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Acorn Serial Numbers


I started recording Acorn serial numbers here, from my own collection and from information people had sent in. The idea was to build up a detailed list of all the different Acorn serial numbers, in order to try to draw some conclusions from the product code and serial number. I haven't really got very far with it, but below are some tables of what I have managed to work out so far.

8-bit Computers

Serial NumberDescriptionNotes
nn-ANA01Tape-only BBC Model AI previously thought the "04" etc. at the beginning related to the serial number. I am not so sure now (see later).
nn-ANA02BBC Model A EconetThis is confirmed by the Econet System User Guide on page 2.
nn-ANA03BBC Model A with 8271 DFS?I am not sure if the Model A came out of the factory with a disc upgrade. I would doubt it as it would require the addition of the disc drive connector and all the sockets for the disc interface chips which would not normally be present on the Model A.
nn-ANA04BBC Model A with disc & EconetAgain, I'm not sure if a BBC Model A as expanded as this was ever issued straight from the factory. Possibly ANA03 and ANA04 never existed.
nn-ANB01Tape only BBC Model B-
nn-ANB02BBC Model B with EconetThis is confirmed on p.2 of the Econet System User Guide
nn-ANB03BBC Model B with 8271 DFS-
nn-ANB04BBC Model B with disc and Econet-
03-ANB01BBC Model BThis is the serial number from my Issue 2 BBC Model B with disc & Econet. However, the disc and Econet upgrades have been added later, so this would have started out as a tape only machine, hence the ANB01. I did think it was an A-to-B upgrade previously but maybe I am wrong. Decide for yourself here.
02-UNB09BBC Model B -
02-ALA01Acorn Electron -
06-ALA01Acorn Electron -
07-ALA01Acorn Electron -
07-GLA01German Acorn Electron -
nn-ANB51BBC Model B+ tape only?-
nn-ANB52BBC Model B+ with DFS?What concerns me here is that there were two DFS options on the BBC B+. Perhaps the only factory ones were the 1770 version. Otherwise you might have expected an ANB55 to take account of both disc options.
nn-ANB53BBC Model B+ with Econet? (but see below)-
nn-ANB54BBC Model B+ with disc & Econet?-
01-ANB53BBC Model B+ 64K-
01-ANB55BBC Model B+ 128K-
AB Electronic Systems LtdBBC Model BThis is from one of my Model Bs and is followed by a seven-digit number. In the early days, Beebs were made by a number of different manufacturers so perhaps this is one from that era.
1006036US BBC Model BThis is from an American Model B and does not seem to conform to the normal Acorn serial number system.
02-B01US BBC Model BA possible variant on the US serial number?
01-AMB15BBC Master 128This appears to be the standard number for the Master 128. It also seems to apply to the Master Turbo and Master 512.
01-ADB12BBC Master ETThe Econet Terminal looks like it is the only variant in the Master Series with its own serial number.
01-AVC12BBC AIV System-
25-ADD04BBC Master CompactThis is from my Master Compact drive unit with 1 floppy drive.
27-ADB10BBC Master CompactThis is from my Master Compact keyboard unit
07-ADB10BBC Master CompactKeyboard unit

8-bit Accessories

Serial NumberDescriptionNotes
03-ANC016502 Second ProcessorI had thought that the initial two numbers were, in the case of a Beeb, the issue number of the motherboard inside the machine, and in the case of other things, the BBC motherboard number in production at the time of manufacture. My issue 2 Model B puts the damper on this theory though.
25-ANC016502 Second ProcessorThis doesn't help either!
04-ANC04Z80 Second Processor-
23-ANC06Acorn Cambridge 2nd Processor-
01-ANE01Teletext Adapter-
12-ANE02Prestel Adapter-
842600793IEEE488 AdapterCheese Wedge version
863801479IEEE488 AdapterI suspect the first four digits with the IEEE488 adapter are the date code and then the number of units produced to date.
ANF03BBC Cassette Recorder -
AND01BBC 100K single disc driveI saw this on E-Bay
03-ANV-02Music 500-
AMC0665C102 co-processorThis was from a leaflet from 1986 but I am not sure it is accurate (see below)
01-ADC0665C102 Co-processor-
AMC0332016 co-processorWas this ever produced???
ADF13Master ROM Cartridge -
ADF14Master ROM Cartridge -
25-ADC0880186 co-processor BoardEven though the Master 512 has an AMB15 number, the 512 board itself has its own separate serial number.
23-ADC0880186 co-processor Board-

Econet

Serial NumberDescriptionNotes
04-AEH15Level 1 Terminator -
04-AEH14Level 1 Clock -
AEH05Terminator (level 1?)Econet System User Guide p.65
AEH04Clock (level 1?)Econet System User Guide p.65
AEH08Power SupplyEconet System User Guide p.65
AEX03Econet CableEconet System User Guide p.65
AEX011 Econet Lead + 1 T-pieceEconet System User Guide p.65
AEH17100m Econet CableEconet Design & Installation Guide p.22
04-AES20Level 1 file server 40T disc-
25-ADF10Early Econet ModuleThis is the one without collision detect, describing itself as "B Econet" on the board.
01-ADF10Later Econet ModuleThe Iss 1 or Iss 2 Econet Module (they are both the same) with the collision detect circuitry.
92-AEH52A3020/A4000 Econet KitThis is the serial number relating to the actual full upgrade kit for the A3020 and A4000. It includes instructions and a lead as well as the 32-bit module itself, which has a separate serial number.
EM-22332-bit Econet module-
EM-04332-bit Econet module-
25-ALA66Acorn A4 Econet Module-
01-AEH26FileStore E01-
01-AEH35FileStore E01SThis is from my own FileStore E01S
01-AFH27FileStore E20-
24-AEH25Econet X25 Gateway-

32-bit Computers

Serial NumberDescriptionNotes
27-AKB15Archimedes 310 -
27-AKB40Archimedes 410 -
01-AKB01Acorn A3000This is from my own A3000 which has RISC-OS 2.00
25-AGB12Acorn A3010 -
93-AGB22Acorn A3020It looks like the first two digits had become the year by this point.
01-AGC10Acorn A4000 -
25-ALB12Acorn A5000 -
92-AKB64Acorn A4 -
80-AMC50Acorn A7000+ -
72-ACB71RiscPC700 -

Since my theory that the first two digits of the serial number (at least before the year code took over) related to the BBC issue number appears to have been comprehensively shot to pieces by the above, I wonder now if it is a factory or manufacturer code. Maybe "01" was the main Acorn operation in Cambridge (if there was one) and other numbers were allocated to different factories and companies. We all know that the BBC micro was originally manufactured by two or three different companies around the country (see Beebug Vol. 1) which would explain why we do not find "01" at the beginning of BBC Model B serial numbers.

If you can help piece together this puzzling mystery, please e-mail me!


Thanks to Rich Hall, David Hawkins, Geoff Stevens and Chris Whytehead for their help with this page.

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