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The Spectrum 128 (code named Derby) is the successor of the Spectrum +. It was made just before Amstrad bought the right to use the Sinclair name in computer products. So it can be regarded as the last "real Sinclair Spectrum".

The 128 is the first real evolution of the old Spectrum. It has a lot of new features: 128kb RAM, a new sound chip (Yamaha AY-3-8912), RS232/Midi and video RGB outputs.

The Spectrum displays a menu when it is switched on:
- "Tape Loader" to run programs on tape,
- "Calculator" to enter operations without typing PRINT before,
- "Tape Tester" to test the input level of the tape recorder,
- "BASIC 48" and "BASIC 128".

The Spectrum 128 can use two versions of BASIC: BASIC 48 is just for the compatibility with the previous models and can't use the new features.
The Basic 128 mode has a full screen editor and the user can enter the Basic statements letter by letter instead of pressing key combinations. It has new keywords to use the extended memory as a RAM disk (unless bank-switching routines are utilized) and to handle the new sound chip and the MIDI out socket.

Because there were still large unsold stocks of Spectrum+ in the UK, the Spectrum 128 was first launched in Spain where the Speccy was already very popular. It was sold there with an external numeric keypad to connect the main unit. This "spanish model" doesn't boot on a "start menu" as the UK version does (thus spanish 128k models are slightly different than later UK models). But even after being introduced in UK it had a short market life and was replaced with the Spectrum +2.

Please consider donating your old computer / videogame system to or one of our partners from anywhere in the world (Europe, America, Asia, etc.).


Spectrum 128 was designed in the UK but first made in Spain by Investronica. Sinclair didn''t sell it in the UK until 1986 because of an agreement with Lasky''s to shift all the remaining rubber and plus models first. However you could get Spanish 128s (which included a external numeric keypad) at all the major retailers in the UK from about August 1985. They cost about 200 quid - about the same as a Commodore 64 at the time.

The 128 is a 48K system, the 80Kb above ramtop could be used as a ramdrive in BASIC, or swapped in 16K at a time in MC.

Tuesday 30th October 2018
john (Australia)

Roger Jowett, what have you been smoking?

Tuesday 5th August 2014
Clumsy Colin (United Kingdom)$zsjTpFR0oYQ

please can anyone help lcd add hmpr bit 5$6 mode 3 interlaced with intra frame compression think gassman and naxtcross might be the only ones with a clue

Thursday 28th February 2013
Roger Jowett (Ulster)


TYPE  Home Computer
ORIGIN  United Kingdom
YEAR  1985
BUILT IN LANGUAGE  Sinclair Basic 48k and Sinclair Basic 128k
KEYBOARD  Same as the Spectrum+
CPU  Zilog Z80 A
SPEED  3.5469MHz
RAM  128kb
ROM  32kb (16k 48k Basic + 16k 128k Basic)
TEXT MODES  32 x 24
GRAPHIC MODES  256 x 192
COLORS  8 with two tones each (normal and bright)
SOUND  3 channels, 7 octaves (Yamaha AY-3-8912)
SIZE / WEIGHT  320 x 150 x 45 mm
I/O PORTS  Expansion bus, Numeric Keypad, RS232 / Midi Out, Video RGB, Tape (1200 baud)
POWER SUPPLY  External PSU, 9v DC, 1.85A (centre polarity = -ve)

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