ZX8-CCB vs ZXVid

Discussions about Sinclair ZX80 and ZX81 Hardware
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Lardo Boffin
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Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 2:42 am

ZX8-CCB vs ZXVid

Post by Lardo Boffin » Sun Nov 27, 2016 11:09 am

Hello all

Apologies if this has been asked before!

I have an issue 3 zeddy (red motherboard) in need of a decent video output - it outputs reasonably well to a 'modern' tv but is fuzzy at the top and bottom of the screen.
As I understand it there are two major options - the ZX8-CCB and the ZXVid. Which one is best?

I have seen the output from the ZXVid and it was really good but I have not seen the output from a ZX8-CCB.

Does the ZX8 give a composite out supply? It's not obvious from the ad on sell my retro.
Also how easy is it fit for a person who owns, but has never actually used, a soldering iron?
Does it need an additional jack to do the video out? It mentions one but it also says you can fit it inside the modulator case at which point I assume you don't need it?
This option certainly has the benefit of being cheap.

The ZXVid is more expensive but I can have it fitted by Mutant Caterpillar Games and they also replace various other bits at the same time, plus I have used them several times in the past.

So to sum up the ZX8 is way cheaper but self fit while the ZXVid is more expensive but I don't have to risk killing my zeddy.

Anything I have missed?

Thanks

Lardo
ZX80
ZX81 iss 1 (bugged ROM, kludge fix, normal, rebuilt)
Iss 3 ZXVid
TS 1000 iss 3, ZXPand AY, ZX8-CCB, ZX-KDLX & ChromaSCART
TS 1500
TS 2000
Spectrum 16k (iss 1 s/n 1499)
Various Spectrum 48ks plus a DIVMMC future and SPECTRA

Moggy
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Re: ZX8-CCB vs ZXVid

Post by Moggy » Sun Nov 27, 2016 3:44 pm

I have three ZX8 fitted machines and have to say that it's the best money I've ever spent!

Never understood the need for the ZXVid at four times the price when the ZX8 does the job perfectly well (though no doubt someone will come along and say the ZXVid pixels are more shinier.) :lol:

In answer to your question yes composite out and it can be a bit fiddly to tune but once done it stays locked.

As for fitting, I'm the biggest Klutz here and managed to fit two 81's and and a ZX80 no problems,although it's one of those things I can do but not describe very well so will let someone more "techy" do that.

There's only four wires to solder so I wouldn't have thought much killing would occur and if the chips are socketed then you can remove them before soldering but to be honest I never found the need.
Last edited by Moggy on Sun Nov 27, 2016 4:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Fwapp
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Re: ZX8-CCB vs ZXVid

Post by Fwapp » Sun Nov 27, 2016 4:09 pm

I can echo what Moggy has said about the zx8ccb, they give a superb composite video signal and result in an excellent picture. I've installed quite a few, just ask Pokemon ;)

Installation of the zx8ccb is straightforward if you are happy slinging a bit of solder about.

I tend to remove the two wires to the modulator (I un-solder from the pcb, but you can just cut them if you wish) and also unsolder the resistor that connects the RF output phono. Using the spare hole on the side of the modulator, I insert the orange output wire and solder directly to the RF phono. I then connect the 5v, 0v and the output from the ULA's pin16 to the pcb. I mount the zx8ccb on a sticky tab next to the heatsink, allowing easy access should I need to tweak the two variable resistors. Once setup, the ZX81 is closed up and is ready for use. Some people remove the contents of the modulator and mount the zx8ccb in there. Some ZX81's do need to have the zx8ccb tweaked to get a good picture, a result of different ULA's.

As for the ZXVid, I understand it is a "technically" better solution and just works with no adjustment needed. The pots on-board are to adjust the picture presentation (soften/sharpen etc) This is from speaking to those who have one, I've not got one myself.

It's worth noting that if you use your ZX81 equipped with one of these items, that modern TV's tend to show different behaviour to when the ZX81 was used on an old CRT TV. FAST mode (which showed a grey screen when used) and when loading programs (with it's dancing display of loading bars) show as a loss of signal on many modern TV's, as these conditions are difficult to interpret for modern TV's. Once the program has loaded, the picture returns.

