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Sinclair zx81 and Timex 1000 in America


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#26 danwinslow OFFLINE  

danwinslow

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Posted Fri Aug 4, 2017 2:44 PM

I have a giant box full of sinclair stuff. Multiple zx80's and zx81's, some keyboards, some ram packs and memotech thingies, some wierdo breadboard things that claim to be modems, etc. A bunch of tapes too. I need to look through it all at some point.



#27 factus10 OFFLINE  

factus10

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Posted Wed Aug 16, 2017 1:12 PM

Hi,

 

So, the Sinclair ZX-80 and ZX-81 were available in the US, from Sinclair's office in New Hampshire, with NTSC video. A company called Micro Ace had a contract to sell ZX-80 kits under their own name. When the ZX-81 came out, it was available as a kit and fully assembled.

 

Not long after the ZX-81 came out, Timex struck a deal with Sinclair to sell the ZX-81 under their name (they were manufacturing the ZX-81 for Sinclair at their plant in Ireland). The Timex was only available assembled.

 

Timex brought out their version of the ZX Spectrum (the TS2068) and then left the market a few months later (1984, if I recall correctly).

 

There were a couple of magazines, a bunch of newsletters (and user groups) and many cottage industry aftermarket companies and products for the Timex/Sinclair.

 

I have scanned a bunch of TS stuff and uploaded it to archive.org, here: https://archive.org/details/@factus10

 

Here is the main T/S magazine (Sync): https://archive.org/...ls/syncmagazine

 

Let me know if you have any specific questions and I'll try to answer them.

 

David



#28 Flojomojo ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 16, 2017 3:02 PM

Sync Magazine! You rock!!!



#29 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

--- Ω ---

    TI-Runner

  • 10,716 posts

Posted Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:14 AM

Wow!  Someone really liked their Timex back in the day.  This one currently on Ebay << HERE >> looks to have been someone's pride and highly modified joy.

 

s-l1600.jpg



#30 jdgabbard OFFLINE  

jdgabbard

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Posted Sun Sep 24, 2017 9:58 AM

Just seeing this.  I modded my timex a while back for composite video with just a resistor and a transistor.  Also, I etched my own pcb to replace the keyboard within the actual shell of the timex.  It was a junk computer that didn't work when I picked it up (Keyboard was broken and video didn't work).  Now its usable again.  Here is a link to the video I shot back then.

 



#31 gary2600 OFFLINE  

gary2600

    Combat Commando

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Posted Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:54 AM

Upgrades include 16K and composite mod. The only thing preventing me from enjoying this fully- is the lack of a joystick. Any suggestions ?

Attached Thumbnails

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#32 MarkO OFFLINE  

MarkO

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Posted Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:14 PM

How useful was a joystick on the zx81 ? Most things just seemed to use the keyboard


My Uncle made a Joystick that mimicked the Keyboard..

MarkO



#33 MarkO OFFLINE  

MarkO

    Dragonstomper

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  • Location:Albany, Oregon, USA, North Western Hemisphere, Planet Tera

Posted Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:23 PM

Upgrades include 16K and composite mod. The only thing preventing me from enjoying this fully- is the lack of a joystick. Any suggestions ?

 
This is the Composite Mod mentioned previously??  Or a different one??
 

My Uncle made a Joystick that mimicked the Keyboard..

MarkO

Edited by MarkO, Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:23 PM.


#34 Ed in SoDak OFFLINE  

Ed in SoDak

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Posted Wed Nov 22, 2017 1:05 AM

Here's mine in a couple of iterations. Bought used in 1984 for fifty bucks and it included the 16k. Within a year or so, I had a TI99 keyboard kludged on in a lovely plywood enclosure with added LOAD meter. Much, much later, I added a 32k chip on-board (only 16k enabled). Best was getting a dead TS1500 brought back from the dead a couple years ago. Muahaha IT'S ALIVE!

 

I did freelance photography and darkroom work for many years. I wrote a darkroom timer to run on the TS1000 that rivalled commercial timers and was probably much more flexible, since it allowed me to stop, speed up or skip steps to help recover from various processing missteps, temperature changes or reusing old chemistry. Some processes took 11 steps, subject to change as chemicals aged or my whim dictated. I could choose several different processes from a menu or jump into or out of a sequence already in progress. The timer routine itself was just a few lines of code that read an internal counter and converted that to a digital clock display under my control. Even if the program crashed, the counter kept ticking where I could continue the process and save the expensive color slide enlargements.

 

Reliability issues over hours of running the program nonstop led to my IBM hack. The initials stood for "I Built Mine" LOL. Before that I kept two TS1000s running my timer in case of a lockup. One was on channel two, the other on three. In a developing crisis, I'd simply switch channels and quickly get it back on step. In off hours, I would program or game on it. The TI99 keyboard and sturdy enclosure made it into a whole new machine on a miniscule budget.

 

I later wrote a more advanced port of it to run on my TI99 and used that for a decade or more. That was really fancy, with color, sound and speech to call out the processing steps. But the simplicity of the old TImex Timer program couldn't be duplicated on the TI. The TI had no internal counter so I instead used a series of nested for/next loops. That took a lot of testing to adjust for accuracy, but it was ultimately much more flexible than what the Timex could accomplish.

 

The open-board pics show my old TS1000 with internal 16K. 16k rampack and 16k memotech for a total of 48k. Pretty much a hardware exercise, I never did much with the expanded memory. But I sure woulda, if I had that capability back in the 80's when it was my main "confuser."

-Ed

Attached Thumbnails

  • TimexIBM.jpg
  • 1000hacked1.jpg
  • 1000hacked2.jpg
  • 1500working.JPG

Edited by Ed in SoDak, Wed Nov 22, 2017 1:46 AM.





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