Zee’s and ZX Spectrums.

Yesterday was not a good day in the land of I.T., and some pretty major issues meant that myself and my colleagues had to pull in a 24 hours shift to try and resolve the little blighters.

When my head finally did meet my pillow, you can imagine how grumpy I was about getting back up again to see who the hell was knocking on my front door.

It turned out to be the postman so one can’t complain, especially when carrying a large parcel with my name on it. A parcel, I suspect, containing a little pre-christmas gift to myself from Uncle Clive c/o eBay.

‘Morning..or afternoon Postie, woo, maybe that’s my ZX Spectrum’ says I.


‘I take it you’re more of a Commodore kinda guys then’

More silence, can’t blame him really, I suspect he was just happy to get it off his bike rack and be on his way.

Much later in the day after catching some zee’s, I thought I’d take a look at my new toy.

I saw this particular ZX Spectrum on eBay the other week. It looked in good condition and was described as complete. As the auction was finishing mid-week instead of the weekend, noone appeared to have noticed it and so in the end, I won it for a mere four quid!

The seller had really gone to town with the packaging to ensure if survived the journey here. Look at it, it’s even got a little handle 🙂

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Hmm, I’m not to sure I’ll have a use for ‘Learn to Read #5’. Maybe ‘Learn to proof read your blog posts #1’ might have been more useful because if you’ve read some of my other posts on here you’ll probably spot the odd typo here and there…or completely the wrong word altogether 😮 Personally, I blame this predictive typing thingy on my iPad (I have no idea why it insists on replacing the word inconvenience with incontinence) as well as Ocean Software for providing way too much distraction as a kid when I should been studying at school.

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Having a quick look at the computer, I’m very pleased with its condition and there’s no real sign of wear on the keys or scratches on the painted surround. I’ve got two other 48k Spectrums in my collection (poorly) and this is by far the better looking of example.

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A few cassette games are included which i suspect might have been from the ‘Six Pack’ software collection that Sinclair used to sell.

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Testing it out on the desktop (LCD) TV that I usually use with most of my older computers and I come across the same issue I have with my other Spectrum – well, one anyway as the other has been composite modded. Using an RF connection I can barely get a signal. I even tried adjusting the tuning screw inside the machine but the best I could get was an almost unreadable picture. It’s weird really because other computers via RF, including a Sinclair ZX81 and ZX Spectrum+ models are fine. Just weird!

On the other tv, the picture is much better so at least with a stable-ish picture, I could test the keys etc.

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Even so, periodically on this TV, the picture would fade out or roll. Check out the main menu screen from my DivIDE. Not pretty is it 🙂 Definitely another candidate for a composite modification.

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6 responses to “Zee’s and ZX Spectrums.

  1. E-up fella, was going to email you later this evening. Hope all is good up north and team JT are ready for Christmas.

    Regarding the old Speccy’s, nothing seriously wrong to be honest. Both need new keyboard membranes. One never worked when I got it (cheap spares and repairs I brought off eBay) and the other I…er hmm, had an accident with the membrane when trying to repair it 🙂 I’ve ordered two new ones from RWAP so I guess they’ll arrive sometime after Christmas. Even though the keyboards aren’t working yet, I’ve still got tuning issues with them though. One, via RF is the same as the one I’ve just acquired, i.e. practically no picture and the other, comp modded doesn’t display any picture on my desktop Tv but on the TV in the living room, the picture is rock steady but has a green tint to the whole thing.

    I’m guessing it’s just that they’re new TV’s maybe? I think Andy (RCM) uses the same LCD tvs as my desktop and I keep meaning to ask him how he fairs with the museums Speccy’s.

    Maybe I should invest in an old school crt TV.

    My c128 is packed away until I’ve got a little more time. Hopefully in the new year, I can have another dig around.

    Speak to you soon.


  2. Thank you Stiggy for the amazing and very useful blog! 🙂

    I just ordered a “new” 48k Speccy from eBay (as my old one is pretty battered), to occasionally enjoy the good old times…

    I found your site by googling for spectrum mp3 speedloading, and the “RAM image to wav” conversion really seems like the right way to go (instead of digitizing my old C-cassettes one by one as mp3s or wavs :).

    Another concern for me is that there seems to be no RF TV to HDMI converters, so the Speccy’s video mod seems like an useful option to connect to modern TVs.

    About your latest Spectrum’s video issues, I wonder could it actually be caused by the motherboard or power failure? Many times back in the days, I got those “dark bars” on the screen, and then my Speccy just died. Perhaps due to power, board, or over-heating failure?

    Again, thank you for the great blog!!! 🙂

    Sunny greetings from Finland,

  3. Hey Lare thanks for the kind words and glad to hear a post has been useful for you. The ZX spectrum is such a great little machine and continues to amaze me thanks to a very health homebrew scene.

    I’m still having A/V issues with mine but it seems to be on certain LCD tv’s rather than the Speccy.

    Happy gaming


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