Not bored with the Boards.



  • That is what is known as "a bad typo"!
  • The Kelwood has become one of my favourite "very old add on" wearsaversZX%20Spectrum%20add%20ons%20013%202_zps9e2j7pyu.jpg
  • The Kelwood has become one of my favourite "very old add on" wearsaversZX%20Spectrum%20add%20ons%20013%202_zps9e2j7pyu.jpg
  • A bit like a lap top cooler stand (without the cooler).It makes it a lot easier to type ZX%20Spectrum%20add%20ons%20011_zpsccabmfqe.jpg
  • Re above pic.

    The only let down was the cheap stick on labels but generally it is a very substantial and effective unit . I am a fan . It helps me appreciate the old rubber keyboard a whole lot more
  • The "Super Switch Saver" was advertised widely at the time . It must have been one of my first add ons . I wonder how many switches it saved me ? Nowadays it is good to switch of course! ZX%20Spectrum%20add%20ons%20014_zpsnbcqenfy.jpg
  • The "Super Switch Saver" was advertised widely at the time .
    Keeping it a secret would have preserved it better...... :-)
  • Hi Roko

    So you like it then?

  • Roko mentioned preservation and that reminded me of one thing that does not preserve very well and that is the old style tape recorders : the plastic is often very brittle and the belts stretch ( Re. "thread relevance : I have just taken one apart so I am not "bored" with it yet : and it has a PCB like "board" inside! : so with "thread relevance" established I will carry on!) . Well , the tape player would no longer fast forward or make it easy to use the extremely rare MIA tape (only joking and completely deniable and not to be mentioned on the other thread!) that I was playing with . So I reckon I have 3 options:-

    1) Buy some new belts (Risk assessed as high likelihood of me getting the wrong belt)

    2) Spend ages going round charity shops looking for a tape player (my wife tells me that even books are getting scarce in charity shops) :::::: (Risk assessment : not very good time management wise : I could be looking for weeks! And the belts might need replacing in this "charity shop" player one too. But , if I buy a buy a selection of belts this could reduce the risk on (1) above as now I would now have 2 players to apply belts to! Wow!

    3) Buy the only new cassette tape player still available (a Philips) : Risk Assessment : It might not have very good Save/mic and load/ear connections.

    It is a tough one!

  • Re cassette tape recorders:- At least it should be a diminishing problems as Speccy users switch to other devices for media storage. But the relevance of the good old tape recorder will never disappear entirely . The sheer number of varieties drive belts still available online shows that there is still a considerable number being repaired.

    Re The Kelwood Computer cases 48K "laptop cooler style" stand :-The picture of the Kelwood does not really do it justice . It really is a lot easier to type on a Rubber keyboard with one of these . There was a reason that it did not need a cooler (yes and Rubber Keyed Speccy owners know what that is ,of course!)
  • Nothing to do with Boards! :-Its about the Dremel Mod 395 Type 5 Code 83 (see Dremel pic above)This bit is more of more interest to case modders and makers.

    I took a punt and bought a second hand one of these types (see pic above) , as I thought that some type 395 Dremels have clutch/couplers which help to guard against burn out . The type I got was as per above but I could not find a clutch coupler when I opened it up . There appear to be sub types of this generic type of Dremel . So I will have ot adopt plan B and run two of them for a minute or two only.then switching, to avoid overheating/burnout . It appears that Dremels are a specialist area and my theory about large scale "shed" distributors may be wrong : it could just be geographical distribution . Maybe Americans get clutches but not us . I do not know the answer though I still have one more Dremel to open up.

  • Up till now I have not been bored!ZX%20Spectrum%20add%20ons%20005_zpsi8cn8vqm.jpg
  • Re above pic "Up till now I have not been bored"

    But I am now.!

    The above pic shows the PCB (and demonstrating thread relevance yet again!) inside my broken cassette tape recorder a COMPUTONE no less . So really I have no right to be bored as boards are a subject that this thread is meant to be all about : surely "being bored" at this point is me just being a tad "difficult"? But I in my defence I should point out that this is not a ZX Spectrum PCB , or even something Spectrum related by branding : this is an incredibly generic product that just happens to be very useful for playing ZX Spectrum game tapes . So I need it ,or something like it fixed even though it is not worth 30p!.

