Sinclair ZX Spectrum 128k+ “Toastrack” Restoration

I’ve owned several different Sinclair ZX Spectrum computers over the past couple of years, but I hadn’t got my hands on a 128k+ at this point, so I set about looking to get one for my collection. Eventually, a machine in good, boxed, but untested condition with peripherals popped up on Facebook Marketplace – afterContinue reading “Sinclair ZX Spectrum 128k+ “Toastrack” Restoration”

Acorn Electron Repair & Restoration

A little while back, I was given a 1984 Acorn Electron by a friend – it had just been pulled out of his parents’ loft, so as you could imagine, it was in pretty rough shape. I’ve owned a few Electrons now, and they’re fun to work on, so I decided to fix it up.Continue reading “Acorn Electron Repair & Restoration”

Commodore SX-64 Restoration

Two years ago, I got my hands on a machine that I’d been after for quite some time: a 1984 Commodore SX-64 portable computer – “portable” is hardly the optimal word, given that these machines weigh in around 10.5KG, but this was a revolutionary concept for the time. The SX-64 is effectively a Commodore 64Continue reading “Commodore SX-64 Restoration”

Commodore C128D(CR) Restoration

Three years ago, around the time I was first starting to collect vintage computer equipment, I was lucky enough to get my hands on a Commodore C128D(CR) 8-bit computer and matching 1084S-D2 CRT monitor. The C128D(CR) is the later cost-reduced version of the C128D, featuring a metal case and combined mainboard / drive board withContinue reading “Commodore C128D(CR) Restoration”

Commodore C128 Board Repairs

Alongside purchasing complete systems, over the past few years I’ve also accumulated a large quantity of incomplete circuit boards for “spares and repairs”, primarily from Commodore computers (VIC-20, VIC-20CR, C64, C64C, C16, Plus/4, C128, etc). I got these for cheap in various job lots, with the intention of fixing up as many as possible andContinue reading “Commodore C128 Board Repairs”

Restoring a Sinclair ZX Spectrum 48k for Charity

This April, I’m raffling off a refurbished ZX Spectrum 48k bundle for charity – I recently bought a boxed Spectrum that would be ideal for this purpose, but obviously for this to be “refurbished”, it required refurbishing. Details of the process are below. I bought the Spectrum as partially tested from a chap in HullContinue reading “Restoring a Sinclair ZX Spectrum 48k for Charity”

Upgrading an Acorn BBC Model B

I recently won a charity auction for a BBC Model B bundle on eBay (see my original blog post here, and CRT restoration here). The Model B was a common sight in British schools during the 1980s thanks to the BBC’s Computer Literacy Project. It’s common for certain components in vintage electronics to deteriorate withContinue reading “Upgrading an Acorn BBC Model B”

Sinclair ZX Spectrum 128k+2A/+2B/+3 PSU Build

I like to keep an assortment of working power supplies for various vintage computers in an accessible manner, alongside all my test equipment, so I can easily power up pretty much any computer or board that I might need to. However, I’m often reluctant to use most original power supplies, as they are inefficient, unreliable,Continue reading “Sinclair ZX Spectrum 128k+2A/+2B/+3 PSU Build”

My *New* Acorn BBC Model B

I recently won an eBay charity auction for a BBC Model B “Micro”, which came bundled with a Microvitec CUB CRT monitor, an Opus 5802 5.25″ FDD, and some miscellaneous items like joysticks and boxed games. What’s especially interesting about this machine is that it has been signed by Stephen Furber, the principal hardware engineerContinue reading “My *New* Acorn BBC Model B”

My *New* Dragon 32

I recently bought a Dragon 32, yet another 1980s 8-bit computer to add to my collection. I’ve owned several in the past but none of these came with a working power supply, which are difficult to replicate, so I’ve been looking forward to putting this one through its paces. The computer was basically new inContinue reading “My *New* Dragon 32”