ZX Vega+ News

(Unauthorised and Unofficial)

Vega+ Shipping Dates

  • End of September 2016
  • October 2016
  • In time for Xmas 2016
  • February 2017
  • A "few weeks" from March 10th 2017
  • Summer 2017
  • 8 weeks from August 9th (October 4th, 2017)
  • Mid October 2017
  • April 2018
  • May 8th - 12th 2018
  • May 12th 2018
  • May 31st 2018 (Indiegogo deadline)
  • June 15th 2018

World of Spectrum

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Daily Blog

The Vega+ daily blog is now so long that by default it only shows the last 7 entries. If you wish to read the full history, click the button below.

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Friday 15th June, 2018

RCL miss their 13th deadline with complete radio silence, failing to send out the first batch of thousands of Vega+ consoles as promised.

Gareth Corfield tweets to indicate that Suzanne Martin's emails are bouncing:

Emails sent to suzanne@suzannemartin.com bounce due to her quota being exceeded.

Suzanne Martin's email starts bouncing

Refunded backer Rob Morton appears in a segment of Ripoff Britain on BBC1 (season 10 episode 5). Rob's section begins at 7:48 in the clip.

Paul Andrews posts that the shareholders meeting scheduled for Monday June 18th has been moved at David Levy's request due to "privacy and security" reasons. The location was to have been a champagne bar, but has been moved to a new secret location.

Paul Andrews

As you all know on Monday the RCL shareholders meeting is being held. For this reason you will all understand I am sure that till after that meeting it would be inappropriate for me or Chris to comment on posts within the group, or join in to any extent as the last thing any of us would want is any attempt by a third party to use anything said to try to derail the meeting in any way. Hence please excuse us not commenting for that reason.

However, as it's no longer the case, I can tell you all something. Levy having an excellent sense of humour, and I am sure in no way trying to troll us or backers had originally told us the meeting was to be held in a public place which was here -

http://stpancrasbysearcys.co.uk/champagne-bar/

I am sure most of you can work out the significance of said venue.

We did not reveal that meeting location to backers etc as we did not want any excuse to be given as to why anyone could not possibly attend.

For reasons we are not sure of, today we received an email from Levy stating that due to 'privacy and security' reasons the meeting venue had been changed to X location. Again we have not and will not reveal this location to the public.

A second email from Levy also stated they would be recording the meeting, I replied to state we would also by return.

Obviously this is an important meeting and no one should preempt the outcome of it.

We will of course, as no doubt Levy and Martin will also, make public the outcome after the meeting. Till then please excuse our relative radio silence.

As ever thanks to all of you for your ongoing support, you all know it's a two way street between us all.

— Paul Andrews

Gareth Corfield publishes an article called Indiegogo lawyer asks ZX Spectrum reboot firm: Where's the cash? Highlights from the article:

