Instructables
Picture of Sinclair Surplus Keyboard Graft

No not political corruption, although I did do this project for personal gain. You see a long time ago I didn't have the money for a big fancy computer, I still don't in fact, but I did have the desire to think I was using one. Thusly this amalgamation was born. So it'd be fair to say that,

a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away I was a poor rebel electronics geek!

This is the story of my desperate struggle against the dark forces of expensive computers and how I hacked my way out of it too!

Step 1: Once Upon a Time ...

Picture of Once Upon a Time ...

I was a wild eyed youth, filled with hopes, dreams, nay even an ambition or two, but mainly I was broke! I didn't even get my Timex Sinclair when they first came out, no, I bought mine when they were dumping them for $19.99 or something, I forget now, it was cheap though. So cheap in fact that even I couldn't say no. I had to say no to a lot of technology related stuff that I'd have liked to have had too.

But not this time, no! This time I got myself a shiny new, already obsolete, and of questionable design to begin with, computer. But what did I know? All I knew was I had an actual computer in my hot little hands. Many an hour I'd puzzle over the mysteries that are Sinclair BASIC I even tried to peek and poke a few instructions now and again too. But that usually lead to system crashes.

Anyhow what I am driving at here is Sinclairs were pieces of junk, and anyone trying to peck at one, you can't really call it typing, it was more like jabbing at the bubble membrane keyboard, instantly knew just what kind of junk this machine was. A blind man could see that a keyboard upgrade would be a huge step in the right direction.
 
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MrE4 months ago

Fantastic tale. Well done on the instructable. I commend you for your hard and dedication, please post more like this it is the soul of what we do here.

spstewart2 years ago
I have seen a Sinclair for a very long time, but I can relate. I moved the power supply outside of mine to make room to wire wrap 8K of memory expansion(14 pin DIP). Those membrain keys stayed warm!! Your career must have been like mine, 30 years in systems control and design.
Cyborg20042 years ago
This is so cool. I just see more and more people doing something with there old ZX80/81. I did the same with my speccie :D

Cheers Sander
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rimar20003 years ago
What a great job, pfred2! Only a young (and stubborn) person can do a thing like it.
pfred2 (author)  rimar20003 years ago
Thank you! It surprised me that I got it to work. I was more fearless when I was younger. Today I hardly seem to try things if I don't know the outcome at the outset it anymore.

So the real lesson of my article is give it a shot.

"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." -- Wayne Gretzky
It is very true what you say. One of my favorite sayings, of my own, is "to do anything you need a dose of unconsciousness".
pfred2 (author)  rimar20003 years ago
Mine goes something like, if I'd known at the outset what was involved I'd never start half of what I end up doing.

The project I'm doing now is turning into that. A lot of things seem so easy on the face of them.