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Old 11 February 2011, 18:22   #21
Paul_s
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It will be crap, much like the Sega 'reactor' and what not. Remakes in this decade are just plain awful - the original equipment WILL outlast anything made in this day and age... it's true!
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Old 11 February 2011, 22:12   #22
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It will be crap, much like the Sega 'reactor' and what not. Remakes in this decade are just plain awful - the original equipment WILL outlast anything made in this day and age... it's true!
my spectrum died - and most of my tapes no longer work anyway. It may actualy just be cheaper to buy a 'new' console than try to use the old kit.
i live in hope
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Old 16 February 2011, 14:51   #23
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I have a +3 with a multiface3 but no usable disks and I really want to get my act together and fit a 3.5" disk drive .

So it still languishes in storage waiting for me to liberate it!
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Old 16 February 2011, 15:09   #24
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Originally Posted by cosmicfrog View Post
dost the guy know where % key is ????
Symbol-Shift on 5

@Lonewolf10 - There is a +2A revision, but it's just a name really. I think it's something to do with the production moving to Amstrad. It was also black, as opposed to the previous +2 grey. There's also a +2B which just means the production moved from Hong Kong to Taiwan (I think... )

I've also got the light gun. It used a strange, proprietary RS-232 connector that looked like a telephone cable. Of course, you can no longer use light-guns on non CRT TVs

I've also got Marvin spectrum emulator on my Android
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Old 16 February 2011, 15:55   #25
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Ive just dug out my old Spectrums. Ive got a 48k model and a +2.
The +2 has something wrong with it as it doesnt display anything but instead makes a constant clicking noise as though a key is constantly being pressed down. Press down on the keyboard though and the clicking stops (but still no display)
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Old 20 February 2011, 04:10   #26
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@Lonewolf10 - There is a +2A revision, but it's just a name really. I think it's something to do with the production moving to Amstrad. It was also black, as opposed to the previous +2 grey. There's also a +2B which just means the production moved from Hong Kong to Taiwan (I think... )
I have never heard of the +2B, thanks for the info


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I've also got the light gun. It used a strange, proprietary RS-232 connector that looked like a telephone cable. Of course, you can no longer use light-guns on non CRT TVs

That sucks, so how will I play any light gun games? I have those for the Spectrum, Virtua Cop 1 & 2 for my Sega Saturn and a few games for my Dreamcast.
There must be a way around it surely???


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Old 20 February 2011, 12:49   #27
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@Lonewolf10 - There is a +2A revision, but it's just a name really. I think it's something to do with the production moving to Amstrad. It was also black, as opposed to the previous +2 grey. There's also a +2B which just means the production moved from Hong Kong to Taiwan (I think... )
No collection is complete without the +2A and +2B.

Amstrad took over production of the 128k spectrum and fixed a great many bugs in the ROM, which was then released as the 128k +2. After that, they went after the god-awful hardware flaws in the 128k design, and fixed those - and released the result as the +2A and the +3. (Said fixes sadly render quite a few games unplayable on the +2A/+3, but they had to be done).

The +2A is a +3 with tape drive instead of floppy. If you attach a floppy to the +2A, it will behave identically to the +3. The +2B was a further refinement to the +2A.

So in short, although the +2 is the most compatible of the 128k spectrums, the +2B is the most mature and technically advanced design, whilst still retaining the internal tape deck. It's the only model that can utilise IDE hard disks via a cheap ROM/IDE-interface internal upgrade. All others require a nasty expansion port adapter.

D.
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Old 20 February 2011, 18:51   #28
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Thanks Dunny - good bit of info there. I may crack my Speccys open and take a look at the builds

@Lonewolf10 - I don't think you'll be able to use your lightgun. They rely on the electron beam used to project the picture on CRTs. The Wii gets around this by using the IR module on top of (or below) your telly, but it's unlikely that anyone will build an add-on

The good news is that CRT tellys are cheap as chips nowadays
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Old 20 February 2011, 22:07   #29
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@thread

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 16:28. Reason: added some detail an typo correction
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Old 21 February 2011, 00:58   #30
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Since there are a number of knowledgeable Spectrum folks following this thread, I will ask something that has been bugging me for years - the debug menu.