    But now I see my Amstrad did us all such a big favour in bolting on a tape recorder onto the +2 128K : this standardized all the spare parts , and even today , the correct sized rubber belts can be obtained from some very good online sites and the job done in about half an hour. The problem with this recorder is also with the belts ; the counter does not count anymore and "fast forward" or advance has died . So I have taken it apart as per the above pic . This "taking apart" is always the "easy bit".The "hard bit" was going online and finding that there are about 250 sizes of different rubber belts . Getting the right ones (main belt and tape counter belt) is not going to be easy)

    I will put it back in the box for now . It is on the "to do" list (sine die)
  • I changed my mind : there is something interesting ,after all , about repairing a second hand good of indeterminate value ( but say 30p !) item at huge expense . It is the risk factor that engages one's brain . And of course the 30p value of old tape recorders (say from a charity shop) has been redefined by Ebay who would have us pay £30 or so for these second hand "rare" items often offered in "non working" order. But do we know what prices are actually achieved? . But the possibility is that there are 2 separate market values the general one on the high street where second hand values are low and the more specialist one created by Ebay where postal costs , the effort involved to sell something has a big impact on the price actually asked for (if not actually always realized).. So there is a bit of a grey area here.Maybe somewhere in the middle say £10 is a good price for a working example.

    But for me the repair risk requires a decision .On the BELT repair side , online I can chose between a "Useful 35 pcs Mix Cassette Tape Machine Belt Assorted Common Belt" for £5.99 . Or I can try and measure the exact size of the belt needed and pay around £10 (inc postage and VAT) for just one belt albeit with a return option if my measuring is wrong..

    So I have a choice . Should I go for the "lucky dip" work or for the more expensive but precise measuring option ? The proper way to measure is to use a piece of string wrapped around the various wheels involved. I do this and get a length (circumference) of 276 mm . But there are other factors like the width and my belt is quite wide so I have a doubt about this as the offered belt has a width of 1.2mm and I think my belt is wider than this . So there is a doubt on the width but the diameter of 88mm seems OK. In the end I opt for the mix of belts for £5.99 and put the order in . I hope it will do both belts including the tape counter.

    There are other things involved in repairing this old cassette tape player like remembering not to touch the tape heads and repairing some broken plastic support posts for the PCB . Overall though looking back at this old tech I must say I am impressed with the work and effort that went into producing goods back then for so little money.

    "Getting back my Spectrum Tech" has involved a bit more repair effort than anticipated . But it is interesting once the effort is made to face up to the expense and the work involved on an item that lacks the rarity value of say an Opus Discovery Disc drive , but which in a way , has an even more vital role to play in revisiting all those old games once again.i just hope my chosen repair option pays off.
  • Not bored and "not cut up about it" either . This is how they used to do Spectrum repairs!Trip%20to%20Oxford%20late%20December%202015%20009_zpsq2uf9gsd.jpg
  • at least this Issue 2 has some potentialTrip%20to%20Oxford%20late%20December%202015%20011_zpsi9xudo3f.jpg
  • So this is my second ZX Spectrum Issue 2 :(there is another Issue 2 pic- on this thread ,see above pic dated 8th Dec , with a "dead cockroach" ) : so they question is :- How many Issue 2s will I need to make one good one? This is of interest to me only probably as I don't have a good and working Issue 2 " . It might be a lot cheaper just to buy a good one on Ebay ! But this "repair way" of getting one would also be a good way to learn more about Spectrums.(so an extra educational benefit for me then!)
  • This is the other side of the Issue 2 aboveTrip%20to%20Oxford%20late%20December%202015%20013_zpsdlfjsxlc.jpg

  • And talking of "education" I have never heard of "KALEX" so I have learnt something new already!
  • These ZX Spectrum 48k keyboard "tinplates" are different opus%20stand%20003_zps7uvgiyn1.jpg
  • An explanation.Why am I showing different types of keyboard tinplates?

