Not Apple Off-Topic ZX81

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speedyG's picture
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Joined: Nov 16 2011
Posts: 2377

Hello to all AF-members,
in the last week i explained my first contact and attempt soldering my first
Apple II clone. But the 6 months before - i haven´t explained the real first attempt
to computers.

In fact 6 months - before i got my first contact with the Apple II - i previously
purchased a ZX81 DIY Kit and the thermalprinter. That was my very first attempt
to computers and my very first steps in attempting BASIC programming language
in 1979.

Within the last months i stumbled several times across the folder containing a bunch of
my ZX81 Archives with a quite remarkable bunch of hardware projects and Mods related to the ZX81.

Parts in German and other parts in english language. Though i don´t have the spare time ( at the moment )
to translate the pages from German to English and vice versa, i decided to at least slam the pages
fast in Frontpage and setup a bunch of pages and setup an indexfile for easier access
of the contents now.

Even though the one or other set of pages isn´t translated yet. many of the pages
also contain the circuitplans and some also the Pictures of the PCB´s - and that stuff
is international and understandable without translation.

So maybe it´s a pleasent afternoon inspecting that pages and reading that portions availiable
in the language you speak.

The intropage containing the links to all other pages is at:
http://www.appleii-box.de/ZX81/ZX81IndexPage.htm

Amoung the links also is a link to a page with scanned issues of magazins out of that days.
That a fun taking back steps in that timemachine reading some mags out of that days...

Here in Germany the ZX81 had gotten the nickname "intelligent wedge underneath a door" due to the
form of the case.

Have fun

speedyG

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In early days I had a lot of money but no time - now I have no money but a lot of time....
the second part includes less friends but a lot more joy on life....

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speedyG's picture
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Joined: Nov 16 2011
Posts: 2377
Re: Not Apple Off-Topic ZX81

Update:
The current status contains the following pages ( english pages marked in line ) german pages without marking :

ZX81 Innenausbau Teil 1 nach Sonderheft der Funkschau 1980
ZX81 Innenausbau Teil 2 nach Sonderheft der Funkschau 1980
ZX81 externes Keyboard
ZX81 Multifunktions-Modul
ZX81 Impulsputzer nach elektor 10/1984
ZX81 Impulsputzer
ZX81 Eprom Programmer
ZX81 PIO
ZX81 Analog Port....................engl.
ZX Soundmodule mit AY 3 8910
ZX81 Memopak Mod 32 kb to 64 kB
ZX81 internal 8kB Mod
ZX81 Centronics Port
ZX81 Disassembler
ZX81 Routing Software
ZX81 SoftROM
ZX81 Tracer
ZX81 Video & Hires
ZX81 HiresGraphics..................engl.
ZX81 IO Port........................engl.
ZX81 extenal Keyboard...............engl.
ZX81 Modem Interface................engl.
ZX81 alternate Sound................engl.
ZX81 TalkBack....( Speech modul )...engl.
ZX81 Sound & Video..................engl.
ZX81 Printer Service
ZX81 Magazins.......................engl.

__________________

In early days I had a lot of money but no time - now I have no money but a lot of time....
the second part includes less friends but a lot more joy on life....

speedyG's picture
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Joined: Nov 16 2011
Posts: 2377
Re: Not Apple Off-Topic ZX81

Hello to all AF-Members

that tinker also around with the ZX81 from Sinclair.....
within the last months i´v completed scanning several more 100 pages
related to the ZX81. In general now there are more projects availiable
to make additional Interfacecards for the ZX81 including circuitplans and
PCB layouts.
So it might be a good idea for those ZX81 enthusiasts to revisit
the Indexpage mentioned above. Even though the major amount of stuff is in German language
also english speaking fellows may drop in, cause circuitplans and layouts are
capable also to that fellows.

sincerely
speedyG

__________________

In early days I had a lot of money but no time - now I have no money but a lot of time....
the second part includes less friends but a lot more joy on life....

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Joined: Aug 4 2015
Posts: 31
Re: Not Apple Off-Topic ZX81

Nice.
My first computer was a Sinclair ZX81.
Still have it.
I'll be sure to check it out.

Eudimorphodon's picture
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Joined: Dec 21 2003
Posts: 1203
Re: Not Apple Off-Topic ZX81

If you were dying to build a ZX80/81 today:

Here's a site with plans to make your own DIY ZX80, either using a PCB or on generic stripboard. Also includes the plans to turn it into a ZX-81 compatible.

(The difference of course being that the ZX-81 supports the "SLOW" mode that allows video to be displayed while a program is running.)

Best use I ever found for a ZX-81 was as a source for a Z80A to repair a broken TRS-80.

(Or maybe it was a TS-1000, I was given a box filled with several of both for free and used the ugliest one. And they do indeed make good doorstops.)

speedyG's picture
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Posts: 2377
Re: Not Apple Off-Topic ZX81

Indeed.... here in Europe the ZX81 had for years the nickname:
"most expensive but somehow intelligent doorstop".....

But in fact my first was a ZX81 ... but few months later i leaped to the Apple II
because it was far more usable and flexible.... ( more RAM and more variations by slot concept )

The most anoying thing with the ZX81 was loosing several hours of work typing in a program
and then having a crash loosing all content because
of the instable contact between the RAM-module and the computer....

I first touched that computer again after i read the contribution about expanding the internal RAM
and then getting rid of the external module
and upgrading the casseteport for more safe saving of programs to tape....

sincerely
speedyG

__________________

In early days I had a lot of money but no time - now I have no money but a lot of time....
the second part includes less friends but a lot more joy on life....

Eudimorphodon's picture
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Joined: Dec 21 2003
Posts: 1203
Re: Not Apple Off-Topic ZX81

Trash talk aside, I do think the ZX-80 is a genuinely "interesting" piece of hardware, if only for how arcane and bizarre its video system is. On one hand it seems ridiculous to waste more than 2/3rds of your CPU cycles on a job a CRTC or a couple of binary counters could do, but if you're going to be as cheap the ZX-80 was you might as well take it all the way.