Setname:  ts2068   
Year: 1983
Manufacturer: Timex Sinclair
Status: good  works
Type: Home Computer
Parent: ZX Spectrum
Emulation info
Overall emulation:  good   
Color emulation:  good  
Sound emulation:  good  
Graphics emulation:  good  
Savestates:  unsupported   

Tech info
Z80 ("maincpu")cpu 3528000 Hz
Speaker ("mono")audio
Wave ("wave")audio
Filtered 1-bit DAC ("speaker")audio
AY-3-8912A ("ay8912")audio 1764000 Hz
Screen ("screen")raster horizontal 704 x 256 @ 60.000000
Media devices
snapshot ("snapshot") snapshot dump ach, frz, plusd, prg, sem, sit, sna, snp, snx, sp, z80, zx
quickload ("quickload") quickload quik raw, scr
cassette ("cassette") cassette cass wav, tzx, tap, blk
cartridge ("dockslot") cartridge cart dck, bin
RAM options
48K 49152
Software lists

Show detailed info about 'Configurations' of this system

Hardware Version Issue 2
 Issue 3
Joystick Interface None (No Joystick)

Romset info
ROM NameSizeCRC32SHA1Dump StateBIOS option
ts2068_h.rom16384 bf44ec3f1446cb2780a9dedf640404a639fa3ae518b2d8aagood
ts2068_x.rom8192 ae16233a7e265a2c1f621ed365ea23bdcafdedbc79c1299cgood


* CPU: Z80A 3.58 MHz.
* RAM: 48 KB
* ROM: 24 KB (16 KB + 8 KB Exrom)
* Text Modes: 32 chars. x 24 rows
* Graphic Modes: 256 x 192 (with 32x24 or 32x192 attributes), 512 x 192
* Colors: 16
* Sound: AY-3-8912 Sound Chip (same as 128K Spectrums)
* I/O Ports: Two joystick connectors, RF out, Composite video output, RGB video output, cartridge slot, tape-recorder
* Keyboard: Chicklet keyboard
* OS: BASIC based
* Built In Language: TS 2068 Basic


MESS supports the emulation of ts2068 with the following devices

- a "cassette" (cass) device, for tapes in .wav, .tzx and .tap format
- a "cartridge" (cart) device, for cart dumps in .dck format

Also notice that a "snapshot" (snap) feature is available for .sna, .z80 and .sp files, and a "quickload" (quik) is available for .scr files.


This system requires full keyboard emulation to work correctly. At startup, full keyboard emulation mode is enabled by default. Whilst in full keyboard emulation mode, some key associated functionality may be disabled (like the ESC key for EXIT). The keyboard emulation mode is toggled using the "Scroll Lock" key (by default).

History and Trivia

This is the American version of the Spectrum. It has an additional 8K extension ROM, cartridge port, two joystick ports and AY-3-8912 sound chip with extra Sinclair BASIC commands to support these devices (STICK, SOUND). It was packaged in a hard plastic silver case with nonstandard plastic keys.

The TS2068 is Timex's re-engineered 48K Spectrum. It was released in Fall 1983 just before Timex Computer Corp folded in Spring 1984. A rogue arm of Timex in Portugal continued to sell TC2068s (same as TS2068) and TC2048s (an improved Spectrum) until 1989. They, of course, were only allowed to sell in non-Sinclair controlled marketplaces.

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. The TS2048 was basically a 48K Spectrum w/ Kempston joystick and the advanced video modes of the TS2068. The TS2068 was a completely different computer with the Spectrum as its roots. Timex decided to only sell the TS2068. When sales over Christmas 1983 were disappointing, they pulled the plug. Timex of Portugal, no doubt encouraged by the Spectrum's popularity in Europe, continued to sell the TS2068 and offered the TS2048 as the TC2068 and TC2048 in parts of Europe, notably Portugal and Poland. When Timex pulled the plug, they dumped all their surplus TS2068s in Argentina.

As for Spectrum compatibilty: 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 m/c that makes use of the ROM. Without the aid of a Spectrum emulator, you can run about 7% of the Spectrum's commercially available software.

The 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. There are a few hardware reasons for incompatibilities but using an emulator, you can reach 97% compatibility.

Timex Sinclair was also working on another machine, the TS-2048, 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.

(info from old-computers.com, which took the text from "Sinclair Computer Hardware Factsheet")


* TS-2068 at old-computers.com -- http://www.old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?c=634

Edit the History info for this game.


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