What are the differences between the +2 and the +2A ?

edited October 2002 in Games
I only acquired a +2 for the first time in my life a few months ago. It works fine. :) I even managed to tracke down nearly all the wargames by the software house that made Arnhem (by R.T.Smith?)

Anyway, today I picked up a +2 manual (at least I thought I did) for 39pence in a chrity shop.

Straight away it starts talking about the +2a and how it compares to the +3.

Could somebody pelase tell me the chronolgocial order that these machines were released in, and what the main differnces are?

Thanks. (I only ever had a rubber key 48k in my youth).
Post edited by thx1138 on
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Comments

  • edited September 2002
    1986 - +2
    1987 - +3
    1987 - +2a (or possibly 1988)

    The +2 is the same as the original 128, but housed in a tacky grey case with rubbish tape deck.

    The +2a is a +3 without the disc drive, and housed in a tacky black case with rubbish tape deck. Thus, the +2a suffers from the same incompatability problems as the +3.

    It looks like you've picked up the +2a manual (black cover) instead of the +2 manual (grey cover).

    [ This Message was edited by: Refrenz on 2002-09-27 00:25 ]
  • edited September 2002
    what about hte +2B? as this is on the bottom of one of mine
  • edited September 2002
    +2Bs were later, made in Hong Kong not Taiwan but almost identical. +3Bs are rare and I haven't heard of anyone with one.
  • edited September 2002
    I have a +2B and so does a mate of mine. We each acquired a James Bond Spectrum +2 pack, and were surprised to find there were spectrum +2Bs in both!!!
  • edited September 2002
    The basic difference between a +2 and a +2a is that the +2a crashes more. Much more. Much, much, much more. In fact, my +2a was such a pain in the arse I had to buy a second-hand +2 to run some of my games. Then the play key on the +2's tape recorder broke. I cried. I'm still crying now, actually.

    Bloody Amstrad!
  • edited September 2002
    Malcom - have you ever though of transplanting the +2A tape deck into the +2 to get round that broken play button?

    It might look slightly odd having a black row of tape buttons though. (you could always swap the +2 keyboard with the +2A one to make the keyboard match the cassette buttons - a unique 2-toned spectrum!)
  • edited September 2002
    Hello Refrenz!

    Actually, I thought I was being very clever by opening up the +2 and moving the record button to replace the broken play button. Chuffed, I stuck the computer back together, stuck in a tape and pushed my new 'play' button..... snap!
    Mind you, the rewind key is now holding up well as the third play key!
    As for not using a button from my +2a - haven't you heard of colour clash Refrenz?! Black with grey... yeuch!
  • edited October 2002
    When the play key broke on my +2A, I unscrewed the case hoping to fix it, and found I didn't have to.

    Reaching underneath where the play button once was, there was a small 'lug' that had been part of the complete key. By pushing this backwards it activated the PLAY function.

    I got so used to doing this that when I finally got a new +2 (grey) it took me months before I stopped trying to lift up the case to press play.

    By the way, I don't recommend this as you'll probably electrocute yourself eventually if you do. It's a wonder I didn't really.

    Actually, I never found my +2A crashed more often than my +2 or 48k Spectrums. But perhaps I'm just looking back with rose tinted glasses on...
  • edited October 2002
    Actually, I'm beginning to think I just had a crappy +2a! I had a nightmare with it - I had to return games such as Castle Master and Rainbow Islands because they would crash after 10-30 minutes of play! Dizzy would work for a while, then suddenly the sprites would start trailing all over the screen and it'd crash. Maybe there was something wrong with my computer?! Any +2a users out there who had similar problems? Any +2a users who actually had no problems at all?
  • edited October 2002
    Well, as far as the +2 goes, I must say I bought this one earlier this year (2nd hand obviously) and it loads everything first time. Even some 48k games which won't load on a Spectrum 48k wiht a separate tape player.

    I know a lot of people say they were troublesome, but mine seems to be outstanding.
  • edited October 2002
    I have a +3 and have never had anywhere near the amount of problems that are described here with +2a's.
    Games that used the attribute port would certainly crash - although I never had a problem with rainbow islands,
  • edited October 2002
    I have no idea why the +2a is so badly rated. I have not had any cassette problems apart from with winding C90s. The motor is not strong enough for stiff tapes. Maybe some people have not got the PSU voltages adjusted to 5V, +12V and -12V. No other spectrum has rgb output from the ula.

    Fraser.
  • Wrong, the 128 and grey +2 have RGB output from the ULA
  • Aha! Take THAT incorrect comment from 14 years ago!
  • All the 128k machines have a RGB output. That includes the Sinclair Spectrum+ 128k (toastrack), +2 (grey), +2A & +2B (black) and the +3 (inc the +3B).

    Oh, and nearly all +2A machines actually have a +2B PCB.

