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Papa_Bear

Sinclair zx81 and Timex 1000 in America

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Hey I've been on the hunt for more american zx81/ts1000 software and other addons!

 

I haven't seen any major discussion of dissection of these two computers in the united states mostly from across the pond.

 

I've got an NTSC zx81 in my possession!

It's a fine computer to play with but I can't seem to find any sort of programs for it or ram packs for it here in the US

 

I'm also working on a Frankenstein Timex Sinclair 1000 with a new handmade keyboard using tac switches as well as modding it to display composite video! I've got a nice B/W composite security monitor I want to use it on.

 

I'm hoping to find or learn about things made for the TS1000. Printers, peripherals, games, controllers! Anything and everything you guys know about,

 

Also I might need a new TS1000 if I butcher this one with my mod

 

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I have a TS1000. It's a neat little computer. My suggestion is to get a Ram expander of at least 16k. There are newer stuff like the Zxpand, which is I think 64k, but it's pretty pricey. A 16k isn't too expensive and it works with all the original software. There is a community that makes homebrew for it, but that is where stuff like the Zxpand comes in. Below is copied and pasted a post on where you can get software. Hope it helps.

 

This is where you can find an extensive collection of ZX-81/ T/S 1000 games - Many will need the 16k expandable ram

 

http://www.zx81stuff....uk/zx81/tape/c

 

 

 

There is a utility here called Tape2Wave that will convert the .TZX files into a wave file that you can either put on a tape or play it though an mp3 player or a smart phone.

 

 

 

http://www.worldofsp.../utilities.html

 

 

 

I suggest Sea Wolf, City or Xon (Zaxxon Clone) and Pioneer Trail (Oregon Trail for the T/S 1000). Word of warning: You might have to load it a couple times as it may not load the first play-through.

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I had a Timex-Sinclair 1000, it was a closeout for like $40 in 1983 or so. I enjoyed typing in these programs from the old Usborne computer book line (TS1000 = ZX81)

 

https://usborne.com/browse-books/features/computer-and-coding-books/

 

I think you'd enjoy flipping through this magazine. https://archive.org/details/TimexSinclairUser

 

This is my favorite Timex Sinclair thing: stack up sixteen 64KB modules for a total ... would you believe up to ONE MEGABYTE? For the low low cost of $2,399.20. Just don't bump it, because it will take a long time to reload your program from tape.

 

post-2410-0-57632600-1495140868_thumb.png

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Welp I've got the 16 ram pack. still waiting for the composite video mod to get here. If this doesn't work I'll need to pick up a new TS-1000.

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It's a fun little machine. Unfortunally, i have a dead 16k ram pack. Still need to replace it. I did the composite mod, because my rf modulator was shot. Best mod ever. Super clear images now.

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My Timex and US ZX81 need composite mods, too. One of these days...!

Timex stuff seems kind of tough to collect, especially games aside from "Games Pack 1" or whatever. Plenty of business software cassettes to go around, but good luck finding Pinball or Fortress of Zorlac.

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There we go! I got the composite mod working on my TS1000. I was thinking about replacing the socketed chips with brand new ones but I wouldn't know where to get the chips or how to burn them. That and replacing the keyboard

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Welp I've got the 16 ram pack. still waiting for the composite video mod to get here. If this doesn't work I'll need to pick up a new TS-1000.

Where did you order the Composite Mod from?? I have a bunch of ZX-81s/TS-1000s...

 

MarkO

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Could the TS1000 or Zx81 control a character LCD?

You would need to use some I/O chips on the Cartridge Port to communicate with an LCD Screen... Unless you have a Display that is designed for taking a Composite Signal...

 

MarkO

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The Future was 8 bit sells a board for the Atari 2600. It works on the zx81 and TS1000 just fine!

 

http://blog.tynemouthsoftware.co.uk/2016/11/ts1000-multiregion-composite-video-mod.html

 

 

I'm still working on making a new keyboard just waiting on the parts to come in

Thanks for the Link.... I will need to look into do doing some of those modifications....

 

MarkO

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Thanks for the Link.... I will need to look into do doing some of those modifications....

 

MarkO

It's pretty simple. I soldered it to the bottom of the TS1000 instead it was quite the mess trying to solder to ground on the top.

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It's pretty simple. I soldered it to the bottom of the TS1000 instead it was quite the mess trying to solder to ground on the top.

My Original ZX-81, was bought as a Kit by my Dad... You need a Bit More than Normal amount of Heat to Solder on some parts of the Board, as I remember...

( Front, Left ZX-81, the Front, Right was my Uncle's, that he made a custom Joystick for.. )

 

I believe we got the ZX-81 Kit in APR-1983..

 

MarkO

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sellmyretro.com is in Europe but is a great place to buy keyboards, software, mods, and more for the old systems.

