Timex 2068 In America Using Spectrum Software - Sinclair

This is a discussion on Timex 2068 In America Using Spectrum Software - Sinclair ; I have VERY little knowledge of the Timex 2068, but I've been thinking about picking one up and then getting the Spectrum ROM cartridge so that I can try some of the Spectrum games in America (where I live). Even ...

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  1. Timex 2068 In America Using Spectrum Software

    I have VERY little knowledge of the Timex 2068, but I've been thinking
    about picking one up and then getting the Spectrum ROM cartridge so
    that I can try some of the Spectrum games in America (where I live).
    Even if I can't find the Spectrum cartridge, I'd still like to play
    with the machine. I have plenty of questions:

    1) According to information I read online the tape recorder for the
    2068 is analog. Does the tape interface on the 2068 use a regular
    tape player, or is there a special interface? Can I use any tape
    recorder with it?

    2) Does the 97% compatibility between the Spectrum and the 2068 (with
    a Spectrum ROM) take into account the PAL and NTSC problems (i.e. what
    will happen if I try to run Spectrum PAL games on this 2068 NTSC
    machine? Will the screen roll?)?

    3) I have experience using the Bally Astrocade's digitally archived
    games (this is an early 1978 Z-80 game console/computer). With the
    Astrocade I can plug the audio jack into my computer's speakers and
    load a game. Will this method work with the 2068?

    4) Presuming that the 2068 uses a regular tape player, if I type-in a
    BASIC program, and then I want to save it, can I save it to my
    computer and then digitally archive it? This works very well with the
    Astrocade (which is the system that I'm sort of comparing the 2068 to
    in my head). What are some good archiving utilities to create
    archived programs (or convert archived programs to load from tape). I
    saw utlitiies such as these at World of Sinclair, but I'm not sure if
    the Spectrum and the 2068 can share these PC utilities.

    5) Is I cross-compile Z-80 code on the PC, how could I load it into
    the 2068? Are there PC archiving programs that can convert pure Z-80
    binary output to some type of loadable tape format?

    6) the 2068 joystick are Atari 2600 compatible (I've read)? Can the
    port handle analog (i.e. paddle controllers)?

    7) There are tons of Sinclair archives on the Internet. Is there a
    2068 program archive someplace?

    8) Is there a 2068 manual/book/magazine archive on the Internet?
    Specifically, is there a book that teaches how to write Z-80 games for
    the Timex 2068-- I'm not interested in BASIC.

    Finally, am I asking there questions in the right group? Is there a
    specific 2068 usenet group? If this is the wrong group, then where
    SHOULD I post?

    Thanks.

    Adam Trionfo

    P.S. If you're interested in reading about the Astrocade, then check
    out my website: www.ballyalley.com.

  2. Re: Timex 2068 In America Using Spectrum Software

    Hi Adam,

    atrionfo@hotmail.com wrote:
    > I have VERY little knowledge of the Timex 2068, but I've been thinking
    > about picking one up and then getting the Spectrum ROM cartridge so
    > that I can try some of the Spectrum games in America (where I live).


    A fine idea!

    > Even if I can't find the Spectrum cartridge, I'd still like to play
    > with the machine. I have plenty of questions:
    >
    > 1) According to information I read online the tape recorder for the
    > 2068 is analog. Does the tape interface on the 2068 use a regular
    > tape player, or is there a special interface? Can I use any tape
    > recorder with it?


    There are two standard mono 3.5mm plugs for audio input and output. They
    work best with a simple mono portable tape deck.

    > 2) Does the 97% compatibility between the Spectrum and the 2068 (with
    > a Spectrum ROM) take into account the PAL and NTSC problems (i.e. what
    > will happen if I try to run Spectrum PAL games on this 2068 NTSC
    > machine? Will the screen roll?)?


    PAL games will generally run with no problems with the Spectrum ROM
    installed. The screen will never roll. The interrupt frequency is higher
    and the frame time is shorter which may make some games have timing
    issues, but is generally no problem.

    > 3) I have experience using the Bally Astrocade's digitally archived
    > games (this is an early 1978 Z-80 game console/computer). With the
    > Astrocade I can plug the audio jack into my computer's speakers and
    > load a game. Will this method work with the 2068?


    Generally yes, but some PC sound cards seem to need extra amplification
    to help.

    > 4) Presuming that the 2068 uses a regular tape player, if I type-in a
    > BASIC program, and then I want to save it, can I save it to my
    > computer and then digitally archive it? This works very well with the
    > Astrocade (which is the system that I'm sort of comparing the 2068 to
    > in my head). What are some good archiving utilities to create
    > archived programs (or convert archived programs to load from tape). I
    > saw utlitiies such as these at World of Sinclair, but I'm not sure if
    > the Spectrum and the 2068 can share these PC utilities.


    No problem sharing the PC utilities for tape manipulation between the
    two machines.

    > 5) Is I cross-compile Z-80 code on the PC, how could I load it into
    > the 2068? Are there PC archiving programs that can convert pure Z-80
    > binary output to some type of loadable tape format?


    Yes (see bin2tap), or there are assemblers that will output tape files
    (e.g. pasmo).

    > 6) the 2068 joystick are Atari 2600 compatible (I've read)? Can the
    > port handle analog (i.e. paddle controllers)?


    The 2068 joystick port is Atari 2600 compatible, don't think it can
    handle analogue input. Note that the 2068 joystick is not generally
    supported by Spectrum software.

