09:38 by Wilfred)

Had a Franklin Ace 1200 that worked fine from 1983 until the last time I used it in 2003, having now returned to the family house where it was sitting, they appear to have thrown it away in 2004, assumably still completely operational.

Significant simply due to the fact it was the first machine I coded on, learned to type, and its legal IP issues are critical in current issues with the DOJ and IP policy law; a valued precident that my most valuable intellectual gains in the field of computational systems were dependant on identical frivilous logistics as issues of modern day.


(Submitted August 13, 2004 14:59:54 by Philip E. McCarthy Jr.)

I have quiet a collection of Franklin boards,software etc..,Including two CX Franklin portables with utilities and a 10 Meg hard Drive.I am not giving these away,but I'm not looking for a fortune.Softbound,blank disks,Franklin monitor,Apple color monitor,computer eyes,clock calender,much more.

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