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Any American Speccy fans around?


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Hi there. So, recently I wanna get into the ZX Spectrum scene and would like somehow build a Speccy clone maybe...?

idk. I've just been curious about the ZX Spectrum computer line, but I don't know where to start in terms of gamedev or maybe where to get the hardware. As much as I'm an Atari console fan of course. Anyway, as an American fan of 8-bit computers, I want more ZX Spectrum representation.

So, who here is an American and is into the ZX Spectrum line of computers?

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1 minute ago, wongojack said:

I have emulated it to check it out, but I definitely wouldn't say that I'm "into" it.  If I were going to get into it, I'd probably want to track down a ZX Spectrum Next.  Might be hard to find though.

ZX SPECTRUM NEXT – The official portal for all things Next (specnext.com)

Yeah, the Spectrum Next has been almost always been a Kickstarter exclusive, but it's no less impressive that people still make and play with 8-bit computers in general.

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20 hours ago, r_chase said:

Hi there. So, recently I wanna get into the ZX Spectrum scene and would like somehow build a Speccy clone maybe...?

idk. I've just been curious about the ZX Spectrum computer line, but I don't know where to start in terms of gamedev or maybe where to get the hardware. As much as I'm an Atari console fan of course. Anyway, as an American fan of 8-bit computers, I want more ZX Spectrum representation.

So, who here is an American and is into the ZX Spectrum line of computers?

 

hardware (N-GO is the official clone of ZX Spectrum Next):

 

 

https://manuferhi.com/p/n-go-full-include-wifi-rpi-zero

https://ultimatemister.com/product/zx-spectrum-next-computer-n-go-marble/

 

soft:

Boriel's zx basic. The most powerful BASIC cross compiler for ZX Spectrum & ZX Spectrum Next:

 

https://www.boriel.com/forum/index.php

 

Krystle Designs. Graphic editor program for ZX Spectrum Next:

 

https://www.specnext.com/more-great-spectrum-next-software/

https://leeorg.itch.io/krystle-designs

 

Games:

 

https://spectrumcomputing.co.uk/index.php

https://worldofspectrum.org/archive/software/games

https://sunteam.itch.io/

https://sinc-lair.itch.io/

https://zxonline.net/platform/zx-spectrum-48/

https://zxonline.net/platform/zx-spectrum-128/

https://zxonline.net/platform/zx-spectrum-next/

 

 

 

Have fun.

Edited by Sinyavin
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@r_chase If I were you, I'd start small. Before you break the bank on a ZX Spectrum Next clone, download an emulator for free. I'd recommend Fuse. https://worldofspectrum.net/emulators/

 

As for making a game for the first time, there's of course ZXBasic that @Sinyavin mentioned. If you know and or understand C language you can also use Mojon Twins' MK1 or MK2 game engine. https://github.com/mojontwins/MK1 https://github.com/mojontwins/mk2

 

Or use Multi-Platform Arcade Game Designer, here's a tutorial: 

Hope this info helps. :3

 

 

Edited by ZippyOasys
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10 hours ago, ZippyOasys said:

@r_chase If I were you, I'd start small. Before you break the bank on a ZX Spectrum Next clone, download an emulator for free. I'd recommend Fuse. https://worldofspectrum.net/emulators/

 

As for making a game for the first time, there's of course ZXBasic that @Sinyavin mentioned. If you know and or understand C language you can also use Mojon Twins' MK1 or MK2 game engine. https://github.com/mojontwins/MK1 https://github.com/mojontwins/mk2

 

Or use Multi-Platform Arcade Game Designer, here's a tutorial: 

Hope this info helps. :3

 

 

Believe it or not, I've wanted to try MPAGD, but with the lack of documentation on its compatibility with Wine on Linux (not to mention the lack of a chance for a native port), I'm not so sure.

I might as well end up with ZX BASIC on VSCode or something.

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On 1/6/2024 at 7:31 PM, r_chase said:

So, who here is an American and is into the ZX Spectrum line of computers?

I am a native Oklahoman, and while I don't play any Speccy games per se, I do appreciate it from afar.  That being said, I do play an old Speccy game that has been ported to Android really, really well called Chaos: The Battle of the Wizards.  It is an awesome game that doesn't necessarily offer a ton of depth, but a ton of replayability.  Check it out if you haven't done so.

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I had always wanted to get into the Speccy but being in the US it always seemed like a hassle with all the hardware.  I got in on the first Spec Next Kickstarter and I love the machine.  Looks like the second Kickstarter is finally shipping, maybe you can find one on the second hand market?  Good luck!

 

 

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Living in the U.S. and built a 3B replica board once.  It works perfectly as a 16K, but I was never able to get the upper 32k working.  I used Retrolium-TheRetroSparesShop (https://www.retroleum.co.uk) for most of the ICs and hard-to-find parts. This included the ROM and Nebula (ULA replacement). They also have a decent keyboard membrane.  I got the board off of eBay.

 

I also have an original 48k rubber keyboard, 48k plus, and a +2. All were AV modded, bypassing the RF modulator with a 100 mf capacitor directly to the jack. Seriously, Google it. It's a great mod and very necessary in the U.S. as the UK TV signals won't work on American TVs.  There are a lot of YouTube videos demonstrating this mod. I promise it's really easy. 

 

In terms of PSUs, I've been using a SEGA Genesis brick (just needs to be 9v DC 1 Amp center negative). Needed 2 amps for the +2 though.

 

For the Monitor, I have an older Sharp or Insigna LCD TV with composite input. I also use them with my Acorn Electron and BBC Micro as well. Generally speaking, these brands will be able to display a PAL signal without a problem. Alternatively, most monochrome composite monitors can handle a 50hz signal, but obviously no color. Avoid Samsung as the U.S. (NTSC) units won't recognize PAL signals (however, they do work great with my Apple IIs).

