Thread: Zx81
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Old 15th Mar 2020, 1:35 am   #66
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Location: Worksop, Nottinghamshire, UK.
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Default Re: Zx81

Originally Posted by Slothie View Post
Oddly enough I did the same thing at the same time for my chicklet keyboard commodore PET 2001. i got a DEC VT52 keyboard from a computer scrap place in Maldon, Essex, cut all the tracks on the PCB and rewired it with single core wire from phone cable my dad liberated from a skip during a refit of the office he worked in. I made a 2-way adapter from veroboard and header connectors so you could use both keyboards as the mood took me (original keyboard for graphics, nrw one for actual text). Then we made a case for the keybosrd from plywood painted to match the PET connecting to the adapter by a rainbow ribbon cable. Labelling the keys that needed it was done by writing on bits of paper and sellotaping onto the keys which was crude but worked! Twenty years of being in the loft has meant most of them have dropped off, but they lasted for the 8 or so years it was my main computer and was a joy to use.
My mate did better.
He bought a replacement keyboard sticker and chopped all the legends out and stuck them to the key caps. He bought several if I remember rightly as they were pretty cheap. There was a sacrificial keyboard for stripping and tracing.
The keyboard was a big chunky item made out of folded aluminum with enough space for the ZX81 and the guts of the mains adapter easily.
The computer the donor keyboard came from had a CPU that took up a whole room.
The screens were so heavy that hardly any got pulled out of the skip.
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