Hardware Feature #11
Name Manufacturer Price
Alphcom 32 Dean Electronics 99.95

Alphacom 32

The following review was taken from ZX Computing Feb 844

al32c.jpg (107699 bytes)

The Alphacom 32 printer is the American version of the Sinclair printer, marketed in Britain by Dean Electronics. In size it is nearly twice as deep and slightly longer than the ZX version, and looks an altogether sturdier machine. (actual size 19.4cm x 14.4cm x 7.5cm). The printer comes complete with connector, roll of paper, instruction book and power unit. The PSU being used at the same time as the Sinclair PSU. It also uses all the Sinclair commands; LLIST, LPRINT and COPY.

Having unpacked the unit from its attractive box and read the instructions, the next thing to do was connect it to the Spectrum. The Alphacom connector is larger than the usual connector, having a hump which is flush with the top of the Spectrum when fitted, and a row of spring clips along the underside. These clips do not seem to have any practical use (probably an earthing connection on the American Timex machine) but you have to fit the connector carefully in order not to bend them. The connector has a good tight fir and presented no problems.

Once the paper had been loaded, it was time to switch it on..
The first thing I noticed was how quiet it was. Being used to the ZX's strangulated croak, I was worried that it wasn't working ! But, as the print appeared the other immediately impressive feature became obvious - the speed of print is much faster - two lines a second in fact.

For technical buffs, I'll give the specifications;
Graphics at 80 dpi (256 x n)
Vertical line spacing; 6 lpi
Horizontal spacing: 10 cpi
For non technical buffs, this means the print is slightly thinner and taller !

The print is easy to read with the naked eye, looks very professional and the paper is easy to handle. It does not tend to take a copy of your fingerprints every time you touch it ! The paper is also cheaper than the ZX Printer, at 1.00 per 25m roll.

My smug self-satisfaction was quickly destroyed as the print would not copy well enough to use in the magazine ! However, I wholeheartedly recommend this machine.

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