Topic: ZX Uno

The FPGA zx uno is now available on kickstarter : http://www.verkami.com/projects/14074-zx-uno

75 € shipping included. Quite more than I expected. As I already have the MiST which have now a pretty good AY and beeper support, I won't buy one ZX Uno. But it's pretty cool anyway (raspberry pi size). No USB support thought (ps2 keyboard), and no VGA port (you'll need an adapter or use the video RCA output)
Should be great for hacking (ULAPlus support)

Already 10000 € fund, in 4 h.

Re: ZX Uno

Whoops, that sold out quickly! Well, good for them. I think it's an excellent project at a very fair price, made by some very experienced people.

Re: ZX Uno

Nice piece of hardware, but WHY composite only? That's horrible idea these days. VGA or HDMI is a must. And, if one sticks to composite nevertheless, WHY no RCA audio output then, for consistency? Lots of converters and adapters around such small board just to connect it to modern equipment is not that cool.

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Re: ZX Uno

Yeah, composite only is a downer, but I can kind of understand why. HDMI is not feasible for this kind of projects, because of the insane licensing fees (5000 USD per year + 1 USD per unit). VGA on the other hand is pretty much as outdated as composite, so they were probably thinking "why add another legacy port". But I agree, would have been nice-to-have.

Not using RCA for audio on the other hand is indeed a bad choice, didn't realize they use jack.

Re: ZX Uno

VGA is outdated, but it provides very good picture quality, compared to RCA. So if you want to use, say, ProTracker 3 with this device (4x8 font), it will be really tiresome for the eyes, while VGA would give a crisp picture, just like on emulators. Maybe they only thought about playing retro games, that always were blurry with the original hardware that was rarely used with RGB displays.

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Re: ZX Uno

There is indeed an RGB / VGA output (the white thing close to the ear output), but I don't know how to connect it to a vga screen.

They wanted to keep the same size factor and make it fit inside a raspberry pi box (but which version, I think it's the v1 B+ version), maybe it would have been more reasonable to make a proper vga output. On the other hand, maybe many people will use it on a tv (like the raspberry pi) so it was maybe more useful to have RCA rather than VGA.

Re: ZX Uno

Nice piece of kit, and sized to fit into a raspberry pi case was a good idea. The ps2 keyboard socket was a strange choice I thought, but I liked the sticker set available to customise an old keyboard.

As utz said, probably the licence costs preventing an hdmi output, I think this was also the reason the original Vega didn't have it too.

Re: ZX Uno

garvalf wrote:

There is indeed an RGB / VGA output (the white thing close to the ear output), but I don't know how to connect it to a vga screen.

That'd be a Molex connector, the kind of plug used to connect power to drives in PCs. Damn, they are really cutting some corners there.

I do understand the reasoning behind using a jack for audio now, though. As it's stereo, I assume they're actually emulating stereo AY output. And considering how packed the board is, they probably couldn't have fitted two RCA sockets.

Re: ZX Uno

I've seen the molex word in their description, but wasn't sure it was really this. A quick search on "molex vga adapter" didn't reveal much informations so I assumed it wasn't very practical to use.

Re: ZX Uno

But there is really no stereo AY output in the original models, it is a feature of DIY Russian clones that is totally inconsistent between all of them (different channel layouts, different mixing ratios). And even if one wants stereo, two RCAs is a good option. At least you can easily connect such device to a modern TV, without adapters, they still have composite and stereo in. With Jack you forced either to phones, or a number of cable adapters, as either TVs or standalone amplifiers normally don't accept 3.5 jack.

Well, it is understandable why they went 3.5, the board space and connectors price. Cutting corners indeed.

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Re: ZX Uno

They could have used a similar video cable used on Raspberry pi 2 and C.H.I.P. (3.5 jack with 3 channels, 2 for audio, 1 for video, with output to RCA).
Maybe they'll rethink the board from they users feedback.

I didn't know the Spectrum 128 hadn't stereo for AY. But it seems the AY interfaces for ZX 48 were popular after that. On Amstrad CPC it seems it was stereo from the start.