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Timex Sinclair 2068, Timex USA

Company:  Timex USA
OS: Timex Basic (extended ZX Spectrum Basic)
CPU: Z80A
RAM: 48 kByte
Storage: None (Tape recorder)
Display: TV (Antenna or Video)
Release: Nov. 1983

This is the first Timex computer that was NOT a clone of a Sinclair product. It is based on the Sinclair 48K Spectrum, but with major changes: a cartridge port, different memory configuration, and a different sound chip. Unfortunately, this means it is no longer 100% software-compatible with the Spectrum computer which it was built upon.

The TS2068 was Timex's first color system. It utilizes a cassette recorder for data storage, and has tiny ROM cartridges with pre-programmed applications.

Unfortunately, it is also their last system, as Timex dropped out of the computer market a few months later in the Spring of 1984.

The fifth and last Timex Sinclair, the TS2068, was released in November 1983 as a last-ditch attempt by Timex Computer Corp. to stave off its collapse (unsuccessfully - the company folded in Spring 1984).

Although the machine was based on the ZX Spectrum, it was a radical departure from Sir Clive's original. In design and operation, it took its cue more from American than British computers. Its most notable feature, the cartridge slot occupying the right-hand quarter of the case, was very reminiscent of the legendary TRS-80 (another popular American computer of the early 1980s). It was also quite different internally: it had a larger memory, a Spectrum 128-style sound chip and a grandly-named "Timex Operating System" (TOS).

The basic TS2068 is only partly compatible with the ZX Spectrum. The tape I/O is much the same, allowing Spectrum tape files to be loaded. Spectrum BASIC is a subset of the TS2068's BASIC, so Spectrum BASIC programs will run. The TS2068's ROM is different, though, so Spectrum machine code which makes use of the ROM cannot be used. Without the aid of an emulator, the TS2068 can run only a small fraction of the Spectrum's commercially available software.

The TS2068's Spectrum emulator is really a Spectrum ROM on cartridge that is bankswitched into the lower 0-16K region. The top 48K region is filled with RAM. To the software this looks exactly the same as a 48K Spectrum. Using this, it is possible to achieve about 97% compatibility with a real Spectrum.

In hindsight, this lack of built-in compatibility was a serious mistake by Timex; it cut the machine off from the huge British Sinclair software market. This greatly reduced the attractiveness of the machine and, not surprisingly, it was not a big success.

Power Supply

The PSU has a Specci-style hollow plug with center minus polarity and is officially rated 15 V DC. My device delivers 18.8 V when the computer is switched on and 20 V without load. The TS 2068 also works from a stabilized 12 V source.

Archive

Name Letzte Änderung Länge 
Current Selling Prices/ 2010-04-02 11:12 106 
Images/ 2013-11-06 13:48 31 
Manuals/ 2014-04-10 18:24
ROMs/ 2008-09-14 16:11
Tech Specs and Repair/ 2008-09-14 16:11
Timex 2068 Cartridges/ 2017-04-21 16:26 50 
Timex 2068 Software/ 2008-12-11 20:06 38 
Timex Sinclair 2068.html 2002-02-23 12:14 4857 

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