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The Minstrel Issue 3 – a ZX81 compatible computer kit #VintageComputing @tynemouthsw

Tynemouth Software has released the Minstrel Issue 3 which is a ZX81 compatible computer kit.

This is a newly designed, ZX81 compatible 8 bit computer. Ever since I released the Minstrel Issue 2, which was a clone of the ZX80, I have wanted to extend this to be ZX81 compatible. This is Version 3.5, it’s taken four previous revisions (and rework in between) to get to this point. I’ll go through this in more detail in a later post, covering what went on with each of these and all the stages I went through.

The main change between the ZX80 and the ZX81 was integration of all the logic into a single ULA chip. I couldn’t replicate that, so I am sticking with discrete logic chips. As well as this, they solved one of the main problems with the ZX80. The way it was designed, it could either draw the screen, or run user code, it couldn’t do both at the same time. See the previous blog post for more about How the ZX80 Works).

Various revisions of the design

See all the details here – this would make a great gift for a vintage enthusiast.


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2 Comments

  1. testing if a comment can be submitted w/o solving the captcha!

  2. A follow up article would be helpful for navigating the Z80 for customers who did not pay attention to the Z80 back in it’s hay day.

    Where is the software foundation for the Z80?

    How would you save your programs and build other peripherals for the SBC?

    What is the best configuration for the SBC?

    Are there any user groups still in existence for the Z80?

    Once you buy the board, then what?

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