It lives!

At the end of last week’s post, I had acquired a handful of non-functioning Sinclair computers, and was about to embark on trying to revive them.
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And as you may have surmised by now, my attempts were somewhat successful. In fact, the ZX81s were surprisingly easy to deal with; maybe they just weren’t complicated enough to go horribly wrong, but after cleaning the worst of the corroded crud from some of the connectors, and much twiddling with the tuning on an aging portable TV, I managed to get all of them to generate the inverted ‘K’ symbol (which is the ZX81 equivalent of a pulse).

With the addition of a new, fully functioning, ZX81 keyboard membrane and some hit and miss swapping of RAM packs I was all set for a terrifying game of 3D Monster Maze for a real blast from the past – more on that story later.

2015-04-06 19.49.41The Spectrums, meanwhile, took a little more work, but with the help of some nice folks on facebook I figured out I had made a bit of a rookie error and not checked the ampage of the non-original power unit I had been using. Turns out a Spectrum needs for than a few hundred milliamps to operate properly, so it was off to rummage in some long-forgotten boxes and find the power unit for my old +2 in the vague hope that it would still be functioning…

Which it was! I only got the hoped-for result from one of the rubber-keyed Spectrums (which, in fairness, is one more than I had expected), and the old +2 itself appeared to be dead, but those can wait.

For the first time in my life, I finally had a fully working, original rubber-keyed Spectrum! I also had all the games that had been retrieved along with that PSU…

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