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M > MICROACE > MicroAce   


A few months after Sinclair released its ZX-80, Microace of Santa Ana, California launched a clone of this computer.

It was exactly the same machine, but a minor modification made that it could be expanded to 2 KB of RAM.
The internal ROM was also a pure copy of the Sinclair's original. Sinclair thus sued Microace but met with large difficulties because the judge couldn't seee the ROM content!
Sinclair eventually won because the Microace keyboard was also identical to the ZX-80's and the judge could see it...

Microace then ceased the production of the 4 KB ROM machine but made later an agreement with Sinclair for a licenced version of the ZX-81 to be put on sale only in kit form and only in the USA. Microace also made a 'flicker-free board' for the ZX-80.

We need more info about this computer ! If you designed, used, or have more info about this system, please send us pictures or anything you might find useful.
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The early one had 4 K Internet Basic. Later there was an 8 K Basic. My kit was missing a zero ohm resistor and I did not install it. When switching from watching TV to the computer, the vertical hold had to be adjusted. It was running at 50 cycles and in the US it syncs with 60 cycles. I added a jumper wire in place of the resistor and all worked well. I added a surplus keyboard and tapped the video going to the modulator to drive a video monitor. The video was very much better without going through the TV tuner.

Friday 3rd April 2015
Joe Batchelor (USA)

This, too, was my first computer. I remember building it from a kit. I learned to program in BASIC using this computer. I have since made programming my career, all self-taught.

Friday 19th December 2014
Jim Schwartz (USA)

My first computer, built it from the kit. lot of soldering of chip sockets, resistors, etc. When I first connected it to my TV and turned it on WOW! I was in the computer age! Type in a basic program, save it to cassette tape and you could play it again and again. Hamurabi was one of my early favorites. Great memories!

Tuesday 16th August 2011
Joe Sangemino


NAME  MicroAce
TYPE  Home Computer
YEAR  1980
KEYBOARD  Membrane keyboard, 40 keys, 1 SHIFT key
CPU  Z80
SPEED  3.25 MHz
RAM  1 KB, 901 bytes available (up to 2 KB on board)
TEXT MODES  32 chars. x 22 lines
GRAPHIC MODES  64 x 44 dots
COLORS  Monochrome
I/O PORTS  Z80 Bus, tape, TV/RF video
POWER SUPPLY  9v DC, external PSU
PERIPHERALS  16 KB RAM extension
PRICE  Unknown

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