The Sinclair ZX Spectrum + 128k “Toastrack”

After the original models of ZX Spectrum, the rubber key and hard key models, came the 128k model (photo above).

Because of the large metal heat sink, this has become known as the “Toastrack”! This was the last Sinclair-produced model before Amstrad took on the Sinclair computer brand in 1986.

So what are the most common problems with this model, and its successor the “Grey +2” (photo below), which looks like a hybrid of the Amstrad CPC464 and the ZX Spectrum?

Sinclair 128k ZX Spectrum +2 (Grey)

This most common issues with these models are:

  • The Power Circuit, which is still on the main board inside the computer and causes problems for the computer and its owner. Despite the many problems caused by the design of the power circuit, as commented elsewhere on this website, the voltage conversions for the main board were still remaining on the main board. They could have been moved to an external power supply as done in the later Amstrad-produced Black +2 and +3 models.
  • The Display, which can be both using the old RF (which can be a problem, as explained in the articles on the 16k/48k/+ models) and also using RGB output which can go to a SCART connector. These can cause problems, especially with modern displays.
  • RAM chip failures, which like with the rubber key/+ models, can relate to the power circuit problems already mentioned.
  • The large number of chips on the board, compared with the earlier Spectrum models, and the complexity of the circuitry in comparison. Diagnosing and fixing these machines is more difficult than with the earlier models of Spectrum.
  • For the Grey +2, problems can arise with the internal tape drive, a.k.a. “Datacorder”. Some models of Datacorder cause loud hum on the Spectrum sound. This may or may not affect loading and saving. The Grey +2 has an extra need for power to the internal tape drive. This is shown as the “Datacorder” in the photo. The Toastrack still relied on an external tape player, with the problems that this can entail if the tape player is not reliable.
  • A lack of balance in the sound volume of the tape player, the new AY chip sound, and the traditional beeper sound. The AY sound can be quiet compared to the beeper sound or the tape sound. Both of the latter can be relatively loud.

PopeyMon Fixes and Refurbishes All Models of ZX Spectrum

I can fix all of the above issues. I can also refurbish your 128k Toastrack or Grey +2.

In the PopeyMon Webshop, I offer a basic test, assess and first hour of repair service. I will report back to you, in detail. If it takes longer to fix, then I will let you know my assessment before doing any further work. This service is also available for all other models of Spectrum, and at the same cost – click here for more details.

I also offer many other services and parts for the ZX Spectrum in the Webshop.

Let me know what you are looking for, by getting in touch via the Contact form or contact details at this link here. I give discounts if you buy a bundle of products or services.

Thank you for choosing PopeyMon Games!

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