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Vintage Computers Any vintage computer systems, calculators, video games etc., but with an emphasis on 1980s and earlier equipment.

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Old 23rd May 2024, 7:24 pm   #1
Timbucus
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Default Interesting Read on Sinclair history

Mark Kloosterman posted the below on a FB page which I think is a fascinating read from an engineer who worked at Sinclair and includes a brief mention of the MK14...

https://www.polymathperspective.com/?p=414
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Old 25th May 2024, 2:46 am   #2
ortek_service
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Default Re: Interesting Read on Sinclair history

Thanks, Tim, for that.
I don't recall seeing it before, but it seems it might have been there since 2011, when it seems it was written (or at least a photo of their pocket TV receiving analogue TV channels)

So when he says this about the ZX80 "Amazingly, we actually sold this thing as a kit that the consumer put together, and you can still find the unassembled kits on e-bay selling for something like £20."
Then I think an unbuilt ZX80 kit would be worth rather-more these days (And got to be far-more than that even back then when ready-assembled ones still fetched quite a bit).

It would be interesting to know who actually did most of the ZX80 hardware design, as it seems Brian Flint was called to a meeting where much of the architecture had already been decided / how it would scan keyboard etc. And if there were only four of them there (in addition to Sir Clive): Brian Flint, Jim Westwood, Rick Dickinson, and Peter Mayhew. And Jim Westwood was working on the cassette interface, Rick Dickinson was the Industrial designer of the case etc, later working on the 'Next' before he sadly passed away. and Peter Mayhew was stated to be more of a Technician than a Design Engineer.
I don't think Sir Clive really did too much design work on the Computers - Just decided on what their specifications should be.
However, Jim Westwood is credited as being the designer of all the hardware, here: http://www.retroisle.com/sinclair/zx80/general.php


And Brian Flint mentions Thurlby Thandar Instruments - Now called (Aim)-TTI - are still very-much around, probably being the most popular brand for Lab Bench PSU's at least (that they are virtually leaders in) - As well as making a variety of other common test gear at fairly good value prices compared to some of the other established Test Equipment Manufacturers (Although sadly, they seem to have discontinued bench DMM's with ultra-low current ranges, that I once bought some of at work).
Although he didn't mention that originally it was just known as Thandar - before they merged with Thurlby (and more-recently Aim as well)

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Old 25th May 2024, 12:58 pm   #3
SiriusHardware
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Default Re: Interesting Read on Sinclair history

Many instruments labelled Thandar were originally available branded as Sinclair, for example the PDM35 digital multimeter and the PFM200 frequency meter and the SC110? Portable scope, which used the same tube as the Sinclair (later Binatone) mini TV. So Sinclair Instruments or whatever they called themselves were close ancestors of Thandar, or at least quite a few of their designs came to be acquired and rebranded and occasionally improved by Thandar. (The Sinclair PFM200 had 4mm sockets for its input connections, the Thandar and RS rebranded versions had BNC sockets).
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Old 25th May 2024, 1:26 pm   #4
ortek_service
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Default Re: Interesting Read on Sinclair history

Yes, I have a few of those Sinclair/Thandar pocket DMM's / Frequency Counters
- Which of course re-purposed a Sinclair Calculator case
(Maybe they got the idea from Nat Semi and their re-use of other Calculators for the User Interfaces on their SC/MP dev systems)
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