just thought I'd introduce myself. My intro to the ZX-81 was a kit I got as a Christmas present, we weren't too well off and the price difference between that and the built computer obviously meant a lot to my parents. I spent most of the day building it only to find it didn't work. I checked and rechecked every thing but couldn't see any problems with my work so it got thrown into a cupboard and sat there for about 6 months when I gave it another once over. I quickly noticed I'd transposed a couple of the resistors around the transistors. Once they were swapped back to their correct places Christmas came late, all was well and I continued to use it until I moved onto a Spectrum some time later.
Recently I picked up an issue 3 with an external memory pack. I've sorted a dry joint on the power supply and the keyboard ribbons have had it (new one on order) and much to my surprise I got a nice white screen on CH36, albeit with a horizontally split 'cursor'. Not sure if that's an artefact of using it on a 'new' tv or if I have another fault in the works? Time will tell. Until then I'll be reading through the wealth of information on these forums,
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I hope you enjoy this forum
What you describe does not sound normal. You should get a white screen with an inverted K in the bottom left corner (okay, the white border area means it’s not really in the corner, but you know what I mean).
With some Zeddies, there may be some slight horizontal displacement between each line of pixels, which causes the text to slant similar to italics.
If you want to discuss this further, I recommend you post about your problem in the hardware area of the forum.