Click Here to visit our Sponsor
The History of Computing The Magazine Have Fun there ! Buy goodies to support us
  Mistake ? You have mr info ? Click here !Add Info     Search     Click here use the advanced search engine
Browse console museumBrowse pong museum


ZX Spectrum T-shirts!

see details
ZX81 T-shirts!

see details
Ready prompt T-shirts!

see details
Spiral program T-shirts!

see details
Atari joystick T-shirts!

see details
Arcade cherry T-shirts!

see details
Battle Zone T-shirts!

see details
Vectrex ship T-shirts!

see details
Moon Lander T-shirts!

see details
Competition Pro Joystick T-shirts!

see details
C64 maze generator T-shirts!

see details
Atari ST bombs T-shirts!

see details
Elite spaceship t-shirt T-shirts!

see details
Pak Pak Monster T-shirts!

see details
BASIC code T-shirts!

see details
Vector ship T-shirts!

see details
Breakout T-shirts!

see details
Pixel adventure T-shirts!

see details

T > TIMEX / SINCLAIR > 1500   


The Timex-Sinclair 1500 is basicaly a Sinclair ZX-81 in a ZX Spectrum case with 16 KB RAM.

Timex marketed the Sinclair computers on the North American market. The ZX-81 was sold as the TS-1000 (with 2 KB RAM instead of 1 KB of the original model) and the ZX Spectrum as the forth-coming TS-2000 (which remained a prototype). As the sales of the TS-1000 were dangerously falling, Timex produced a mix between the ZX-81 and the ZX Spectrum: the TS-1500. The goal was to correct the weaknesses of the TS-1000: too small memory and awfull keyboard.

It's in fact just a ZX-81 with the 16 KB RAM expansion built inside a Spectrum style case. But the original black case turned silver for the TS-1500. To prove that it is exactly the Spectrum case re-used here, there is still the speaker grid underneath the system, whereas the TS-1500 has no sound feature! However there are minor cosmetic changes: the "sinclair" encarved logo on top of the case is replaced by a fake grid... In fact, this plastic case was the TS-2000 one (which was never produced), reused here for the TS-1500.

The chicklet keyboard is also an improvement (really?) over the flat membrane keyboard of the ZX-81. The keys layout is exactly the same as the ZX Spectrum. You can even use keyboard membranes of the Spectrum 48KB to replace the existing one if it breaks. Apart from that it remains a TS-1000. The connectors are the same (RF TV ouput, tape recorder, expansion bus) and the Basic is still the Sinclair Basic. A 16k RAM expansion (the same as the one sold for the TS-1000) can be used to reach 32 KB RAM.

However, the TS 1500 had a number of changes that made it different than just a TS 1000 / ZX-81 with 16k:

1. The ROM was updated to check for 16 KB memory and correct faults in the TS 1000 version (which corrected faults in the ZX81 version).
2. You could only add a 16 KB RAM pack (1016). To use any larger 3rd party RAM pack from the TS1000/ZX81 family you need to modify the motherboard.
3. Circuitry was added to allow you to choose which channel to display, 2 or 3, when you turned on the system by holding down the "3" key on the keyboard.
4. The motherboard is a complete redesign with 16 KB onboard and the ULA (Undefined Logic Array) was surface mounted and not socketed.

Despite its funky look, the TS-1500 did not sell well either. In 1983, who wanted to buy a ZX-81 disguised whereas you could offer yourself a splendid Commodore 64 for a few more bucks!


Contributed to this page : Bill Hicks

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

Special thanks to Eileen O'Neill who donated us this computer !


in 9182 My mom brought me a Timex 1500 computer. I first wanted to power it off a 9 voly dry cell because the power adpator was rated 9 volts. it is how i learned to master programming in basic. I wanted to build my own interface circiut but th emembrain keyboard went faulty. I brought from th eUK in 1984 a magazine that you could make a keyboard for the computer and a joystick adaptor. I wish it had not stopped working. It lasted longer than commadore 64 because the PSU for the 64 normally blew and you had to replace th ePSU, memory modules and the rom chips

Tuesday 15th August 2006
Chulang SeaRLES (Barbados, West Indies)


NAME  1500
TYPE  Home Computer
YEAR  August 1983
KEYBOARD  Chicklet keyboard (ZX Spectrum style), 40 keys
CPU  Zilog Z80A
SPEED  3.5 MHz
RAM  16 KB
TEXT MODES  32 columns x 24 lines (2 lines are reserved for system messages and commands)
GRAPHIC MODES  64 x 44 dots
COLORS  Black and white
SIZE / WEIGHT  23 x 14,4 x 3 cm / 550g
I/O PORTS  Expansion bus (Z80 bus), tape interface, RF video output
PERIPHERALS  16 KB RAM, printer + all the Sinclair ZX81 peripherals
PRICE  US $79.95 (USA, 1983)

Please buy a t-shirt to support us !
Ready prompt
ZX Spectrum
Arcade cherry
Spiral program
Atari joystick
Battle Zone
Vectrex ship
C64 maze generator
Moon Lander
Competition Pro Joystick
Atari ST bombs
Elite spaceship t-shirt
Commodore 64 prompt
Pak Pak Monster
Pixel Deer
BASIC code
Shooting gallery
3D Cubes
Pixel adventure
Vector ship

Related Ebay auctions in real time - click to buy yours

see more TIMEX / SINCLAIR 1500 Ebay auctions !

Click here to go to the top of the page   
Contact us | members | about | donate old-systems | FAQ
OLD-COMPUTERS.COM is hosted by - NYI (New York Internet) -