A further option is to use Paul Farrows Chroma interface, which has a scart output - http://www.fruitcake.plus.com/Sinclair/ ... erface.htm and can do a lot more besides :)
ZX80, ZX81 - 2C158C Bugged Rom iss.1, 2C158C "kludge fix" iss1, 2C184E iss1, 2C210E iss3, US NTSC iss1 "straight traces", US NTSC iss3 TS1000

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Fwapp
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Re: ZX8-CCB vs ZXVid

Post by Fwapp » Sun Nov 27, 2016 4:24 pm

Some pics from a zx8ccb..
zx 3.JPG
Cosmic Guerrilla
(89.31 KiB) Downloaded 633 times
zx 2.JPG
Adventure game
(122.31 KiB) Downloaded 633 times
What I do wonder is, as Pokemon describes the zx8ccb as the basic version, I wonder what an advanced version could do? :lol:
Attachments
Normal
Normal
zx8 1.JPG (67.81 KiB) Viewed 2509 times
ZX80, ZX81 - 2C158C Bugged Rom iss.1, 2C158C "kludge fix" iss1, 2C184E iss1, 2C210E iss3, US NTSC iss1 "straight traces", US NTSC iss3 TS1000

Moggy
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Re: ZX8-CCB vs ZXVid

Post by Moggy » Sun Nov 27, 2016 4:34 pm

What he said! :lol:

Nicely put Fwapp. :D

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PokeMon
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Re: ZX8-CCB vs ZXVid

Post by PokeMon » Sun Nov 27, 2016 4:46 pm

I would say - technically both solutions are comparable - maybe as result the same with no difference.
There is major price difference but this didn't let me increase the price for the ZX8-CCB in the past :roll: as I have a calculation and it needs some time to solder it and I hate fiddling the wires but so it is an easy-to-use module. I think I did already sold ZX8-CCB to Mutant Caterpillar Games in the past. Don't know why they prefer the ZXvid - maybe they created it but not sure if there is a connection between. You may ask what the charge to just fit the ZX8-CCB and buy the ZX8-CCB yourself.

It is just three solder joints to the board and two solder joints to a suitable connector (chinch) to let a cable out or to mount it into the case. Some people remove the whole contents of the modulator but this is not beginners work and not necessary. There is a free wire hole in the modulator to fiddle the orange (now brown) video out cable. Then you could just remove the wire inside of the antenna connection and solder the orange/brown cable with video out here. This modification is more easy and fully reversible later. The second black cable (ground) is only needed when using a chinch connector for convenience. The board can be sticked anywhere on the board on top of a chip (Z80) with some double sided adhesive tape easily after soldering the wires.

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Fwapp
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Re: ZX8-CCB vs ZXVid

Post by Fwapp » Sun Nov 27, 2016 5:22 pm

The gent at Mutant Caterpillar designed the ZXVid also. Combined with MC's repair, refurbishment and modification services, it makes sense for them to offer it for those not so confident in using an iron.
ZX80, ZX81 - 2C158C Bugged Rom iss.1, 2C158C "kludge fix" iss1, 2C184E iss1, 2C210E iss3, US NTSC iss1 "straight traces", US NTSC iss3 TS1000

balford
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Location: Dublin, Ireland

Re: ZX8-CCB vs ZXVid

Post by balford » Sun Nov 27, 2016 5:48 pm

The price of the CCB against the ZXVid is a major advantage. In the interests of fairness though, I installed a ZXVid in my boxed '81 and found that the picture is slightly more true to the orIginal output, in terms of output sharpness, the CCB is almost too 'perfect' :D

However I find a SMD 1uf cap installed between the gnd and video out pads on the CCB adds just the right amount of blur to keep me happy :D

B

Moggy
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Re: ZX8-CCB vs ZXVid

Post by Moggy » Sun Nov 27, 2016 6:00 pm

Lest anyone think I am having a dig at the creator of the ZXVid then let me divest them of that thought.

It's that I just honestly cannot see the viability of the ZXVid in a tiny niche market, (of something costing thirty quid doing the same job as a product costing six quid), being a winner nothing more. :D

I don't doubt for one minute the excellence of the ZXVids output but will stick with Pokemons little board as it is usable for the ZX80 too (regardless of price)which, as it's not mentioned in the advertising blurb is something the ZXVid doesn't do.

balford
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Location: Dublin, Ireland

Re: ZX8-CCB vs ZXVid

Post by balford » Sun Nov 27, 2016 6:16 pm

I agree about market viability, it's simply not realistic to install a ZXVid in an unboxed Zeddy that probably cost less than the ZXVid itself.

The CCB I reckon is responsible for saving a huge amount of Zeddies from oblivion, as it's a fantastic cost-effective product (and would be at twice the price, so don't feel guilty if you need to raise the cost to cover yourself PokeMon!)

B

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