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(almost) good emulation-based ZX Spectrum replica

Building a ZX Spectrum clone using ZXBaremulator, a RPi, the ZX Spectrum recreated and anything that helps closing the gap with a real zeddy

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The ZXBaremulator software is an almost perfect ZX Spectrum emulator with terrific advantages :

- cheap and small (thanks to the RPI form factor) alternative to a real zeddy or a fpga

- boots instantly !

- supports many features you would expect from a first class emulator : extensive hardware support, virtual tapes, OSD, fast loading option, accurate emulation ...

A few caveats make me want to find workarounds to make it almost perfect :

- It's not possible to save on tape. This is for me the biggest one, as you cannot use it for educational or fun programming.

- It's closed source ! The one I really don't understand in 2020 ...

- More video options (e.g. scan lines) would be nice

Some of those caveats are difficult to work on, so my first focus will be on trying to find solutions to save type-ins.

  • 1 × RaspBerry Pi A+
  • 1 × ZX Spectrum Recreated Keyboard
  • 1 × ZXBaremulator

  • First findings

    jsavidan12/09/2020 at 13:56 0 comments

    ZXBaremulator produces the actual audio output when you save. 

    I used a laptop, a jack-jack cable, and audacity to record the audio signal.

    Then, I splitted the stereo track into 2xmono, kept only one, then, used amplification twice (gain : 22db) to have an acceptable shape.

    I was able to load it successfully in Fuse, yeah :)

    I'm now wondering if an Arduino with an audio shield could record the signal, maybe amplify it a bit, and, at the very least, could then store it back on a sdcard.

    I ordered an ethernet shield, so maybe I could make it available on my LAN, then my Mac could poll it (automatically), convert it as a TZX file, then publish it back on the exposed Arduino.

    Many things to explore, but at least I am now able to save a program I would write directly on the Pi.

  • Initial Setup

    jsavidan12/09/2020 at 13:47 0 comments

    Initial setup :

    - A raspberry A+ with a 2Gb SD-CARD 

    - A CamdenBoss black carbon fiber enclosure (https://www.camdenboss.com/camden-boss/cbrpap-car-raspberry-pi-a-enclosure%2ccarbon-fibre%2c-69.4x58.4x30-mm/c-23/p-23014)

    - A ZX Spectrum Recreated keyboard

    - A USB hub

    - A micro USB cable with switch 

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