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I have no nostalgia for the machine (living in the USA of course), but I AM a fan!

 

I had a Harlequin not too long ago (which is a Spectrum clone for those unaware) and it was great. I actually had a LOT of fun with that little machine. I regret selling it off.

 

I may have to revisit the Spectrum one day. 

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My first computer I owned was a Timex-Sinclair 1000, and I saw an article on the Spectrum in a 1982 copy of the Smithsonian magazine which made me very interested in it.  But like other posters here, they just were not available here in the US and the VIC-20 and the 64 beckoned on.  At some point I would like to get one and play around with it.

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The ZX Spectrum is definitely interesting, and plenty of active development for it even today. ZX Spectrum Next development has unfortunately mostly petered out. Doesn't help that it's been nearly impossible to get your hands on one for years. But there are some cool games for it.

 

Some random ZX Spectrum homebrew:

https://volcanobytes.itch.io/the-curse-of-trasmoz
https://patmorita.itch.io/black-and-white
https://javierfopiani.itch.io/aliengirl
https://minilop.itch.io/swarm
https://bitfans.itch.io/donum
https://zanklesoft.itch.io/italia-1944

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I'm regaining interest in the ZX Spectrum, but I'm also interested in the Atari 8-bit famsquad line of computers. With that said, when I get a hold of an emulator and maybe learn how to use ZX BASIC to compile my Speccy programs outside the emulator, I'll make most of my code open source so you Atari guys can port my games to any of the Atari 8-bit line; and yes, that includes the 5200. Shout out to @Ryan Witmer for making their 5200 games open-source for easy conversion. ❤️

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I now live in Seattle, but grew up in the UK in the 80s, and a lot of kids at school had the ZX Spectrum.

 

Even though, as a Commodore, and then an Atari kid, I was obligated to heap childish scorn on the little rubber-keyed micro, I actually found many of the games amazingly cool.  Psion Flight Simulator, Jetpac, Attic Attack, The Hobbit, Knightlore, so so many more.

 

I backed Spectrum Next KS2, and of course I am still waiting for it to show up.  So I also bought a Harlequin kit from Byte Delight, and a remanufactured case from Retro Radionics, as ZX Renew were out of stock at the time.  (Retro Radionics were also out of stock, but they just didn't admit it, nor offered any updates on the delayed order until prompted, and so I had to wait months for their stock to be refreshed from wherever in China is actually making this stuff).

 

The Harlequin was a lot to assemble but the instructions were pretty good.   The finished machine can be switched from PAL to NTSC if needed, but also outputs RGB.   It can also be set as either a 48K Spectrum or a 128K Spectrum.  I use a 2A 9V DC power supply, center negative.  I also have a DivMMC device to load games from an SD card, and to use a joystick as the keyboard still sucks.

 

The Spectrum is a fun 8-bit computer with lots of games and applications and on-going enthusiastic support from a great community.  I am very eager to finally get my hands on the Spectrum Next so I hope they work out their "RotW" shipping issues soon.

 

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29 minutes ago, oracle_jedi said:

I now live in Seattle, but grew up in the UK in the 80s, and a lot of kids at school had the ZX Spectrum.

 

Even though, as a Commodore, and then an Atari kid, I was obligated to heap childish scorn on the little rubber-keyed micro, I actually found many of the games amazingly cool.  Psion Flight Simulator, Jetpac, Attic Attack, The Hobbit, Knightlore, so so many more.

 

I backed Spectrum Next KS2, and of course I am still waiting for it to show up.  So I also bought a Harlequin kit from Byte Delight, and a remanufactured case from Retro Radionics, as ZX Renew were out of stock at the time.  (Retro Radionics were also out of stock, but they just didn't admit it, nor offered any updates on the delayed order until prompted, and so I had to wait months for their stock to be refreshed from wherever in China is actually making this stuff).

 

The Harlequin was a lot to assemble but the instructions were pretty good.   The finished machine can be switched from PAL to NTSC if needed, but also outputs RGB.   It can also be set as either a 48K Spectrum or a 128K Spectrum.  I use a 2A 9V DC power supply, center negative.  I also have a DivMMC device to load games from an SD card, and to use a joystick as the keyboard still sucks.

 

The Spectrum is a fun 8-bit computer with lots of games and applications and on-going enthusiastic support from a great community.  I am very eager to finally get my hands on the Spectrum Next so I hope they work out their "RotW" shipping issues soon.

 

I know this is really heavy on wishful thinking, but I think Atari could distribute a Speccy clone to the US. Again, very much wishful thinking. *sigh*

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  • 2 weeks later...
15 hours ago, davidcalgary29 said:

I just got a shipping notification for my Spectrum Next. It feels like it's been years since I put down my Kickstarter pledge...and it has been! Very excited now.

 

Mine just arrived!

 

Ordered Sept 2020 with an expected delivery date of Aug 2021.  So happy it has finally arrived!

 

 

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22 hours ago, davidcalgary29 said:

I just got a shipping notification for my Spectrum Next. It feels like it's been years since I put down my Kickstarter pledge...and it has been! Very excited now.

6 hours ago, oracle_jedi said:

 

Mine just arrived!

 

Ordered Sept 2020 with an expected delivery date of Aug 2021.  So happy it has finally arrived!

 

 

You guys are pretty lucky.

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On 1/8/2024 at 6:58 AM, ZippyOasys said:

Before you break the bank on a ZX Spectrum Next clone,

 

 

 

The clone costs only at the price of four games for PlayStation 5 or so. The original ZX Spectrum Next is still more expensive, and it needs to wait for... ...3.5 years. Hmmm... 😆

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