In 1994, Acorn released a new personal computer called the “Risc PC”. This was based on a new 32-bit ARM Reduced Instruction Set Chip CPU. It featured a novel expansion system, where extra “slices” could be added to the case to make room for additional hard drives and/or expansion cards. This made it an ideal machine for the hobbyist and experimenter.
For more info on the Risc PC follow this line to wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RiscPC
I nearly broke the bank in 1995 and acquired one of these revolutionary machines and set about getting it to work on SSTV. I briefly used the relatively complex interface I had used with previous Acorn computers, producing a short-lived program called "StarCom", an acronym for Slowscan Television on Acorn Risc COMputers! However, this was the era of the “Hamcom” interface and JVFAX, where PC users could get started on SSTV with just a simple op-amp interface plugged into a serial port. I decided I had to do something similar, and after much work with the Risc PC’s Programmers Reference Manual, I managed to write the necessary code to support a Hamcom interface. Once the basic interfacing was working I set about writing a comprehensive SSTV package which I called PSCAN, and released the software to the small but enthusiastic band of Acorn-owning radio amateurs. At its peak, there were around 20 users of PSCAN.
Example PSCAN picture showing a very youthful G4IJE
The picture above was transmitted on 2 metres FM in Martin 1 mode using PSCAN and received by G1LXI in Hitchin on a Robot 1200C scan converter.