ZX80/81 & TS1000/1500 modern upgrades

Discussions about Sinclair ZX80 and ZX81 Hardware
rkindig
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ZX80/81 & TS1000/1500 modern upgrades

Post by rkindig » Wed Jun 27, 2018 5:03 am

Hi, I'm doing research for a podcast (Floppy Days, floppydays.com) about the Sinclair ZX80 line and wondered if anyone had information on the best, most popular, coolest modern upgrades for that line of computers. Your help would be much appreciated.

thanks!

Randy Kindig
host Floppy Days

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TMAOne
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Re: ZX80/81 & TS1000/1500 modern upgrades

Post by TMAOne » Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:01 am

My personal vote would go to the ZX-TEAM mod for 16 or 32K on the ZX81 motherboard. http://www.zx81.de/english/_frame_e.htm

Everybody knows those wobbly, inept, high failure-rate 16K RAM packs are a royal pain. The "Hardware Projects" section on the ZX-TEAM site lists this mod first and foremost. It uses a 43256, 55257, 62256, or similar readily available chip to replace the 1 or 2K on the mother, with a half dozen or so other wire connections to get 16K. It is so easy even I can do it.

The mod fits invisibly back into the standard case, with no more wobble and contact loss.

The extended version of the mod requires one more logic chip, and gives you a second non-contiguous 16K.

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mrtinb
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Re: ZX80/81 & TS1000/1500 modern upgrades

Post by mrtinb » Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:25 am

The German forum members, ZX-TEAM has made several storage upgrades through time. The final product in this line is the VDRIVE. This is a controller for a USB-stick.

In the English forum there’s the ZXpand. This is storage on SD-card. This has become so popular, that new software software sometimes is made for ZXpand only. It also includes sound card and joystick option.

A dear member in the German forum has also made a ZX81 replica ZXmore, that can run 9 ZX80/ZX81 instances simultaneously giving you real-time multitasking. This also includes USB stick storage.

Some of these features has also been made as an expansion for an existing ZX81: ZXblast. This gives 9 ZX81 instances you can swap between, but only one is running at the time. Here we have USB stick storage as well.

There exists many RAM upgrades for these machines. Many have just been internal upgrades. Some had battery backup so they could be used as “harddisk” even when the computer was turned off. Since the ZX81 only clears RAM at memory locations 16k-32k, these RAM upgrades would often survive crashes and reset.
Martin
ZX81, Lambda 8300, Commodore 64, Mac G4 Cube

Lardo Boffin
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Re: ZX80/81 & TS1000/1500 modern upgrades

Post by Lardo Boffin » Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:01 am

Let us not forget the rather awesome ZX8-CCB and ZXVid composite mod boards that allows the ZXs to connect to modern TVs with ease.
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: ZX80/81 & TS1000/1500 modern upgrades

Post by Moggy » Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:28 pm

From my personal point of view it would have to be the ZXpand for the ZX80/81 along with switching regulators, the composite video boards already mentioned but most importantly for myself it has to be the ZXpand plus C/W AY, 6-channel turbosound and General MIDI implementation all thanks to Charlie Robson (Sir Morris Bigg) and the software that accompanies it created by Charlie and Andy-"prof"-Rea who gets a final mention from me for his UDG4ZXpand UDG board along with the UDG designer software also created by him.

There is also a new ZX81 ULA from Andy soon to be released into the wild with composite output inbuilt which sounds quite excellent.
Last edited by Moggy on Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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mrtinb
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Re: ZX80/81 & TS1000/1500 modern upgrades

Post by mrtinb » Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:30 pm

In the video department we have the Chroma interface as well. It has video output on the expansion port to connect to European SCART TVs. On top of that is has color support. It even implements UDG (User Definable character Graphics) like the original Quicksilva Character Board.

The lastest addition to UDG support is with the new UDG4ZXpand which enables UDG on the RAM expansions in ZXpand or ZXblast.
Martin
ZX81, Lambda 8300, Commodore 64, Mac G4 Cube

rkindig
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Re: ZX80/81 & TS1000/1500 modern upgrades

Post by rkindig » Sat Jun 30, 2018 3:41 pm

Awesome, thank you! Sounds like a great memory upgrade.

Randy
TMAOne wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:01 am
My personal vote would go to the ZX-TEAM mod for 16 or 32K on the ZX81 motherboard. http://www.zx81.de/english/_frame_e.htm

Everybody knows those wobbly, inept, high failure-rate 16K RAM packs are a royal pain. The "Hardware Projects" section on the ZX-TEAM site lists this mod first and foremost. It uses a 43256, 55257, 62256, or similar readily available chip to replace the 1 or 2K on the mother, with a half dozen or so other wire connections to get 16K. It is so easy even I can do it.

The mod fits invisibly back into the standard case, with no more wobble and contact loss.

The extended version of the mod requires one more logic chip, and gives you a second non-contiguous 16K.

Image

rkindig
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2018 5:54 am

Re: ZX80/81 & TS1000/1500 modern upgrades

Post by rkindig » Sat Jun 30, 2018 4:02 pm

Thanks for all the information! Wow, there are a lot of cool upgrades for the ZX80/81. I had no idea.

Randy
mrtinb wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:25 am
The German forum members, ZX-TEAM has made several storage upgrades through time. The final product in this line is the VDRIVE. This is a controller for a USB-stick.

In the English forum there’s the ZXpand. This is storage on SD-card. This has become so popular, that new software software sometimes is made for ZXpand only. It also includes sound card and joystick option.

A dear member in the German forum has also made a ZX81 replica ZXmore, that can run 9 ZX80/ZX81 instances simultaneously giving you real-time multitasking. This also includes USB stick storage.

Some of these features has also been made as an expansion for an existing ZX81: ZXblast. This gives 9 ZX81 instances you can swap between, but only one is running at the time. Here we have USB stick storage as well.

There exists many RAM upgrades for these machines. Many have just been internal upgrades. Some had battery backup so they could be used as “harddisk” even when the computer was turned off. Since the ZX81 only clears RAM at memory locations 16k-32k, these RAM upgrades would often survive crashes and reset.

rkindig
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2018 5:54 am

Re: ZX80/81 & TS1000/1500 modern upgrades

Post by rkindig » Sat Jun 30, 2018 4:09 pm

Thank you all of you for the great information!

I will be discussing these upgrades in an upcoming episode of the Floppy Days Podcast around the end of July. This information was most helpful.

Randy Kindig
host Floppy Days floppydays.com

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Andy Rea
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Re: ZX80/81 & TS1000/1500 modern upgrades

Post by Andy Rea » Sat Jun 30, 2018 5:41 pm

welll looks like i already got a mention :) so erm yeah

UDG 4 ZXpand and new ULA's the former allowing external memory to be used for charcater maps.

my personal favorite add-on is definetly ZXpand + ay sound the ability to load save programs and chunks of code is certainly better than the tapes of the old days.

keyboard mods should also not be forgotten, as the ts1000 / zx81 keyboard is somewhat of a poor experience. way back in the day when mecanical keyboards were a plenty one could salvage old un-used keyboard and make there own zx81 keyboad, some overlay filesixty and teh like improved teh original keyboard, and then external keyboard like the memotech ones are excellent the fuller ones are also rather good.

for internal mods. fitting extra ram was very popular before the external storage devices cam along with ram included.

you ask a hundred peopel your gonna get a hundred differen ansewers

regards Andy
6 x ZX81, 1 x TS1500 , 1 x +3e, 1 x timex 2040 printer, 1 x timex 2020 cassette deck, siclair printer and some spectrum

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