ZX Interface 1

A peripheral from Sinclair Research for its ZX Spectrum home computer, the ZX Interface 1 was launched in 1983. Originally intended as a local area networkinterface for use in school classrooms, it was revised before launch to also act as the controller for up to eight ZX Microdrive high-speed tape-loop cartridge drives. It also included a DE-9 RS-232 interface capable of operating at up to 19.2 kbit/s a rare instance of Sinclair using an industry-standard connector. At hardware level it was mainly a voltage adapter, the serial protocol being implemented in software bybit-banging. This led to problems when receiving data, but not when transmitting.

A wedge-shaped device fitting underneath the ZX Spectrum, ZX Interface 1 contained 8 kB of ROM comprising the control software for the Microdrives, RS-232 port and network interface. This extended the error handler in the Sinclair BASIC to allow extra keywords to be used. As this became an official standard, other developers quickly used this mechanism to create language extensions to Sinclair BASIC.

Date : Unknown

Manufacturer : Sinclair

Format : ZX Spectrum

This exhibit has a reference ID of CH36040. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.
 

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