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Old 20 February 2011, 21:07   #29
Ya' like it Retr0?
Zetr0's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Age: 41
Posts: 9,671

Amstrad only made 4 versions of spectrum, of which two have an identical motherboard.

The Spectrum 128 (aka Spectrum 128+ or Spectrum Toast Rack)

(notice how it looks like a slightly elongated spectrum +)
This was the last "Sinclair" produced Spectrum, it featured 128KB of RAM via bank switching, it also provided an A/Y synth sound, RS232 serial or AUX, RGB, RF and audio out port. (also has ear and mix inputs).

Now the first Spectrum Amstrad produced was the Spectrum 128 +2

This classic grey model with tape deck provided all the features of the 128+ however there were known errors on the motherboard in regards to the composite signal (a transistor is installed in the reverse manner)

The 128 +2 A/B

This black sleek spectrum has more in common with the Spectrum +3 than the +2, in fact so much so it has a virtually identical motherboard to the +3, as such it is considered a backwards re-work of that model (except the floppy disk controller of course).

with a change of ROM and a couple of motherboard fixes the +2 motherboard can use CF/IDE 8/16bit hard-drives drives =)

Importantly, the A and B revisions only mark moving manufacturing plants within Asia. some people get the A/B revisions confused with the Grey and Black +2's when both revisions are black =)

Now the Spectrum +3

This is a nice bit of Spectrum awesome! like the +2A/B it has a RAM disk but sports a spiffy Floppy Drive, - although its the ghastly 3" disks you can happily add a 3.5" floppy drive and by updating the ROM to +3e roms you can enjoy full 720kb CPM action =)

The +2 and the +3 can have a ROM upgrade that allows them to use an internal Hard-disk (yes how cool is that), pending the ROM you can lash-together a very simple 8bit ATA interface or use a CF card in 8bit mode for full size support.

I have a bit of a spectrum collection -

1. my Spectrum +2A will have an internal CF Hard-disk in 8bit mode, and an external FDD
2. my Spectrum +3 will also have an internal CF hard-disk in 8bit mode, and will support 3.5" FDD and a HxC hacked into the chassis.
3. my Spectrum 128 +2 has the DivIDE 16bit ide interface =D
4. my Spectrum 128 + (toast rack) has an interface 1, microdrive and RamTurbo
5. my Spectrum + has Kempston interface and a portable CD player for Turbo Loading =D

I may yet get a spectrum 48k rubber key for completion of the collection, I am also tempted to add 8bit CF hard-disks to 4 and 5.

btw, I have no idea why I have so many Spectrum's, I hope to have them up for display 'n play at Blackpool R3Play this year =)

Last edited by Zetr0; 28 February 2011 at 15:28. Reason: added some detail an typo correction
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