Loading games in Sinclair. Part 1 of 2: Sinclair ZX81 and Timex Sinclair

In this mini tutorial we will explain how to load games in Sinclair ZX81 or in Timex Sinclair using the external audio input with an mp3 player.

The following steps must be followed:

Previous steps:

  • (Not mandatory) Connect a 16Kb memory expansion as it may be necessary in certain programs.
  • Get a mono audio cable. And no, we do not mean "monkey" that is decorated with Christmas motifs or my little pony's drawings. The mono audio cable ¡is identical to the stereo but with a single black mark (in the photo, it is the bottom Jack connector):

If we don't use a mono connector, game loading won't work

  • Connect the mono audio cable at one end to the output of the MP3 player (or computer output for example) to the "EAR" input of the ZX81

Basic steps:

  1. Download the game on PC

There are several game download sites for ZX81, one of them is:


In it we can find files already directly converted into WAV format so we don't have to convert them later.

  1. Convert game to WAV file if it has another format.
  2. Copy the game to your MP3 player (make sure it plays WAV files)
  3. Type LOAD «» on the ZX81 or Timex Sinclair and press ENTER
  4. Select the game on your MP3 player and press play

The screen will look different when the program is loading:

  1. Wait many minutes
  2.  Enjoy the game !

Things to note: You have to look at what the screen looks like before pressing Play on your player. The screen should look different when the program is loading. If you don't see any change on the screen, try to adjust the sound level on your player and try again. The sound level must be set above the level of 75% or more.

Illustrative video: