Monday 4 February 2013

Spectrum/SVI summary

It looks like a Spectravideo, but inside... the soul of a Spectrum.
Often people try to find ways to cram a big, modern computer into a very small case. This is not one of those times. Here, a small ZX Spectrum motherboard is placed inside a roomy SVI MSX plastic case, and the keyboard has been rewired to suit the Speccy. Although the project is not really finished (None of my projects properly do), it's not likely to change much in appearance.

Someone may notice I have moved the arrow keys to the front, but they are not yet connected. I'm currently looking at a more elegant way of making the extra keys work, but this will have to wait a little.

I've been playing some games with this nice keyboard, and it really is an improvement over the ol' rubber. The SVI keyboard is near "business" quality and all the keys are pretty much in the places you'd nowadays expect. It also feels better than the Spectrum+ keyboard, and as the keys are better positioned than in the later models, it might be even better than +2/+3 keyboard. Make no mistake, though: it's not possible to speed-type with the Spectrum no matter how good the keyboard. There's just simply something a bit strange with the way the Spectrum handles key input. For playing games, it's good.

It's a bit funny feeling, using another retro computer keyboard to play games with another. Some might consider the whole thing a heresy, but to me it feels more "right" than playing Spectrum games on a PC keyboard.

Formerly known as the Spectrumvideo.
I removed the Spectravideo/SVI decal and made this little thing to replace it. The piece is a leftover from that one time when I mutilated a Spectrum +2. As I could not honestly call this a Spectrum +2, I scratched parts of the text away. So I call it the "Spectrum +_".

The image below shows how all ports find their place in the SVI case. I only had to carve the widest hole a little wider to make the 9V DC IN accessible. The Divide 2k11 required some additional cutting, because the NMI button is on the "wrong side". The normal Spectrum peripherals fit quite nicely. 

Power disconnected.
It's possible that I will eventually install a power switch to the case. Now I have just brought in the power cable from a hole in the right side of the computer and again out from the back (the exit is just about visible to the left). This prevents the cable from falling off the table, at least... A power switch might made as an extension to this idea, that at least would not change the Spectrum board in any way.