ZX81 : unhappy with new keyboard

Discussions about Sinclair ZX80 and ZX81 Hardware
dizzy33
Posts: 108
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:24 pm

ZX81 : unhappy with new keyboard

Post by dizzy33 »

Hello,

my keyboard was dead, so I ordered a new one on Ebay. But I am very unhappy about the way it looks once installed.
I saw two problems with this keyboard.
I have attached a photo where you can see the two problems I really don't like : in the red circle, you can see that the keyboard is bent where its flat ribbon is inserted. This gives to the keyboard a very bad look, not like the original one. By comparing the new and the old keyboard, I could see that the new one was thicker than the original, so where you bend the flat ribbon to insert it, the "bending" angle is a lot higher than the original, which is the cause of this visual bending issue.

Plus, in the yellow circle, you can see that there is a little hole, which shows that the keyboard does not cover all the original keyboard surface.

Image

Did someone also replace its ZX81 keyboard ? Did you have a better result than me ? Where did you buy it ?

Thanks !

Moggy
Posts: 1989
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 2:00 pm

Re: ZX81 : unhappy with new keyboard

Post by Moggy »

The perils of ebay!

In my opinion and I'm sure a lot of other forum members there is only one decent replacement keyboard and that can be found at this site.

https://www.sellmyretro.com/offer/detai ... rd%29-2451

Sellmyretro is run by this forums founder ,Rich Mellor, and I can honestly say he is a good honest trader who has never let me down.

The link provided is for a keyboard that has extra commands printed on it for use with the ZXpand+ SD card 32k RAM interface should you ever own such a device but works as normal when used without.

dizzy33
Posts: 108
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:24 pm

Re: ZX81 : unhappy with new keyboard

Post by dizzy33 »

Thanks a lot for your answer, I was thinking about buying this one, but I am now so sad of my ebay experience that before buying I would like to be sure that the new keyboard does not have the problem I had with the ebay one.
I need a keyboard which would have the same thickness as the original one, as flexible, and only a buyer would be able to confirm this to me.
The best thing would be, for someone who bought the sellmyretro keyboard, to post a photo of its ZX81 with the Sellmyretro keyboard on it...

Anyone ?

Moggy
Posts: 1989
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 2:00 pm

Re: ZX81 : unhappy with new keyboard

Post by Moggy »

I make no claims on my fitting ability but I think this keyboard looks ok no?
Attachments
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RWAP
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Re: ZX81 : unhappy with new keyboard

Post by RWAP »

I assume this is the "PureRetro" ZX81 membrane - has he fixed the printing issue on the chequerboard pattern for the F key which is obvious in the photos on ebay?

I attach some photos of my own ZX81 which has the ZXpand version of the keyboard fitted - the current ZX81 membranes are slightly thinner too to make them that little more responsive.
Attachments
IMG_1480[1].JPG
IMG_1478[1].JPG
IMG_1477[1].JPG

Lardo Boffin
Posts: 1185
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 2:42 am

Re: ZX81 : unhappy with new keyboard

Post by Lardo Boffin »

This is a recent one from RWAP:-

5D48B228-9A97-4BD0-896A-C69F79C0B0DA.jpeg

And another

AF9EB0E6-FD8D-4544-8926-B8B71D6FFB62.jpeg

There is a small amount of ‘indenting’ that looks worse in the photo than in real life.

Providing you fit these centrally there are no gaps. Getting them just right can be a bit of a bugger but that is down to me not the keyboard - there is a load of glue underneath and they stick to the case so easily!

I don’t have a micrometer but the new ones are definitely a little thicker than the originals. This is why they are more resilient I guess. I have fitted over 20 of these and not had any complaints.

Although to be honest if you actually want to use your zeddy you need one of these:

https://www.sellmyretro.com/offer/details/3971

You can actually feel that you pressed the keys! And you also know when your finger has slipped off a key - essential if you are trying to play one of Dr Beep’s excellent 1K games. Here is one of these fitted on my Timex 1000:

788DBF16-EDE6-43FA-9E70-27B7711C67FF.jpeg
The keyboard is slightly domed which does look different to the original but the fact that it is actually usable more than makes up for it!

None of the above is a criticism of the RWAP keyboard - but the original keyboard itself.
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 & 2000
Spectrum 16k (iss 1 s/n 862)
Spectrum 48ks plus a DIVMMC future and SPECTRA
Spectrum +3

RWAP
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Re: ZX81 : unhappy with new keyboard

Post by RWAP »

I must admit that if you want to type on the ZX81 keyboard the ZX8-KDLX is a great improvement :) It would have been ideal when I started out with the ZX81 - I ended up putting mine in a dk'Tronics case which was even higher and not quite the best thing to teach myself how to touch type...

That said, I do fancy trying the ZX-Key: https://www.sellmyretro.com/offer/detai ... s%29-38693

(We should share more photos of the ZX81s and what we get up to with them...)

Moggy
Posts: 1989
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Re: ZX81 : unhappy with new keyboard

Post by Moggy »

Fuller and Memotech for me Rich.

As for what I get upto...

MIDI , AY, TURBO AY, and UDG amongst other things and all fitted with double speed BASIC EPROMs.
plus I have one that's fan cooled thanks to Lardo's prompting some time ago, looks ugly but works great. :lol:

dizzy33
Posts: 108
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:24 pm

Re: ZX81 : unhappy with new keyboard

Post by dizzy33 »

Thanks a lot to all of you for your answers and photos ! I can see that you have also a keyboard bending where the flat ribbon goes, but a lot less than mine. Yours are acceptable. So I think I will buy one from sellmyretro.
Thanks again !

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1024MAK
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Re: ZX81 : unhappy with new keyboard

Post by 1024MAK »

dizzy33 wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 8:11 am
So I think I will buy one from sellmyretro.
Sell My Retro is a trading site with various sellers.

The seller I use for replacement membranes is rwap_software, so this listing for example.

Mark

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