Wanted: Spectrum 128k/+2/+2A so I can code great (eh..ok, mediocre then...) demos for it!

category: offtopic [glöplog]
Well, I might not be as famous as a certain Gloom, but I might as well give it a shot and see if I can get some help/advice in MY hardware quest! :)

I'm looking for a Spectrum, 128k/+2/+2A, that is, any model that has the 128kb memory and AY chip.

Now, I'm not sure exactly which model is best? The "plain" 128k seems to have the advantage that it has a line-in, meaning that I could load the stuff I want to test using an MP3-player or something (like I do with the ZX81) but that model seems to be the most uncommon.
The +2/2A on the other hand, I would need to purchase some kind of DivIDE-adapter, along with a CF-card and a CF-IDE adapter, right?

Then I'm also a bit confused on how to connect it to a TV (RF isn't really cutting it nowadays), some models seems to have composite out, some have RGB, and I even read somewhere that if you managed to confuse those two, you were likely to fry your TV... Yikes...

And then the number one problem, Sinclair seems to never have been popular in Sweden, haven't found any for sale at all.
Ebay UK has some, but the sellers that I've looked into so far have been very strict with "Shipping to UK ONLY!!!", probably because everyone tries to sell it as a 20 kg lot with five broken joysticks and threehundred games on cassette that I don't want anyway...

Any tips on where to find one (only machine+powersupply, no box or other crap) would be appreciated!
added on the 2012-02-20 21:27:33 by Sdw Sdw
Spectrum 128K are really expensive sometimes. The Black 128/+2A, which i have is okayish, except that the keyboard, despite the good looks makes trouble over time.

also, a divIDE is alot of fiddling if you want to do some complete different things. Like using Tape or disk emulation.

You simply connect the +2A through RGB. You need to fix the RGB though. composite and RF isn't really an option unless you have a normal 128.
added on the 2012-02-21 00:49:58 by Exin Exin
I paid for mine 90€ back then. :P
added on the 2012-02-21 00:50:16 by Exin Exin
Exin: So the DivIDE is cumbersome to use? I thought you just plugged it in as an expansion, loaded a CF-card with stuff and then could load TAP/disk images from some kind of onscreen menu?
added on the 2012-02-21 16:27:34 by Sdw Sdw
The DivIDE is totally straightforward for loading .TAP / .Z80 files, and works exactly as you describe if you have FATware flashed on there. (There is a bit of fiddling involved to get a FAT-formatted card that it recognises, if you're not on windows - in which case hdfmonkey will help.) I guess Exin is talking about full read/write support - at the moment there's no fully mature firmware that supports that (other than MDOS3 / +Divide, which use their own custom disk formats).

The 128 and (original, grey case) +2 have a composite video pin on the RGB port - the +3 and +2A replaced it with an audio output. Not sure where you can get composite cables, other than soldering your own... divide.cz are selling RGB cables, though. (Not sure why they're advertised as "for +2" - as far as I'm aware the RGB pinout is identical on all of them...)
added on the 2012-02-21 19:39:46 by gasman gasman
Or... what about Oric? ;-)
added on the 2012-02-21 22:27:14 by xeron xeron
gasman: I've read some more about this, and the RGB-pinout it seems is NOT the same on the 128k/+2 and +2A/+3 as the first ones have the 'brightness' as as separate pin, while the latter have level output straight on the R/G/B pins instead (http://mts.speccy.cz/doc/128_rgb.pdf).
And then there is the audio issue, with the normal grey +2 (which seems to be the most common model) you have to build a special SCART-cable with a 3.5mm connector in addition to the 8-pin DIN to get the sound as well. *sigh* why is it so hard to stick to a standard?!?!

xeron: It's turning out to be hard enough to get hold of a Spectrum (which I guess is fairly common atleast) - trying to find an even more obscure machine doesn't seem like a good plan for my sanity! :D
added on the 2012-02-22 00:13:36 by Sdw Sdw
i did purchase a +2a and two +2 form ebay.uk - the first +2 was not working - +2a worked and the third i just asked the guy to ship me the mobo - you could try contacting the seller and as long as you cover the s&h expenses they can be persuaded to ship to non-uk residents - overall it is expensive but , for the first +2 i had that didnt work i did get some of the money back using ebays resolution center (think it was the cost and half the s&h fee ) - the +2a was gifted to a friend of mine and he was expiriencind some problems with it after transporting it to his place back in italy form romania so it seems they are pretty sensitive on shipping - either that or its just bad luck and old hardware

i do have a working +2 for my nostalgia now but overall i spent about 100 euros on the working results. - you can easily "mod" the case and add a line in jack to use as line in - just have to solder it to the integrated decks signal pin - i did mine so if you know your way around a soldering station its a quick fix. also the scart cable is not so hard to DIY if you have access to the small resistors so you can fit them inside the scart plug.
added on the 2012-02-22 08:20:57 by gersiu gersiu
Sometimes i think you'Re better off with a russian clone. But one of the single-board kind.You could connect a standard floppy drive, PC Keyboard and even other stuff. But then, who lives in russia. :D
added on the 2012-02-22 16:44:41 by Exin Exin