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D > DIDAKTIK > Gama   


This was a Slovak Spectrum clone made by Didaktik Skalica Ltd. in communism times (1987). It offered 80 KB RAM.

As all Z80A based computers, it was not possible to address more than 64k. So the Gama computers used a bank switching technique, with two 32k additional RAMs. There was even a LED on the case, which indicated if the RAM have been switched or not!

The Gama computers had a built-in paralel i8255 interface. They used the original Ferranti ULA and had russian made memory chips.

The Gama computers were not fully compatible with the original Sinclair Spectrum due to some system variables differences.

In fact several models were made.

- The first one was black and, as it was made in 1987, it is often called Gama'87. It had a bank switching bug : if you switched the banks and the RAMTOP variable was above 32768, then the computer simply crashed...

- In 1988, the Gama'88 was launched (grey case). It's main difference is that the bank switching bug was repaired.

- One year later, the Gama'89 (guess why) was released because the '88 model was still quite buggy. Some bugs in ROM were corrected and hardware was a little bit changed, so the compatibility was improved. It has only latin character set and a print routine was implemented in ROM. The Gama'99 was the last and the best model of the Gama serie, it was manufactured up to 1992.


Branislav Bekes sent us info and specs for the Gama'89 :
CPU Z80A, ROM 16k, RAM 80k bankswitched, graphic mode 256x192 with 8 colors, text mode 32x24. Two bottom lines were reserved for interpreter. Sound 1bit beeper.
I/O ports : TV OUT, VIDEO OUT, TAPE IN/OUT shared with POWER SUPPLY connector. Expansion slot and 8255 interface. Power supply is external and offers +5V and +12V.

About the Ram switching, Abraham add:
The memory banks switching in GAMA was used for "tricks", like enabling on GAMA the AY sounds and music in games designed originally for ZX 128, taking game screenshots, enhancing the copy programs and many more things.

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At one point there was an urban myth that Didaktik Gama had an alternative Cyrillic character set combined with Czech/Slovak diacritic marks. I guess the sentence "It has only latin character set" is meant to convey that this urban legend is not true. Didaktik Gama never had anything other than a regular Latin character set, although it used a bolder font.

Saturday 25th July 2020
baze (Slovakia)

The voltages are +5V and approx +20V - the second voltage isn''t stabilized in power supply and may vary. Didaktik Gama stabilizes it to +12V used for video signal circuitry.
The memory chips are of various origin. I have seen bulgarian CM8164P, russian KR565RU5G (transcribed from cyrilics), or Samsung KM4164B. I wouldn''t be surprised to see czech MHB4164 in some variants.
The 16Kb memory chips are different to the ones used in ZX Spectrum. The chips used in Didaktik Gama need just one voltage, 5V. I have seen Fujitsu MB8118, or Intel D2118.

Wednesday 29th June 2016

Hello Damian, it is 5V and 12V, not 24V.

Friday 13rd December 2013


NAME  Gama
TYPE  Home Computer
ORIGIN  Slovakia
YEAR  1987
BUILT IN LANGUAGE  Spectrum BASIC interpreter
KEYBOARD  Full-stroke keyboard, Sinclair style, 40 keys, reset button
SPEED  Unknown
RAM  80 KB (16 KB + 2 x 32 KB)
ROM  16 KB
TEXT MODES  32 columns x 24 lines
GRAPHIC MODES  256 x 192 dots
SOUND  Beeper (1 voice, 5 octaves)
SIZE / WEIGHT  27 (W) x 16.5 (D) x 3.6 (H) cm
I/O PORTS  i8255 interface, expansion bus, TV and monitor output, tape-recorder sockets
PRICE   6000,- Kcs (Kès) (1987, Czechoslovakia)

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