A kit to convert a Sinclair ZX Spectrum or Spectrum+ into a USB keyboard for use with a modern PC or a Raspberry PiDesigned by Tynemouth Software, Ships from United Kingdom
What is it? This is a kit which will allow you to convert a (preferably non-functional) Sinclair ZX Spectrum or Spectrum+ into a USB keyboard which can be used just like any other USB keyboard. It ...Read More…
This is a kit which will allow you to convert a (preferably non-functional) Sinclair ZX Spectrum or Spectrum+ into a USB keyboard which can be used just like any other USB keyboard. It can also be used with new reproduction ZX Spectrum cases, so no original hardware is required. The USB keyboard controller board is full built and tested, ready to be installed.
I have made many USB keyboard kits for many different vintage computers, which I am starting to list here on Tindie. These allow you to reuse the case and keyboard from a broken machine, either as a plain USB keyboard or to install a Raspberry Pi or other single board computer.
This is a plug in and go kit, designed specifically for the ZX Spectrum. No special drivers and no need to do any remapping in software, the keyboard will be detected as a standard USB keyboard in Windows, OS X, Linux, and any tablets or phones which allow you to connect a standard USB keyboard.
The kit includes the USB keyboard controller, fixings and a USB lead. The controller board has a piezo buzzer which in normal mode will make a click sound whenever a key is pressed (like the original Spectrum did), it will also beep when the mode is changed using the mode switch (which is optional).
The kit does not include a ZX Spectrum case or keyboard, you need to provide those yourself, and please try to start with a broken computer or a new case if possible.
There are versions for the original 'rubber key' ZX Spectrum, and the later hard cased ZX Spectrum+. This can also be used with the toast rack Spectrum+ 128K (but please don't). It is not compatible with the Spectrum +2 and +3 (although contact me if you are interested in those, I have them but have not listed them as yet).
The normal board has a USB connector and is supplied with a USB cable. The internal option is for use when you are fitting a Raspberry Pi Zero or similar inside the computer. Space is tight, so no connector is used, you will need to solder wires from the 4 pin header to the USB port on the Pi or a hub.
If working with an original ZX Spectrum, note the keyboard membranes have often failed by now, as they tend to become brittle with age, so you may need a replacement membrane, these are optionally available.
The keyboard can be mapped appropriately for the system being used
The board is mounted on the back of the keyboard, the USB cable exits through the hole where the power connector was. Four self adhesive pillars are provided to hold the board in place.
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I write a blog about old computers, repairing them, upgrading them, replacing them. Read more at blog.tynemouthsoftware.co.uk