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As Sinclair home computers such as the ZX Spectrum, and Sinclair QL are now all over 20 years old, the main problem with keeping them running is the availability of keyboard membranes.
These are a small plastic sheet containing micro switches which fits underneath the keyboard and detects all keypresses, converting them into electrical signals for the computer's motherboard to interpret which keys have been pressed by the user (including key combinations). The problem is that whenever you open a computer case, you can easily damage the membrane (as can normal usage), particularly as the membranes become brittle over time whether in use or not - they are affected by Ultraviolet light and also by heat, so even older stocks can be dubious.
Generally the first sign of problems is when one or two of the keys no longer work. This can of course be devastating, depending upon the key in question. Some users also experience what is known as "key bounce" where pressing a key once either does not work or repeats the character many times.
When purchasing second hand machines, you will find that many simply state that they have been shown to display the start-up screen - potential buyers beware and ask the seller to confirm in writing that all of the keys have been tested and proven to work.
Over the years various replacements have been made, including full size keyboards - although many people (especially collectors) prefer to keep the look and feel of the original Sinclair computer.
We provide a wide range of keyboard membranes, which are made using the latest manufacturing techniques in order to ensure that they are of better quality than the originals and less susceptible to UV light, to help keep your favourite home computers in full working order for many years to come.
Our keyboard membranes are sold through the SellMyRetro.com trading website for retro computers, and are available for the following computers and are supplied with full fitting instructions:
If you are looking for keyboard membranes for the ZX Spectrum +2 and +3 or the Amstrad CPC +464 etc Computers, then please visit our trading partner, Tradeinpost, who stock these.
** All of our membranes are recently manufactured and come complete with easy to follow fitting instructions. **
We can also supply replacement molex motherboard connectors (these are the small black connectors soldered to the motherboard into which the keyboard membranes are plugged). Again, the molex connectors are available through SellMyRetro.com and are suitable for the following home computers: