Friday, January 03, 2020

ZX-Key, Minstrel 3 Keyboard Adapter

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The ZX-Keys Keyboard attached to the Minstrel Issue 3 via the ZX-Key Breakout Board.

Since building the ZX81 Minstrel 3 kit I've been using the initial kludge keyboard adapter I'd made up on protoboard with the ZX-Keys. All perfectly fine, although it was a little unsightly, missing the ability to reset the computer and devoid of the reassuring LED indicators.

It's not all about making things tidy though. I still have further plans to encase the Minstrel and need to ensure everything is working as expected before finalising that design. But more of that in latter posts.

The ZX-Key Minstrel adapter is really just a simple breakout board for the standar ZX-Key keyboard. The breakout board can be soldered directly in place, or clipped into the ZX81 keyboard header or slotted into a regular female header. Provision has been made for mounting it firmly to the Minstrel, held in with a bold

To make simple use of the ZX-Keys Keyboard adapter nothing needs to be done other than plug it in and attach the keyboard. However an additional 3 wires may be soldered to the Minstrels 5v, GND and Reset lines to restoring computer reset and LED functionality to the Keyboard.

In the coming weeks I plan to make the Minstrel 3 ZX-Keys Keyboard kit available on Tindie. This will be in addition to the regular fully assembled units designed for the ZX81 that I currently make available on Sell My Retro. So stay tuned for that.

Minstrel Issue 3 ZX-Key Breakout Board.

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