Not bored with the Boards.



  • The new membrane had black coloured end connectorsvarious%20comp%20004_zpsmsdrseav.jpg
  • I was quite pleased with the final result which worked well : it is my "made-up" Issue II ZX Spectrum 48kvarious%20comp%20005_zpsyprmeo9i.jpg
  • A Multiface project<iframe width="480" height="360" src=""></iframe>
  • This Multiface was recently found , a victim of a "repair" , many years ago , by me this time!:so it is an unfinished project from the past . Years ago the edge connector had failed : the plastic bits had broken up because of heat (this was one reason for me thinking , at the time , that gold plated edge connectors were , generally speaking at least , a good idea as they helped to eliminate the heat build up caused by resistant oxides on the Spectrum's own edge connector ) . A new edge connector was therefore needed and was added to this board and for a while it all worked fine but then something must have failed and the repair was , for some reason , abandoned . I may try again "in the fullness of time" but I now have quite a few ZX Spectrum related ongoing projects!
  • Yes a new edge connector was added ,at a slightly wonky angle!!various%20pics%20049_zpshfj4kanj.jpg
  • Will it ever work again? Well I do have a spare EPROM but before I put that in I will need to try out my rudimentary multi-metering skills (,like continuity tests across the repaired bits) .

    Well at least it is another "free" project ,("free" being the operative word and much needed after the excesses of Christmas!)
  • The Draysoft Doubler

    In December 2105 on this thread I posted pics of the Draysoft Doubler PCB (Evesham Micro) . The wire solder connection on its "Red Push Button" ( "Multi face like" ) had oxidized away and needed a re-solder . Well I did that today and tried it , but without the Doubler software it also needs , on the back of a 48k Spectrum . I attached it to the back of the Speccy 48k and pressed the Red Button . The effect was a bit different from the normal Mutiface screen banding : it created broad blue and black scrolling banding on the screen and also emitted a continuous beep . Next I need to locate and try the software with the Instructions.
  • The "look" of the on screen coloured banding of the "Draysoft Doubler"latest%20pics%20003_zpsvawrwref.jpg
  • Re the broken Multiface

    I was tempted to have a play to try and fix it . I re-soldered the connection to the Red button and put it in a case labelled ROM version F Nought . I then found an 87.12 Eprom and wanged it in to the PCB. I plugged it into a Spectrum and absolutely nothing happened when I pressed the Red button . So I took the Eprom out again . It remains a busted Multiface fault unknown
  • Not bored with the ZX Spectrum board games

    Spectrum Board Games : So far I have Tank Attack which is great . I am hoping to get ATRAM .How many Spectrum board games are there ? Does anyone have a list?

    The great thing about the Speccy was that "coming early" , onto the micro scene in the 1980s , meant that people were willing to try new ideas that were later deemed to be too un-commercial .But they did not know this at the time so these new ideas or hybrid games were tried out briefly to test the size of the market . But how many were there that actually got to be released?
  • Spectrum Board Games : So far I have Tank Attack which is great . I am hoping to get ATRAM .How many Spectrum board games are there ? Does anyone have a list?

    I have that too, and also Brian Clough's Football Fortunes which is great! Those are the only two I know of though. :/ I did think there was one called Eye but I think that's just based on a real board game.

    What is ATRAM? I wasn't aware of that one.
  • I did not know about Brian Clough's Football Fortunes . So that makes 3 in all as Eye was based on a board game but does not come with one in the Speccy version .

    Yes I was not aware of A.T.R.A.M until I saw it up for sale . I is some kind of air defence game . I will know more when I get it but is has a few bits missing! (but I still thought it was worth getting)
  • Reply to RobeeeJay

    Thanks very much for the tip about Brian Clough's Football Fortunes . I have found a copy and bought it online . Everyone online seems to like the game

    It appears that CDS produced both Tank Attack and this Brian Clough game . I wonder if there are any other "Spectrum with physical board" games that can be added to the list of 3 games we have so far?
  • The two type of supplied Board : Hardware and Software

    I have realized that there is a difference in the way that board games for the ZX Spectrum have been supplied with boards.Tank Attack by CDS had a proper unfoldable "Hardboard" game board included . I have read somewhere on WOS that CDS were going to do a follow up game but it was pulled before issue. So I was surprised about Brian Clough's Football Fortunes . It appears that CDS had not given up with Board Games entirely but for probably commercial reasons (to do with the high cost of producing a proper game board) they later adopted a different approach and only included software based diagrams/scans which could be printed out by the user.They were therefore saved the high costs associated with making a physical "hardboard or similar" board for the game.

