The TS2068 was the big Spectrum of
Timex. Timex recognized that a 48K Spectrum would not continue being competitive in North
America for long without changes being made. They developed two computers that were to be
North America's debut of the Spectrum. One was called the TS2048 and the other the TS2068.
TS2068 is Timex's re-engineered 48K Spectrum. It was released in Fall 1983 just before Timex Computer Corp folded in Spring 1984.
TS2068 has an additional 8K ROM extension, cartridge port, two joystick ports and AY-3-8912 sound chip with extra Sinclair BASIC commands to support these devices (STICK, SOUND, RESET, FREE, ON ERROR, DELETE).
Timex pulled the plug in North America and Timex of Portugal, no doubt encouraged by the Spectrum's popularity in Europe, continued to sell the TS2068 as TC2068 and made it's own version of 48K Spectrum, the TC2048. TC2068 and TC2048 were very popular in Portugal.
The TS2068 BASIC is only partly compatible with the Spectrum. The tape I/O is the same, so you can load Spectrum tape files. Spectrum BASIC is a subset of the TS2068's BASIC, so you can run Spectrum BASIC programs. The TS2068's ROM is different, though, so you can't run Spectrum machine code that makes use of the ROM. With the aid of the Spectrum' emulator, it is possible to run only about 7% of the Spectrum's commercially available software.
The TS2068's Spectrum emulator is really a Spectrum ROM on cartridge (there are other forms) that is bankswitched into the lower 0-16K region. the top 48K region is filled with RAM. To the software this looks exactly the same as a 48K Spectrum. Using this, it is possible to achieve about 97% compatibility with a real Spectrum.
TS2068 works with 15 volts, insted of 9V like the Spectrum.
Features of the TS2068:
- Z80A processor @ 3.58 Mhz
- AY-3-8912 Sound Chip (same as 128K Spectrums) w/ clock 1.76475Mhz. It is attached to different ports compared with the Spectrums, so you don't hear AY music when playing Speccy games (of course, it can be overcome). I mention the clock rate here because it is slightly different from the Spectrum's.
- 72K (24K ROM, 48K RAM) wiich is bankswitched between three internal 64K memory banks called the HOME bank (16K ROM, 48K RAM), the EXROM (8K ROM; this one is not completely decoded and can only hold 8K) and the DOCK bank which is empty and is reserved for cartridges. The memory is bankswitched in 8K chunks.
- The BASIC is a superset of 48K Spectrum Basic. (ie - has a few commands added)(SOUND, STICK, ON ERROR, RESET, FREE, DELETE).
- A cartridge dock is located under a door on the right side of the computer.
- Two joystick connectors (not compatible with any Sinclair joystick)
- Composite video available on jack. RGB signals available on rear edge connector.
- Hardware was nicely designed to support DMA and memory bankswitching
- Video modes:
- 256x192 pixel, 32x24 attributes (Spectrum screen)
- 256x192 pixel, 32x192 attributes (extended colour mode)
- 512x192 pixel, monochrome
- Dual screen mode where you could flip between two Spectrum screens
This page was updated at 07-07-2001