ZX Spectrum+

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Computers

  • Sinclair ZX Spectrum+ - 1984 Issue 6A - 113-239298 (Blue) [Working(ISH)]
ZX Spectrum+ Case (Before clean and restoration)
ZX Spectrum+ 1984 6A (Re-capped and Modded)

History/Log

  1. Early 2010's - Picked up this Spectrum+ a long time ago, at some boot sale for a mere £8. It worked for a short while before breaking down. The cause? A disconnected heatsink. Presumably, during use, the voltage regulator cooked itself and before it died spat out some awkward voltages across the board killing a few chips along the way.
  2. 20th February 2021 - After gaining some confidence in soldering and de-soldering voltage regulators on my other Spectrum 48k's, I decided to tackle the Spectrum+. Having known what killed it, I replaced the voltage regulator with a 'TRACO Power TSR 1-2450' and removed the old heatsink. After this, I disconnected the RF unit and did the composite mod with a 100uF capacitor. Briefly turning on the machine, I was greeted with a black screen with white lines before it randomly reset itself. I decided to re-cap the entire board to see if that would at least fix the random resets. It did. Turning on the machine now just gave a black screen with an assortment of thin broken white lines. Also replaced broken "J" key.
  1. 21st February 2021 - Without having appropriate RAM testers or diagnostic kits, I tried piggybacking some 4116 memory chips onto the lower RAM to see if it would alter the screen on boot - it did. Only when I piggybacked a chip on to IC13 and IC9 (Separately and together) did I get a change in the picture - it changed to red stripes or flashing red bars and blocks - but it never booted properly. Biting the bullet, I reluctantly decided to de-solder and install sockets for all the lower RAM. Having not done this before I was very wary of destroying the board. Thankfully though - that didn't happen. Although, I won't win any awards for my soldering skills! After completely socketing all eight memory blocks, I inserted a modern 'lower memory board' from retroleum.co.uk (to save myself from further 4116 chip headaches). I turned on the ZX Spectrum+ and was greeted with a delightful copyright message "1982 Sinclair Research Ltd". I celebrated like a nutty football fan. Nothing else was broken or at least I thought... Re-assembling the Spectrum+ I discovered that the keyboard wasn't functioning properly. A variety of keys on the board weren't working. Closer examination of the K/B membrane I saw a crack/split in the ribbon connecting to the mainboard. Sadly, I didn't have a spare... so I promptly ordered one.

Books & Magazines

  • Maximize your QL - Susan Curran & Ray Curnow
  • Microguide for the ZX Spectrum - Prof. Peter Morse and Brian Hancock
  • Personal Computer - The Best Software Guide Spectrum Games - Tony Takoushi
  • Spectrum Hardware Manual - Adrian Dickens
  • Spectrum Spectacular - Roger Valentine
  • The Complete Spectrum - Edited by Allan Scott
  • The ZX Spectrum and how to get the most from it - Ian Sinclair
  • Turbocharge your ZX Spectrum - John Lettice
  • ZX Spectrum - Basic Programming - Steven Vickers
  • ZX Spectrum - Microdrive and Interface 1 manual
  • ZX Spectrum+ User Guide

External links