    So if we are talking about Speccy games with the board included there now appears to be 2 types;-1) A physical board for the game (eg Tank Attack) . 2) A software board for the game (Brian Clough's Football Fortunes). Interestingly both of these different board game approaches are by CDS. Are there any more with Board Games for the ZX Spectrum with Physical boards or is Tank Attack a "stand alone" example of the genre , ie the ONLY Spectrum game produced with a proper physical board?
  • Perhaps Board games could have been a liberation for the Speccy

    But things went the other way in the late 1980s . Often scarce memory was used on graphics and the gameplay , for some games at least , arguably got worse.

    Above I have mentioned 2 sub types of Speccy board game . But there is a third category that is not relevant here but it is worth a mention. I will call them "ape" games because they ape or imitate traditional board games . Some were great , so the use of "ape" here is not meant to be derogatory . It is just that there are loads of these type of games that copy traditional board games . I notice that previous discussions about board games on WOS seem to grind to a halt in this area as there are so many of them . So this discussion is not about these "ape" games though there were susceptible as mentioned above to "graphics takeover"

    So here the board games I am not getting bored with are those with a physical or software "board" included in the game . I have not yet received A.T.R.A.M but I suspect that it may have a physical board but I am not sure . So it could be 1 or 2 games ,so far , that have been found here , so far , with actual physical boards

    Arguably this was an under developed Speccy game area . Think how much scarce memory could be saved this way by clearing the board out of the Speccy's limited memory capability . Instead , often for commercial reasons , game development went in the opposite direction . It appears that CDS spotted the potential and the Brian Clough game , from what I have read , appears to be still lauded and raved about to this day
  • The Game Advanced Tactical Reconnaissance and Attack Mission (A.T.R.A.M) arrived .It definitely has a physical board . So , now I know that there are 2 games (ATRAM and Tank Attack) that I know of , that have physical boards provided with the game in a non software form( but for me missing bits/parts with this ATRAM game mean I will not be playing it yet : also there is no manual ) .ATRAM has an unusual magnetic board and a very large no of magnetic parts so I am not surprised pieces have been lost (One disadvantage of physical pieces!) But overall I am pleased as cheap price paid for this game

    There may be another game by Martech (Conflict) that fits into the category of having a physical playing board

  • I checked out "Conflict" by Martech on Ebay today : it is only £74.99! Oh well at least I looked
  • Maybe if you put aside the idea of things being a board game, and think of them instead as tabletop games, Brian Clough's FF counts then because of the player cards and the amount of interaction that occurs off the computer.
  • Hi Robee Jay

    Yes a bit of flexibility is needed when defining new category .I suppose if there is "apparatus" for table top or board game it would count in this special group : so if it is any kind of software "stuff" that is not in the game file itself it would count as being in this category . If the game is completely self contained and can be played without board or extra apparatus it would be like any other Spectrum game . So I am trying to define a special category so ideas will be flexible at this stage . I have not received Brian Clough game yet but I expect it will count as one of the "special ones" if it has additional software apparatus eg a soccer pitch as a jpeg or similar . What do you think? Are we on the right lines here?. However I would not count hardware interface apparatus like the interface that came with "Shadow of the Unicorn"
  • What happened to ATRAM after its realease.

    The box says "The first in a series of unique computer aided board games . No more followed though the game was released by ERBE . It would be interesting to get details of this re-release.

    The reviews were not all encouraging . Crash Issue 12 Christmas Special 1984/5 wrote a piece about it .It said "But the inputs required for each unit's movements are incredible : for example a bombing run over an enemy airfiels might require the following input to the computer : 16S4E13R2M1S2F24ENTER" Tt says you need to do a lot of this kind of entry as the game progresses. It says a 10 m0ve game can take upwars of 5 hours to play .

    It appears to be a 2 player game .

    I can see why the parts get lost : the tape should be kept away from the magnetic strip so ideally not in the box . The box itself is not a conventional lid box but a "slide over" so when the pieces are attached to the magnetic board for putting away they can also slide out of the end of the "push fit slide over" box and get lost which is what appears to have happened to the second hand game I got :it had missing bits/pieces , no rule book and no tape . But still good value because of the unique magnetic type of board . My first task is to get some instructions for it

    The Brian Clough Game arrived this morning .in a big conventional type foldable plastic case of the type often used for the bigger Speccy games . When looking at this online I had misjudged the size of the case . It is bigger than I thought so there is room for actual physical game board and gaming pieces so it is not as software oriented as I thought . CDS appear to have cut down on "case costs" by using a conventional plastic case. This includes instructions , a physical "thin card" folding game board , some "notes" type money , some counters , and a cassette tape . So definitely in the same "physical" game board genre as Tank Attack but with a much reduced and thinner cardboard used for the game board . All in all though , they have done very well rationalizing all that down to fit in this type of plastic gaming case.
    So now there are 3 or possibly 4 "Physical" types in this genre.

