TIMEX Computer 2068

When Timex Computer Corp folded in North America a subsidiary of Timex, Timex of Portugal, took the TS2068 and made some improvements.

Timex of Portugal changed the TV modulator, with the collaboration of INESC made a new version of the SCLD chip to support PAL and NTSC TVs, replaced the buffers between the Z80 bus and SCLD bus with resistors, lowered power consumption to 9V making it hotter than TS2068, changed the TS1000 edge connector to ZX Spectrum layout. Later TMX Portugal also introduced sound through the TV Speaker. It was marketed as Timex Computer 2068 ditching the Sinclair brand of it.

There were two versions of TC2068: a silver version and a black version. The black version was exported to Poland but also made its way to the Portuguese market bundled with an RS232 Interface and Timeword Wordprocessor cartridge to be used as a word processing machine. The text could be saved on tape or disk (FDD) and an 80-column RS232 printer could be connected to the RS232 interface (if an FDD was not available).

TC2068 software is fully compatible with the TS2068, tape loading programs work on both machines and the same for cartridges (TS2068 upper casing does not allow the use of raised cartridges as it has a thinner opening).

TMX of Portugal has made the Spectrum emulator cartridge for 2068 (with a TC2048 ROM) so it would boot to “Spectrum mode” as the machine is turned on, allowing it to run all Spectrum’s software.

TMX also made a special extension of the Sinclair BASIC, the BASIC 64, so the high-resolution mode (512×192) could be used in BASIC programs.

3rd party Zebra Systems has imported some TC2068 to the US and sold them as the “silver avenger”.

The last evolution of the 2068 was made in Poland as the Unipolbrit Komputer 2086.

Features of the TC2068:

  • Z80A processor @ 3.58 Mhz
  • AY-3-8912 Sound Chip (same as 1986’s 128K Spectrum) clocked at 1.76475Mhz. It is connected to different ports compared with the Spectrum, so no AY music when playing Speccy games. Because the clock rate is different, the AY sound will sound slightly different from the Spectrum.
  • 24K ROM (16K+8K) BASIC. Same as 48K Spectrum with more commands (SOUND, STICK, ON ERROR, RESET, FREE, DELETE)
  • 48K RAM
  • Memory bank switch: Memory can be bank switched in 8K chunks between the 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 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 the jack. RGB signals are available on the rear edge connector.
  • Runs on 9V like Sinclair ZX Spectrum.
  • ZX Spectrum edge connector compatible. The extra signals of TS2068 are in the extra contacts.
  • 32×24 / 64×24 character screen
  • 68-pin custom Gate Array (SCLD) capable of the following video modes
    • 256×192 pixel, 32×24 attributes (Spectrum screen)
    • 256×192 pixel, 32×192 attributes (extended color mode)
    • 512×192 pixel, monochrome
    • Dual screen mode where you could flip between two Spectrum screens.