    > 7) There are tons of Sinclair archives on the Internet. Is there a
    > 2068 program archive someplace?


    There is a yahoo group for the 2068 with some software, but there isn't
    a single organised archive as there is for the spectrum.

    > 8) Is there a 2068 manual/book/magazine archive on the Internet?
    > Specifically, is there a book that teaches how to write Z-80 games for
    > the Timex 2068-- I'm not interested in BASIC.


    General Spectrum books will be relevant with some differences in the ROM
    and memory layout, I think there may be some TS2068-specific books around.

    > Finally, am I asking there questions in the right group? Is there a
    > specific 2068 usenet group? If this is the wrong group, then where
    > SHOULD I post?


    No problems asking questions here, there is also a yahoo group dedicated
    to the Timex machines that you may be interested in.

    Fred

  3. Re: Timex 2068 In America Using Spectrum Software

    > Generally yes, but some PC sound cards seem to need extra amplification
    > to help.


    I find this to be the case with the Bally Astrocade too.

    > No problem sharing the PC utilities for tape manipulation between the
    > two machines.


    That's good to know. That means that there are a lot of utilities for
    the 2068.

    > There is a yahoo group for the 2068 with some software, but there isn't
    > a single organised archive as there is for the spectrum.


    That's weird. I read that only about 80,000 machines were made, but
    STILL. Usually you find somebody that has put a collection together
    for one machine. Maybe since it can be made mostly compatible with
    the Spectrum nobody has bothered.

    > No problems asking questions here, there is also a yahoo group dedicated
    > to the Timex machines that you may be interested in.


    I posted there and got no response. The groups there seem pretty
    dead.

    Thanks for your help, Fred.

    I'd love to hear answers from other people too.

    Adam

  4. Re: Timex 2068 In America Using Spectrum Software


    Hi Adam,

    I am another 2068 owner or rather used-to-be owner as I managed to
    cook my 2068.

    > 2) Does the 97% compatibility between the Spectrum and the 2068 (with
    > a Spectrum ROM) take into account the PAL and NTSC problems (i.e. what
    > will happen if I try to run Spectrum PAL games on this 2068 NTSC
    > machine? Will the screen roll?)?


    As Fred said the only issues are timing issues. Games will still run
    but you *may* notice flicker in some parts of the display or special
    effects such as the full-screen horizon in Aquaplane will not draw
    correctly. I ran a lot of Spectrum games on my original machine and
    was satisfied with the results.

    > 4) Presuming that the 2068 uses a regular tape player, if I type-in a
    > BASIC program, and then I want to save it, can I save it to my
    > computer and then digitally archive it? This works very well with the
    > Astrocade (which is the system that I'm sort of comparing the 2068 to
    > in my head). What are some good archiving utilities to create
    > archived programs (or convert archived programs to load from tape). I
    > saw utlitiies such as these at World of Sinclair, but I'm not sure if
    > the Spectrum and the 2068 can share these PC utilities.


    Anything written for the Spectrum will work fine for the 2068 except
    the snapshot generators unless you have a Spectrum emulator
    cartridge. The tap manipulation utilities can be used to manage 2068
    tapes.

    > 6) the 2068 joystick are Atari 2600 compatible (I've read)? Can the
    > port handle analog (i.e. paddle controllers)?


    No they are digital only.

    > 7) There are tons of Sinclair archives on the Internet. Is there a
    > 2068 program archive someplace?


    Not really except for that zip of software at the yahoo group.

    > 8) Is there a 2068 manual/book/magazine archive on the Internet?
    > Specifically, is there a book that teaches how to write Z-80 games for
    > the Timex 2068-- I'm not interested in BASIC.


    For games writing on the 2068 you can make use of all the Spectrum
    material. The 2068 adds an AY chip that you can use 128k
    documentation for but you must be aware that the 2068's AY chip is
    mapped to different i/o ports than the 128's. It also adds two
    joysticks which are not compatible with any Spectrum standard; they
    are read through the AY chip's spare i/o port. The 2068 also adds
    more video modes (512x192 mono, 256x192 pixel + 32x192 attribute,
    double buffer mode) but the mode it powers up in is the same as used
    on the Spectrum.

    An alternative to basic is writing in C. z88dk supplies a sprite
    library that has been used to make several spectrum games now (see
    http://www.z88dk.org/wiki/doku.php/library:sprites:sp1 though it is
    not fully documented yet) and it comes with quite extensive support
    for the spectrum (and by extension the 2068). The nice thing is that
    you can freely mix z80 and C making the project as much z80 or as
    little as you want, using the C to do the 'boring stuff' or to
    implement a proof of concept before translating to C. You may find
    that the C version is fast enough in the first place.

    > Finally, am I asking there questions in the right group? Is there a
    > specific 2068 usenet group? If this is the wrong group, then where
    > SHOULD I post?


    This group is fine, the 2068 yahoo group as you've already seen and
    world of spectrum are good places.

  5. Re: Timex 2068 In America Using Spectrum Software

    Ah yes books. The 2068 technical manual and the user guide (which
    probably came with your machine) can be downloaded from the world of
    spectrum.

    This link http://www.geocities.com/aralbrec/sp...ples/pfill.zip
    contains a word document that describes the spectrum / 2068 display
    file layout.

    And this one http://www.worldofspectrum.org/forum...ad.php?t=16690
    will allow you to watch as I (and hopefully others) try to port the
    game MULE to the spectrum / 2068 using z88dk and C. Been very busy
    the last two weeks so not much happening there lately but it will pick
    up again soon.

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