Amstrad 1512DD XT

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Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2016 12:19 pm

Amstrad 1512DD XT

Postby Washerman » Thu Jan 07, 2016 6:32 pm

Amstrad 1512DD
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This machine came up on eBay recently from a local-ish seller, and at a price that was tempting enough to buy it for my collection. As an ex-Pom with the same birth date as Alan Sugar, I've always had a bit of a thing for Amstrads, this is my second (actually third, as the Spectrum +2B was an Amstrad machine as well). The seller told me this was his first computer. His only software was a DOS disk that isn't working.

Waiting for the end of the auction gave me some time to read up on the specifications and quirks.

First stop - Wikipedia -
Also had a read of - ... strad.html - bit of useful information there as well, about the development history.

Basic specs are Intel 8086 at 8MHz, 512kb RAM, dual 360k drives. It came in other configurations with a single drive, and optionally a hard disk.

Amstrad 1512 power in & video out
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The 1512 has its PSU in the monitor. This should make things interesting if ever the monitor gives up the ghost. Presumably it was a design decision to make the overall footprint of the machine smaller. This is how it looks atop a 5150, note that the 1512 gives up 2 ISA slots on the PC (3 vs 5), and they are mounted perpendicular to the front.

Amstrad 1512 on top of IBM PC
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Cliff Lawson's pages on Amstrad technology - ... /index.htm - are an awesome resource. It was there I read about the reasons why Amstrad couldn't use AT/XT-compatible keyboards for its machines, and the 1512 is of course no exception.

Amstrad 1512 keyboard connector
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This one has a V3.01 ROM, which makes this a 1512v2. More great info here - and about the BIOS here -

The DOS disks can be downloaded and written to 360k disks (have plenty of those NIB thankfully), so that's the first step for this machine, thankfully it's a running unit already.
Amstrad 1512 ISA slots
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Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2016 2:06 pm

Re: Amstrad 1512DD XT

Postby dacow » Fri Jan 08, 2016 7:51 pm

Looks like a good clean unit.Need to get the Amstrad DOS 3.2 and GEM disks up and running for the true experience :) It's a shame that the computer requires the monitor to power up which means a lot of people have units which get thrown out if the monitor goes. Keyboards are easier to find but when the monitor goes it sucks :(

Posts: 108
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2016 12:19 pm

Re: Amstrad 1512DD XT

Postby Washerman » Sat Jan 09, 2016 10:41 am

Thankfully the disk images have been preserved online, so with any luck I'll get them written to disk this weekend :D it is a strange arrangement indeed! But then, I suppose it isn't much different from the Mac all-in-ones in that regard. The text on this monitor is a little fuzzy though, is that just a standard CGA thing? it would be about 26 years since I last saw one operating :shock:

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