  • The platform confirmed to us that its corporate attorney has written to RCL seeking reimbursement from the company so that it can pay back RCL’s customers, or “backers,” as Indiegogo refers to people who use its website to place orders for production-ready items.
  • Over the past two years RCL has consistently and repeatedly failed to deliver its product, raising questions about the viability of the crowdfunding business model and how it interacts with long-established consumer protections for the sale of goods.
  • Indiegogo could possibly experience some difficulty recovering the money on behalf of RCL’s customers. The Register has seen a copy of RCL’s bank statements, as filed at Luton County Court earlier this year, which showed a closing balance of £7,065.30 on 12 June last year, the latest date within the filed accounts. The funds were last topped up by a £16,000 VAT rebate from HMRC on 25 May 2017. It remains possible that the balance of the £513,000 is held in another account, or on the firm’s Paypal account.
  • During the period 12 March 2016 to 12 June 2017 a total of £187,928 was paid by Indiegogo to RCL, according to the accounts seen by El Reg. On its accounting date of 30 March 2017 RCL said, in Companies House P&L filings, that it had capital and reserves of £433,008. Its account balance on that day was £1,210.31, as we previously revealed.
  • Customers of RCL have repeatedly asked the firm to at least post a picture of the Vega+, which it has insisted for years is on the point of being delivered. RCL has not done so.
  • The Register has asked RCL chairman David Levy to comment on the Indiegogo lawyer’s letter and what the platform says is his non-response to it. We will update this article if we hear back from him.
  • A meeting of RCL’s shareholders is due to take place this coming Monday (18 June). One of the motions on the agenda is the dismissal of David Levy, company MD Suzanne Martin and CTO Janko Mrsic-Flogel. The Register understands that the key vote in the meeting will be that of Sinclair Research Ltd (SRL), which is Sir Clive's corporate shareholding presence in RCL.
  • Though Sir Clive is not expected to attend the meeting in person, we understand that a voting representative of SRL will do so. If Sinclair votes to dismiss the current board, a new management team may take a different approach to the Vega+.
  • In the meantime a group of disgruntled RCL customers has set up a petition calling for RCL to refund them at clivehelpus.website. At the time of writing it has 323 signatories totaling £37,420.

George Cropper releases his 58th video called THE VEGA+ - YET MORE NOTHING. The video features a dalek and an amusing comment that "Levy’s voice sounds like someone trying to play a recorder really badly under water, whilst another person slowly deflates a balloon on a nearby river bank" at 7 minutes 27 seconds:

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Sunday 17th June, 2018

The Vega+ is mentioned in an article on The National called The risks that face crowdfunded campaigns

The ZX Vega+ Refund Requests page reaches another milestone with 347 backers requesting refunds totalling £40,030.

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Monday 18th June, 2018

The Shareholders meeting takes place, with the main agenda item being whether to fire the current directors David Levy, Suzanne Martin and Janko-Mrsic Flogel. Paul Andrews posts on facebook that the shareholders meeting has been adjourned:

Paul Andrews

Guys just to let you all know for now the shareholders meeting has been adjourned for two weeks. Past that I will answer what I can and is appropriate later upon my return.

— Paul Andrews
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Tuesday 19th June, 2018

Gareth Corfield publishes an article in The Register called Ailing ZX Spectrum reboot firm kicks crisis meeting into long grass. Highlights from the article:

  • A key shareholders' meeting has been adjourned, prolonging the Retro Computers Ltd ZX Spectrum Vega+ saga for another fortnight.
  • With Andrews and Smith supporting a motion for the dismissal of the current directors and Levy naturally opposing it, that leaves the one crucial vote of SRL, as discussed previously. From yesterday's two-week adjournment any onlooker might surmise that SRL's vote is the sticking point. None present at the meeting would tell El Reg details of what was discussed or the reason for the adjournment.
  • At this stage RCL's current management has stopped providing updates to its Indiegogo page, which was once regularly refreshed with news of imminent delivery deadlines, the repeated breaking of which prompted the crowdfunding platform to start sending them lawyers' letters asking to be reimbursed.
  • The company's bank account had gone overdrawn half a dozen times between March 2016 and June 2017 despite Indiegogo happily passing hundreds of thousands of pounds to the firm during that period. Its liabilities are mounting – so far 355 RCL backers who paid for a Vega+ have signed a petition asking for a refund, with the total at just over £40,000 at the time of writing. Indiegogo has specifically told RCL that it must refund its customers on demand. Why is this not being done?
  • Former RCL contractor Lee Fogarty has now gone ahead with the legal action he threatened back in March over allegedly unpaid invoices for building and maintaining the company website.
  • The Register has seen a copy of his claim form, in which he claimed Martin "insisted that RCL owns all software written by Creative Spectrum (and developed by myself over a period of 10 years), and demanded a full copy of all the source code".
  • Fogarty's total claim is for £870.15, a sum that includes £200 for "dealing with hacking and false fraud allegations".
  • The County Court Business Centre at Northampton confirmed to The Register this morning that the claim was issued yesterday and no defence has yet been filed.

