Sinclair ZX Spectrum Peripherals

The Spectrum had a huge range of accessories, from joystick interfaces to printers and disk drive units. Here are a few pictures of some of the items in my collection - click on the images for a larger version. All of these items work with the 16K, 48K External link and 128K External link Spectrums.

ZX Interface 1

ZX Interface 1 Close-up ZX Interface 1 and box

The Interface 1 allows you to connect up to eight Microdrives to the Spectrum, or communicate through the built-in RS-232 serial port.

The other, longer cable pictured can be used to link up a whole bunch of Spectrums to form a local area network!

ZX Interface 2

ZX Interface 2 Close-up ZX Interface 2 and box

Sinclair later brought out the Interface 2 which allowed games to be played from ROM cartridges, instead of tape. The interface also features twin joystick ports.

The picture shows that the small flap covering the edge connector inside actually opens upwards, unlike with most consoles. Not pictured are two tiny covers for the joystick ports. Due to their size (and probably their lack of usefulness!) these are often lost.

ZX Microdrive

Microdrive cartridge ZX Microdrive and box ZX Microdrive Close-up

Connected to the Interface 1, the Microdrive was the Spectrum's mass (in those days) storage system. The devices could be linked together in a daisy-chain if you really wanted to show off.

The Microdrive uses tiny, interchangable tape cartridges (the small black thing in the lower-right corner of the box) which can store 85Kb of data a piece. It works much faster than the regular tape deck set-up, loading 48Kb programs in less than 10 seconds.

ROM Cartridges

ROM Cartridges ROM Cartridges Being left behind by the consoles, there were only 10 ROM cartridge titles ever released for the Interface 2, making these some of the rarest Spectrum-related items today. I have however been able to collect most of the games, but I'm still on the look-out for a couple!

The cartridge connectors are protected with a neat little rubber skirt, which folds up when the cartidge is inserted. Often this is out of place or, even worse, torn of missing. If you're having trouble putting these things back in, give this technique External link a try!

Sureshot Joystick Interface

Sureshot Joystick Interface

Yet another joystick interface for the Spectrum.

I found this one interesting because it's absolutely brand new!

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