    Mark
  • There's a pretty long list of =2A/+3 incompatible games. Think the Amstrad-era tape decks were pretty cheapo, although my second-hand +2's worked well - until my kid brother spilled pineapple juice in it, that is. Never quite the same after that, and doesn't work at all anymore, alas.
  • just needed to add a little rum, coconut milk and you could've had a classic pina colada Spectrum +2.
  • I was just reading through this thread, unaware that it was an old one. I was momentarily very confused to come across a comment I couldn't remember making, that as it turns out I made in 2002!
  • My +2 tape deck was on the verge of dying last year but i sent it off to get repaired and now it works perfectly.
    Unfortunately the same can't be said for many of my tapes, which have sadly deteriorated with age :(
    We must perform a quirkafleeg
  • edited May 2016
    zx1 wrote: »
    My +2 tape deck was on the verge of dying last year but i sent it off to get repaired and now it works perfectly.
    Unfortunately the same can't be said for many of my tapes, which have sadly deteriorated with age :(
    How should tapes be preserved? Maybe avoid radiators, sunlight, moisture, smoke, dust, dust provoked by the inlay in which case you'd have to wrap cassettes in plastic to separate them from their cases.. Don't cook with microwave oven, maybe keep them in vertical position and within vaccum bags for food.. Some way to shake them so layers don't get glued to each other?
    Post edited by hikoki on
  • Well, they were well looked after, they were kept in their cases when not used and out of direct sunlight. They were always rewound and cared for but tapes will degrade with age despite how well they're looked after.
    My Yie Ar Kung Fu tape had fused together and took some time to unstick the tape but it had degraded too.
    Some of my copies still work but some i think are beyond saving sadly.
    We must perform a quirkafleeg
  • MattLamb wrote: »
    By the way, I don't recommend this as you'll probably electrocute yourself eventually if you do. It's a wonder I didn't really.
    I find it hard to believe that the speccy would have high enough voltage/amperage to really electrocute anyone poking a finger into it. I wouldn't go poking in the power brick though.
    http://iki.fi/sol | http://iki.fi/sol/speccy/ | https://github.com/jarikomppa/speccy
    http://goo.gl/q2j0NZ - make ZX Spectrum choose your own adventure games, no programming needed (release 3)
  • edited June 2016
    1024MAK wrote: »
    the Sinclair Spectrum+ 128k (toastrack)

    Just "ZX Spectrum 128" actually :)
    Post edited by guesser on
    My rubbish website including the redrawn Amstrad schematics and the new home of the Sinclair FAQ wiki.
  • Sol_HSA wrote: »
    MattLamb wrote: »
    By the way, I don't recommend this as you'll probably electrocute yourself eventually if you do. It's a wonder I didn't really.
    I find it hard to believe that the speccy would have high enough voltage/amperage to really electrocute anyone poking a finger into it. I wouldn't go poking in the power brick though.

    What can I say; I was a young, naive 22 year old when I wrote that, not the 36 year old sophisticate you see before you now.
  • MattLamb wrote: »
    Sol_HSA wrote: »
    MattLamb wrote: »
    By the way, I don't recommend this as you'll probably electrocute yourself eventually if you do. It's a wonder I didn't really.
    I find it hard to believe that the speccy would have high enough voltage/amperage to really electrocute anyone poking a finger into it. I wouldn't go poking in the power brick though.

    What can I say; I was a young, naive 22 year old when I wrote that, not the 36 year old sophisticate you see before you now.

    Ha, didn't realize I was quoting a message that old.
    http://iki.fi/sol | http://iki.fi/sol/speccy/ | https://github.com/jarikomppa/speccy
    http://goo.gl/q2j0NZ - make ZX Spectrum choose your own adventure games, no programming needed (release 3)
  • A ?
    Every time I read that the oldest person in the world has died, I have to do a quick check to see it isn't ME..........
  • edited August 2016
    MattLamb wrote: »
    By the way, I don't recommend this as you'll probably electrocute yourself eventually if you do. It's a wonder I didn't really.
    You need to paint your finger with silver conductive paint if you want some excitement doing this :D
    Sol_HSA wrote: »
    I find it hard to believe that the speccy would have high enough voltage/amperage to really electrocute anyone poking a finger into it. I wouldn't go poking in the power brick though.
    Why? 240V AC will just add some excitement and release some interesting profanities :))
    Post edited by 1024MAK on
  • 1024MAK wrote: »
    240V AC will just add some excitement and release some interesting profanities :))
    My speccy eats 9V DC, not sure about yours..
    http://iki.fi/sol | http://iki.fi/sol/speccy/ | https://github.com/jarikomppa/speccy
    http://goo.gl/q2j0NZ - make ZX Spectrum choose your own adventure games, no programming needed (release 3)
  • Sol_HSA wrote: »
    1024MAK wrote: »
    240V AC will just add some excitement and release some interesting profanities :))
    My speccy eats 9V DC, not sure about yours..
    Aye, but that was made in reference to the "power brick" :))

    Mark
  • 1024MAK wrote: »
    Sol_HSA wrote: »
    1024MAK wrote: »
    240V AC will just add some excitement and release some interesting profanities :))
    My speccy eats 9V DC, not sure about yours..
    Aye, but that was made in reference to the "power brick" :))
    Mark
    Ah. My bad. =)

    http://iki.fi/sol | http://iki.fi/sol/speccy/ | https://github.com/jarikomppa/speccy
    http://goo.gl/q2j0NZ - make ZX Spectrum choose your own adventure games, no programming needed (release 3)
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