With Lee Fogarty's claim now over £750, if Lee wins he is entitled to issue a winding up company order.

A google search for "Suzanne Louise Martin" now shows the following message at the bottom of the search results:

In response to a legal request submitted to Google, we have removed 4 result(s) from this page. If you wish, you may read more about the request at LumenDatabase.org.

One of the 4 removed items was a link to the Ms Suzanne Martin page on the Real Crooks blog.

Suzanne Martin legal request to remove search results from Google
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Wednesday 20th June, 2018

RCL release their 102nd update on Indiegogo, containing a heavily edited video full of special effects and camera cuts that appears to be hiding problems with the device: 

Retro Computers Ltd

Hello Gorgeous

Hello...

More images and footage to follow vv soon - these are clips taken using an Iphone. This should give you an idea of how the fully working Vega+ looks.

You might even catch your name on the roll of honour.

So for now here she is - introducing the Vega+ V2

Thank you for being so patient and the continued support

— Retro Computers Ltd

Backer feedback is extremely negative to the video and 24 additional people sign up to the Vega+ Refund Request List over a period of several hours. Problems found in the video include:

  • A tube of UHU glue is present in the top right part of the video. Lee Fogarty has previously posted on social media that the screen falls out of the previous version, hence the glue may have been used to lock the screen in place for the demo.
  • The 1000 promised games due to be shipped out with the console have been reduced to only 18 titles.
  • The paint is already flaking off the buttons, particularly the top button.
  • The buttons appear to require a large amount of force to operate.
  • The rainbow sticker appears to have been manually stuck on in the wrong place.
  • The Sinclair logo that was prominent in the original Rick Dickinson design but is almost completely invisible.

Pete Prodge posts the full list of the 18 games on the Vega+ after enhancing a frame from the video RCL uploaded called Copy of Copy of HELLO HD:

Indiegogo tweet messages about Arrow Certification for projects, and various backers tweet replies about the certification being removed from the Vega+ campaign. Indiegogo are caught lying when they reply saying that the Vega+ campaign never had certification. Several backers upload screenshots showing the Arrow certification logo was there, and Indiegogo block the users and delete the tweet. An almost identical tweet is then posted, and once again removed when proof is uploaded by various backers.

Jan Saggiori uploads an extremely poor photo of the Vega+ but posts to say that he is loving the Vega+ already:

Jan Saggiori is loving it already, despite the Vega+ prototype looking terrible

Suzanne Martin posts several times in the Retro Computers facebook group. Suzanne is asked about the UHU glue present in the video:

Convicted criminal and fraudster Suzanne Martin

It is not being used on this project.

— Suzanne Martin

Suzanne Martin says UHU glue is not used on this project

A backer asks whether the video contains a prototype when he posts "I can't believe that the guys at RCL think that we are so gullible to show a two year old prototype which looks nothing like the finished version" to which Suzanne replies:

Convicted criminal and fraudster Suzanne Martin

This isn’t a prototype.

— Suzanne Martin

Suzanne Martin lies saying the video does not feature a prototype

When asked "My and my son are still not on the roll of honour even after numerous emails", Suzanne changes her story and the unit is not the final device because it will have updated firmware at a later stage:

Convicted criminal and fraudster Suzanne Martin

The video doesn’t contain all names. We can make sure all names are included when we update the FW.

— Suzanne Martin

Suzanne Martin admits it is not the final unit and will have to update firmware

A similar comment about having their name missing and being ignored is made when posting "My name is missing from the roll of honour, I’ve emailed you twice but no reply..." and Suzanne again admits the unit is not the final complete unit:

Convicted criminal and fraudster Suzanne Martin

Apologies the roll of Honour on Screen will be updated.

— Suzanne Martin

Suzanne Martin says roll of honour on screen will be updated

In response to another backer asking "I notice there are no replies whatsoever to anybody's questions?", Suzanne trots out the "We are a small team" excuse she has used multiple times already during the project for radio silence and refused refunds:

Convicted criminal and fraudster Suzanne Martin

We are replying. We are a very small team Emile

— Suzanne Martin

Suzanne Martin lies saying RCL are replying and the are a small team
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Thursday 21st June, 2018

George Cropper posts a video called THE VEGA+ - CLIVE, HELP US!

The ZX Vega+ Refund Requests page reaches another milestone with 400 backers requesting refunds totalling £45,835.

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Saturday 23rd June, 2018

Companies House publishes the termination of appointment of Sinclair Research Limited as a director of Retro Computers Ltd as of the 18th of June 2018. This date happens to be the exact same date as the shareholders meeting.

David Levy posts about the termination on the Retro Computers Ltd facebook page (complete with spelling mistake of Ditrectors in the footer):

Beige jacketed cloud headed fraudster David Levy

For Immediate Release

It is no secret that Sir Clive Sinclair has been in poor health for some considerable time. Over this extended period, the current board of Retro Computers Limited have sought to support him at every opportunity in both his professional and private life. Having shared a personal friendship with some of the current board spanning several decades. It is with much sadness that we announce that it has reached a point where Sir Clive no longer looks after his own day to day affairs, and as his advisors have pointed out he has not been "doing much directing lately".

We ask that you do not disabuse this statement as after all without him and his incredible mind and legacy there would be no Spectrum Community at all.

The Board of Ditrectors
Retro Computers Limited
23rd June 2018.

— David Levy

Paul Andrews posts a possible reason for RCL to suddenly submit the paperwork and remove Sinclair Research Limited as a corporate director:

Paul Andrews

As stated previously after the share holders meeting (held on the 18th of June 2018 from midday till approximately close to 3pm end) it is not currently appropriate to comment or discuss what was discussed or said at the meeting.

However based on the public news via backers/companies house this morning that Sinclair Research Ltd has been removed as corporate director of Retro Computers Ltd, for clarity we need to state the following facts -

SRL at the time of backing us to call the shareholders meeting stated to us they had asked RCL to remove them as directors of RCL prior to that date, hence the requested footnote in that original statement.

At the shareholders meeting RCL confirmed they had not removed SRL as director as SRL had not submitted the correct paperwork to RCL.

On that basis SRL acted as not just shareholders within the meeting but also as corporate directors, using that right to ask for information directors can request, but shareholders can be denied.

I or Chris was unaware SRL would be removed prior to the adjourned meeting being resumed.

This statement of fact is to clarify those points, which we believe backers have the right to know under the circumstances, but we will not comment further on this matter till after the resumed shareholders meeting has taken place.

Thanks for your understanding in this, and we will not comment further.

— Paul Andrews

Paul Andrews has previously posted (on April 27th 2018) stating that Sinclair Research Limited had not been a director of Retro Computers Ltd for quite some time but RCL had failed to submit the paperwork to Companies House.

Latest Funky Spectrum RCL Videos

Backers please go and sign up to show your displeasure, it can and will make a difference!
(21/06/2018)

Another delivery date sails by...
(15/06/2018)

RCL get an ultimatum from Indiegogo whilst assorted youtube parasites set up camp.
(03/06/2018)

Indiegogo Campaign

"Our Indiegogo campaign is to raise funds to manufacture the first 2,500 or more units of the Vega+ in the UK, and to prepare us for the second production run."

— RCL (15/02/2016)

Vega+ Status

  • All refunds processed:
  • Roll of honour email:
  • Address confirmation:
  • Battery specification:
  • PEGI certification:
  • Final specs released:
  • Games list released:
  • Finished box design:
  • Manual released:
  • Working website:
  • Final devices made: 0
  • Small claims victories: 0
  • Prototypes made: 20-30