A Place for Real Computer Newbs??

Anything Sinclair ZX Basic related; history, development, tips - differences between BASIC on the ZX80 and ZX81
AmericanPi
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Re: A Place for Real Computer Newbs??

Post by AmericanPi » Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:47 am

Moggy wrote: Except you could not get a ZX printer in the states as it was banned by the FCC!
Get outa' here :!: Wow. That's kinda messed up.
Moggy wrote: You had to use the far superior Alphacom 32 (Timex 2040 in the USA)
This thing :?:
tell ya' what....the Timex 2040 looks way cooler than the Sinclair zx81 printer
Moggy wrote: clunking pile of junk that was the Sinclair printer. :lol:
:lol: too funny

AmericanPi
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Re: A Place for Real Computer Newbs??

Post by AmericanPi » Fri Jan 27, 2017 1:00 am

Speaking of add ons....
_have you seen this SuperBad Image keyboard :shock:
Why doesn't my image show up when I use

Code: Select all

[img]http://image_url[/img]
And since were getting off track....
I thought this was pretty cool:
Rpi ZX81 keyboard ribbon adaptor
But I think theres a name for that kind a of ribbon and connector. I don't think it's exclusively a Sinclair thing.

Man I wish my images would show.
_that way ya'll didn't have to go to the link to see them :oops:

RWAP
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Re: A Place for Real Computer Newbs??

Post by RWAP » Fri Jan 27, 2017 8:38 am

AmericanPi wrote:Speaking of add ons....
_have you seen this SuperBad Image keyboard :shock:
Why doesn't my image show up when I use

Code: Select all

[img]http://image_url[/img]
That is because the link you used is the google link - not the actual image itself - if you had clicked on View image and then copied the actual url it would work

Image

The keyboard is the FileSixty add-on keyboard - which basically adds a rubber key keyboard stuck onto the top of the membrane - it is fine until the membrane fails...

Moggy
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Re: A Place for Real Computer Newbs??

Post by Moggy » Fri Jan 27, 2017 4:40 pm

The stick on keyboard pictured is the first implementation of that device and uses hard plastic keys not rubber which press on a horizontal self sprung plastic peg to press the membrane, the dark grey mk2 version used a neoprene mat rather like the one used on the spectrum and a card based face plate and the keys act directly on the face of the membrane.

I have tried both with the replacement membranes and found that because of the stiff top membrane layer neither is any good (the rubber one unusable)and make keyboard entry a pain in the arse.

I would add that was with the first issue of replacement membrane so not sure if say the newer Xpand compatible type has a thinner top layer, which I believe was mooted at some point,than the original which in MY experience made key board entry worse than Sinclair's' effort regardless of nice they looked.

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Re: A Place for Real Computer Newbs??

Post by RWAP » Sat Jan 28, 2017 9:19 am

Moggy wrote: I would add that was with the first issue of replacement membrane so not sure if say the newer Xpand compatible type has a thinner top layer, which I believe was mooted at some point,than the original which in MY experience made key board entry worse than Sinclair's' effort regardless of nice they looked.
Yes - we reduced the thickness of the top layer when we moved manufacturing to Scotland, so the latest versions are both better :)

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1024MAK
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Re: A Place for Real Computer Newbs??

Post by 1024MAK » Sat Jan 28, 2017 9:50 am

Something thin from Scotland :shock:, never :lol:

Mark

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Re: A Place for Real Computer Newbs??

Post by Moggy » Sat Jan 28, 2017 2:11 pm

RWAP wrote:
Moggy wrote: I would add that was with the first issue of replacement membrane so not sure if say the newer Xpand compatible type has a thinner top layer, which I believe was mooted at some point,than the original which in MY experience made key board entry worse than Sinclair's' effort regardless of nice they looked.
Yes - we reduced the thickness of the top layer when we moved manufacturing to Scotland, so the latest versions are both better :)

In which case time for an order methinks. :D

I take it the Xpand version also has the thinner top layer?

AmericanPi
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Re: A Place for Real Computer Newbs??

Post by AmericanPi » Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:37 pm

-
-
-

Aw :(
_that's kinda what it looked like, something that just sits on top of the regular keyboard membrane.
__well that stinks, I mean that introduces allot of slack and now i have to press on those keys the same way i would if i was using the regular keyboard.
___so maybe not so "SUPERBAD".

[quote = "Rwap"]That is because the link you used is the google link - not the actual image itself - if you had clicked on View image and then copied the actual url it would work[/quote]
Hey thanks RWAP.

As an aside, you wrote
Rwap wrote:Yes - we reduced the thickness of the top layer when we moved manufacturing to Scotland, so the latest versions are both better :)
Did you work for or own the company :?:
_that'd be pretty cool.
__it's just amazing how you guys know this stuff.
__my old man always told me to respect my elders caus they know their S*&#, and you guys sure know your stuff.

What do you guys know about this ribbon connector?
Image
Is there a name for that ribbon type or is just a ribbon :?:
_I was curious so I learned a bit about keyboards. It's kinda like a matrix deal? Well membrane keyboards anyway....



I saw this:
Image
Which was cool. The controller ( :?: ) board looks like it might fit in the TS1000's case.
_I was wondering if the actual mapping of the keys happens in the TS1000? like on a chip or something?
__this keyboard has a different ribbon connector so i guess that's why it needs that controller ( :?: ) board.

Educate Me :!:

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dasteph
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Re: A Place for Real Computer Newbs??

Post by dasteph » Fri Feb 03, 2017 7:30 am

That's one of Dave Currans USB conversion kits for the Spectrum, there are also ZX81 models available, and he has them for sale on his website http://blog.tynemouthsoftware.co.uk/201 ... -kits.html. The controler and matrix fit into the shell of a dead Sinclair (or other 80s Micro depending on the version you may buy) and allow you to use it a regular PC keyboard. All the keyboard control code is on the Amtel / Arduino chip.

I borrowed the basic idea and some of the code he provides in posts about the ZX81 in particular, and my own version of a controller and married it to a Raspberry Pi (and other components). What I called the AZ15 was the result. All the details about that project and other in my blog. https://zx81keyboardadventure.blogspot. ... ne-of.html

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Re: A Place for Real Computer Newbs??

Post by RWAP » Fri Feb 03, 2017 2:49 pm

AmericanPi wrote: As an aside, you wrote
Rwap wrote:Yes - we reduced the thickness of the top layer when we moved manufacturing to Scotland, so the latest versions are both better :)
Did you work for or own the company :?:
_that'd be pretty cool.
__it's just amazing how you guys know this stuff.
__my old man always told me to respect my elders caus they know their S*&#, and you guys sure know your stuff.
I only run RWAP Software (RWAP Services, RWAP Adventures and SellMyRetro) - but I have been around the scene since 1986 officially (just had RWAP Software's 30th anniversary). I started out with the ZX81 when at school in 1982.

I sourced keyboard membrane manufacturers to reverse engineer keyboard membranes and make them anew (although I had some help as one manufacturer I have used in Poland used to make replacement membranes for some of the Sinclair machines in the 90s)

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