ZX Spectrum Next

For experts to discuss very technical stuff and newbies to ask why the Spectrum they bought off ebay doesn't work.
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Seven.FFF
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Re: ZX Spectrum Next

Post by Seven.FFF » Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:41 pm

No funds were transferred, fortunately.
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Nomad
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Re: ZX Spectrum Next

Post by Nomad » Mon Apr 09, 2018 2:11 pm

In that case they really dodged a bullet. Good news for the backers.
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beanz
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Re: ZX Spectrum Next

Post by beanz » Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:39 pm

If they do end up getting the plastics from China that's 6-8weeks just in shipping...unless they fly them which I doubt due to the cost of doing that...Late July/Aug delivery of finished units perhaps.
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RMartins
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Re: ZX Spectrum Next

Post by RMartins » Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:12 pm

As far as I remember the goal was to build everything in the UK.
But plans might change.

There are quite a few plastic injection molding companies in the UK.
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MonkZy
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Re: ZX Spectrum Next

Post by MonkZy » Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:58 pm

Taking the manufacturing of the plastics to China is not necessarily cheaper, unless the Next team is planning to produce way more than the pledged 4000 units. For a kickstarter project all the extra travel expenses dealing with a factory in China would eat into the pool of money, I am assuming at least one member of the team would personally oversee the production run. If you could email the supplier an .stl of the case design and wait for the 4000 units to arrive in the post, it would be great. The Next looks a bit beyond that, they were talking of using a complex key design with 'rockers' as opposed to the 'poke a membrane through a hole' of the original. You would need at least one guy to be on site to check everything works right, unless they have found a Chinese firm that can do the entire job i.e assemble the final product and remove any manufacturing glitches pre-run at a fixed fee.

If the Next team say they are going to China you can also assume they wish to make more than the original 4000 units. As a person who missed the kickstarter this would be most excellent. The machine will be able to recreate any 80's machine, it will have a decent keyboard and all the other ancillaries (Sd card, joystick etc.). It's like a super Myst. With the PI attached the machine can utilise the now rapidly growing baremetal emulations. It is a beast.

I remain hopeful.

[edit to avoid double post] The new features added to the Next, extra graphic modes, extra audio channels, copper/sprite support is why I am attracted to the machine. Plus it is the best hardware replacement for original spectrum computers (for this I do not need a cased version). I am but one person who would buy into the project if I could. There are many uses for this great piece of kit.
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Nomad
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Re: ZX Spectrum Next

Post by Nomad » Sun Apr 15, 2018 3:00 pm

The reason I didn't go for it was I looked at the cost of the fully featured zx next. Then I figured a emulator that got directly booted by a single board computer paired with a mechanical keyboard with custom keycaps would be cheaper. Ok You won't have a cool looking case but beyond that what really do you get?

Not knocking those who went for the kickstarter but it was an ambitious project and given that 9% failure rate, plus you are paying much more for an off the shelf solution available right now that would be functionally equivalent with better hardware (mechanical keyboard).

Like a custom mechanical keyboard, with whatever key design you want is $140 shipped. Then whatever you want on the single board computer.
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Seven.FFF
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Re: ZX Spectrum Next

Post by Seven.FFF » Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:10 pm

Yeah, I balked at the cost of the full cased board. The board-only was a no-brainer for me. Much, much cheaper, early access, and has all the features for development.

I've been gradually adding the board extras, ordering them cheap from China. The official case is really not necessary, as I'm already using a PS/2 keyboard for other retro systems. I just wired the keyboard, mouse and VGA up to a cheap KVM.

Not that the full Next isn't worthwhile; it is, and it's great. Just not worth it to me, compared with the $100 board, based on what I want to do with it.

The emulators are currently in a state where you can develop with them and ignore the differences, but you wouldn't want to use them in place of the real hardware as an end user yet. I'm happy though - I just got ZEsarUX and CSpect working with my WIP game for the first time ever yesterday :)
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Hernan
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Re: ZX Spectrum Next

Post by Hernan » Sat Jun 23, 2018 1:47 pm

Just found this post.

I have a Next board, it's great but I think a little expensive to what it offers. Bought a RetroRadionics case to house it. I also added the RTC and have a 1 meg of memory on the way.

Pros:
  • Great quality board
  • HDMI output with sound
  • OS browser with long file names support
  • Works great with most games
Cons:
  • Somewhat bad compatibility, and gets worse using HDMI due to timings. A lot ot things don't work or have some glitches (Nirvana engine games, demos with strict timings). ZX-Uno is miles ahead in this regard.
  • No ULAplus or "Radastan" mode support
  • No composite video output
  • No alternative cores... the FPGA has a lot of (unused) potential
  • Next-only video modes are very non-speccy... using thems converts it in another machine
  • Some expansions (wifi, RPi accelerator) are currently useless, there is no software using them.
That's my 2 cents :)
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Re: ZX Spectrum Next

Post by Magnus » Sun Jun 24, 2018 11:55 am

Hernan wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 1:47 pm
Cons:
  • Somewhat bad compatibility, and gets worse using HDMI due to timings. A lot ot things don't work or have some glitches (Nirvana engine games, demos with strict timings). ZX-Uno is miles ahead in this regard.
Can you elaborate on the compatibility issues, and in what way ZX Uno is better? I'm interested because I backed a cased Next and was under the impression that it would be "fully" compatible. I understand that there are issues with HDMI, but what are the other problems?
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Pegaz
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Re: ZX Spectrum Next

Post by Pegaz » Sun Jun 24, 2018 1:10 pm

I dont have Next to compare, but according to this tests, both Next and Uno are not particularly precise.
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=752&start=30#p11027

So, I would also like to see in which cases Uno is better in terms of compatibility...
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