    Well basically I decided it was cheaper to "make up" an Issue 2 Spectrum than repairing my existing Issue 2 boards . Apart from the cost there is the risk of ruining "even more" the Issue 2 "bits and pieces" that I already have.My " recipe" for a "not very original" Issue 2 48k Spectrum:-

    1) Buy 1 Issue 2 motherboard "said to be working" on Ebay for about £35 including postage. It should arrive soon!

    2) Find an empty plastic ZX Spectrum 48k plastic case that I already have

    3) Retrieve some tinplates I already have and compare and contrast the differences on the underside (see pic above)

    4) Use one of the new 48k ZX Spectrum rubber keyboard mats that I have stored in "talc" for about 15 years or so (Social change noted : Talcum powder is no longer commonly used in pharmacies so what do people use to store their rubber mats now?!)

    5 ) Buy a new membrane for about £11, and also some Spectrum 48k screws and rubber feet .

    Total "new money" needed cost is about £50 or thereabouts . (so definitely a cheaper way of getting a "not completely authentic" Issue 2 Spectrum and with less risk as well!.

    But which of those keyboard "tin plates" are authentic to the Issue 2?

  • Yes only 2 of the 2 tinlates have these brass fixing lugs on them . Is this a known difference? opus%20stand%20001_zpssjuwtqbh.jpg
  • I wonder if they were either added at some point to make manufacturing easier, or removed because they realised they weren't that necessary.

    I *think* that the only spectrum tinplate I've removed (using the hairdryer trick to melt the glue) didn't have these.
  • RobeeeJay wrote: »
    I wonder if they were either added at some point to make manufacturing easier, or removed because they realised they weren't that necessary.

    I *think* that the only spectrum tinplate I've removed (using the hairdryer trick to melt the glue) didn't have these.
    Snap. The issue 3 machine from BITD did not have lugs, and the few rubber key machines that I have (forget which issue boards, but they are either issue 2 or 3) are the same.


  • Re "Made up" Issue 2 ZX Spectrum

    The board arrived this morning and I tested it in a case and it displays the Sinclair Research logo just like it said in the Ebay Advert! So far so good then : so now I just have to wait for the membrane to arrive to do further testing. I think I will use the type of tin plate with the lugs . There is a "Mark Fixes Stuff" video that explains about the differences/types of tinplate and how to use a hairdryer on it . So I am more or less up to speed on fitting the tinplates of each type . Apparently the lugs are just bent over to make secure fixing so presumably they break after a few membrane replacements as repetitive bending back (after membrane replacement) will eventually break the brass lug : I wonder if they can be left "less bent" to improve their longevity ie just as a light pressure fix ? I suppose even if the lugs do break off they can still be used in the same way as the lugless ones.
  • I put it in a case and powered up and got the Sinclair Research logoUSB%20DKtronics%20024_zpstwct02zn.jpg
  • My £35 quids worth of Issue IIUSB%20DKtronics%20022_zpszkmpciws.jpg

  • I still have not finished "making it up"! (it needs a membrane)

    I suppose all I have shown in a way is that it is quite easy still for a Spectrum board to be beyond economic repair . So what use are all these "cut up boards " , non working boards , and complete boards with loads of stuff missing? . Well I would contend that are are at least interesting and too good to throw out or use to practice soldering on . I think that some of the history of the Spectrum is contained here as well as on working examples. For instance ,in December I posted a pic of a non working Issue II with "dead cockroach" . However I read recently that it was Issue I s that had the "dead cockroach" . So are Issue Ii s with this "dead cockroach" rare or not? (probably not but interesting non the less)
  • The "Made up" Issue II Spectrum

    It was very east to put together . It looks quite posh (well at least as posh as a Spectrum can) and the keyboard works OK when I tested it . So , it appears that buying up an Issue II Spectrum motherboard board on Ebay can work out to be a reasonable option if the necessary spare parts are also available . In real terms I think that the membranes have got cheaper , the tin plates appear to have got a bit dearer (even in real terms) and , of course , an old plastic case is also an essential requirement .So this Issue II "came in" at about £50 for the board and the membrane. I was pleased that the board I got looks as "un mucked about" as it does. This appears to be the easy way and cost effective way to "make it up"
  • This is where the brass lugs come through . I bent them over just enough to hold the plate in placevarious%20comp%20001_zpsjfngymr0.jpg
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