Timex Sinclair 1500
Introduced:July 1983
Price:US $79.95
CPU:Zilog Z80A, 3.25MHz
RAM:16K, 64K max
Display:22 X 32 text (B&W)
hooks to TV
Ports:expansion, cassette
Peripherals:Cassette recorder
T/S printer

Once upon a time,
The TS 1500 uses your standard television for its display, "broadcasting" on either channel 2 or 3. It defaults to TV channel 2, but if you press the "3" on the keyboard within a few seconds of turning the computer on, it will then use channel 3 instead. Very tricky indeed!

This improved keyboard on the TS 1500 has the same layout as the earlier versions, meaning that each key may do up to five different functions, depending on how many keys are pressed and in what order.

Although the TS 1500 comes with 16K internal RAM, an external 16K RAM pack can be added for a total 32K RAM. A few keyboard commands (POKEs) are required for the system to recognize the additional memory space.

Being a very inexpensive computer system, an equally inexpensive data storage method makes the most sense. This was accomplished by utilizing a standard cassette recorder for data storage and retrieval. While almost any consumer recorder would work, Timex sold the very shiny Timex Sinclair 2020 recorder for that professional touch.

The motherboard of the TS 1500 is rather sparse, with only 5 IC chips for logic, and 8 more for the 16K of RAM. Interestingly enough, discounting the additional RAM, the TS 1500 still has more chips than the earlier but identical TS 1000.

This particular TS 1500 computer system was sold as part of an educational package - complete with carrying case, TS 2020 cassette recorder, hook-up wires and non-Timex specific training materials - all for only $295. Distributed by the National Education Corporation, this Technical Literacy Series includes:
  1. The Magic of Computers
  2. An "Inside" View
  3. The System and the Software
  4. Program Design - The Game Plan
  5. Putting Your Microcomputer to Work
  6. A Lesson in BASIC Programming
  7. Computer Logic - The Limits of Computer Intelligence
  8. Control Breaks - Taking Intermediate Totals
  9. Tables and Arrays - Lists of Similar Data
  10. Merging - Functions
  11. Advanced Printing and Graphics Techniques

Related Links

  • TS 1500 from Lewin computer museum
  • Sinclair User Magazine archives
  • CRASH ZX Spectrum magazine

  • History of Sinclair Computers

    • 1980: February - Sinclair Research announces the ZX80 computer in the North American market.
    • 1981: March - Sinclair unveils the ZX81 in the UK, based on the Z80A microprocessor.
    • 1981: December - Sinclair Research reports that it has shipped 250,000 ZX81 personal computers.
    • 1982: April - Sinclair Research introduces the Sinclair ZX Spectrum in the UK.
    • 1982: July - Timex Computer begins selling the Timex Sinclair 1000 through over 1000 Timex retail outlets.
    • 1982: August - Sinclair Research reports that it has shipped 500,000 ZX81 personal computers in over 30 countries.
    • 1983: January - Timex introduces the Timex/Sinclair 2000, which is their re-packaged Sinclair Spectrum for the North American market.
      Source: Chronology of Events in the History of Microcomputers

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