Dk'tronics

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Dk'tronics.png
A CPC6128 expanded to the maximum with Dk'tronics equipment

CPC Software

CPC Hardware

History

Dk'tronics was founded by David Heelas, a hobby electronics enthusiast, in april 1981. Working initially from his home in England as a one man company his first product was a 16K expansion card for the Sinclair ZX80, which he designed, produced and shipped from his own home. After it's success and with a growing number of devices, the company eventually grew to more than 50 employees and obviously was no longer based at home. David assumed the position of Managing director with the support of Neil Rawlingson as Finacial Director. A headquaters was set up in Saffron Walden and production took place initially in a manufacturing plant in Great Yarmouth, later moving to a larger location in Saffron Walden. In 1985 DK'tronics bought the company 'Currah', who had produced their own speech synthesizer for the ZX known as the 'Microspeech' and had also developed a ROM based Forth compiler called 'MicroSource'. The company also bought the rights to the British hit show 'Minder' to allow them to release a title of the same name for the Spectrum in 1985. David was rumoured to have had plans to produce their own 8-Bit entertainment computer (possibly a console), it's not known how far the development ever got, but the computer was never produced or sold. Their most successful hardware product was an add-on keyboard for the ZX81 and ZX Spectrum, due partly to the user-unfriendliness of the original keyboards of these devices. Unfortunately, despite their success, the company seems to have ceased trading sometime around the end of 1985.

Software

Although the company was best known in the CPC scene for their hardware expansions, the company also produced many software titles for both the CPC and other common 8-Bit computers of the time. Programmers Don Priestley and Ed Hickman were major contributers to the companies software successes, these included:

1981

  • 3D - ZX81

1982

  • 3D Tanx - Spectrum/BBC
  • Centipede - Spectrum
  • Meteoroids - Spectrum
  • Sound FX - Spectrum
  • ZXED Basic Toolkit - Spectrum

1983

  • Astron - Spectrum
  • Basic Toolkit - Spectrum
  • Centibug - Spectrum
  • Dictator - C64/BBC/Spectrum
  • Diet - Spectrum
  • Distron - Spectrum
  • Fruit Machine - Spectrum
  • Galacticans - Spectrum
  • Goldmine - Spectrum
  • Golf - Spectrum
  • Hard Cheese - Spectrum
  • Invaders - Spectrum
  • Jawz - Spectrum
  • Jumbly - spectrum
  • Maziacs - Spectrum
  • Munchman - Spectrum
  • Personal Finance - Spectrum
  • Road Toad - Spectrum
  • Slicker Puzzle - Spectrum
  • Spawn Of Evil - Spectrum
  • Speed Duel - Spectrum
  • Star Trek 3000 - Spectrum
  • Super Fruits - BBC
  • Tramix - Spectrum
  • Trom - Spectrum

1984

  • 2003:A Space Oddity - Spectrum
  • Apple Jam - Spectrum
  • Devil Diver - Spectrum
  • Joystick Programmer - Spectrum
  • Maziacs - C64/MSX
  • Sound Designer - Spectrum
  • Zig Zag - Spectrum

1985

  • Benny Hills Madcap Chase - Spectrum
  • Minder - CPC/Spectrum
  • Popeye - Spectrum
  • Stomp - CPC/Spectrum

Other Hardware

  • 16K Sinclair Expansion Card
  • ZX81 Ribbon Connector For Expansion Cards
  • Spectrum Beep Amplifier
  • Spectrum 3 Channel Sound Synthesizer
  • Spectrum Dual Joystick Port
  • Spectrum Games Controller
  • Spectrum Spectra Sound (Internal upgrade to send sound to TV)
  • Spectrum Keyboard
  • Spectrum Lightpen
  • Spectrum Speech Synthesizer
  • Spectrum Parallel Centronics Interface
  • Microdrive Extension Lead

Pictures

Manuals

Dk'tronics has released some manuals that cover more than one piece of hardware: