Sinclair Computers - ZX81 and ZX Spectrum
The much anticipated successor to the ZX81, the ZX Spectrum was originally released with options for 16K or 48K RAM. The 16K Spectrums were upgradable to 48K. It was recognisable by its distinctive rubber key keyboard and it sported rainbow stripes to indicate the introduction of colour, where the ZX80 and ZX81 were purely monochrome.
The ZX81 was the successor to the ZX80, still based on the Zilog Z80A but with 8K ROM rather than 4K, and the same 1K RAM. The biggest technical difference was the integration of many of the ICs into one component, which reduced the chip count and the cost, starting at £49.95 for a kit, and £69.95 for a ready-built machine.
My one claim to fame – a short program I submitted to Sinclair Programs magazine in 1983. I was shuffed with this because I’d managed to cram it into just 1K. I hadn’t yet invested in a 16K RAM pack.
My ZX81 clearly didn’t like being taken apart and the keyboard started failing once the ZXvid unit was installed, probably because the old ribbon cables had deteriorated, though they had looked OK.
After accidentally trashing the original RF lead for the ZX81, I ordered a new one but in the meantime thought I’d see if I had any suitable alternatives knocking around among the random AV cables I’ve kept. Finding a phono to SCART convertor, I thought I’d give it a try:
Spent 2 hours on the ZXvid module this afternoon. A fiddly process and I pondered many times on the £15 saving on having this fitted. Ah well, wouldn’t be half the fun.
The old 5inch TV went to the tip last weekend so have finally had to get hold of the ZXvid module that will enable me to use the ZX81 on a ‘proper’ TV. I’ll probably be attempting to install over the coming weekend. More info here: http://www.rwapsoftware.co.uk/zx812.html Bought it here: http://www.sellmyretro.com/offer/details/Sinclair_ZX81_ZXVid_-_Composite_Video%25ULA_Fix_(self-fit)-2338
The old 5inch TV went to the tip last weekend so have finally had to get hold of the ZXvid module that will enable me to use the ZX81 on a ‘proper’ TV.
My mini TV has arrived and with a bit of fine-tuning we’re in business: However, the quality is pretty poor. I can only get a clear display if I stand up to the right of the machine and hold onto the UHF cable, which it makes it pretty hard to key stuff in 8-(…
Last week I found a (possibly) suitable TV on eBay for just over £10 with postage. It’s only a 5.5in display but I hope this will be sufficient for some basic testing. Still not arrived though. In the meantime, I’ve been thinking about how to load/save any programs I end up writing. I don’t…