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Timex Sinclair 1000

TS1000.jpg The first computer that Timex sold was a relabled ZX81, with only minimal modifications: The TV output emitted the signal on VHF channel 2 or 3, selectable by a switch on the bottom side of the case, and it was sold with 2 kB of RAM built-in. The PCB was actually that of a ZX81, with only some optional components added or replaced.

Another difference was the 60 Hz TV signal. The difference was already prepared in the ZX81 ROM. The display programme reads a port bit, which is connected to a jumper on the PCB. Depending on whether it is present or not, the routine knows whether it is running in a ZX81 or TS1000 and creates 312 or 240 video lines per frame, resulting in 50 or 60 Hz frame rate.

As a last difference, the TS1000 case was shielded with a metalic paint layer on the inner side of the case.

The TS1000 sold more than half a million in the first 6 months. That was a great success, but with great problems: The 16 kB RAM expansion was required to provide room for doing something really useful, but it was only delivered 3 months after introduction of the computer. Then there were the typical Sinclair quality deficiencies. Lots of the TS1000s were faulty. There are estimations going up to 1/3 of all units shipped... And as with the original, the connection between computer and RAM expansion was wacky. Once attached, you better didn't move the whole assembly, or the programme might have crashed. "Consumers who wanted to learn about computers were willing to ignore such shortcomings when the unit was the only one selling for less than $100, but now sales have plummeted." [The Wall Street Journal, 1983-08-17]

The entire TS1000 consists of a single circuit board with only 4 ICs. This is even more true for the TS1000 than for the ZX81, which started with PCB revisions for two 4-bit RAMs, totaling it's IC count to 5.

The TS1000 was followed by the TS1500, which also was a ZX81 compatible computer, but in a ZX Spectrum-style keyboard with 16 kByte of RAM already built in.

The TS1000 Store Brochure was taken with kind permission from Jack Boatwright's TIMEX sinclair Showcase at WoS.

Other Hardware


based on: www.oldcomputers.net

Name         Timex Sinclair 1000; in short TS1000
Manufacturer Timex Computer Corp., U.S.A.
Production July 1982 - 1983 (?)
OS, Language Sinclair ZX81 Basic, 100% identical ROM
Keyboard Membrane keyboard, 40 keys
CPU Zilog Z80A or NEC D780C-1 @ 3.25 MHz
RAM 2 kB, up to 1925 bytes available (extensible to 56 kB)
ROM 8 kB (identical to ZX81 ROM)
Text modes 32 chars x 24 lines, 64 non-ascii characters
. 22 lines available for PRINT, lower 2 lines for INPUT
Graphics 64 cols x 48 rows using 10 block graphics characters
Colors Monochrome
Sound None
Size, weight 16.7 x 17.5 x 4.0 (WxDxH) cm, 350 g
I/O ports TV VHF channel 2 or 3, Z80 bus, tape i/o (300 bps)
Price $99.95 (1982, USA)


Name Letzte Änderung Länge 
Current Selling Prices/ 2019-08-20 05:24 59 
Images/ 2019-08-20 05:24 14 
PCB/ 2019-08-20 05:24
Connectors.html 2014-04-11 22:22 4045 
Review in BYTE 01'83.html 2005-11-28 12:18 33635 
Review in Popular Science 08'82.html 2005-11-17 17:37 11362 
TS1000 Store Brochure.jpg
size: 778 × 1063
2005-11-09 10:11 107645 
TS1000 User Manual.pdf 2007-10-02 02:37 3583655 

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