9

Researching the Nascom 2 computer, I found these schematics for the system. Interestingly, after the schematics for the computer itself, there is an added schematic for a disk controller to use with it. This schematic has a copyright statement describing it as owned by "Lucas Logic Limited", a company that I can find no references to in any of the Nascom related material I've looked at. I would assume that it was simply a third party adapter, except that the details on the schematic give an address for this company, and it is the same address (in Wedgenock Industrial Estate, Warwick, UK) that is widely published as the primary contact address for Nascom computers; it appears that Nascom was a trading name of Lucas Logic Ltd (although whether this was always the case I have been unable to ascertain).

Lucas Logic Limited was later renamed, and is currently called Artemis International Corporation Limited and apparently specialises in enterprise investment management software.

Lucas Logic's branding (visible in the schematics linked above) was similar to the current branding of automotive parts manufacturer Lucas Electrical, which like Lucas Logic is also based in the UK Midlands. But as of today, there doesn't appear to be any actual association between these entities. Is it known how they were related?

10

Lucas Logic was part of the Lucas Industries group, which was a major UK manufacturing conglomerate during much of the 20th century. See this trade directory from 1990: (unfortunately that link only shows part of the complete Lucas Industries group structure).

Lucas Industries was much more wide-ranging than an automotive electrical components business - for example in the 1950s it started a semiconductor manufacturing plant.

In 1996 Lucas Industries merged with the US Varity Corporation to form LucasVarity plc.

Note, there are other UK companies named "Lucas" - it would be better to have a definitive statement that the "Lucas Logic" mentioned in the Artemis website is actually the same company.

  • I'm being picky, but this answer doesn't actually specify the relationship between Lucas and Nascom, which is the specific question asked. – Mark Williams Dec 16 '18 at 13:14
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    The relationship is, as noted below, that Lucas acquired Nascom after Nascom had severe financial issues. Lucas did minimal development on the Nascom, basically repackaging a Nascom 2 motherboard, disc controller into a new (nice) case and labled as a Nascom 3. – Tim Ring May 7 at 16:23
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According to this website , Lucas Logic bought Nascom in 1981, after the unsuccessful introduction of the Nascom-2:

Nascom was finally sold to Lucas Logic (August? 1981), being renamed Lucas Nascom. Guy Kewney commented in PCW when the acquisition was announced that he doubted that Lucas could operate this sort of business. He was to be proved right!

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    Actually, the Nascom 2 was very successful. Too successful as it caused serious cash-flow problems for Nascom with their suppliers. Also, they had picked a very expensive keyboard supplier (Licon) and this didn't help (the keyboard was fantastic though). – Tim Ring May 7 at 16:19
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    Also had a problem with static RAM supplies (originally Nascom intended to ship N2 with 8K static RAM). This forced Nascom to ship most N2s with a 32K DRAM board and probably reduced their profit substantially. I bought an N2 '79/'80 for £300 and this included a case (Kennlworth), 3A PSU and the 32K RAM 'B' board when the original N2 was priced at £225 (no case or RAM board). – Tim Ring Jun 4 at 16:44

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