TIMEX Sinclair 1500

The TS1500 was a solution to solve the delay of TS2068 and the wobbliness of the TS1000+TS1016 RAM pack, but it arrived too late (1983) and did not get much market.

Originally it was planned to fit a TS1000 case in silver color. But in the end, TIMEX Portugal proposed a silver ZX Spectrum case and keyboard and was approved by Timex USA.

The TS1500 is a 16K RAM version of the TS1000 with a new case design, new board, and electronic design with a gate array (ULA designed by Timex in collaboration with INESC) and raised rubber chiclet keys like the ZX Spectrum. It looks like a silver ZX Spectrum and is also much like early TS2000 mockups.
Prototype versions used a Ferranti ULA. 
Later revision PCBs are smaller and were called the “low-cost board”

The machines shown in the above picture show the VHF/NTSC and UHF/PAL versions.

As with the TS1000, it is also 100% compatible with the ZX81. Timex fixed some bugs on ZX81 ROM but also made new ones. Not all RAM expansion packs work and to have 32K RAM, some POKEs must be typed and the programmer must ensure that the display file does not go beyond address 32767. RAM Pack 16K memory is mapped on 16-32K area and internal memory is mapped on the 32-48K area.

TS1500 was also sold in suitcases bundled with a tape recorder and software. 

All these machines were assembled in Portugal by Timex Portugal.

Features of the TS1500:

  • Z80 processor @ 3.5Mhz
  • 16K RAM
  • 32×24 Character screen
  • Custom 68-pin Gate Array