 

That's where I picked up some replacement keyboards and composite mod kits for my Sinclairs.

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sellmyretro.com is in Europe but is a great place to buy keyboards, software, mods, and more for the old systems.

 

That's where I picked up some replacement keyboards and composite mod kits for my Sinclairs.

Man, that place is the place for ZX/Timex Stuff.

 

I got my zxpander plug in from them, and it is incredible what can be done on my little T/S1000 now.

 

 

I've got the reverse video composite mod from them, and the zxpand unit. With those two and a old Apple 2c monochrome 9 inch monitor I feel like its 1981 all the time!

 

Games and even BBS's look great in the proper green letter on black screen (as opposed to black letter on green screen) and the zxpand is like a hard drive. I have every zx file I've ever found + all the ones I made myself over the years at my finger tips with out a dang tape deck in sight. The menu system is better than anything!

 

Yes I spent more $$ than I wanted to to get this setup, but its been worth it.

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Man, that place is the place for ZX/Timex Stuff.

 

I got my zxpander plug in from them, and it is incredible what can be done on my little T/S1000 now.

 

 

I've got the reverse video composite mod from them, and the zxpand unit. With those two and a old Apple 2c monochrome 9 inch monitor I feel like its 1981 all the time!

 

Games and even BBS's look great in the proper green letter on black screen (as opposed to black letter on green screen) and the zxpand is like a hard drive. I have every zx file I've ever found + all the ones I made myself over the years at my finger tips with out a dang tape deck in sight. The menu system is better than anything!

 

Yes I spent more $$ than I wanted to to get this setup, but its been worth it.

Wait! There is zx81 BBS's? Tell me more!

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I was going to Navy ET "A" school in late in 1981. I had a TRS-80 Model at home but I couldn't bring it with me. I missed using a computer, so I ordered a ZX-81 kit through the mail for $99. It was pretty cool that you could have a real microcomputer for only $99. The kit was extremely easy to assemble, being only 4 chips. With only 2K of RAM it was extremely challenging to write any programs in BASIC that actually did anything. I did manage to write a Mastermind game, but I used every byte of memory.

Later on I got the 16K RAM pack. I wrote a text adventure game that just barely fit into 16K. It was quite difficult to type on that tiny little keyboard without jostling the RAM pack and causing a crash. I think I had to poke some values into memory and then to save and load the program, it wasn't a regular CSAVE and CLOAD It was like a memory save state. I don't remember what it was called now. That was 35 years ago now.

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I was going to Navy ET "A" school in late in 1981. I had a TRS-80 Model at home but I couldn't bring it with me. I missed using a computer, so I ordered a ZX-81 kit through the mail for $99. It was pretty cool that you could have a real microcomputer for only $99. The kit was extremely easy to assemble, being only 4 chips. With only 2K of RAM it was extremely challenging to write any programs in BASIC that actually did anything. I did manage to write a Mastermind game, but I used every byte of memory.

Later on I got the 16K RAM pack. I wrote a text adventure game that just barely fit into 16K. It was quite difficult to type on that tiny little keyboard without jostling the RAM pack and causing a crash. I think I had to poke some values into memory and then to save and load the program, it wasn't a regular CSAVE and CLOAD It was like a memory save state. I don't remember what it was called now. That was 35 years ago now.

 

We used to call those crashes "random NEW"

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ANyone else around here an avid zx81 collector? I'm trying to get into it more but I don't have the money for it. The Timex and Sinclair is a really capable machine and I swear there is stories being used in just about everything... A very hackable little computer.

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ANyone else around here an avid zx81 collector? I'm trying to get into it more but I don't have the money for it. The Timex and Sinclair is a really capable machine and I swear there is stories being used in just about everything... A very hackable little computer.

Eh...heh...okay. :P :-D

 

I wouldn't be considered an avid collector, but I pick stuff up for it here and there if/when I think of it or I happen across something cheap (like the complete Pac-Rabbit tape I got for, like $5). I've got a couple of Timex 1000s, a USA ZX81, a couple of Memotech 16K RAM packs, a Timex 16K pack, a Timex printer, and 12-15 cassettes. Pinball and Fortress of Zorlac are my most-wanted right now.

 

I've even got a ZX80 (PAL as far as I can tell) that was heavily modded by the original owner and is pretty rough-looking. It's fitted with a ZX81 ROM but still has the blue ZX80 keyboard. Other mods include what appear to be an external IC socket (not sure what for), a momentary reset switch, and an inverse video switch which IIRC doesn't actually work. The inside is a rat's nest of wires--very, very homebrew work.

 

I have kind of a weird sentimental attachment to the Timex since my parents had one for a little while when I was a baby (it had been gotten rid of before I could really remember anything, so I never used it). And I was born in January 1985 so if they got it around then, it had to have been for a song. :-D

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