Sometimes when you reset my Spectrum 128k you end up with a debug menu onscreen. I have only seen it a handful of times in the 20 years I have had my Spectrum. Does anyone here know how to access it?
I was told by an old friend of mine not to adjust the settings as it will mess up the ability to load Spectrum games, but some of the other techies I asked seemed to believe that the Spectrum has no flash-RAM/ROM.

Does anyone here know anything about the debug menu I am referring to?


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Old 21 February 2011, 04:00   #31
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I might be wrong but I believe that you need to reset the machine while holding down shift-break.

although I could be wrong on how to access it.


THe spectrum has no non-volatile ram, hence once it is powered off, there is nothing that could store information for next power up. I am unsure where your friend got this idea from, perhaps newer acorns at the time had a form of NVRAM? I dont believe Amstrad's did either, nor any commodore (non x86) machine for the time either.
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Old 21 February 2011, 14:40   #32
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I might be wrong but I believe that you need to reset the machine while holding down shift-break.
Thanks, I'll try that next time I use my Spectrum


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THe spectrum has no non-volatile ram, hence once it is powered off, there is nothing that could store information for next power up. I am unsure where your friend got this idea from, perhaps newer acorns at the time had a form of NVRAM? I dont believe Amstrad's did either, nor any commodore (non x86) machine for the time either.
He had 7 or 8 Spectrums (his father was rich), 5 of which were broken. Some possibly due to messing with the settings in the debug menu?


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Old 21 February 2011, 15:02   #33
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...Some possibly due to messing with the settings in the debug menu?
You won't be able to kill a Spectrum from any debug menus.

The +2A (and possibly B), and +3 have the following hidden menus/messages...

SELF-TEST ACTIVITATION

To invoke the Spectrum +3 diagnostic routines, first reset the machine while holding the BREAK key down. This will go into the test card dispray. Now hold down the QAZMLP keys for a few seconds unti the diagnostic title is displayed. Now follow the on screen prompts.

RESET

Also contained within the ROM is a smal message, to obtain this display, first put the machine into +3 BASIC mode and type:-

copy randomize (ENTER)
after pressing the ENTER key quickly depress the C, J and L keys together and the message will appear.

HELLO THERE I'M A +3

(I've taken the above from http://www.bighole.nl/pub/mirror/hom...ice_manual.htm)
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Old 21 February 2011, 15:06   #34
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This is not a ZX Spectrum. This is just a bluetooth keyboard connected with emulator. Pointless in my point of view and I dont like it. Reminds me CommodoreUS's empty PC boxes named "Amiga 3000" etc.
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Old 21 February 2011, 15:07   #35
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Spectrums - at the risk of causing offence, I have to say I thought they were complete crap! Shame as I like British products and have bought more British cars and hifi components than most. But my USA C64 trashed the speccy

My favourite UK computer was that Archimedes, now that was an impressive machine.
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Old 21 February 2011, 15:19   #36
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Spectrums - at the risk of causing offence, I have to say I thought they were complete crap! Shame as I like British products and have bought more British cars and hifi components than most. But my USA C64 trashed the speccy
nnnnnngghhh... must... not... rise... to.... the.... bait....

Gah! http://worldofstuart.excellentcontent.com/spec-c64.htm
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Old 21 February 2011, 15:28   #37
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nnnnnngghhh... must... not... rise... to.... the.... bait....

Gah! http://worldofstuart.excellentcontent.com/spec-c64.htm


To be fair I think I wanted a speccy myself originally but my dad made the decision and got me the C64 for xmas. It seemed like a bad move too because the early games were better on the speccy I agree. But the C64 soon went thundering past
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Old 21 February 2011, 16:44   #38
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Go flamewar go!!! I am on the C64 side
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Old 21 February 2011, 16:57   #39
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Damn, being a GM I think I can't join in
Go team C64!
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Old 21 February 2011, 17:12   #40
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Though in the 8 bit days I had an Atari 800XL, out of the c64 or speccy, its the speccy games that i remember more even if the hardware was pants.
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