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Sinclair ZX Spectrum Computer - Early Issue

The ZX Spectrum is an 8-bit personal home computer released in the United Kingdom in 1982 by Sinclair Research Ltd. Referred to during development as the ZX81 Colour and ZX82, the machine was launched as the ZX Spectrum by Sinclair to highlight the machine's colour display, compared with the black-and-white of its predecessor, the Sinclair ZX81.

The Spectrum was released in eight different models, ranging from the entry level model with 16K RAM released in 1982 to the ZX Spectrum +3 with 128K RAM and built-in floppy disk drive in 1987. All machines released after the Spectrum 128K in 1986 were designed and manufactured by Amstrad, after the purchase of the Sinclair name and IP earlier that year.

The Spectrum was among the first mainstream audience home computers in the UK, similar in significance to the Commodore 64 in the USA.

The introduction of the ZX Spectrum led to a boom in companies producing software and hardware for the machine.

The Spectrum is based on a Zilog Z80A CPU running at 3.5 MHz (or NEC D780C-1 clone). The original model Spectrum has 16K (16×1024 bytes) of ROM and either 16K or 48K of RAM. Hardware design was by Richard Altwasser of Sinclair Research, and the machine's outward appearance was designed by Sinclair's industrial designer Rick Dickinson.

The Basic was written by Cambridgeshire company Nine Tiles who have donated a great many machines and associated paperwork to the museum, including this early iteration of the computer and the Spectrum Prototype, the very origins of the machine.

Early model one ZX Spectrums were manufactured with light-grey keys instead of the blue-grey used in later models. Somewhere around 14-16000 model ones were produced; this model has serial number 001-001537. This example has the original grey key mat, but due to a high failure rate, it is possible to find issue one boards with later blue keys, as Sinclair would repair and rehouse the boards.

This example in our collection was originally a 16K model, but has the daughterboard fitted making it a 48K version.

The machine has been reworked by Sinclair, including rewiring, and a poorly fitted chip, some issue one machines have very ugly repairs or modifications. Affectionately known as the dead cockroach fix, there is usually a tiny board fitted upside down to correct a timing error in the ULA, this machine has an upside down chip, more wires and electrical tape.

Manufacturer: Sinclair
Date: 23rd April 1982



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Sinclair ZX Spectrum Computer - Early Issue Manuals:

Item Manufacturer Date
A Course in BASIC Programming - ZX80 Operating Manual Science of Cambridge 1980
Disk Interface Manual (Technology Research) Technology Research 1984
Sinclair - ZX Spectrum Servicing Manual Sinclair Jan 1984
Sinclair ZX Spectrum +2 Manual Sinclair 1986
Spectral Manual (East German ZX Spectrum Clone) Hübner Elektronik 1988

Sinclair ZX Spectrum Computer - Early Issue Articles:

Item Manufacturer Date
Memories - The Tatung Einstein (1) Unknown
Memories - My History of Computing - From a School Teacher Feb 2009

Magazines RELATED to Sinclair ZX Spectrum Computer - Early Issue in our Library

Item Manufacturer Date
Your Computer - June 1982 Jun 1982
Personal Computer World - June 1982 1 Jun 1982
Personal Computer World - October 1982 Oct 1982
Practical Computing - November 1982 Nov 1982
Personal Computer World - November 1982 Nov 1982
Personal Computer World - January 1983 Jan 1983
Practical Computing - August 1983 Aug 1983
Acorn User - Christmas 1995 1 Jul 2009
Acorn User - May 1997 15 Jul 2009

Other Systems Related To Sinclair ZX Spectrum Computer - Early Issue:

Item Manufacturer Date
Prototype of MK14 Sinclair 1977
Science of Cambridge MK 14 + Original Keyboard Sinclair 1977
Science of Cambridge MK 14 - Original Kit Sinclair 1977
Science of Cambridge MK14 + Memory Expansion in wooden case Sinclair 1977
Science of Cambridge MK14 Sinclair 1977
Sinclair ZX80 8K Basic Sinclair 1980
Sinclair ZX81 with Basic EPROM Sinclair 1980
Sinclair ZX80 Prototype PDZ 4732 Basic ROM - Nine Tiles Sinclair 1980
Sinclair ZX80 Updated to ZX81 Sinclair 1980
Sinclair ZX80 Sinclair 1st June 1980
Sinclair ZX81 Kit Sinclair 1981
Sinclair ZX Spectrum Prototype Sinclair 1981
Sinclair ZX81 Issue One Sinclair 1981
Sinclair ZX81 - Signed by Rick Dickinson Sinclair 5th March 1981
Sinclair ZX81 with Custom Case/Keyboard Sinclair 5th March 1981
Argentinian Sinclair Spectrum Sinclair 1982
Sinclair Spectrum with Homemade Keyboard Sinclair 1982
White Replica ZX Spectrum (Millionth Edition) Sinclair 1982
Early Sinclair ZX Spectrum Computer Sinclair 1982
Timex Sinclair 1000 Sinclair 1982
Sinclair ZX Spectrum Console Sinclair 1982
Sinclair ZX Spectrum Console Sinclair 1982
ZX Spectrum Issue 2 With ULA Modification Sinclair 1982
Timex Sinclair 1500 Sinclair 1982
Sinclair ZX Spectrum Case (Signed) Sinclair 1st March 1982
Sinclair ZX Spectrum 48k Sinclair 1st March 1982
Sinclair ZX Spectrum 16K Sinclair 1st March 1982
Sinclair QL + SchÖn Keyboard Sinclair 1984
Investronica Sinclair Spectrum Sinclair 1984
Sinclair QL (German) Sinclair 1984
Sinclair QL (Signed) Sinclair 1984
Sinclair QL (US) Sinclair 1984
Sinclair QL (Property of Sinclair) Sinclair 1984
Sinclair QL Sinclair 1984
Sinclair ZX Spectrum+ Sinclair 1st June 1984
Sinclair ZX Spectrum +2 Sinclair 1986
Sinclair ZX Spectrum 128 Sinclair January 1986
Cambridge Z88 All In One Pack Sinclair 1987
Cambridge Z88 Sinclair 1987
Sinclair ZX Spectrum +3 (Currys Box) Sinclair 1st June 1987
Sinclair ZX Spectrum +3 Sinclair 1st June 1987
Sinclair PC200 Sinclair 1988
Cambridge Z88 With PC Link Kit Sinclair 1988

This exhibit has a reference ID of CH54307. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.

 

Sinclair ZX Spectrum Computer - Early Issue

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Articles

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Easy Microcomputing - 1984 - VHS Tape

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Rick Dickinson - Industrial Design of the Spectrum Next

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Rick Dickinson on BBC Arts 2016

The Prototype Sinclair ZX Spectrum ROM
The Prototype Sinclair ZX Spectrum ROM

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