The Tynemouth Software Minstrel 2 ZX80 clone.Designed by Tynemouth Software in United Kingdom
*** Please note shipping options are limited at the moment, more expensive and slower. If ordering from outside the UK, please ensure your country is currently accepting imports as normal. ***
I'll put this right at the start in big letters just to be clear, this is the Minstrel 2, a ZX80 clone - see the Minstrel 3 if you want ZX81 Compatibility (NMI Slow mode). What is it? This is a k...Read More…
I'll put this right at the start in big letters just to be clear, this is the Minstrel 2, a ZX80 clone - see the Minstrel 3 if you want ZX81 Compatibility (NMI Slow mode).
What is it? This is a kit which can be used to build a ZX80 clone. An 8 bit Z80 based computer, the predecessor of the ZX81 and ZX Spectrum. It has 4K or 8K of ROM, 16K of RAM and a 3.25MHz Z80 Processor. Input is via an 8x5 matrix keyboard (see below for options), output via composite video (improved over the original ZX80 design). It is programmed in a simple version of BASIC. 10 PRINT "HELLO WORLD", 20 GOTO 10, RUN.
Why did you make it? The ZX80 itself is quite rare, this is an easy way to build a version with modern parts which is fully ZX80 compatible.
What makes it special? The Minstrel 2 is built in the form factor of the ZX81, so can be used as a replacement board for a broken ZX81. The design follows the original ZX80 design with only a few changes. The RAM has been upgraded to 16K, and the ROM socket can take a 2764-27512 EPROM with 1 to 8 ROM images which are jumper selectable. The video output has been improved and is now a composite video signal rather than the version generated by the original ZX80 and early ZX81 boards which were missing one part which affected the black level on modern TVs.
All parts are through hole, so assembly should be straightforward. It can be used with the original ZX80 4K BASIC ROM or the later ZX81 like 8K BASIC ROM. Note these Minstrel 2 boards do not have the NMI based slow mode, so are not fully ZX81 compatible (see Minstrel 3 if you want a ZX81 compatible board). The video output composite video, and is jumper selectable between the PAL and NTSC.
What options are available? This kit is available in several versions
For ZX81 Case This version of the kit includes all the parts necessary to produce a board which will fit inside a ZX81 case (not supplied). This includes two overlay stickers with keywords for 4K or 8K BASIC. Optionally a replacement ZX81 membrane can be included if the existing one is damaged (it is a common fault, look for short, brittle or cracked membrane tails).
Open board with Tact Switch Keyboard This version has the board out in the open with the Minstrel tact switch keyboard, and optionally a Minstrel ZXpand. Two keyboard overlay PCBs are included, with 4K and 8K BASIC keywords.
There is an optional 9V DC power supply, composite video cable and 3.5mm audio lead.
IC Sockets The kits come with turned pin IC sockets for the CPU, ROM and RAM. You can optionally add sockets for all the other ICs on the board.
Some of the photos show the green PCB version. All current stock is blue.
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DHL Global Mail: DHL / Parcelforce
International shipping via DHL or Parcelforce. Limited service is available from both services currently, so the best option will be selected.
David | Feb. 15, 2020
John | Sept. 24, 2019
Alex | Feb. 7, 2019
Adam | Jan. 20, 2019
Andrew | Jan. 30, 2018
Adam | Nov. 2, 2017
Goran | July 12, 2017
James | April 24, 2017
Kim | March 27, 2017
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