In fact, two different systems were called Timex 2048.
The first, called TS-2048 (for Timex-Sinclair) was designed by Timex USA but never passed the prototype stage. It was a 16K version of the TS-2068 with the same silver case but reduced features, a Kempston joystick interface and additional video modes. At the time when it was ready to be launched, the market had moved to 48K and 64K systems, and there was no future for a new 16K machine.
The second, named TC-2048 (for Timex Computers) was designed and made in Portugal by the Timex Portuguese subsidiary. It kept some features of the US prototype - joystick interface and extra video modes - and was 99% compatible with the ZX Spectrum. Slight differences in BASIC ROM and edge connector prevented some rare game software or peripherals to run correctly.
However, it was a better quality machine than the genuine Sinclair. Plastic-key keyboard was more reliable and had a full-sized space bar, a power switch and power Led were added and the custom ULA chip offered better IRQ and memory management.
Thanks to its extra video modes, the TC-2048 was able to display 80 columns text. Coupled with an external floppy disc unit - generally, the FDD-3000 - it could run CP/M O.S. and software.
As Timex Computers was only allowed to distribute the TC-2048 in countries where the Sinclair Spectrum wasn't established, it was only sold in Portugal and Poland. it met a great success in both countries where several ten-thousands machines were sold.
Thanks to Alejandro Cifuentes for the picture.
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Hi everyone! This was my firt computer, bought in 84 for 20.000$ (100€) and it came with the game Kickstart. I still have it and it works like a charm. I also have the sinclair joystic interface as this computer only works with kempston joysticks by default. I had the termic printer but i really don''t know where i left it. That''s it!
Tuesday 25th October 2011
I had one of those. I''m now looking for a working one, so I''ll have one soon - I got a broken one which has been given to me, but I got sorely disappointed when it didn''t work (turns on, but only gives out blinking squares). Great machine - my childhood''s toy of choice.
I've had this great computer since 1986, when my father bought it from "Baltona" store in Poland (it was very popular ZX colne in Poland, but almost not known in CZ/SK) for the prize of 145 USD. Some games don't work because of different mapping of keyboard ports. Also some third party add-ons cause problems, because TC2048's bus connector is not 100% compatible with original Spectrum's one (there is no 5V output on Timex's bus port). Especially disk interfaces made in CZ/SK. We've been using Opus Discovery 1, which worked perfectly. Anyway, my father bought another TC2048 in 1988 for me so we had two Timexes at home. The older one had no sign "TC 2048" in the upper right corner of the keyboard and the tape EAR/MIC sockets were made from plastic, while the newer version had the sign I mentioned and the jack sockets were metallic. I sold both in early 90's but I got one again from Poland this year because I want to have my very first computer :)
Saturday 17th September 2005
Alan Petrik (Czech Republic)
BUILT IN LANGUAGE
42 plastic keys
Custon ULA chip
32 chars. x 24 rows, 80 columns extended mode
256 x 192 dots in colour mode, 512 x 192 dots in monochrome mode
1 voice, 10 octaves, built-in speaker
SIZE / WEIGHT
Tape recorder IN & OUT, RF TV video output, Composite video output, Joystick connector (DB9), expansion bus connector
External power supply unit (ground in the center), 9v DC at 1000 mA.
All the Sinclair Spectrum and third party expansions