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Vintage Computers Any vintage computer systems, calculators, video games etc., but with an emphasis on 1980s and earlier equipment.

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Old 6th Feb 2020, 12:10 am   #21
SiriusHardware
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Newcastle, Tyne and Wear, UK.
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Default Re: ZX spectrum +2

Hmm, slightly taken aback to see a Raspberry Pi Zero in there. The only problem I can see with that is that the project then depends on a continuing supply of RPi-Zs - as they are produced by a third party there can be no guarantee of that.

Still, it looks gorgeous and absolutely in keeping with original Sinclair (not Amstrad, Pah!) design from the outside. Rick Dickinson would have approved, I am sure. This finally looks to be the replacement full-featured self contained modern Spectrum which the earlier 'Vega' (with no keyboard) and that other thing, the 'Recreated Sinclair Spectrum' completely failed to be.

Maybe you could put together a 'review' of it when you've had time to play with it?
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Old 6th Feb 2020, 8:18 pm   #22
Timbucus
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Default Re: ZX spectrum +2

Indeed the PI0 is a dependency but, it is an optional addon used to provide a co-processor mainly to allow full digital audio so that a TZX can be loaded for example (or play WAV etc). I am sure people will find other uses. The header is fairly general purpose with GPIO, I2S, UART (for example it can reverse its TX.RX on the pins to use PI HAT's) - so a custom HAT could be made instead or indeed an existing one used like the 4G card I am experimenting with! I have sent a text from a Spectrum...

I will do a review when I get the real one - full disclosure though I have written the MOUSE, RTC and WIFI drivers... so they are really good

Rick Dickinson not only approved it is his case design and he worked on it right up until his death, but never lived to see it produced which is sad... so it truly is what Sinclair would have produced Next
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Old 6th Feb 2020, 9:53 pm   #23
SiriusHardware
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Default Re: ZX spectrum +2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timbucus View Post

I will do a review when I get the real one - full disclosure though I have written the MOUSE, RTC and WIFI drivers..)
In Z80??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timbucus View Post
Rick Dickinson not only approved, it is his case design and he worked on it right up until his death...
Oh Dear, in that case I'm going to have to own one at some point. I'm not at all surprised to hear it is his design, it just looks so quintessentially Sinclair (in a good way).
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Old 7th Feb 2020, 7:27 pm   #24
Timbucus
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Default Re: ZX spectrum +2

Yes and no - the Z80 is used in all the Spectrum side code and the interface to the streams system in BASIC.

The mouse one uses the old Kempston Mouse standard which the Next FPGA converts from the PS2 port.

The WiFi is one of those small ESP01 modules connected by a UART so most of the heavy lifting is done by the AT command set and the TCP/IP stack on the device although there is a lot of IRQ polling and moving memory in the driver.

The RTC is connected with a bit banged I2C bus and uses a standard DS1307 chip - there is a loadable ESXDOS/NextZXOS command to scan the bus for example - the code is here wirh extensive documentation - it may be useful to anyone looking to bit bang an I2C interface on old Z80 based hardware:

https://gitlab.com/thesmog358/tbblue...tc/i2cscan.asm
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