There are several types of Sinclair ZX Spectrum. So it follows that there are several different types of power supplies for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum.
The first type was the rubber key 16k and 48k models (as shown in the above photos). Next were the Plus and 128 models during the Sinclair ownership of the Spectrum brand.
Sinclair then hit financial problems. After Alan Sugar’s Amstrad bought the rights to the Sinclair Computer brand, there was the Amstrad ownership of the Spectrum brand.
And now, in the present, we have the new Spectrum Next. This latter era may be added in the future.
The Sinclair-Owned Era of the Sinclair ZX Spectrum
The power supply unit (PSU) shown in the photo above is a UK1400 model, which is OK for use on 16k and 48k rubber key models. The one below is the Spectrum Plus version of the UK1400.
The PSUs for these models are interchangeable. However, with the models after these, it becomes more complicated.
The articles in this series explain more about compatibilities and incompatibilities, especially in the Grey +2 article (Part 3), after the initial models have been introduced.
Part 2 of the Series deals with only the 128 a.k.a. “Toastrack”, so called because of the huge black heat sink on the right-hand-side of the case. This was the last Sinclair-owned model of the Spectrum.
The Amstrad-owned Era of the Sinclair ZX Spectrum
Part 3 looks at the first Amstrad-era Spectrum, the Grey +2. Some people view this machine as half-way between the Sinclair and Amstrad eras of the Spectrum, due to the combination of the new case and old 128 board inside. But the PSUs are NOT swappable, as they produce different maximum power outputs and the machines have different power consumption. More info is in the article, as well as information about compatibilities and incompatibilities.
Part 4 deals with the Black +2 models, the +2A and +2B. These models are more Amstrad-influenced, with the power circuit totally removed from the main board and placed into an external “power brick”.
Part 5 will look only at the +3, the disk version of the Spectrum. This was the last model designed BITD (Back In The Day), but was not the last released, because of the +2A/+2B/+3A/+3B versions that were released at different times. This article has not been completed yet.
If you are looking to buy any Sinclair power supply or want one checked, please get in touch.
I will happily sell you one – fully tested and working – for the Spectrum 16/48k/Plus, for the grey +2 or the black +2 or +3.
I also have a lot of other Spectrum parts, working computers and games for sale.
I will happily put together a custom bundle for you and have done so for my customers – please see my Feedback on the About page.