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First post, by 386_junkie

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Saw this today and felt a good old pang of nostalgia: -

sinclair-zx-spectrum-vega-handheld-1.jpg

http://metro.co.uk/2016/02/16/sir-clive-sincl … 0-games-5686886

I'm not sure the device will quite emulate the feeling or waiting time of loading up the likes of Battlezone... by cassette tape, but it will sure take you back to some of the games played... still with limited colours, albeit on a smaller screen.

Did anyone ever own a ZX? Would this device tickle your penny jar any?

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Reply 1 of 20, by carlostex

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I had a spectrum clone back in the day, a Timex Computer 2048. I have to say this does not bring nostalgia to me at all. Why is everything made to look and function like a god damn phone or a onsole controller? Real computers have keyboards

1000 games? There are memory cards today that can fit the entire Spectrum catalog

Reply 2 of 20, by 386_junkie

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Ok, I should say that it was the spectrum of colours that brought on the nostalgia... not necessarily the device itself. Seeing the 5 colour spectrum takes me back... did your clone not have the 5 colour spectrum? If not then it is understandable that you may not relate.

Though I do agree with you... everything these days is made to look and feel like a phone / console controller. I just didn't think they would go as far back as the 80's with the ZX! Think about it... a handheld ZX! The original was not very big anyway... just in modular pieces with a separate tape deck.

Having said... when I got up this morning, I did not expect to see today a mini handheld ZX and admittedly upon seeing it, I got a keen notion to play Battlezone.

I suspect a handheld BBC could be next on the agenda!

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Reply 3 of 20, by kixs

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I for one can not get used to gamepad style of "joystick". Tried many times and failed always. Bough PSP back in 2004 for emulation purposes but have rarely been satisfied. The same with Sony Ericsson Xperia Play android phone.

I started with Atari 800XL and real joystick is a must. This one was and still is my favourite for Atari:

computek_turbo.jpg

I also use USB adapter for connecting to PC.

Otherwise I never had a ZX Spectrum but I can say that the real thing is the only way 😀

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Reply 4 of 20, by Zup

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Well, there are another (cheaper) options...
- Harlequin (a.k.a. Superfo clone) is a ZX Spectrum 48k compatbile board, made with TTL circuits to avoid using some (i.e.: the ULA) non available components. It has the same connectors (except that it may have RGB output) and form than the original board, so it can be put into a ZX Spectrum or ZX Spectrum + chassis.
- ZX Uno is another ZX Spectrum clone, based on Superfo's work. The board has (almost) the same form as Raspberry Pi, and you can connect a PS2 keyboard and atari joysticks to play with it.

Also, if you need a portable Spectrum thing, note that a Nintendo DS with ZXDS is surely a winner combo.

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Reply 6 of 20, by Lo Wang

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If this shall lessen some of the polluting stupidity that's released daily into the atmosphere by thousands of people who play joystick, gamepad and keyboard+mouse games by tapping directly on a display...I'm all for it 😀

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Reply 7 of 20, by RoyBatty

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I prefer to just use emulators that are written by people who actually care about the machines so we can not only play the games, but use them still as the computers they were designed to be. This includes programming on them, watching demos, using utilities, and make NEW games and utilities while being able to transfer these things to the real deal and enjoying them there too if desired.

I understand why some people would want such devices, but they seem like cheap cash grabs banking on people's nostalgia to me. Perhaps if they made more effort on making them accurate I wouldn't be so put off by them myself... I still have bad feelings about the C64 DTV, and the flashback consoles.

Reply 8 of 20, by xjas

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RoyBatty wrote:

I prefer to just use emulators that are written by people who actually care about the machines ...

Er, this project is being developed by Sir Clive Sinclair... you might have heard of him. I suspect he cares about the machine a great deal.

I love the looks of that thing. And huge props for the inclusion of a micro-sd slot, USB, and video out. Ive never owned a Spectrum, or even used one, but I'd be pretty interested in picking one of these up.

BTW the C64DTV was the brainchild of Jerri Ellsworth, a true proper hardware hacker with a huge background in the C64 scene. Look up "C64 bass guitar" on Youtube. Generic cash in it was not.

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Reply 9 of 20, by sf78

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It's really too bad Spectrum never quite made it outside UK. But then again, Commodore WAS the superior gaming platform back then. I actually prefer Amstrad over these two, if only it had better sound. 😢

Reply 10 of 20, by 386_junkie

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sf78 wrote:

It's really too bad Spectrum never quite made it outside UK. But then again, Commodore WAS the superior gaming platform back then. I actually prefer Amstrad over these two, if only it had better sound. 😢

I never owned a C64... I knew many people who did though. Apparently it had a dedicated sound processor which answers for the superior sound... though back then was Amstrad not of similar build to PC's? i.e. able to be upgraded with a modular sound card for the ISA bus or anything?

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Reply 11 of 20, by 386_junkie

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xjas wrote:
RoyBatty wrote:

I prefer to just use emulators that are written by people who actually care about the machines ...

Er, this project is being developed by Sir Clive Sinclair... you might have heard of him. I suspect he cares about the machine a great deal.

