Ultra Rare Timex Sinclair 1000 (ZX-81) with BLACK Keyboard?

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LambdaMikel
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2020 1:00 am

Ultra Rare Timex Sinclair 1000 (ZX-81) with BLACK Keyboard?

Post by LambdaMikel »

I have picked this up for 40 $ on eBay ("untested" of course - I knew I would have to work on it...). This time I also had to replace 2 keyboard matrix diodes (first time I had to do this). The usual "cut off and re-insert" method didn't work with the keyboard connector, as the break in the cable was too close to the keyboard membrane. Hence, I came up with this solution (attached) which works nicely and should also be longer lasting.

Over the years, I have fixed, resold, and kept ~ 20 ZX-81 / Timex 1000, but never saw one like this! Question: how rare is this version with the black keyboard? It must be an early US model (its a Revision 1 motherboard, with the hand-drawn curvy traces). Usually I don't spend so much time trying to salvage the old membrane keyboards (given that there are new replacements available), but this black one seems so rare that it seemed worth the effort.

Anybody else has such a Timex 1000 / ZX-81 or knows more about these? It was made in Portugal. Thanks!
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Lardo Boffin
Posts: 1300
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 2:42 am

Re: Ultra Rare Timex Sinclair 1000 (ZX-81) with BLACK Keyboard?

Post by Lardo Boffin »

Nice keyboard! Very neat and clean design.
I’m up to 40 or 50 zeddies but not seen anything like it.

Well, apart from this news article recently:

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ZX80
ZX81 iss 1 (bugged ROM, kludge fix, normal, rebuilt)
Iss 3 ZXVid
TS 1000 iss 3, ZXPand AY, ZX8-CCB, ZX-KDLX & ChromaSCART
TS 1500 & 2000
Spectrum 16k (iss 1 s/n 862)
Spectrum 48ks plus a DIVMMC future and SPECTRA
Spectrum +2a
LambdaMikel
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2020 1:00 am

Re: Ultra Rare Timex Sinclair 1000 (ZX-81) with BLACK Keyboard?

Post by LambdaMikel »

Weird, isn't it? I am wondering if it is some kind of after market keyboard.
Unlike the membrane we all know and love ( :D ), this one also has ridges around the keys!
So it is definitely a much better typing experience too.
jdfan1000
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2016 8:06 pm
Location: Buffalo, NY
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Re: Ultra Rare Timex Sinclair 1000 (ZX-81) with BLACK Keyboard?

Post by jdfan1000 »

It’s a stick on tactile overlay from Jameco. I saw the same auction and vaguely recognized it. Don Superfo has one (peeled off), which helped me ID it.

Here’s my page about it:
https://www.timexsinclair.com/product/keyboard-mask/
My archive.org collection, containing many Timex/Sinclair related publications.

TimexSinclair.com, my website about Sinclair computers in the US.
LambdaMikel
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2020 1:00 am

Re: Ultra Rare Timex Sinclair 1000 (ZX-81) with BLACK Keyboard?

Post by LambdaMikel »

Oh, great! Thanks so much - mystery solved!
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