    1) Tank Attack (CDS) : in a cardboard box with a thick but foldable board with playing pieces
    2) Brian Clough's Football Fortune (CDS) in a conventional plastic case with playing pieces
    3) A.T.R.A.M in a large "old style monopoly sized" but actually a "slide over push fit box" with an outer cardboard wrapper going all round a polystyrene inner packing block . This one is by far the biggest Spectrum software package I have ever seen. I am trying to think how to modify it so I don't loose any more of the pieces!
    4) Conflict (Martech) I have not got this game or seen this yet except on Ebay where it retails for a very high price : It appears to be in a largish box which is a good possible indicator of a physical board inside but I am not absolutely sure as online images can be deceiving.
    I am most pleased with the Brian Clough game which was a reasonable price and appears to be complete so , as I said above it is good to get this after all this time. So thanks again to RobeeeJay for the info on this
  • Re: the "Brian Clough's Football Fortunes" game

    The packaging of this game is in stark contrast to A.T..R.A.M : The Crash reviewer's final verdict on A.T.R.A.M was :- "Nice box,shame about the game." With the CDS game "Brian Clough's Football Fortunes" it is almost a reverse of this situation :everyone says the game is great but I think the game board itself is quite flimsy and made of (by board game standards ) pretty thin card: presumably this was done to get it to fit into the plastic case . I accept that game designs has to accommodate the requirements of the retailer regarding amount of shelf space needed , and the concerns of the buyer in relation to durability .Here it is interesting that such extremely different approaches were taken with these 2 games . I think "Tank Attack" got the quality right but it was probably not profitable enough when done to this standard . With the Brian Clough game whilst people rave about the game itself I worry about the durability of this board , divided up as it is , into 6 sections to be folded up after use . The board I have got looks almost new but there is already some rucking at the edges due to the folding up needed .I think it would be better as a "2 fold" board like an old style chess board . This needs further thought. Maybe I can mod it.
  • Mod to the Brian Clough board

    This very thin card board is laminated so care is needed when applying backing board to avoid melting the adhesive for this. I applied adhesive to thick card and stuck it to the back on the thin card board. The playing board is now is much flatter and less fragile than before and opens like an old style traditional Chess or Monopoly board. (Learning point:- Care has to be taken to apply adhesive thinly to the thick backing board to avoid lifting the existing laminate on the thin board.) I then re-laminated the playing board surface. Overall it went well and I now have more durable and usable board for this game.
  • The new membrane had black coloured end connectorsvarious%20comp%20004_zpsmsdrseav.jpg
    Sorry to be off topic a bit, but I just had to say that I love that photo. Since replacing the membrane is the most common fix (..that I know of..) that photo captures a common experience of "current" speccy hobbyists. | | - make ZX Spectrum choose your own adventure games, no programming needed (release 3)
  • This is what should be inside the Brian Clough's box:

    So definitely has a board and is a board game!
    Thanked by 1harriusherbartio
  • Hi RobeeJay

    I think you knew that my game would have some bits missing so thanks for the pic . You were right I have the tape , the instructions ,the counters but only 10 of the playing cards (there should be 112) and none of the immunity cards . Yes I have not got the full set . I should have noticed . Thanks for letting me know
  • Reply to Sol_HSA

    Glad you liked it . I have heard it said that some membranes are better than other . I don't know is this type is one of the better ones but if there are "good and bad" it can be helpful to know "which is which" and where to get the good ones
  • Yes and strictly speaking I suppose this should be a hardware thread . Maybe I should do a new thread called "Not bored with Spectrum Physical boards!" (I should have thought of that sooner!
  • Oops! I put the new thread in the updates section sorry
  • OK back to PCB type boards!

    On the Opus thread I had come up with the idea of a "pinchgrip" system for Speccy keyboard "combo" Opus Discovery setups . The question that arises from this is ."Could I use a similar idea for 48k " problem to safely grip" Spectrum interfaces like, for instance , Spectrum 48K RGB display interfaces?" : (and maybe for other smallish Speccy interfaces ). Could the desktop "footprint" be made to be reasonable?

    Back in the 1980s I had never been very impressed with my Adapt Electronics RBG module but maybe I should take another look at it again . On the site Andy's "Retro Computers (Retro and Vintage Computers , old consoles and classic gaming)" I found this reference.about this interface :- "This little expansion module for the ZX Spectrum is an Adapt Electronics Spectrum RGB output module . Basically it gives your 48k Sinclair Spectrum a nice and sharp RGB video output. RGB is miles better than RF and even better than composite video. The RGB output uses the same pinout as the Acorn BBC computers"

    So why did mine have white flashes on the display? Was it because I was using it with an Opus ? (I cannot remember) It won't be easy to test as my RGB monitors are in the loft and quite big and difficult to shift . But the interface itself is nice and small and easy to photograph . So (that part at least) it is something that is easy to do . I can inspect it , photograph it and see if there are any obvious faults inside . Easy peasy!
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