I love the looks of that thing. And huge props for the inclusion of a micro-sd slot, USB, and video out. Ive never owned a Spectrum, or even used one, but I'd be pretty interested in picking one of these up.

🤣 ... Yea it's terrible that Clive guy neglecting all those poor machines.

Many of the ZX clones didn't quite have the look of the original so I can understand some folk relating less to the all black with the trademark spectrum design... but the new device does carry the original design well, in a smaller package with the added tech features that have been developed since the originals release... a ZX with SD and USB! 🤣

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Reply 12 of 20, by Tertz

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sf78 wrote:

It's really too bad Spectrum never quite made it outside UK.

It did. In Eastern Europe, for example.

Commodore WAS the superior gaming platform back then.

yeh. no one ever harmed red palette so superiorly

I actually prefer Amstrad over these two, if only it had better sound

faster graphics and higher resolution

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Reply 13 of 20, by sf78

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Tertz wrote:

It did. In Eastern Europe, for example.

Yes, but only because they cloned the damn thing (like many other platforms). It's like saying Nintendo was big in Russia because of dozens of Famiclones. Now don't get me wrong, I still have hundreds of ZX and Amstrad games. Heck, I actually burned around a 1000 Spectrum games last summer (no market for them in Finland). To me C64 is the clear winner when it comes to overal quality of games. Heck, I actually trashed and

Reply 14 of 20, by Zup

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Resurrecting this thread...

If Vega is too expensive or limited for you, there is another rival: the ZX Uno (I guess I did mention it here).

ZX Uno is aimed to clone all the hardware of ZX Spectrum in a raspberry pi sized board. Their features include:
- PS/2 keyboard input.
- RCA and RGB (SCART) video output.
- Audio input and output, to allow you to load games using the traditional way.
- Atari joystick input, to use old joysticks.
- SD card to load games instantly (it is DivMMC compatible).

Also, this is not exactly a clone of ZX Spectrum... although the first project was to clone a ZX Spectrum, this board can different computers. They're working into other cores (SAM Coupé, Jupiter Ace, Sega Master System...).

You can see all the information on their web. On that page, you can download the schematics, boards and software for this thing.

Today, they've launched a crowdfunding campaign on spanish site Verkami. You can pledge for mounted boards with and without case (remember, you can adapt a standard Raspberry Pi case). On this campaign there are not ZX Uno kits... so nobody will need to solder anything.

P.S.: If anyone living outside Spain want to back the crowdfunding, remember to include the "international shipping"reward.

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Reply 15 of 20, by sliderider

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I used cassettes on my Commodore VIC-20 and Atari 800XL before I could afford a floppy drive. I still remember my first cassette game for Atari. Salmon Run. You had swim a salmon upstream avoiding obstacles and hungry bears and hopefully making it to your spawn point where your sweetheart salmon would be waiting for you.

Reply 16 of 20, by BSA Starfire

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I still have my Spectrum 128K +2(grey) & about 150 tape games. Also have a Commodore Vic 20, C2N tape deck and loads of cartridge and tape games(over 100).

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Reply 17 of 20, by BSA Starfire

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Here are some of my Commodore VIC-20 tapes including a full set of the good old Mastertronic 199 games, the tapes that cost most British kids their pocket money back in the 80's 😀 Also "Perils of willy" the VIC's version of Manic Miner & the classic Jetpac by ultimate, late RARE. All it an 1980's tape storage centre in faux wood and smoked perspex! 🤣

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Reply 18 of 20, by Zup

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Wow, it seems that this year everybody can buy a "new" ZX Spectrum or build their own. At this moment, you can...
- Buy or build a Harlequin board. This is a board with the same form factor and features as the original ZX Spectrum 48k board, built with "old school" components. It is meant to be placed inside a real Spectrum (16k, 48k or +) case. The board design and list of components are available so you can build your own board, although it's easy to find someone making a board series.
- Get a ZX Vega or ZX Vega +. This FPGA based clones are sold already built, with a set of games ready to play. They are a lot like the C64DTV.
- Buy or build a ZX Uno FPGA clone. This board has the same form as the Raspberry Pi, its meant to fit on Raspberry Pi cases. It features a ZX Spectrum clone, although it can be loaded with other cores when available (i.e.: Vic 20, NES, etc). You can download the cores, schematics, and board designs on their web.
- Get a ZX Spectrum Next. It is being crowdfunded now, and it features a ZX Spectrum clone (with some extended hardware).

Add to this list most FPGA boards, because there are ZX Spectrum cores for almost any FPGA you can think of. Or a Rapsberry Pi running retropie or bare metal emulators, or anything you can fit on a ZX Spectrum board.

I don't know why, but it seems that everbody has a need to build a ZX Spectrum clone lately...

I have traveled across the universe and through the years to find Her.
Sometimes going all the way is just a start...

I'm selling some stuff!

Reply 19 of 20, by Cyberdyne

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IDK i have a PSP Street that i bought for 30EUROS, hacked it added emulators and source ports, and i can do all that and more.

Mainly play NES games and Doom, and few others. But also Speccy and Atari games.

I am aroused about any X86 motherboard that has full functional ISA slot. I think i have problem. Not really into that original (Turbo) XT,286,386 and CGA/EGA stuff. So just a DOS nut.