Sinclair Computers

Welcome to my Sinclair collection.

This page is a repository for all of the Sinclair systems, peripherals, and accessories in my collection – it’s currently a work-in-progress, and I’ll continue to add things as and when I have the time.

Sinclair ZX81

TypeHome computer
Release dateMarch 1981
DiscontinuedJuly 1984
Operating systemSinclair BASIC
CPUZilog Z80 @ 3.25 MHz
Memory1 KB (64KB max.)

The ZX81 is a home computer produced by Sinclair Research and manufactured in Dundee, Scotland, by Timex Corporation. It was launched in the UK in March 1981 as the successor to Sinclair’s ZX80, and designed to be a low-cost introduction to home computing for the general public; over 1.5 million units were sold.

Sinclair ZX Spectrum 48k

TypeHome computer
Release dateApril 1982
DiscontinuedFebruary 1985
Operating systemSinclair BASIC
CPUZilog Z80 @ 3.5 MHz
Memory16/48 KB

The original ZX Spectrum is remembered for its rubber chiclet keyboard, diminutive size and distinctive rainbow motif. It was originally released on 23rd April 1982 with 16 KB of RAM; owners of the 16 KB model could purchase an internal 32 KB RAM upgrade, which for early “Issue 1” machines consisted of a daughterboard.

Sinclair ZX Spectrum 48k+

TypeHome computer
Release dateOctober 1984
DiscontinuedUnknown
Operating systemSinclair BASIC
CPUZilog Z80 @ 3.5 MHz
Memory16/48 KB

The ZX Spectrum+ was released on October 15th 1984, introducing a new QL-style case with an injection-moulded keyboard and a reset button. The mainboard was identical to the previous 48k model, so it was possible to swap the boards between the original case and the Spectrum+ case – a DIY conversion kit for older machines was available.

Sinclair ZX Spectrum 128k+

TypeHome computer
Release dateJanuary 1986
DiscontinuedUnknown
Operating systemSinclair BASIC
CPUZilog Z80 @ 3.5 MHz
Memory128 KB

In 1985, Sinclair developed the ZX Spectrum 128k+ in conjunction with their Spanish distributor Investrónica. Its appearance was similar to the ZX Spectrum 48k+ with the exception of the external heatsink which led to the system’s nickname, “the toastrack”. New features included three-channel audio and an RGB monitor port.

Sinclair ZX Spectrum 128k+2

TypeHome computer
Release dateMay 1986
DiscontinuedUnknown
Operating systemSinclair BASIC
CPUZilog Z80 @ 3.5 MHz
Memory128 KB

The ZX Spectrum +2 was Amstrad’s first Spectrum, coming shortly after their purchase of the “Sinclair” brand in 1986. The machine featured an all-new grey case featuring a spring-loaded keyboard, dual joystick ports, and a built-in cassette recorder (like the Amstrad CPC 464), but was in most respects identical to the ZX Spectrum 128k+.

Sinclair ZX Spectrum 128k+3

TypeHome computer
Release dateJune 1987
DiscontinuedDecember 1990
Operating systemSinclair BASIC
CPUZilog Z80 @ 3.5 MHz
Memory128 KB

The ZX Spectrum +3 was released in 1987, and looked similar to the +2A but featured a built-in 3-inch floppy disk drive (like the Amstrad CPC 6128) instead of the tape drive. It capable of running CP/M without additional hardware, but several core changes meant that some older games and peripherals were incompatible with the machine.

Sinclair QL

TypeHome computer
Release dateJanuary 1984
DiscontinuedApril 1986
Operating systemSinclair QDOS
CPUMotorola 68008E @ 7.5 MHz
Memory128 KB (896 KB max.)

The Sinclair QL (which stands for “Quantum Leap”) is a personal computer launched as an upper-end counterpart to the ZX Spectrum. The QL was aimed at the serious home user and professional users (from small to medium-sized businesses and higher educational establishments), but failed to achieve commercial success.

Sinclair ZX Interface 1

TypeComputer peripheral
Release dateAugust 1983
DiscontinuedUnknown
Operating systemN/A
CPUN/A
MemoryN/A

A peripheral from Sinclair Research for its ZX Spectrum home computer, the ZX Interface 1 was originally intended as a LAN interface for use in classrooms, but was revised before launch to also control up to eight ZX Microdrive cartridge drives; it also included an RS-232 interface capable of operating at up to 19.2 kbit/s.

Sinclair ZX Interface 2

TypeComputer peripheral
Release dateSeptember 1983
DiscontinuedUnknown
Operating systemN/A
CPUN/A
MemoryN/A

The ZX Interface 2 is a peripheral from Sinclair Research for its ZX Spectrum home computer released in September 1983. It features a ROM cartridge slot, which offers instant loading times, and two joystick ports, which are not compatible with the popular Kempston interface, so do not work with most games released prior to the launch of the ZX Interface 2.

Sinclair ZX Microdrive

TypeComputer peripheral
Release dateJuly 1983
DiscontinuedUnknown
Operating systemN/A
CPUN/A
MemoryN/A

The ZX Microdrive is a magnetic tape data storage system launched in July 1983 by Sinclair Research for its ZX Spectrum home computer, featuring a minimum storage capacity per tape cartridge of 85KB. It was designed to be a cheaper alternative to the floppy disk, but it suffered from poor reliability and lower speed. The Microdrive was later also used in the Sinclair QL and ICL One Per Desk computers.

Sinclair ZX Printer

TypeThermal Printer
Release dateNovember 1981
DiscontinuedUnknown
Operating systemN/A
CPUN/A
MemoryN/A

The ZX Printer is a spark printer from Sinclair Research for its ZX80, ZX81, and ZX Spectrum home computers. It was designed to be a cheaper alternative to conventional dot-matrix printers, but it suffered from poor reliability and low print quality. It uses aluminium-coated black paper, and features two belt-driven styli which burn away the coating in the required shape using electricity, printing up to 32 characters per line.

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