The Heath/Zenith Era

Starting in about 1980, FBE's principal business became manufacturing enhancements and modifications for Heath/Zenith computers.

Cast your memory back to those early days of computing, when the machines were simple and crude and lacked almost every refinement we take for granted today. The H-89 came with only 16k of RAM! You could plug in 32k more but to max out at 64k but you had to have a modification and a card. In the beginning there were only serial interfaced printers. When "cheap" parallel-interface dot matrix printers came along you had no way to hook them up. Computers didn't even have built-in calendar/clocks! Later, there were funny little computers that came and went so fast that, by the time you realized what extras you needed, they weren't available anymore. All product opportunities for FBE.

FBE produced and sold a surprising number products. Many of them included a printed circuit card. Others were simply a programmable array logic (PAL) chip programmed in a certain way. Here is a list of the 29 products that we sold.

Business and Sales

FBE never did all that much business. After all, FBE is a one man operation. I don't want to be "the boss." So when business got hot in 1985, we hired a local contract manufacturer to assemble circuit cards. Later, we assembled cards ourselves, occasionally with the help of a moonlighting technician. Total sales, 1982 through 1995 were just a bit over a million dollars. The best years were 1985 ($192,936) and 1986 ($219,950). Here's a table of the top products in terms of numbers shipped.

Proceed to Early Products

Copyright 1997 D. M. Brockman - Last updated March 15, 1999