Getting a ZX Spectrum going

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Getting a ZX Spectrum going

Postby AroundTweed on Sat Jun 26, 2010 9:11 am

Hi, my dad has an old Sinclair ZX Spectrum and I'd like to see the thing going. It hasn't been used since the late 80s so I have no idea about the internal condition but from the outside it looks in pretty good shape. I have nothing apart from the actual unit, so will need to find cables, especially the power one, but I do have a ZX80 manual. I have not just gone and tried something out, because I am afraid to break it, is there any way that I can test whether the parts are still working?

Another issue is which TV to use, I don't know whether I'll need to find an older TV, or if I can use any modern one.
I won't spend more than $100 at maximum but I've got a lot of free time, and I know some people who can probably make cables and do electronic stuff.
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Re: Getting a ZX Spectrum going

Postby tezza on Sun Jun 27, 2010 5:45 pm

Hi,

There are two issues. First you need the right power pack. The Spectrum ZX takes a 9v DC adaptor at 1.4A. On the plug itself (the plug that goes into the computer), the outside is +ve and the inside is -ve. Any powerpack with these specs should work.

The cord to go from the Spectrum to the TV is one that has a RCA-type plug on one end, and a TV aerial plug on the other. Plug the TV cord into the socket that takes the aerial and the RCA plug into the spectrum.

There is no on-off switch on the Spectrum. Once you have your powerpack and TV cord attached, just turn on the power. Then see if you can tune the TV to the computer signal (assuming it's working).

I'm not an expert on the Spectrum but there is quite a bit of info on the web about it so don't be afraid to do some Googling. Also, you might find some dedicated forums specifically for Spectrum owners. These are good places to ask questions. I'm assuming the manual you have is for the ZX-Spectrum, not the ZX-80? They are both different computers.

Good luck!
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Re: Getting a ZX Spectrum going

Postby tezza on Sun Jun 27, 2010 5:47 pm

A modern TV should be ok so long as it takes a standard arial (e.g. rabbit ears e.t.c).
Tez (Terry Stewart) (Administrator)
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Re: Getting a ZX Spectrum going

Postby AroundTweed on Sun Jun 27, 2010 5:55 pm

No its not a ZX80 manual it's a ZX81,my dad had all three computers but lost the manuals for the ZX80 and spectrum and only kept the actual spectrum :( . I have been looking around for the right cables, and now that I know it can work on any TV, I'll be glad to have it running on a giant LCD TV. :D

Do you think a 1.5A power adapter could work?
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Re: Getting a ZX Spectrum going

Postby tezza on Sun Jun 27, 2010 11:09 pm

AroundTweed wrote:Do you think a 1.5A power adapter could work?


That should be ok. From what I've read it's ok to use an adaptor with a higher amperage rating than what's required, but not one that has less.
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